Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • Wrenched Nation Tour | Eighth Stop: New York City

    "New York, New York, is everything they say
    And no place that I'd rather be
    Where else can you do a half a million things
    All at a quarter to three " -Huey Lewis

    nycBefore I was about to take on the Big Apple with a giant RV, I decided to stop, come up with a game plan, and assemble the troupes. I was driving on back highways and there was a parking lot that I pulled off into so I could make some calls. It just so happened by chance that it was the parking lot to a park and trails out in the middle of nowhere. Lucky me. I called up Brianna, the new Vice Manager of our NYC hub because she said the magic words: "air conditioning" and "comfortable couch". You had me at hello, Bri. We, Palmer and me, rolled in to Brooklyn, swung by her house to pick up her boyfriend so he can be my eyes and help park this beast. It's a two person job at times. Believe it or not, we had no trouble parking and.... spoiler alert: I had easy parking the entire time I was there. Andy and I found a great spot, went back to his and Brianna's place where he promptly began to fall in love with Palmer. She has that way with guys. One look in to those droopy eyes and it's game over. You're hooked. Continue reading

  • Wrenched Nation Tour | Seventh Stop: Boston

    winthropAll I heard about Boston is the streets are wicked narrow, guy. People were like "you're driving THAT in Boston?! Good luck." They obviously have lack of faith in my super sweet RV driving skills. I mean, I can thread the needle with that bad boy. Before I rolled into town, I chatted with Butters and Ben, of One Shot Couriers. They gave me directions to Winthrop Square, the messenger hangout, and I found illegal parking right away. They assured me that no one messes with them and it was a safe spot, which it was. I busted out some warm Pittsburgh beer, dispersed it amongst the couriers, and we became fast friends. I am pretty sure having Palmer there had something to do with it because, from what I can tell, Boston messengers LOVE dogs. Like LOVE love them. I could tell I was in the right place. Continue reading

  • Wrenched Nation Tour | Sixth Stop: Pittsburgh

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    Photograph by Brad Quartuccio

    Pittsburgh is for lovers....... and cyclists, and hi5ers, and everyone....... Pittsburgh is for me. I love that place. The state of Pennsylvania is beautiful with its lush trees and the rolling hills, but I didn't know what Pittsburgh itself would look like. I've never been there before and so I knew nothing about the city other than their hockey team's owner, Mario Lemieux, was the greatest hockey player of all time when he played for the Pens. Here's where the Gretzky fan's monocles fall out of their eye and they do a spit take with a mouthful of their Chamomile tea. The traffic in was thick and I went through a long tunnel before I got there, making it so I almost passed out when I was holding my breath and making a wish. When I saw the city on the other side and all of its bridges my mind was officially blown. Their city moto might as well read: "Pittsburgh.... who knew?"
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  • Cardiel: Pacifica Trails

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    When Familia member John Cardiel is not out traveling the world, or running around on tour, he likes to get down on all the terrain the Bay Area has to offer. We got to catch up with the man himself and spent the day in the hills of Pacifica with his long-time pal and photographer Luke Ogden. Continue reading

  • Wrenched Nation Tour | Fifth Stop: Chicago

    caponeSure, sure.... everyone knows that Al Capone lived in and ran Chicago, but not everyone knows I did too.

    Before I lived in Portland, I used to wrench at the Kozy's on Halsted where I was the captain of our super sweet gang the Broke Bike Saints. You could take that a couple of ways, 1. your bike was broken and we were the saints who would fix it or 2. we were bike saints who were broke because we were mechanics and didn't make a lot of money. Either way, we were rad. Chicago is exactly the way I left it, a large city, and we went straight to work getting things ready for that night's event. The guys at the Bike Lane were celebrating their third consecutive year of being nominated Chicago's #1 bike shop so we got the parking lot across from the Congress Theater to throw a party. Get ready for a bunch of fuzzy pictures.
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  • Wrenched Nation Tour | Fourth Stop: Milwaukee

    Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 11.25.30 AM

    "Actually, it's pronounced "mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for "the good land." - Alice Cooper

    We pulled into Milwaukee in search of food and a place to meet up with Peter DiAntoni, of the Cog Magazine fame and the rest of the Flavor Cycle crew to talk bikes, hi5, eat food, and then ride. Dan heard that the Hollander was the jam and we found a parking spot right by the side patio. When you drive a 27' RV around the country you learn love those "perfect parking spaces" moments or PPSes as I like to call them. We set up shop and after some coffee and food the Flavor Cycle crew started to roll in. Peter and I never met in person so I got to be what my brother calls "a fan boy" except the girl version. I love the shit out of that magazine and was SO excited to finally being able to tell him that.
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  • Wrenched Nation Tour | Third Stop: Madison

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    Get ready to listen to me tell you how much I love Wisconsin. Are you ready for it? Here we go.... I love Wisconsin. We left Minneapolis and headed to Revolution Cycles in Madison, where a group of fellow cyclists were patiently waiting for our arrival. Some with their tops off.

    The plan was to crack a few cold ones at Revolution and then head out with with the group to ride around Madison. As you can guess, Chrome One gets pretty freaking hot seeing as how it's a giant black RV and that day it was cooking outside. I wanted to go ride with all of them, but I didn't want to leave Palmer in the RV where she'd probably stroke out. Not a pretty sight as you can tell by the pictures on strokingoutinhotblackrvs.com..... I made that up, but I am 100% certain that it's not awesome. That I know for sure. A guy by the name of Steve had a Big Dummy with an Xtracycle kit and side car so we threw Palmer's bed on the side car, me on the back, and headed down a dirt path to Lake Mendota.
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  • Wrenched Nation Tour | Second Stop: Minneapolis

    stop 2 pt1 col

    I knew this portion of the trip would be something special seeing as I am from this area. Coming home is something pretty powerful.... especially since home is filled with Vikings fans (suck it, Murph). Skol! Leaving Seattle the route there took me straight through my home town, Fargo, ND. Or NoDoak as we so lovingly call it. I met up with my bro Blake, and we took Chrome One a step up. Next level beats, I believe is what the kids are calling it. Beer tap on the side and a grill to match.
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