Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hot-From-The-Oven Blog Rolls

Time for a little routine maintenance here at The Cycle.

First, you'll notice that old friends Scott of Landscape Cycling and Todd of The 6-Miler have fallen off the rolls. Don't worry, fellas, you still get the love around here, and I'm watching you via bookmark, but I'll wait to re-roll you (which is much better than Rick-rolling you) until you're making more frequent interweb noise. I'm sure you're just saving up for something good, unlike yours truly who just vomits out whatever's in his brain the moment it crosses a synapse.

To make up for this tragic loss, I've gone with a themed double-whammy I call Grumpy Old Framebuilders. First up, there's WCAMO: Who Cares About My Opinion, a playful and (I think/hope) good-natured take on Richard Sachs and his ever-present acronym ATMO (According To My Opinion) by Bruce Gordon of the appropriately-named Bruce Gordon Cycles. This blog stuff is fairly new for Bruce, and he uses it both for musing and commercial purposes, but he was surly (the adjective) long before Surly the Marketing-Created Nonsense Brand ever existed, so he's always an entertaining read. (Disclaimer: I ride one of Bruce's bikes, but I paid for it. No bought-off shills at
The Cycle, although -- as always -- I can be purchased if anyone's interested.)

Next up is The Overopinionated Framebuilder by Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster Cycles (he's calling it "Can't We Just Get Along?" instead, but I really prefer the original and more descriptive title in the URL, so that's what I'm going with). I'll admit that Paul and Rock Lobster were just a tiny regional blip on my radar screen for a long time. I'd heard of the bikes and seen some dazzling show-candy on the internets, but I hadn't really paid attention until recently. I've been reading up on Paul's philosophy and checking out some of his builds in the last few weeks, and he's starting to creep up on my List of Custom Builders Who Might Someday Make My Dream Bike If I Ever Hit The Lottery. Everybody has one of those, right?

What I like about both of these builders is that although they've been around since dirt was new, they've both been willing to make juicy steak out of some of the sacred cows of the old torchbearers. Bruce and Paul can both crank out a gorgeous traditional lugged frame that would make Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works wet his woolens... yet neither has stopped there. Bruce's bread-and-butter is the welded Rock 'n' Road touring bike -- which (According To My Opinion, copyright Richard Sachs) has been the gold standard of loaded touring bikes for decades. Not enough? Well, have you seen his titanium townie bike? His carbon fiber handlebars? Paul, on the other hand, can do a gorgeous stack-o-dimes weld on an aluminum cyclocross race machine that makes me want to cheat on my beloved frame material, steel.

So, take a break from my blather, enjoy some chatter from a couple legendary flamethrowers, and -- for my U.S. readers -- have a great 4th.

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