Veluwezoom Embrocation

10 Feb

Veluwezoom Embrocation

Named for the oldest national park in the Netherlands, our hand-made embrocation encourages you to go outside – in just about any weather.

If you’ve never used embro before, Veluwezoom is just for you. It has a light woodsy scent that, like everything we sell at Road Holland, does not scream cyclist. Your legs will feel it but the rest of your crew won’t be all hot and bothered by an overly pungent scent that makes them gasp for air even before they’ve saddled up.

Veluwezoom Embro is hand-made in North Carolina by some very good friends of ours. One tin contains approximately 3 oz and with typical application amounts, should last for the duration of a cold weather riding season.

Road Holland Cycling Apparel – You will be Celeste green with envy.

9 Dec

Road Holland Stylish Cycling Jacket

It’s not by accident that we chose the names Amsterdam and Rotterdam for our newest Road Holland jerseys. These two garments represent the current height of our knowledge about how to make outstanding cycling gear. Only the names of the 2 biggest cities in the Netherlands would fit.

Road Holland Stylish Cycling JerseyWe launched Road Holland in 2010 with 4 jerseys – a long and a short sleeve style for men and women. As we had no fashion experience, it was a big achievement – getting the fabric right, refining the cut, and adding the little details that make a jersey stand out from the rest of the peloton all took loads of time and effort. In the end though, the hard work paid off and the market responded with an overwhelming YES to our products. We kept going.

Right about this time last year, we realized we needed to step up our product line in a big way. The dropping temps highlighted the opportunity to make a serious and stylish jersey that performed as well as a jacket. We undertook a long search for the fabric and worked throughout 2013 refining prototypes. In the end, we settled on a soft-shell like 68% poly, 28% Merino, 4% spandex blend. While the material is tough and will wear like iron over time, it’s not windproof so we added polyester “storm” panels in the front core section. Road Holland Celeste Green Cycling JacketWe re-thought our standard 3 + 1 pocket design and settled on 2 larger outside pockets and an exterior zippered pocket with a 5” opening. The result is more than enough room to carry rain shells, gloves, hats, and other cold weather necessities. The 5” wide exterior pocket will fully encase a large smartphone and provides an eyelet passthrough to the main body of the jacket for routing headphone cables. Other details on the jacket include velcro closable cuffs and a cinchable waist.

It’s easy for a brand to rest on a color scheme – everyone knows Road Holland is all about orange and we’ve used it for all of our seasonal line-ups in one way or another. To keep things fresh, we broke with our tradition yet chose one of the most traditional cycling colors of all (but oddly not present in cycling apparel) – Celeste Green. According to Wikipedia, the fountain of Internet knowledge, “Contradictory myths say Celeste is the color of the Milan sky, the eye color of a former queen of Italy for whom Edoardo Bianchi made a bicycle (the crowned eagle of the company logo is an adaptation of the former royal crest) and that it was a mixture of surplus military paint. The shade has changed over the years, sometimes more blue, then more green.”

Whatever the derivation, Celeste is a Road Holland style color – unique without being flamboyant. As we like to say around our office, anyone who sees you in an Amsterdam or Rotterdam this winter will be “Celeste green with envy.”

 

Stalen Ros Klassieke Wielershow 2013

11 Nov

Watch Above. Participants only on steel road bikes and clothing appropriate to the age of the bike. This is very Serious and Stylish.

poster kl

The Noordwijk Cycling Vest: a cut above the rest

3 Nov

The Noordwijk Vest

Road Holland Vest

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-blockRoad Holland Vesting 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.

IMG_1595 (1)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.

See more at the Road Holland Shop!

Turtleson – From The Links To Life

9 Oct

Turtleson Golf

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.”).

Turtleson Greg and ChetS&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…

- Jonathan

My Hi-Fi Stereo Love Affair

7 Oct

Marantz

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.

Hi-Fi Stereo TubeFast 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.

Hi-Fi Stereo

Video

Hometown Singletrack in Richmond Virginia.

2 Oct

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.

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