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Voodoo Tuesday Ride

April 11th, 2014

Date: April 15, 2014 @ 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Date: April 22, 2014 @ 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Date: April 29, 2014 @ 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Date: May 6, 2014 @ 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Date: May 13, 2014 @ 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

The Team Voodoo Tuesday Night Ride

This is a a ride hosted by Team Voodoo that covers 30 miles of fast ups and downs at 20-plus mph with some race pace and attacks.
The group usually waits at the top of the climbs to regroup but it is NOT “no-drop” ride.
Route will cover Rollingwood/360/Bee Caves with an assortment of climbs via Cuernavaca, Olympus/Marley Way, River Hills, etc.

Approx 30 miles
20+ mph
Wheels Down at 5:30 pm

General group ride expectation:  helmet, road bike in good working condition, water and nutrition, flat changing tools.  Headphones are not allowed.

The Tuesday Ride

April 8th, 2014

by: Thomas Miller

Dave Ryther and I rolled out after work today, neither of us particularly motivated to ride.  The wind was unholy, one of those omni-directional deals.  There was no right way to go.  To find shelter we headed for the hills of southwest Austin, promising each other that we wouldn’t attack…  For the most part we were successful with that.

Talk went from complaining about trivial things, to Cancellera’s  performance at the Tour of Flanders last weekend, to the fantastic silence of the ride.  It always seems to happen this way.   The miles stripping off the excess.  Everything that isn’t immediate falling away.

By the time Dave pulled off I was cured.

Our goal at the shop is to make everyone feel that way.  It goes beyond bikes and clothing, to the intangible freedom that you feel on a ride.  We talk every day about how to make that happen.

It’s our spring sale currently.  We’ve been shouting about it a bit on Facebook and Twitter, but there really are some great deals to be had.  We had our brand meeting this morning, and laid out the eight new kits we’re releasing in the next few months.  I’m trying to put together a cool little thing with Timbuk2 for Bike to Work month in May, and we just got in a really fantastic custom Seven that the staff is geeking out about.  These are all things designed to inspire your ride.  Are they necessary?  Well, we both know they aren’t.  I see people on Pawn Shop bikes riding in t-shirts every day.   Although, to be honest, they never seem to be having that much fun.

The special thing we have here is an experienced staff that loves cycling.  We’re lifers. We know the secret routes in town.  We race.  We watch the races we wish we could ride.  We visit cycling websites on our lunch break.  We’ve worked for SRAM, and Alchemy, and been to Le Tour.  We’ve raced in Belgium and designed kits for Lance.  Some of the skinnier ones of us even put in 300 miles last week while working full time.

I’ve been at other shops, and never experienced anything like this.  Generally there are racer elitists working for their discount, and non-riders working to pay the rent.  I really do think that what we have at Mellow Johnny’s transcends those classifications.  And yes, I’m waxing poetic, but it’s true.  This is our thing.

We’re believers.

Rambling complete.  Ride on down and check out the new gear and shiny things.  Relax in the cafe and have a cup of our amazing coffee.  Buy stuff,  or soak up some inspiration.  We’re here to help.

Panache Grand Prix Kit

April 7th, 2014

We’ve just received some stunning Panache cycle wear, and some of the Mellows are putting it to the test on the road (and in the mirror). Here, Mellow Johnny’s staffer and bike racer Kevin Girkins reviews the Grand Prix kit, including jersey, bib shorts, and socks.

First Impressions: What a good looking kit! All the color waves on these jerseys seem to be well put together and have just the right mix of neutral black or white to make an effective eye catching jersey and bibs. Plus, the colors are thoughtfully placed. For instance, it’s black inside the jersey pockets and directly above, so there are no stains from digging in pockets. Smart! Black is repeated at the bottom of the zipper, as well, where your dirty mitts have to constantly touch to get in and out. The fit is snug and comfortably compressed, while also breathing nicely—a requirement for summer.

After 200k: Nothing but compliments when you walk in the door with this kit. The chamois is extremely comfortable, even after 100k on chipseal, jersey breathes very well. The material stretches around every curve so there are no wrinkles. When first worn I could feel the stitching on the edge of the chamois, which caused me concern, but after the first ride and a wash there was no sign of it anymore, and it broke in nicely. The only dirt I have on this kit is two small items. One, the bibs seem to come up a little high in the front along the stomach making it hard for “relieving yourself on the road,” but I am 6ft. 2 wearing a medium. That explains that. Two, the sleeves are a little short and depending on your tan lines may leave you two tone. That is strictly vanity, I confess.

Overall, I give the Panache Grand Prix kit 4.5 stars out of 5.  A recommendation: If you buy the jersey and bibs, you must add the socks. You’ll look really good from top to bottom.


Panache Clothing

March 26th, 2014

As we mentioned last week, Panache Cyclewear Company is our newest clothing line, and will take over this weeks (3/29) MOTR ride.  We’ve just received a full complement of their spring line, and the products have just hit the floor.  Amazing stuff.

I tracked down Don Powell of Panache and asked him a few questions about the line to better understand their point of view, design inspiration and product construction.  Checkout the Q&A below to see what he had to say.

MJ’s: Cycle clothing is a fairly over-saturated market.  Can you tell me a bit about what made Panache decide to get into this game?  A little about the history of your company?

Panache: Panache began because, at the time, cycling kits came in Lego colors with odd, very busy designs that did not match the sense of style and fashion we had off the bike. As the Panache founder put it: “I felt pretty stylish off the bike, but felt like Papa Smurf on the bike.”  Not good. Thus, Panache began producing kit that had style and flair (hence the name). We took cues from the past when cycling kit was classic and subtle  - horizontal bars, simple color combos, bold lines – then, we added some panache.

We add something progressive, something from outside of cycling, but current. We look at design and fashion from various outlets; like architecture, fashion, pop culture, technology, etc.  Our goal is to design kit that is simple, yet has some small pop of wow. Not too much, but just the right amount.

Panache not only makes cool, style-driven clothing for cyclists, we also make high quality technical kit.  Before starting Panache, (Don) Powell raced professionally in Belgium (and later in the US).  This is where he started tinkering with clothing and patterns. Panache knows that a kit has to perform well, which means it needs to help the rider go fast. This translates into a fit that allows mobility; a chamois pad that allows blood flow; fabrics that are pliable and transfer moisture at the right levels. It means comfort on long training rides and aerodynamics on fast sprints.

In a nutshell, we make kit that goes fast AND looks good.

MJ’s: What have been some of the biggest obstacles for Panache, as an emerging brand?

Panache: Our biggest obstacle to date was creating a process for our custom/team clothing segment that permitted us to make great, high-quality kit in a timely manner.  This took us a good couple of years.  There are a lot of variables involved and we took our punches getting it right, but we wanted and needed to do it so that we could deliver great kit to all riders.  I’m sure that we’ll encounter more obstacles as we continue to grow, but it’s like cycling, you see a pot hole in the road, go around it, unless it means taking out the rest of the group, then you adjust, bunny hop it; and if you misjudge the jump or the size of the hole, you get tossed and reassess. You might break a spoke; you might dent your rim; you might crash.  There’s a lot between the starting line and the finish line… The important part is: keep riding.

MJ’s: Having ridden in the clothing several months now, I must say that I’m impressed by the technical aspects of the gear.  The Chamois is fantastic, and holds up well.  The jersey is a great weight for Texas riding.  Are there any technical aspects that consumers should know?  Anything that separates you from other clothing manufacturers?

Panache: Thanks for the kudos on the gear!  As we like to say, it’s not rocket science, but it’s not easy either. There are some small things that we do in patterning, fabric choice, and pad choice that have a huge impact on the final product. We use high-quality, the best actually, fabrics. All our fabrics are made in Italy or Switzerland. The most important thing about fabric is not just that it performs well and feels great – that’s the easy part. The hard part is making the fabric great time and time again. Consistency. Our fabrics have the same weight and stretch component today as they did when we launched the brand in 2009. This is key because it means we have the same fit today as we did in 2009. This is not an easy feat, but it’s why we use the best quality fabrics made.

Another technical aspect worth knowing is our choice of chamois pad.  It’s actually a very simple one.  We use two pieces of high density foam attached to a low density foam chassis.  We do not heat mold these three pieces together – a technique used by many manufacturers.  Instead, we sew them together. It sounds counter intuitive and counter to innovation, unless you know the difference.  Heat molding requires glue (less breathable) and heat (less pliable afterwards) and so a chamois pad that looks great and technical is, in fact, less so.  Our sewn chamois breathes and is super pliable.  It’s one of the elements that make our bibs and shorts so comfortable.  In addition to being comfortable, they perform as well by allowing blood to flow between the two high density foam pieces.  A poor chamois has you always focused on your Parts, but our pad allows you to focus on training. In fact, it’s one of the things we hear most, “I don’t think about my ‘junk’ anymore.” (“Junk” changes from region to region; and gender to gender).

MJ’s: The aesthetic of your clothing is really strong, and one of the first things that most people notice.  Can you discuss your design process?  I know that you partner with other designers occasionally, but is there a cohesive style that drives the brand?

Panache: Our design process is quite simple: we ask ourselves, what do we want to wear? We don’t survey people for ideas, we just create what does not exist and if we like it and ride in it, we make more of it.  That’s not to say that we don’t accept design ideas, we do; we get them on a daily basis.  That input becomes part of our own process and occupies head space which becomes part of the whole process.  We tend to work along these lines: Start with a base of Black.  Use a chassis that draws from the past.  Add in a pop that draws from today/the future.  Be bold, but not in your face loud.  A lot of people say our aesthetic is Classic, Subtle with a dash of the Progressive.  We like that characterization.

MJ’s: What’s next for Panache?  Are you expanding the brand, maintaining its current size or working on anything new that you can share with us?

Panache: Our grand vision is to create a lifestyle brand for cyclists. We want to create cool clothing for cyclists whether they are on the bike, on the way to their bike, or off their bike.  Cycling is a way of life and we embrace that notion to the fullest.  Stay-tuned…

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