Here we are, the last stretch, the último quilômetro, the spiked egg-nogg-addled week between the trashing of Xmas (or the super long false flat of Hannukkah) and the virginal celebration of a brand new year. What to do? Well, let’s gather our bearings for a moment and relive our personal favorite spots of 2011. Sure, by now most bicycle-related readers have perused through, and maybe voted on the “best of” for 2011. Best roadie, best trackie, best cross rider, best development, gnarliest classic, most intricate tattoo, cool bike, coolest electronic widget, always looking out, away, elsewhere, to the other. And for the most part we may agree that Monsieur Gilbert deserved his many accolades, and how awesome was Cavendish getting a high five from the Queen? Noticesome and drool-worthy as all those categories are, we feel many of those events have been beaten to death, and by now everyone in unison agrees on the agreeables. But this is a journal after all, personal, passionate and at times opinionated. On deciding on the many choices spinning out there, I have narrowed them to a simple yet eventful, 2 sets of 3: 3 gadgets, 3 personal events. Here we go.
PDW’s Little Silver
Ever since I started riding, inflation devices became an obsession for me. I loved the early Silcas, but they died too quickly and were too poorly made to withstand abuse. Then the Zefals came around, and by the early 90’s the mini pump craze started. It took a long time to become what they are today, and in my experience, nothing comes close to the cleverly functional Little Silver. Our friends at PDW did it right: small, powerful and beautiful in its simplicity, the insightfully designed mini pump is superlight and it does the job just fine. In the era of convenient portable air, this can’t be beaten. Lighter than extra canisters of CO2, it fits invisibly in your jersey pocket, providing the rider with self-sufficient piece of mind.
Mirroring our own development, they started as straight, single color wool pieces, to 3-ink varieties, to their current iteration: 3 design choices in 3 different colors. We’re fine with all them, as long as they’re tall. Some suggest the tall-sock fad will end, but we don’t care. They’re our socks, so find the one that best matches your kit and put the hammer down while looking good.
Need I say more? Our association couldn’t be a better fit. Blue collar racing bikes for the Joe Racer out there. Built, painted and finished in the US of A, designed by racers for racers. Plus, they’re beautiful, unique, and ready to tear it up. Look for them at the start line this upcoming season.
They’re all interconnected, actually. (#1)The birth of my second kid was a very momentous, humbling and laborious occasion. It made things a lot more difficult, and because of that, also made things a lot simpler. I welcomed her just as well as I welcomed a new approach to most everything, including keeping a positive, get-it-done attitude. And this attitude was key to forging ahead with Embrocation, given the challenging year we have had. (#2)Understanding the limitations that fatherhood places on the general Joe Racer; the dedication to the sport fuels the motivation to go fast. According to our own Nathaniel, “racing is not that hard once you commit to going fast”. Truer words seldom spoken, man. (#3) Adding new talent to our operations, again, I’m glad Nathaniel came on board. Streamlining and facilitating our online content, his skills couldn’t have arrived at a better time – James and I had our hands full with everything else.
So welcome Cláudia, a show of hands to Nathaniel, hoping that in 2012 all you can see is my rear wheel.