Matthew Small is a 15-year Marine Corps veteran serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, a high-risk job that involves removing bombs and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that have claimed many lives in the war-torn country. On Sept. 21 and 22 Small and three other Marines will embark on a charity ride like no other: They will pedal 160 miles through a combat zone to raise money for wounded and fallen ordnance disposal technicians.
The ride will raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation (www.eodwarriorfoundation.com), a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to the families of injured and fallen Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and family members. The EODRIDE (www.eodride.org) was created to honor EOD Technicians, promote healthy healing and camaraderie among supporters. EOD Rides are held annually in locations across the United States and overseas. The Afghanistan EOD Ride will be a first.
Last year, Small led eight fellow technicians on a course through the hills of Okinawa, Japan. “Upon hearing of my deployment to Afghanistan I began planning for another memorable ride; the Afghan EODRIDE,” Small says. “My sincerest hope is that my efforts and time inspire others to give a little more, push a little farther and never give up when presented with a challenge.” Learn more about the Afghan EOD Ride at www.facebook.com/afghaneodride. So far Small and his buddies have raised more than $3,000 for the foundation.
Small will ride a custom Trek District with Gates Carbon Drive. He worked with Gates engineers to upgrade his bike with a CenterTrack belt drive system. “With over a thousand miles of training rides on the bike to date, I am pleased with the feel, performance and reliability of the CenterTrack system,” Small writes us.
Stay tuned for an update from Small after the ride. Meantime, consider making a donation at the links above, and share the Afghan EODRide Facebook link with your friends.
Attending the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, Calif., later this week? Look for these belt drive bikes in the expo area and take one for a demo ride.
Breezer Bicycles, the brand founded by pioneering mountain biker Joe Breeze, introduced the Beltway this year. The Beltway, offered in three models with different spec, is a fully equipped commuter bike whose geometry is based on Breezer’s acclaimed Finesse range bike. It’s made for speedy trips to work or across town. Breezer will be showing the Beltway Infinity, which features Carbon Drive and the Nuvinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub for smooth and silent shifting.
Redline will have the Monobelt 29er (below), a belt drive version of their legendary Monocog, available for demo rides.
Saturday is cyclocross day at Sea Otter, with a host of races in the afternoon. Watch for the speedy singlespeeders from Ritte Racing in the 5pm SS race. Ritte has some of the sexiest belt drive cross bikes on the planet (click here more pics).
Photo credit John Watson
Boo Bicycles, the bamboo specialists, are launching their new brand–Aluboo–at Sea Otter. These bikes will be a bamboo- aluminum hybrid and they offer consumers the choice of a Carbon Drive instead of a chain. Visit em in BOOth 220.
Boo will also have their new fashion bike brand Glissando, which elegantly mixes bamboo and titanium, on hand.
Attending the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (Feb. 22-24 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver)? Come drink some Oskar Blues beer, hear music from Chain Station (we’d prefer if they were called Belt Station but so be it), and participate in some bike-related hoopla at our after-party. The party will be at Blake Street Tavern on Friday Feb. 22 starting at 7pm. We will have drawings for bike swag, with all proceeds benefiting Trips for Kids and Bike Denver. There will even be some sweet custom belt drive bikes to ogle. If you are attending the show at the convention center, make sure to visit the Gates Carbon Drive booth. We will have some beautiful custom belt drive bikes on display, and there will be lots of belt drive bikes in booths around the show.
Gates Carbon Drive is a sponsor of Urban Assault, the “pedal-powered urban adventure” that is traveling to cities across the country. Last weekend’s event was held in Fort Collins, where Gates employee Sean Janelle took part. Here is Sean’s writeup of his experience at the event:
One of the obstacle stations on the course was Gates-sponsored, and it involved teams throwing and catching Gates Carbon Drive belts while riding a bicycle. It was one of the most fun parts of the whole day for many people. Once people saw the Gates tent, they came stocked with many questions.
Seeing the bikes was fascinating for people, and questions ranged from the cost to the performance of the Carbon Drive system. Preconceived notions of the necessity of a chain were shattered. Whether it was greasy hands, excessive weight, weak chains, bulky derailleurs, or less efficiency, people were fascinated to learn that chains need not be part of their everyday bicycling experience. People had the opportunity to try Gates Carbon Drive with a quick bike ride around the parking lot or by participating in the slow race. Yes, the slow race, which challenged participants to cross the finish line the slowest.
Since Gates has been a Colorado company for over 100 years, many people knew about the old Gates Rubber Company. Many people were excited to lean that Gates belts are made in the USA. Because the event was held at New Belgium Brewery, the excitement for good beer coincided with the excitement for good bikes. With New Belgium showcasing several beers on tap, Gates coozies were in high demand. Many people grabbed Gates Carbon Drive stickers -– whether it was the bearded women or the guys in suits – costumes are an expected sighting at each of these events.
Many people came away with bruises, products, stickers, and full stomachs, but, from our perspective, the best takeaway from the event for many people was that the Gates Carbon Drive system is the best thing to happen to bikes since wheels.
Jesse Swift of the Gates Carbon Drive Mountain Bike Team, couldn’t wait for the usual weekend racing. And after a quick trip up to Breckenridge, he stomped straight to the top of the podium at The Gold Rush Run race last Wednesday!
The Summit Mountain Challenge is a great serious of high-altitude weekday races. Finding himself up in the mountains last week, Jesse was able to cruise over and catch the race in Breckenridge. While there wasn’t a huge field, it was made up entirely of fast locals, used to the 10,000ft elevation, and with a huge knowledge of the trails. The 14 mile course featured over 2,000ft of climbing, and Jesse was able to steadily move himself up through the field, finally catching the leader half way into the race. Jesse had no time to rest though, and had to keep the pressure on, to create a gap. He knew the downhill skills and local knowledge of the rider behind him, and it was going to be a race to finish. Digging deep, his Spot Rocker SS and the super-smooth Gates CDX Center Track system was flawless, as Jesse held everyone off by a mere 30 seconds at the finish!