CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter

Oct coverv1IN THIS ISSUE:

RIDE LEADER NOTES – The Thrill of the Mud
SHOP NEWS – Strava/2013 Bikes on Sale/Test the Best
TEAM NOTES – Washougal Race Report
SURVEY – What Keeps You Inside?


The Thrill of the Mud

by Roger Colwell 

It comes in many forms: The ishy, squishy, slippery kind. The clumping, sticky, cloying kind. The kind that makes its way into your every mucous membrane, usually on a nasty day in the mountain bike saddle. The yellowish kind that leaves behind an imprint of your tire or your shoe.. The black kind. The brown, brown, brown kind. The kind that surrounds puddles and makes them impossible to avoid without getting wet or getting dirty.


It’s mud I’m talking about, and there’s plenty of it to go around…especially in the last week or two.

The other day I happened to see an advertisement for a local spa’s mud body cocoon, whereupon you are “slathered with a mud mask, then wrapped for 20 minutes to keep you warm. The product is rinsed off before you receive an application of lotion.”

Sounds nice, but I think I’ll stick to the cyclist’s tried and true methods of communing with two of our most basic elements that blend to make the magical fall and winter elixir we call mud.

On a road bike, mud typically isn’t the preferred travel surface. But transform that bike into a cyclocross machine, with treaded tires, disc brakes, and a beefy frame (amongst other enhancements), and you’ve got a ticket to ride the region’s knarliest mud fests this fall.

Of course, a trip to the trails on your mountain bike will give you an up close and personal look at the mud. Just try a descent down a few of Forest Park’s firelanes for a front-row seat.

While most folks try to avoid getting dirty, there’s something primal about embracing your inner youth and playing in the mud. It’s just a quick ride away.

Thanks for your continued support of Portland’s premier West Side, locally-owned bike shop.



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: The Soup Ride



One big climb highlights this 26.4-mile ride that heads south from our store. On your return trip, belly up to a bowl of soup at Fresh Thyme Soup Company (16155 NW Cornell Rd.) before you call it a day.

See the ride details here.



Kool Stop

Every bike needs a good set of brakes. But have you ever given much thought to the process of braking…how your brake pads rub against metal and cause your bike to slow?kool1

The folks at Lake Oswego’s Kool Stop have. Since 1978, when owner Richard Everett created an innovative take on the bicycle brake pad, Kool Stop has quietly been supplying the bicycle industry with some of the finest brake pads available. Over the years, Kool Stop has branched out into other products, even producing a baby jogger at one point. But producing quality brake pads has been their mainstay, a business model which continues today.

Stop into our store and let’s discuss why a tuneup…including a braking system overhaul…might be a good idea for your bike.



Strava Cycling ClubStrava-Logo-big-square-600x340

If you like to push yourself on training and club rides, it’s likely you’re no stranger to Strava, the free online community of cyclists where you can track and compare your riding performance. Using a GPS device (Garmin, Timex, or your phone), you keep track of your ride and then can view your performance online. Sunset Cycles has established a club within Strava where you can see neighbors and friends who patronize the store…sign up today at

2013 Bike Sale

We’re clearing out inventory to make room for 2014 models, and you win in this deal! Stop in today to take advantage of sales on all our 2013 models.

Test the Best

It’s here! Our friends from Specialized Bicycles are pulling into town with their mammoth truck packed to the brim with new bikes, ready for a test ride, stop in on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9th from 2 – 6pm and get ready to test the best. Don’t forget a helmet, shoes/pedals, and an ID.Test the Best--Specialized demo--Oct. 9th



Team rider Dan L. has seen the ups and downs of a racing season, and last week experienced more of the downs. Here’s another of his legendary race reports, this time from a tough cyclocross race in Washougal.


“I woke up early and felt awful. I would have bailed out in a second but my big mouth and email to the team had me worried that the derision from the team would be so much worse than anything that could happen on the course (I’m not sure this is correct). Me and my big mouth. Dragged my sorry butt out to the Washougal, found parking, registered, and was trying to get some kind of warmup when a friend from work showed up all bright eyed and busy tailed. I’ve been talking to him about mountain biking and cyclocross for about 3 years and he bought one of the Ridleys Roger had on special. He had no pedals and was still a little nervous to race so he came out to see me race….AWESOME! The course was on the parking field which seems to be a good 40 acres on a south slope, with a steep swale halfway down. Here is were the course designer got clever and put a ride up/down/up and lined it with orange fencing to form a perfect ‘N’ for the sponsor. This looked cool from the top of the course but would prove fatal for my race. It was raining a little but conditions were pretty good. I lined up with the clydesdales and took off at the start, but couldn’t find anything in the tank or legs and was off the main pack in the back quarter of the racers. A much more rolling course than bumpy, but that said, it’s still cyclocross. I was going downhill pretty strong but the uphills were hard. In my 3rd lap at the bottom of the ‘N’ my derailleur decided to divorce my bike and I was done. I don’t feel too bad because I was stinking up the course the way I was riding. Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes your the bug.”



Speak, oh ye denizens of the Sunset Cycles world! Give us your opinions on this month’s question…


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About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

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