Fans, the day has finally come. I am so excited to share with you the full length video world premiere of my fat bike adventure through Mexico last December. It is being featured on pinkbike.com right now. Filmed by our friend and action photographer Devon Balet from Devon Balet Media, this trip was an epic four day adventure that will never be forgotten. Sunday Cycles own Joe Berman, along Dirty from Drunkcyclist.com and pro mountain bike racer Travis McMaster this was truly a Mexillent adventure aboard Surly Bikes and Salsa Cycles with Osprey Packs, KEEN, LOUIS GARNEAU, CONTOUR cameras. Enjoy the world premiere and leave us your thoughts and comments below.
In 1995 my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and in 2008, Alzheimer’s. In the prime of his life he was a renowned Clinical Psychologist, a pain in the ass, and a great dad—funny, strong and trustworthy. Now he spends his days in a nursing home playing with dolls he steals from old ladies.
About five years ago, my dad got a hankering to join me in the El Tour De Tucson. I had already signed up for the century ride, and I agreed to have him join me for the 35-mile adventure. What the hell was I thinking—and what was he thinking? He was a full-blown Parkinson’s victim with tremors, bad balance, early onset dementia—the whole nine yards. But how would I tell him no—and who was I to tell him no? He was told by his doctors that he shouldn’t try to ride a bike, that his lack of balance made it dangerous. Thankfully he disregarded their warnings and my concerns, as the bike proved to be what kept him “alive” until the disease got the best of his next chapter.
I knew riding my road bike would prove to be a challenge at the speed I anticipated, so I bought myself a big fat beach cruiser with huge 24×4? tires and ape hangers. Dad needed a bike too, so I got him a classic 27-speed comfort bike. He never shifted, said he hated it and it was too complicated, yet he latched on to that bike with love, riding the wheels off of it for the next few months, never taking a ride longer than a few miles, but loving the independence and benefits cycling gave him—a brief respite from his Parkinson’s.
Flash forward to the big day. Dad’s Parkinson’s was in high gear. His balance was horrible, his nerves were kicking, his tremors were heavy, and his muscles were very rigid. It was not looking good. Plus, being stubborn as can be and a little crazy from dementia, Pops had already been in his helmet for five hours prior to the ride.
Dad was helpless and slow as we approached the start. I had to push both bikes up to the crowded staging area. We waited in the back of the pack to avoid clustering. When the crowd took off, Dad couldn’t even get his leg over his bike. I tried to help him and was joined by a nice stranger who saw what was going on. She and I grabbed his rigid leg and swung it over his bike, then together, we grabbed either side of him and ran with him until he was launched almost balance-less toward the crowd ahead. I ran back and grabbed my bike and quickly rejoined him.
He never said a word as he rode. Never stopped at an aid station—probably for fear of not getting back on or off the bike without injury. Never drank a sip of water. Never acknowledged anyone. I rode next to him on the climbs and shifted gears for him in order to make it more bearable.
Our pace was incredibly slow by the halfway point but he kept on pushing. At one point, about five miles from the finish, spectators and emergency staff were getting concerned by his appearance. People were approaching me asking if he was okay as we rode by. At one point I was about twenty feet behind him, and someone asked as I rode by if the old man in front of me was okay, to which I replied, “He’s better than okay, he’s amazing!”
Finally, with the finish line in our sights, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of what we had done. We finished, he finished, it was finished—we did it. We were in with the last of the last, and it took us a grueling five hours to complete the 35-mile ride, but we did it.
As we got to the finish line, I helped my cold, clammy, sweaty, rigid hero off his bike and onto the curb. He hung his head and stared at the pavement. My eyes were drenched with tears. “Dad, I am so proud of you,” I said in awe. Moments later—and still wearing that damn helmet—he looked up at me and said, “I just couldn’t let you down.”
By far, that was one of the best moments of my life, shared with the man I love the most, doing the thing I love the most.
That was the last time I rode with my dad, since his health, stamina and brain have deteriorated so much. He doesn’t recognize me anymore, and I don’t know if he remembers that day, but I will—always. And I hope that one day I can look at my kids after having dug deep inside of myself to overcome my own battle and say, “I just couldn’t let you down.”
Check out the results from that year. 974th and 975th across the line out of 978.
Sunday Cycles and Fatsos Pizza in conjuction with Salsa Cycles present the Phoenix premiere of “Reveal The Path”
Sunday Cycles and Fatsos Pizza in conjuction with Salsa Cycles present the Phoenix premiere of
Monday July 2nd. Entrance at 7:30, starts at 8.
From the filmmakers who brought you the award-winning cycle documentary RIDE THE DIVIDE!
A visually stunning adventure by bike, REVEAL THE PATH explores the world’s playgrounds in Europe’s snow capped mountains, Scotland’s lush valleys, Alaska’s rugged coastal beaches and Morocco’s high desert landscapes. Ride along and get lost in the wonders of the world…
Enjoy the authentic locals living modest yet seemingly fulfilling lives, leading us to question what it means to live an inspired life – however humble or extravagant.
Filmed across four continents and featuring Tour Divide race legends, Matthew Lee & Kurt Refsnider, this immersive film is sure to ignite the dream in you.
Join in as the creators of RIDE THE DIVIDE take you on an adventure that will leave you with an eager desire to chart your own course to far away lands or simply to discover with eyes wide open what’s right around the bend.
Limited to 125 guests.
Monday July 2nd. Entrance starts at 7:30, show starts at 8.
$13.00 per person, includes personal pan cheese pizza. Enjoy the movie w/ 125 like minded folks in the greatest mountain bike pub in North Phx, Fatsos Pizza. This place is the real deal, with number plates and cycling pics on the walls. a huge tap selection, and PBR growlers.
REMEMBER!!! Tickets will not be available UNTIL this Monday June 18th at 10:00 am by calling 480-440-2142. Get yer friends and your designated driver together and buy tickets now. I anticipate a very quick sellout. Surprise guest now pending!! May be c:onsidering post film night ride
VISIT THE OFFICIAL MOVIE WEBSITE
We are now in a relationship -SALSA CYCLES and SUNDAY CYCLES- A marriage made on the road less traveled.
We are now in a relationship
-SALSA CYCLES and SUNDAY CYCLES-
A marriage made on the road less traveled.
Sunday Cycles now carries SALSA CYCLES. The official bike of adventurers and The Tour Divide. Come by and check out the line that is SALSA CYCLES!!!
WHY WE CARRY SALSA BIKES
Their tag line says it all… “Adventure by Bike” That is what Salsa is all about and you can see it through their bikes! That is why we love Salsa bikes… Get on one and start your adventure
Ross Shafer built his first road frame in Paradise, California in 1976, and continued to build them under the Red Bush banner between carpentry and bike shop jobs. He finally started building frames full-time when he got a job as head frame builder at Santana Cycles. During that time, he built his first off-road bike (1981) using 650 B wheels.
After a year at Santana, Shafer turned his frame building skills to mountain bikes. Subsequently, Salsa Cycles was born with six custom built bikes utilizing personalized seat angles and the 71-degree head angle Shafer still uses today. His experience with riding road bikes in the dirt convinced him that a mountain bike’s ideal geometry lay somewhere between the steepness of modern road bikes and the slack angles predominant on the mountain bikes of the day.
To further enhance the proper fitting of the frames, he started making custom stems in 1982. Salsa Stems emerged in 1984 as Shafer entered the market of quality cro-moly stems and production frames. Later that year he also introduced the roller cable guide.
He produced 100 Ala Carte production frames before stopping to concentrate on manufacturing stems and producing custom frames. The mass-produced frames reappeared in 1987, due to popular demand.
He designed one of the earliest butted cro-moly handlebars in 1987, which was then made by Tru Temper, and the next year a lighter bulged version was introduced.
This was also the year he began sponsoring the first all-women mountain bike racing team and became an official supplier of stems to the U.S. Olympic team time trial squad.
Fast foward to 2011…Although he now is charged more and more with managerial duties and less with custom frame building, Shafer continues to develop new products. The new Salsa line up is wonderful example of what Salsa is, the man, and the bike.
So New Years Day Eve, I had the bug again. That damn fat bike touring bug. I took a couple of friends (“rookies”) up into the Seven Springs Wilderness area and we road Jeep trails through riverbeds into the night.
I couldn’t stop thinking, “I should really get my overnight pack and ride this trail to Flagstaff sometime soon”. As if The cycling gods heard my cry, one day later my friends from Mexico post yet another great analysis of our Mexico Fat Bike Trip. For those that said they wanted more…………
More Mexico adventures, as seen and told by my buddy Devon Balet. Great job capturing some key moments.
Its’s going to be 70 and sunny here in Phoenix today. One of those days that the gifts of life are too many that they keep you from getting out and riding. On a day like this, I could easily get five or six hours of saddle time without batting an eye. I plan on riding December 31st and January 1st as I want to start and finish each year doing what I love the most.
Ever have one of those days, some of those days, too many of those days in a row when you walk past your bikes and feel guilty? Mere mortals can’t comprehend or understand, it’s a cyclist thing, regardless of your level.
For me, my bikes are like my dog. I feel a need to take em out once a day, run em around, work em til their tongue flops out of their mouths. When I don’t, just like my dog, they just stare at me, with that sad long handlebar face, slumping tubes and all. As if they are saying “Joe, are we going for a ride, huh, hey Joe, oh were you walking to the door, or by the door. Please, please, please, take me for a fricking ride, squirell”
Maybe it’s just me, but my bikes need to go out once a day, or they’ll poo and pee all over my house and tear all the Dirt Rag magazines up.
GET OUT AND RIDE, YOU BOTH NEED IT!!
HOLY SMOKES !! My buddy Corb is here at Sunday Cycles, We helped him build a custom 26″ mountain bike wheelchair handcycle. He just turned me onto this, and I just lost it. Epic coolness
Scroll down to the handycle with the Larry 3.8 tire. Click on the link for the Explorer 2! Oh dear me that is. cool. Click on the link for the Explorer 2!
Behold the Uber Pug!!
What a long strange trip it’s been. Two years ago today, we opened our little bike shop with 12 bikes on consignment, one stand, and a couple accessories. The economy was at it’s worst, and the holiday shopping season was over.
A wing and a prayer, that’s what we opened with. No money in the bank, no big mack daddy bank roll, or big time backer. Just a couple dudes with a dream, and just dumb enough to pursue it. I’m amazed every day at how far we have come in so many ways. We truly are the Peach Pit, The Regal Beagle, The Cheers to our Bad News Bears. The last two years have been an “organic” experience. I couldn’t have, no matter how hard I tried, wrote the script for this place. Our customers, their experiences, their bikes, and their needs are what truly dictated where this shop has gone and is going.
We have remodeled, three times. We have repainted twice, added 2 more stands, a 16 foot coffee bar, dropped three brands of bikes, and picked up 15 more. We won local accolades, sponsored charity rides for Parkinsons and other causes, built a kick ass cycling team full of podium finishers, and great cyclists of all levels. We have fed beer and hot dogs to hundreds and hundreds of weary cyclists at races with our “Famous Sunday Cycles Weenie Wagon” and adult beverages. We have lost friends, and made new ones. We have sent customers to Iraq and Afghanistan, and seemingly got different ones back from the same war. We have added Blake Tilker, probably one of the best mechanics, wheel builders, and over all great guys in the state. We have sponsored two RAAM teams and sent our mechanics out to wrench for some of the best cyclist in the country. We have been top five fundraisers for the Tour De Cure for Diabetes. We have, with the help of our customers, donated over 130 bikes to needy children. We sponsor and support military cycling teams nationwide. We have had cycling legend John Howard teach fit to our staff and personally fir over 15 people in our store. We have just come so far in two years.
We also need to give credit to a few friends who have helped us out greatly along the way, and without their support, we wouldn’t be who we are today:
So where do we go now? What direction do we head? We say, just keep it organic, let the tides decide. Do what we do: Love bikes, love our customers, love making races fun, keep trying to be better, different , pioneers and visionaries. Keep trying to build the Phoenix cycling community, and overall, just keep doing what the shop tells us. Heck, any idiot can do this, we’ve proven it!!
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all for everything, it’s you who kept our door open, it’s you who believes in us, it’s you who is Sunday Cycles, and for that we are grateful. Please, continue to join us as we grow. There are some amazing new things happening for Sunday Cycles and this community in 2012, just you watch. Continue to give us feedback, gripes, low blows, and purple nurples. Continue to write good reviews, give referral, and bring friends in. But most important, sticking with our motto “cash or company, we’ll take either”, just hang out, often, and without intent. Our house is your house, always has been, always will be. Welcome Home!!
Thanks and Happiest of Holidays,
Joe Berman and Jay Levine
Thanks to a crosstown ride from Boulders On Broadway, we headed out, the four of us, Travis Mcmaster, Dirty Biker, Devon Balet, and myself, for what would be 6 days of fat bike hustling across the desert and muddy ocean deltas of Sonora B.C. Mexico. With the two Surly Pugsleys, and the two Salsa Mukluks in two, it was on.
We show up at Nenas Mexico shuttle service with a reservation for four and bikes. We arrive at this shady little strip center on the west side of Phoenix that looks more like Mexico than Mexico itself. Corny, the owner tells us that the shuttle they use won’t work for us, and that if we come around back we can check out the 1992 Chevy Astrovan that can take us and our bikes across the border. This thing is sitting on blocks, with the drive-train laying on the ground and some dude wrenching away underneath it. He tells us that we all have to pay double and the back seat could come out to accommodate our fat bikes, to which we obliged, and proceeded to wait for the drive train to be reattached, the oil changed, and the battery jumped. Roar, this piece of shit fires up, we pile in, and proceed towards La Cholla Mexico drinking beers with the driver all the way!!!
Long story short, we roll into La Cholla Mexico around 10:30 at night, ride a few miles and find ourselves pouring back a few shots and some fine Indio cerveza. We are told by the locals that we could safely sleep on a playground up the street. We head out around midnight, find camp, and post up for the night. This town was bare, nothing but empty homes, which seems to be a common theme in Mexico.
We awoke the next morning to an oncoming downpour. Sheets of rain, sleet, and hail pouring down on what is to be our first day of 200 some odd miles of bike touring through muddy bogs, dirt roads, highways, and beaches. Finally, around noon, the rain ceases and we head out through huge puddles on what would be four-six hours of thick, exhausting, and challenging beach/mud bogging.
The beach was tacky as can be, fun to ride on, and huge. It seemed to go from sea to shore for a good quarter mile plus, at points even more. This was no stroll in San Diego people. At certain areas, we would have to pedal so hard for a good 1000 yards, that if you stopped, you and the bike would sink two feet deep. All you could do was drop to the granny gear and pedal like you were pedaling a Mack truck up a big hill. At the end of each of these bogs, you felt more and more invigorated, yet exhausted each time. My chamois was rubbing me dry, and the burning was becoming unbearable. Dirty reached into his ditty and pulled out a small tube of Dznuts medictaed chamois cream, what turned out to be the unsung hero of my trip, and on we rode, painlessly there-after. Remember, my “clown”bike was weighing in at an easy 65 pounds with all the gear I had packed, and with the 3.8 inch tires at 10 psi, we did our best to float along whenever possible.
I was so grateful to have my Keen Springwater cycling shoes with me. I highly recommend them for this type of adventure as they resisted water well, dried very quick, were super cush to walk in, and had an awesome toe overlap that came in hand time after time.
As we rode along the delta, we jokingly laughed about whether or not you could get a flat on seas shells, as we literally rode almost what seemed a virtual road of shells for quite some time. No sooner did the laughing end,, then Travis got himself what would be our first of 7 flats for this trip. Flats are part of the deal, but fat bike flats, combined with 65 pound bikes, and exhaustion, make for a lot of work, and lots of mental defeatism. I’ve met guys that were chick magnets, but my buddy Devon Balet is truly a “flat magnet”.
These deltas were amazingly challenging. To give you an idea of just how tiring and challenging the terrain was, we found that given their size and difficulty, it was easier to lay the bikes down and waid through the fingers of ocean that separated the delta. We would be searching in turns for a quick route through the ocean at waist level, rather than ride an extra half mile round trip around the fingers. All in all, the first day was en eye opener. About 12-15 miles in 5-6 hours of hardcore mud bogging, delta fording, and adjusting, to what would be the beginning of 4 more days of fat tire bliss.
The night came to an end as we “borrowed” shelter behind a sandy knoll on a seemingly abandoned ranch that we borrowed for the night. It was 6:00, freezing cold, literally, and dark. I was so beat and poorly prepared for the amount of calories we were burning already, that I literally just fell over twice in the last 10 minutes of the leg of the first day. I was grateful to stop, pull off my shoes, and jersey and let my amazing, and lifesaving Smartwool underwear, tee-shirt, socks, and arm warmers do what they do best, not stink and dry fast. As the sunset, we watched dolphins and cranes playfully celebrating our first day of fat tire bliss in the sunset. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.