September 29, 2015

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Hide the ice-cream and keep your bike closer.

All we need is speed bumps and short cuts to change our habits.

There is always room for improvement. Some of us want to loose weight, others are just trying to get into better shape and commute by bike to work. No matter what it is that you are trying to achieve, there is one thing that you can do today that will not only get you results, but changes your daily habits. This is key, since we tend to not stick to short term goals but rather new lifestyle changes that impact our social and physical well being. 

The path of least resistance: (20 seconds faster or slower can change everything)

Make it easier for yourself to be good and harder to be bad. How do you do that? Easy, if your plan is to go jogging more often, place your running shoes at the front edge of your closet. This will make it easier for you to get to them and also signals a constant reminder that you made a commitment to jogging. I do this for example with my stationary trainer bike in the winter. It's placed at the edge of the living room and I am forced to walk past it every time I am heading into the kitchen. (thankfully my better half rides bikes as well and allows me to do this) If I were to place my trainer in the basement, garage or anywhere out of sight, I would most likely never ride it. This is just one example on how to make "being good" easier, but it also works in the other direction. 

Make it harder to be bad:

Want to eat less junk food, but somebody in your house keeps buying and placing it in plain sight around your apartment? Placing the junk food in one of the upper kitchen cabinets so that you need to use a step stool to get to it might just be enough of a delay to keep you from putting your hand into the cookie jar every five minutes. I am not saying it's a cure, but a great speed bump that hopefully will cut down on sugar highs.

Slowing down bad behaviors and speeding up good behaviors can be applied in many ways:

  • cutting down TV time (taking batteries out of remote and putting them in another room) 
  • eat less ice cream (stash ice cream in the back of the freezer behind all the real food)           
  • no more cell phones during dinner (place phone inside a jacket away from the table)
  • eat more fruits (have basket of fruits placed on the counter)
  • commute more by bike (don't hide your bike in the back of the garage, store it in plain sight)
  • recycle your trash (have a recycling bin next to your trash can)

I am not saying that this will work for everybody, but it for sure worked for me. 

so be good :) and ride that bike 

Jurgen

    September 14, 2015

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    Kickstarter update #32

    Hi Kickstarter backers,

    I just wanted to update everybody on last weeks meeting.

    We got to sit down and discuss the first parts out of the new mold and besides a couple of minor touch-ups on the mold everything looks good. My prediction of having to HD-foam fill this part has also come true and we have placed an order for the foam fixture. 

    recycled PE-black and natural sample
    recycled PE-black and natural sample

     

    We now also have an option of offering a model out of recycled PE (which is black). I know this wasn't part of the Kickstarter rewards but if there are enough of you guys that are interested in the recycled black we could add it to the rewards and we let you know how to change your color choice. Please leave a comment like: "black=yes" on this update to let us know if we should offer this to you guys.

    I personally love first black recycled-PE pre-production models and have mounted the first one in my living room. Without foam they are only strong enough to hold a frame. We need to foam fill them to hold up complete bikes.

    first pre-production model out of recycled PE.
    first pre-production model out of recycled PE.

     

     Why do we need a foam fixture? Here is what happens when you fill a part with HD-foam without a foam fixture. The fixture will keep the part form deforming and bulging out.

    under pressure - foaming without fixture looks like this:
    under pressure - foaming without fixture looks like this:

     

     We needed to find out how strong the foam is, so we used this deformed model to do some early testing and it looks like this will be our solution. They also told us that it should take 2-3 weeks to build the foam fixture. (...and we are pushing for 2 weeks) After that we will test how strong the foamed parts are. 

    All in all things are moving along and are getting completed.

    Next update will happen after we receive our foam fixture.

    thanks for hanging in there,

    Jurgen

    September 04, 2015

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    light at the end of the tunnel (...and it's not a train)

    Why is this Kickstarter project taking so long...

    Over the last couple of month we have received countless e-mails and questions. Some of you are asking us "why is this product still not available and how much longer?", others are just voicing their frustration on how ridiculously long the wait has been. Guess what? We feel the same way. Even so we have been told by other companies that product development always takes longer and costs more than anticipated the transparency of being a Kickstarter project multiplies the level of frustrations with every set back and delay.

    After changing manufacturers and using a different production process, our new mold just produced the first couple of samples. We still need to approve the final product, but as soon as we do the only thing left is to order raw materials, figure out the colors and schedule production.

    Things are finally coming together.

    We have a meeting with our manufacturer next Thursday and I will let you know more about the "when" after that. 

    Thank you for all the support,

    Jurgen 

    August 20, 2015

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    DaHÄNGER at the Eurobike tradeshow

    We'll be hanging with Trickstuff (Hall A2 stand 103) at the Eurobike. Find out about the - when, where, why, how and who is going to release the DaHÄNGER in Europe. Come by and say "hi".

    August 18, 2015

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    Our new "Made in USA" mold should be finished this week.

    After changing our production process, hiring a U.S. based mold maker and redesigning the entire tool, we are close to getting the first parts out of our new mold. Keep your fingers and toes crossed. Next week is going to be exciting.

    August 05, 2015

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    It's about quality of life.

    It's fun to live in the city that has bike path everywhere. You can ride to stores, go shopping or commute without ever spending a dime on gas or parking. Allowing you to spend your money on things that actually improve your quality of life, like eating better food and going out with friends . This is what I remember life was like growing up in Germany and most European cities that I have visited.

     

    Now almost twenty years later, it looks like this trend is jumping across the ocean and starting to creep slowly into US-Cities. There are more and more bikes path and many corporate offices encourage commuting by bike and offer bike parking. The benefit of the physical exercise and the stress relieve is a win win for everybody. Most people that have changed to commuting on bikes have turned the most hated slice of the day into their personal highlight. So please consider where you live and think about how important bike-ablity is for you:

    Location - location - location

     

    It's good for you, your wallet and everybody who lives in a city. Before your next move you should read this blog post from rent.com and think about how important a bike-able location and bike friendly apartment is to you.

    ride on.....

    Jurgen

     

    July 23, 2015

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    July 17, 2015

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    Mission possible - version 2.0 is going to be much better

    We just posted an update for all of our Kickstarter backers with a new timeline. 

    June 26, 2015

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    2015 Redhook Crit race report

    (Set yourself goals and go for it)

    Why did I race a fixed gear crit and why I can’t wait to do it again?

    I wanted to celebrate my return to racing after a five year break with something special, a race that requires skills, power, endurance and is not quite as dangerous as downhill racing. The Redhook Crit seemed to fulfill all of the above requirements plus the added controversy from anonymous sources that it is only for hipsters, messengers and misfits. PERFECT.

    Now that I knew the event, I had to start training and prepping for it. Training was kind of a problem because when I signed up for the race I actually still had my wrist in a cast from a motorcycle crash in October. I couldn’t really do much of anything, riding the rollers or home trainer wasn’t an option since the sweat was starting to turn the cast slowly into a chemical weapon that could stink up a room in a flash.

    So I focused on setting up my track bike for the event. Sounds easy, right? NOT, there wasn’t really any info out there on what the racers are using. I had just bought a 2013 Leader 725 frame and wasn’t really sure what the setup should be. What gearing? What crank length? What tires? After days of research I decided to stick with a little easier gear than the recommended (by the promoter) 50x15 and installed a 49x15. Being paranoid on pedal strike when flying thru the turns also led me to mount 165mm cranks. The luxury of owning two wheel-sets allowed me to have both, my dry tires (tubular conti sprinters) and wet tires (clinchers conti GrandPrix 4000) at the race at the same time.

    Setting a goal:

    Once the cast came off I started training and getting in shape. There wasn’t as much time as I needed, but I thought it should be enough to at least qualify for the main event and be part of the big show that night.

    Race day:

    Not knowing if there was any practice or if the course would be closed before the race, we (my better half and me) showed up at the Brooklyn Cruise ship terminal just a little before 10:00 am. The main entrance gate had one very persuasive Irish guard that only let the volunteers enter and made the racers line up left and right next to the gate. This is where we stood for the next 1 ½ hours and I witnessed the first sign that this wasn’t like any other high level cycling competition. The gate was supposed to open at 10:30am and the women’s qualifier was scheduled to start at 11:00am. But nobody was complaining, everybody just seemed to be hanging out with their team-mates, friends and fellow riders. We were told that because of a missing security guard we had to wait until the NYPD gave the green light to enter the Terminal. No big deal. This was the most chilled out line of racers I had ever seen. I have been to many races where this would have caused mayor drama and your standard spoiled prima donna pro racer would have had their knickers in a twist and a mayor meltdown. But not here, everybody was just enjoying the good company (and the good weather) and waited. Sooooo cool.

    Hanging out and waiting for the gate to open:

    Our home for the day:

    After picking up my race package we where given a pit number. The pit was a small space that we shared with a couple of other racers. Who were those other racers? I had no idea but it was kind of like moving into a small apartment and meeting your new roomies for the first time. Everybody had a little corner, a chair and enough space to store their bike and race bag. The atmosphere was very calm and everybody looked like they knew what they where doing or really good at faking it. Whatever the case, this is where we meet Javi from PR and another local New Yorker Matt who had raced this event before and everbody was more than helpful answering all my annoying questions and giving some insides on what was about to happen.

    The Pits:

    Qualifier (being in group #6)

    I knew I had to earn my stripes doing this event for the first time, but I wasn’t really sure what that meant. Turns out being in group #6 was it. This is where most of the guys that have never done this line up at the start and have twenty minutes to put down a fast lap hoping to qualify for the main show later that night. Organizer and mastermind of this event David Trimble gave a little speech before start in which he said “this group usually has some crashes in it, so please be carful and keep it safe”.

    Whoops, (we were doomed) as soon as he had mentioned crashes I could see some riders looking nervously around and clearly getting their anxiety level close code red.

    This going to be interesting!!! After a one-minute countdown we were off. I wanted to start out easy, watch, learn the track for a couple of laps and hopefully find another racer who was willing to work together with me getting a fast lap in.

    We had just finished our first lap, when on the right side two riders were heading side by side into the chicane and tried to occupy a small space between the field and barriers that could only fit one rider. There it was, they tangle bars and down they went. (no serious injuries) It was kind of strange, I think everybody was waiting for the mandatory first crash in group #6 and once it happened we could finally start focusing on doing what we came here to do. Fast laps on bikes without brakes. I ended up doing two full out sprinting laps and had the second fastest lap in group #6. But what did that mean? Apparently not much :)

    There were five more groups after us, and with fast Teams working together setting new lap records heat after heat.

    These guys were all fast:

    85 riders qualify directly for the main event. If you qualify anywhere between 86 and 150 you have another shot, but you need to race the last chance qualifier. Well, I ended up 91st , if I would have been one second faster and I would have qualified the easy way. But hey, why easy if you can have it difficult?

     

    Lunch:

    I love bikes, but I also love good food. David (the organizer) managed to combine the two!!!               (PERFECT - I was in heaven). Thanks to some of the best food trucks, lunch was amazing.

     

    Last Chance qualifier:

    This was a 14-lap race where the top ten finishers qualify for the main event. It was fast, controlled and I felt relatively safe riding thru all the turns in a tightly packed field. I stayed the whole race between the 2nd and 5th position and finished 2nd. Cool, I did it. I qualified for the Redhook crit.

     

     

    The MAIN EVENT:

    Since I made getting here the goal, I had already won. I could relax, try my best and see what happens. The atmosphere was amazing. The entire course was packed with spectators (some more drunk than others) and it felt more like a party than a bike race. Since I started all the way in the back I knew I would have a hard time making it to the front. (if ever) This got even clearer to me after the race started. The pace was super fast and the pack was all strung out. I was getting whipped around at the tail end of the pack for about twenty minutes before loosing contact with them. I found myself in a small group of six riders trying to close the gap, but another five minutes later we were far off the pace and getting close to being lapped. It was a little disappointing when we got pulled out of the race, but as soon as that happened I knew what my next goal is going to be. - and here it is:

    A new goal:

    “I want to finish a Redhook Crit in the main field”

     

    HOOKED ON REDHOOK

    Thanks to AirBnB and my credit card’s frequent flyer miles we are heading to London for the second round of the Redhook Crit series. Team DaHÄNGER also doubled in size since my wife Stacy is going to hang with the Lady’s as well.

     

    This is going to be fun,

     

    Life is too short to wait, go for it.

     

    Jurgen

    June 19, 2015

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    It's about quality - refusing to make it cheaper

    The new manufacturer is in full effect right now and we are happy to say that their vision for the DaHÄNGER is in line with ours. We never wanted to just make another cheap bike hanger. The goal from the first day was to create a contemporary design solution for bike enthusiasts with the highest quality and durability. Made in the USA will allow us to keep a close eye on quality control and keep improving as we move forward. The new team involved is experienced in manufacturing interior design pieces and is going to make this even better than we could have hoped for. 

    Stay tuned for our new product release timeline,

    thank you

    Jurgen