All posts by Mike

“That’s not us. Really. Different company 5,000 miles away.”

ChainReactionCycles is not the same company as Chain Reaction Bicycles in Northern California! Chain Reaction Cycles is an on-line operation in Northern Ireland.Chain Reaction Bicycles began in February, 1980. We were the first with that name, but didn’t go the effort of protecting it, other than making sure it was clear that we were in fact the first, and that we were also the first to use it in interstate commerce. This became important a couple decades ago, when someone in North Carolina actually sent legal paperwork to us demanding that we cease & desist using the name and give up our website to them. I learned a lot about trademark law in a very short period of time and showed them the error of their ways.

Flash-forward a dozen years or so, with the ‘net a strongly international presence, and traditional barriers to shipping product across national borders rapidly being ignored or removed. A very large on-line mail-order operation in Northern Ireland took up almost the same name as us, ChainReactionCycles (instead of ChainReactionBicycles or just ChainReaction, the two names we “own” on the ‘net). They have a marketing budget that’s larger than the total sales of most bicycle shops, spending so much money on Google paid advertising that people looking for us often find them. And think they’re us, because you really have to dig to discover they’re not in the US, and everything on their site displays in US dollars.

As a result, we get weekly, sometimes daily, once in a while a couple times daily phone calls asking “Where is my order” and we have to go to some degree of trouble to make sure it isn’t actually us (we don’t ship anything but we do take orders through our own website). “Does the website have a Black & Orange background, or Blue & White? Ours is Black & Orange. Doesn’t matter, we still get quite a few insisting that it’s our shop, and where the #$^#&(@ is their order???

If you order from or, that’s us. Anything else is not. Of course, the people who need to know this aren’t reading it, because they’re on the wrong website. :-) –Mike–

Winter isn’t coming. It’s here.

IMG_0873flat_duck_pondIt’s Thanksgiving, time for the annual Turkey-Day ride out to the coast. It was also time to seriously bundle up, although I wasn’t quite aware how serious the need was.

IMG_8598coldJust three of us this morning; we didn’t do a formal pre-announced ride this year. Myself, Kevin & Todd. The plan was the usual; head out to the coast and back. Normally it would have been Tunitas for the return but Todd had to get back a bit early so we went for 84 instead. Or at least that was the plan.

Cold? Oh yeah, it was cold. Actually saw 27.5 degrees just before the start of Old LaHonda, but only have a photo of it being 29-something in Woodside ‘cuz I really didn’t feel like taking the gloves off again. Not really a big deal taking off, but getting them back on, when it’s that cold, is a bit of an ordeal.

Todd and Kevin “rode casual” and rode up and away from me going up Old LaHonda, which wasn’t much of a surprise. It did warm up a bit on West Old LaHonda; a balmy 32 degrees! We were hoping it would get even-nicer as we neared the coast, but never made it. Todd got a nasty flat near the duck pond, one of those glass slices that really wrecks a tire. It was booted with a dollar bill but not the sort of thing you’d trust your life with so we headed back at that point, Todd and Kevin flying up 84 and I’m just trying to hang on, and then later, keep them in sight.

This Sunday will be better!