November 27, 2014
Take a minute or two today to give thanks.
Thanks for your new touring skis, your new featherweight boots, or the Barthels' inspired creation of Dynafit bindings. Thanks for friends you trust with your life when you ski off the beaten track. Thanks for mountains and snow and the health and fitness to scale them and slide down. And thanks for the snow that hopefully will start falling tomorrow . . .
November 19, 2014
The normal pattern of November storms combined with freezing weather in the Pacific Northwest just hasn't materialized so far this year. Either it's been wet and warm, or bitterly cold and dry.
Kevin and I grew tired of waiting and headed to Mt. Rainier's Nisqually Chutes for a quick fix today. Despite sheets of ice on the paved trail and a rather sketchy traverse of the Pan Face in trail runners (Yaktrax or real crampons would have been welcome), we tromped over the sparse snowpack on a rare nearly deserted day at Paradise. The chute yielded some 2,000 ft. of firm but carvable smooth snow, and we beat it down the mountain before the weather started to roll in. Hopefully the freezing levels will stay low enough to lay down some white stuff this weekend . . .
November 16, 2014
What a difference a few months makes.
When I stopped by the new evo Portland store in mid-August, the building was a gutted shell and workers were just finishing pouring the concrete in the drive. Thanks to a Herculean effort by management, contractors and freshly-hired staff, the new store on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Southeast Portland opened its doors for business about two weeks ago, and interest has run high among customers, competitors and ski industry types. I've got a vested interest in the success of the store, and have been itching to come down and check it out "in the flesh."
Lindsay and I got our chance this weekend when, after a busy day at work on Saturday, we bombed down I-5 (more like "lurched" until Tacoma, actually), arriving fashionably late around 8:40 to join several hundred other party-goers waiting to get in the door. After about 45 minutes standing in near-freezing temperatures (puffy coats were the order of the evening) under the watchful eyes of Portland Fire Department officers, I managed to get inside the store (Lindsay got too cold and went to check in at our hotel), where I found the vast majority of the full-time evo staff from Seattle as well as most of the ski industry reps we deal with. Stoke was high, even in the 15 minute line for beer and even longer line for the bathroom.
The highlight of the evening was perhaps the musical talent - several of us had jokingly suggested booking this act for the grand opening earlier in the year - and damn, Bryce and Co. delivered once again.
Yeah, I know the timing's a little off, but if you ride your bike much I know you're going to need some bike clothing at some point. Here's your chance to kit up in a genuine O'Brien Cycles/randosaigai.com jersey and shorts combo that will set you apart from the crowd and make those miles that much more comfortable. O'Brien Cycles is my longtime friend Mike O'Brien's custom framebuilding business, and Randosaigai is essentially me. I incorporated elements of this website like the "home" Chinese caligraphy in the design of the kits, and did a subtle re-design of the O'Brien logo for the clothes and Mike's new decals.
The clothes are made to order by real Americans at Voler in California, and ship approximately a week after you pull the trigger on an order. Here's the link to the Voler
I've been riding these kits all season and they're fantastic. These are "race cut" clothes and have a snug fit - hit me up with questions about fit or performance using the link at the bottom of this page (sorry, it's a long way down). I think you'll like them. Now for the good news - as a reader of randosaigai.com, you're eligible for "Pro Form" pricing on these clothes. Use the code "OBR" (no quotes) in step #2 of the checkout and you'll receive a roughly 33% - 35% discount on the prices. That's right, the $75 jersey goes down to $50 and the $89 bibs are $55!
Previous Incoming Pages:
China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom
"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the randosaigai.com link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .
© 2016 Gregory C. Louie