Blogs about Commuting

Giant Quick-E+ Leave the car at home

Sick of being stuck in Vancouver traffic? Is the bridge commute taking it out of you? Well how about being out in the fresh air, getting fit, saving the environment and taking in the sights. The new Giant Quick-E bike allows you to commute to work and still be fresh and alert to start the day. The pedal assisted Ebike uses one of the best motor in the market along with some cool looks. At $3299.99 it is one of the best value out there too. Stop by the store and take one for a rip. You will be converted and guaranteed to return with a smile on your face.

This state-of-the-art transit bike is designed for the urban dweller who wants to travel quickly and easily in urban environments. With a top speed of 32kph, Quick-E+ lets you shed minutes off the time it takes you to get to work, while tackling longer distances than you can with a traditional bicycle. With an ALUXX SL aluminum frame and a powerful Yamaha motor that produces 80Nm of torque with Giant’s Hybrid Cycling Technology, traffic jams and parking hassles can be a thing of the past.

  • Giant SyncDrive Sport, 32kph, 80Nm torque, powered by Yamaha
  • Giant PedalPlus 4-sensor technology
  • Giant RideControl EVO
  • Giant EnergyPak 500
  • ALUXX SL-grade aluminum frame
  • Shimano Deore 2×10-speed drivetrain with Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes

Bike To Work Week Station

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Let’s celebrate! Bike to Work Week starts Monday May 30th – Sunday June 5th and we are kicking things off with Brandon Crichton from VPG Realty with a Party on the Bridge Monday on your ride home. From 4-7pm we will be set up on the North Side of Lions Gate Bridge with tunes, tune ups, snacks & drinks! Stop by, say hi and log your miles with HUB. Join our Steed Cycles Bike to Work Week Team HERE.

Don’t forget to snap pics of your rides to and from wore, because if you didn’t ‘gram it it never happened 🙂 @HUBcycling #BTWW @steedcycles #steedcycles

Bike To Work Week!

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Get your fall riding clothing ready for next weeks Bike to Work Week (Oct 26-Nov 1). Join our team & log your kms at https://bikehub.ca/registration for a chance to win prizes. Also catch us at the Lions Gate celebration station on Monday and Second Narrow on Thursday along with Brandon Crichton from VPG Realty from 4-6:30pm for treats on your ride home.

Pinkbike.com: The Shore Lives!

April 8, 2013

If you’ve been following the turning of the wheels here on the Shore as of late, then you know there’s some good things happening. For those of us that live here, dig here and ride here, that’s definitely an understatement. What has been quietly building in momentum for the last three years is now exploding out of the gate like Stevie Smith at Mont Ste. Anne! What once was lost, now is found, and our future here looks brighter than ever.

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You’ll never take the gnar outta the Shore. Simmons knows where the nugs are. Photo: Sterling Lorence

Not so long ago, the Shore gave birth to Freeride on the shoulders of some of the biggest names in the sport. Simmons, Super T, Gully, Vanderham & Shandro rode into the history books on outlandish creations borne from the hands of Digger & Dangerous Dan. It is a history every mountain biker knows well. Captured on celluloid in Digger’s NSX videos, it spurred the building of Shore style stunts round the world. Although the world seems to think the Shore is all about ladder bridges and log rides, take Shore local Thomas Vanderham’s words from Follow Me: “When I go out and ride I don’t ride skinnies and I rarely ride anything that’s built out of wood.” Despite the following segment showing Thomas no-handing a massive platform gap over a creek, the old stunts that riddled the Shore are dying a long, slow death.

bigquotes When I go out and ride I don’t ride skinnies and I rarely ride anything that’s built out of wood. – Thomas Vanderham

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Rotted wood on Pink Starfish. Slicker than puppy shit on a hardwood floor and rotten as a witch’s tit.

We find ourselves in a new era. As the old stunts rot out, (presenting an entirely different challenge to the rider in the interim stages of decay) the capacity to replace every expired platform or skinny amassed over the past twenty years simply isn’t there. Nor, seemingly, is the appetite. The community is pulling together in a showing of arms to rebuild and revitalize our treasured trails, literally from the ground up. Hundreds are hard at work on the steep mountain faces, building bridges, diverting water and throwing dirt. But not everyone one is happy. As rotted stunts are removed, erosion undone and sustainability sought, a select few condemn the efforts as ‘dumbing down’ the Shore. But, with the amount of deferred maintenance bottle-necked in our 20+ year old network, neglect is no longer an option.

Those that truly know the Shore fear nothing. Thankfully, you can never take the gnar out of the Shore. For the vocal minority that seem unable to accept the change in our midst, Wade Simmons, now Director with the NSMBA, has a standing offer. “Anyone who thinks we’re ‘dumbing down the Shore’, I’ll be happy to take them for a ride.” I’d carefully consider that challenge before accepting. Many upper level challenges still lurk in the mist for those that want it, but now there’s something for everyone. Patching holes, fixing drainage, finding sustainable alignments, add in some flow, cohesive connections and shralpable corners, and it appears things are being smartened up rather than “dumbed down”. Fortunately, our pursuit of sustainability is not only harmonious with a positive ride experience, it’s strengthening relations with Land Managers & the broad based community, resulting in successful grant pursuits which in turn, fuels the trail work.

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Digger leading the charge on Expresso. Photo: Jerry Willows

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Bench cut?! On the Shore?! Photo: Norma Ibarra

“The Shore has never been running better!” Digger has a big smile on his face, happy to be ‘throwing dirt in the noon day sun!’ The original founder of the NSMBA, it’s only fitting he has returned to the Directorship this year. “The trails were never like this in the beginning, we’re just bringing them back to where they began!” He’s busy filling in deep trenches on the Baden Powell, one of the most heavily used arteries on Fromme, beaten down from hikers, dog walkers and bikers since its creation in 1970. The NSMBA has stepped up to restore this community treasure, for the betterment of all, further establishing a position of leadership and proving our worth to the budget strained Land Managers.

bigquotes The Shore has never been running better! The trails were never like this in the beginning, we’re just bringing them back to where they began! – Digger

Our new found expertise is taking form in reroutes and water management, grade reversals and outslope, banked corners and flow. Water dispersion is paramount in a climate that sees over 2000mm of rain per year (that’s 6 feet, or 72 inches for our brethren south of the border), yet little drainage was implemented in the original builds. Sustainability was an unknown term in the era when the Shore first rose up so long ago. Combine the lethal combination of our waterlogged climate, inherited fall line trails and heavy, year round ridership, many of the trails have eroded down to the bones. We’ve been busy retrofitting the worst sections, integrating a new school flow while keeping those heavy tech sections that we love so much. After all, the Godfather is an integral part of our tactical approach. Chunky technical and flowy goodness is proving a combination that incorporates the best of both worlds, inviting new riders into the fray while keeping the ‘ol timers’ happy retaining progressive lines. At least some of us.

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Still having problems finding the gnar gnar? Maybe ask Arthur “Gnar Gnar” Gaillot. Arthur on the Skull. Photo: Mark Wood

While steep & deep still abounds, the sport is opening to other skill levels with the building of flowy XC trails like the Salamander, Gnomer and Defibrillator. “Lower Seymour has never been better!” Kevin Calhoun, pro rider for Rocky Mountain Bikes, has long been riding Shore circuits that would kill a goat. “It’s not a select group of riders out here anymore, the sport has exploded and the trail network needs to expand to accommodate.” Its enlightening to see this benevolence in vision, especially from a long time core rider who holds innumerable podium finishes.

bigquotes Lower Seymour has never been better! It’s not a select group of riders out here anymore, the sport has exploded and the trail network needs to expand to accommodate. – Kevin Calhoun

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Mathew Bond, the NSMBA’s youngest and longest serving President, rallies the troops in the early morning on Seymour Mountain. Photo: Norma Ibarra

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Fashionable detritus on Boogieman. Did I mention puppies & witches?

To tackle this monumental task, our solution had to come from within. Our first priority was to build capacity by empowering the community. Knowledge is power and therefore education key. With initiatives like the North Shore Builders Academy, the knowledge base has grown exponentially, and continues to grow. 187 graduates from 2012 have now become our elite forces: the Shore Corps. As evidenced in our first trail day of 2013, held this March, we have become a formidable machine capable of high quality work in short order. Combine this with the North Shore Trail Adoption Plan, what first seemed insurmountable is now within our grasp. We are literally rebuilding the Shore, making up for lost decades. TAP has taken on a life of its own, thanks to the Adopters who care enough to give back. Last year TAP tallied 70 trail days alone, with 100 optimistically projected for 2013. With the recent pilot project gifting the TAP framework to our brotherhood in the valley, the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association is helping to strengthen efforts through partnerships and knowledge sharing while at the same time fulfilling the mission of the NSMBA: Trails for all, trails forever.

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The Shore Corps: Ready, willing & able. Our latest trail day this March, hosted by MEC. “The world is run by those who show up.”

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Support those who support the Shore.

The corporate support has been the gas in the tank and is allowing us to tackle projects once thought beyond our scope. With thanks to some solid backing from some big names in the sport, we are tapping into greater opportunities to keep the machine moving forward. Our list of donors and sponsors is strong and deep, ranging from local industry to national and international supporters. Although Arc’teryx doesn’t even make bike gear, they live and play here on the Shore and are giving back as title sponsors of the Builders Academy while at the same time reinventing Dreamweaver on Fromme as part of TAP. MEC have been working tirelessly transforming Expresso under the watchful eye of Digger and have also granted the NSMBA $15 000 torevitalize the Bridle Path. While lead builder Matt Preston leads his crew on the Bridle, Digger and his team of builders are tackling the restoration of the Baden Powell trail (built by the boyscouts in 1970, of which Little Digger was one) thanks to grant monies from the CP Loewen Foundation. Beyond these two projects, each massive on their own, TAP is tackling another 25 mtb and multi use trails in 2013. The NSMBA is working on trails that benefit not just the riders, but the greater community, giving us a broader respect that is echoing in some exciting opportunities on the near horizon. We are proving to the Land Managers and the non endemic community that we are responsible, capable and a valuable ally.

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Got wood? Sure, we got wood. Digger craftsmanship on Lower Ladies.

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Regardless, when we are gone, the forest will take it all back in the ongoing cycle of ruin & renewal.

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Two gargantuan projects, led by the NSMBA for the betterment of the greater community.

Perhaps not as sexy as building big drops and sick gaps, we’re taking on much needed work, long overdue. Thankfully, we seem to be catching up, and doing it in double time. At the same time, we’re learning how to work with the Land Managers, in a place marred by a history of strained relations. We now seem to be pulling on the rope in the same direction at a serendipitous time when our capacity snowballs. Hundreds of people are making it happen, pledging their allegiance to the cause. A fellow builder put it to me best “you’ve got to bake the cake before you put the icing on.” Using this analogy, right now, our cake’s in the oven. Our next phase is sure to be an exciting one as we get ready to put the icing on the cake. In the meantime, make no mistake, the Shore is open for business.

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Business time. Irish Pete, Digger and Podo working on the Baden in torrential downpours for weeks on end.

Big thanks to www.pinkbike.com for the great article. Read more here: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/The-Shore-Lives-update-2013.html

Thinking About Commuting for 2013?

December 30, 2012

Are you already thinking of some of your New Years resolutions for 2013? Go to the gym? Nope, tried that. Its boring, I can’t manage to go for more than a month. Don’t eat potato chips? Nope, that’s just silly. Make a compost in my yard? I live in an apartment… damn! How about I try to commute to work as much as possible! That way I’ll be a total green fiend, save money on gas and insurance, and keep my cardio up! great idea.

OK, so you want to commute to work. What could make your commute a better experience, and what items are pretty much mandatory?
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Specialized Tricross Elite Disc. Potentially the “ultimate” commuting machine. Why? Drop handlebars generally put you in a more effective position for putting power down to the pavement, and give you more hand positions. Adjustable Avid BB5 cable disc brakes, to put the control in your hands for stopping and slowing down,  as well as adding durability to your brake pads, and not putting any wear on your rims. Shimano Tiagra 10 speed wide-range gearing, a competent group-set from Shimano with good value and shifting feel. Specialized Burough CX Armadillo tires, to keep rain on the tread the tires are siped as well as being equipped with Specialized’s Armadillo casing for ultimate puncture resistance. The Tricross allows fenders and racks to be mounted easily. All this together in on package makes for one tough bike to beat in the race across the bridge. $1739.99

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What happens when you get a flat tire on a really rainy day? (yes it rains once in a while in Vancouver). What if instead of worrying about what to do when getting a flat, you just get some excellent puncture resistant tires such as the Specialized All Conditions Armadillo tires. The Armadillo casing is built for ultimate puncture resistance, and the All Conditions tread gives good clearing of water from beneath the tire, and more grip as you roll the tire over into a corner. Elite (lighter casing) $74.99, Standard $54.99

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Whether commuting in the Fall/Winter, Coming home later after work, or just to attract visibility a front light is key to the commuter. The Serfas True 250 LED front light gives you a maximum of 250 lumens of output for up to 2 hours, of lesser settings (still very bright), and a flash mode lasting up to 7 hours. The True 250 charges by plugging the light into your computer via USB cable. Don’t catch your self out in the dark. $89.99

Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 5.38.52 PMUnless you have eyes in the back of your head, you certainly cannot see what cars are doing behind you so it is important have a bright rear light that has a distracting flash pattern to get the attention of others around you. The Cat Eye TL-130 is a large lens light with 180 degree visability. The TL-130 comes with AAA batteries and should last you about 150 hours of use. $19.99

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The chain is the soul of the drivetrain. Without a chain your bike will not move, unless coasting downhill. The chain is also the item that usually initiates wear on the drivetrain. You can prevent premature wear of the chain by keeping it clean and well lubricated. Come by Steed Cycles and we’ll happily help you select the best chain lube for your use, but for many commuters a “wet” lube will be the most durable, meaning that you will need to apply it less often. $9.99

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Especially during the wet season, commuters have to deal with road grit and grime getting sprayed onto their drivetrains as they track through the rain soaked roads. Even if you are using a good durable “wet” chain lube, or a cleaner wearing “dry” lube your drive train will hold onto some dirt. To reduce wear, keep your bike shifting well, and beautify your steed using a de-greaser will strip that tough grit off your cassette, chain, and chinarings renewing your drivetrain luster and allowing your well lubed chain to glide along your gears. $14.99

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Fenders. Yup, that’s what they do, fend off the water and grit and help keep you dry. Fenders fit most commuting intended bikes, and can usually be found for Road bikes, and Mountain bikes as well. Full coverage fenders such as these Axiom Roadrunner DLX fenders are best by covering as much of the wheel as possible to keep water and grit spray down to a minimum. These babies are 100% necessary in Vancouver with the number of rain days that we get in a year. $34.99, $59.99 installed.

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The fender for your body is the Waterproof/breathable jacket. Sugoi’s RS Event jacket is a great jacket. It balances waterproofing and breath-ability with features like reflective hits, and side vents. In Vancouver a jacket that keeps you dry is one of those items that allows your to even consider commuting as an option of transportation. Without the blessing of having a shower, change-room, and locker at your work most commuters rely of coming to work dry so that they can change into their work clothes and be comfortable all day. Even with the option of having a shower  and locker for your clothes you don’t want to slip into wet clothes for your ride home. The RS Event jacket is a key player in an enjoyable commuting experience. $249.99

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In the cold weather fingers and toes are the first to feel the cold. To allow you to operate the controls of your bike you need to be able to feel those fingers to know what they’re doing. These GORE bike wear Power SO gloves feature WINDSTOPPER material to block the wind on those cold days and add some water repellancy. They provide the right amount of insulation to keep your hands warm, but not too much so you feel like your hands are in boxing gloves. Don’t forget the snot wipe on the thumb! $64.99

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We’ve covered your hands, and now your toe’s. You can only fit so many pairs of socks in your shoes, so how do you keep your feet warm after wearings a great pair of wool socks? Shoe covers, often called “booties”, not to be confused with “booty”, offer a insulated and waterproof home for your feet on cold and wet days. Don’t leave home without your booties! $59.99

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The core of keeping happy on your commute, is keeping your core warm and dry. The best, yes I am confident to say that it is the best, thing you can wear as a base layer is New Zealand Merino wool. Icebreaker is the premier Merino wool producer, manufacturing high quality 100% Merino clothing where there is always wool on your skin. As a natural material wool does not stink with wear, which means that you can wear it to work, hang it to dry and wear it home, and do the same again the following day without having to wash it right away. It also wicks sweat off the skin keeping you cool and dry, and when you need to retain heat holds heat next to your skin. $109.99

Yes, there are other items that would be great to have, to help you get you and your things to-and-from work with comfort, and durability. These are some great items to consider to get you out and commuting and wanting to continue to do so. Good luck on your commute!

-Scott

Christmas Wrapping

MC Shawn Ski and the D.O.D take to the streets to rap poorly about how you should buy stuff from Steed Cycles!