13 October, 2017

Wheels, Rustines, and Bullmoose Restock

By Scott

We just got in some grippy bits, some rolly hoozits, and some fancy bars - Rustines, complete wheels, and Fairweather Bullmoose bars. The last couple of days has seen a variety of product land here at VO HQ, and we love it.

We got a resupply of wheels on Wednesday - more fixed wheel sets, 126 mm rear wheels, and Diagonale 700C wheels are back in stock.

Supplementary inventory of Rustines product arrived Thursday. The perennially popular Campy Gum Hoods. are back in stock. We've been told by many customers that the Campy Hoods also work well for Modolo levers.

Derek checking Rustines 
An addition to their line up this month is constructeur bar plugs in yellow.                                              
Finally, the long awaited return of Fairweather Bullmoose bars, both Silver and Black, rounded out a busy week for our receiving department.

We also got a sample of a Rustines "FUBAR" Cap. We think the black is pretty sharp, what do you think?

11 October, 2017

French Fender Day

by Igor

This past weekend, Adrian and I traveled up to Connecticut to check out one of our favorite events of the year: French Fender Day. It's an intimate event full of passionate cyclists, collectors, great potluck food, New England Autumn rides, and lots of beautiful bikes.

Each bike on display had to be in the traditional French style - randonneuse, porteur, city bike, etc... Some of these bikes were collection pieces to be preserved, but most were daily riders and tourers, just as these bikes were intended to be from their construction.

Rob traveled all the way from The Netherlands with his Alcyon tourer.

Peter's work is always a joy to behold in person. Exceptional lines and perfect integration. 


Even though it isn't French, this Raleigh was a favorite of mine. It's a bike that doesn't ask anything of you other than to be ridden. Peter commented that the Rustines grips on the drops are "like 650b for your hands!" It was spritely!

This Dujardine was just a lovely randonneuse.

Only his second frame, this Shu-Sin touring bike shows tremendous patience and clean craftmanship. It features lots of rinko accessories including custom racks.

RenĂ© Herse Demountable Porteur with a proper leather chaincase.

Just before lunch, rides were had through New England's back roads. The changing of leaves and good company made for a wonderful time.

Adrian and the Nutmeg gang
A wild sorcerer appears!
VO fenders were fitted on a multitude of bikes. Many of them sported customizations including shaping of the fender ends, custom hardware, and dynamo lighting integration.

What kind of Francophile gathering would it be without cheese?

When one fender mount isn't enough.

Large format - What better way to capture such a classy day?

This was a pretty clever use of a fender stay as a bag support. I think I may try something like this on my Polyvalent to support a dry bag.

Always in the big ring
Wayne's hot pink Weigle was clearly the fastest of the bunch.

Loved this randonneur by Mitch Pryor. Super clean bi-lam construction and lovely box-lining.

As the day wound down, we were greeted with a magical golden hour. This Rene Herse tandem was beautifully bathed in the natural colors of New England.

You can see the rest of the album at full resolution here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eccentricvelo/albums/72157686050295982

03 October, 2017

Cycling Inspiration

By Scott

Inspiration - defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative.  Seeing other people's photos or stories for instance, can cause perfectly sane people to buy a van, pack it up, and head out for the open road with no end date in mind.  It's the reason I think Instagram is so popular. There's lots of photos that you can admire, and ones that inspire us to action.

I read a lot of books by UK cycling/travel writers in the 80's and 90's. There wasn't a lot (probably still isn't) of translated cycling books in English from German or French that I could find in the book stores of Vancouver.  Need for the Bike or The Rider were the only two books that were easily found in those days.

(A mix of old and new influences)

So my influences were largely UK riders - folks with transverse saddle bags and no front loads. Stopping to brew tea on a ride was normal for them. When I look at the bikes I've owned over the years, their style has prevailed (Clint says my bikes all look the same). I love the "all arounder" look of older British bikes, the Woodrup's and Carlton frames. They were bikes that took fenders, racks and could explore the countryside all while having wide enough tires to go on tow paths. Maybe this is one of the reasons the Polyvalent seems to be so much on my radar right now.

(Photo from The Crunch of Gravel cover)

Sometimes you find out that your inspirational look doesn't work out in your life. I had a transverse saddle bag for a few years and discovered the weight of it empty was more then my wife's trunk bag with a 600K worth of stuff in it. I installed non-aero brake levers on my Piolet. I was trying to copy a look I had seen of a touring bike in the French alps, which had non aero levers. I realized after a few rides, that I didn't like the cables out in front like that and am now swapping the levers for aero ones. Not everything works out the way we want/wish it to, I suppose.

Bunyan Velo has been doing a fine job of keeping inspiration up for a lot of folks in the four years Lucas has been publishing it. A new issue hits the internet today. We're proud to be a supporter of his efforts to help inspire others to get out for a ride.

Do you have a cycling hero or inspiration? How does it manifest in your cycling life? Do you emulate their bike, their style of riding, or in some other manner?