Bag review: The beer test.

I’ve been rocking this Chrome bag for the last few weeks. It’s not my 1st Chrome bag; I’ve had one of these for 4 years.

This backpack is great. Standard Chrome toughness, water proof and fits well. Tonight I decided to perform the most crucial of tests, buying beer.

A new Whole Foods opened up the street so I stopped in on my way to the boat. After a quick review of the selection, (nothing cheap!) I grabbed the Snow Cap, yum. I chose the 12 pack. It comes in a sturdy, colorful box. Typically I assimilate weight with quality. Heavy bottles, enclosed in a heavy box means I can carry it with one hand and my Tofurkey in the other right?

Walking up to the cashier, I began to move the Snow Cap up onto the conveyor belt with a smooth pendulum motion. About a inch before the box was to land smoothly on the belt it exploded in a mess of colorful cardboard, two seconds later the whole thing lands on the nice new floor with a sharp thud; thick foamy brown ale bleeding from every crack in the damn thing.

The Tofurkey made a safe landing on the belt and I made haste to pick out another box for my all important beer bag test.

Many apologies and a whole lot of pushing, wiggling and cursing the beer was safely wedged in the Chrome bag. Tofurkey safely resting on top for the ride home.

The final out come: when carrying heavy shit two straps are more comfortable than one.

Winter Bluster

Yes, it’s storming out there. I don’t recall it snowing and storming last night, but I was tucked away in my apartment, oblivious to the torrents and drifts of snow blowing around outside. Safe and snug in my easy chair, laptop in action.

Stepping out this morning around 5:00 am, on my way to work, I noticed my building’s steps were a bit icy. The ride down around Capitol Hill and down the Denny steeps, warm coffee in hand, I only noticed the tiniest of ice patches. Beyond this, the roads were clear and dry, much like the sky has been all day. Dry, ice-free, and cold [damned cold!] was just about all the weather for the morning to me. It wasn’t until co-workers began calling in that I was learning that Seattle is interesting in it’s winter weather: the outlying suburbs get piles of snow and sheets of ice evidently, while we don’t. It was a slow day at work, I thankfully got to leave early and got to enjoy riding around, chilled to the bone.

Enough about the weather, it’s cold when its clear and warm when its overcast. Let’s work on switching this here in Seattle and try to enjoy some real snow in town! Never mind the Master Plan, we want snow. (Just kidding, check out this sneak peek at the action plans north and south, found these on the Stranger’s website. Don’t forget next week are the meetings you shouldn’t miss.)

Much Appreciated!

Speaking of rad pants (from last post of Jason’s) we have yet to publicly thank Chrome for the sweet pants they let us try out. These knickers have really kicked some ass. Nice and stretchy, quick drying material; these things have really held up since the time we got them just after our trip to Vegas. Their length is perfect for me and the quick drying [gotta mention it again it’s so good] has been beneficial these past few weeks of torrential weather here in Seattle. I don’t worry one bit about pneumonia after I get to work sopping wet. One other comment about them, they look good, I know this because I’ve had three of four people ask what kind of pants they are and where can they get them… Chrome.

I’ve got some more appreciation to go around still yet! Who else is rad at right now? One On One Bicycle Studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota that’s who. Them and The Hub Providence in Providence, Rhode Island. These two shops are the newest outfits to carry Cranked Magazine on their shelves. Welcome to the Cranked community; and thank all of you in the Cranked community. You’ll notice a few new names in our list of shops, especially down in Portland too (Revolver, Hollywood Cycling, and Coventry).

Thanks again to all of you and everyone else on our long list of thanks, you know you’re on it and will always be appreciated.

Because Japan is awesome. Duh.

I was rifling through my stack of business cards and came across two from Japan that I thought I’d share.

Now these sites are pretty much all in Japanese, but regardless, they’re worth visiting. If only to state the fact that we’re a global family. People everywhere are feeling the love of riding and that makes it all so worthwhile.

Shibuya is insane. Crisscrossing streets. Tons of people. Shopping everywhere. More neon than anyone should ever be subjected to. But directly behind a street of traffic, in view of the train, across from a park you’ll find WBase. When we met up with our friends from Mash they took us to this shop. WBase is a bmx shop carrying a number of great companies such as Wethepeople, Chris King, Cadence, and REload. Soon they’ll be opening a track shop upstairs as well. The guys running the shop are friendly and the selection is spot on. Just as any good shop WBase has a relaxed and inviting feeling. Rip showed us an amazing time in Tokyo and for that we’re indebted to him. I can’t wait to get back.

Then we’ve got Gunung. Handmade clothing and apparel made by Atsushi Yamamoto. That name may be unheard of for the most part in the states, but in Japan his name is growing. His label is called Gunung. Hats, pants, belts, and other random pieces are all made one by one. I picked up a bunch of his stuff while I was in Japan and I’ve been wearing it since. The pants I got are cut right above the ankle and taper perfectly. The pockets are different than any other pant I’ve ever worn. They’ve even got an unnoticable pad in the rear making riding even more enjoyable. And the hats fit perfectly under a helmet. I’m sold! You can find his stuff online at Depot, but not in the states. For now that is…

If you’ve never been, you probably know someone who has. I bet they’ll tell you what I know now. Japan is a hidden treasure full of great people, great scenery, and most of all great food. Someday you should make a trip out there.

In other news, it snowed last night in Seattle. It didn’t stay around for the morning, which I was a bit bummed out about, but I’m sure it’ll be back. Yes!

New Findings

I’m always amused when I find a new source of time wasting on the internet.

We at Cranked are big fans of this site. Mr. Pilder has an enjoyable way with words and it’s one of the first things I look at in the morning. As you can see he’s got a blog and he mentions this site. Interesting writing, involving bikes, new bookmark!

My friend Seth is covering for me today. It’s his first day solo as a messenger in Seattle. He’s smart, lightning fast, and eager to get moving. Good luck Seth! You’re gonna kill it.