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Archive for the ‘Bicycling’ Category

New Cycling knickers from Grand Bois

September 17th, 2019

I have a thing for cycling breeches and plus fours (aka knickers). When UK outdoor custom clothier Hebden Cord closed shop, I bought up ten pairs of breeks in assorted fabrics (cord, tweed, ventile) on eBay.

True confession: I admire these garments more than I like to wear them. In practice, on my bike, I prefer the more tech-fabric-y versions sold by Rene Herse. These work brilliantly as a light, wind-blocking layer over my (less scenic) cycling shorts during winter months (and during bike check at Paris-Brest-Paris).

I just spotted these CCP knickers on the Grand Bois site. I want these but I’m not sure if these will fall into the category of loved-but-not-worn or super functional, more trad looking versions of the Herse knickers. Thoughts?

Paris-Brest-Paris 2019

August 14th, 2019

I will be offline for a few weeks while I’m away participating in Paris-Brest-Paris for the second time. And randomly, NPR included a sound bite of me during a random report onthe sport of randonneuring.

Evidence of a getaway….

If you are curious about randonnering, a form of ultra distance cycling w/roots in France, here’s an NPR report on the history of the sport (w/a soundbite at the end by me). I’ll post a gallery when I get back, emphasizing custom bikes, canvas bike bags, roadside eats and wool jerseys.

On the bridge in Brest in 2011
On the bridge in Brest in 2011 with Willy Nevin. We both rode custom Vanillas.
Taking delivery of my PBP rig from builder Corey Thompson. I’ll be riding this bike in 2019.
Spoiler alert: I completed PBP 2019 in 88 hours and 50 minutes!
Lesli Larson riding Paris-Brest-Paris
A few notes on my ride over on the Bicycle Quarterly blog

Handy Bag is coming in July!

July 4th, 2019

Handy Bag will release its first cycling-type musette in July.

Our first Handy bag batch is in production at T & J Custom Sewing in Springfield, Oregon.

Our first model will be the Handy Musette, a simple, functional, cycling-type shoulder bag made from canvas duck, sturdy hardware and cotton webbing.

How do you buy a bag?

We will be holding a pop up show in Eugene, Oregon, at The Barnlight, on Friday, July 12. 

We will also send out an email notice w/online ordering instructions for those who are not located locally.

If you would like to order a bag or be notified when the bags are ready for sale, email me to be added to the mailing list (archivalblogger@gmail.com).

You can also follow us on my Archival Instagram account for more updates and production shots.

Terry Shuck sewing our first run of Handy Musettes

Follow us on my Archival Instagram account for more updates and production shots.

Archival Field Trip: Cycles Grand Bois

February 25th, 2018

It’s always fun to match a fave brand to its foreign, brick and mortar store. During my recent trip to Japan, I visited Cycles Grand Bois, a venerable bicycle company known for its elegant handlebars, polished bike parts, custom frames, and 650b tires. Thanks to a rando pal who knows how to navigate Google maps in Japanese, we found GB in a suburb of Kyoto. Trading shoes for slippers, we explored the main shop area and talked to the manager. The showroom space is cramped, with bikes packed in tight bunches on the main floor and auxiliary frames stacked in window display pyramids or hung from the rafters. I’m including a few snaps from my visit. Follow Grand Bois on Instagram for a more immersive view of the shop.

Kyoto storefront

Rene Herse beauty

Vintage basket bike updated with a motor

Shop bikes stashed outside

Custom bike bell

 

Matchbook Peleton

July 2nd, 2017

I tried watching the 2016 Tour de France but lost interest after the first week. I miss the panache and personal style of cyclists from the past. Now, I can barely distinguish one game piece from the next (logos, lego shaped helmets and mirrored shades drown out the personalities of the individual riders. I much prefer the era of leather hairnets, wool jerseys, lace up cycling shoes, Campagnolo parts, and steel bike frames with pinstripe detailing around the lugs or chrome forks and seat stays. In lieu of a $29 streaming media packaging, I’m now browsing through vintage European matchstick covers from my favorite print ephemera archivist, Pillpat. Head over to her vintage matchbox and matchboxes set on flickr to pick the riders for your own personal peloton.

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Shopping from the past – Hebden Cord Touring Shorts

October 4th, 2016

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Occasionally, an eBay watchlist returns a pleasant ping like these original Hebden Cord Touring Shorts. Alas, they are sized too large for me but I still want to document for my archives. In a few years, all memories of elegant, tailored, non-technical cycling garb will most likely disappear from our collective memory. Here is a little evidence to the contrary:

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Cycling Musettes – An Appreciation

August 10th, 2016

Did you catch Chris Froome sporting a logo free musette during the Olympic road race in Rio? I always love catching glimpses of this little retro style bag in a sea of state of the art garb and bike technology. While modern cycling musettes are made of cheap synthetics (designed to be discarded), my favorite vintage versions were made out of cotton (with a matching strap). Unusual examples include a snap fastener or flap closure but most of the ones you find on eBay are simply unstructured sacks with straps. I tend to shop by logo or color blocking. Here are a few examples that I gathered during a recent shopping expedition:

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Archival Field Trip – London (PT 1)

September 9th, 2013

Last month, I traveled to the UK to ride the 1400k randonnee, London-Edingburgh-London. I survived the ride but couldn’t really tell you what I remember. After pedaling for 4.5 days on about 8 hours of sleep (total) I recorded and erased most of the experience. I did manage to take a few snaps of the trip with my phone and loaner point and shoot. These are a few my “before” photos from the days leading up to LEL.  In next few weeks, I’ll post my post-trip field trip notes from my visits to a few of my favorite London shops.

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UK arrival – assembling my Vanilla in the courtyard of the Snaresbrook Travelodge

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En route to city center to repair on an out of true wheel.  Lots of guest appearances by Brompton folders on this trip.

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I wish we had had more time to chat with Ninon, owner of the amazing, Bicycle Workshop.  Like all my favorite shops. BW focuses on repairing utility bikes but harbors a hidden inventory of vintage parts and deadstock bits.  Ninon was the only person on my trip who remembered Hebden Cord, the now defunct UK clothing company that used to manufacture bespoke cycling shorts.

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We spent a pleasant hour at Book & Kitchen, a neighboring bookstore.

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Loved the UK only VW California camper van.  Integrated bike rack on the back

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Riding partner, Susan O, and her retrued wheel outside Royal Albert Hall

Shopping from ebay – Bob Jackson Musettes

September 2nd, 2013

Ok.  I love our  cotton duck, Archival Musettes.  They were designed as functional, more durable iterations of the classic pro peleton musette.  Though I own a lifetime supply of musettes, I still shop for novelty models on ebay.  Here are some great looking, Bob Jackson & Jack Taylor branded musettes via this ebay seller.  I still dream of pedaling through my next Paris Brest Paris on a made in UK, Jack Taylor frame.  Perhaps I need a matching musette to go with my 2015 ensemble.  For reference, Flickr contact Hudsonic owns an exemplary Jack Taylor.
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Archival Field Trip – Alex Singer (Paris)

April 11th, 2012

Alex Singer shop in Paris, France

Outside the Alex Singer shop in Paris, France

Gabe and Sara outside the Alex Singer shop

Last August, post Paris-Brest-Paris, we had the pleasure of visiting the Alex Singer shop on 53, Rue de Victor Hugo, in northwest Paris. The historic Singer shop has a reputation for producing some of the most stunning, steel cyclo-tourist and racing bikes in the world. Visiting the Alex Singer is like shopping from the past. Vintage and modern bikes share the same floor space. A side showroom is filled with deadstock cycling shoes and wool jerseys – all in their original packaging. Since I’m set for bikes, I limited my purchases to a few Alex Singer caps and a fetching leather style pouch. Here are some snap views to round out my report:

Gilles Berthoud bags in Alex Singer shop

Gilles Berthoud bags in Alex Singer shop

Gilles Berthoud bags on display

Alex Singer porteur bike

Alex Singer porteur bike

The Singer shop porteur – my all time favorite

Love both the custom Singer front rack and shop floor tile

Bill A documenting a bike bound for Paris show

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Leather cycling shoes in Alex Singer shop

Leather cycling shoes in Alex Singer shop

Catch and release leather cycling shoes

Alex Singer bicycles in the shop

Alex Singer bicycles in the shop

Alex Singer cycling cap

Alex Singer bicycles in the shop

Shopping from the ceiling