crankedmag

{ ride a bike… everyday, everywhere }

Lake Crescent

Hey! Michael went camping this past weekend and had a big ol’ time!

Yep, Brooke and I tagged along with Phil and Stephanie on out to the Lake Crescent area on the Olympic Peninsula. It was outstandingly beautiful—it was a perfect time to get out of the city again and decompress with nature’s finest.


Sitting on the Sol Duc River, enjoying Mia’s adventures with Stick

It seemed like most of the time we kicked back and chilled out by the river and campfire, typically what I’m used to doing while camping, but we did have some righteous activities planned by camp leader Phil. Yeah, I’m not used to riding off-road too much, but Phil insisted we bring some mountain bikes. I just came across that Specialized P.2 so I was set, but Brooke needed something to ride. We borrowed Seth Holton’s Norco. She thrashed hard on that bike. For never riding on dirt before, she tore it up. Phil took us around the north shore of the lake on a trail that was pretty mild on some parts and somewhat sketchy on others. Evidently this trail used to be a railroad bed during WWI, Phil provided us with great historical commentary throughout the weekend. Stephanie got a bit scraped up and I fell halfway into the lake at one point attempting to round a loose gravel corner one hand holding the camera. Besides that and a couple of ticks, most of the ride (and the weekend) was without incident.


Phil Anderson bombing back with lunch.

It was really great to actually experience the Olympic Peninsula once before I leave this area. Big thanks to Phil for such a great time.

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I’m a Fan

I just had to share this because I think this is such a rad comic. Get yours while they’re hot!

The Yehuda Moon book! Nice.

For the comic, check out the Yehuda Moon site.

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Tyee in Jamaica

You know who is doing something cool. One young man, whom just the other day I heard referred to as shop intern, Sam. He’s currently involved with something really great. His school, Tyee Middle School, is doing some very humanitarian and educational things for the youth in Jamaica. Some of the specifics for this can be read about here: tyeelovesjamaica.org. Evidently this is the second of a five year project of Tyee building and bringing computers for a specific school in Jamaica. This Negril school is underprivileged and underfunded by the government. Sam’s teacher, Mr. Burke has made a deal with the government in Jamaica at the end of the project, they will finally build a new school building. Progress on last year’s project can be read at their blog, Project Jamaica: Tyee Class Project.

Sam himself is concentrating on developing some type of bicycle cooperative repair shop while he’s down there for the next couple of weeks. According to him his “main goal for this trip is to spread the love of biking and to offer an alternative to cars.” This indeed is a great and important ideal to share with an impoverished population. As such Wright Bros donated a slew of parts, tools, and consumables for Sam’s effort. Sam has created a blog that should detail his progress down there: jamaicabikeproject.blogspot.com; be sure to check it out.

Sam is also a bit of a competitor in the cycling scene. From what I’ve heard he’s been tearing up some of the standings in the juniors cyclocross circuit. Keep an eye and ear out for this enterprising young man.

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Shredding

I’ve been busy lately, always the theme, just the reason I’ve not posted in some time. The move doesn’t start when the keys turn the ignition, it starts when you begin packing. And this process has started seemingly months early. Yep, we’re still moving to Kentucky. Looking forward to the change—I have heard nothing bad about the city of Louisville, actually quite the opposite. All positive reviews—great to hear, it’ll make leaving Seattle easier.

The process of packing to me really entails getting rid of stuff. This is sometimes what I really look forward to when moving. Call it stuff, call it shit, garbage, detritus, or kipple. I’m always happy to part with it. For the first time in twelve or fifteen years I actually went through my file drawer. I don’t need to keep these old bills and paystubs, do I? No. I feel like I’ve been in some government scandal recently, shredding documents! “Quick before Feds get here!” I’m sure I’ve got nothing of importance, but better safe than sorry, I’d hate to see some old bill of mine go flying by on the street with my social and other “secure” account numbers on it.

In a sense it’s sort of fun going through it all. The old stuff is yellowing and mostly unnecessary to spend any time looking at, but some of the more recent papers and memorabilia is exciting and nostalgic in a way. Some of the old papers I wrote in school was fun to look at, read again, and then shred. (Not that they needed to be shredded per se, but the shredder is fun itself to use!) Science or Faith: Choices to Be Made in ‘Oedipus the King’ is one title that stands out right now, mainly because I’m reading Carl Sagan’s Contact again. The two writings aren’t a lot alike. There are lots of other papers too: culinary arts, stuff on James Joyce, the Psi phenomena, and material sciences and mechanical engineering papers. I enjoyed school, the writing was fun. All through the shredder.

However, I continually question the “to-keep pile”. I have still kept a bit of stuff. A lot of photos; which I whittled down to a quarter or so of the volume. Thank goodness for digital photography, now my computer is cluttered. A small stack of comics, (hopefully getting a good price for the others), a small section of my wardrobe, and a small box of bike parts (all my tools though), and now, three bikes. Just two weeks ago, I was only keeping two bikes, but I just acquired another that I just can’t seem to part with. A Specialized P.2, maybe a little more aggressive than I need, but I can’t rightly take my Coppi off-road in Kentucky, can I?

Anyway, I’m still wrenching at Wright Bros for a several more weeks and am happily getting rid of the majority of my burden of possessions. That’s what they all become, all the things we own, they become burdens; especially when they’re so copious. One can’t possibly enjoy or even make use of everything we have, so why have it? We’re planning a yard sale at the end of June. What was once mine might become yours. I guess that’s the other side of possessions, while they can be a burden to some, they can also be a boon to others. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? (There’ll be lots of books, bits of furniture, some bike stuff, etc etc etc).

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Giant Racks & Olive Branches

These bikes came in the other day to Wright Bros. They’re being ridden by a couple around the world. The bikes not only looked like they had 6000 miles on them, they actually did have that many. They were tired and beat up.

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Bike equipped with new wheels and a tune-up!

Somayeh and Jafar are Iranians who are currently cycling around the world to promote peace and planting trees. Read more about them at their website http://rmc4peace.com/. They happened into the shop needing some repairs.

It’s a beautiful thing. How refreshing and positive! It’s not everyday one gets to build some wheels and work on bikes for people doing such great things.

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Sonadei Bicycle Designs

I got an email the other week asking if I’d like to review some t-shirts. Not really an apparel critic, I was a little dubious. But my curiosity was piqued when I noticed this line in the email: Sonadei donates a portion of every T-Shirt sale to The American Cancer
Society and The National Forest Foundation.
So I decided to check out the website; but rather than a simple apparel review why not find out a little bit more about what this Sonadei is all about.

Find out yourself:

CrankedMag: How long have you been doing Sonadei?

Sonadei: Sonadei has been around for two years now. But we have been thinking about it and planning our clothing lines and designs for a long time though. It’s funny actually, but my wife and I became serious about Sonadei during a trip to Victoria Canada.

CM: What happened in Victoria that was inspirational?

S: Well it’s funny actually. We were in Victoria for our honeymoon. And these ideas had been floating around for a while. We wanted to do something together that we both enjoy. And in Victoria we decided to make Sonadei a reality. It may have also been the fact that Victoria is a great town for cyclists. Cyclists are everywhere there. And per capita I would bet that there are more cyclists in Victoria than Seattle, maybe even more than Portland, OR!

CM: Any previous or concurrent projects?

S: We try to sponsor and support as many bike races and events that we can. We sponsor two cycling teams, one local, Hagens Berman, and one in Maryland, ABRT. We continually update our news page on Sonadei with all the events we support. Coming up we have the international Towards Carfree Cities conference in Portland, OR, and the North American Cycle Courier Championships in Chicago, IL. Each month there is something going on, check out our news page for all the info!

CM: I’m from Maryland myself. How’d you get hooked up with Annapolis Bicycle Racing Team?

S: That’s great! I wonder if you know anyone from the team? ABRT is a great team with a lot of members. They are very active in Maryland and on the East coast. One of their members really liked our designs and bought a couple shirts from us. We got to talking and soon after we became a team sponsor. We created some really unique designs for ABRT and are proud to support them.

CM: Anything in the future that you want to reveal?

S: We always have new programs and goals for the future. Something I am really excited about is our new 100% recycled T-Shirt. We plan on releasing it this summer. I think these new shirts are great! They are made from textile waste and clippings that are collected from several pre-consumer venues. Like new apparel cuttings, upholstery and trim fabric, yarn waste, industrial fibers and tire cord. These are then sorted by color and chopped into what’s called shoddy. The shoddy is then spun into yarn and used to produce the recycled T-Shirts. I think it’s a brilliant idea! These shirts require no new dyeing because the color is blended from the pre-consumer textile clippings. We have had outstanding feedback from our retail partners and customers who are telling us that this recycled shirt is exactly what they have been looking for. We are excited to offer it.

For some time now we have also been working on a project that supports bicycling in Africa. We will be announcing it soon on our website. It is something that we and others are working together on, and I think it will do a lot of good for people that really need help. Check our website in the coming weeks for the announcement!

CM: What’s your interest in Africa?

S: Our support of cycling is not limited to one country. We truly want to have a positive affect around the world. There are places in Africa that need help and we are excited to lend a hand. Soon we will announce more about it. We also have projects going on in Japan and Europe.

CM: Are you originally from Seattle?

S: Yes I am born and raised in Seattle.

CM: Where did the name Sonadei come from? And I like to be sure of pronunciations, how do you pronounce Sonadei? Give it to us phonetically please.

S: Sonadei is a name I made up. I thought it sounded a little different and unique. Most people seem to like it. You pronounce Sonadei: so-na-dae

CM: Who else is on the Sonadei team?

S: Sonadei consists of my wife and I. Basically I do the design work and take her input and advice. And together we do the printing. She does the sewing of our logo on every T-Shirt. I wish I could help with that but I am no good with sewing! Friends and family help when we get real busy. For example, at last years Star Crossed Cyclocross race our friend Larry showed up to enjoy the event and help sell shirts. He has a great personality and easily gets along with people. Before I knew it he had, among others, three little old ladies coming over to our booth to buy shirts from us. It was great! I never would have expected our “NO BIKE, NO LIFE.” design to be a hit with grandma! But that goes to show how universally appealing the bicycling message is to people.

CM: Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

S: Everywhere! A lot of the ideas come during bike rides. For example, in 2006 I rode in the STP and RAMROD, and had to do a lot of long distance training. I had a lot of time to just think while on my bike. A six hour ride is fun, but can become boring in its solitude. So my mind would wander and wander. I think I am most inspired on rides with my brothers and friends though. Together we rode Mt. Rainier a lot, Palisades, Sun Top, Skookum Flats… and on those rides we had a lot of fun and made a lot of jokes. We took video of many of our rides and I still go back to them for inspiration.

CM: What’s your favorite?

S: My favorite design usually changes to whatever I am currently working on. But I will always like our Classico design. The Classico design is the first one I did for Sonadei and that I showed to friends and family. People really took a liking to its simple design.

CM: What’s the most popular?

S: Our Classico design is the most popular, followed by the Mountain+Bike design, and then the Bicycle Basket design. People really like our Bike Caps and Crank design too, and give us positive reviews on them.

CM: What is your take on the current bicycle trends on style and fashion?

S: Bicycle T-Shirt designs and paraphernalia are huge right now. I think it’s because bicycling in general is getting more and more popular in America lately. I am sure part of it has to do with gas prices, and “green” lifestyles. But we still have a long way to go if we compare ourselves to some Asian and European countries. For example in Tokyo Japan, it’s not uncommon to see whole blocks dedicated to being a bicycle parking lot. There are literally thousands of them packed tight. Each one being used by someone. I would love to see that happen here.

CM: What’s the bicycle world going to see down the road with apparel?

S: I am not sure. It definitely will be more eco-conscious in how the garments are made and sold. I can guess that professional wear, like jerseys and skin suits, will continue to evolve to help keep riders warm, cool, and dry all at the same time. They will look as sporty as ever. I think it would be great for someone to invent a bike jersey that chain grease cannot stain. That would be wonderful! Casual wear will stay street. T-Shirts, Shorts, and a Hoodie; heavily influenced by the bike messenger scene. Just look at how bike messenger bags are the must have item, especially if it’s made from recycled bike pieces… like Freitag, R.E.Load, and Seattle’s own Alchemy Goods!

CM: Is Burberry or Louis Vuitton going to get into the bike scene?

S: That would be interesting. There’s nothing stopping them from doing it. But when you think of cycling you don’t necessarily think of Louis Vuitton. I can see them creating a shirt with a bicycle on it, but not a whole bicycling line. You never know though. Most likely an established bike brand will come out with a high-end apparel line. It’s easier for them and they bring actual bike credibility.

CM: Do you think the “NO BIKE, NO LIFE.” design could potentially be an affront to sensitive car-type people? Might some take offense?

S: I had someone tell me once that “Too many bikes equals no life.” So I understand that not everyone will connect with the “NO BIKE, NO LIFE.” message. However, I would hope that people would not take offense to the “NO BIKE, NO LIFE.” idea and design. We have received a lot of positive feedback from this design.

In my mind the phrase is a positive.

CM: Talk about the “I Like Today” series?

S: Our “I like today.” designs focus on a positive outlook and active lifestyle. It’s a simple idea and reminder to not get bogged down with our daily frustrations. I had a lady who bought an “I like today.” shirt tell me something funny. She said, “I like today! That’s so true, because it sure beats the hell out of yesterday!”

CM: How about the “Custodian of Paradise”?

S: The “custodian Of paradise” designs focus on nature and preserving our natural habitats. Which is something that is very important to me. I was a Boy Scout and grew up camping and hiking, it’s in my blood. I think the phrase “custodian Of paradise” couldn’t give a more clear description of who we are. This is it, life is paradise. And we need to take care of what we’ve got.

CM: How do you come into involvement with sponsored events like “Star-Crossed”?

S: The folks behind Star Crossed are great! Extremely nice people. I met one of the organizers while at Seattle’s Bike-In. He really liked our designs and bought a few shirts for himself and his sons. We talked for a while and got along well. The rest is history! We get requests for help and sponsorship emailed to us too. And we have had people who bought a shirt from us come back and ask for help with their event later on.

CM: As a producer of consumable goods, what is Sonadei’s perspective on America’s rampant consumption? Lately I’ve been growing more concerned about the burden our possessions have on us and the questionable continual need for “new” things. This is one of the [many] reasons I stopped printing the magazine. I fully understand the importance of clothing ourselves and adding color to our lives, and I find it extremely worthwhile that portions of your sales go to charities. Is this part of the concept of “conscious creativity” seen on your site?

S: Exactly! I couldn’t agree with you more. The idea behind Sonadei’s “Conscious Creativity” grew from many of the same examples you just gave. We don’t see ourselves strictly as an apparel company. That’s not who we are. We focus on supporting and growing positive active lifestyles. Donating a portion of our proceeds is the least we can do to help others out. Part of the reason that we are offering 100% recycled T-Shirts is to cut down on waste. We also use water based inks for our prints. The reason is that the ink is far less toxic to our environment. The prints look great and natural, not like plastic. But these are just small steps. We constantly look at ways to run with a lighter foot print.

From a mix of necessity and want I think, at least in America finally, that we’ve come to a collective tipping point. Eco-living has been around for a long time, and has recently come into fashion for many industries. It’s not a new idea. It’s just the popular idea right now. More and more people are consciously looking at the products they buy and use. We think about where they are made, how they are made, and where they will end up. This type of thinking will only help us for the future.

CM: Describe your inspiration for the two charities your sales contribute to. Why specifically the American Cancer Society and the National Forest Foundation.

S: When we started Sonadei we wanted to make sure the company was formed around positive and helpful principals. We wanted to build a company that contributes to improving people’s lives, and protecting our environment.

Two big challenges that affect everyone are cancer and deforestation. By donating a portion of our proceeds to the American Cancer Society and the National Forest Foundation, we directly support the battle in these two areas. Donating to these two causes are a fundamental part of what Sonadei is. People buy shirts from us because they like our designs and they believe in our message. We are very grateful for all the support we receive.


As far as what I think of the shirts… they wear and they’re bound to get some bike grease on them eventually. The inks are crisp, the cotton feels and looks good, and the stitched logo on the sleeves are a real nice touch. I’m not too much of a fashionista or anything, but I do like to wear something that has more substance to it than making some executive’s wallet thicker. Furthermore, if it’s something that supports and endorses bicycles (not to mention charity organizations), then even better! These shirts do just that I think.

I’m looking forward to a mildly hostile question one day, “You saying I got no life, punk?” No matter, I’ll wear it, and answer accordingly, with pride. My wife was excited about the “I like today.” shirt, so she got that one. She’s been wearing it to work and even on a day like today (diluvial rain in June) she got several enthusiastic comments, and even noticed people smiling about it—putting out a good vibe is what that’s all about.

Sonadei Go!

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Bike Imagery

In all honesty I’m glad to see more bikes on the road. That gas price is not coming down and dude, it’s great to see people seeing the light! I’ve been seeing more bikes in other places too besides the road and trail. Marketing! I know I’m not a marketing genius but using bikes to make things more sellable can be a good thing. (I’ve seen examples of where it’s a bad—or maybe a dishonest or irrelevant—thing too.)

But what’s good? Wine is good. I bet I’m not the only one that grabs a bottle with some level of choice going to the label. I was at one point in time an assistant sommelier so I know a couple things about wine, but with so many affordable choices out there, sometimes it’s the label that pushes it into my bag. My all time favorite so far was the Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon/Carménère made from organically grown grapes. That’s cool, but so is the sweet citybike graphic they used:

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Seriously though, this was awesome wine, if you can find it buy yourself a bottle. But also buy me one too.

There’s this commonly seen image out around too, this wine is good too for the price. We’ve actually got a great piece of art on our wall with an original design of this:

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With a friendly French spelling:

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I’ve never had either of these, but check out the bikes:

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I guess it just matters what you’re into, I’m into bikes and I like wine so I’m alright with it. It looks like dogs are a pretty popular image to push wine as well; I like dogs, sadly my landlord doesn’t:

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Not the Mad Dog I remember:

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Perhaps a more dignified version of Mad Dog?

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On Your *%&$@! Left

Maybe it’s just change in weather (even though summer has already come and gone) but there are more people on the trail and streets riding they’re bikes, walking, skating, whatever. It just goes with the terrain I guess, but whether or not your a new pathlete or just doing the same thing you do everyday no matter the time of year, let’s all take the good advice of “paying attention to our surroundings.”

Never have I come across so many people who travel on public thoroughfares with stark ambiguity. Please take off the headphones, understand that there are others around you, don’t take up the whole lane of travel if you’re single, a couple, or a whole school of joggers jogging for charity. I do give a signal when approaching from behind, “on your left” if you neglect to heed that signal, you will get another—likely louder than the first. I’m not being rude, just thorough. Furthermore, we’re in the States, we travel on the right side of the road and paths. When I’m coming around a corner near Gasworks, I’m not expecting someone to be coming directly at me. Being told “Fuck you!” when I ask “what the fuck are you doing?” I guess is appropriate considering my expletive. But seriously, what the fuck are you doing going against the flow of travel? Also, no matter the time of day, you’re not the only one on the path. Don’t swerve around aimlessly zigzagging all over the place, find a busy street to do that in or stay at home with your video games.

So a quick run-down:

Lose the headphones—I believe it is also against the rules of the road, but it gives the impression to all around you that you’re paying attention to something else and won’t hear everything you need to.
Be aware of your surroundings—this includes other people in your near vicinity as well as turns, curbs, traffic, etc. Pay attention.
Call out when passing (and heed that signal)—sometimes, maybe when it’s especially windy or louder than usual ambient noise, people won’t actually know you’re behind them, letting them know (by bell, or voice) you’re about to pass them is a good and safe thing to do.
Don’t be ambiguous—We all should be paying attention, and if we are we can make safe predictions of people’s actions: where they’re going next, what they’re about to do; by exhibiting deliberate actions others will have a better idea of where to go themselves.

I’m sure there’s more that could be added. All in all though, these items will help everybody have a nicer, safer, and above all friendlier time while riding their bikes. Friendly is positive, friendly actually means being part of a community. All of this means communicating positively to your neighboring cyclists as well as pedestrians and motorists. (I do apologize for using the above expletive in my questioning that cyclist’s errant ways). It can be difficult, I know that for sure, but I’m trying.

Community Communication.

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