Cycle Talk: Stevil Kinevil and the Best Bikes

Posted on February 28, 2013 by Will Price

Have you ever read All Hail the Black Market? Have you? Have ever read it... on weeeeed, man? Kidding. But if you know the AHTBM founder, Stevil Kinevil, you'll know the you're in for a heavy dose of opinion and humor when you click through. 

So why wouldn't we interview the man himself about bikes and shit? 

We sat down with Kinevil to chat about his favorite bike. The following is an account of how he cannot just have one favorite bike. Here is his account, in much detail, about his best rides...

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Stevil Kinevil: My old friend Bill Lindsey used to be fond of saying “bikes are like friends. You can’t have too many nice ones.” When Cedar Cycling approached me to write about my favorite bike, and why I chose the specific parts that are on it, I was hard pressed. Not only do I have a broad collection of pretty damn nice bikes, each one has been built by a tremendously nice person who is positively dripping with skill. Perhaps like a mechanic and their selection of tools, each one holds a special place, and has a specific purpose.

An impossible task to pick a favorite, I instead opted to cover four, and in as few words as possible will describe specific details that are especially special to me, which if I don’t miss my guess, shouldn’t matter to you in the least.

My Hunter twentyninering mountain bikecycle was a 40th birthday present to myself, the order for which I placed when I was 38. In the two years I waited and paid in drips and drabs by doing whatever random tasks Rick requested, I began amassing parts, based on what was least expensive as possible. Come to think of it, there’s a similar thread through all of my bikes. All of my component selections are based on what happened to make themselves available to me at the time.

Like for example, my Sycip road bike, built for me by Mo Rebolledo with an Ibis tube set. Around the time Ibis closed their Sebastopol factory, Scot Nicol traded me the tube set for a painting. I sat on the tubing for a few years, until one evening Mo asked me if I wanted to trade him a painting for a Fiat. “No” I said. “But I’ll trade it for a frame”, the rest being history. In light of this, I’ve taken to calling it a ‘Ibolledip’. Again, the selection of components are whatever I could get my hands on through the art of begging, borrowing, and stealing.

The one frame that I actually paid full pop for (no room in the Bartertown Inn on this particular one) was the one speed cross bike built for me by Circle A Cycles. I had long admired their work, as well as their ethics. It wasn’t until I retired a Retrotec cross bike of the same design that I had a selection of well worn parts to dress it up with. My favorite being the tied and soldered wheel set built for me by the legendary Phil Woosley on a set of Campy track hubs, which again I believe I bought at cost while employed at some long forgotten bike shop job with what assuredly was a half of a pay check. Naturally, I opted to include some Caramba Double Barrel cranks, which have long been my favorite one speed cranks of all time, based on history, performance, and over all cool factor. Rounding out the build was a Hunter fork, that the kids at Circle A painted to match.





The last bike I’ll discuss is my Ventana El Toro Bravo. After racing along side of Robert Ives who is the company’s Chief Derelict, as well as the proprietor of Blue Collar Bicycles for sixteen years, when the chance to get back on a Ventana presented itself, I jumped at it. They were after all, the first major manufacturer to have a one speed frame available, predating the Bianchi line by several years. There is a legacy there, and one that is purely Northern Californiacentric. My favorite component on this bike is the White Industries freewheel, which I liberated from Gene Oberpriller’s bike after he left it in my possession for two years at the conclusion of the 2008 SSWC.



The single constant on these as well as all of my others are King headsets and King cages. “Don’t be a joker- buy King”. Or something like that.

I’ve been asked repeatedly what bike I would choose if I had to pick one, which is an impossibly unanswerable question. They all are my favorite, and as I said, all serve a distinctly different and specific purpose.

Certainly if I had my way, I would do each of my bikes justice by giving them Dura-Ace this, and XTR that, but given the fact that for nearly two decades, I‘ve whored myself out to the nth degree to get what I have, I don’t think I’m doing too badly for myself. For that matter, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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So there. Saying Stevil is a fan of cycling is a bigger understatement than saying the National Debt is sorta high. For more words of wisdom and to stay up-to-date on all the bike news and general information you ever really need, be sure to bookmark All Hail the Black Market and read it often. 

Thank you, Mr. Kinevil, for chatting with us. Appreciate it greatly. 

 


The Life and Times of Dave Mongan: Cyclist.

Posted on January 31, 2013 by Will Price


If you have been following along with the Cedar Cycling #ridelove hashtag, you will no doubt have seen a cyclist with the handle DMongan making some seriously epic day-to-day rides, much of the time with his lovely lady. 

It's been our mission as of late to talk to these riders, especially the ones doing it for the love of just getting out there on your bike, and get inside their heads to see where they came from and why they ride. 

Today, we chat with DMongan, known hereafter as Dave. Dave is a cyclist. He rides his bike for the love of it. And he's been doing it for a long time. Here's his story...

Mega #ridelove

Cedar Cycling: When and why did you get into riding bikes?
Dave Mongan: Growing up, I rode BMX "competitively" from age three to six, which is kind of a joke. Cru Jones (from the movie Rad) was my idol, so I just wanted to ride bikes, deliver newspapers and one day conquer Helltrack. Turns out it doesn't actually exist.

CC: At what age were you like, “Shit, this is a lot of fun and I want to take this more seriously.”?
DM: Whatever age I was when I saw the movie Rad. Three, maybe? God, I loved that movie. I loved riding BMX, but I wasn't very good at it.

I didn't pick up road cycling until I was 29, mostly because I just didn't get it. I grew up doing classic American sports, and the structure of road cycling—3+ hour rides—was pretty foreign to me. Running and surfing in my 20s helped teach me the patience necessary for cycling.  

CC: What was your first bike? (First bike = not the training wheeled one, but the first one you seriously used)
DM: I actually had one of the first titanium bikes—a Titan—when I raced BMX as a kid. A five-year-old with a titanium bike in the 80s is pretty ridiculous, isn't it? I wasn't complaining…I loved that thing. Few five-year-olds can lift their bike above their head, but I could!



CC: You ride a lot, as evidenced by your Instagram feed. When did you go from commuter to fun-core road cyclist?
DM: It's a prolific feed, isn't it? I get so much shit for all the pictures, but who doesn't want to see what they look like on the bike?

I started road cycling eight months ago in May 2012 after commuting for a about six months. A friend of mine, Kevin Lakritz, runs Mission Cycling and finally convinced me to go for a ride. My first club ride was out to Fairfax, about 40 miles round trip, and I had to turn around early. I got lost on the way back, bonked on a small climb about 15 miles from home (though I didn't realize that's what was going on), and felt generally terrible after. Yet the scenery and camaraderie hooked me. I ended up riding more than 3,000 miles in the last 8 months of 2012. 

Side note: Kevin also talked me into an 80-mile ride to Point Reyes a month after I started. He’s a tough coach.

CC: Tell me about what brought on the transition.
DM: After a couple club rides, I bought a Mission Cycling kit that included a "Headlands Raiders" jersey. The raiders are a group of guys (anywhere from five to 40 people, depending on the weather) who ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands at 6:30am every Tuesday and Thursday. You can't wear the jersey until you do a raid, so I did. It's only 18 miles round trip, but the pace is brisk. My legs were burning and I struggled to keep up on the ride out across the bridge, and then I had to do Hawk Hill, which is a 1.7 mile climb that we all use to test our fitness (Strava segment: http://app.strava.com/segments/229781). 

I finished the ride, but felt absolutely gutted for the rest of the morning (first raid on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/9089843). I probably ate 3,000 calories after and showed up to work late and exhausted. Ironically, I think it's that feeling, as well as seeing the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise, that hooked me. It's a pretty decent place to ride. From then on, I just wanted to do that ride and not feel exhausted. Once that happened, I started focusing on my Hawk Hill time. My first ride was 10 mins 30 secs in May and I eventually dropped it to 7:49 in October, where it still (annoyingly) stands.

Beyond the ride, it's a great group of people from their 20s to 50s who keep things light. Some guys race and go out early for intervals and repeats, while others are just club riders out for some morning exercise before work. It's competitive, and we all take turns busting each others' asses up the hill, but no one hesitates to give someone a pull or lead them out for a Strava PR. Occupations and equipment differ, but Hawk Hill doesn't discriminate. It's a nice equalizer.



CC: What do you ride these days?
DM: The most original bike in the world: Specialized Tarmac SL3. You never see another on the road.

I started on a Surly Crosscheck and did nearly 1,800 miles on that with SPDs until finally snagging the Tarmac on Craigslist. It was actually built up by a mechanic with some nice bonuses like Mavic Open Pro rims with Dura Ace hubs in place of stock. I finally upgraded to road shoes and pedals in December, and my tootsies are much happier for it. Life is good.

CC: What has been your favorite bike ever ever ever?
DM: The Titan, hands down. I felt like Knight Rider on that thing.



CC: You’re based in the bay area: Where do you most enjoy riding and why?
DM: Because I'm so new, I honestly haven't ridden in enough exotic locales to say what's best. I haven't traveled much at all, sadly. Marin is beautiful and has tons of great climbs and routes within riding distance of my house, so I get pretty lazy about traveling. I plan on branching out in 2013, just because.

CC: If you could put your bike on a car, boat, plane, anything and go anywhere to assault pavement in a far off (or close) land, where would you do it?
DM: Anywhere there's a good climb and a friendly cafe with cold beer and outdoor seating. I’m not that picky.


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Thanks for sitting down with us and chatting, Dave. We look forward to more shots of your rides. And what say we all go out for some beers sometime soon?


Do you want to be featured here? Have an interesting story to share? Send a note to will@cedarcycling.com. We would love to chat. 

Growing Up Fixed: A. Rosenbluth

Posted on January 14, 2013 by Will Price

Growing Up Fixed is a new segment we're introducing and using to kick off the Cedar Cycling blog. 


In our teens and twenties, it was fun as shit to ride a fixed gear. Whether it was practicality, mob mentality, the sheer fucking thrill of knowing that to stop, you had to use your own damn leg strength, something spiritual, or any number of reasons in between... Riding a fixed gear was cool. 

For some, the luster has worn off. Could be because you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a set of neon deep v's set on a frame from Urban. But those glory days of riding with your crew of like-minded dudes and chicks are ones to remember and cherish. 

Today, we highlight A. Rosenbluth, an awesome guy that hit the streets of Denver, CO hard as a messenger now grown out of his fixed gear days.


Cedar Cycling: When did you start riding a bike?

Aaron Rosenbluth: As a kid, I loved cruising the neighborhood on my Diamond Back mountain bike; I must have been about 6 years old.  I lost touch with riding for a very long time but the flame was rekindled when I moved to the city at 19 and found riding to be the cheapest and most efficient way to get around town.

CC: When did you get into the fixed gear world? 

AR: I discovered fixed gear (track) bikes in my early twenties.  I had been commuting to work on and ill fitting Nishiki 10-speed for a couple years.  At the time, Denver had a very small urban cycling community and I discovered a love for cycling and bicycle activism through this community.  Around the same time, I befriended a bicycle messenger, an amazing guy dubbed "Johnny Skidmark".  Having never seen or heard of a track bike, my mind was blown by the simplicity of the bike John rode and the interesting things he was able to do with it.  Also, as a design nerd, the clean, unfussy lines of his bike spoke to me.  The element of danger and the zen-like connection to my machine and surroundings was a huge draw as well.  A short time later, I found myself riding a track bike daily to pay rent and feed myself and what had been obsession became my lifestyle, family and meal ticket.


CC: What was your first fixed gear? 

AR: My first fixed was a Giordana track bike outfitted with vintage Campagnolo Record Pista components, purchased at the Velo-Swap for a whopping $300 (they were a lot cheaper back then).  The best fixed I ever owned was a Samson NJS track bike I spent way too much time and money outfitting.  The bike was beautiful and its build (full Suntour Superbe Pro NJS) was perfect.

CC: When did you decide to upgrade to a bike with gears? 

AR: I wouldn't neccessarily call it an upgrade, I had always owned a geared bike; I became more interested in road cycling after getting away from the messenger "scene" and realizing the limitations of the track bike. We've got an endless variety of riding to be done in Colorado and you need the right tool for the job.

CC: What are you currently riding?

AR: I'm putting quite a few miles on a 10 year old Cannondale (American made) built with Ultegra.  While not the most exciting bike, it gets the job done until I can afford what I'd really like to own (I'm doing my best to save for a frame from Boulder based frame builder Mosaic). I do most of my commuting on a Bridgestone Anchor track bike; I'll always have love for the fixed gear.

CC: If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would you go?

AR: I've got an old messenger friend who leads bicycle tours of Italy, I'd love to plan a trip one day.

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All bikes featured here are Aaron's and have been used with permission. 

Aaron lookin all casual and rad

Aaron is a good friend and an amazing Design Associate at Room & Board. Aside from work and riding, he takes some really fantastic pictures on the Instant-of-Grams under the handle @ASRosenbluth and Tweets from time to time by the same alias

Cheers,

Cedar Cycling

 

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