Thoughts and Adventures From Greenlite Heavy Industries

Monday, March 31, 2014

Cover to Cover

We had a great review of our STP shorts from Jan at Bicycle Quarterly

This issue of Bicycle Quarterly is probably the first magazine that I've ever truly read cover to cover.  Everything between the covers is interesting and valuable, no fillers, no top ten lists, and no "and now a word from our sponsor" stuff.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Just Eat (And Ride Hard)

I like this article

The author puts into words what I've been feeling for some time now.  Good nutrition is a significant part of being a good athlete but as it is with most things we can take it too far.  This root is good for digestion, this berry reduces aging, this cleanse detoxes you.  Really who says, where's the evidence, well uhhh...

Here's my theory:

Eat as many vegetables as possible
Eat some fruits
Eat a little meat
Avoid the simple grains such as pasta and white bread - but if you go to a friend's house and they bake you some lasagna, eat it.
Enjoy a good beer with some friends now and again
Work out often - go hard, sweat, push yourself

So far this has worked pretty good.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Going Knocking

Back in my climbing days my buddies and I used to employ a saying when the weather began ti go sideways: “will let’s go knocking,” which meant to pack up, head out and go to the critical portion of the route where we could make some real-time decisions.  More often than not the weather would improve and we’d pull off an ascent when most other parties had retreated to the nearest town for second breakfast.

Last night a steady downpour pounded my driveway, so I texted my buddy Matt, “are we rain riders??”  His mono syllable response was “yep.”  I wasn’t getting out of it that easy.  I inflated the tires on my rain bike, donned my trusty jacket and headed off for a wet and miserable ride.  I’d only worn toe covers and within ten minutes my wool socks were as saturated as a dish sponge, but luckily spring is in the air and no toes went numb.

Thirty minutes into the ride I met up with Matt, the rain was letting up and we ended up pulling out a nice hilly training ride. The spring weather in Seattle is unpredictable: sunny one minute, a downpour the next, sometimes it’s best just to put on your foul weather gear and go knocking.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quote of the Week

"There is no kindness in the final miles"

-Matt Nuffort when asked if a bike racer should wait for a weaker rider who has fallen off the back of a break.
What it looks like to fall off the back

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thrill Ride

In my past I’ve done some stuff that could possibly qualify as adrenalin rush, thrill seeking, but I’m on the fence about that.  I never went to the mountains looking for a thrill, I did go looking for a challenge, some serenity, beauty, but the adrenalin was more hazard pay than base salary.  Bicycle racing has changed all that.

I race for the thrill of it.

Maybe some motor sports and some forms of horse racing would compare, but other than that I have a hard time conjuring up a sport that provides a thrill equal to racing a bicycle on pavement.  Riding twenty seven miles an hour six inches behind, six inches to the right, six inches to the left and six inches in front of other racers provides an “in the moment, total focus” experience that I have yet to find in any other life experience.  It is stressful, but the stress is exhilarating. 

I suppose that I’ve spent enough time on a bike, or I have yet to really hit the ground hard, but whatever the reason I’m fairly comfortable in the pack.  My only worry is that I’ll cause an accident and be labeled a “phred” a “gomer” someone who can’t be trusted to ride in a straight line.

The nice thing is that you don’t have to be a pro rider to experience the thrill of bike racing.  Anyone with a descent set of wheels and some good lungs can get out there throw down.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Hats are Here

Paul sporting the olive cap following a ride of Grand Ridge east of Seattle
Just finished up the first run of Schoeller DrySkin cycling caps.  The two problems that I have with my collection of fifteen or so cycling caps are: the bill is too long and inhibits your line of sight while actually riding, and either because they are wool or have plastic/cardboard in the bill they come out of the washing machine ruined (I've hand-washed my favorite wool cap, yet it still smells like wet dog).
Frank showing the versatility of the khaki cap
I gave this cap a slightly smaller bill: large enough to provide eye shade yet small enough not to have to flip up every time you grip the hoods.  In addition I used interfacing to stiffen the bill, this combined with the Schoeller fabric makes the cap completely machine washable.

I discovered at the recent Seattle Bike Expo that my cap is not one size fits all, but instead is one size fits most.
Cap is designed to fit underneath a helmet
I wore the prototype through a Seattle winter and have no complaints.

Available in black, khaki and olive.  All with orange reflector strip.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weird Guy

After much searching and squeezing into jeans that don’t fit over my thighs I’ve finally found a nice pair of Indigo selvedge jeans that actually kind of almost fit: the Naked and Famous Weird Guy Stretch Selvedge.  The fabric is 98% cotton and 2% Spandex, I was concerned about buying anything other than 100% cotton but I have to say that after four days in the pants the stretch is allowing the fabric to relax a bit, which translates to comfort.
Naked and Famous Weird Guy with Thorogood Boots
Last week at the Seattle Bike Expo I was showing customers how I relaxed the fit in the thighs in my G1 Pants, and more than one guy said that was appreciated as most pants – especially jeans – simply don’t fit folks who ride bikes – our thighs are too big as compared to our waist circumference. 
There seems to be no shortage of high end selvedge denim jeans out on the market, but strikingly few are made to fit anyone other than a skinny nineteen year old.  Perhaps Greenlite Heavy Industries will have to come out with a jean made especially for people with thighs

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Last September three buddies and I rode 330 miles across Washington State via the John Wayne Pioneer Trail (JWPT); this one trip really lit a fire in my mind regarding the fine art of bikepacking.  Getting off the urban streets opens up an entirely new world of cycling, forget the stress of holding onto a paceline or avoiding that sixteen year old kid in his GTI, embrace 10 mph, ride side-by-side, talk to your compadres.

I found a couple of online journals that celebrate and shine a little light on the clandestine activity known as bikepacking:

Bunyan Velo
Yonder Journal

Check 'em out.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Wave

Back when I had the Harley one of my favorite pastimes was rolling down the road waving at other motorcyclists.  Actually it’s not so much a wave as it is pointing your index finger out and slightly down – pointing at the asphalt – as if to say “it’s all about the road.”  It didn’t matter your machine: Harley, crotch rocket, endure, commuter, motorcycle cop whatever, the wave signaled that though we may look different we both have a shared passion; we are of the same tribe.

This is why I always wave to other bicyclists.  Well at least I try to, sometimes I’m grunting up a hill and need both hands on the bars, but most of the time.  Many of my rides are race training, and I’m all kitted out in my team colors; I’ll admit that sometimes racers get a bad rap: sometimes deserved, so I kind of see myself as an ambassador saying “yeah we may look overly serious but we’re just regular folk who, like you, are passionate about riding.
Screw the bike cliques I say, we’re all cut from the same cloth.