Thursday, August 27, 2009

Japanese work bikes

There was an interesting post over at Copenhagen Cycle Chic recently called "Top 10 List of Gorgeous Bicycles for Stylish Ladies". It was great to see such an assortment of gorgeous bikes. The bikes were mostly European except for one bike from the US and one from Japan. The bike from Japan, Arrow Barkley is a stylish and minimalist bike, but I wasn't really sure it was the best Japan offered.

My personal preference of a stylish Japanese bike is the Japanese work bike.
As it is really made for actual work, it's not thought to be something stylish to ride around town on, but I like their old school looks and ruggedness. I'm not sure if these bikes meet the criteria of being "Gorgeous Bicycles for Stylish Ladies", but I thought I'd show a few of them as I'm not sure people outside Japan know about these kinds of bikes.

Bridgestone Jupiter

Bridgestone is world famous for their car tires, but they make bicycles as well. Their bicycle division in Japan is over a half century old (since 1949) and they had a US division directed by Grant Peterson (who now runs Rivendell Bicycle Works) from mid 80's to mid 90's. The Bridgestone Jupiter is typical of Japanese bikes which is made for carrying heavy loads. The rear rack and stand is different than those of European bikes. The rear rack is not made for pannier bags, but is made to carry things on top of it which is why it's so wide. You will see working people carrying all kinds of things on a bike like this in Japan from Sake, fish, tofu, etc. The stand which is attached near the rear spindle is bulky, but will stand the bike upright perfectly, so there is no worry about the bike falling over with a heavy load.

Panasonic Regular

Panasonic, the electronics giant makes bicycles as well although compared to Bridgestone, I'm not sure if they are as serious as a bicycle manufacturer. The
Panasonic Regular is very much similar to the Bridgestone Jupiter, but I think the Jupiter looks a bit classier than the Regular.

These two bikes are ones that are currently still available, but I really like older bikes of this type like this one I spotted in front of Inoda Coffee in Kyoto last Winter.

Inoda Coffee

This bike has the good old rod brakes instead of the cable cantilever types. While the cable brakes may be superior in performance, rod brakes look really awesome on these bikes, I think.

Bridgestone News-kuru

This is another bike by Bridgestone which is made specifically for newspaper delivery. As you can see, it has a very large front basket to put newspaper for easy access. Usually a delivery person will carry newspaper both front and on the back. It also has a lever on the handle bar to lock out the front wheel, so that it won't fall over with the weight of a loaded basket when you get off the bike.

Panasonic Business ViVi

This is the Panasonic ViVi which is not really as nice looking as the others and I wouldn't really want to ride it myself, but I thought I would mention it because it's an electrically assisted bike which are becoming increasingly popular in Japan especially as working bikes. I'm not against electric bikes, but it would be nice if they can make them as nice looking as the others. They can start by replacing that chain case.

As I am now in the US and can't just go out and spot old work bikes in the street, but the next time I'm there, I will look for them and document them.

I've been thinking when I move back to Japan and if I could get a second bike, I would love to get a used work bike and fix it up nicely. They are made for work and people don't treat them like they might treat an expensive road bike, but if I get one, I will definitely take great care of it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ride to the Multnomah Falls

Sorry this isn't a post by Kao. I'm sure most of you enjoy Kao's posts a lot more than mine as Kao's posts are short and sweet, but mine (probably) tend to be long and boring. Kao has been busy with other things, but I'm sure she will write here again soon.

On this past Sunday, I went on what was by far the most scenic ride as far as I can remember. I have gone to some very scenic places on occasion, but I can't remember a time when I have done so riding my bike. This is due mostly (so I thought) to the fact that I don't live near enough to such places to be able to ride my bike there and when I travel, I don't take my bike with me, so I usually end up getting there by car or train.

ride to Multnomah Falls
(view of Columbia River from Rooster Rock Rd.)

So, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I went on this ride to the Multnomah Falls that a view like this above picture was waiting for me along the way.

This was something I had been wanting to do ever since I noticed the "ride to Colmbia River Gorge" listing in the Pedalpalooza calendar of events. At the time, I contemplated taking part in it, but thought it was maybe a bit beyond my abilities at that time as I hadn't ridden anywhere as far as they were going, but it had been in the back of my mind all Summer. I thought now as we are nearing the end of August and I have been riding longer distances lately, so I thought I was ready and this was a good time to go for it.

The major obstacle in getting to the Historic Columbia River Highway is that there is about 10 miles (it feels much longer) of sprawl outside of central Portland before you get there. I did >an entire ride in this sprawl before and I didn't wish to do it again anytime soon, so I took the Max (light rail train) from Rose Quarter to Cleveland Avenue to bypass most of that sprawl.

View Larger Map

I'll go through my ride in detail just in case anyone reading this might want to try it. I looked for some information online the night before and I found some here, but some of the names of places didn't seem to match up when I looked it up on Google maps and it seemed the beginning part of it could be simpler if I took a different route.

From the Cleveland Ave. Max station, I rode North on Cleveland Ave. to Stark Street. Once you get to Stark Street, all you need is to follow it to the Sandy River Bridge, cross it and turn right onto the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway.

View Larger Map

I'm not sure if the route suggested by Portland office of Transportation is more bike friendly as I didn't ride it, but I think my way is way simpler to remember and it didn't seem to bad (on a Sunday at least).

Once you're on the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway, all you need to do is follow directions which are very clearly displayed, so there is little chance of getting lost. This is no Sunday stroll though. There is plenty of climbing as you can see in this elevation profile below.

The first climb up through the town of Corbett and up to Crown Point is mostly gradual, so it's not so difficult, but it's plenty long(about 6 or 7 miles). When you've made it to Crown Point, this is the view you will see.

ride to Multnomah Falls

Well, the view from the previous view point at Rooster Rock Rd. is maybe more breath taking. If you look closely, the building you see on the cliff on the right, that is where Crown Point is.

ride to Multnomah Falls

After Crown Point comes somewhat a steep downhill. It was steep and twisty enough that it slowed cars down and I was going downhill at about the same speed as them. It was easy enough to go down the hill, but the thought of having to come back up it later was a bit scary. After the descent, it's sort of rolling terrain mostly downward to the Multnomah Falls. I think the Pedalpalooza ride went a bit further (maybe to the Bonneville Dam?) and I felt I could ride further, but I decided to stop there as I knew I had to go back where I'd just rode and climbing up this side of Crown Point will be much tougher. I was ready for a break and some sightseeing seemed like fun.

ride to Multnomah Falls

So, this is the Multnomah Falls. Pretty impressive, isn't it? I had no idea what the Multnomah Falls was about. I thought it was maybe a man-made thing in the river, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this. I guess it's technically two falls made up of the upper and lower falls. You can hike up to the bridge you see in the picture above and see the fall up and close. I didn't do so, but I took this picture of Special K with the fall as my souvenir.

ride to Multnomah Falls

I walked around the area a bit, but other than the falls, all I found was a gift shop and a parking lot on the other side of the road. I wanted to find a relaxing spot to sit down, and the plastic patio furniture next to the gift shop didn't exactly seem quite enticing, so I got back on my bike and rode back about a quarter of a mile to the Wahkeena Falls which had a picnic area adjacent to it. I went straight to the picnic area and found a picnic table. It wasn't too crowded, so I didn't feel bad about taking a whole table to myself.

ride to Multnomah Falls

Lunch time! with a sandwich, plum, some sweets, peanuts and coffee.
In my "racing" days, I would've never carried this much food with me as it would weigh me down, but these days, I don't care about the weight so much as being able to enjoy food after some riding. And it always tastes so good after a "bit" of exercise. I even read the book I brought with me "The Long Emergency" for a bit after lunch. It's a book about what will happen in the upcoming future when the world's supply of oil start to run out. The author James Howard Kunstler predicts that we will not be able to carry on as we do today driving cars everywhere, transporting goods globally, etc. As I read this book, I look around and see people carrying large amount of food they couldn't eat all of, back to their cars and I think this kind of scenery which is perfectly normal today may become a thing of the past if and when the Long Emergency comes.

After the break, I went to the other side of the road and checked out the Wahkeena Falls.

ride to Multnomah Falls

It's not a huge fall over a cliff like the Multnomah, but this was a very charming fall in the woods. (ed. I've noticed here that if I had gone further up a bit, I would've seen a bigger water fall)

After that last bit of sightseeing, it was time to ride back and up over the Crown Point.

ride to Multnomah Falls

As you can see the road is well covered with trees and a lot of it has old stone fences with moss growing over it. It's definitely a very pleasant place to ride a bike. The only thing is that there is quite a bit of climbing. I don't know how it is for others, but I sort of enjoy it. You can get into a comfortable gear and get into a good rhythm if the gradient is steady, but this climb was longer than anything I'd ridden for some time, so by the end of it, I was having a hard time keeping going. I eventually made it over Crown Point and after that was mostly downhill although it didn't seem all that easy. This was an area with lots of farms and I spotted a man selling corn on the side of the road. He was selling corn 5 for $1. It was such a bargain and I missed the Sunday farmers market for this ride, so I got 5 corn on the cob which was about all I could fit into my pannier bag.

ride to Multnomah Falls

It seemed still quite a ways from there back down and to the Max station in Gresham. And the Max ride was much more crowded and not quite relaxing. After the 40 minute ride on the Max, I had like a 7 minute ride home from there, but my legs felt totally wooden and it was hard to pedal. I'm glad I didn't go further than the Multnomah Falls, as I would've been even more tired if I did that. The ride was supposed to be 18 miles each way which adds up to 36 miles there and back, but it really felt like a lot more. It's hard to believe I used to ride 30 miles on a daily basis back in college. I left a little before 11am and got home after 5pm, so I was out there for like 6 hours. If I subtract the Max trips and the lunch break, it's still about 4 hours and I think that's about as much biking as I can or want to do in a single day for now. It was a great ride though with the most beautiful scenery I've biked through since I've moved here to Portland. It maybe a bit challenging, but you don't necessarily have to ride all of it like me. You can drive up the highway and just ride a part of it. I am not a car enthusiast and I think people should drive much less in general, but it's a beautiful place to ride and if you are not confident about being able to ride the whole distance, I think it's worth it to drive to a point and ride it.

I definitely recommend checking out the ride if you come to Portland and want to
venture out of the city a bit or if you live in Portland, but haven't ridden there yet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The escape and return to the Tour de Fat

I went to the Tour de Fat event here in Portland this past Saturday. I'm sure most people know what that's about, but just in case you don't, it's sort of a pro-bike event put on by the New Belgium Brewing Company with a bike parade, performances and of course beer.

Tour de Fat Portland 2009

I got there a bit too late to see the parade, but it was still relatively early. I went inside the event area and there were people dressed up as they were just in a bike parade and there was some stuff going on the stage and it seemed like people were having fun, but it was hard to tell what was going on.

Tour de Fat Portland 2009

It was a bit early to drink beer and I couldn't get into the performance stuff that was going on, but there was this area where you could ride a bunch of "funny" bikes. Bikes that have been modified in funny ways and seemed to ride very differently than how we expect bicycles to ride.

Tour de Fat Portland 2009

I didn't ride one myself, but it was fun just watching people get a kick out of them.

Tour de Fat Portland 2009

The vibe was mostly peaceful and if I was there with others, it would have been fun to kick back and drink beer. There was a lot of bike enthusiasts and bikes, but then other than the Sprockettes who were supposed to perform later on that day, the performances didn't seem to have much to do with bikes. I sort of felt like there was something missing (like the actual bike riding). So, I decided to go and ride my bike. Well, I sort of planned that before and looked up the map for a good destination.

View Larger Map

So, I decided to go to the Kelly Butte Park which was a park I hadn't been to and wasn't too far. I didn't feel like riding too far, but wanted to go somewhere I hadn't been to. I'd been going to all the parks around Portland as I like parks and usually they offer a quiet and pleasant place to take a break. Though some of them turned out to be more like an undeveloped nature reserves and not really made for humans to rest at. Kelly Butte Park turned out to be sort of in-between.

As I turned off the Divsion St. onto 103rd Ave, the road turned upwards so much that I was in my lowest gear and needed to zigzag my way up. I came to a gate which completely closed off car traffic. I had to get off and carry my bike over the gate to go further. I rode the steep hill a few hundred feet more and came to an open space which sort of looked like a lawn, but was full of wild flowers.

Kelly Butte Park

I laid in the middle of it for a while as the short steep hill really took it out of me. There was not one person there besides me and it was a nice change from the event.

I noticed that there was a trail leading into the trees an decided to go an see what's there.

Kelly Butte Park

There were lots of trees covered in some algae(?) like stuff and flowers I hadn't seen before. I decided to play "nature photographer" and took some pictures.

Kelly Butte Park

Kelly Butte Park

The place had a strange atmosphere to it, like if it was darker and colder, it could be a woods where witches lived.

Kelly Butte Park

Kelly Butte Park

I walked further to see if there was an opening with a view down below, but I couldn'd find it. So, it is a park where people must come sometimes, but not so much that they made special amenities for humans. I kind of felt like it's sort of a secret spot most people don't know about.

On my ride back, I got hungry and wondered what to do about it. Going home and fixing something was the obvious option, but much to my surprise, I found myself riding back to the Tour de Fat event.

I got there and it was still going on as before. I headed for the food and beer tents and got food and a pint of a New Belgium Stout. The beer was really delicious, but a bit expensive at $5. I think if you're promoting your product to possible new customers, the price should be a little friendlier. Either that or part of that $5 should go to bike advocacy. They had tip jars for the BTA (Bicycle Transportation Alliance), but I didn't feel quite generous enough to donate after I paid $5 for a beer.

I didn't mean to sound so negative about the event. Like I said, if I was there with others, I probably would have had a pretty good time. I think it's a fine event for people who it appeals to. If you like dressing up for a parade, watch vaudeville like performances and drink beer, this is the event for you. I like the beer drinking part definitely, but aside from the parade and the modified bikes, it didn't seem to have much to do with bikes. Maybe that's a good thing as it appeals to a wider audience and maybe show them how fun bike riding people are. I didn't see it happen, but there was a portion of the event which was called like "I WANT TO TRADE MY CAR FOR A BIKE!". I don't know how that turned out, but that would have been interesting to see. Everything about this event seems sort of "extroverted". If you want to dress up for the parade or give up your car in front of an audience, I guess this is appealing. I like riding my bike quite a bit, but I don't like dressing up and if I was making a big lifestyle change decision like giving up my car, I'm not sure that I would want to do it in front of a bunch of strangers. That's just me though. Oh, and one more thing which I thought was cool was, after I ate and drank, I went to throw out the dish and the cup I used and the staff person who was supervising the trash bins said to put all my trash in the compost bin. Apparently, everything I got within the premises were compostable. That's pretty cool.

Anyway, all in all a cool event.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bridge Pedal 2009

Hope you all had a great weekend. On Sunday, I rode my first (& maybe last?) Bridge Pedal.

For those of you who are not familiar with the event, it's an annual event here in which you ride over the numerous bridges that crosses the Willamette River that runs through the center of Portland. Some of those bridges are either totally inaccessible like freeways or have very limited access (with only a narrow sidewalk to ride on), so this event is the once a year opportunity where you can ride freely over all of the bridges without having to worry about car traffic.

Bridge Pedal - riding to the start

It started very early with sign-in from 6:30am an then starting at 7:00am. I'm usually still asleep so early on Sunday morning, so I didn't get quite enough sleep. There were 3 different distances from 14 to 38 miles and I took part in the 11 Bridge 38 mile ride. The starting point was already on the freeway. I rode up to the start and was probably in the first few hundred riders. When I looked back after a bit, it was cyclists as far as I can see. There were some 6000 people doing the ride and 20,000 people all combined for the event. It was by far the biggest cycling event I've ever taken part in.

Bridge Pedal - start!

We started at 7:00am and immediately went up and down on the freeway. It was very strange indeed to be riding on the freeway. The scale of the road is much bigger than what I'm used to and the pavement felt a bit rough in places too. Our side of the freeway was open just for us, but the opposite direction had the usual car traffic. I wonder what the drivers must have thought upon seeing us there. Most people on our ride seemed very athletic oriented and the pace was pretty fast and I was beginning to get passed by others. After we went over the river a few times over different bridges, we crossed the Sellwood Bridge which was the Southern most bridge in this ride and then we made our way up North. It was after we crossed the Hawthorne and Ross Island bridges that something seemed strange like I was riding the same route twice. There were cyclists on the same street but separated in the middle. I rode on the right side already, but this time I was on the left side. I asked a volunteer person about it and he told me that this was the red group (8 bridges ride) route and my group was on the other side. I should have known better than to listen to him, but I went the way that he said and I ended up doing the same loop again and came to the same exact place again.

Bridge Pedal - stopping on the freeway
(taking a break on Fremont Bridge, I-405)

It may have been a blessing in disguise though as people around me by then weren't as gung-ho as the front runners and I seemed to be going faster than most of them. It wasn't my initial intention to ride so fast, but riding in a large group does make you ride faster and it does feel good to be able to pass others. I was happy to find that I'm still faster than average going up hills too. After a few more crossings over the Willamette, there was a long flat stretch to the North and I seem to be uncharacteristically riding faster on the flat than those around me and so I might have ridden harder than I should have. We came to a climb up to the St. Johns Bridge which I didn't expect and I couldn't go up it like I did on the other climbs. I crossed the bridge and then I stopped at the rest stop in St. Johns soon after. I had a banana and an energy bar and it tasted soooo good! From there, I was more or less in survival mode and just managed to get to the finish.

Bridge Pedal - Finish!

I was dead tired and I couldn't believe when I looked at my watch, it was only 10:00am. It seemed a lot longer than just 3 hours. The ride was 38 miles, but with the extra loop and the ride home, I probably did like 45 miles altogether.

Anyway, it was an intense, but a fun ride. Maybe I didn't ride it as smart as I could, but it gave me a good idea of my fitness level and I feel like I can take on some longer rides now. I took some photos here and there, mostly during the first half of the ride. you can check them out in the slide show below or on flickr.

I'm really not a good photographer though and I was mostly preoccupied with riding to take time for good photography. There were plenty of places though that would have been great to take pictures at. You can check out KTesh's Bridge Pedal set on Flickr for more great pictures of the ride.

At the beginning, I wrote this may be my last Bridge Pedal. I just want to clarify that I didn't say that because I do not want to do it again. I would do it again if I'm here still, but I'll most likely to have moved back to Japan by then, so I may not have the chance to do it again. I'm happy to have done it and if I get a chance, I will do it again. Hopefully Kao can do it with me if that happens.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

bicycles in the box of matches

bicycles in the box of matches

This is my keepsake of the my late grandmother.
Her hobby was collecting match boxes for her scrapbooks.
I have selected match boxes with bicycles.

bicycles in the box of matches
"Refreshing and pedals lightly!" Tsunoda Bicycles

bicycles in the box of matches

bicycles in the box of matches
"This is comfortable ride! and strong"

bicycles in the box of matches
This is China taste! I do not understand what box it is!

It will soon be Bon Festival in Japan. I will remeber my grand parents and think of my ancestors.

Bridge Pedal and Pedal Issues

I will be taking part in the Bridge Pedal ride tomorrow (actually less than 12 hours from now) here in Portland. It's an annual event where you can ride over the bridges (even ones that are normally inaccessible by bike) that run across the Willamette River that runs through the center of Portland. There are 4 different rides with distances varying from 5 to 38 miles. I am taking part in the 38 mile 11 Bridge Ride. This ride will take me over some bridges and even on freeways and parts of Portland I'd been wanting to ride, but haven't because they seemed hard to get to. It'll also be my first mass ride (not counting the Sunday Parkways) ever since I rode my last road race in college. It's not a race or timed event though, so I don't think I will ride "full throttle". Rather I will enjoy riding my bike where normally it's not allowed and enjoy what is supposedly some of the best views in Portland.

My leg (left leg in particular) has been feeling quite sore on every ride lately though. I'd been wondering how to alleviate the pain. I think the problem is the bio-mechanics, meaning how my body is positioned must not be quite right. I considered riding in platform pedals with regular shoes tomorrow.

(platform pedal on KT)

These pedals (Crank Brothers Candy C) that are on Special K are great. They are so easy to get in and out of.

(Candy C pedal on Special K)

But, the cleat on the shoe can only be adjusted so far and when I click my left shoe into the pedal, I feel like my foot should be further forward than it can go. The adjustability might be more of an issue with the shoe, but it's lead me to consider having a different set up.

Riding with platform pedals will solve the problem as I will be able to move my foot freely on the pedal, but just as a last ditch effort, I decided to try changing the saddle position. If I can't move my foot, then I can move my body in relation to my foot instead, so I raised and moved back the saddle a little bit. I had an errand to the store, so I rode there with the new position and it seemed to have worked out. I guess the thing about clipless pedals is that they lock your feet into place, so it makes position of other things (mainly the saddle) more crucial. I was only riding very casually and I didn't ride with much effort, so I don't know for sure though. Normally, if you are a serious rider, you wouldn't change your riding position a day before an event as that really changes your bio-mechanics, but then I'm not that serious of a rider. I'm not going to race this event with the other participants or anything.

Anyway, I hope I'll be able to ride without pain tomorrow. I will definitely report afterwards hopefully with some photos of the ride.

On a different subject, I wrote about cycling shoes last time, but I found these shoes that seem pretty nice. They are made by the messenger bag company Chrome and I assume, they are not compatible with clipless pedals, but they seem like the perfect shoes for platform pedals.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the kind of bike shoes I like

More and more, I've come to think that making and buying things on a large scale isn't such a good thing. Rather it's better to make and buy something because we really want to and not just because it's a job or it's what's available at the store.

Be that as it may, I'm going to contradict what I just said and do a post which may be somewhat consumerist in its nature.

These above are my bike shoes. I wear them when I ride the Special K (Kinya's Specialized). When I ride the KT (Kao's Trek), I wear whatever shoes I feel like at the time. Special K is equipped with clipless pedals which I thought would be ridable with normal shoes, but that didn't turn out to be the case, so I need to wear shoes that can click into these pedals. I lucked out in getting these shoes as I found them at the Goodwill thrift shop and they fit me perfectly and as far as cycling shoes go, these are not as sporty and don't look too weird wearing them with regular clothes. There are quite a bit of people in Portland that wear full-on cycling shoes wherever they go, but I much rather wear shoes that seem like regular shoes. These are also very walkable as well.

So, I'm mostly happy with these shoes and I don't need to buy a new pair, but lately, I've been entertaining the idea of buying new pedals for a couple of reasons. One, my legs have been getting very sore on longer rides lately and different pedals could alleviate that problem. Two, I still would like to get pedals that could also be ridden with regular shoes just for short rides. I have KT for that purpose now, but when Kao comes back to ride it, I like to have that option. After looking at a bunch of pedals online, I think I found the pedal that might be perfect. And after that the consumer within me seem to want more, so even though I don't need a new pair of shoes, I looked to see what's out there. What I would look for in cycling shoes would be 1) wearability with regular clothes, 2) ease of walking, 3) comfort on/off the bike. I thought I would share what I found.

Mavic Alpine

These are made by Mavic who is better known as a manufacturer of wheels, but they have gotten into the clothing and shoes business more recently. I like these. They look a bit like low-cut hiking shoes and I think they would go with almost anything other than the most dressy attire.

Lake MX90

These are made by Lake who specialize in cycling shoes. The are OK, but maybe not great. The red accent is a bit sporty. Might go well with a slightly sporty casual look though.

Keen Springwater

I believe Keen is a Portland company and I would like to support a local brand, but again these are a bit sporty. I do see quite a lot of people wearing Keen sandals that are clipless compatible though. If I was looking for sandals, I might consider them.

Shimano MT60 Gore-Tex

These are made by Shimano who I belive is now the world's largest manufacturer of bike components. They have been making shoes for quite a longtime (like 20 years?) as well. These look even more like hiking shoes and they are made with Gore-Tex, so these miht be a good option for cold and wet weather. Slightly sporty, but I like that it uses suede.

Shimano SH-MT21

These are also by Shimano and are probably the younger cousins of my shoes (Shimano SH-MO20). Very simple and casual with brown suede. I think if they used the same color of suede and thread throughout, these could almost look like Clarks.

Marresi 700

And lastly, as an honorable mention, the good looking Marresi 700. These Italian leather shoes look quite handsome. However, I think these are more pure cycling shoes than the others and I don't think they would be too comfortable for walking.

Anyway, so that's that. Of all these, I think I like the Mavic and the Shimano SH-MT21 the best, though I would like to see more shoes designed with the intention of wearing them with regular clothes. I think I will wear my Shimano shoes until they either wear out or I decide to quit clipless pedals altogether though. I think as more and more people ride bikes, need for more variery of equipment will rise as well. I think there are probably others like me who want to go on long rides, but don't want to look like a wannabe racer, so I hope the shoe manufacturer will recognize that.