Posts Tagged ‘Co-Motion’

Blue bird, red nose

September 20, 2015
The affordable made-in-America Co-Motion Bluebird starts at $2,995.

The affordable made-in-America Co-Motion Bluebird starts at $2,995.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MDM) — We took one more spin around the show floor on Friday, the Adventure Cyclist folks and I, and then I got the hell out of Dodge — but not before I collected a nasty case of Snotlocker Surprise®, which didn’t fully manifest itself until I got home Saturday afternoon.

interbike-bugI hadn’t been sick in a good long while, and I was taking the usual sanitary precautions during the show, but there were plenty of sneezers and wheezers in attendance and one of them must have drilled me with a booger-bomb.

A sore throat, plugged sinuses and the general feeling of having been et by a coyote and shit off a cliff is what I get for making jokey videos about drugs. Now I’m actually taking some, and they are far from mind-expanding, though one may hope that Claritin-D 12-Hour is at least nostril-expanding.

Before the cooties took root in my snoot we checked out the new Bluebird tandem from the fine folks at Co-Motion as well as a Traitor Wander, which sounds like a command but is actually a bicycle. The Ortlieb guys had one at the booth, wearing their bags, and after some brisk negotiations with the Traitors I wound up taking one home with me. No doubt there was a certain segment of the Bicycle Retailer readership that, upon seeing me in the company of a Traitor, muttered, “I knew it!”

An Arizona parfait, as shot through the passenger window.

An Arizona parfait, as shot through the passenger window.

With a bike in hand, I abruptly decided it was time to go. I’d had all the secondhand smoke I could bear, the omnipresent background music was starting to sound like the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U” as interpreted by Don Vito Corleone, and I was sick of watching people play with their phones. When the alien archaeologists root through our leavings they will posit that we were a feeble race of eejits with detachable rectangular genitalia that we were always stroking.

I beat it for Flagstaff and more or less went straight to bed, then spent Saturday morning lazing around the Hampton, grazing on the free breakfast, and failing to upload that White Walkers video (the Hampton’s upload speeds are even worse than mine).

Then it was the old zoom-zoom to Duke City, where the traditional multicar pileup at I-40 and San Mateo added an extra 20 minutes in first gear to the last miles of my pilgrimage. I had camping gear with me and was tempted to pitch my tent in the fast lane but then the traffic started moving again and I was homeward bound at last, mumbling along with Tom Waits’ “Swordfishtrombone”:

Well, he came home from the war
with a party in his head
and a modified Brougham DeVille
and a pair of legs that opened up
like butterfly wings
and a mad dog that wouldn’t
sit still
he went and took up with a Salvation Army
Band girl
who played dirty water
on a swordfishtrombone
he went to sleep at the bottom of
Tenkiller Lake
and he said “Gee, but it’s
great to be home.”





Interbike 2013: FaceTime

September 19, 2013

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (MDM) — Before FaceTime, there was face time, and now that I no longer help cover Interbike for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, that’s generally what I spend my first day of the show collecting.

Tuesday evening was the traditional pre-show meal with the BRAIN trust; on Wednesday, I was doing some light trolling for toys with editor Mike Deme of Adventure Cyclist and his trusty sidekicks Josh Tack and Rick Bruner. Tech editor John Schubert joined us later for dinner and drinks.

Mike and I also appeared briefly on Diane Lees’ Outspoken Cyclist radio show, to be aired later this month. You’l be pleased to hear that I successfully avoided the accidental deployment of my favorite monosyllabic Anglo-Saxonisms.

The change in venue from the Sands to Mandalay Bay proved something of a shock to everyone’s navigational systems, and so we spent an inordinate amount of time playing Where The Hell Are We Going And Where The Fuck Are We Now? As a consequence, I didn’t take any pix, an oversight I’ll correct today.

But be on the lookout for some new do-it-all steel bikes, among them the Klatch from Co-Motion (someone decided they wanted to do a gravel race and needed a bike) and the Straggler from Surly (don’t call it a gravel bike or they’ll hurt you).

More later from the show floor, or slightly above it.

iBike 2012: Tools, not toys

September 26, 2012
2013 Bianchi Volpe

The venerable Bianchi Volpe gets another makeover for 2013, including a nifty powder-blue hue and retro decals.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — The times, how they do change.

Once upon a time my bicycle sprang from sound racing stock — first steel, then aluminum and finally carbon fiber and/or titanium — and the gearing was as manly as the showers at Paris-Roubaix. 52/42 and 12-21 constituted the standard until I moved to Santa Fe, where I was informed that 53/39 and 12-23 were better suited to the hillier terrain.

The fabled straight block came out for pan-flat time trials, of course, and for truly insane climbs one kept a cogset with a 25 or even a 27 handy.

Tires, naturally, were 700×25 — sewups for racing, clinchers for training — though I kept a pair of 28s around for one race that involved a half-dozen miles of dirt-road climbing, and for no good reason occasionally used 19s in a race against the clock.

But this was long ago, and that man is no longer with us.

Today if the bike is not steel it’s probably not mine. And the gearing — good Lord, the gearing! — has devolved to 46/34 and 12-28 on some machines. Two sport triple-ring cranks and mountain-bike rear derailleurs.

Tires likewise have ballooned. 700×28 is now a minimum rather than a maximum, and the max has gone all the way to 700×45, though the sweet spot lies somewhere between 32 and 38.

And the coup de grace? Racks and fenders. Got ’em on three bikes. Oh, the humanity.

There were lots of utilitarian machines like mine at this year’s Interbike show, from the likes of Co-Motion, Bruce Gordon, Yuba, Pashley, Velo-Orange, Bianchi, Opus, Volagi and others. And more companies are tooling up to hang useful bits on them, such as racks and fenders, panniers and trunks, bells and whistles.

What’s behind all this? Beats me. Maybe folks are sick of watching unrepentant dopers perform impossible feats on otherworldly machinery. Perhaps someone figured out that the Adventure Cycling Association has 45,000 members. And don’t forget Peak Oil — it might be nice to have something to ride to work when the last well starts farting dust.

All I know is, if this is a trend instead of a blip, I like it. A guy gets tired of staring up at lug nuts while inhaling a snootful of fragrant particulates.