I officially picked up and moved everything to Boulder, CO just in time for snow. Before shoving off from the west coast I got some folks rolling on their bicycles with the help of Golden Saddle Cyclery and specifically mechanic extraordinaire, Woody. I’m really sad to leave those guys behind, but really happy to be at the base of the Flat Irons and around some amazing cyclists and small companies making it work out here.
I’m looking to fill any new track orders before the season starts in 2014, so if you were thinking about it, please let me know and I can plan accordingly!
I just uploaded a new shirt design to Big Cartel. I’m going to have a pre-order open until April 30th with shirts shipping by the end of May. They won’t be pre-order only, but I won’t be placing a large order for extras, especially since there are 8 available sizes.
About the shirts:
Aaron was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis so his work has been limited and his bills are never-ending. $5 from every shirt is going to him to help with his bills!
Slim cut, 100% Fine Jersey cotton construction. Durable rib neckband. The softest, smoothest, best-looking T-shirt you’ll find. Garments are constructed and printed in the U.S.A.
This Friday we will be hanging out with Levi’s at Orange 20 bikes once again. Join us in launching the 2012 Levis Commuter Collection of Limited-Edition Custom Tees made in collaboration with Ritte, Orange 20 and Moth Attack. Proceeds go to the Bicycle Kitchen, Encino Velodrome and Bikes to Rwanda.
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show did not disappoint this year. All the builders I got to see and talk with had amazing things going on in their booths. I’ve missed a couple years of the show as an attendee, and I don’t think I ever will again. Aside from getting up close with some radical bikes, I love frame builders. Maybe it’s part of how I got here, but I rarely find such a large gathering of people as something to look forward to rather than dread. It’s also the only time of year I get to see a lot of the folks that turn up as we all converge on one city for 4 days and it’s not Las Vegas.
My favorite photos so far have come from Prolly is Not Probably and Urban Velo. I saw the official NAHBS photos as they were being taken, but they aren’t yet on the internet.
John Watson always does a great job covering events. I often look to him to follow events I attend because I never get to see everything I want to.
I looooove the photos from Urban Velo. I’ve linked to the website before as I was included in an article that accompanied a short film I was a part of in 2010. This time Brad managed to get some of the best lit shots of the show in front of the women’s bathroom. It only took one try to get this super mean photo of me.
Last but certainly not least, new kits are available through Voler! I love working with them and they make it easier every year. The quality is great and the prices are totally reasonable. The order closes on MARCH 18th, so don’t wait!
All of the images can be found on the Moth Attack Facebook Page.
Now Interbike has come and gone and I couldn’t be more relieved. It’s a beast I love and hate, but this year was better than ever. We officially unveiled the Ritte Racing x Moth Attack track bike all dressed up in it’s shiny new paint and brand new parts. To say it was an attention hog would be an understatement. I actually had my new friends from Handlebar Moustache drag me across the show floor to see the bike in person.
Some other folks who actually seem to like blogging wrote posts about the show here:
Plans to ride the Furnace Creek 508 were foiled this year, but I’ll be out there for support and to watch a friend finish the race on his new custom fixed gear road frame.
Have I ever mentioned that Iove S&S Couplers? We took a ‘vacation’ this year where I spent 4 days being a nerd with Eric Baar of Ground Up Designs. He started teaching me how to TIG weld, so I’ll be spending my winter trying to get control of that and maybe build myself a new road bike cause we all know the last thing I need is another track bike.
I’m headed to Austin at the end of February for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Originally, I had intended to just attend and wander the show for the weekend, but I’m not eligible as a new builder next year, so I felt like I should take advantage of the new builder tables now. I’m already overwhelmed with the thought of the show, but it’ll be fun if Austin is half the town I’ve been promised!
I’ve also started using my twitter account a bit more. Still not super tweet-savy, but I’m catching up with the technology. I’m trying to keep the dog and cat talk to a minimum. Moth Attack Twitter
Added some photos to the gallery as well. I know it only shows 6 at a time, just refresh it for now!
This year I rode the Furnace Creek 508 with another new team as the Wild Burros. I was the only veteran on the team as far as riding and Sasha had been out to film our first fixed gear team and crew once. I didn’t particularly want to ride the same stages I already had, so I put myself in as the 4th rider. As it turns out, riding across Death Valley starting at 2am is a lot harder than even I expected. I was a bit more tired than I thought I would be and it was kinda hot. The headwind was almost appreciated for bringing the temps below 90 degrees. I’ve only ridden on fixed gear teams before this, so I’ve always ridden steel (2 years ago I threw a drilled fork on my track bike for the weekend) and ended up going out with my Look 586 this year. I haven’t built myself a road bike yet, and my Landshark is closer to cracking every day (it’s had a tough life). I’ll never make the carbon race frame mistake again. I forget how rough the roads are every time. My back hurt worse than my legs and was completely seized up by the finish. I saved my hallucinations for the final stretch in to 29 palms. Nothing too exciting, but at about 9pm day 2, the sealed cracks in the road started to move around. Nothing like having complete understanding of your brain fucking with you. This is the finish photo, and no I don’t have any clue what I’m looking at.
We (Swarm!) had 9 racers at the 508 this year. Our 4x mixed, Emperor Tamarin, a 2x men’s team with former Bonobo’s Max and Brian, Godwit, a 2x mixed team of JLaw and Cara Gillis, and Matt! riding solo for the 3rd year in a row. Matt bet us that we wouldn’t close the 2 hour gap on him, and if he had been as fit as last year, I don’t think we would have caught him. I couldn’t resist the $80 bet even though I knew we would be potentially cutting it close. We passed Matt coming out of Shoshone. I guess he slept while I was still pedaling along, so the hour gap he had going in to it was totally blown.
And because I’m a frame builder, you need new photos of new bikes. This is my first bike out of state (Philly)! Matt has already taken it to Atlanta to race and hangout at the North American Cycle Courier Championships and is sending me updates almost weekly. I love it. He had a friend paint it locally, so more detailed photos to come when he can get them to me. My own camera charger cord is missing somewhere, so I can’t upload any photos from it currently.
Since I do live and work in Los Angeles, it’s only natural I would eventually become a movie star (again). A Los Angeles cyclist and film maker, Eric Matthies recently put together a 10 minute film, Countywide about LA for the Bicycle Film Festival, and I was happy to be a part of it. He didn’t even make me talk in front of the video camera.
Urban Velo printed a story, written by Eric, based on the film. The direct link to the page featuring Moth Attack here. You can click through the whole issue online. I’ve always kinda liked Urban Velo, so it’s cool to unexpectedly be in a feature!
Just in case you’ve never seen it (his year I’ll be at the 508 on a road bike)…
Last month was exciting. We raffled the Encino frame on the 10th (it also ended with my Paypal account being closed due to gambling issues, hah!), the Idea Cafe grant money finally came in giving me about 4 weeks to order parts for and build the two bikes I planned for the Rough Riders Rally July 23rd-25th, so I ignored a lot of things that weren’t too pressing and got the frames built with hardly any time to put parts on them. One actually made it to the Rally, and completely unintentionally, it was my own bike. It’s the bike I’m pictured with after a lot of saddle time for a seemingly ‘short’ ride. The second bike I built to use a belt drive system, but didn’t know just how far the belt drive ‘chainring’ sits in compared to a normal chainring. We had also planned to use a 39t front ring, but due to the restrictions of belt lengths had to go with a 46t. It would have cleared a 39t just fine, but for a new project and parts I’ve never worked with I was probably lucky that was my biggest issue. I didn’t have the spare parts, or time to replace the chainstays before we had to leave, so we had to make Matt’s cross bike functional for the ride. We didn’t even have time to send out to paint/powder since that requires an extra couple weeks most times.
The ride itself made the weeks of working 14 hr days totally worth it. We arrived after the kick-off Friday morning ride just in time for pizza and hanging out with the events participants. I was quickly introduced to Jacquie Phelan who proceeded to write my name in sharpie on my neck so she could remember it. There were some people I knew already from previous Adventure Corps events, and a lot of folks I didn’t know and Jacquie was just one of many mountain biking legends in attendance that weekend. The rides all left from Tam Bikes in Mill Valley. A really cute shop in what appears to be the main drag of cool, small businesses. We stayed in San Francisco with friends because we’re too cheap to pay for hotels more often than at 508. The choice to stay 20 miles away was a bit of a problem the next morning when we turned up late to the pre-ride coffee and bagels portion of the day. We ended up not being the only ones to have issues getting moving quickly, and eventually set off with Adventure Corps regulars Mike and Donna and our personal Marin County resident tour guide, Jacquie Phelan. We thought we’d catch up to the riders, and we probably would have if we hadn’t taken a fairly long break to enjoy the West Point Inn on Mt Tam. Jacquie is a member, so we got a full tour. We decided we should probably ride up there and stay overnight sometime to fully enjoy the view.
The entire route on Saturday was an epic 36 miles that somehow took us 6 hours. It may have been the 6000ft of climbing. Or the overall group tendency to stop and take pictures. Maybe we rode slower than we thought we did? I’m leaning toward blaming the climbing though. There were some definite sections where my 8spd Internally Geared hub just wasn’t geared low enough and I ran faster up the hills. I crashed myself once just going too fast downhill through a turn. It was a great first ride for a brand new bike. The top tube was later branded by Jacquie and her Sharpie. Super funny, and I kinda don’t want to paint over it.
We had dinner, and some awesome guest speakers after Saturday’s ride. There was also a ‘Best Bike’ award from the ride. Not surprisingly, Sean Rawland’s bike took top honors with my own coming in second. I couldn’t really complain seeing as it was unfinished and kind of a weird bike. I made the internally geared hub’s cables run inside the whole frame, so it’s been mistaken as a single speed many times.
Next time, I’d probably opt for staying in Mill Valley. Driving and riding back and forth to the city proved to be time consuming and meant we missed out on some of the fun. I’d also hope to start the bikes sooner, but some things are out of my control in that department.
Now for picture time!
Jerseys (okay, skinsuit, but it makes it easier to show all of it):
The jerseys arrived just after we returned from Rough Riders. I have been super happy with the quality and the turnout for them. Distribution has been totally exciting and totally worth it. I’m looking forward to doing a second order now that everyone realizes they totally missed out the first time. email me if you don’t want to be left out this time! firstname.lastname@example.org