Random Acts

CycleChick headquarters has gone through some changes of late. The army of minions is ever-growing, and minions need stuff like desks, pay checks, orientations, and health plans. World domination, as it turns out, is quite time consuming. But time has this extraordinary habit of trundling on regardless of how much we attempt to cram into its oddly shrinking pockets.

Simply put, I’ve been busy. But it’s been a good busy.

Back in February, the day before I cheated my way to the Actif Epica podium, a crew of us went to a couple of rural elementary schools to extoll the virtues and benefits of winter cycling. Cross-cultural exchanges are always interesting, and I learned that rural children are just as small and no less loud than children in the city. JP and I talked about the kind of equipment, nutrition and planning it takes to do a winter endurance race. The kids sat quietly and listened, especially after we told them that we had promised ManiYeti he could eat the bad ones.actif-trials-demo-ktphoto-1actif-trials-demo-ktphoto-6Liam and Adrian from Fat Levels came along to do a trials demo, instantly making JP and I the least cool people in the building. The moment the first wheel lifted off the ground, the screaming in the gymnasium caused both of my eardrums to simultaneously explode.

actif-trials-demo-ktphoto-48actif-trials-demo-ktphoto-39The children (much less their teachers) could hardly contain themselves. At the end of the demo, crowds of adoring children surrounded the guys asking for stickers and autographs. Even I got to sign autographs, which might have had something to do with the fact that I told them I was Miley Cyrus. As if they would know the difference.

There is some debate over who first uttered the adage “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”. Regardless of who said it, they were totally full of shit. In this woman’s opinion, men are (with some notable exceptions) pretty rad, and I think every woman who is so inclined should have at least one. And as for the fish, why should they be denied the pleasure of a bicycle? I had the opportunity to visually express this opinion when my friend Tony from Minneapolis asked me to design a t-shirt in support of Minneapolize, who will donate 100% of the net profits from shirt sales to help a non-profit cycling organization (to be determined via. reader poll on Twiiter). You can buy yours here (hipster not included).
MocksAs you may have heard, Winnipeg will host the 2014 and 2015 Canadian Cyclocross Championships at The Forks. Never ones for half-assery, we have some big plans in the works. Racers, volunteers and spectators can expect a three day cycling extravaganza that will make Interbike look like a church garage sale. Lots of work is afoot finding sponsors, volunteers, and people to bring me drinks and food over the course of the weekend. And of course, the propaganda machine has purred to life, starting with a kick-ass logo designed by Lucas Pauls. A preliminary website has been put up here – watch for more awesome details as they are unveiled. In the meantime, be sure to follow @wpgcx2014 on Twitter for up-to-the minute updates and plenty of cyclocrossy snark.

CX_Nat-headerI had the opportunity to do a little cross-border promotion (that may or may not have included some shoe shopping) in Minneapolis back in March. I visited Flanders Brothers, One-on-One, Hansdsome Cycles, and the delightfully quirky Alley Cat Cycles. When I first walked into Alley Cat, I felt a bit out of place – not unlike when I walk into a factory or pressroom in my grown-up business lady clothes and wait for someone to shout “the stripper’s here!”.  Nevertheless, everyone was super welcoming, curious, and excited about the race. We’re lucky to have some good Yank friends like Isaac (aka @oldirtybiker) who are helping spread the word to our Americano neighbours. IMG_0553

Although roosters tend to be pretty tough, it’s been a long, cold winter, and we don’t really like the cold. It was decided by the establishment that it was high time to get some sweet sweet wool for Dark Red Racing, in the form of merino jerseys and caps from Cima Coppi in Vancouver, right here in Canuckistan. Cima Coppi had done a great job of the Fort Garry jerseys a few years ago, so we knew we were in good hands. The design features our beloved Coq Wallon, the symbol of the Wallonia region of Belgium, and yet I can’t help think that if Bruce Lee’s mom made him a Christmas sweater, it would look something like this.DarkRedRacingFront copy

Here you can see it in action, as modelled by Cousin Thomas and the Secretary.imageWell done. As you were, fellas.

There is no better time of year than when the pro cycling teams reveal their new kits for the season. We revel in the act of systematically eviscerating each one, down to the last stitch, pinstripe, and hideously misplaced logo – because nothing brings a community of critics together faster than our mutual snobbish disdain for what we see as poorly designed lycra jumpsuits. As such, when I am tasked with designing a kit myself, it terrifies me to near paralysis.

When James and Karin asked me to design Alter Ego‘s new kit, I couldn’t say no. In addition to being awesome people, they know what makes a kit cool, and were totally open to working together to make it so. The club’s signature colour is primary red, and I’m a firm believer that clubs should differentiate themselves as much as possible with the design and dominant colour of their kit (I’m looking at you Trek/Sky/Movistar/IAM). So the red stayed. We worked with the existing store logo and came up with a design that gives a nod to classic club jerseys, while incorporating more contemporary elements like contrasting topstitching on the shorts, and tone-on-tone dot pattern. Critics be damned, I can hardly wait to see it in action!Alter Ego KitYes my friends, it’s been a busy (and epically long) winter. But with lots of projects, new minions, and plenty of gin, we’ve made it through the worst of it. As race season starts there will be lots more to report, and plenty of cool projects to do. After all, there are always new pockets to be filled.

Epica Tour school photos by Kyle Thomas. Rooster wool in action shot by Mark Reimer.