Written by Nathan Riddle

Most of us have been on a ride at some point and suffered a crash or mechanical problem that has ended our ride (hopefully not in the ER). It’s extremely frustrating to think you are prepared to fix your bike out on the roadside or trailside only to find that your tool doesn’t have the bit you need or can’t reach the fastener you need to tighten. Or maybe you’ve fixed your flat tire only to find that your pump won’t work with your tube or your CO2 is wasted learning how it works. The majority of this article will explore things to think about and properly prepare for your next mechanical ride-stopper before it happens.

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Interview and Introduction by B Vivit
Jessica Shadduck, from Omaha Nebraska, showed up for the first day of class sun-kissed and in Chacos, after a whole month of bike touring from BC, Canada, down to the scholarship in Ashland. To set the scene, she had contacted us early to ask for tips on getting through Oregon with the incredible amount of smoke we'd had build up from the Northern California and Oregon fires; so we were incredibly excited to follow her journey South. Jessica chronicled the journey via Instagram through her own personal and also through her shop @ponderosacyclery. During the scholarship, Liv Bikes (with Acacia Wytaske another of the folks who received the scholarship in October 2018) sponsored our ride, mid-scholarship, and with this October crew, we got to shuttle to the very top of Mount Ashland; Jessica got to try a full-suspension bike for the first time. Also, on the weekend in-between the two weeks of our Professional Repair and Shop Operations class, Jessica and a few of the other scholarship folks headed out to Sam Hill, OR to camp for the night. Also leaving with one of the venerated UBI tattoos! After the scholarship was over, she continued her journey south to San Francisco, meeting old friends, new friends, and having great adventures all along the PNW. Talk about one of the chillest, kindest, and most open souls; Jessica took this trip, and the scholarship, for all it was worth and turned it into so much more. 
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A wildflower akin to a flame, seen during the lunch ride.

written by Rich Bernoulli

We are often asked what the difference is between our two campuses (Ashland and Portland); and regarding the curriculum, not a lot. We make great efforts to keep the curriculum consistent between the two campuses.The biggest difference between the two campuses to me is the lunch ride. Portland has some tasty eateries within walking distance but if you have plans for a lunch ride, it’ll be of the asphalt and pavement variety with a healthy dose human population and the resultant four-wheeled traffic. Here in Ashland, we have the opportunity to ride dope trails, year-round, on real, decomposed granite, straight from our door; as long as you have the legs and lungs, of course.  

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Sea Otter Classic Logo 2019

by Nathan Riddle

I’ve been going to the massive bike racing festival known as the Sea Otter Classic for at least 20 years now and it’s impossible not to see trends over the years. Some things stay the same (like the downhill and slalom courses) and some things change. Some of the notable changes that I observed this year were an increase in the number of vendors displaying versus years past, as well as what they were displaying. One of the Sea Otter employees said that the booth count had grown by over one hundred new companies displaying and that there had previously been something like one thousand companies displaying. This was actually observable in the newly paved area dedicated to vendors (light green area on right side of the map) as well as companies being tucked into just about every open space possible. The two things that really struck me though were the number of e-bikes on display as well as the number of dedicated kid’s bikes and kid targeted components.

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Contemplated by B Vivit
With the major e-bike increase within the US recently, where does the bike shop responsibility for educating a customer end? And this applies to all customers, but with the e-bike boom, we are seeing an influx of new riders and a particular rider who isn't into the "cycling culture." We can't all pull off the line "With great power, comes great responsibility" talk without being downers. And tagging on that "just one more thing" at the end of the sale as their brains are already 50 miles away on a beautiful road, on a beautiful day, with their beautiful significant other, cruising and looking beautiful. The major conversations have centered around trail etiquette and riding, road etiquette, and also care of said e-bikes. I say, "care of" because I'm not trying to foist the burden of maintenance off onto the customer at all. Hopefully you, as a shop, are still supporting that bike in a major way. However, I am thinking about things like charging the bike, knowing when to bring something in for service, and probably fixing a flat. And how do you have that conversation with a customer? 
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