Ramblin’ On My Mind

There is just no easy way to begin this. No ideal transition with which to lessen the difficulty in finding the right words. As of March 1st, Comrade Cycles sixth anniversary, I (Bailey) will be moving from Chicago and ending my time at the shop.

This has by no means been an easy decision to make. What we have accomplished at Comrade, and in such a short amount of time, has absolutely out done any of our highest expectations for the shop. Moving on is made especially difficult when I consider the amazing and invaluable friendships I’ve made here. From the phenomenal staff and partners we have to the cycling community we’ve developed around the shop, I truly believe I’m leaving a Chicago cycling scene that is stronger and more connected than I’ve ever known it. And I’d like to think I’ve had a hand in that through Comrade Cycles and our focus on ensuring all facets of our community; commuter to messenger, roadie to tourist, mountain biker to ultra distance racer, and everyone in between was served with an equal amount of genuine interest, enthusiasm, and support for both who they are as a person and whatever their cycling aspirations may be. And that is something Comrade Cycles will never stray from as the primary focus of our business.

Comrade will continue with it’s mission to offer our community top notch customer service, repair work, gear, bicycles, advice, and general support in all their cycling endeavors and aspirations. I leave the shop with absolute confidence that it will only continue to grow stronger each and every year, enabling us to continually better serve our community while offering the most fair and equitable workplace possible for anyone who becomes a “Comrade”.

I will, along with my fiancé Allison, be moving temporarily to Stillwater, Oklahoma to work with my good friends at District Bicycles and train for my 2018 Tour Divide attempt. From there we plan to move to the southern end of the Rocky Mountains to open a new shop in the Spring of 2019. Stay tuned!

I’d also like to take a moment to thank Tobie Depauw for being the single most influential person in my 31 years on this earth. Tobie has been a friend, mentor, riding partner, colleague, confidante, and brother to me. From his inspirational work in community building at North Central Cyclery to introducing me to gravel and “adventure” riding with the Gravel Metric to introducing me to some of my greatest friends and comrades, Tobie has impacted the direction of my life in a truly profound way. I know I told you once today already, but I love you.

Allison and I will be having a going away party at the shop this Friday, February 23rd, from 6PM-9PM. Come for hugs and story sharing and make plans to visit. BYO.

With my deepest love and gratitude,

-Bailey Gene Newbrey

Fat Pursuit 200 mile setup

On January 5th I (Bailey) undertook a race that scared the heck outta me. A 200 mile race on fatbikes (defined as a bicycle with a minimum tire width of 3.8″) throughout the greater Yellowstone National Park ecosystem.

For those of you who know me, a 200 mile bike ride or race isn’t terribly out of the ordinary. But those of you who know me well also know that my previous attempt at a winter ultra distance race, the Tuscobia 160 in early 2016, went terribly. I ended frostbitten and defeated, pulling the plug a mere 30 miles to the finish. This is one of very few ultra races I’ve pulled out of and it left a sore spot. I was determined to make it through this time.

Rather than blabber on about the details of the race, I’d rather use this post to go over the gear that got me through to a seventh place finish. If you’d like to hear, in exhaustive detail, my story of the race please stop by for a coffee and a chat. I’d love to share! Until then, here is the bike and gear setup for 200 backcountry miles in the mountains.

The bike:

My trusty Salsa Cycles Beargrease. Other than rebuilding tubeless compatible Surly Other Brother Darryl rims this thing is bone stock.

J Paks GravelPak:

and unpacked:

Here we have; the seat bag, a Patagonia UltraLight down jacket, 2 pairs of knee high 45NRTH socks, 1 pair of DeFeet Woolie Boolie knee high socks, a 45NRTH Greazy Cap, a 45NRTH Toasterfork balaclava, a 45NRTH wool t-shirt, 2 Smartwool long sleeve lightweight base layers, DeFeet wool duraglove, a lighter, a Vargo titanium multi-fuel stove and windscreen, and a small Optimus pot set.

Revelate Designs Gas Tank:

Unpacked:

Just electronics. Battery pack, Spot Tracker, charging cables and a wall plug.

Muststache bags/Comrade Cycles feedbag:

It held my thermos:

Salsa/Revelate Designs framebag:

Unpacked:

Denatured alcohol for my stove, inner tube, 2x batteries for Nite Rider headlight, spare AAA batteries, Crank Bros. multi tool, patch kit, tire lever, Lezyne pump, derailleur hanger.

Revelate Designs Sweetroll handlebar roll:

Unpacked:

Black Diamond Twilight bivy, Big Agnes Pomer Hoit UL sleeping bag, Thermarest Z Lite sleeping pad, small.

Additionally I wore the Podiumwear Arrowhead jacket, a Smartwool light long sleeve base layer, Gore Alp-X bib tights, Gore Fusion 2.0 Gore-Tex pants, DeFeet Woolie Boolie knee high socks, Rab vapor barrier socks, 45NRTH Wulfgar boots, a 45NRTH Lung Cookie balaclava, Smartwool mittens inside Revelate Designs Expedition Pogies, and a Giro Air Attack helmet with a Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp mounted to the front. I also wore the Revelate Designs Wampak, a hydration pack specifically designed to keep water from freezing, between my base layer and jacket. It’s worth noting that most all my gear was used and swapped for dry layers at different points in the race.

Again, if ya got any questions I’d love to chat! Come on by the shop anytime.