Thoughts and Adventures From Greenlite Heavy Industries

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rain Rain

Winter has arrived here in the great Northwest, and with the rains comes cyclocross mud.  I can't imagine what casual visitors to Sammamish State Park yesterday thought of a bunch of nuts riding through a mile long mud bog, but for those of us that were shoe deep, it was just another day of cyclocross.

The Sammamish course was flat and fast with plenty of opportunities to pass slower riders.  In other words, it was a no excuses kind of race: if you had the lungs and the legs you could definitely finish well.  As for myself I finished up 10th, not bad but I'd like to be up a little higher.  The truth is that I was beaten fair and square by nine other riders who are just stronger than I am - at the moment.  Time to work a little harder.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Smiling Faces

Why are these guys smiling?

a. They just finished a cross race
b. They all have a beer in their hands
c. They're watching J-Pow duke it out with Ryan TreeFarm
d. All of the above

Just like I tell my daughter: if you have an "all of the above option" it's probably the right answer.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Starcrossed Lover

Saturday was the big event on the local cyclocross calendar – Starcrossed.  I was out at Marymore Park in Redmond from 1:00 till 9:30 and loved every minute of it.  Cyclocross
Sophia asked "why does your face look like that
racers are a bit eccentric, I think most of them walk Clark Kent style through life – normal by all outwards appearances- but get ‘em at a race and the horn-rimmed glasses come off.  There is no shortage of personality at a cross race.

I raced in the Masters 40+ event and was placed in the back row – the field was 80 and I was the tail gunner.  I must confess to being a bit disappointed as I finished 8th last weekend and thought that maybe I’d get a descent call-up.  No such luck, I don’t know how they organized the start line, perhaps it was just a blind drawing.  Anyway it be what it be and I leaned over to the guy next to me and said “well my expectations have just been lowered.”

The Starcrossed course had plenty of passing opportunities, but there just isn’t any substitute for a good starting position.  If you are able to pass 80 riders in a cross race you’d better be considering an upgrade, lest ye be called a sandbagger.

Teammates in the beer garden
The course was fast and flat, it was really fun and instead of fading I seemed to get stronger as the race went on.  I got on the wheel of my teammate Dan L and refused to let go.  Dan is a lot faster on the road than I am, so I was happy to be glued to his wheel.  I’m starting to feel a lot better about cross and am a little disappointed to be missing the first race in the SCX series this weekend, but I’ll be doing other fun things (more on that later).

Watching the pros was a real kick, Jeremy Powers and Ryan Trebon were insanely fast.  I simply can’t believe the speed at which those guys get around that course.  One thing I noticed was that they push much bigger gears than I’m able to turn; especially in the corners where I typically gear way down.  By holding onto that bigger gear they’re able to rocket out of the turns whereas I slowly ease back up to speed.  That is a leg strength, which is something that I can work on.

Ryan Trebon's Cannondale - he's 6'6"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bike Hugger Review

Byron at Bike Hugger posted a sweet review of the G1 Pant the other day.  I get a true rush whenever I read a positive blog post or get a positive review from a customer.  Greenlite ain't gonna make me a rich man; I ain't doing it for the money.  I instead started Greenlite to make a difference.  To encourage everyday cycling and to show that high end clothing can made in the U.S.  I deeply appreciate every kind word and positive vibe.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Every Day Is A Gift

The Fit-T is available in white and gray
Just picked up my first run of T-shirts.  The shirts were sewn right here in Seattle by Matt down and Tarboo, and my friend, Chris M, helped me with the graphics.  They are one hundred percent heathered cotton.  Eric and Jamie down at ThisThat in West Seattle printed them up for me.  I had Matt sew them to fit an athletic physique, thin at the waist a bit wider at the shoulders and I added a ribbed cuff at the sleeve to show off the guns.

"Every Day Is A Gift" comes from a tattoo I saw on a surfer that I met a few years back. On his right forearm was written "Every Day" and on his left was "Is a Gift."  I figured that if you're going to get a tat this was a pretty good one.  Viewing every single day as a precious commodity shouldn't be relegated to those with a terminal diagnosis, because if you look at the big picture life is terminal for all of us.

I'm running them through the washing machine today, as I think it's best to sell T-shirts pre-shrunk.

I think I'll call it the Fit-T: a good fit for the fit guy.
Ribbed cuff at the sleeve

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kick-Off Cross

Pushing my way forward
Cyclocross season started up here in Seatte with the MFG kick-off race at Big Finn Hill Park yesterday.  In year’s past Big Finn has been notoriously dusty, but due to recent thundershowers (rare here in the Northwest) we had optimal, albeit a bit sloppy at the barriers conditions.

The course setters went hog wild with the tape constructing a maze of off camber grassy knoll turns and a super tight pinch point.  I expected a lot of slide-outs on the slick grass but all in all I saw relatively few racers on the ground.

Terry did a random number call-up, which was a bit of a bummer as I figured with all of the guys who upgraded last year I stood a good chance of a top five or eight call-up.  My number ends in a one and that was the second to last number called.  So being the rule follower that I am I lined up in the back and didn’t push my way forward.

I had just installed some new TRP low profile cantilever brakes the day before onto Old Blue and damn were they squealers.  I hate noise coming from my bike and this was like off the decibel charts.  I ride the brakes a lot during cross races – even while pedaling as it acts kind of like traction control – and so the squeal was fairly constant throughout the race.

We ran four laps and after the initial heartrate spike I really started to even out and felt really strong throughout the race.  On lap four I got kind of bunged up at the barriers and lost two maybe three places, but all in all I did really well ending up eighth (I don’t count the Hodala rider) in a big big field.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Boxer

While listening to Pandora yesterday Paul Simon’s The Boxer came on.  Damn that guy can write a song.  The following line seems particularly prophetic:

 Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

Thursday, September 5, 2013


For the next round of pants I’m having my logo and the care instructions silk-screened to the inner panel of the left front pocket, and so I went down to the shop at Tarboo to cut out the pocket blanks.  Cutting certainly is an acquired skill, it took me a while to calm down and let the scissors do the work.  Next time I cut I think it’ll be a good idea to wrap my thumb in some sort of protective tape as my knuckle is still a bit sore.

Matt working the cutting table
Matt had a couple of designers working with him on another project and we all just got busy and did what we had to do.  No shooting the shit or screwing around, just a few folks working hard making money.  I love working hard – putting my head down and getting the job done – I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I put in a hard day yesterday, but it was refreshing to get a job done.