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10 Things I Have Learned About MTB

10things

The 12th Annual Filmed by Bike is coming up on April 19-22 at the Clinton St. Theater in Portland.

In honor of the film festival, we’re sharing some of the best Filmed by Bike movies from over the years.

FESTIVAL INFO + TICKETS >>

Willamette Gran Fondo

WGranFondo

It’s springtime, which means no more sitting on the couch aimlessly watching shows and complaining about the weather. Across the state the skies are clearing up (at least for pockets of time) and it’s time to get yourself summertime ready.

How will you rock this summer?

Will this be the summer you sat on your arse and drank IPA all day long, or the summer you rode long and hard, then sat on your arse and drank IPA all night long? Get your summer started off right with the Willamette Gran Fondo, an awesome early season timed race on May 3.

About the Route

Riders from all over the state will flock to the tiny town of Philomath for this popular race that’s well known for it’s gorgeous course and solid support. But the organizers have plans to take the ride to a new area next year, so get your rubber on these roads for one last fondo spin while you can.

The Gran Route is not for the faint of heart, with 6,800 ft of climbing and several sustained climbs, but the race is fully supported so you’ll have a little help o keep you fueled along the way. No one to pedal for you, though, that’s up to your legs (and your mind). Get ready to grind, but at least it’s going to be a beautiful one. The ride boasts plenty of opportunity stay cool in the forest canopies and take in striking vistas along the route

If the Gran Route sounds a bit daunting for your current state, take on the Medio Route which is just under 62 miles and only 3,800 ft of climbing.

Why Race a Fondo?

Check out our recent article, What the F is a Fondo, to learn more.

Watch the Video

Race Basics

Saturday, May 3
Philomath, Oregon (near Corvallis)
100 or 55 miles
MORE INFO >>
ROUTES >>

Movie Spotlight: Ciclo

ciclo

We think you ORbike readers are really going to love this Mexican film that’s playing in the 12th Annual Filmed by Bike.

Ciclo : 91:00
Andrea Martinez Crowther – Mexico City, Mexico
Primarily in Spanish with English subtitles

May 1, 1956. Two brothers, Arturo and Gustavo Martinez, leave their hometown in central Mexico with the desire to cross the continent on bicycle. Eighty-two days later, they arrive in Toronto, not knowing this feat would change the entire route of their lives and of their family tree.

This epic journey has formed part of their family’s folklore. Fifty-four years later, Arturo and Gustavo – now in their 70s – retrace the same path, in an exploration of memory, the cycle of life and the unavoidable passage of time. Join us as we adventure along for a glimpse at this important piece of Mexican history.


Showtimes:

Sunday, April 20 at 3pm
Includes an all-ages Easter Egg Hunt in the theater!

Watch the Trailer

The Dashing Tweed Ride

tweedride

The annual Tweed Ride is an opportunity to don your dapper best as you pedal through the streets of Portland on a relaxing 10 mile ride that intentionally rolls through shopping corridors like Mississippi Ave. and Alberta St. to showoff to the throngs of gawkers. People wave from their front lawns, stopped traffic is rather jovial and it’s an all-smiles day on bikes.

The Tweed Ride happens every April, which means most years that rugged woolen tweed helps keep the drizzle out. This year, however, presented a bit of a challenge with bright sunny skies and temps around 72.

Tweed Rides happen all over the world, and the Portland event seems to be growing in popularity with a very high compliance rate; those riders were looking quite dashing last Sunday!

Photo Gallery

Replace or Repair? Sorting the Pile.

RepairApparel

I don’t know about you, but I get all kinds of excited about putting away the layers of wool and fleece that make up my cold-weather cycling apparel and digging out my lighter layers. It’s kind of like opening gifts on Christmas day for me, since most of the time I don’t even remember what summer clothes I own by the time spring hits.

The changing of the seasons is also a perfect time to take stock of what you own, fill in any gaps, toss out anything that’s beyond hope and donate what you haven’t worn in years.

Besides the donate pile, I also have a pile of things in need of repair – both cold-weather clothes I won’t wear again until fall, and the warm-weather clothes I haven’t gotten around to fixing yet: a pile full of broken straps, holes, busted seams and frayed hems.

 

What’s Worth Repairing?

How do you know what’s salvageable and what gets relegated to the scrap pile? If the garment is still structurally sound, it’s probably worth a shot, especially if it’s a high quality item you paid top dollar for. Minor problems like popped stitching in the seams, missing buttons, broken zippers, small holes and tears are definitely fixable.

Take a look at the fabric – is it still in good condition? For technical gear like cycling shorts and jerseys, you want your fabric to have good elasticity, and good recovery (which means that the fabric will spring back into place when it’s stretched out). Regular wear and tear, cleaning solutions and UV rays can all damage tech fabrics. If your garment has lost its elasticity, it’s time to buy a new one. Once the elasticity starts to go, it’s a quick slope downward to complete failure where it won’t bounce back into place at all. And you certainly don’t want this happening while you’re out riding a long day.

 

DIY fixes

The good news is that a lot of problems can be repaired easily on your own.

Buttons are pretty straightforward – and if you can’t find a perfect match at your local sewing store, you can use the opportunity to replace the whole set with something fun or more appealing.

Popped seams are another easy fix, if you have access to a sewing machine, that is. If not, you can buy double-sided heat-fusible tape or Stitch Witchery at your local fabric store. Follow the instructions on the package and you’ll end up with a passable fix. If you’re using a sewing machine, be sure to use a stretch stitch or a zigzag the keep the seams from popping again when it stretches. Small popped seams can be hand stitched. The key is to attend to them while they’re small. A popped seam quickly becomes a big mess once a little pressure is on those failed stitches.

Repair small holes by making a star pattern over them with a needle and thread to stitch them shut. In some fabrics this may be totally invisible, although in smooth tech fabrics it will be tough for even the most skilled sewist to make the repair unnoticeable. Be sure to attend to those small holes while they’re tiny – or they’ll quickly become a gaping hole that requires a patch.

For larger holes, you can buy iron-on patches from a fabric store. Or, make a patch out of a garment you’re going to throw out, and use a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine to apply it.

Zippers can be a bit trickier if you don’t have sewing experience. Specialty Outdoors, a Spokane-based gear repair company, has a great post that points out common zipper problems, and helps you figure out whether it’s repairable or not. You can find more overall info on sewing outdoors gear on on Specialty Outdoors’ website

Wool cycling jerseys develop holes over time, either because of wear and tear or being washed in harsh detergents. Patching holes in merino wool is fairly simple – I wrote a tutorial on my blog explaining the two ways that I repair my own jerseys.

Separated soles on cycling shoes can be repaired with Shoe Goo. Clamp the sole in place for several hours, or use zip ties to secure it while it dries.

 

Time to call in the experts

One thing to think about before repairing gear is how much longer you intend to have it. Will the cost of repair be comparable to the cost of a replacement? Or maybe that doesn’t matter to you because you place higher value on the fact that you’re keeping something repairable out of the landfill. Or maybe you just love the piece so much that you’re willing to spend the cash to keep it around (like me and my favorite cycling accessory, a pair of silver 14-hole Dr. Martens).

Most items can be repaired at your local cobbler or alteration shop, but if you’re bringing in something specialized you’ll want to check with them first to make sure they have experience with technical fabrics.

There are a few shops in the Northwest that specialize in specialty outdoors gear repair, all of which take repairs via mail order:

Mountain Soles (Portland): Specializing in footwear and snowshoe repairs, Mountain Soles also repairs outerwear and cycling apparel. They offer patching services to repair crash damage on Lycra shorts and jerseys.

Rainy Pass Repair (Seattle): Alterations and repairs – everything from down relofting to repairing rain jackets and adding doors to tents.

Specialty Outdoors (Spokane): Focuses on repairs of outdoors gear. The site is a treasure trove of information for those interested in sewing their own activewear and outdoors gear.

How Do You Fix?

What are your favorite DIY fixes for your cycling gear? Tell us in the comments!


Jessie Kwak is a writer who loves to type about the good life: travel, outdoor adventures, food and drink, and (of course) cycling. You can find her at Bictoro: Bikes and Crafts. She’s just published her first ebook: Crafting with Inner Tubes.

Film Spotlight: Bicycle and a Way

bicyclewayoflife

Filmed by Bike expanded this year to allow in some longer pieces, and it has really paid off with gems like this great film.

Bicycle and a Way of Life | 14:34
Bubba McClean – Los Angeles, California

In East LA, a teenage bicycle thief straddles two worlds – that of her old fashioned Latina grandma and that of her thuggish crooked boss. When these worlds collide, she must decide which path to take.

This thrilling film features a strong female lead, an interesting cultural perspective and bike thievery. The film is set with a seedy, dark bluish hue that really carries the film in a nice way.

Join Bubba on stage following the Sunday 5pm show during the Filmmaker Q+A session.


Showtimes:

Sunday, April 20 at 5pm
Tuesday, April 22 at 8pm

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