2 Wheeled Freedom
September 07, 2011
With the hectic summer event season tapering down, my wife and I both booked a week off and decided to head somewhere on our bikes. Our original plans were to fly back East and ride from Montreal to Quebec City, but when we found out airline tickets for us and our bikes were going to be in excess of $1800, we decided to look closer to home. With a bit of route discussion we decided to keep it real simple and aim South out the front door. Linking up with the Vancouver to Seattle Ride to Conquer Cancer route, then cutting through Seattle and hooking up with the Cascade Bike Clubís STP, or Seattle to Portland route, off we went.
Luckily we were blessed with a week of great weather. I never had to add anything more to my lightweight cycling kit than arm warmers for the cooler morning starts. It was shorts and short sleeve shirts for the entire trip. Rolling South through Washington State, along the quiet farm roads made for some excellent riding. The combination of the 2 routes kept us off all major roads and even peppered in some paved converted rail bed trails, lots of bike lanes and extra pretty highlight spots I would never see from my car.
My freedom machine packed for the road
I think it took a few days to really sink in but the epiphany hit me (again), a bike is the ultimate freedom machine. They are quiet, smooth, relatively quick, but not so quick that you canít smell the flowers, feel the temperature change as you cross a small creek on a farm road, and still get a wave back from the farmers out in their tractors working their fields. Pretty soon we had a good system of packing up and being on the road by 8:00 or 8:30, riding till about 10:30 before a leisurely coffee stop at some small town or roadside cafe. Another hour or two of riding would have us taking a good lunch stop, then an afternoon pedal would seem to take us to a grassy park or spot to relax for a short siesta, then the final easy roll to our final planned destination. Without trying really hard we rode in the 80-100 km range pretty much every day, and still had lots of time to really enjoy the ride, see the sights, stop whenever we wanted and really take it all in.
Sampling some of the awesome micro-brews, Hub Brewery, Portland
7 fun days later we rolled into Portland Oregon, one of the most bike friendly cities Iíve been in. We spent the next few days pedaling around town, checking out some of the many awesome micro-brews and even took in the Bridge Festival Ride along with 10,000 or so other riders. Hopping onto Amtrak-VIA rail back to Vancouver (super easy with bikes and gear), then pedaling right back to our house completed the circle. 10 days, 735 kms fun, fun, fun.
So, if you are ever thinking of changing things up a bit, leave your car at home. Hop on that trusty 2 wheeled friend of yours and let the tailwinds take you somewhere. Even if you have driven there before, it will be way different and 100% better on 2 wheels.
Happy riding. Sunny skies and tailwinds to you all.
A Closer look into the 2012 Norco Aurum
September 07, 2011
The 2012 Norco Aurum is a result of the partnership between Norco's Engineering Team and the Dirt Norco Race Team. What looks like a slick DH rig from afar gets even more interesting as we move in to look a little closer. The attention to detail and engineering that has gone into this bike truly does set it apart from all the other bikes available. Have a quick read through a few highlights on what has gone into making this amazing bike.
Gravity Tune is a totally new philosophy on bike sizing. Through a unique and innovative bottom bracket forging, the Norco Aurum has a modified front-centre and rear-centre for each size of bike. While most bikes will change the top tub length as a bike gets bigger, the Aurum is designed to offer the same centre of balance for a short rider as it does for a tall one. Through Gravity Tune, every rider has the perfect weight distribution for their preferred bike size.
The 2012 Norco Aurum is also outfitted with the optimized FSR A.R.T. Suspension design. Compared to the Team DH of years' past, the Aurum has a much more rearward axle path and significantly more chain growth. These two features lead to excellent square-edge bump compliance, improved anti-squat and the virtual elimination of brake jack.
In addition to the big changes such as Gravity Tune and A.R.T, the attention to detail in the 2012 Norco Aurum is outstanding. Through the frame there are small features such as integrated fork bumpers, integrated seatpost clamp, a tapered headtube, slotted hardware, a one piece linkarm and post-mount brakes that compound to offer an incredibly, light, strong and intuitive design.
The 2012 Norco Aurum is the most sophisticated downhill bike we have ever manufactured. This bike is fast and we want you to be as excited as we are about it!
The 2012 norco.com - I Like This
September 07, 2011
The 2012 norco.com is up and running and there are a few changes that will make your online experience all the much better. From Facebook integration, selection tools and overall appearance, this is the best norco.com yet. Here are a few highlights.
New for the 2012 site comes facebook integration. On every bike in the lineup you can like, comment and share your thoughts. If you think that this year's Aurum is the best thing since sliced bread, tell your friends. Your opinion, thoughts, and suggestions will be hosted right on the individual bike pages of norco.com. Go find your favorite bike and let us know why it is the best a bike can be.
An interactive bike finder has been built into norco.com where you can choose your perfect bike based on a variety of variables such as price, weight, colour, travel or other important differentiators. This is a super-intuitive means of finding the best bike for your individual needs.
The bike comparison tool has had a redesign as well. Here you can choose your favorite models to compare side by side. Compare prices, spec, weights and more with the compare tool. This is accessible from any individual bike page.
While it isn't totally new, it is worthwhile also checking out the technology section of the Norco website. This is where you can learn about the materials, engineering and design behind many of our bikes. From Carbon to suspension, feature integration and aesthetics, here is a tool for you to keep on the up-and-up on what goes into a Norco bike.
Head on over to Norco.com and have a peruse, see what is new, what is easier to use and what the bikes look like in the year to come. Remember to tell us what you like as well!