Phew!

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Ok, thanx to Kinkos, a bunch of late night hours, elbow grease (whatever that is), and perseverance, all Upness orders got sent out yesterday… despite our office computer dying on us. Everything on our site is sold out, there’s nothing available. Thanx to you fine people, no further orders need to be shipped out using Kinkos or a new iMac of our own. Now, we here at Upness can take a break, a nap, and then climb some mountains of our own for a little while. As far as what’s next? More will be shared with you when there is more to share. Photo cred: Matt of Folly

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We, here at Upness, have always been honest with you. We are “straight shooters”. We are “heart on sleeve”-wearers. We are “sharing is caring” type dudes. So, in keeping with that, here’s an update that effects all of you super swell folks that are waiting for your gear to arrive: recently, our Upness-dedicated office iMac crashed. And by “crash”, we mean died a most horrible death. The details are too grizzly, too horrible to discuss… we are not in the practice of inserting nightmares into your sweet slumber. So, that said (and bad news noted), we are having some trouble getting orders processed and shipped right now. Please give us some extra time to get our goodies into your grubby grabbers (hands… grabbers are hands). We apologize in advance and hope that your big sigh, that no doubt is occurring as you read this, brings in a deep and fresh breath of positive vibes. Vibes, that we could use some of. BUT, in keeping with our brand’s name, that most certainly is not Downness, we will continue to be positive!!! Even if we have to go to Kinkos (like we did in the 90s) to see our business done, we shall overcome. Dear sad Mac face: turn that frown upside-down biatch.

more? yes… more!

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You loved our Upness shirt + bottle package, but you wanted an additional bidon… your dreams, they come true, today!

This little Cinelli-worship bastard holds liquids. It holds air. So, if you are in need of either, this goodie is perfect for you. Add it to your collection of hill-climbing radery, but add it fast before they are gone!

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Why get fit:

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Hey there, Aaron of Upness here. My pal Jason works at Western Bikeworks, one of the fine cycling establishments in my NW Portland neighborhood. One day, he mentioned to me that his store was getting a new Guru cycling fit machine. He then told me that the aggressive angle in which I set up/ride my road and track bike are not “optimal”.

(op·ti·mal) adjective:
1. Best or most favorable; optimum.”seeking the optimal solution”. 2. Good on the lower “no no” parts, back and neck of a cyclist.



 Synonym: Upness

He said that I was too old to ride around in such an aggressive position, that I was going to hurt myself or worse… someone else. This worried me greatly. This made me feel unoptimal, so I made an appointment to meet up with him right away. Meet the Guru:

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Admittedly, I was nervous. Not only was I in stretchy pants, where my “no no” parts were in clear view, but I was about to be worked hard on a machine, and I was to be judged. I would be corrected, and no one likes that. I was going to be humiliated in front of everyone in the store (which was, like, at least a hundred people) on the day I had made my appointment. It was a cruel joke, I tell y’all. I was so worried in fact, that I didn’t eat for three days before walking into that damn store for the fit. I wanted to look lean, not 40 years old. And though I promised not to show his face, fuck it, this is the monster that would size me up and stretch me out like too little soy margarine over a large piece of Dave’s Killer Bread:

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Ugh, just looking at him, just seeing those snake-like eyes makes my skin crawl as I type this. You might notice the initials “JZN” on his clipboard. I later found out that it stands for “Just Zoo Niggas”, which is his gangsta rap group. They are quite notorious, as it turns out, a ruthless band of thugs that even ONYX is said to fear. What I’m trying to say is that this Jason (or “Jay Sin”, his rap name) is formidable. And his breath, death.

He took measurements, said “hmmm” a lot, and generally made me feel extremely uncomfortable while pointing at my then shaky/nervous hands. I swung my leg over the Guru and he set up the machine as I have my Tarmac set up: “face down and ass up” (another rap slogan or phrase that I wasn’t familiar with). He yelled out, so that all could hear, “You must be soo uncomfortable, the way you ride your bikes Aaron of Upness.org! What a joke!” I shook on the machine. I may have wept a little. It’s all a blur now.

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Here’s the interview I did with him over the phone, a week later, as I just couldn’t face him in person:

Aaron: So what did we do the other day?
Jay Sin: We got you fitted to your bike using the new Guru Fitting System. We also had a few laughs and a lot of coffee. By the way, have you heard that I’m in an awesome hip hop…

A: How much does a professional bike fitting cost a normal human?
J: Right, this isn’t my own personal forum. Let’s keep to the business at hand. For the optimization fit we did together today, $300. But, we also give a $150 credit with the purchase of a new bike with us. We also give complimentary high fives, hot coffee, and follow up consultations.

A: Why not just get a custom bicycle and not a fit for the bicycle I already have?
J: That’s a great question old man. A custom bike fits a person perfectly because the fit is being translated into a geometry that gives the bike a kind of “glove” fit. The two primary attributes that a custom bike give are performance and aesthetics. There’s an ideal look we all go for with our bikes: low and long stems, big drops, and that hard describe “fast” look. The truth is that few people can ride those fits on stock geometry bikes, which is why custom bikes are always such a reliable option to get that perfect fit and feel. But the truth is that millimeters are like miles in bike fitting. While the geometry of a bike could be a little on the aggressive side, small adjustments can be made to change the fit to an ideal positioning. For example, in the fit we did today for you, your bike is a solid fit based on the final numbers we came to. A few extra spacers on the stack, a zero setback seat post, and a 10mm longer stem. Small adjustments, on the right bike, can give a bike that glove fit and fast look we all look for. But it takes the right bike, which is an awesome feature of the new Guru Fitting System. We did the fit for you today, and not only is your Tarmac a good fit, but if you were looking for a new bike, a Cannondale Evo would be a killer choice too. Think of a proper fitting like buying a suit off the rack, and getting it tailored. And then checking out my rap group.

A: How did my butt look in my Upness bibs?
J: It was like watching the sun rise on the first day of spring.

A: Nice, that’s what I was going for. So, why Guru and not Urug?
J: It’s the only dynamic fitting system in North America. Meaning that I can not only take measurements while you ride, but I can also make adjustments to the bike while you ride to give you a better point of reference. When we’re done with the fit, I can build you a report with ideal bikes, their individual measurements and it takes roughly a third the amount of time of a normal comprehensive fit.

A: Why Western Bikeworks?
J: Top three reasons I think you come in 5-10 times a week: 1.) Peanut butter mochas. 2.) crazy good mechanics. 3.) 10,000 square feet of product that you can sink you bike nerd teeth into.

A: The mocha helped my tummy that day. Did you know that I was so scared to be fat in my cycling kit that I hadn’t eaten any food for, like, three days before the fitting?
J: Did you know that I’m a rapper?

A: How does a bike fit help a cyclist with chronic pain, like me and my MS?
J: Common things like numb hands/feet, sore knees/back, and a stiff neck come up all the time. The way I break it down for customers is that 50% of the battle is good posture and technique (which you actually have), the next 50% is the fit being encouraging to that posture and technique. Because I put equal responsibility on the rider and the fit, I like to think that it’s the riders that curb their symptoms with good form. My fit is just the consistent encouragement for that good form.

And there you have it folks. Thanx to Jason, his alter ego Jay Sin, and Ross for the photo from above… the dudes like 9 feet tall.

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Though snow, I go:

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Y’all ordered Upness products from us. Yer hard-earned dough, sent our way for fun (yet practical) products of awesomery. As an American, I understand wanting things “now”, that means pronto (that’s Spanish, not English, but whatever)! SO, though we had 6 inches of snow fall ’round our Portland warehouse, deliveries needed to be made… all your packages needed to be brought from us to the USPS.

I rose from my desk chair after eight cups of strong coffee, did some quick yoga stretches, stood at complete attention as I saluted my flag and suited up for the arctic tundra that waited for me outside our office door. Two full bags of your packages created quite a heavy load for me, but that wouldn’t stop my drive. The wind howled outside as I tried my best to force open the door, snow had banked up. The door would not budge! I closed the door and, quietly to myself, uttered the following collection of words, “They wouldn’t give up on me. They wouldn’t let the weather stop them. Santa takes no days off. Aaron, you must find a way out and see that these deliveries are made.”

I ain’t no tough guy, but I am loyal to our followers and I just had to find a way.

I climbed the stairs, a heavy bag strapped to my back and another strapped to my front, my thorax and spine breaking under the heavy load. Once on the second floor of the warehouse (a loft used for the storage of our companies various top secret items. Don’t even think for a second that I’ll tell you what they are either!), I headed toward the front of the building. The bags, now so heavy, like the lead of a thousand, million, cajillion melted down D&D figures. I brushed giant spider webs from my path as I headed closer to a small window. Like Dr. Jones, forward through this tunnel toward the light I went. I had a mission, after all. Make no mistake, I would make it to the USPS office today!

I reached the small window that overlooks the front of Upness headquarters, opened it and before I could gasp, the wind (strong like ox) blew the shutters right off their hinges and the window shattered!!! Snow blasted my face and forced me backwards into the loft, I lost my balance, regained it and lost it again, and then I regained it again, I stumbled some, and stumbled some more. You get the idea, this was trouble. This was serious.

I took a few steps backward, where the wind had less of a death grip on me. I watched as snow began to fill the loft, I soon would be engulfed in the freezing wet stuff. Time was running out, as in, why can’t I fucking get to the point of this post and really tell you the important stuff. OK! I released the frontal load and also the backal loads, your precious cargo gently placed on the now snow-covered loft floor (ugh, my boss is gonna’ kill me). I was ill-prepared, no straps to tow anything if the occasion should arise. I tied both bags around my waste with rope quickly torn from my face, braided beard strands now a long, strong tugging device. I took only a nano second to pat myself on the back for such an incredible idea. I also took a nano second to wipe blood from my face where my beard once grew longeth. With the tough strands of beard binding, I leaned forward into the windy room and dragged both bags toward the white window mouth of doom, my hot garlic breath steaming as I moved. All fear now gone and a with renewed strength, I made it to the window… like, barely. Must… get… to… and… through… and… down… from… that… stupid… window!!!

I will spare you some details. They are long-winded (pun) and my fight against the storm raged long and hard. It was so tough trying to get both heavy bags of Upness gold through the window and lowered (again, with rope fashioned from my epic beard) down to the ground. I will also spare you the hours that I cried, oh yes, strong men do cry. Don’t judge me. I was so worried about your stuff, dear readers. So worried, in fact, that I removed all of my arctic clothing in order to make a tent to cover the…

Skip it. I was freezing, but I was now down on the ground. Finally!

 Two things were now making themselves very apparent:

1.) This is ridiculous.

2.) There is no way that I’m going to get all this stuff, this glorious gear, from where I am to where I need to go.

A thought came to me, like the voice of an angel, that my local bicycle shop was only a block from our Upness warehouse… if I could only get these two bags to the shop. YES! I could rent a bicycle, a fat one, one that would make this all possible! Since the guys at 21st Ave Bicycles are pretty rad dudes, could be bribed with drugs or sex dvds, this plan might just work.

Since the bribery or bicycle shop officials isn’t all that important in this story (and, like the Mob, you don’t wanna really get them involved too much), I will leave all of that out. That said, after crawling with this cumbersome load to the shop, I was greeted warmly by the fellas. They saw that I was in pain. They noted my firm and constant grit to my teeth. They also noted the dedication in my eyes and my bloody, skinned knees proved it. After cleaning up with a few soiled, oily shop rags (very funny guys), I chose the Surly ECR as my weapon against the war… the war against, um… the war against the elements and against time itself! Yes, that sounds awesome! And it was!

Behold “the Surly ECR, a sure-footed, multi-terrain, offroad-obsessed 29+ camp bike. It can run racks, fenders and disc brakes simultaneously, front and rear. It’s compatible with singlespeed, full derailleur and IGH drivetrains (it even features a dedicated Rohloff torque arm mount) because the rear dropouts. Run what you like. ECR has multiple mounts on the frame and fork for water bottle cages and larger gear cages, so you can bring lots of water, stove fuel, milk, a sleeping pad, small mammals or what have you.” In my case, tons of packages of Upness. Joy, really. I am a joy bringer today and I shall deny no single granular of joy! This machine “takes standard 34mm headsets and regular mountain bike hubs (100mm front and 135mm rear). It’s designed for full length housing to keep out the elements and keep brakes braking and shifters shifting on long treks in rough conditions. The rigid fork can be swapped out for an 80mm suspension fork if you like, but this would mean you’d lose the extra carrying capacity of the stock fork, and you couldn’t run a 3” tire and 50mm rim. ECR is of the 29+ category: more width, more height, more traction, more cushion and more float than standard 29ers. The approach angle of such big tires (close to 31˝) combined with the extra traction and float of high volume, low weight rubber make this bike extremely capable of going lots of places, from roads to trails to little-traveled back country. It’s a pack mule, a pedal-powered escape pod. Wherever you want to explore, this is the bike that can get you there.” And to the USPS I needed to go.

After miles and miles, and miles, and more miles, and even some more longer miles, through the blizzard I rode. This fat bike was unstoppable. No frozen curb, slushy turn, baby squirrel could stop me. I was, if you aren’t picking up what I’m putting down, unstoppable. I finally reached the USPS office. I cried again, my tears freezing on my face and turning into diamonds as I caught them and tossed them into my mouth (by now I was seriously dehydrated). I removed the bags from the bicycle and… the snow stopped. Just. Like. That. The wind stopped as well, as if they decided to torment me no further. As if the cold and the wind skipped off together, in a shotgun wedding moment of epic proportions. The sun came out, clouds parted for him, as they should. His love, in warm rays of golden awesomery began to warm my frozen, unwarm body. He giggled, only for a moment, at my half torn away beard. “Oh, cruel sun!”, I cried. “Know you not what I have been through to bring Upness to the world… your world?”

There was no response. But, I was warming. I then laughed at the Sun. Yes, I must look strange, odd to others. Flesh had been ripped from me, blood shed, and muscles broken down into threads of… stuff. I was tired, and alone. But I was warming up. And I was unwaveringly dedicated. damn it!

I laughed louder now, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I had arrived at the gateway, the realm of delivery. As I laughed, I reached up to the front door, a horizontal bar to most… but it was a glorious thing to me. It was… wait, the door was stuck. Or, it was locked. Was this a cruel joke?!?! A small sign with the USPS office hours of operation clearly stated that they were “not open on Sundays”. Had that much time passed? Had I been fighting the raging storm and cold for so many long, painful days? The sun laughed again, this time his bellow shook the earth. With all of my strength, I stood. My knees buckled beneath my frame. “Fuck you Sun, Monday is only hours away and I shall deliver these bags of goodies then… you’ll see! And you shall choke on your laughter! For I work for Upness, I work for the people that believe in me!”

Pictured below, the ECR in the snow with full bags. Also pictured is Nick, Kurt and Timmy of 21st Ave Bicycle Shop well-wishing me. Thanx fellas.

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“Climb” shirt + bottle package:

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Not many left! Get it!

Only 80 packages made, and there will ONLY be 80 packages sold. Each order is 1 shirt + 1 bottle… neither shall be sold separately. This here, this is a one-time thing here, don’t ya know.

SHIRT:
We are proud to present the softest, smoothest, best-looking short sleeve tee shirt available anywhere. Made by American Apparel, these Poly-Cotton (50% Polyester/50% Cotton) bastards with a durable rib neckband are incredibly cozy. Heather black shirts + 4 color front print and Upness sleeve logo done up at only the bestest of print shops (Holy Mountain Printing) in the United States.

BOTTLE:
It holds liquids. It holds air. So, if you are in need of either, this little guy is perfect for you! It comes in the bright 4 color printing that matches the shirt… 22 damn ounces of climb time adventure! The Purist infusion shields the bottle from odor, stains and mold to keep your water pure and your bottle clean. The large screw top design is leak-free and wide enough for ice cubes, powder drink mix, small monkey hands or lots of candy. It uses BPA-free plastic: 100% FDA food grade; printed with non-solvent base (UV cured); CPSC-approved ink. AND, as if that’s not enough stuff to read… hey, they are made in the US of A… Morgan Hill, California (to be exact)!

So… climb on, oh mangler of the mountains! Go fourth, oh sultan of the summit! We are proud to be on your shoulders and in your bicycle bottle cage (or trail running pack) as you head up and over whatever lies in your path.

Get packaged here!

Again, so there are no questions, each order is 1 shirt + 1 bottle… neither shall be sold separately. These are only available in the United States and only sold in the United States.

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