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Lately it seems like more people are touring than not this summer. Whether it was meeting 30+ individuals at NAHBS doing at least a section of a cross-country tour, or looking at Prolly’s blog over the past few days. There’s people quitting their jobs to ride, others going on their first tour, and people trying to circumnavigate the world. There’s really a tour for everyone!

Touring is a great complement to commuting, racing, really every style of riding. There’s not much that compares to taking your bike on a vacation and there’s nothing that compares to your bike being your vacation. It’s great to see those who were introduced to riding only in the past few years- branching out into major trips and really logging those miles. We’ve got our own tour carved out for this summer. Our spring intern Gregory and friend Bianca are riding from Boston to SF starting July 1st. They’re shipping out on two Woodvilles and Greg’s is getting finished up as we speak/blog!

The best part of all of this is that so many people are making a great story out of their tour. Nothing’s more interesting for a bike-geek than talking tour. “What are you riding? How big are your tires? Do you have a Ti stove?!?!?” It’s a great way for riders to share a passion for not only cycling, but to use that enthusiasm to raise awareness for a something else they are passionate about.

You can keep tabs on Greg and Bianca and their ride for the Autism Society of America at www.crosscountryforautism.tumblr.com.

Here’s a few examples of other tours this summer:

Ride:Well Tour: Riding to bring clean blood and water to countries in need in Africa. 16 riders; 1 objective. A great way to meet friends you’ll have for life.

Kissing With Helmets: A touring couple with a couple of (beautiful) touring IFs.

The Epic Man Cometh: Brutally epic

Make time for a tour this summer! 200 miles or 2,000.. you won’t regret it! If you do decide to ship out- be sure to check out some of these great resources:

Adventure Cycling: Maps, maps, and more maps.
Warm Showers: Nothing like a warm shower when living on the road.
Schwalbe: Some of the best all-terrain tires around.
Crazy Guy On A Bike: More info. on touring than you could ever need. Read up- or contribute to the collection with tips and tricks for your last tour!

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The Handmade Show was a blast. We plowed through snowpocalypse 2.0 and about 40 Red Bulls to get there. After arriving late Thursday and scrambling to set up as much as possible before they shut down the convention center for the night; we took care of all the finishing touches Friday morning. We were finally ready to exhibit; and we exhibited the crap outta the place.

NAHBS 2010

We want to provide an in-depth look at the bits and bobs that made our bikes stick out, the pieces that made our February the most stressful month of the year, and the ones that couldn’t have been possible without some amazing and truly innovative work from our friends.

First up: Bianca P’s Woodville

When we began designing a bike for Bianca to ride from Boston to San Francisco.. I’ll admit it, we geeked out a bit. We drew up some awesome plans for a beast of a touring machine with disc brakes, powder coated rims, and more. When it came down to it we realized that that wasn’t the bike she needed for her trip and it wasn’t the bike she wanted to ride. We linked up with Tom of Velo Orange Imports and with his help we moved towards a more polished aesthetic that oozed class.

Urban Velo NAHBS Pics

After that we knew that this needed something extra to hold its own against the best of the best at the biggest bike show in the hemisphere. Enter Aaron Panone. You might remember a project from last year that also involved Aaron’s help- the introduction of our integrated chain tensioners at the 2009 NAHBS. His eye for machine work is inspirational to say the least. With the help of our in-house graphic designer Dan St. Germain– we designed the new Geekhouse cursive script that appears on Bianca’s bike; it shows up here, not only for the first time ever on any Geekhouse, but it also was realized with the help of Aaron in the form of a laser cut polished stainless down tube badge.

Urban Velo NAHBS Pics

We instantly fell in love with the script and the aesthetics were really honed in from as many angles as we could conjure up.

Next came time to add the function. Joshua Wright, our go-to electrical engineer, alongside Aaron designed a unique one-off bit that was missed by anyone who just breezed by. With the help of Aaron’s machine work and Joshua’s fervor for LEDs we integrated two lights, one in the fork and one in the seat post, that are powered through the front generator hub. Using a capacitor so that Bianca didn’t lose her beams every time she stopped at a red light, as well as a cored out bass guitar string internally routed through the fork and seat tube.. Joshua and Aaron had put the finishing touch on that perfect harmony of fashion and function.

NAHBS 2010

While it took a few late night to pull it all together the reactions at the show were worth all the work in the world. When someone would get close with a big fancy macro lens- it was a blast to approach them and know you weren’t going to let them down.

Stay tuned for our write-up on Jason H’s Rockcity later this week.

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