Thursday, December 31, 2009

A road trip to remember

This is old news, but as 2009 winds down we thought it appropriate to post a few images from one of the more ambitious adventures taken by fellow Felties this year. When Jake and Eva announced they would be riding from home in Orange County to a Thanksgiving dinner in San Francisco, we thought: You're nuts.

When they added the small detail they would do so on a tandem, with just five days to make the 500-mile trip, we thought: Pshh—good luck!

Well, they did it. Here are a few pics from the road, followed by 5 nuggets of wisdom gained along the way.















5 things we learned while riding 500 miles in 5 days

1. We are crazy for riding up the coast! There was a head wind the whole way!!
2. Keep a tube of chamois butter close at hand
3. Riding on the 101 is not as sketchy as it seems
4. Stopping to stretch is always a good idea
5. How beautiful the California coast is & how lucky we are to live here!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mafia Racing, West Coast style


The "Family," aka Mafia Racing, has made its way to the West Coast. The Colorado-based, Felt-sponsored team is assembling a West Coast roster to storm the West Coast mountain bike races in 2010.

Felt's own Nick D (above) will be managing Managing Mafia's West Coast joint and would like to hear from anyone interested in joining the team.

Check out the Facebook page, or e-mail Nick at nick@mafiaracing.com.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Commander on the mend


Felt company namesake Jim Felt, aka The Commander, is spending this holiday season recovering from hip surgery. He pulled through surgery with flying colors and is currently dreaming up new ways to make the riders and triathletes who ride Felt bikes even faster in 2010. Those dreams are pretty vivid at the moment, what with the painkillers and all.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Commander!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Your new National Champ!

Garmin-Felt rider Danny Summerhill won the Under-23 CX National Championship race in muddy, snowy Bend, Oregon, Saturday. Cyclingdirt.com interviewed Danny after the race, check it out:


Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beardy Weirdies!



It’s holiday season at Felt, which means one thing: Holiday Beard Growing Contest!

Pretty burly lineup, right? Looks like the second line for the Ottawa Senators, but that’s actually (left to right): Jake representing marketing; Nick and Rich from engineering; Greg from marketing; and graphic designer Jeff.

Hard to say who’s leading here, what do you think? Rich gets extra points for the black eye, which was reportedly sustained in a mosh pit. As far as usefulness, Greg is probably making the most of the facial fur—he’s currently standing in sub-zero temperatures in Bend, Oregon, where he’s manning the Felt booth at cyclo-cross nationals. That thing’s probably pretty gnarly right now, all iced up with snotcicles and such.

Of course the bylaws mandate that any proper Beard Contest will be followed by a Mustache Contest. Gross.

Ball Park Cranks!

Ball Park Cranks Commercial - Felt Bikes from Felt BMX on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crush It!


The inhabitants of Felt Cubicle Land were both happy and a bit concerned to receive an e-mail this afternoon with the enthusiastic subject line: “Hardcore Bob back on a bike!”

You see, Hardcore Bob (aka Felt graphic designer Bob Thomson) has been out of commission since eating it on a lunch ride a few weeks back. That’s a whole other story in itself, which Bob really ought to tell, but the result was a busted femur, some gnarly metal rods and some screws needed to put Bob back together again. And an empty desk over there where Bob is supposed to sit.

After a few weeks of being laid up at home, Bob dragged his busted body back to the office, sporting a pretty dope pimp cane. His colleagues were both happy to see him and somewhat relieved to know it would be at least a little while before Bob would be back to his usual self, crushing it on the lunch ride.

Then, this.

It looks like Bob might be back sooner than we thought. Crush it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jeff Castelaz: ABC News Person of the Week

The story of Jeff Castelaz riding across America to raise money and awareness to fight children's cancer captured a lot of hearts from coast to coast. When Jeff finished his Pablove Across America tour last week, riding home to Los Angeles on his Felt F1, ABC News chose to highlight him as its Person of the Week.

Bravo, Jeff.

Check out the clip right here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pablove Comes Home



After 43 days on the road, Pablove Across America finished the ride. On Saturday Jeff Castelaz pedaled the final miles of his cross-country mission to raise awareness and money to fight children’s cancer. Though in many ways it was a personal journey — a way for Jeff to grieve and cope with the recent loss of his son Pablo — Pablove Across America was also a public effort that touched countless people along the way.

From Florida to California, Jeff delivered his message by riding his bike and sharing his experiences through personal connections, Twitter posts and daily video blogs like this one that Jeff posted Sunday morning:



Jeff also conducted countless interviews and drummed up interest in his cause by capturing media attention everywhere he went. Last week our friend Neal Rogers, managing editor at VeloNews, wrote about Jeff's mission is this nice piece.

Felt is proud to have been with Jeff every step of the way. And we were beyond stoked when we finally got a chance to see Jeff and his sweet Felt F1 in action Friday, when the Pablove tour rolled into Felt’s headquarters in Irvine, California. A bunch of us joined Pablove on the penultimate day of the tour, which rolled up the coast from San Diego to Orange County before finishing here at Felt.

Jeff and Co. arrived to a huge welcoming and then hung around to meet the Felt family and do a few hot laps on a new DA TT bike. Here are a few pics from the ride….


That's former Ironman World Champ Michellie Jones on the left (above), and the special Pablove Felt F1 bikes ridden by Jeff Castelaz and his coach Rik Babington. After finishing here at Felt, there was just one more day to go before the finish in Los Angeles.

Jeff and the crew had a stellar day of warm, sunny weather for Friday's ride up the coast from San Diego to Irvine.



The Pablove crew stopped in Dana Point for double espressos and a rendezvous with Felt employees who rode the final leg.


This is what it's all about. All along the route, Jeff was joined by people who had been through similar experiences. Jeff rode side-by-side with hundreds, including this Pablove supporter who joined the ride to Irvine.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mud whompin' with Mafia

Cyclo-cross season is in full swing and like many of you, the Felt-sponsored Mafia Racing squad is out there mixing it up every weekend. Check out the action from the Boulder CX finals in Longmont, Colorado last weekend. You'll see lots of Mafia riders flying the Felt colors, including the team's elite riders Jake Wells, Lianna Miller and Kate Schneider. Those snazzy Mafia kits took a beating out there in the elements, but hey, that's what's 'cross is all about.




Friday, November 6, 2009

Guiding Light


Jared Berg (above, right), one of the elite athletes on the Felt-sponsored Mafia Racing Team, competes as a guide for a visually challenged off-road triathlete. Last weekend Jared and Michael Stone raced at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, and Jared checked in with this recap of the event.

Last Sunday I had the privilege of guiding Michael Stone, a brand new off-road triathlete with a visual challenge, at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui. Michael has Cone-Rod Dystrophy, which greatly disrupts his capacity to filter light and his ability to see low-contrast fields of vision. Con-Rod Dystrophy also leaves Michael with increasing blind spots. In many cases individuals suffering with Cone-Rod Dystrophy go blind but are left in a constant state of lightness rather than darkness.

Though Michael can see a large tree on the side of a trail, it’s the rocks or roots that are similar to the trail color, or hidden by grass, that are impossible for him to see. Sometimes even an entire trail can disappear in the shadows as it curves or switches back in another direction.

Imagine looking through a pair of safety glasses smeared with Vaseline while someone is shining a flashlight in your direction and you’ll have some understanding of what Michael must deal with. The objects or obstacles he is able to see on the trail are usually seen at the last minute, giving him little or no time to react.

So Michael relies on the sounds of my bike or my foot strikes or my voice commands, combined with what he sees of me navigating the trail while I ride or run ahead of him.



In the water we found that if I swim next to Michael I can naturally guide him one direction or the other. For instance, if I am on his right side he subtly moves to the left. However, if Michael starts moving too far to the left, I’ll quickly dive about 6-8 feet down and swim under him to his left side. During the race, it was pretty comical swimming under all the other competitors but it allowed me to quickly get to Michael’s other side without misguiding him. The only problem was that Michael would get water up his nose from laughing whenever I swam underneath him and a dozen other swimmers at the same time!

The swim portion of the competition is fairly enjoyable for us but the bike and the run present a real challenge. We raced the XTERRA Nationals in Ogden, Utah, and had a good experience because Ogden was mostly uphill and there was fairly good visual contrast between the darker trail and the surrounding grass, brush and trees. The trail in Maui, however, was a reddish tint and did not stand out from the dry orange, tan and sometimes red tint to the brush and trees. The ground in Maui never lets you hold a smooth line; it almost feels like you are constantly being floated around with little ability to control your own direction.


All these adverse trail conditions made for a pretty scary riding experience for Michael. It is definitely worth mentioning that the 2008 XTERRA World Champion and UCI pro-mountain biker crashed and broke a couple ribs while training on the course before the race.

As a guide, my most important mission is to get Michael through the course safely with as few mishaps as possible. The next goal is to provide a racing environment where Michael can capitalize on his fitness and minimize the hindrance of his vision impairment. I’m happy to say we made it through safely with only a couple little bobbles on the bike and run. On one occasion on the run I called out “stay left” on a corner when I actually meant to say “turn left.” Michael stayed left on the corner and caught some barbwire that I did not see. He went down to his hands on sharp lava rock. Luckily, he escaped with only little thorns in his palm but I felt horrible about making a bad call. It really drove home how much he depends on my commands.



I feel the race was a complete success because Michael says he wants to come back next year! We have progress to make in order to provide Michael a better opportunity to use his strong fitness on the bike, but we are confident and hopeful his trail-riding learning curve will stay ahead of the degeneration of his sight.



New Cam Zink Mavic video

Check out this new Mavic video from Felt factory pro, Cam Zink. Cam really puts his products - Felt and Mavic included - through it's paces.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pablove Benefit Concert will be held in LA

Have you been following Pablove Across America? Jeff Castelaz’s inspiring coast-to-coast ride began October 10 in St. Augustine, Florida, and will finish later this month in Los Angeles. Currently Jeff is riding his Felt F1 somewhere in Texas.

In case you don’t know the story, Jeff’s son Pablo lost his battle to cancer in June. The Pablove Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to child life programs as well as children’s cancer research and treatment. Pablove Across America is a 3,100-mile ride across the country, which Jeff is doing to honor and remember Pablo and to raise awareness and funds to improve the treatment process for children.

Jeff, the co-founder of the Dangerbird record label, has a ton of friends who are following him online and looking forward to welcoming him home to Los Angeles in a few weeks. Felt is proud to be one of Jeff’s supporters and stoked to see him hammering that F1 on this challenging ride that includes some serious daily mileage.

To welcome Jeff home, there will be a Pablove Foundation benefit concert November 21 at the Avalon in LA. A bitchin’ lineup of Jeff’s friends—including Tom Morello, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Shirley Manson and others—will perform acoustic and semi-acoustic sets.

Tickets are on sale now. Don’t miss it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Multi-talented

Felt BMX team rider Josh Betley spends most of his time blowing people’s minds with tricks like the ones seen here:




But Josh is multi-talented and digs all sorts of bikes. Case in point: check out this new ride, a Felt Brougham fixie that Josh lovingly modified into this dead sexy rig.

Nice work, don't you think?



Monday, October 26, 2009

Trick or treat


Everyone knows cyclo-cross and cross-dressing go hand in hand. Especially around Halloween, at events like the Spooky Cross Night Race, held over the weekend in Felt's local stomping grounds of Irvine, California.

With that in mind, engineering staffer Rich Bell embraced the spirit of the season and got in touch with his feminine side. Rich probably didn't foresee an unnamed colleague snapping a cell-phone photo and tossing it under the Garage Door, but as Hunter S. Thompson used to say, "Buy the ticket, take the ride."

We're told this photo was taken sometime before Rich taco'd a wheel while attempting to bunny hop a pumpkin.

Trick or treat.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Winter Racin'

SoCal dirt riders, are you ready for the 2010 race season?

Here are some dates to remember. Write ’em down and alert your spouse, dog or significant other that you won’t be around these weekends.

Southridge Winter Series:
Jan 9-10, 23-24
Feb 6-7, 20-21
Mar 6-7 (Finals)

Fontana City National
Mar 27-28

Coincidentally, some of the Felt boys were out sampling the goods in Fontucky just the other day. Here’s a little clip of engineering dude and all-around shredder Nick Ducharme doing his thing on a 2010 Felt Compulsion 2. Oh yeah.



video

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stylin' and profilin'

Boulder, Colorado-based Elephant Journal covers what it calls “the mindful life.” Yoga, organics, politics, spirituality—you know, Boulder stuff. Sometimes Elephant chooses a “Bike of the Day,” showcasing a particular Boulderite and his or her ride. We like today’s BotD...

Nice ride, Kaitlyn!

For more, go to ElephantJournal.com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Calling all mechanics

Our friends at Mafia Racing just alerted us to this little shindig near Boulder, Colorado this Sunday. Cornhole, Pabst and serious displays of wrenching skillz—what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Word to the wise: The Rocky Flats Lounge is a serious Packers bar, so whatever you do, don't show up in purple and gold.



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Felt: The smart choice at MIT


Any team comprised of aspiring nuclear engineers and other whiz-kid college majors knows a thing or two about technology. So it makes perfect sense that the MIT Cycling Team chose Felt to go after the title at last month's USA Cycling Track National Championships.

Sure enough, MIT brought home the gold. Racing at Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, MIT won the Division II Omnium, which recognizes the best overall results throughout the competition. It was the second consecutive year MIT won stars and stripes in the Omnium, which is pretty incredible considering that this was only the third time the team competed at the event. Riders from MIT also won the Division I and II Collegiate Sprint, a co-ed team sprint.

That's the team pictured above with one of their Felt TK2 bikes. The champions are, left to right:

(back row): Guo-Liang Chew, Matt Blackburn, Martha Buckley, Nick Loomis
(middle row): Mike Garrett, Yuri Matsumoto, Laura Ralston
(front): Zach Labry, Tim Humpton

Also on the team but not pictured are Jose Soltren and Spencer Schaber.

Here is some more info and photos of the team in action.

Congrats!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

(Cyclocross) School is in session

A group of kids in Boulder, Colorado, got a thrill last weekend when Danny Summerhill, one of America's top cyclocross racers and a silver medalist at the 2007 Cyclocross World Championships, showed up at their camp.

The Garmin-Slipstream rider reported that he had as much fun as the kids attending the skills camp.

"While I was there I had a lot of time on the stage to take questions and give advice to all of the young riders," Danny said. "In one specific seminar I brought my bike up and started to explain all the ins and outs of my Felt and told them all the advantages and benefits of having a one."

Here's a shot of Danny, his 2010 Felt F15X, and, just perhaps, a future cyclocross great!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Record-breaking night at Track Natz

It was another successful night for Felt at Day 2 of the USA Cycling National Track Championships in Los Angeles on Thursday. Felt-sponsored Sarah Hammer was part of a record-setting women's team pursuit squad, and our own Jake Duehring followed up his silver-medal omnium performance with a fourth-place finish in the Scratch Race.

Here's a nice shot of Jake (center, black Felt kit) banging bars in the Scratch Race...



And another of Sarah pulling her team to a new U.S. record in the Team Pursuit...



For more, check out CyclingNews.com.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Crushing it at Track Natz!


Our fellow Felt cubicle dweller Jake Duehring (above) made us proud last night with an impressive performance at the 2009 USA Cycling Track Nationals in Los Angeles. Jake scored a silver medal in the Omnium, an overall competition combining five different events—both sprint and endurance—in one night of competition at the Home Depot Center.

Here’s the thing: It was Jake’s first time competing at nationals. He killed it in the 3km individual pursuit, winning with a time of 3:32.775, and also finished second in the flying 200-meter TT (his first time racing the event); fifth in the Scratch Race; third in the Kilo; and eighth in the Points Race. Jake finished the night with 19 points, just 3 behind national champion Cody O’Reilly.

Felt bikes were out in force at the opening night of the Track National Championships. Three of the top-five Omnium finishers rode Felt.

Here’s a link to cyclingnews.com’s coverage of the event.

And some more photos of Jake:










Monday, September 28, 2009

Pablove auction happening right now!

The rock-n-roll world is stepping up big time for the Pablove Foundation and its fight against children’s cancer. Our friend Jeff Castelaz is less than two weeks away from swinging a leg over his new Felt F1 and riding across the country for his Pablove Across America tour. Now you can do your part for the Foundation by bidding on these hot items.

You can score rare signed items from Shirley Manson, Silversun Pickups, Eagles of Death Metal and Ziggy Marley. Or how about this: Have legendary Green Day and Nirvana producer Butch Vig record your band!

Go to the auction now. And when you’re done there, check out Pablove.org to find out more details about the ride and the Pablo Foundation.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

British Bike Toss

Ouch. This hurts. Two different Garmin pros, two different Brit's, two different drivetrain problems at the worst possible moment(s) and, at over a year apart, each potentially costing a place on the podium.

Two different tossed bikes.

Bradley Wiggins and David Millar - two icons of the sport. Two guys we admire and respect. The heat of the moment is often tough to manage, especially when things go wrong. Rather than sweep it under the rug or treat it like the elephant in the room, we're putting it out there.

While it pains us to know how each race might have ended sans these mechanicals, our further observations include: Wiggo has a long way to go before he can huck a bike like DM, and a Felt F1 would appear to be even more aero than a Felt DA under some circumstances.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Riding for Pablo

Perhaps you’ve already heard the story of Pablo. Many cyclists have. It’s a moving story, and it’s one that Pablo’s father, Jeff Castelaz (pictured above), wants to tell. It’s a story Jeff needs to tell.

In May 2008, Jeff’s son Pablo was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms’ Tumor, a rare form of children’s cancer. A little more than a year later—on June 27, 2009—Pablo’s battle with the disease came to end. Pablo was 6.

For Jeff, the pain of losing his son is still raw. It’s in his life, every day.

There are also many other things in Jeff’s life that help him get through the days. One is music—Jeff is the co-founder of Dangerbird Records, a Los Angeles label that’s home to Silversun Pickups and a host of other influential rock bands.

Another is cycling. Jeff is a competitive rider and a member of Southern California’s Velo Pasadena club. He likes to ride time trials and has done many century rides and a double century from Seattle to Portland.

Lately Jeff has been trying to ride more miles than ever before, and on October 10 he will embark on the ride of his life. Pablo’s ride. It’s called Pablove across America. It starts in St. Augustine, Florida, and finishes in L.A.

More than 3,000 miles in 30 days—it’s an ambitious schedule that works out to more than 150 miles per day, six days per week. Jeff will be accompanied by his friend and coach Rich Babington the entire time.

There are a number of reasons Jeff decided to do this ride. One is simply to help him deal. “Turning the pedals is something I need to do,” he says. “It’s part of my grieving process.”

Beyond that, Jeff’s ride—or rather, Pablo’s ride—has grown into a movement. The mission is to raise awareness and money for the Pablove Foundation and its fight against children’s cancer. As the Pablove Mission states, “We wave a flag for anyone to see. On it are these words: Kids get cancer too. They need your help. It’s not somebody else’s problem.”

Jeff has been joined by many friends in the past few months—powerful friends like Lance Armstrong and celebrity friends from the music industry who are supporting the ride and the Pablove Foundation.

Jeff has also gained some new friends. Friends like Felt. That sweet carbon fiber Felt F1 SL you see in the photo above is the bike Jeff will ride across America. We’re proud to sponsor the Pablove Foundation and look forward to bringing you reports from the road as Jeff embarks on this incredible journey.

Check out Pablove.org to find out more details about the ride and the Pablove Foundation.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rolling with the Garmin-Slipstream team




A group of about 70 lucky cyclists and fans of Garmin-Slipstream joined the team for a ride that departed from Garmin's British headquarters in Southampton, England, the day before the start of the Tour of Britain.

Journalist Luke Webber of British Cycling was also along for the ride. Check it out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How it feels to win a grand tour stage




Garmin-Slipstream's Ryder Hesjedal gave Garmin-Slipstream its second consecutive stage win at the Vuelta a EspaƱa on Friday. He also became the first Canadian to win a stage at the Vuelta. Afterward, he spoke with Bicycling.com's Joe Lindsey. Here's what Ryder had to say.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Felt F4 vs. Beer

Stuff Magazine checks out the Felt F4:

http://bit.ly/Suq0r

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hollywood Hangout

Things you can find in the Garage Door on any given day: double top secret prototype bikes, hacksaws, torque wrenches, crazy old forgotten bikes hanging from the rafters, dudes in Lycra, Hollywood elite.

Yeah, we’re kind of a big deal.

OK, maybe not, but some A-list celebs do seek us out once in a while. Today we were paid a visit by film and TV actor Greg Ellis—a super-nice British chap who played Chief Engineer Olsen in the latest “Star Trek” film and who has been in scores of movies from “Titanic” to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He stopped by to pick up a Felt AR2 road bike.



Greg is getting ready for the upcoming Malibu Triathlon and came to Felt because he thought our bikes looked like “works of art.”

So Greg stepped into the Garage Door to get fit and tell us how excited he is about racing his first triathlon on a bitchin’ new bike. We just wanted to tell him how we were totally into “Trust Me,” a pretty brilliant TV show he recently starred in (as Simon the smarmy Brit) that was inexplicably cancelled after just one season. What’s the deal?

“Yeah, I don’t know,” he said. “It was a great cast and great show, I think it was just a matter of bad timing.”

Greg’s pretty busy; he’s moved on.

OK fine, we'll get over it.

Anyway, Greg and his 5-year-old son were super-stoked on the AR2. “I’m like a kid in the candy store looking at these bikes,” Greg said. “It’s amazing how lightweight and beautiful looking they are.”

It’s safe to say the AR will be the fastest bike Greg has ever ridden but even though he’s new to triathlon he’s a sharp athlete and stays fit these days by playing lots of soccer.

“I feel pretty good about the bike riding and running,” he said. “I think the swimming will probably be the toughest part.”




The Malibu Triathlon is scheduled for September 12, and Greg is competing to raise money for the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The Malibu course consists of a half-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean, an 18-mile bike ride along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway and a 4-mile run along the sands of Zuma Beach.

Best of luck to Greg, we’ll keep you posted on how things go at Malibu.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So Fast You Can Barely See Him


What’s with the fuzzy photo?

Legitimate question. You’re looking at an image of Felt sales rep EJ Inigo tearing it up at the Ladera Ranch Grand Prix in Orange County, California, last weekend—and in case you can’t tell, EJ is rocking a blindingly white kit with hot neon accents. We’re afraid a crisp hi-res photo of EJ in this blingy get-up would be too much for this modest blog to handle. Plus the Garage Door's 2002 camera phone ain't what it used to be.

EJ wasn't the only Felt staffer representing at Ladera Ranch. A handful made it out there. Joining EJ in the Cat V men’s race was engineer Ty Buckenberger. Ty does about two crit races a year, but that didn’t stop him from winning this one. Not too shabby, huh? Watch out for Ty come ’cross season.

As for EJ, well, besides looking stylish, he was right there in the mix with Ty. He finished 11th.

Felt marketing dude Jake Duehring, on a tear this summer after winning a couple district championships on the track, raced the Cat. III event at Ladera Ranch. After an untimely flat, Jake got back in it and won the final sprint pretty convincingly but officials later relegated him for missing a lap. Jake was bummed he didn’t score the points, but with that finishing kick it’s pretty easy to see that he’ll be moving up to race with the big boys soon enough.

And finally, Felt road product manager Super Dave Koesel did about a million laps at Ladera, racing the Masters 30+, Masters 35+ and Pro I-II events. Because that’s how he rolls. Today is Tuesday and last we heard Dave was on his way to racking up about 200k with a pre-work morning ride, quick lunch ride and evening circuit race. Just another Tuesday.