Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Manufacture

For the past four years of my tenure in the Bike Industry I have been traveling to places far east where nearly all bicycle product consumed on this earth is produced, Taiwan and Mainland China. For those four years I have been carrying a camera with me, dutifully capturing photos of product in process to relay to brand and product manager's. Much like the "in-process" photos that are seen posted of an American Craft Builders work these photos excite and provide insight into how stuff is made. As I work more in this Industry and put more projects under my belt I continue to be excited by the in-process product. However in my last few trips I have been more intentional of not only catching the product, but also the machinery and tools that are used to create it. I've gathered a few of my favorite photos from these trips. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bayfield Penninsula

This past weekend Anni and I headed North with friends to the Chequamegon Forest and the Bayfield Penninsula. To say the least the weekend was fantastic! Tim and Odia are incredible hosts at their families home on Lake Namekagon inviting us for a weekend of hiking, skiing, and sampling of local beers.

Friday night we left MPLS around 7- throwing gear and skis in their car. Saturday AM we woke up to 20F and relatively calm on the lake. Odia made some incredible cornmeal waffles while Tim fried up the bacon and I made coffee.

After much procrastinating and good company we drove to Washburn, WI to sign up for the night's activity "Book Across the Bay". The walk, run, or ski event raises money for the local library and provides a good excuse to setup a 10k course on the bay using ice luminaries. This year the bay was especially icy after early February's thaw leaving it difficult to lay course and impossible to lay track for classics.

Along the way Porter put his auto in the ditch on a slick corner, narrowly missing a sign using the e-brake to control the slide. It was classic, Tim called it as we drifted through the corner ahead of him. I looked back to see what looked like a turn onto a side street. Well done maneuvering and luck made it easy enough to push him out.

After signing up for the "race" we drove over the the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for a hike along the sandstone bluffs in and out of the caves that are only accessible via kayak in the summer and a walk on the frozen ice in the winter.

Anni and I had visited the shore 3+ years ago when we were first married on a drive back from our wedding. We had taken a few days off after the wedding for a mini honeymoon that served as placeholder for the trip we took to Hawaii later that year. It was fall last time we visited. The colors were on their way out and winter was on its way in. At the time we both said "We should come back sometime in the winter to see the ice caves". It took us 3 years to get back.
The bluffs and caves themselves are beautiful. The ice formations create small caverns that would make for good winter camping. We climbed around for several hours before heading back to the car for the short drive back to Washburn for skiing.

Skiing was good, but uneventful sans the bruises from falling on the ice. Thanks Tim, I really wanted to see your ass! Dinner was more eventful with samplers of beer and thick king cuts of Prime Rib at the South Shore Brewery in Ashland.

A fantastic valentine's weekend as far as I'm concerned!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Weekend in the North Woods

This weekend Anni and I headed up to the Northwoods with a fantastic group of friends. Thursday AM I was picked up by Ryan. After loading our gear we headed North on 35W towards Duluth. Funny thing is we were detoured off route in Hinckley for the legendary Thickburger.
"I think I'm in Love!"

After hitting the liquor store in Duluth, the grocery store in Two Harbors, and Lou's Fish House for some Beef jerky and smoked Salmon we b-lined for Lutsen Resorts.

The Lovely Becca showing off the apples

If you have never done this drive, it is incredibly scenic. The day was beautiful, and the sites incredible.

Friday was spent hitting the slopes. I hadn't touched my board in 4 years. It was good to get out and get some form back. Not good form, but some form.

Saturday was spent on the skinny ski's . Anni , Sean, and I did about 10K, somewhat inadvertently. The weather was fantastic, in the 20's and the snow was good. Thinking we were doing a loop I lead the group. After some questioning of my lead and a map that said otherwise we stopped for a rest and to enjoy the trail beer that Sean had packed.
Evenings were spent making good food, drinking good beer, hot tubs, and general shenanigans. There was also a viewing of this. It comes highly recommended.

This may become an annual. It may not. This is the kind of trip that makes great memories.