Supplying our local commuters, athletes, and recreational riders with all their cycling needs.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whistle Lake Trip

The girls and Jacob during our lunch break.
Taking advantage of our Wednesday off the shop crew and friends ventured out for a little biking fun. Braving the gusting winds we caught the ferry and headed up Whidbey Island to Whistle Lake near Anacortes. Whistle Lake is one of three lakes in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. A network of single and double track encircles the lake and can be connected to the other lakes to make for a longer ride.

We decided to loop Whistle Lake clockwise, climbing Mt. Erie, the highest point at 1,278 ft, along the way. This route climbed up to Mt. Erie in a series of rolling climbs, with a few grunts and hike bikes. Summiting Mt Erie we reveled in a swooping, flowy descent. Grunting back up the side of Sugarloaf, the second highest point in the area, we finished with another blasting descent back to the parking lot and car. We finished up the day with tasty beverages and food at the Brown Lantern in Anacortes. 

Our fearless leader aka "Rocket".

Some hike a bike.
The crew.
The lake and picking our route.

Jacob being "extreme".

Friday, November 18, 2011

Black Friday Yippie!!!

The Broken Spoke will be closed Thanksgiving Day. The Thursday night Mountain Bike ride will be moved next week to Friday in observance of Thanksgiving. We hope to see you all there ready to burn off a few of those Thanksgiving calories.

The Broken Spoke will be open normal hours 10-5pm the day after Thanksgiving aka "Black Friday". For those of you who have not already been getting a jump on the holiday season we have lots of great gift ideas for the special someone in your life. To take all of the stress out of your holiday shopping, we have assembled a convenient list of gift ideas for the cyclist in your life. These are all gifts that I have received or would really enjoy receiving. The list is sorted into three categories: $1 - $50, $51 - $500 and over $500. Ladies and gentlemen, let the shopping begin.

GIFTS UNDER $50


  1. Hats and Headbands: The best ones for cooler to cold temperatures for cycling are in the Endura Baa Baa merino wool collection.
  2. Mini lights: Lighting that can keep you safe doesn't need to cost a lot from Cateye and Bontrager.
  3. DVDs of stage races to help with winter trainer entertainment: World Cycling Productions has a great assortment of singles and sets. A set bumps it into the next category, but I'm hoping for the 2010 Tour de France set.
  4. Socks: A large number of cyclists request socks. A nice gift item that most people don't like to purchase for themselves. Favorites included Smartwool and Sock Guy, which support the cause of your choice.
  5. Gloves: Windproof, a water resistant glove at great value is the Endura Dexter.
  6. On-the-bike nutrition products or food: These items will always be used. Be sure to find out the drink or bar of choice for your cyclist. 
  7. Over Shoes: The Endura MT500 overshoes is a great item with the colder weather.
  8. Punch pass for the local recreation center: Sometimes it's tough to be motivated to train in the winter and you don't want to purchase an annual health club membership. Evergreen Fitness offers a punch pass option that is great.
  9. Subscription: I'd love a one-year subscription to Trails.com or Bike magazine. 
  10. Mini tools: I'm a commuter and the Crankbrothers Multi-17 is nice when you're in a hurry and broken down on the side of the road.
  11. Scales for weight weenies: For those cyclists concerned, very concerned, with the weight of everything, these scales are used for bikes and bike parts. Two of the companies making tabletop scales include Feedback Sports and Park Tool. Several companies make inexpensive hanging digital scales. Topeak has the combined scale and bike stand system (putting this option into the next category). 
  12. Patch kits: Great stocking stuffer, necessity for all riders, and a cyclist can never have too many patch kits. Pair with a Topeak Morph pump to keep your cyclist from getting stranded. 

GIFTS FROM $51 to $500, From Least to Most Expensive

  1. Rechargeable Lights: The Niterider MiNewt series of compact commuter lights are USB rechargeable and super bright. 
  2. Merino wool Baselayers: These are excellent for wicking moisture and keeping skin warm in cooler temperatures. Endura has a great Baa Baa collection.
  3. Lightweight Vest: Perfect for layering when the mornings are cool, but temperatures will increase as the ride progresses. I want a vest that keeps my core warm, but doesn't cause me to overheat. I want it packable too. The Bontrager Sport Wind Vest is a great addition to the collection.
  4. Framed Print: What cyclist wouldn't enjoy a print from famed photographer Graham Watson? It goes in the "want" rather than "need" category, which makes it the perfect gift. I'd love one of these for my office.
  5. Personal Coach: Giving your cyclist the gift of a personal coach is a real treat. Prices vary on this and certain options can bump it into the next category; but the equipment is nothing without a great engine.

GIFTS OVER $500

  1. Racing wheels: It would be great to have a nice set of Custom built racing wheels.
  2. Wind tunnel test: Get every speed advantage possible. Locations vary for this. Do an internet search titled "bicycle wind tunnel testing" to find a tunnel near you.
  3. Bike trip to the Tour de France: Trek travel offers Trips to France, Italy and so much more.
  4. New bike: Your favorite cyclist always has bike lust. 
Can't afford the items you want all in one purchase? The Broken Spoke has Layaway!! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wheel Building!!




Broken spokes, bent rims or looking to upgrade your bike? We'd be happy to build some wheels up for you at the Broken Spoke. Swing on by and we can help you pick something that fits your needs. Here is one of our latest builds!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Survive the Zombie Apocalypse


The undead horde that marched through down town PT this last week brought up an important note. Are you prepared to survive the zombie apocalypse? How do you plan on escaping the undead hordes? Giant armored SUV? Forget it, where are you going to find gas? According to Max Brook's Zombie Survival Guide the bicycle is the ultimate zombie get away vehicle. Why? Because it doesn't need fuel, no need for the now abandoned service stations and being confined to metropolitan areas. It can go most anywhere! Brooks recommends mountain bikes for their ruggedness and ability to travel cross country. Bikes are silent, good for those moments when you need to make a stealthy get away. And its faster than walking and easier than running!

Make sure your bike is in proper running condition so you don't become part of the undead horde!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yearly Maintenance

After another riding season it is a good to perform some seasonal maintenance before tucking your bike away for its winter hibernation (or in preparation of the winter riding season). Commonly overlooked parts are the hubs, headset, and bottom bracket, often being neglected until they begin causing problems or fail. Cleaning, lubrication and proper adjustment of these parts extends their life and keeps them functioning properly. Simple services like this will ensure your bike is ready to go when spring or a blue bird winter day arrives. Just don't forget to check your tire pressure before you ride!