Category: Bikes

A blog about HalloWheels 2016

Now that the dust has settled from HalloWheels 2016, I’ve been charged with documenting the event for all of the interwebs to see, and I’ve been putting it off for a week now partially because “life is busy” but also, I don’t know where to start.

Without a doubt, there would be lots of “Thank You’s” to give.

I would thank everyone who attended our events. It was the largest turnout we’ve had for our short history of HalloWheels festivals! I would definitely thank all of our partners who came through for us big time this year! From Camel City BBQ Factory and Hoots, who donated a portion of their proceeds to fund the event, to Marketplace Cinema, who gave us special pricing on the movie and snacks. Stella Brew, who gave out samples during the scavenger hunt and donated a gift certificate for some great beer. Camino Bakery, who hooked us up with coffee before the Tweed ride. Farm to Feet, who gave away over $500 worth of the world’s best socks! And our awesome friend in Ardmore who hosted a stop a group of riders and helped them craft something special for Halloween. I’d also call out Trey Hooper, the local artist who designed the awesome artwork for this year’s events and our volunteers who ran valet bike parking during the Bike-In Movie. Then, there would be the BeersNGears team that helped make it all happen with the hours and hours of emails, phone calls, meetings, idea pitches, planning and preparing. We couldn’t have done this without a single person who helped us along the way. (Thank you!)

 

Then, my creative process and my ridiculous need to try something new kicks in.

I don’t want to just post a bunch of “Thank You’s” and “See Ya Next Year’s” and be done with it. I want it to be insightful, maybe somewhat noteworthy, possibly even worth a read so I start thinking of highlights from all of the events like Dumptruck Junior finishing the Spooky Scavenger Hunt challenge in just over an hour — the dude is a beast — or how we took a quick detour while on the Tweed Ride to snag some beer samples and visit with some friends at Whole Foods. After some reflection, I’m still left with the question, “How can I take all these bits of fun and excitement and include them with things I’m proud of like, ‘there’s only one multi-day, annual bicycle festival in Winston-Salem and we’ve held it 3 times now,’ while also being entertaining enough to read?”

If only I could draw some sort of meaning out of all of this.

I thought I could maybe make a connection between seeing all sorts of different people including adults, kids, men, women, people on road bikes wearing kits and people on mountain bikes wearing fairy costumes, and some wearing jeans and T-shirts with our core value of Diversity & Inclusion. BeersNGears wants everyone to ride and feel welcome at every event we do, but that stuff is dry and boring. I tried writing about how we are building new relationships with local businesses and strengthening our voice as cyclists every time we have another event. We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time and one of our top priorities has always been supporting local business and building community, but I just couldn’t find the inspiration to write the next best seller. So I gave up on trying to find any meaning.

hallowheels-2016-5-small

At some point, you just have to accept reality, for better or worse. Mine, I suppose is just writing a simple “Thank You” and “See Ya Next Year” and being done with it.

So if you came out to one of our HalloWheels events, sponsored a part of festival, or worked to help us be successful, sincerely, THANK YOU! We hope to see you next year (and at all the other events we do in between then)!

Every single person involved with this year’s festival helped us grow a little more and I’m so glad to have all of you as friends.

Until next time, keep the wheels spinning!

 

HalloWheels 2016 – 3-Day Bicycle Festival

HalloWheels Bicycle Festival 2016
As the saying goes, “the third time’s a charm” and this is our third time doing HalloWheels — Winston-Salem’s one and only bicycle festival — so I guess the pressure is on. Pressure or not, we’re excited about it! We had an amazing time last year and this year we’ve made it even better.

HalloWheels was dreamed up back in 2014 in an effort to provide local riders of all types and skill levels with unique, (mostly) free social bike events. One of the keys to creating a strong bicycling culture is having a variety of year-round bike activities and connecting seasoned riders with people just getting their bike tans. We work hard to keep these events free or super cheap for everyone by partnering with local businesses. We really appreciate their generosity and fundraising help.

We’re sure 2016 is going to be the best HalloWheels yet so we hope you come out to all three events. Did we mention a raffle? For each event you attend, you get a ticket for the raffle. Show up to all three and double down on your entries.

Here’s the lineup this year…

Spooky Scavenger Hunt – Thursday, October 27th

2016 HalloWheels Spooky Scaveger HuntBring your bike, lights, a bag, a camera and a sense of adventure to Camel City BBQ Factory at 6:45pm and we’ll give you a list of of clues and tasks to complete throughout downtown Winston-Salem. Ride at your own pace and complete as many tasks as you want. This event is family-friendly and halloween costumes are encouraged. There will be prizes for the three best costumes. If you are the type of rider who enjoys a good challenge, we’ll have something special setup just for you. Do you have what it takes to beat the clock?

Thanks to our friends at Camel City BBQ Factory for donating 10% of sales from HalloWheels participants to BeersNGears so come early for dinner and come back for drinks and to find out who wins the costume contest. The hunt begins at 7pm.

Bike-In Movie – Friday, October 28th

2016 HalloWheels Bike In MovieFor this episode of our Bike-In Movie, we will ride from Reynolda Village to Marketplace Cinemas to watch the new Ghostbusters film and come back, 10-15 miles in total. Ride your bike to the cinema with us and take advantage of these HalloWheels specials: $2 ticket, $2 medium drink, and $2 medium popcorn. Secure valet parking will also be provided.

Meet us at Reynolda Village, in the parking lot near Silo Restaurant at 6:15. Be sure to bring a bike with front and rear lights for this casual, social ride after dark and plan to have a great time riding bikes and making friends.

HalloTweed – Saturday, October 29th

2016 HalloWheels HalloTweedIf you missed last year’s HalloTweed, you missed the beginning of something great! It’s a tweed ride followed by a swap meet, food, beer, good times, and a raffle. This year, Hoots will be hosting us and donating a portion of their proceeds to help BeersNGears keep doing free community events.

HalloTweed kicks off at 10:30 with the Tweed Ride — a casual social ride through town that celebrates early 20th century bicycle culture with vintage bikes and clothing (hence the tweed). Come early to get some coffee and then ride 10-15 miles through town in all your dapperness. We’ll take a little break in the park, then head back to Hoots for the swap-meet.

The swap meet will be set up near Hoots. You can grab a beer, some grub from The Porch, shop bike stuff, listen to music and play some bike games — I know you want to show off your sweet bike skills. We’ll be giving out prizes to the best dressed male, female, and bike so be sure to dress us!  We’ll also draw for the HalloWheels raffle prizes so you’ll want to stay until the end for your chance to win! 

Tables to sell at the swap meet are free so make sure you fill out the form to reserve one soon!

Follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates and share with your friends!

 

This year’s HalloWheels artwork was created by Trey Hooper.

Trey Hooper ArtistTrey Hooper is a Greensboro native that primarily works with vector based digital art. He graduated from Guilford Technical Community College class of 2012, and currently has (four) years experience as a graphic designer. Trey does freelance work under the name Bluwolf design, but primarily works as a designer at a local sign corporation where he does layouts for vehicle wrap, billboards, and any other kind of business signage.

 

You can check out his work at bluwolfdesign.com

5 Pint Century

It was about 2 years ago exactly…

When I sat down to write about an epic ride I did with 2 friends in March of 2014, but I just couldn’t seem to get inspired by what I was writing and ended up putting it off… until now. We called it the “5 Pint Century” ride and I’m getting ready to do it again. Except this time, I’m opening it up for anyone, anywhere, anytime; in the form of BeersNGears’ first ever challenge.

BeersNGears is all about getting more people on bikes and that typically means having events and rides that anyone can do. So rides generally end up being under 20 miles but who doesn’t like to get out and stretch our legs from time to time and who isn’t a fan of a good challenge?

The challenge is simple yet epic

Put together your own century (100 mile) ride and include 5 stops for a frosty pint along the way. Preferably at breweries, but any local watering hole that sells pints will do. All 100+ miles need to be ridden within a 24 hour period. Send in your GPS route and copies of your receipts from the five stops along with $25 and you’ll get your very own official “5 Pint Century” finisher’s patch and a BeersNGears pint glass long with your route posted on the finisher’s page on the BeersNGears website.

You also have the option of entering the BeersNGears sanctioned “5 Pint Century” with support.5 Pint Century 2016

I have put together a 110 mile ride which includes stops at Joymonger and Gibbs Hundred in Greensboro, Four Saints in Asheboro, Brown Truck in High Point, and last but not least, Hoots when we return to Winston-Salem. There will be a sag-wagon available to put extra food, water, or clothes in and pick you up in case of a mechanical. Yours truly will be leading this fiascoe at a 10-11 mph pace.

I would be pumped to see many of you complete your first ever century ride with us, and I would suggest that you feel comfortable doing 60 miles with minimal support before attempting your first century. I will be riding at a easy-moderate pace but it will still be difficult physically, and probably more so mentally.

We will meet at Hoots Roller Bar on Saturday, September 24th at 8:45 and roll out by 9am and the whole ride is expected to take roughly 12 hours. The entry fee is $50 and includes pizza at Four Saints Brewing and a limited edition 5 Pint Century jersey with the artwork by done by Ian (only available with your entry fee). If you’re interested, but need more info, leave a comment below or send us a message.

Life, like riding a bicycle, is about taking on new adventures, challenging ourselves, experiencing new places and making lots of friends along the way. I hope you’ll take the 5 Pint Century challenge, earn the coveted finishers items and have a ride to brag about for the rest of your life!

If you’re up for the challenge and have a love for adventure, you can reserve your spot on the ride by clicking below.

 

The ride:

Artwork provided by Ian Bredice

Ian Bredice ArtistIan Bredice, local artist of the Winston-Salem area started his life in Michigan where he once told his principle that his parents didn’t have a phone to avoid getting in trouble. Flash forward to those delicate college years; Ian attended a bougie arts-based university called Albion College, graduating in 2005 with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts with special focus on bronze sculpture. After college (and a big move down south) Ian put paint to canvas for the first time in his artistic career and it was like when Shadow comes back at the end of “Homeward Bound”. There was no looking back. With inspiration taken heavily from 1950’s atomic design, classic horror movies and anything not on the beaten path. A signature theme throughout most of his artwork, Ian enjoys painting robots more than anything else. From small little rocket-bots to giant Robotopolis with towns and forests all over him. Ian’s day job is a sign artist at Trader Joe’s, he is married to his lovely wife Kelsey and they enjoy spending time with their five pets.

You can find his art at www.facebook.com/ianrobotartist

Discover Your City

You may remember our first ever Discover Your City ride where we hijacked the Community Bike Ride and planned a special trip to Twin City Hive. It’s been awhile since that happened so we’ve planned another one. There is no hijacking required for this edition of Discover Your City, just one strategic stop along our route.

BeersNGears Discover Your City Group Ride Small Batch Beer Co Winston-Salem NC

During this ride we will be making a pitstop at Small Batch Beer Co. where they brew beer one barrel at a time right here in downtown Winston-Salem. There we have arranged some delicious appetizers to sample and a tour of the brewing setup from the Brew Master. You can check out the equipment and get the low down on the operation while drinking your favorite beer. And if you’re nice, he might just answer some questions for you.

We’re meeting at the Marketplace Mall parking lot at the entrance of the Salem Creek Greenway. We will ride for about an hour at a no-drop, casual pace before stopping at Small Batch for 30-45 minutes and returning to Marketplace Mall after.

You may be asking: What makes it a “Discover Your City” and not just another local group ride? I’m so glad you asked — to be a Discover Your City ride the group must visit a business at some point during the ride. That business should be local and do or sell good stuff. Most importantly the ride should show people how they can ride their bikes to these places and enjoy all that our City has to offer.

Come ride along as we discover our city one awesome business at a time.

What you really need to start riding

Cycling is one of my absolute favorite pastimes, and for good reason. It doesn’t matter what kind of mood you’re in, what day of the week it is, what problems are going on in the middle east, or how long it’s been since you’ve ridden last, you can always go for a ride. Nature will always welcome you, fresh air will always be good for your lungs, riding will always be good for your heart, and sun will always increase your happiness.

It’s time to get back to the basics.

I’ve worked at a lot of different bike shops for a lot of years. During those years there were many questions asked and many questions answered. One question that often seemed to pop-up in some form or another is, “What do I need to get started?” The short answer is, “Whatever is going to get you riding.” There’s not a magic list of things that you need, there’s no magic equipment that is going to make you ride.

Here’s the list of the things you need:

  • A bike
  • A route (optional)
  • Determination to push yourself

A bike

Picking out a bike can be overwhelming for people who are just getting started. I used to get questions about, “How much do I need to spend?” Also, questions about, “What kind of bike should I get?” Both are great questions, but there seems to be too much emphasis on them. What you need is a bike. Two wheels, a frame, some good brakes, and it can have gears… or not. You can get a single speed if it’s what you want.

One of the greatest things about a bike is how malleable it’s form can be. You can spend $75 at a yard sale and have all the bike you may ever need. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Ultegra Giant TCR Carbon, but do I need it? Nope. I can have just as good of an experience on an old 12 speed, steel, no name road bike with a good tune-up.

The only two things I would truly recommend is a good seat and a bike that isn’t way too big or way too small.

A route

This is totally optional. Go on an adventure. When’s the last time you went on an adventure? It amazes me what I find sometimes.

Determination

Riding bikes is classified as exercise. I know this concept is strange to a lot of people, but you will be rewarded for it. I promise.

You will need to push yourself. There will be moments that you will feel like you won’t or can’t make it, but you can. Maybe not at first, but hang in there. Again, you will be rewarded.

It’s time to complicate things

After you get the basics, anything that you want to do is awesome. If you want to be a roadie, wear spandex, and buy Gu and recovery drinks in bulk, cool! If you want to only ride on dirt, and drink beer for recovery, shoot me an email and we will hang out sometime. If you want to be a Stravasshole, well, we can talk about this later. Whatever you do, do it on a bike, you’ll be happier that way.

NAHBS 2014 photo dump

A quick dump of some of my favorite bikes from the 2014 North American Handmade Bike Show. It was a great time, and I am already planning our trip for next year. Make sure you subscribe to see individual write-ups.

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Specialized Demo Truck

I had the pleasure of hanging out with some cool people not long ago. I really didn’t want to hang out, but they didn’t have enough bikes for me to actually get to ride very much. I guess it was a combination of people being greedy, not enough bikes, and possibly not enough communication of people waiting for the bike that you would be taking out.

All that said, I got to ride a Camber and the S-Works Stumpjumper with SRAM XX1.


I’ll talk about the Camber first because it will be short and sweet. I don’t know why Specialized makes it. I’m not impressed one bit. I can tell you when they had a 26″ model it made a lot of sense. Now, it’s just too close to a Stumpjumper. Bottom line, the Camber and the Stumpjumper should not share the same size wheels.

As for the Stumpjumper, I didn’t like it. I don’t like long-travel 29ers. It really rode like throwing a saddle on a pig. They don’t make sense. A large part of the advantage of big wheels is being able to use shorter suspension travel, lightening it up overall. In the best case scenario, you could use a hardtail instead of a full suspension. So, perhaps if you feel the need to ride a downhill bike on your local XC trail, this could be the bike for you. If not, don’t buy the hype.

Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper SRAM XX1

I just want to add a disclaimer; This in no way reflects the quality of the bikes or parts. If you’ve talked to me or read some of my other posts, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Specialized. Their warranty, service, parts, and customer service are not matched by anyone in the industry currently.