Wrenched Nation Tour

  • Fourth Stop: Milwaukee

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    "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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  • 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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  • Second Stop: Minneapolis

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    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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  • 1st Stop: Seattle

    The first stop on the Wrenched Nation Tour was Seattle, Portland's friendly neighbor to the north. For this part of the trip I was joined by my dear friend, Billy "Souphorse" Sinkford ...... king among men and singer of "The Neverending Story"

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    Look at him. Just look at him!  Can you see why I wanted him to come with on Chrome One's maiden voyage? I always party better with him around so it was a MUST that he came. I thought he was going to sit up front with me, but Palmer insisted that she was in charge of navigation, being a Basset Hound she said her keen sense of smell will lead the way.
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  • Chrome One Modifications

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    #ChromeOne was intended to be a party machine. Sure, it can sleep 6-12, depending on how comfortable you want to be, but no one ever "remembered when" about a good night of sleep. Up until this point we just painted it to make it look Chrome Industries, but for it to REALLY be ours we needed to make it party ready. To do that, we called Van Specialties for some help. I knew these were the guys for us when I saw their logo.... it's a van doing a burnout and the smoke spelling "Van Specialties" in a sweet 70's font. These guys have been in the fab business for forty years and for a good reason... because they rule. Let me show you.... Continue reading

  • The birth of Chrome One

    “…adventures don’t come calling like unexpected cousins from out of town. You have to go looking for them.”

    — some dude

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    There are so many times in my life when adventure called for me and I answered whole heartedly, but never for work..... until now. The idea was Chrome buys a RV, we travel to America's top 20 cycling cities, and pay tribute to the creative people who, day in and day out, make their city awesome. Chrome Industries' "Wrenched Nation Tour". The words "dream job" came to mind and I wet myself a little in anticipation. Just a little. The plan sounded simple enough, but to really do this tour and these people justice we couldn't just buy a RV and then hit the road doing wicked burn outs along the way. I mean, that's pretty sweet and all, but it's been done. The first step was to find our vessel and without a doubt it was the Eleganza II. It's a RV that you dream about...... and in this dream you are in the 70's, 1976 in fact. Why does that year sound so familiar you ask? You didn't? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. 1976 is America's bicentennial and what better way to explore our great country than in a vehicle of the same year? But we couldn't do that looking like this:

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    ....although, this is pretty great. I wonder what was going on in the 70's that made companies want to color everything different shades of brown? Maybe because the 60's were so hi vis and psychedelic that by the time the 70's rolled around everyone's eyes needed a break. Right? Well regardless of how amazing all of this brown looks, it's not Chrome . That brings us to step two:

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    This is what you get when you take it to paint, they ask "What color you thinkin' 'bout painting it?" and you respond "MURDER". Chrome One was born, destined to travel the land, leaving remnants of parties in it's wake (insert epic metal jam here). After some fine mechanical tuning my friend, Matt De Rosa, and I took it from HQ in San Francisco to our HUB in Portland. Since our HUB is downtown and parking is about as available as water in a Mid-Western drought, we took it across the river to my house where we could work on it in my driveway, to my neighbor's delight. I couldn't do this job alone so we called on some fellow Chromies, Paul Wilson and Sean Light, to make this a dream come true.  Paul and I put on our bikinis, put our clothes on over said bikinis, and started in on the washing.

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    Wow, that's some sexy stuff right there. Portland is known for its late summer, but this week in early May it was strictly summertime vibes. Good thing too, because it would've been very difficult for the talented Sean "Taco" Light to brand in the pouring rain, although that kid can do anything really. I once saw him jump his BMX over the Grand Canyon through a ring of fire while lighting his cigarette at the same time. It was unbelievable.

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    When Taco takes on a project he treats it like a competition where he competes to achieve greatness against his greatest adversary..... himself. He wasted no time getting straight to work and sprinted on paint like I've never seen before with such speed and precision. Once the red band was on and dried, he started in on our iconic griffin.

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    We waited for nightfall to project the griffin on the side because we have not one, but two overhead projectors so we'd better use them for something. During this time we regaled stories of past projector painting projects and shared taping do's and don'ts.

    Taping do:

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    Nailed it. Taco and Paul spent the morning painting the griffin white.

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    Pulled the tape (l) Installed a Basset (r)

    That's my dog, Palmer. I know everyone says their dog is the cutest, but there was a Harvard Study proving that Palmer, is in fact, the cutest dog around. Harvard, dude. Harvard. Well, in Chrome One's standard operating procedure handbook, it states there must be one dog for each captain. I'm not one to break protocol, so I asked Palmer if she was busy this summer and if she wanted to join me on tour. She said something about me having her at hello, whatever that means, and agreed to come with me.

    This is not the part where we drive off into the sunset collecting stories and experiences along the way, although that is coming soon enough. The next step is a custom roof deck that will host dj's, roller sprints, and rooftop campers. It's where we will work on our summer time tan and where we will gaze at the stars. This is the beginning of Chrome One.

     

     

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