THANK YOU to The District Dish for asking me to "dish" with them! You can check out the interview HERE, and also on YouTube. This is the first interview I've done that didn't make me want to barf- way to go, me!
I was a big fan of Bridgestone during their heyday of the '90s. The no-nonsense bikes and advertising style pushed all my buttons at the time. As proof, three - count 'em, three - new Bridgestones arrived in the official Dan O garage in '91. A considerable chunk of dough for the MB-Zip, RB-1 and MB-3. To buy three bikes from one manufacturer in a year says something, no? It also was the dual-income, no kids era for me. Like Bridgestone, those days are long gone now.
Back in the day, I also poured over (and saved) every Bridgestone catalog and BOB Gazette. I still wear my BOB and RONA t-shirts, that I saved for years - then wondered what I'm saving 'em for? I recently put 'em in the rotation and the general public has no idea what they mean. The occasional Bike Geek does however.
The man running the show for Bridgestone USA was of course, Grant Petersen. Being a bike nut myself, Grant would be on my "admired" list for what they've accomplished in the industry and for what they stand for - even if I don't agree or totally dig what they make. Grant later started Rivendell and even though I was a Rivendell Reader subscriber for years, the Rivendell line of bikes were just not quite my thing. I thought the bikes were cool in their own way and admired Grant's passion for what he believes a bike should be. Still, nothing I'd ride myself. Well, the Rambouillet frame in blue had me thinking for a bit, but not enough to order one. I'd also run it with all "modern" components - but that's another story.
I sometimes wondered why Rivendell didn't produce their own version of the RB-1. Something with simple lugs, lighter and quicker then what they usually offer. You'd think for a small company like Rivendell, they'd sell a few for sure. Especially by tapping into the Bridgestone cult crowd.
Well, that appears to have happened. Bike pictured above is the Rivendell Roadeo, a prototype of their latest road bike. To me, it looks like a Rivendell RB-1. A road bike with room for fatter tires and fenders, steel construction and and some ties to history as well. Where will it be made? By the Waterford folks in Wisconsin, so you know the quality is up there. Pretty cool project.
Projected price for this rolling piece of old school art? $2000 for frame and fork. That's up there, but need to factor in who's building it and who designed it. I'm sure it'll ride extra sweet. I could see this built up with something like new Campy Chorus. New school carbon parts mixed with old school steel frame. Then again, maybe I'm weird.
In any case, since my days of dual-income and no kids has long expired, the chance of spending that kind of dough on a bike is pretty slim. Still, I can dream. The Roadeo has caught my attention for sure. I hope Rivendell sells a bunch of 'em.
Last weekend some friends and I were doing our usual woods ride, complete with bags of Beef Jerky. Nothing compliments a tough ride like dry, salty meat - washed down with warm, plastic tasting, water bottle water. Mmm, mmm good.
Anyway, forget cougar sightings - that's nothing. You wouldn't believe what happened. Lucky for us, Ted brought his video camera for the ride......
As noted in my Bridgestone MB-Zip post a few months back - I sold the Zip to some guy, who apparently was looking to display the bike at a soon to open shop. I didn't really have any details, but thought having the old Zip on display would be cool. My contribution to a little mountain bike history for other bike nuts to enjoy.
A few months after the sale, a coworker mentioned seeing a Zip hanging at a new shop in his area. He didn't remember the name of the place, but I figured it out after a little Google searching. Place was JRA Bike Shop in the Crown Hill area of Seattle. I planned to hit the shop eventually and visit the old Zip. I thought it would be a fun blog update, complete with pictures of "my" Zip hanging at the new location. More time rolls by and I never made it over there.
Last night, I'm goofing around online and check for responses on my blog. Wacky enough, some guy named Frank Strack purchased the Zip off JRA, then found my blog story on the very same bike. With the help of the Internet - a small world.
Frank is riding the Zip, not storing as a collectable piece of mountain bike history. Excellent. He also has a great blog worth checking out, called Velominati. It's worth a visit. It even has pictures of the Zip ready to roll for real again.
I wish Frank and the Zip many happy trails.
Caught this clip on another blog that I follow, Italian Cycling Journal. Ciuliano Calore descending the 48 switchbacks of the Passo dello Stelvio in Italy circa 1986 - riding no handed. I have no idea who Ciuliano Calore is or where the Passo dello Stevlio is located. Doesn't matter, anything that sounds Italian is cool in my book.
I get a kick out of the sheer goof factor of this stunt, complete with heel on rear tire for braking. Then add in the traffic, blaring horns and running Italian commentary in the background - which I don't understand a word of - but of course, sounds great - 'cause it's Italian.
Witness for yourself.....
John Dodson ans his sons, Zach and Seth (all Chicagoans by way of Texas), jumped for various works in the new modern wing at The Art Institute of Chicago.
John jumps for Sam Francis' In Lovely Business #2, Zach jumps for Jeff Wall's The Flooded Grave, and Seth jumps for Barbra Kruger's Untitled (blue/red)
Thanks for submitting!
Before I headed home from work the other day, my wife informed me the kids set up a lemonade stand along the Burke-Gilman Trail, hoping to cash in on thirsty riders during the hot afternoon.
This is my commute route, so I cranked up the speed a bit - hoping to see them before their interest in the lemonade business faded. I arrived in time to witness the waning moments of the operation....
Shadow photographs Operation Lemonade Stand in full swing.
Daughter Amy and son Ian attempt to flag down riders. Amy singing "Lemonade for sale" helps the sales pitch.
Checkered flag in hand, Ian goes at it alone. Sales is a tough business.
By the time I arrived, only witnessed one rider stop - though about 15 people stopped earlier in the day. I grabbed a free drink for myself, to the complaint of the business owners. Reminded them I was actually funding the whole operation, so was entitled to a freebie. Most of the real customers who stopped were great and told the kids to "Keep the change".
Ian and Amy have set up the Lemonade Stand on our street before, this was the first mobile operation - with assistance from mom. As cute and corny as Lemonade Stands go, still valuable lessons being learned from the experience. I think so anyway.
Plus, now that I see how thrilled my kids are when someone stops - I always try to stop by other kids stands when I spot one. I also tell 'em to "Keep the change". You can pretend to be a big spender when ordering up a 25 cent beverage.
If you happen to spot any kids on the side of the road with homemade signs and cheap, pre-mix lemonade waiting to be purchased - give it a go. Trust me, it's worth it.
I've been fortunate over the years to own some cool bikes. Some of 'em have become cult or collector material for people in the know and it's great that people enjoy hearing about 'em now - for a peek back into the "good old days" of mountain biking. I'm not a collector, just been riding mountain bikes long enough to own this stuff since it was new. Yeah - I'm getting old. There's also some road bikes mixed in there, as I ride on the road as well. It's all two wheeled good stuff to me.
I've been riding mountain bikes since 1984 - not exactly bombing Mount Tam with Charlie Kelly or Tom Ritchey - but certainly the Stone Age of mountain biking. Especially for the East Coast, where I grew up and got involved with all this knobby tire, pedal powered fun.
I've been posting bikes in the chronological order that I acquired 'em - starting with a '84 Miyata Ridge Runner, then a '86 Fat Chance, followed by a '91 Bridgestone MB-Zip. It's now time to fire up the time machine and set the dial to 1993....
As I mentioned in my MB-Zip post, I had plans to meet some old New Jersey pals in Moab for the 1993 Fat Tire Festival. My current ride, the Zip, was cool - but in my eyes, not Moab material. I needed something stiffer and little beefier. I still had my old Fat, but wanted something newer. I wanted a Yo Eddy, so the search began.
At the time, a few shops in the Seattle area carried Fat City bikes. I remember test riding a sweet yellow Yo Eddy at R&E Cycles, but passed since it already had a dented top tube (ouch). That wouldn't have affected the ride, but no way I'm picking that up. New dough means farm fresh. I then noticed a used Yo Eddy for sale in the newspaper classifieds. Remember, this was the pre-Internet era - no Craigslist or eBay. How did we survive?
I called the number from the ad and this nice guy drove over to my house to show me the bike. It was '91 model Yo Eddy frame, barely ridden and built up very trick for the time. XT derailleurs, shifters and brakes. Ritchey brake levers, Cook Bros crank, IRD seatpost, Control Tech stem, Chris King headset, Answer Hyperlite handlebar, Flite saddle, SPD pedals, XT rear hub and Bullseye front hub, laced to Mavic rims. Specialized Ground Control tires and Onza bar ends. Marzocchi suspension fork and the stock Yo fork included. He wanted $1500 for it, a killer deal since the frame and fork alone fetched $1100 at the time. After a test ride, the deal was done. He even took a personal check - it couldn't have been any easier. I now owned an official Team Yo Eddy. Yes!
After a few rides on the Yo, I pulled off the Marzocchi fork and sold it to a riding pal for $150. Even though I came from a dirt motorcycle background, thought suspension wasn't needed on bicycles (silly me). This was the early Marzocchi fork with the lightening holes drilled through the lower legs - don't remember the exact model. I happily installed the stock Yo Eddy fork in its place. I also swapped the SPD first generation Shimano pedals for some SunTour XC Pro pedals - complete with clips and toe straps. Yup, I wasn't quite ready for the new generation stuff at the time.
I rode the bike in this configuration for about a year and thought it was the best mountain bike I ever owned. Eventually, the suspension revolution caught up to me and I installed a Manitou 3 fork. 63mm of elastomer cushioned travel, complete with a greased rod for damping. Pretty high tech, eh? I remember dumping muddy water out of it for "maintenance". Even so, there was no going back to rigid forks. The stock Yo Eddy fork was filed away for safe keeping.
I rode the Yo a lot - many dirt miles. During this era, was riding off-road 3 - 5 times a week and raced occasionally. Various parts came and went due to the use - truckloads of brake pads, chains, cassettes and chainrings. Rims and entire wheelsets replaced due to mud damage. A few Manitou fork rebuilds. When the IRD seatpost cracked, replaced it with a titanium model from Ti Cycles in Seattle. When picking that up, couldn't resist one of their titanium handlebars as well. Through all of this, the frame itself held up great. Fat City made some quality frames.
This was my main mountain bike from 1993 - 1999. That's 6 years of real world use. Countless trail rides - quick after work spins and longer epics thrown in. Cruises around the neighborhood, as well as dying in the Sport class of NORBA races. And I did hit the 1993 Fat Tire Festival as planned, the Yo Eddy worked perfectly for the trip.
Fat City bikes and especially the Yo Eddy, were cool bikes to own and very respected - lots of approving comments from fellow bikers. Yeah, the attention was fun, but the best part was the ride and the quality of the bikes themselves. They really made great stuff and even though Fat City closed shop over 10 years ago, people still know about them and covet the frames to this day. There's a reason for that. If any mountain bike company could stage a comeback (like Ibis), Fat City Cycles could do it, based on its past history. Chris Chance - are you out there?
In 1999, I bought a new Ellsworth Truth - completely joining the crowd with full suspension. The Yo Eddy was semi-retired and modified a bit. I pulled off the Manitou fork and reinstalled the rigid Yo Eddy fork - carefully stored in a drawer, quietly awaiting it's return to glory. Some new Gore-Tex cables and Downhill type platform pedals, so I could cruise around with normal shoes. I also installed a set of WTB cantilever brakes that I bought for a different bike years ago, but never used - that looked perfect on the Fat. Since the changes, I've used the bike for rides with my son, Ian - in the woods, when he was younger and just learning how to ride singletrack. I even pulled my daughter Amy around the woods in a Burley trailer on the Yo. At the end of the rides, the Burley trailer windows covered with mud. I occasionally consider converting the Yo to a single speed and may do so in the future. Otherwise, it remains as is.
A few pictures and more gibberish from me......
1993 Fat Tire Festival in Moab, Utah. It was a fun week riding with old friends and meeting new ones. I actually met Bob Roll sitting in a bike shop and saw Tom Ritchey riding down the street - complete with moustache and no helmet. Moab at the time was the mountain bike mecca, with lots of bike media coverage and hype. It was a great place to ride, would like to hit there again. Here, the Yo Eddy rests comfortably against sandstone rock, while I model Oakley Eyeshades, Specialized mountain bike shoes made for clips and straps, and JT Racing padded tights. Welcome to 1993, I'll be your Tour Guide.
The Yo Eddy as it sits today - this time against old fence. This is not a restored bike by any means, just a very well used example with scratches and wear to show for it. As mentioned, platform pedals make it easy for quick cruising. Original Flite saddle is hammered and looking tired. It's bikes like this that make the phrase "Steel is real" a true statement.
Turn to the left. Scratched up Team Fat Chance sticker and well worn bottle cage. Yo-Eddy top tube sticker survives.
Turn to the right. More trail damaged stickers, including old school Dirt Rag sticker. The triple cable routing on top tube still looks cool. Beefy WTB tire mimics suspension. Sort of.
View from the front. Team Yo Eddy sticker stares ahead, over WTB cantilever brake.
Tiny Yo Eddy sticker guards the rear. Check out the small gusset where the seatstays join. Nice detail on the Fat frame. Plenty of room for fat tires also, up to 2.5" as advertised at the time.
Classic Don't Tread on Me, Made in Massachusetts sticker graces the seat tube. Unique Fat City bottom bracket with pressed in bearings. Light and easy to adjust chain line - however, have you ever tried removing 'em once wedged in there? Not fun. Also notice back side of crank, complete with adapter to run 22 tooth ring - made by Avid (if I remember correctly). While you're staring, admire the clean TIG welding on the frame - nice.
Cook crank, very trick for the era. Mine actually have material worn away where my ankles brushed the crank arms. Yeah - this bike has seen some use. The sliver, black, silver chainrings look great - if I can say so myself.
One of the coolest rigid forks ever made. Yo Eddy sticker on each fork top stare you down on every ride.
More fork detail. I'm guessing these gussets stiffen the fork a bit - why else in this location? In any case, great details and craftsmanship.
The Old Fat still cleans up nice. I actually washed it for the "photo shoot" - if you can call it that.
Homemade Ramones sticker slowly peels away from top tube. Gabba Gabba Hey. We accept you, we accept you, one of us.
Fat City Cycles fades away, but not forgotten by all. Is it better to burn out, then to fade away?
This concludes yet another installment of Personal Rides on my little slice of the Blog-O-Sphere. Thanks for tuning in, stay tuned for future episodes - complete with more written fluff and poor photography. Just doing my part to fill up the Internet with ancient bike info and a little history. I hope you enjoyed it.
Until next time, keep the cranks turning. How's that for corny?