Friday, May 27, 2005

No. 36, Vol. 4.

Getting Costumed Up
Since the dawn of two-wheeled man, cyclists have taken a beating in more ways than most subcultures. A few years after bicycling caught on in the 1890s, the automobile comes along. No big deal, really. But unbeknownst to most people is the fact that the League of American Wheelmen lobbied for the government to pave roads for smoother bicycling, only to see Henry Ford lobby the government for highways and byways, eventually "creating a nation of flaccid TV watchers, lulled into complacency by car commercials," according to author Michael Burton.

It's no wonder most Americans have no interest in riding a bicycle for bicycling's sake. Folks see Lance Armstrong in a Nike or Subaru commercial and instantly assume one must get costumed up to ride a bike. The silliness continues with a photo I found of Gary Fisher and Olympic MTB medalist Paola Pezzo standing in full kit with inner city kids from Oakland during a Trips For Kids ride, who seem quite happy wearing everyday clothing to ride the trails. TFK is a wonderful organization, and this video proves it. Check out the huge smiles and regular clothing on the kids. Recently retired Italian sprinter Mario Cippolini is exempt from scorn, though, because Italians demand this eclectic dress. Who else would choose to get dressed like a big wad of bubblegum in a pink skin-suit marked with a pattern of silver, iridescent veins as a swan song in the 2005 Giro d'Italia? Only Mario.

Putting "costuming" into perspective, would you or your spouse need to wear a chef's hat, apron and kitchen-specific Birkenstocks to make dinner every evening? How about wearing a head and neck restraint every time you got behind the wheel of your minivan, like those mandated during NASCAR races since the death of Dale Sr.? Seems silly, doesn't it?

Solution? Own at least one bike that you can hop on with street shoes or sandals, a billowing cotton shirt and cargo shorts or jeans. Make sure it sports fenders and a basket, to make it truly useful. Or for kicks, go for a 15-mile ride in regular street clothes on your zippiest-looking road or mountain bike, just once this month. I dare you. No, I double-dog dare you. For more on this topic, read "How To Ride A Bike Forever."

Happy birthday this week to Sam (12th on the 25th), and Margie (61 on the 26th), two of the coolest biker chicks I know.

Gary Boulanger, editor
The Bike Evangelist
305 S. Main St. - BARN
Springboro, Ohio USA

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Eddy Merckx: Best Pro Cyclist Ever

The Gaansari Crew is adamant about bicycling, but as any visitor to our humble establishment quickly discovers, we're not racerboy posers. We do not subscribe to wearing what friends call "banana smuggling" outfits, nor do we use heart rate monitors or other techno-gadgets when we ride. Our bicycles are based on proven designs from the 1970s, `80s and early `90s, and we don't see the need to chase vain modern technology to get our kicks on two wheels. And no, we're not card-carrying members of the Lance Armstrong Fan Club.

We are, on the other hand, rabid fans of a certain former Belgian racer named Eddy Merckx. Eddy retired in 1978, after more than 500 international victories. He had a cool, Brian Ferry look about him, and was a total dominating force in the pro peloton, so much so that his peers refered to Merckx as the "Cannibal." What was Merckx's secret? He was paid to race, and race he did. Spring classics, every major tour, fall classics, world championships, cyclocross, indoor track racing. If there would've been 13 months in a year in the `60s and `70s, Merckx would have raced them all.

The best inspiration we've received from Merckx is undoubtedly his performance in three art-house style cycling documentaries from Jorgen Leth, "La Course En Tete (The Head of the Field),"A Sunday In Hell," and "Stars & Watercarriers." Considered one of the best cycling films ever made, "A Sunday in Hell" focuses on the 1976 Paris-Roubaix single-day bike race (where Merckx shows signs of greatness fading and does not win). "Stars & Watercarriers" cofers the 1973 Giro d'Italia, where Eddy's dominance is borderline chilling: he atttacks incessantly in the leader's pink jersey, gobbling up stage win after stage win. "La Course En Tete" shows the personal side of Merckx following his crushing (to him) defeat at the `74 world road championships.

But enough about our take on Eddy. For more insight on the suave Belgian, read these three interviews from, and let us know if you weren't inspired to ride:

An Audience With The King
Back In The Saddle
The One And Only

Friday, May 06, 2005

Justin Needs Help!

Our man Justin, a multi-talented but exceedingly poor man, not only wrenches at Cycles Gaansari, he also plays guitar in two Dayton-based bands. He needs your help. The latest Wood & Steel newsletter arrived this week, and adorning the cover is the Taylor T5 electric guitar. Justin is a humble man, a loving man, a very giving man. A man not wont for much in this world. But he's thoroughly smitten with the Taylor T5, and he needs your help. Any bicycle/guitar aficionado out there willing to donate money to the "Let's-Get-Justin-A-Taylor-T5" Fund should contact us at 937-748-8862 or send a check to:

"Let's-Get-Justin-A-Taylor-T5" Fund
305 S. Main St. - BARN
Springboro, OH 45066


Gary Boulanger

Thursday, May 05, 2005

No. 35, Vol. 4.

May Is National Bike Month
There's a nicely framed sign hanging on the door frame of our shop. It reads:

"Cycles Gaansari exists to keep the community’s wheels turning. Your bicycling enjoyment is our responsibility.

We offer sound advice, dependable maintenance, reliable gear, and a unified voice to the local government concerning your rights as a tax-paying bicycler.

Bicycling, in our humble opinion, is God’s second greatest gift to man. Bicycles are not toys, they are human-powered vehicles, from which the automobile, motorcycle, and airplane were derived. Ford, Harley-Davidson and Boeing can thank the bicycle for igniting the transportation boom of the early 1900s.

Bicycles are for everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, age, and gender. We know more people with little money to their name who’ve chosen the bicycle as a tool versus a status symbol, and their lives are better for that choice.

Ride always. Ride to work. Ride to the grocery store. Ride to school. Ride to the library. Ride to church. Ride to the coffee shop. Ride, ride, ride."

Make the most of National Bike Month; remind yourself of two-wheeled childhood memories. Enjoy this photo of the day.

Gary Boulanger, editor
The Bike Evangelist
305 S. Main St. - BARN
Springboro, Ohio USA
Phony: 937-748-8862

Cycles Gaansari Store Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10-6 p.m.; Saturday 11-5 p.m. Closed Wednesday and Sunday.
Group Rides
Time to saddle up, partner! Gaansari Group Rides have begun! These are social road bike rides (average speed: 14 - 16 mph) on the rolling hills of Springboro and the outlying townships. Conversational pace. We roll at 6:30 p.m. sharp, so please arrive around 6 p.m. We also roll out at 8 a.m. sharp on Saturday mornings.
A young former Ralph Lauren exec and his team of investors bought Filson a few months ago, and they plan to cheapen the brand. We love our Filson, but we really don't care for this hotshot new guy, so we're blowing out our entire inventory, which includes a lot more than what's listed below. So, while supplies last, all our in-stock Filson gear is 40% off. Call 937-748-8862 to place your order today. Ask for Gary.

For a limited time only, all in-stock bicycles are 15% off. Choose from our supply of bikes from Bianchi, Jamis, DK, Orbea, Co-Motion, Surly and a few 2003/04 Gaansaris. Stop by today; sale prices do not apply to any purchases made before May 5, 2005, nor to any made-to-order Gaansari models.
Products to Consider
All products, unless otherwise noted, can be shipped to your home or workplace for an additional shipping cost. Just call 937-748-8862 or email, and we'll take care of your cycling needs.


T'ain't no better way to travel than with a Brompton foldable bike. The Brompton is a 16-inch wheeled bike which rides well, is safe, and yet folds easily into a very compact and portable package: other folding bikes have their own character and purpose, but none we feel matches the Brompton's convenience or gives you the same freedom and independence. Three- and six-speed models available. Pricing: US$658 - $1,087. Made in England.

Gaansari St. Clair
Orville and Wilbur Wright made premium bicycles in Dayton, Ohio before developing the first successful aeroplane. Their second bicycle, the Wright St. Clair, was developed in 1897 as an "affordable" alternative to the pricier Wright Van Cleve. The 2005 Gaansari St. Clair is a country bike (see Riv Reader No. 35, page 34) designed around smaller (26-inch and 650B) wheels for versatility and strength: 26x1.35" or 650Bx30mm slick tires for road use, or 26x1.75" knobbies for heavy-duty off-road riding. A true touring/adventure/expedition/urban commuter bike inspired by the 1993 Bridgestone XO-1, the Gaansari St. Clair is built in Ohio with heat-treated, double-butted cromoly steel, joined together with silver-brazing, using select lugs, fork tips, and dropouts. Pricing: US$1,350 frame/fork; complete bikes start at US$2,700. Made in Ohio by Jack.

The Bike Evangelist is an electronic newsletter developed to keep cyclers informed on the latest goings-on at Cycles Gaansari, including new products, services, events, and anything else pertinent to the Greater Dayton cycling community and beyond. Nearly 1,250 strong! Published by Clutch Marketing Group LLC, Springboro, OH. © 2005. All Rights Reserved. If you like what you've read, tell others. If you don't, let us know and we can unsubscribe you, no problemo.