Hooligan's Ball 2015

In February, the route was announced for the tenth annual Tour of California. Almost immediately, Banning and I identified the famous Mt Baldy summit finish had been brought back to this year’s edition, after a two year absence. It required no deliberation….EWB Hooligans Ball would also be making its grand re-emergence!

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Eric Popiel
East West Bikes Parts Ways with Colnago

As many know our story, East West Bikes evolved from our predecessor shop Banning’s Bikes.  Perhaps no one was more responsible for pushing Banning to open the shop than Colnago.  At the time, Colnago’s distributor and sales representative approached Banning and encouraged him to take that huge leap into small business ownership.

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Eric's PostsEric Popiel
Prodotti Speciali… The rare look inside the Campagnolo Factory… The Holy Grail of the Cycling Industry!

When I first fell in love with road cycling, I started to hear about the mythic componentry coming from Italy that truly made a good bike great. As I started to see images in the magazines of Euro Pro races, I not only noticed the weird looking shifters (compared to what came spec’d on my bike) but started to stare in lust. The shape was sexy and I couldn’t help wishing my bike got me as turned on. I wanted to feel up those shifters and run my hands along those smooth curvy brake calipers and derailleurs from those better bikes

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Eric's PostsEric Popiel
The Electronic Revolution

When I first envisioned East West Bikes authoring a blog, I wanted it to be fresh and fun to read.

Creating just another place to read the same stuff that could be found elsewhere seemed boring and an obvious attempt at cheap web optimizing. For better or worse that goal established a tough standard to meet, but I see it as a fun challenge.

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Eric Popiel
A brief comparison between '97 and today... and the white elephant in the room

I remember my version of the cycling world of fifteen or so years ago as being vastly different than that of today. One could argue that it was better then or better today, with equally compelling arguments. Not sure where my vote is yet, although I will say that the oversized headset, electronic shifting systems, lightweight bikes, and the seemingly more level playing field of the CG contenders puts today in an advantage.

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Eric Popiel
2012 Hooligans Ball

When the Tour of California shows up on Mt. Baldy, so do we. It's not every year so when it happens, we make a big production out of it and get everyone involved. 

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Eric Popiel
What in the world am I training for?

Ironically I’m probably faster and smarter now than I was then, but yet its not about the handful of crits that I will actually participate in each year. Its about the joy and happiness that cycling brings me. Its about the balanced center that I find when I’m fit. Its about the love I have for pain and exhaustion. Its about that misty feel in the morning air on top of Avocado Crest.

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Eric Popiel
EWB: The Beginnings

Should I review a new state-of- the-art product and extol its amazing benefits over all the other competing products? Should I take a que from NYC Bike Snob and use this as my way of retaliating against all the jerk-off customers who have behaved badly in the shop? Perhaps a detailed explanation as to why Gilberto Simoni is as much artist as he is athlete, along with Museauw and so many others who have been paid to race. Should I try to start to explain why I love bikes, road bikes specifically?

No. I will tackle all of those and so many more in subsequent entries. The start needs to be why. Why leave behind a lucrative career with manicured cuticles and over the top paychecks to do something different. Very, very different.

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Eric Popiel