All Hail the King

All Hail the King!

Bright lights, thousands of people, fake conditioned air and flashy paint. The week long show of Interbike is enough to drive any sane man crazy and I’ve been walking the thin, florescent line since the plane landed on Sunday. Fortunately the Dirt Rag crew stays in a house off the strip and we begin and end every day with a ruckus filled ride full of laughter aboard our loaned commuter bicycles. I can’t express my thanks enough to the bike companies that generously provide our transportation that gives us all some needed exercise and a break. Thank You!

This year my legs have been pumping the pedals in complete British flair. Pashley Bicycles of England, primarily owner Loring Kohrt, loaned me a King among the court, or as Pashley describes it, a whale among the minnows. The Roadster Classic in Buckingham Black has more class than the bloody Queen. This beauty is an incredibly fun, handcrafted work of two-wheeled art with a riding position that screams “What’s for tea, mate?” Or at least it had me screaming in a full sprint to catch up with a truck of kind industry folks offering a can of Tecate from the passenger window.

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The Roadster is a tall, slender, and solidly built machine that rolls over street irregularities and curbs while retaining the manners of a gentleman. With 28” wheels, a lugged and brazed steel frame, Brooks saddle, and Sturmey Archer brake/3-speed hub that has plenty of pedaling room for speed before it spins out. Racing down the Vegas strip and riding away from the city lights to the Vegas Cross Race was an 22-mile treat, especially on the downhill return.

A swept back, chrome plated handlebar and upright riding position offers nothing resembling aero dynamics, but style points are plentiful. Tuck down, be foolish and just enjoy the mood. Pull up to the light with music in your head and a swagger in your pedal stroke. It’s all good. Wear what you want too, because there are wrap around fenders, a full chaincase, and coatguards to keep your long coat from becoming tangled in the spokes.

The Roadster is an attention getter, not a crumpet, so enjoy it. The old school ding-dong bell is instant humor when rung while weaving through pedestrians on the strip or to give credit to the ladies out on a stroll. At Kona’s annual party the Roadster was parked poolside, kickstand-style, and a horn player in the Mariachi band took the liberty of including the bell in the band’s song. Everyone loves it and I had a great time piloting it through Las Vegas.

Pashley offers an incredible amount of stylish bikes that are also purposefully built. Handmade in England, British-attitude, and funk without the flash… It’s an awesome feeling rolling aboard the Roadster. Thanks again to Loring and the rest of the Pashley folks for the sweet loaner.

–Shannon Mominee

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