CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter


RIDE LEADER NOTES – Vote for Sunset Cycles
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – Cranksgiving, Washco Style
GEARHEAD – Light It Up, v. 2.0
TEAM NOTES – Our 2012 Team Roster
ONE LAP – Cycling-related news from around the globe
SURVEY – What are You Thankful For?



Vote for Sunset Cycles

by Roger Colwell 

Today is a watershed day in America, repeated for the 57th time in our nation’s history: The U.S. presidential election. Based on my entirely unscientific poll, opinions are about as divided on the outcome of the election as they are on other important cultural and social issues–Campy versus Shimano, racing versus touring, or wool versus lycra, to offer a few examples.

Regardless of which way your own political winds blow, be assured that there’s someone at the water cooler, coffee shop, or online who is ready to tell you exactly why your opinion is the wrong one…and why you need to change your mind.

Fortunately, the bike business isn’t quite as nasty as the current political mudslinging that’s been jamming the airwaves lately. Of course, as in most retail environments, bike shops need to stay up-to-date on the latest cycling technology, brands, and service techniques if they want to remain competitive. And I like to believe that this is something Sunset Cycles does very well…being the best we can be in order to help you with just about any cycling need you might have.

When it’s time to convene at a local or national bike expo, or share information with other bike retailers at a vendor event, I’m happy to set aside my competitive nature and benefit from the accumulated knowledge of other bike shop owners. One of my favorite things about these events is the sharing of ideas and approaches to retailing I might never have considered. It’s sort of a “bipartisanship of bikes,” if you will. We can all stand to learn many valuable lessons from those across the aisle, in a competing business, or on a different team.

So whichever way you’ve decided to mark your ballot, take a breath today, and better yet…go for a ride, preferably with a friend. It will clear your mind, give you a chance to leave behind differences, and afford an opportunity to discuss the real important things in life: Saddle height, gearing ratios, tubeless tires, tread patterns, heart rate training, fender placement….

Thanks again for your continued support of Sunset Cycles. I approve this message.




Winter Rules

Annual weight gain, or “AWG” as we like to call it, starts with a modern version of water torture: The slow drip of candy and sweet snacks that make their way into our homes and workplaces around October 31st. AWG ramps up a few weeks later, rearing its ugly head as tables strain under the weight of turkeys, potatoes, and pies; climaxing in an gastronomic nuclear explosion formerly known as “December,” with aliases known to include “New Year’s Eve” and “Superbowl Sunday.”

For many riders, AWG isn’t a laughing matter, taking the form of 15 to 25 pounds that either claim permanent residence on our bodies or take a Herculean effort to shed. For competitive riders, a simple 3 to 5 pound gain, while paling in comparison, can take extra effort to drop…effort that might have otherwise been channeled into a solid winter riding regimen.

Even if you don’t see yourself as a competitive rider, there are many benefits to reducing your sugar and fat intake this holiday season:

  • Climbing is easier
  • Increased endurance (riding longer)
  • Better cycling efficiency (riding faster with lower energy output)

So, how do you hold back the attacking peloton of AWG? Here are a few strategies:

  • Hydrate! Fat-laden coffee drinks (egg nog latte, anyone??), alcohol at office parties, and soda all add up to extra, excess calories. Replace a few of these with water for an easy way to cut the calories.
  • Back off on the carbs, which typically fill the holiday plate. Replace with veggies and lean protein sources.
  • Keep riding. Regular cycling will keep your metabolism kicked in, even if you’re letting up on the off-season intensity. Dress for the season to help you enjoy the miles.
  • Just say no. Don’t feel obligated to eat or drink at every social engagement. A glass of water or light beverage in hand doesn’t mean the party isn’t fun!



Each month in CHAINRINGS, Sunset Cycles previews another great Washington County bike ride. With the varied terrain available in our area, each ride is certain to be a winner.

Our ride rating category is simple, ranging from one CHAINRING (easiest) to five CHAINRINGS (most challenging). Here’s the criteria:

One chainring: Flat ride, minimal climbing
Two chainrings: Rolling hills, short climbs
Three chainrings: Moderate hills, possibly some short, steep climbs
Four chainrings: Challenging terrain with numerous, longer climbs
Five chainrings: Very difficult terrain with numerous, steep, long climbs

This month’s ride: Cranksgiving, Washco Style


Time to dust off the bike trailer! This month’s 25-mile ride includes stops at three different Washington County food bank locations–Oregon Food Bank West, Our Place Christian Church, and the First Baptist Church of Hillsboro. Fill up the trailer or load up your panniers with non-perishables for a ride that will feel good for a variety of reasons. Note that much of this ride is flat and on heavily traveled roads…but it’s not really about the ride as much as it is about helping our neighbors who need it most. Thanks to Seattle’s CRANKSGIVING for the inspiration.

Here’s a link to full route directions and map.



Light It Up, v. 2.0

We could preach ad nauseum about the importance of cycling safety, especially during the dark winter riding of the Northwest. But instead of bludgeoning you with fenders, safety lights, and reflective gear, we’ll just highlight a few items we’ve been stocking lately that will make your riding more enjoyable.

The rechargeable CatEye Rapid 1

CatEye Rapid 1, 3, and 5

The Rapid series is an easy-to-use, inexpensive line of lights worth a look.

  • The Rapid 1 ($25) is a USB-rechargeable headlight (pictured here);
  • The Rapid 3 ($25), a 3 LED light with unique flashing patterns;
  • and the Rapid 5 ($30), a mount-anywhere light you’ll like if you need maximum visibility.

Endura Strike

Endura Strike Waterproof Gloves

Strictly speaking, they might not be ‘warm woolen mittens,” but the Strike Waterproof Glove from Endura might offer the best warm finger insurance this year. Features? Loaded with ’em!

  • Seam-sealed internal breathable waterproof membrane
  • Fast dry fleece inner
  • Stretch, wind-block fabric for dexterity and warmth
  • Deep neoprene wrist cuff to secure best fit
  • Double fleece wipe pads
  • Reflective piping and logo for visibility



Fourteen strong riders carried the banner of Sunset Cycles this year, doing battle at races throughout the region, participating in team rides, and acting as faithful Sunset Cycles ambassadors. We’ve featured a number of their stories here in Chainrings…tales filled with the drama and humor inherent in cycling. Now, we’d like to publicly recognize each of our Sunset Cycles team members by name and thank them for their contributions. Well done, gentlemen!

Andy Armstrong
Dan Lautenbach
Jeff Otto
John Bennion
John Oh
John Weathers
Mark Loder
Mark Nielsen
Mike Daggett
Paul Greenwalt
Peter Nielsen
Robert Bennion
Russell Weyant
Sean Lemoine



It’s time for another lap!



In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’d like to know what you’re most thankful for.


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About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

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