Spent some lazy weekend time (when not riding) perusing websites on the iPad. Weekend mornings before of after my bike rides are a good time for that. And of course, the websites I poked around on had to do with biking.
I think most regular readers of this blog will have figured out by now that I’m no speed demon. I like to go fast, but don’t work to get faster — that’s not one of my biking goals. What I do like are longish rides, preferably on roads out in the country away from heavy traffic.
I’m intrigued by randonneurs — those folks who routinely ride 200, 300, 400 kilometers or more on a single ride. I’m not sure I’m up to their kind of on-bike
torture testing, but the websites I’ve seen encourage me that maybe some day I can at least try it. So a couple of websites I spent a lot of time with last weekend were rando oriented: Velo Orange Cycles and Peter White Cycles.
Velo Orange is an Annapolis, Maryland company that sells bike parts and equipment that appeal to long distance riders. They also have a limited selection of frames. It’s all good and well to navigate their site and get a feel for what they offer the long distance rider. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s a nice selection of articles about their style of biking. Click the link for “Tech Info.” You can learn how to install various pieces of gear they sell, like their elk hide handlebar covers, as well as get a feel for their philosophy about stuff like handlebars, headsets, and bottom brackets. I’m not mechanically adept, but I find these articles to be good reads. Velo Orange also has a blog on the site that covers their product lines as well as cycling for fun and distance. I like their “Rando” frame, and the pictures of various builds of this frame. If I’m ever destined to get another bike, it could very well be one of these.
Peter White Cycles is up in New Hampshire. He specializes in building wheels, and guarantees them to hold up — even under tough conditions. White offers frames as well, geared toward long distance riding, commuting, and a bicycle lifestyle. In addition to frames, he stocks various components, such as cranksets, bottom brackets, cranks, chains, lights, racks, bags — the whole gamut. But even if you’re not interested in his inventory, take a look at the tab on his website called “Articles.” He’s got a very personal take on bike fitting, and is passionate about choosing the right light for night cycling. His comments are priceless, too, such as, “If you’re not racing, what the heck are you doing with a racing bike?”
So if the “traditional” approach to cycling appeals to you, you might want to check out these two websites. Even if you’re not sold, you’ll probably take away some useful information.