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Archive for the Bikes Category

Why We Travel: Offline on the Umpqua

Posted by Josie | June 27th, 2013 | Filed under Bikes, Outdoor Sport, Personal Reflection, Travel, Who We Are

This summer, in the Thought Kitchen, we explore why we love to travel. First up in our series—Josie Norris—our beloved producer and wild queen of single track, goes offline on the Umpqua. 

En route to Ashland from central Oregon two weeks ago, I accidentally found my new favorite wild place in Oregon. The Umpqua River sucked me in and I never made it to Ashland.

On day one, I spent hours on the North Umpqua River Trail (79 miles of beautifully maintained single-track) and didn’t see a single person. In the absence of cell reception, I left a note on my car the second day that said “if you’re reading this note after 8:00 p.m. on Saturday June 15th please send help…..”.

Thank you Verizon and thank you Oregon, for reminding me what it means to be truly disconnected.

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The Growing Global Pelaton

Posted by leighann | June 11th, 2013 | Filed under Bikes, Positive Change, Who We Are

We got a nice chuckle out of last week’s The New Yorker cover by artist Marcellus Hall depicting the much-anticipated (and much-hyped) launch of New York City’s new bike sharing program, Citibike. Even though it joins hundreds of bike-sharing programs already in existence, you’d think the media darling was the first of its kind.

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#mybiketakesme – Tell us, we want to know.

Posted by Lindsey | May 14th, 2013 | Filed under Bikes, Partners for Change, Travel

In recognition of National Bike Month and all the awe-inspiring and secret places our bikes take us, we’ve teamed up with our Partner for Change, People for Bikes, to find out what inspires you to get out and ride. Here’s a peek into where we like to go.

Share where your bike takes you on Instagram for the chance to win the ultimate commuter kit— a Tern Joe C21 foldable cruiser and $250 of Nau apparel. To enter, hit the road and tag your Instagram photos—from urban landscapes to alpine vistas – with #MyBikeTakesMe. Don’t forget to include @NauClothing and @PFBcrews so we can check out where you go.

The contest ends May 29. Winner will be announced May 31st. Winner must choose product by June 30th. Full rules here.

Caleb Bushner (Nau Facebook Fan): #MyBikeTakesMe to Bernal Heights Park at sunset.

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Nau Takes NYC By Bike

Photo: Lavish Livez Instagram

To commemorate bike month, we took a small group of friends on a curated bike tour from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Each stop along the way brought to life our unique perspective on sustainability, craftsmanship and the modern, mobile lifestyle. Here’s a quick glimpse into our pedal-perfect day.

Getting Oufitted
We started at HUB in the West Village where we were each fit with our custom Dutch-inspired Brooklyn Cruisers. While the week’s sunny weather had taken a turn, it only added to the spirit of the tour. Most of us simply put on an extra layer with a Dose Jacket or Motil Trench, and we were on our way.

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Postcard From Amsterdam

Posted by Alex | August 21st, 2012 | Filed under Bikes, Personal Reflection, Who We Are

postcard[Editors Note: Our friend and copywriter Alex left Portland in 2010 to start a new life in Europe. This month, he’s returned as a Guest Editor of The Thought Kitchen to share some of his experiences.]

Right now I’m sitting in the shoebox-sized office of my apartment in Amsterdam, listening to the street through window blinds drawn against the sun. The electric whirr and rumble of the number thirteen Tram mixes with the squeaks and rattles of rusted-out second-hand bicycles. As waves of cars stop and go through the traffic light, snippets of Indian pop, Tupac, Turkish dance music and Goyte drifting up by turns to my window. A car horn, a shout in Dutch, a lull. Another Tuesday afternoon.

It’s the third day of the first heat wave of the summer—a season that the locals, with characteristic stoicism, had suggested might not make it to this corner of Europe. It seemed an apt prediction to my wife and me as we piled on sweaters in May, rode through the rain in June, and woke to the thundering of our downspout in July. The Netherlands has a reputation for bad weather, one we’re thinking is pretty well deserved.

windmillBut the Netherlands has other reputations as well. Depending on whom you ask, it’s a country of bike lanes, a haven of  diversity and tolerance, or a playground for drugs. It’s a land reclaimed from the sea, where global warming and rising sea levels make “sustainability” more than just a liberal buzz-word. It’s a nation of tall women and even taller men drinking small beers and (occasionally) wearing wooden shoes.  A place for cheese and windmills and international law. A place that once had an economic collapse because of the price of tulips.

But part of living in a country is sorting out what’s real, what’s imagined, and what’s simply been lost in translation. So six months ago, my wife and I—inspired by family heritage and an overdeveloped sense of wanderlust—moved here, to work and sort it out for ourselves. Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some of those impressions, from what “bike culture” really means in a place with more bikes than people, to how one restaurant is designing vegetarian dishes with help from landscape architecture.

As we’re learning, moving isn’t always easy. But the rewards of movement—across space and through cultures—is that it can change your perspective on everything: even what’s just outside your window.


Riding Across the Cultural Divide

Posted by Guest | June 26th, 2012 | Filed under Bikes, Outdoor Sport, Personal Reflection


Editor’s Note: Yeah, we like bikes. But our obsession for the velocipede goes beyond the obvious. This week, in the Thought Kitchen, friend, freelance writer and fellow rider, Ellee Thalheimer echoes yet another reason why we trade in four wheels for two—to experience something far better than cruise control and heated seats.

By Ellee Thalheimer

Throughout the wind-thrashed land of Argentina’s Pampa, the remote, bustling hamlets became ghost towns for three hours every afternoon. After the siesta, everyone from leathery-skinned cowboys to laughing women in designer jeans would huddle in groups sipping yerba mate from a communal gourd and metal straw.

On this trip and many others, my secret tool to bridge the cultural divide and nose my way into the heart of another culture was my massively loaded bicycle. At car checkpoints, Argentine police officers would invite me to share a mate, and curious onlookers approached me as a fascinating—and possibly off-my-rocker—oddity.

They wanted to know where I was from, where I was going, how far I’d come, and how many miles per day I rode. That inquisitiveness enabled me to ask intimate questions and wiggle my way into some pretty stellar conversations and cultural understanding.

People’s curiosity in exotic places like Argentina, interestingly enough, is not all that different than at home. Crossing over the West Hills, just outside of metro Portland, Oregon, the culture subtly changes; there are slight differences in how people talk to each other, variant political signs in front yards, and deviations in restaurant menus.

A bicycle, with bags slung all over it, seldom fails to pique folk’s interest, even if they are used to cyclists. So the rural Oregonian with a gun rack chats with the Portland cyclist toting Kombucha in a non-toxic metal bottle.

The bicycle ends up building a link between diverse people who might never have interacted. And when folks from disparate cultures connect and learn about each other, empathy is born, and the world becomes a better place. A two-wheeled device all of the sudden accomplishes more than anyone would have ever expected.

Elle is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. Her past work includes Cycling Italy and contributions to the Lonely Planet editions of Mexico, USA, Caribbean Islands and Pacific Northwest guidebooks. Learn more about cycle touring in Oregon in her new guidebook: Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-day Tours in Oregon by checking out her website www.cyclingsojourner.com. And stay tuned for her upcoming venture: Hop in the Saddle: A Guide to Portland’s Craft Beer Scene, By Bike available in November.

The Camera Steals the Soul, Part 3: cycling in cinema

Posted by leighann | May 8th, 2012 | Filed under Art, Bikes, Who We Are


Since most of us around here are getting back in the saddle after a rather soggy winter (and it’s bike month), we decided it’s time for the third installment of our blog series— The Camera Steals the Soul. You might remember it—our compilation of cheesy Hollywood flicks that have sucked the living soul out of sport (and a few that haven’t). Born out of a few drinks on a cold winter’s night some years ago, our “ode-to-trash” anthology has tackled the ski and surf genres. Now it’s time to shift gears to—yeah, you guessed it—cycling.

Of course, this time around, we’re drinking Prosecco and staring down an 80-degree weekend, which is why our list is short. Plus, we got sidetracked on youtube. You’ll see why.

The Good
Breaking Away
Better off Dead
Napoleon Dynamite
Revenge of the Nerds
A Sunday in Hell

So Bad, It’s Good
American Flyers
Pee Wee’s Big Adventures

The Guilty Pleasures
Sh*t Cyclists Say

Honorable Mention

Wizard of Oz
The Goonies

What did we miss? Let us know.

BioMega: Shifting how we ride

Posted by Leigh | May 4th, 2012 | Filed under Bikes, Design, Partnerships
The Bos

The Bos

We love great design. We think about it, talk about it and realize it’s our distinct, intuitive designs which make Nau styles unique. Our friends over at the Copenhagen-based BioMega have a similar approach to thinking about product design. The philosophy behind their stunning collection of commuter bicycles is to create bikes so beautiful that they transform the way a society thinks about transportation. Their goal is to create urban-landscape changing bikes which imbue cities with meaning and create deeper connections with the natural world.

Of course, we believe BioMega’s mission is similar to ours: to create beautiful, sustainable garments that transform the way an industry does business and the way consumers think about fashion. We also appreciate how, like us, they see design as a vehicle to express something familiar in a new, unexpected way — not just for design’s sake, but with performance and end use in mind.

To celebrate our similar ideologies (and to kick off national bike month), we teamed up with Biomega to offer a chance to win the ultra-portable Boston bike (aka The Bos) and a head-to-toe Nau kit. The Bos, with its theft-proof, foldable design, is described by its designer as a mix of  “BMX, Downhill bikes, and American bad boy pop culture.” Upon its debut, it won such praise that it became a permanent fixture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Now you can have a chance to win this piece of foldable art and any Nau kit of your choice. Register to win here. Only a few days left. The winner will be announced on May 9th in our Off The Grid newsletter.

To learn more about BioMega and the BOS, check out their website here.

Welcome Bikes Belong

Posted by Josie | May 1st, 2012 | Filed under Bikes, Partners for Change

When we decided to add a new partner to our Partner for Change program, the decision was unanimous to bring Bikes Belong into the fold.

The Bikes Belong Foundation was launched in 2006 in Boulder, CO. Their mission is simple: get more people on bikes more often.

They have their hands in a variety of bike related projects including: maximizing federal support for bicycling, connecting communities through bike projects, organizing ad campaigns, promoting bikes through the Safe Routes to School partnerships and the program we’re supporting– People for Bikes.

If this motivational poster above Peter’s desk isn’t enough to convince you to choose two wheels instead of four the next time you leave the house, read more about the benefits of biking on their website.


Welcome Bikes Belong, we’re proud to welcome you to the Partners for Change program.

Urban Bike Lust

Posted by leighann | March 22nd, 2012 | Filed under Bikes, Design

tumblr_l7fe66pF1E1qd6hzlo1_500There’s something about 37 degrees and raining that makes us want to ride a bike—indoors. Seriously, this is about the time of year when we start dreaming of riding in shorts and a t-shirt, or maybe even a light wool sweater, not waterproof down. But while winter hangs on in the Pacific Northwest, it’s spring break everywhere else. (It’s currently 73 degrees in NYC and 83 in Chicago.) Despite the weather, here are a few urban rides that might spark your lust for sunnier days. At least, it did for us.


Courtesy of Ziba.com

All we need are some aviator goggles and maybe a small dog (like Dick Dastardly and his dog Muttley) for this urban bad boy. Our neighbors, Ziba Design, partnered with Signal Cycles to create this utility bike that pays homage to the classic side car. To learn more, go here.


Lagomorph Design

Wood is sexy. Wood on a bike is even sexier. Lagomorph Design, out of Chicago, custom built this single speed out of American Black Walnut.


Courtesy of Adventure Journal

Courtesy of Adventure Journal

We stumbled upon this classic beauty over on Adventure Journal. It’s a 1930′s racer called the Pashley Guvnor, retrofitted with the stately thread we’ve come to know as tweed.  Its creator, Ian ‘Corky’ Chisholm, is prepping it for London’s annual Tweed Run.


Rob's Woodgrain Bikes

Looks like wood; rides like steel. Why? Because that’s exactly what it is—steel. Rob Pollack, a retired panel beater, paints these faux woodgrain cycles with such detail it’s hard to tell the difference. To learn more, check out Etsy’s handcrafted portrait on Mr. Pollack, here.