Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last year my car broke down and my life changed for the better.

"The closer you get to the light, the greater your shadow becomes."
-Kingdom Hearts

     I live on the outskirts of Jacksonville, Florida. It's one of the largest cities in terms of land mass, we are so spread out here that the majority of us ride our motor vehicles everywhere we go. A year ago I was guilty of this myself, then one day my truck broke down and my life changed forever, believe it or not it was for the better. From that point on I have almost solely relied on bicycle for my form of transportation, it has pushed my life in a direction that has been so very positive. I never thought that I would find a stronger purpose in life through a moment of strife. I was down in the dirt and at rock bottom but I guess all flowers bloom from such sources.

 There is more to the story than me just losing my vehicle, prior to this event I was a very lost person, alcoholism in full effect and partying with no direction. I have a very addictive personality and I always pour my whole heart into everything, unfortunately this enthusiasm of mine knows no black and white spectrum. I was pouring a lot of my heart into each empty bottle of cheap liquor and six pack that I had moments earlier consumed. I did enjoy the cycling scene and I was a coordinator for all of our weekly Wednesday rides in town but that was not enough positive influx to counter the negative things I was doing to my body/life. I was living a life where I was trying to show everyone my love for cycling but I was not taking care of my own health. For a very long time I was lost and wandering.


     After I lost my vehicle I gathered myself together and thought of how I could get out of this mess that I was in. I looked at the things in my life that I still had. The cycling group that I rode bicycles with "Dirty Cycle Works - Bike Club", my cycling promotion/marketing company "Ghost in the Spoke" and my day job at Grassroots Natural Market II in Fleming Island ( an organic food/supplement store ) seemed to be the only things in my life that kept me afloat. I decided to focus with those portions of my life and get on my bicycle full time. In Florida our weather is decent enough that through all seasons we are able to ride comfortably, it was something that I already enjoyed so I made the best of the situation. Cycling has taught me that
when you lose momentum the weight of the world is more prevalent, I didn't want anything else to crush me any further.




      All of a sudden, like cog and lockring, my life started to hold together and I found myself moving forward with purpose. I worked hard every day and I noticed that all of the pain that I was feeling with everything was significantly lessened by my 6-7 mile commute to my day job.
 

     Cycling taught me positive projection, I took everything that I hated about life and focused it all into my pedals. I could take all of the weight of the world on my body and throw it back onto my bike, all of that anger was pushing me forward. I was beginning to feel joy through something that was strife. My life was progressively changing for the better, I was beginning to see things differently. I was starting to appreciate things that I had not noticed before, the different scents in the air, the sun shower on a hot day and the warm coffee when I got to my day job after riding in the winter rain.. The stimuli from the weather was when I first started to take notice to my body.


















   
   
     
 
      But most of all, cycling was the best thing for my mind. I was a very confused and mildly unstable person on the inside, I guess you could call it anxiety or maybe it was getting used to living without booze. I noticed that if let myself explode on my bike and sprint to work as hard as a possibly could I would feel more balanced and in tune with myself. All of the cycling has been a positive outlet for all of the negativity that was going on in my head. I could deal with it all right there on the road. I could scream, shout and push as hard as I wanted and nothing could hold me back. With cycling you are completely free to go as fast or slow as you want. It is important to find something in life that makes you feel free. It's these moments of release that remove all of your negative thoughts and free up space for positive ideas in your mind. If you pedal through the hills and bumps in the road eventually somewhere down the line you will find a silky smooth street with steady decline.
      I took my vehicle breaking down as a sign from the world telling me that I need to be on my bike. Since that moment I have taken my cycling promotional/marketing business to a more extreme role in my life.Before then it was just a hobby/adventure diary but as soon as a put everything I had left into focus my life changed forever.



      Other cyclists and companies started noticing my photography. I was slowly learning how to do everything from trial and error. It has been a long road to learn everything from scratch.
I was off to a great start from where I was but there was so much more to learn.
















     

   
   Everyday that I pedaled away was a moment where I was slowly getting better at my jobs, website and life. The world was starting to look much brighter and I was starting to feel good about the things that I was doing. I currently am growing more and more each day.



     It has been quite an adventure this year to say the least but I have finally grown into a person that has hopes and dreams. I didn't have that before my loss of a vehicle and I no longer need strife to push forward. I have finally found positive goals in my life and I am putting my entire heart into my cycling projects. This past year was very necessary for me to see everything as I do now. I now have a cult following of over 4000 cyclists/friends and 17 companies that I work with on my site. I hope to continue till I have pushed myself to max cadence with everything.



     I might sound crazy but my brain has started to work in many different ways after my changes in life, it's funny that riding a bicycle to work could change so much of myself. I have started to think of innovation in the things that I enjoy, slowly I have been bringing them to life. Eventually I want to incorporate my ideas into my site and make a full blown career out of it. 



















      I have a cycling tool that I plan on making this summer. I cannot release information on the project because it is going to be a game changer in the cycling world and possibly further. I'm just squirreling away money to fund it at the moment. This tool will hopefully make enough funds to support my ultimate goal with everything that is happening in my life.

What is my ultimate goal?
      If cycling has done so much for me in my life then maybe it can do the same for other people in their lives, within the next year or so I would like to start a cycling/travelers hostel here in Florida. I want to provide a cheap or free (they could help the hostel in replacement for money) place for people to stay for a day or so on their travels. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hear/write about their stories on www.ghost-in-the-spoke.com . I hope to bring in many cyclists but I will open it up to all travelers. This is a long way down the road but I am currently working my way to my goal. I eventually want to make a complete living out of helping our world on bicycles. It's a dream but one day with hard work I will have it. I'm currently a home town hero and I figured I should keep up with the momentum that I have been so very blessed with. I hope to have a collective of brands that I can one day represent during this entire process.

 The concept for the hostel that I am looking at :
     This fully furnished/livable 40ft SHIPPING CONTAINER unit is what I am trying to save my money for. It's a great starter for me and eventually I could even stack on a couple of units on top of it later down the line. I want to make it earth friendly, sustainable and bombproof. This will serve as a proper headquarters for Ghost in the Spoke and a place for cyclists/travelers to stay at any given notice. I want it to be located in Greencove, Florida as it is a halfway point from Jacksonville to St.Augustine. The bike ride to and from each point is absolutely gorgeous and forms a full century (100 miles). The hostel being in the middle would serve as a good stopping point. It would be far enough for beginner and advanced cyclists to rest.   

I am also looking into some bike lockers for the hostel:
Reliance Foundry’s recycled plastic bike lockers in front of a building on a college campus.
These lockers from http://www.reliance-foundry.com/ seem to fit the bill. I think that I would start with two of them placed lengthwise back to back to form a small parallelogram against the hostel outer wall. Or I could use them on the inside in the same shape to double as a table. These lockers would also work well at my day job if placed in the same fashion. They would serve as a place for me to store spare bikes for our cycling group. (We meet at my day job on Wednesday nights.)

A proper foundation and some land that has electric and plumbing capabilities and I will be good to go. A couple of solar panels would help too. Wish me luck!!!!

     I never would have had any of these ideas in my mind if my vehicle didn't break down and force me to bike to work/almost everywhere that I go. Now cycling is a second job for me and I work when I bike. It's kind of funny how that worked out. I just wanted to take this time to let every person and company that put faith in me know that your efforts were not fruitless. You have changed my mentality for the rest of my life and I am so very grateful that all of you put in your efforts. I promise to continue to serve all of you to full extent of my abilities. 

     I turn 26 in June, it may have taken a longer time for me to finally find my path but I am finally here and ready to ride bicycles upon it. I would have never found my way without the help of all of you.
A huge thank you to all of you:

My family.
My girlfriend Mandi, she helps me so much with Ghost in the Spoke, all behind the scenes and without asking anything in return.
All of the friends.
The followers that support my site.
-All of the companies that have put faith in me and brought substance to my site-

I never thought that riding a bicycle to work would open up the rest of the world for me.


ricrosier@hotmail.com
904-674-1398
www.ghost-in-the-spoke.com
www.instagram.com/ghost_in_the_spoke
2525 Ambrosia Dr

Middleburg FL 32068

If you would like to donate to my cycling projects you can here!

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm giving away one of our shirts! Instagram contest!




     I'm throwing a ‪contest!
All you have to do is repost this photo on instagram for your chance to win one of our shirts. Please tag ‪#‎bike_club‬ so I know you entered. If you didn't luck out on our witch board shirt then you can always buy one at the online site. for $13 lucky dollars. All of proceeds will be going to fund my upcoming cycling projects. Thank you all for your time and faith in me. 


 To see more photos check out the "Dead Lens" section of my site.


#Bikeporn #Fixed #bicyclingmag #Fixedgear #Mtb #Bmx #motorcycle #roadbike #Trackbike #Bike #bicycle #Bikepolo #cycling #Igerscycling #Lomo #Love #instagood #instagramhub #bikemag #bikejax #fixie #DirtyCycleWorks #bike_club

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fixcraft Instagram Contest!!!!!




CONTEST RULES:
1. Follow @ghost_in_the_spoke and @fixcraft

2. Take a selfie fully geared up for polo in a non-polo environment, use the hashtags #fixcraft #bikepolo #lancasterpolo #fixcrafthubs and win a super rare pewter v3 model not even available yet. Ends may 5th! Only one winner. #themeans #edisons #cunningstunts #assassinsbikepolo #guardians



http://fixcraft.merchtable.com/

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pictures of Corey's going away party // Xcel camera upload

I took some photos for this ice cream social https://www.facebook.com/events/235728436612005/ , it was a friend's going away party. You can check them all out here .

All photos taken with my Xcel camera. www.facebook.com/xcelcam



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Knog "Big Dog" bag review

     This is my Knog "Big Dog" bag, I'm going to start this off with what I love about this bag, IT'S SOOOOO GIANT!!!!!!!!!!!  It has a capacity of well over 1850 cubic inches and that is big enough to hold anything that I can dish out on it. I carry all of my merchandise inside of it for impromptu events and on our social rides it fits my tools and anything we need for emergencies. Also this thing can fit a whole lot of beer, it fits a whole lot of everything. If I know that day I will have to depend on myself for storage space on a ride then this is the bag I always run to.


     This bag has a 1200D rated fabric blend outer shell and a sewn in water resistant lining that is padded to keep all of your goodies safe and dry. The bag also has webbing between the quick draw flap and body of the bag to further secure all of your goodies. The outer shell has 5 pockets, 2 open pockets under the flap for items you need on the go and on the other side are 3 silicone reinforced zippered pockets that repel water and keep your important items safely tucked away. I can fit my entire arm in each of these pockets, they are actually quite useful . I use the zippered pockets for my wallet, keys and cellphone. So far they have held up to all of the rain we get here in Florida.


     The inner body of the bag has 11 pockets
- A laptop pocket that is bombproof in all areas of security. (Scratch/water/shock resistance).
- 2 open and 2 zippered webbed pockets that can fit my entire hand
- 4 palm sized water proof liner pockets
- 1 large webbed zippered pocket that could fit another laptop if necessary


And this is where it really shines!!!
- 1 large weatherproof womb that can fit this bags entirety into it if weather happens to be exceptionally bad. This pocket is sandwiched into the core of the bag and was built to keep your items secure in toughest of conditions. I use this pocket to store my merch on rides and keep it safe till it reaches a purchasers hands on our rides.


     The description on site actually says it has much less but in total on the entire bag I have counted 16 pockets. 18 pockets if you count the webbing in the outer pockets and 19 pockets if you count the bag itself.  That's enough storage space to feed even the worst cases of OCD. This bag has a pocket for everything.


     The negatives that I have about this bag are minimal to all that the bag has to offer but there are a few points to look at. When I first got this bag I had to modify the strap system. The quick release clamp is wonderful but I had to double over the main strap because it is very long. You could change this by just cutting it and sewing the strap to a smaller size but I'm lazy so I just doubled it over. I'm also 5'5 so it could be that I'm just short.The other negative is that while it is waterproof on the inner liner that covers the entirety of the bag the tough 1200D fabric blend can get slightly damp. This is absolutely not a problem, the bag fully functions with water resistance but I went the extra mile and wax coated the outer shell with a ratio of 2 parts beeswax and 3 parts candlewax blend. The wax blend seeps into the 1200D fabric blend better and seals it into the bag for all weather applications.


  Also, it is good to note that the bag sits much better if you take the stabilizer strap and mount one side to the middle of the main strap rather than the other side of the bag. This position is called a "Y-strap" or "third leg".


This bag is a steal at $125 it will be hard pressed to find anything of it's caliber in the same price range. You can pick one up at www.knog.com.au . Thank you for watching.


This was filmed on my Xcel camera www.xcelcam.com
Music Credit: RIP Rei Harakami - 2 creams


     For more check out www.ghost-in-the-spoke.com

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Knog Bouncer U-Lock review

This little lock of mine is called the "Knog Bouncer U-Lock". She is the second to highest quality lock that you can pick up from Knog in terms of security and price. If we are going by pure price of the lock then I would rate this as Knog's "cheap best" model. It is only second to the Strongman U-lock in terms of dimensional size and silicone scratch protection coverage, all other statistics are of equal quality. What that means is that you are getting a $100 lock for the price of $50 at the cost of a smaller size and less scratch resistance to your gear. This lock is built for the average working man and is tough as nails as the name implies. This lock keeps your prized horse safe while she is away from the stable and at the same time is quite affordable.

      With so many options in bicycle locks and how confusing it can be to pick up a proper one to secure your bike I have found myself always pushing towards U-locks. They are the hardest to pick and cut through so I have always chosen to put my faith in these types. They are heavier than your average braided wire lock but I would gladly sacrifice carrying abit of extra weight around on my setups to know that my whip will be safe and secure when I come back to her.


The key points on this lock are the:
•Scratch Protection: It has a silicone and plastic shell that houses the metal lock.

•Secure Mechanical Assembly: Lock is designed to be without leverage points and is built of steel that does not have any play between lock and shackle.

•Double Dead-lock: A thief would have to cut the entire lock in half to get your bike.

•Lock Barrel Security: It has a high security disk style lock barrel, designed for a minimum of 2500 key combinations.

•U-shackle security: Heat-treated specifically to create balance between hardness (cutting resistance) and toughness (for tensile and impact resistance)

     While all locks can be broken to some extent, bike thieves will have to go the extra mile to get to your ride with the Knog Bouncer. To get into this lock the thief would have to cut this ENTIRE lock in half to get to your bike. The thief would be spending a considerably more amount of time cutting through this lock then your average chain or wire lock. It is always best to lock your bike up in a well seen and public place to deter an attempt. The last thing that a thief wants to do is been seen cutting away at a lock in public and stirring up some attention.


     In my time with the lock it has been useful, the only negatives that I can think of are that the Bouncer is not fully encased in silicone so you have to be careful if you place it next to items and that it is quite hard to thread your lock through your front wheel alongside your back wheel and frame. If that is your method of locking the bike then the Strongman is your best bet, I generally just lock my front wheel and frame together so it's no big deal. For the price of the Bouncer you can just get two of them and lock everything together. The silicone also works to grip the lock to pockets on backpacks but really it stays put so I can't complain.
OH YEAH! IT CAN FIT IN YOUR POCKET!!!!!! ALL THE LADIES WILL THINK YOU HAVE A GIANT BONER!!!

You can pick one up from http://www.knog.com.au/ . Have a good day! Bye bye!

Filmed with my Xcel camera www.xcelcam.com
Bag in video: Banjo Brothers Metro Bag http://banjobrothers.com/
Music Credit: Neosonix - Far Away Promise https://soundcloud.com/neosonix/far-away-promise