We’re half way through the summer already and there’s still much to see and do (courtesy of our Events Calendar):
RAGBRAI is off and running already. If you’re not taking part, you can still follow along through their website. It’ll be taking part until July 24.
We’re also in the midst of the PanAm Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are going until July 26. From August 7 to 15, it’s followed by the ParapanAm Games – more sport, more excellence, more excitement to watch and follow.
The Midwest Recumbent Rally is happening on August 6 to 8, hosted as usual by those awesome people at the Hostel Shoppe.
A little further ahead, there’s the World Human Powered Speed Challenge and the Recumbent Cycle-Con in September, and the Chicago Unconventional Bike Expo an Toronto International Bicycle Show in October. If you want to know any more about these events, check them out in our Events Calendar where you’ll find links to each website.
Martyn Ashton is a mountain bike trials rider, former British and World Champion and general legend. If you haven’t seen his Road Bike Party videos before, you should definitely check out both of them – he takes a pro-level Wiggins/Cavendish carbon road bike and generally rides it in ways you wouldn’t expect it to be used.
Friends Danny MacAskill and Chris Akrigg appear alongside Martyn in the second Road Party video – Danny and Chris are both amazing riders in their own rights and they’re worth finding on YouTube themselves (I’ve watched many of Danny’s videos in particular and they are beautifully shot mini-movies rather than bike videos).
Martyn was paralysed in an accident in 2013, from the waist down. Not unreasonably, you might think that would have put an end to his riding. Not so – with the aforementioned Danny, Chris and another friend, Blake Samson, he’s just shared this month that he’s Back on Track!
As well as the above riding video, he’s also released an interview about his journey back and the challenges and hurdles he’s overcome. He’s such an engaging and entertaining individual, outside of his inspiration to just get out on a bike in whatever way you can.
More power to you, Martyn.
For those of you that know Judi Bachmann, she’s been having a busy summer so far since handing over the reins of Reverse Gear to us. She sent along the following about her recent trip to Ireland that some of you might find interesting – over to you, Judi:
While in Ireland, I travelled coast to coast for 21 days. After a Saturday night tour of Temple Bar in Dublin I took a bus to Galway. The next day I took a ferry to the Aran Islands, where I visited Dun Aonghasa (pic left) – a 2500 year old stone fort standing on 300 foot cliffs facing North America. Tip 1: Most people tour the island as day trip, but if you have the time to stay overnight you will really discover the peaceful solitude of the island, occupied by only a few hundred people, and the stark landscape where the sun doesn’t set until late.
From Galway, I took several bus tours including the Cliffs of Moher (a spectacular view recently seen on the Bachelorette) and the Connemara region to see the Glebe Stone Circle, dating from the early Neolithic Period, where I searched for fairies and leprechauns!
Leaving Galway, I travelled to Belfast and visited the Titanic Experience as well as taking a bus tour of the Giant’s Causeway. Then it was back to Dublin to take in city sites such as: Trinity College, the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History, and St. Stephen’s Park. I also attempted a Literary Pub Crawl which was not only full of fascinating facts, but also entertaining. Tip 2: I think the Guinness Storehouse tour (see pic) should be a mandatory stop on all visits to Dublin. Make sure to visit the top floor for a 360 degree view of Dublin city.
The last few days of my trip were spent in Kilkenny where a visit to the local castle in the centre of town and a walk along the river are must-do attractions along with many others. All in all, I had a huge dose of castles, ruins, pubs, distilleries, spectacular cliffs, sandy beaches, sheep and green pastures and cannot wait to go again – soon.
Judi said she found her Cafe Ole jersey a perfect travel companion – she said it rolled and packed tightly, it hand-washed and dried quickly in her hostel room and it kept her cool and comfortable on bus tours or while walking through the beautiful lush-green Irish countryside. Sounds a very idyllic trip…
Unfortunately, there are only so many things you can control.
We were present at the London Bike Festival on June 27 here in London, Ontario, and the weather (for a bike festival) was awful! It had been a wonderful week leading up to the event, but on the day the skies opened. The organizers pressed ahead but it must have had an impact on numbers attending, which is a real pity given how hard the volunteers worked leading up to and on the day.
We still provided a range of our clothing for the fashion show – thank you to our models, Jordan and Brooke, who were awesome! On the left is our Phoenix jersey and Ironbark shorts; on the right is our Wilga 3 jersey and Corkwood shorts (click on any of the pictures to see them in detail).
There were a number of charity rides with information on display – including the MS Grand Bend to London and the MEC Century Ride. There was also material from the City of London on transport infrastructure, current and planned. An outstanding face-painter was also doing some incredible work throughout the day.
We weren’t the only ones with apparel on show – MEC also presented some of their very nice clothing and there was a display of bike clothing of days gone by, from members of the Tweed Ride in London.
This Saturday, June 27, is the London Bike Festival in London, Ontario, Canada. There’s music and food and bike stores and activities. It’s in a great location – Springbank Gardens, beside the river in London.
As one small part of the day, we’re going to be taking part in a fashion show! We’re pretty excited to be involved. If you’re in the area and would like to see what’s happening in the London bike scene, come on down.
There’s another (very) long distance event happening this month and that’s the Trans Am Bike Race 2015. It’s a race along the Transamerica Trail, 4,200+miles from the Western Oregon coast to Yorktown, Virginia, and it started two days ago.
It’s quite different to RAAM in that it’s an open race – no entry fee, no prize money, anyone can enter and a good race time could be anywhere from 12 to 40 days depending on the rider’s goals and experience.
Unlike RAAM, the riders have to consider food and water supply themselves, including the potential for treating whatever water they can find during certain sections. While there will be lots of opportunities to restock from the towns and cities passed through, this is more bikepacking in style than RAAM.
So, where does the technology come in? Trans Am is using spot satellite trackers and TrackLeaders, a tracking service, to follow the riders as they move across the country. You can literally watch as the riders progress through each day on a live map. It’s quite addictive to follow them!
RAAM will have even more live data and reports available through their chosen service, RideFarther, that looks like it will be combining video, news and pictures as well as the satellite tracking map once that event starts later this month.
If you haven’t tried this kind of tracking system before, you’ll be surprised quite how engaging it can be for these kinds of events. When combined with some of the rider’s own online updates, it can really bring an event alive.
June is an exciting month for endurance cycling fans as it’s peanut-butter-RAAM-time! The world’s toughest endurance bicycle event kicks off on June 16 in Oceanside, California, and then races coast to coast to finish in Annapolis, Maryland, three thousand miles later.
If you’re following a team, they’ll be done in five to nine-ish days; if you’re following the solo riders (who are the really tough cookies), it’ll be in the seven to twelve day range. Twelve days is the cut-off: you have to complete within 12 days to be considered a RAAM Finisher.
There are no rest days either, it’s not so much ‘ride, eat, sleep, repeat’ as ‘ride, eat-ride, ride, sleep, ride, ride some more, repeat’. RAAM’s own website says that a solo racer can’t sleep more than 4 hours a day to get in under the 12 day limit. If I do only a couple of 4-hr nights in a row, I’m a little wonky; I can’t imagine 12 days in a row – plus riding at least 250 miles a day every day while awake.
While you wait for the event to start, I encourage you to watch The Ataxian, a feature-length documentary about Kyle Bryant, unable to walk due to Friedreich’s ataxia, and the rest of his team as they attempted RAAM 2010. The movie’s world premiere is on June 6. It’s a pretty remarkable story.
If you haven’t seen already, we’ve been working hard on our new prices this weekend. We’ve also identified a few product lines that we will be discontinuing and you can see these specials on our home page. Our aim has been to simplify some of our pricing and ensure that it is consistent. A big change that we are very proud of is that there will no longer be a surcharge for the larger sizes! We just want to offer you our range of excellent products at a more competitive price. The clothing will continue to be proudly made in North America with the same high standards you’ve come to expect from Reverse Gear. We will still offer the high levels of customer service you have always received. Absolutely nothing changes but the affordability of our products.
You can look forward to future changes designed purely to make your active life even easier.
As we like to say, same quality but better. Enjoy!
Gaynor & Jon
We know the quality of Reverse Gear apparel is first class, we have no concerns there. We have a new batch of shorts on the way and a classic jersey is being revised for 2015 – they should be in very soon. We’re eagerly awaiting the first new product under our management and will be very pleased to release it just as soon as we can. We’re planning further products already and changes to our site to make it clearer, easier to use and more helpful.
However… this coming weekend, we will be revising our regular pricing – we’ve been listening and we can see some room for improvement that will help convince you to try our gear and see for yourselves why it’s the best clothing for reclined, recumbent and other leisure activities. This is new regular pricing, not temporary sales and we will be keeping things as simple as possible.
Be sure to check out our store this weekend. Share the good news…
Jon & Gaynor