Petal Pedal Bike Ride in Oregon
 

An Artist Clips in to DZRs

Artist Carla Bartow is well known for her woodcut-style illustrations that have been the basis for bike culture posters like the Tweed Ride. Fitting with her artistic style, Carla takes a casual approach to her cycling apparel. But when she started a new job that required a long seven mile commute across town, she began to re-asses her apparel and opted for cleated shoes.

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We’ve long been proponents of dapper bike shoes, something that’s nearly impossible to find. The best ones made by Specialized in 2009 were never made again. The leather options usually only come a few large sizes, typically for men’s feet, and come with a hefty price tag. The Specialized Recon is almost awesome, but because it’s made for all terrain it has too much of a sole than we’re looking for. Our goal is a solid everyday bike shoe that doesn’t look like a bike shoe, it just looks like a good looking shoe. You can walk straight into that meeting. This shouldn’t be a lot to ask.

So we sent Carla off with a pair of DZRs. The brand has a more casual style and spent some time making shoes specifically for bike polo. They first caught our attention back in 2013 or so and we’ve always liked their style, though we’re disappointed that some of the coolest styles are only available in larger sizes that typically fit men’s feet.

Carla spent some time giddily pedaling to her new job, and says the DZRs made her ride awesome.

Overview

  • I wear a women’s size 8 1/2 and the size 40 fit fine.
  • During the break-in period, the heels’ upper cut into my ankles while walking, but it went away after continued wear.
  • I have wide toes, and did not feel cramped in these shoes.
  • Cleat clearance on these shoes was nice and generous, allowing easy clipping in and out.
  • The sole of the shoe was stiff enough to give a lot of power, while retaining some flexibility for walking.
  • The shoes were comfortable enough to wear at work or cook dinner in.
  • I really enjoyed the aesthetic design of the shoe. The leather end to the strap and heel made them appropriate for dressier occasions.
  • The Velcro seatbelt strap makes for easy on and off, and is incredibly durable.
  • The multi-layered canvas shoe is warm. I ended up waxing the canvas for my rainy commutes.

Get to Know Carla

Check out some of Carla’s impressive work here.

Photo Gallery

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We Like These Rain Pants

Zip it like a regular jacket but on your legs.

Rain pants are not all created equal and too often we don’t put them on because they’re a hassle.

That’s why we were so pleased to try out the Legs Jacket rain pants from VEAR. What we love most about these pants is that the waist comes together with snaps and then the zipper goes from the waist down to the ankles. It’s hard to describe, somewhat like the way a diaper is affixed. Basically, it means you don’t have to take off your shoes, don’t have to struggle to get your rain pants over your regular clothes. It’s easy.

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The pants also come with simple shoe covers, just enough to keep the tops of your shoes dry in a standard commute.

This Kickstarter-funded product far exceeded their goal and is now in production for pre-orders.

The Drawback

These pants are like the Art of Survival Century: Flat, flat flat. If you’ve got a belly or a booty, they probably won’t be all that comfortable.

You can read more about it here.

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COOL ROUTE: Two States/Two Bridges

Take an awesome spin from Portland to Vancouver using the I-5 and I-205 bridges. This is a cool ride that sneaks along the historic Evergreen Highway. We love the hidden roads and exploration of this ride! Even that wacky bike crossing on the I-205 is a thrill.

VIEW THE FULL ROUTE HERE >>

This route comes from the Best Bike Rides in Portland book by ORbike editor Ayleen Crotty and published by Falcon Guides.

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Evergreen Health 7 Hills of Kirkland

The EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland on May 29 is an incredible tour of Kirkland, Washington, just outside of Seattle, in support of the non-profit organization Attain Housing. The ride features three route options with a little of something for everyone – as long as you’re up for some climbing.

Check out the different route options and get ready for an awesome day of riding and climbing with a huge group of fun-loving other cyclists. The finish line features delicious strawberry shortcake at the gorgeous Marina Park on the edge of Lake Washington.

Traditional 7

In a mere 38 miles, you’ll climb seven hills and 3,023 feet of elevation. It’s a fun, rolling route that gives you all the bragging rights of hill climbs in a manageable distance.

View the route >

Metric Century

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, sign up for the Metric Century. This route is a beautiful extension into rural east King County. You’ll pedal 58 miles and bump up that elevation to 4,635 feet.

View the route >

Full Century Route

Here’s where things really start getting interesting! The ride launched this route in 2015 to rave reviews. You’ll cruise further east before heading north to the Snoqualmie Valley. This route features all seven climbs, plus a significant amount of additional elevation. Over the course of those 100 miles, you’ll climb 7,036 feet.

View the route >

A Well Supported Ride

No matter which route you choose, you’ll be well supported all along the way. EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland is well known for being a friendly ride with awesome services.

You’re Tough! Feel Amazing!

This early season ride is a fantastic way to warm up your legs, and your ego. You’ll feel powerful after a day of riding and conquering those hills. And what better way than on a beautiful course along an event that’s raising funds for a good cause?

About the Cause

This event is a fundraiser for Attain Housing, an organization that helps individuals and families caught in a homelessness crisis. Whether people are living in their cars, housed temporarily in shelters, or facing eviction, Attain Housing helps stabilize their family in safe housing and works on goals to create a stronger future.
Learn More >

More Ride Info

To learn more and register, see the ride website >

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Tour de Fronds: Beloved for a Reason

Guest Post by John Barker

Just going to the store – be right back

The Tour de Fronds added a ‘trip to the store’ route in 2016 that will quickly become a favorite of riders who like to combine scenery, great food and a good sweat. The Agness Store route, 71 miles with about 5,000 feet of climbing, begins with the gentle rollers from Powers to the Daphne Grove rest stop, then the climb to Agness Pass.

At Agness Pass, after the standard genuinely warm and friendly greeting by volunteers who want to hydrate and energize you with excellent snacks, you take a left and start a bumpy six-mile gravel ride downhill to the Rogue River. You can stop at Foster Bar and cool off all or part of your body in the Rogue or just keep going to the Agness Store.

The Agness Store is not your typical outpost. The food is good enough that there is a strong temptation to overload on a Bigger Better Burger – I did and that’s my excuse for the post lunch semi-coma ride up the 11 mile hill back to Agness Pass on hard packed gravel. About 2/3 of the way up the hill there is a spring with the kind of cold water that makes for a nice, shady rest stop. This part of the route up from Agness Store is quiet, beautiful – and lonely, which is a good thing every once in awhile.

The ride is best done on a cross bike or mountain bike because of the downhill from Agness Pass. Otherwise, a road bike would work.

Whichever route you choose, do add in the spaghetti dinner on Friday night and pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. You simply can’t overdose on the people of Powers! That’s a huge part of what makes this ride so special.

Every year I drive the four hours back to Portland thinking about how much I look forward to next year’s Tour de Fronds. Of all the many events I’ve attended, none combine the routes, scenery, organization or the friendliness of townspeople who volunteer to make this the best ride around.


About Tour de Fronds

Tour de Fronds won the 2016 ORbike Riders’ Choice award – a 200 person ride that won the vast majority of the contest’s 900 votes – and don by a landslide.

The 2017 ride is June 17.

MORE INFO >

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Three Surprising Tools for Your Repair Kit

Whether you’re going out for a quick jaunt to the grocery store or a 60-mile joy ride, it pays to be prepared. After all, limping a bike home even just a dozen blocks is a pain, so is having to end your ride.

You’ve probably already got the basics in your repair kit (and if you’re wondering what the basics are, read this post). Along with a spare tube, CO2 cartridges and tire levers, these three things will help get you home without calling the sag wagon (aka friend, boyfriend, wife…).

A DOLLAR BILL

Nothing can ruin a ride quite like a slashed tire. Even after you’ve replaced your flat inner tube, the new one will just bulge through the tear and you’ll have another flat in no time.

Good thing you have a dollar bill! To reinforce the tire wall, fold the dollar in quarters (making sure it’s longer than the gash), then slide it in between the tire and your new tube. Pump it up slowly and keep an eye on the slashed spot to make sure the dollar bill is holding.

For a smaller slash, or if you’re getting flats from the rim, wrap the bill around the inner tube to protect it.

An empty goo packet also works, but just remember: this isn’t a permanent fix. Replace your tire when you get home.

ZIP TIES

A couple zip ties in your repair kit can help keep you on the road (or fix that annoying rattle you hear). From fenders to loose housing, zip ties help secure things that need to stay in place.

Broken spoke? Use a zip tie to secure it to its neighbor so that it won’t puncture your inner tube or wreck your derailleur.

In a pinch, you can also use zip ties to replace broken shoelaces, or even attach a flashlight to your handlebars. Your imagination is the limit here.

ELECTRICAL OR DUCT TAPE

Wrap a short length (1-2 feet) of electrical or duct tape around a piece of cardboard (or your pump) to make a portable mini roll. Alternately, adhere a strip of electrical tape to the underside of your downtube, so it’ll always be there when you need it.

Like zip ties, tape secures that which needs securing: loose housing, unraveling bar tape, broken water bottle cages and more. Tear your saddle in a crash? Wrap it in electrical tape for a barely-noticeable solution that will last for years (ask me how I know).

As a very last resort, use a bit of tape to patch your inner tube. You may have to stop and re-inflate it several times on the way home, but at least you won’t have to carry your bike.

WHAT’S YOUR TRICK?

What unorthodox items to you make sure to always have in your repair kit?


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.

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