Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why don't we live in Colorado? Oh, and we met the great Tommy D.

So, we rode outside of Boulder, CO today.  I haven't spent a lot of time in Colorado in the fall, but this day was a board of tourism's dream!  And our day was full of interesting adventures.  First, Brian and I took a little 30 mile ride towards Jamestown.

Trent and Brian on the way up Left Hand Highway towards Jamestown, CO

Then, we met our good friend, Allison Westfahl Wagner, who is a professional trainer and author (http://www.allisonwestfahl.com/).  She showed us some good riding through the outskirts of Boulder.
Trent and Allison outside of Boulder, CO
In addition to being a trainer to professional athletes in the Boulder area, Allison is just finishing her second book with pro road cyclist, Tom Danielson.  We jokingly told Al that we expected her to introduce us, but it was no joke!  She delivered, and we got to meet Tom Danielson at his home outside of Boulder.  He was about to do a photo shoot while taking part in HIS off-stage passion, motocross.

Brian and Trent with Tom Danielson
Tom is a very down to earth guy.  He made us coffee and we chatted for a bit, even though his photo shoot was probably better served by using the afternoon light.  If you follow cycling, Tom is easily one of, if not the best American cyclist in the pro peleton.  Cycling is in a bit of a crisis right now with the spectre of doping hanging over everyone's head.  While Tom has recently come clean to some bad decisions he made in the past, his current team, Garmin-Sharp continues to be a leader in the coming age of a clean sport. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ride to Reddish Knob with New and Old Friends

The view from Reddish Knob
We had a great ride up Reddish Knob with friends from PA and some extra strong local riders (The Pain Delivery Firm of Deeble, Sallah, and Morris) last week.  We are so lucky to have this kind of terrain to traverse just around the corner.  Thanks to the guys who made it happen.  I never can tell if that ride adds or takes years from my life, but it's a glorious climb.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Festy Experience Ride-Video

We had a great time riding to the Festy Experience in Nelson County, VA on Sunday. Here's a great video by our buddy Scott Wooten from Shenandoah Bicycles.  The Festy is a blast and we were happy to be a part of it.  


Maybe you couldn't see it well enough in the video, but Brian made some new modifications to his Bass-hauling trailer setup, since the Burley took a dive in our last tour.  Here's a picture:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saluda Bike Ride September 9th

The Steel Wheels in Albuquerque, NM Bike Shop.  They will host a group ride in Saluda, NC Sunday September 9th.

This Sunday the Wheels will ride again!  Western North Carolina, come join us.  We're excited to be able to ride in the hills of Saluda, NC this Sunday September 9th.  Follow the link below to register and join us for a moderate road ride and great show following at the Purple Onion in downtown Saluda.  All money from the ride goes to Saluda Community Land Trust.  Yeah!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bike Ride w/ The Steel Wheels in AR

We're driving across the country to play Fayetteville Roots Festival today in that sweet Ozark town. If you find yourself there and you want to join us, we'll be riding our bikes Saturday morning. See the details below...

Bike Ride with the Steel Wheels
Time: 8 a.m.
Info: The Steel Wheels guide a bike ride through Fayetteville and the Ozarks. Presented by Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks
Location: Start at Lewis & Clark in Fayetteville, AR

See you then.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Recreational Riding Social Media

This spring and summer The Steel Wheels have started logging our rides on Strava.com to keep track of the miles and places we've been riding.  The free app for iPhone or Android allows users some friendly competition (keep it friendly Brian!) by enabling anyone to create segments and logging the fastest times by any rider on those segments.  It also gives you your ride information including elevation gain, average speed, calories burned, etc.  If running is your thing, you can use it for that as well.  If you're interested in seeing exactly what The Steel Wheels' wheels have been up to, you can follow Trent, Brian, Eric, and Jay on Strava.  
A summer morning on top of Massanutten.

Trent with his dad, Howard Wagler, on a bike ride in Goshen, IN

It's all fun and games until someone breaks a rib...

Whenever we find our way close to Reading, PA we meet up with our good buddy Patrick Leaman and his family.  They have become quick friends to the band and if we can we try to sneak in a ride with Patrick when we come through.  This time, things ended abruptly and unexpectedly.

Here is the five of us after a good long grinder of a hill on Sportsmans Road...
Shortly before this photo we were talking a big talk about how freeing cycling is.  
Next, we started to descend.  Patrick and I got into a nice conversation about life and the pursuit of happiness, I'd suspect, when all of a sudden he says, "Trent, there's a hill ahead that's very fast and possibly dangerous.  Use caution.  Go back and tell Eric, I'll catch up to Jay and Brian and tell them. 

Well, just as Patrick made it to Jay and Brian, they were flying down the hill.  Within minutes, this was the scene...

Brian looking on with new friend (if by friend, you mean, glad I didn't hit your car with my bike at 40 mph)

Brian contemplating his next move, not on that rear wheel presumably
So, Brian and Jay, feeling young and spry, flew around the dangerous corner, nearly hitting a car, but definitely hitting the ground in one way or another.  Brian's bike was beat up more than Jay's, but Jay got the brunt of the body damage.  While Brian had some notable road rash on his hand and hip, Jay broke a rib and jammed his finger pretty heftily.  It didn't look good for him playing that mandolin that evening...

Jay, after the wreck. 
But you can't keep a good man down.  We made it to gig that night and Jay ripped off his splint and played a great show in front of the famous Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA. 

So, Jay is currently in rehab and we all are taking our downhills a little more cautiously.  It's fun to go fast, but not that fun.

July 6th Charity Ride in Pilot Mountain, NC

All right, so the summer is flying by and here I am way behind on blog posting again!  We've been riding bikes a lot as a band and here's one of the best stops we've had in awhile!  Harry Wilson from Pilot Mountain, NC, and his faithful cycling buddies, helped us organize a Friday morning charity ride for kids to receive scholarships for the services of the Armfield Civic Center on July 6th.  It was a great ride up Sauratown Mountain on the humid, hot day.  About 50 riders pedaled up or around the mountain for a 30-36 mile ride.  The cyclists in that community are no stranger to this ride since every June many of them ride the 3 Mountain Madness ride (http://www.3mountainmadness.com/).

It felt early for the band, but the other cyclists were ready at 9AM.

It was official because we all had numbers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dave Moore hosts bike ride in VT

Here are the Wheels with Dave at Moore's Inn in Saxton River, VT. We had a nice group ride before Roots on the River Festival in some really beautiful country.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 9th, cycling in Saxton River, VT

The cycling crew in Chicago last summer.  Come join us in Vermont June 9th.
This Saturday, June 9th, we'll be on a 26-mile ride with David Moore at Moore's Inn in Saxton River, VT before our performance at Roots on the River in Bellows Falls.  Come join us if you're feeling like a ride.  Meet up on Main Street in the village at 7:30AM.  Early, but we'll be off the bikes in time to hit the festival and enjoy it all together.  Check out the festival lineup at http://www.rootsontheriver.com/

See you there.

Bike Tour? It's All Around You

Upcoming Bike Events

May 19 - Norton, MA, Wheels Up for Corey benefit ride
June 9 - Saxton River, VT, Pre-Roots on the River Festival ride starting from Main Street in Saxton River and park in the middle of the Village 7:30 AM.
June 16, 17 - Green Bank, WV, Space Race Rumpus, lots of great rides both days
July 6 - Pilot Mountain, NC, Charity Ride For Kids
August 24 - Fayetteville, AR, Fayetteville Roots Festival, details coming soon
September 9 - Saluda, NC, Purple Onion Sunday Evening Music (POSEM) Series, Sunday Ride 
October 7 - Roseland, VA, Festy Experience, details coming soon
November 9th - Brooksville, FL, Riverhawk Festival, details soming soon

In 2011, we had our biggest cycling adventure to date with the full band on bicycles for 600 miles in 11 days across three states.  In 2012, we wanted to explore a little more in a different way.  We have scheduled 8 cycling events in different parts of the country and we'd love you to come along.  The rides are different in length and difficulty, but take a look and come along.  Some rides will raise money for a local charity.  Some will just be for fun.  As each ride gets closer, we'll update you with more details.  Feel free to contact us at manager@thesteelwheels.com with questions.

May 19th - Wheels Up For Corey

The Steel Wheels play a few songs to the crowd at their May cycling event in Mansfield, MA photo by Stephen Ide
In the first of several one-day cycling events throughout the spring and summer, The Wheels rode and played before their Mansfield, MA show at Rose Garden Coffeehouse.  The Children's Studio, a preschool in Norton, MA, played host to the cycling event for young and old on this gorgeous Saturday.

So, how did this happen?  This year we took a year off from the intensive bike tour we've done the last three years to schedule one-day biking events in a number of communities around the country.  If we can organize with a local charity and raise some money for a good cause, all the better.  If we just get out and ride with good people, that's good enough. 

In May, we partnered with Rose Garden Coffeehouse and The Studio Preschool in Norton,  Massachusetts.  They helped organize a 15 mile ride and children's cycling activities while raising money for a young family connected to the preschool who is dealing with a stage IV colon cancer diagnosis and overwhelming medical bills.

 See great article with video and photos by Stephen Ide/The Patriot Ledger

Cycling is just best when it's enjoyed by all ages.  Wheels Up for Corey had events for kids and adults. Photo by Stephen Ide

The Steel Wheels with Kevin McNatt and his Penny-Farthing bicycle. Photo by Stephen Ide

 Keep an eye out for other cycling events as the schedule becomes solidified!  Get on your bike and we'll see you soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bike ride with EMU cycling club

Here's a pic from a fun 15 mile ride we took between classes with some Eastern Mennonite University students before our show with Anais Mitchell. A couple guys brought an old tandem and blasted some tunes from some backpack speakers. Group rides are where it's at. Stay tuned for a ride near you with the Wheels.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Video Chronicles Last Year's Adventure!

Here's a great video put together by our good friend, Neil Bontrager.  It's a quick and dirty look at the fun of last year's bike tour.  Some great moments and memories right here!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Rides/Bike Tours

The time for riding has begun in the Shenandoah Valley.  With daylight savings giving us another hour of afternoon light and the gift (though perhaps a curse on the long-term) of extremely warm early temperatures, it's been great to get out on the bike.  The Big Dummy is still my favorite bike to take out when I'm home.  Even when it's empty, I like tooling around on the monster frame. 

This year's bike tour might look a little different than our first three.  We practically booked ourselves right out of a traditional tour because piecing two weekends together in close proximity to each other is already an impossibility.  But we're planning to take our rides public and instead of a sustained tour, we want to ride with YOU on a few chosen dates throughout the summer and fall.  Stay tuned for more on that.


New Bike and New Album! Best Way to Deliver Vinyl...

So, a lot happened over winter.  I bought the Surly Big Dummy, cementing my complete dedication to the long-tail life, and we finished our new album, "Lay Down Lay Low".  It is available as of March 2012 on CD, digital, and vinyl.  This picture is the first delivery of 25 records to our distributor.  It's good in so many ways!  Get your vinyl with digital download now at www.thesteelwheels.com