Watch Above. Participants only on steel road bikes and clothing appropriate to the age of the bike. This is very Serious and Stylish.
When we set out to create the Noordwijk, we thought about all the vests we’ve worn when cycling. Too often they were functional but not forgettable. Meaning, once we were done with them, they took up way too much space in our jersey back pockets. They were bulky and over-designed. It made deciding to wear one a tough call. Would we rather suffer the wind chill for a bit but not have to carry the vest around for the rest of ride? Or would we rather block the wind but deal with a huge bulge of fabric when temps warmed up to make a vest not necessary.
With the Noordwijk, you don’t have to make that decision. For our first foray into outerwear, we’ve chosen a super light 100% polyester wind-blocking fabric that is everything you need and nothing else. With a simple design and reflective logo accents, the Noordwijk is just as serious and stylish as the rest of the Road Holland line-up.
The Noordwijk features breathable mesh side panels, a side-seam credit card sized pocket, and a lined collar. The back hem is elasticized to ensure a close fit. Best of all, it packs down next to nothing. Depending upon how much you carry, it could even go in your saddle bag.
The Noordwijk is available in two distinct color schemes – Road Black with Bright White accents and Road Black with a Carolina Blue mid-section. And of course, they’re made in the good old U.S. of A.
Because of our affiliation with Road Holland, at S&S, we’re hyper-alert for active gear makers that have an eye for serious style. We love it when companies realize that life off the field, off the court, or off whatever playing arena suits your fancy, is just as important as life on it.
So here’s one that just made our docket for golf – Turtleson. It makes an impressive range of apparel designed for on and off the course (or as they say it, “From the links to life.”).
S&S readers know about my newfound appreciation for golf so I took a keen interest when the catalog showed up at my house last week. I don’t know who Greg and Chet are (they may very well be the handsome couple in many of the photos) but I like the way they write:
We’re golfers. Our company creates world-class performance apparel for men and women. Our gear is available in the finest golf shops and resorts across the country.
We’re also husbands, fathers, friends, and active members of our community. We understand that before and after a great round of golf, life happens.
More than just performance gear in your locker at the club, you also need clothes you can count on in your closet at home. That’s why we are so proud of our brand. Turtleson takes you effortlessly from the foulest St. Andrew’s tempest to a relaxing weekend getaway with family and friends. We make apparel for how we live our lives, both on and off the course.
They nailed it. I don’t want to look like I’m on the PGA tour when I step up to the tee-box. You won’t find me in blade sunglasses, wide white belts, and skin tight polos. One backswing and my cover would be blown anyway.
Turtleson’s threads have a preppy but fresh feel that will surely be at home in my closet. Golf – Turtleson – Me… Hey, it’s the missing link…
By Jonathan Schneider
CNN recently posted an article about the demise of the once paramount stereo system. It’s an interesting read for those of us above age 40. For the rest, it will probably fall upon deaf ears (pun intended).
The thrust of the article is this – an era of digital music, earbuds, iPod docks, laptops, and wireless Bluetooth speakers has sounded the death knell for the traditional component based hi-fi system (i.e.: big speakers, metal boxes, wires). If this is true, I must be living in an alternate universe. In my house, the traditional “system” still holds sway.
I’ve been a hi-fi addict since my earliest years in the 70s. I vividly recall caressing the brushed steel knobs of my parents’ Marantz all-in-one record changer / receiver combo in our family room. I had no clue what “Bass,” “Treble,” or “Low Pass Filter” meant, but I knew they changed the sound dynamic when I fussed with them. One of my earliest memories is listening to Fleetwod Mac’s “Rumors” on vinyl while my dad made his famous burnt cinnamon toast on a rainy Saturday morning.
From the late 70s throughout the 80s, my hi-fi love affair grew. I moved from a mono Panasonic portable radio-cassette player to more sophisticated equipment such as one of the first quartz digitally tuned receivers. I would pour over issues of Stereo Review marveling at high-end equipment from the likes of McIntosh, Conrad-Johnson, and Carver. It was all American made and in a different league than the Japanese equipment on the shelves of our local Circuit City. Of course, it was beyond reach so I had to make do with the big box offerings. Yet, that didn’t stop me from convincing my parents and grandparents to cart me to the local hi-fi shop where I could salivate over the really good stuff. Looking back, I’m amazed the sales people let a young’un like me even take a test-listen.
Fast forward to today and I finally have the kind of system I want – a McIntosh tube based dream machine. What’s a tube you ask? It’s one of the earliest ways of amplification and was common in all types of electronic equipment from TVs to radios to medical equipment. Versus transistors (solid state amplification), tube-based audio systems have a warm, lush sound that is more musical and less fatiguing to listen to. After a while, you don’t get that “I’ve just got to turn this off” feeling from listening to tube audio. To use an analogy, it’s like the difference between wearing your favorite khakis and your favorite jeans. Both feel good – one always just feels better.
Aside from the sound, the best part of tubes is being able to customize the sound. Different types of tubes lend different characteristics to the music – some bring out more of the middle, some have a brighter top, while some have exceptionally spacious imaging. Unlike a solid state amp, you can tweak an amplifier to get the sound you want simply by changing the tubes whenever you want.
Aside from high end-audio equipment (a sliver of the electronics market), nothing uses vacuum tubes anymore. The onslaught of solid state circuitry was so quick, that manufacturing stalwarts such as GE, Philco, RCA and Telefunken were left with gargantuan amounts of tubes that were suddenly worthless. While new tubes are still available from Russia and China (they still have a lot of old things over there that use them), the vintage new old stock (NOS) from decades ago reigns supreme for audiophiles. Small companies scour the market for NOS tubes and sell them to people like me. Inserting a tube made 50 years ago is real step back in time and a real step forward from a sonic perspective.
Sorry for ramble. But the hi-fi system is not dead. You just have to know where to look and how to listen.
Richmond is home to over 40 miles of world-class single-track trails, most of which sit right smack in the middle of the city’s downtown.
I’ve done it – I recently started playing golf again after an almost decade long hiatus. I stopped for the same reason that I am starting again now – my daughter. 4 hours for a round (plus my cycling habit) didn’t jibe well with fatherly duties for a while. But now she’s 8 and showing some talent for the game. As my wife does not golf, the responsibility to shepherd her interest falls to me.
I’ve played a lot of golf in my day and had a lot of lessons. So much and so many that I did not feel the slightest bit of guilt investing in a new set of clubs before going out with her last week. My last sent is 1991 vintage and I know what I’m doing out there not to have to prove myself worthy of new gear anymore. (Actually, anyone who knows me knows that I never prove myself worthy – for any sport I go all in regardless of how much experience I have with it. Yet, it somehow feels nice to think I’m not being crazy on this one).
With a new set of clubs came a re-evaluation of the golf bag. I have a perfectly fine Daiwa bag (from the days when Daiwa made more than fishing gear) but it’s more suited to riding than walking. I’m planning on hoofing the courses with my daughter as it makes for an experience rather than just a game featuring cool transportation.
There were plenty of worthy bags in the store where I bought the clubs. However, none were serious and stylish. Remember the ginormous bag with stereo speakers that Rodney Dangerfield had in Caddyshack. Well, they pretty much all look like that now. Except, they’re bigger and with enough pockets and nooks and crannies in which to take a vacation. When left unchecked, the golf bag can quickly become a repository for all sorts of links detritus – worn out gloves, dog eared scorecards, candy bar wrappers, moldy ponchos. A bigger bag just feeds the fire. And any of the walking bags that are available now are either junior sized or look as if they should be transporting waterskis.
I wanted something simpler and classier – something that reminded me of my first golf bag from my high school days in the 80s when I routinely walked our practice course. I had a nondescript lightweight bag with only two small pockets for balls and tees and a longer one for my shoes, a towel, and wallet. And it did not have that dreaded “stand.” You set it down directly on the grass next to you and didn’t worry if it got a touch wet – it didn’t really make a difference. I can’t remember the bag’s make but a thorough investigation online and at several golf stores suggested nothing like it was available.
Fortunately, a link on Criquet, my new favorite golf threads site took me on over to MacKenzie. MacKenzie has produced classic walking style bags since 1985. It has a lot of models to choose from most of which come in luxurious leathers. MacKenzie offers a ballistic walking bag starting out at $275 but it’s a custom job and just seemed like too big a deal for what I wanted. I kept looking.
Searching “Classic golf bags” on Google yielded my next stop, Jones. In the hole. Although I never actually owned a Jones Bag, I recognized the logo immediately. The company offers several options but I quickly honed in on the “Original.” And then it hit me – this was the bag the really good players used at my high-school for golf tournaments. Our school bags came in the most 70s style of green and gold vinyl imaginable. Classic.
Conceived in the 1970s by George Jones from Portland, Oregon, the company owned the collegiate and high school golf bag market until the early 90s. The streamlined design lent itself to the artful display of school colors and logos. It was also light and meant for walking.
We all know what happened to golf in the 90s – it became much more mainstream, carts became ubiquitous, and everything was super sized and Tigerized. Jones languished. Consistent with the nostalgia boom of present times, however, a family from Portland bought the rights to the brand a few years ago. Using old bags as their guides, the company rebuilt the classic Jones Bag with modern materials but stayed true to the original design including the twisted handle and the “Jones” bottom mold.
I ordered mine in green and white (is there really a better color scheme for golf?) and opted for the custom embroidery. It has enough space for anything I might need. And if I can’t fit it, I shouldn’t be carrying it anyway. It’s lightweight and fits perfectly in the back of the car. The ballistic nylon is of superb quality. For $129, it’s money well spent.
Best of all, as it’s a walking bag, it seems ready to go on a moment’s notice. Carts be damned.
I was excited to receive today this special Le Tour 100 cycling cap made by Red Dots Cycling – it matches perfectly Road Holland’s latest Red, White & Blue Utrecht Jersey.
We’ve posted before about our Canadian friends who make these classic cycling caps. The extra details on this new cap makes it my new favorite. Look how well it goes with our Blue USA Edition Utrecht.