Cycling | A Continuous Lean.

Walking the Walk | Shinola

May 13th, 2013 | Categories: Accessories, Cycling, Detroit, Watches | by Michael Williams

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The demise of Detroit has been widely documented, almost to the point of nausea. I grew up hearing a similar song in Cleveland. If you live there or are from there, it makes you want to fight even harder. I can understand how Detroit feels; that underdog spirit is what makes me fly the Cuyahoga flag high every chance I get.

What’s crazy is what is really going on in the Motor City. There’s a beginning of change and some pretty astonishing things are happening. The road is long, but the desire to rebuild is there. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to this great American city.

A few years ago Steven Alan (the man) introduced me to a few guys who had an ambitious plan to start making watches, bicycles, leather goods under the long mothballed shoe-polish brand Shinola. As much of the product as possible would be made in America, that’s what they told me. Made in Detroit to be specific. To say I was intrigued was an understatement. They asked me to come out to Detroit a few years ago (early on in this process) to see everything, but as I often do with brands I wanted to wait a bit and wait and see what was going to happen. It’s easy to talk the talk, it’s hard to actually make these kinds of things happen.

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The Art of Bicycles at Copenhagen’s Cykelmageren.

Sep 18th, 2012 | Categories: Copenhagen, Craft, Cycling | by Michael Williams

To say that bicycles are ubiquitous in Copenhagen would be an understatement —bicycles there are a way of life. Over the past few years I have followed a few Copenhagen -based cycling centric blogs and their images helped to further provoke my own relationship with cycling. One thing everyone says in Copenhagen (and Amsterdam for that matter) is that people get their bikes stolen very frequently —most say it happens with regularity once a year. Living in NYC, this is something I can certainly appreciate, and fear.

All of this bicycle thievery makes the idea of spending a lot of money on a bicycle a frightening proposition, but it hasn’t slowed down Copenhagen’s Cykelmageren even the slightest bit.





Search and State | Made in New York City

May 23rd, 2012 | Categories: Cycling, Made in New York | by Michael Williams

 Walking up to the second floor of New York’s famed sporting goods store Paragon, I was on a mission to find a good new cycling jersey. I made a left at the top of the stairs and skipped past the cases of pocket knives, sunglasses and flash lights heading straight to the cycling section. Just as I got there I came upon a sign that read: Search and State Made in New York City. Needless to say, I was intrigued. When I set out to Paragon I expected to find something that would work for what I wanted, but I couldn’t have expected to find something as great as what I did with Search and State.

The New York based company is the product of Devin O’Brien and Daniel Golden, two guys who previously worked in design and marketing and decided to set off on their own and create a brand that had a different approach to cycling. What started back in 2010, has emerged this spring as tight collection comprised of just the essentials: one jacket and one jersey in all black. It’s a simple start with more products coming throughout the year.





Clothing Without Compromise | At Work With Outlier

May 7th, 2012 | Categories: Brooklyn, Cycling, Menswear | by Michael Williams

Clothing should be as much about function as it is about style. That’s part of the philosophy behind the bike-commuter friendly label Outlier. Over the past several years the small upstart label has gained a cult following, not just among cyclists, but also by those that appreciate an approach to designing clothes that places equal importance on both looking good and functioning well. This past week I took a trip out to Brooklyn to visit Outlier’s design studio and headquarters to see just how things work at Outlier.

“One well considered object can take the place of many cheaply made ones.”

The company’s loft in Williamsburg is part R&D lab, design center, shipping depot and warehouse all in one. It’s a bright space filled with energy and a sense of purpose. Tyler and Abe both have a strong feeling for the company’s mission and they seem purposeful in their undertaking. As we talked and looked through a rack of current products (and some soon to be released items), the stack of outgoing packages continued to grow and grow as sales for the day added up. According to Outlier, there is strong customer loyalty and the instance of repeat orders is often. As someone that has worn a pair of Outlier pants, this is a statement not difficult to believe.

Outlier founders Tyler Clemens (left) and Abe Burmeister.





Wanted & Acquired | Raleigh Superbe

Sep 6th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Bicycles, Cleveland, Cycling | by Michael Williams

Patience is a virtue and I do my best not to live by that motto. I am pretty tenacious when it comes to getting something I want, so it is often hard to wait to see what will come to market. As it turns out my English 3-speed timing worked out perfectly and I found a really nice looking green  all-original Raleigh Superbe in Clearfield, PA, right off interstate 80. Since I was headed to Ohio this weekend via I-80, the 3-speed is now mine and for nearly half the cost of most of the Superbes that have been popping up in NYC and on eBay. Update: I almost forgot to mention that I added a bunch of different bicycle makers to The American List — check it out if you are interested.

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Wants & Desires | Raleigh Superbe

Aug 21st, 2009 | Categories: Bicycles, Cycling, England | by Michael Williams

Something has come over me — maybe it is this New York heat wave — but I have become obsessed with the idea of owning a vintage Raleigh 3-speed bicycle. I’m not really into the idea of spending more than $200 for said bicycle (I already own three bikes), and the typical online auction destinations have yielded little within my budget. All that aside, I did discover one fantastic piece of hardware along the way which has me thinking twice. The below gem of a bike near Hartford, Connecticut, is a beautiful English made Raleigh Superbe 3 speed, in near mint condition. The auction is holding steady at the starting bid of $475 (which I think is a little much even for a bike in such good of shape), but if money isn’t an issue I say go for it.

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Leg-Breaking Alpine Adventures

Aug 17th, 2009 | Categories: Bicycles, Cycling, Sports | by Michael Williams

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James Jung, a friend of ACL, offers his thoughts on cycling escapades both domestic and abroad.

As a spindly-legged kid, I spent most of my summers tucked in my Austrian father’s broad slipstream while we pedaled up and down New Hampshire’s winding back roads. Saddled atop his dinosaur of a Motobecane, ragged cycling shoes wedged into his toe clips and his unruly grey hair flapping in the wind (he never wore a helmet, which, he assured me in his heavily-accented English, were for loozahs), he’d ramble on about all the epic Alpine rides he and his fellow farm boy buddies had done as teenagers. Then he’d crack open a can of Coors when we got home, drain it and tell me more. I knew ‘em by heart: The time they’d hooked their hands onto the back of a bus in order to coast the last few rain-soaked kilometers into Munich just to buy an LP of Revolver; the time they’d stumbled into a Swiss gasthof, cycling caps askew and faces full of grime, only to be fed for free by the matronly proprietor who’d pitied such a worn-out and weary-looking crew; and of course the many occasions on which they’d outmaneuvered slick Italian sport coups down Passo di Stelvio’s 48 hairpin turns. Sure, just the other day I blew a few too many freelance checks on this carbon fiber racing rig, but no matter how modern my tastes have become, I’m still – thanks to dad – obsessed with vintage bikes, no-frills cycling apparel and leg-breaking rides.