Monday, December 22, 2008

Campagnolo Signs On As Wheels North Sponsor!

We are pleased to announce that Campagnolo, the world-famous Italian bicycle component maker, has signed on as a sponsor of Wheels North!

We thank Valentino Campagnolo for his generous donation.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Six New Videos Today

Six new videos today!  Mojo Cosgrove and Eric rode a 100-mile loop to start getting in shape for Wheels North and an upcoming ride (in January) from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.

Check out my YouTube page and look for the latest videos.  Here's one, shot in downtown Davis, California.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wheels North Video Log 12-7-08

Mojo and Eric took to the chilly roads of Northern California to get in some training for Wheels North ...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Loch Lomond

Wheels North will likely be visited by some of the members of Portland's Loch Lomond chamber folk musical group on our rest day in their fair city.  We're also working on a visit from another well-known Portland group ... more on that as it develops.

Salem Bicycle Club

A Wheels North shout-out to the Salem (Oregon) Bicycle Club.  Club president John Henry Maurice contacted Wheels North last week to offer his club's help with routes, lodging, and other logistics.  We're all looking forward to meeting the folks from Salem in July!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Bicyclist Movie "Wheels North" Benefit Screening

We are working with the folks at The Bicyclist to host the California premiere of their new full-length feature film in Davis, California, in early March 2009.  Watch for more information on show times and ticket sales.  The film will be shown at the famous Varsity Theater in downtown Davis.  The screening will be a benefit for the Histiocytosis Association of America.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Bicyclist: The Wheels North Promo

The promo done for us by the folks at The Bicycist is now available on YouTube:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wheels North and the AYPE

We are pleased to announce that Wheels North will be the subject of a presentation at the 24th Annual Conference of the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild in Seattle on March 7, 2009.  This year's conference will be dedicated to the Alaska Pacific Yukon Exposition, and we will be there with Evelyn McDaniel Gibb to talk about the original Two Wheels North adventure and our centennial recreation of that ride.

Watch our blog for more information!

Evelyn Has A Billiken

Readers of Two Wheels North know that Vic amd Ray carried  with them a small  figurine of a "Billiken," the mascot of the Alaska Pacific Yukon Exposition.  Their Billiken survived a number of mishaps, including being briefly stolen.  Sadly, its fate is unknown--both Vic and Ray in later life assumed that the other had the Billiken, but neither did.

We learned this year when we met Evelyn that she, also, did not have a Billiken. Well, we have taken car of that.  The US Postal Service yesterday delivered one to her, courtesy of Wheels North.

The Billikens are starting to return home, and we look forward to carrying ours back to Seattle after his 100-year absence next year.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sleeping on Wheels North

Laurie suggested this great solution to lodging for Wheels North ...

Actually ... all participants in Wheels North (riders and support crew) will be provided with daily lodging, full sag support and gear transport, and everything else needed to make the ride as enjoyable as possible.

Reminder:  Wheels North is open to all kinds of bicycles, from high wheelers to modern carbon-fiber speedsters.  Go to the Wheels North web site for more information on how to become a rider.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Riding in the Rain (Video)

It probably won't rain on Wheels North, but is was raining in Davis today. Despite the wet weather, we went out for a ride ... and got quite wet. Here's a video:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Santa Rosa Part 2: Mendocino Avenue VIDEO

Turning right on Mendocino Avenue, we continue to follow Vic and Ray's 1909 route.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Where It All Began -- VIDEO

Here's a video of the starting point for Wheels North--Fifth Street in downtown Santa Rosa.  We'll be here in a few short months to follow in Vic and Ray's footsteps (wheelsteps?).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Win a Richard Sachs Frameset and Support Wheels North

Here is your chance--maybe your last chance--to own a custom frame from Richard Sachs, one of the world's premiere builders, *and* contribute to a worthy cause at the same time.

Starting on August 15th, 2008, Richard stopped taking orders from new customers. If you don't already own a Sachs and weren't in the queue by then, you can't order a frame from Richard.

However, Richard held one slot in the waiting list open for Wheels North, a fundraising ride that benefits research into Histiocytosis, a rare and deadly disease. That slot is being auctioned off, which means that you have the chance to have your own Richard Sachs frameset.

Just 100 tickets will be sold for this auction, at $100 each. Proceeds from the auction go to the Histiocytosis Association of America and Wheels North.  Click Here to buy raffle chances online

To learn more about Richard Sachs:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Live Reports!

We'll be posting live blog reports from Wheels North next year. Here's a test--a photo from a ride last week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wheels North Promo Video

Click here to see the Wheels North promotional video from our friends over at The Bicyclist!  (Yes, everyone who rides to Portland with us will have a chance to meet Elle and the other stars of The Bicyclist.)

The Bicyclist: The Movie

Our friends over at The Bicyclist are making a big screen movie.  Check it out:

More Turn of the Century Cycling Stuff

We recently saw the DVD documentary, "The Six-Day Bicycle Races: America's Jazz-Age Sport," and can recommend it highly to anyone interested in turn-of-the-century and early 20th Century cycling. 

Narrated by Frank Deford, a longtime contributor to Sports Illustrated magazine and National Public Radio, SDBR is loaded with great photos and film from the period, as well as interviews with some of the surviving six-day racers.  Check it out at the SDBR web site: 

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Histio Awareness Month

A reminder that September is Histiocytosis Awareness Month.  Wheels North invites you to check out the Histiocytosis Association of America's web site for more info:  Click Here

Friday, August 29, 2008

1903 All Over Again

To show the types of bikes and equipment that Vic and Ray would have used in the original 1909 ride, we've posted scans of the 1903 Sears Catalog.  Check them out here
Reminder to potential Wheels North riders: ANY kind of bicycle is welcome on Wheels North!

Coming Soon!

Watch this Sunday's Skagit Valley Herald for a feature on Evelyn Gibb, Two Wheels North, and Wheels North.  For those who don't live in the Skagit (Washington) area, go to and click on the "Living" link.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Commemorating the AYPE

Several organizations have been formed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, and we're proud to be listed as one of the projects contributing to the centennial events.  Check out our listing here

More info on all of the AYPE centennial events is available here:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More Historic Photos

Wheels North author Evelyn Gibb has very graciously provided some family photos of her father, Vic McDaniel.  We've posted them in the Historic Photos section of the Wheels North web site. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Evelyn McDaniel Gibb--In Person!

We (Eric and Laurie) were very fortunate to be able to spend some time this week with Evelyn McDaniel Gibb, author of "Two Wheels North."  Evelyn is a delightful person, as full of life at 84 as her father undoubtedly was when he (Vic McDaniel) left Santa Rosa in 1909 with his friend, Ray Francisco, to ride to Seattle.  Evelyn, who now lives about an hour's drive north of Seattle, very kindly shared some reminisces of her father with us (watch for photos to be posted at the Wheels North web site soon).  
Evelyn has a standing invitation to be a part of Wheels North, and we hope to see her in Santa Rosa and Seattle next year.
Thank you, Evelyn--See you next year!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wheels North Meets Huell Howser

We were on hand today to meet Huell Howser and be part of a the filming of a story about Winters' restored bicycle/pedestrian bridge (that's Huell in the photo inside Steady Eddy's coffee shop).  Wheels North will arrive in Winters on the evening of July 4, 2009, and we'll start our second day of riding here on July 5.  
We were able to give Huell information about the ride, and we hope to hear from him!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wheels North on "The Bicyclist"!

A big thanks to Elle Poindexter and everyone at The Bicyclist!  They've filmed a video promo featuring Elle, which you can see at the end of Episode 29 (it's about 9:15 in).  
We'll be visiting with Elle and The Bicyclist next year in Portland, Oregon ... and maybe ending up as part of their show?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A New Member of Wheels North: Laurie

This past Friday was a great day for us (Eric) -- we married the Girl of Our Dreams, Laurie.  She's already signed on as a support worker for Wheels North, so everyone who takes part can look forward to seeing her smiling face at rest stops from Santa Rosa to Seattle.  Here's a photo of Laurie on our wedding day.

Friday, July 04, 2008

7-4-08: One Year To Go!

Today is the Fourth of July, which means two things:  
1) In one week, Wheels North's Eric Norris (me) will be getting married to Laurie,  the Girl of My Dreams, and 
2) One year from today, the Wheels North riders will be starting our ride in downtown Santa Rosa!
With one year to go, a lot of work has already been done.  We've already collected almost $2000 in donations for the ride, with more to come from fundraisers already under way.  We have a great core group of riders (and plenty of room for more).  We have a day-by-day itinerary, and have started to lay the groundwork for events along the way.
But there's much more to come, and we invite everyone to continue watching this blog and our web site for updates.
See you in Santa Rosa in One Year!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

1909-Style Bike

We recently bought this bike for use around town (it's shown here on our first excursion to the grocery store).  It only occurred to us later that it's very much like the bikes that Vic and Ray rode in 1909, right down to the steel frame and the coaster brake.  Maybe we'll ride something like this in Wheels North?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jonny Cycles Fundraiser!

Now's your chance to own a custom Jonny Cycles frame for $50--and help support Wheels North!  Online sales of chances to win a Jonny Cycles frame have begun ... go to and go to the "Jonny Cycles" fundraising page.  Good luck!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Most Postcards!

All of the postcards sent back by Ray and Vic are now online.  Go to the Wheels North web site, and look for the postcards link. The first card sent back from Seattle was the one pictured here: the California building at the fair, a logical first place to visit for two California boys.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Two Wheels North Postcards

We've scanned all of the original postcards sent back by Vic from the ride, and have more than half of them posted at Wheels North.  Look for a new link from the WN home page:
Thanks again to Evelyn McDaniel Gibb for loaning us the historic original postcards!

Friday, May 30, 2008

First Wheels North Jersey

We just picked up a prototype of the Wheels North jersey the riders will be wearing next year.  It features the same artwork as our T-shirts (which can be ordered online at on the back, front, and sleeves.  The ride jerseys (part of the rider package for each rider who signs up for the entire ride) will include sponsor logos.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Online Fundraising is Now Available

The Wheels North secure, online fundraising site is now up and running! Click here to visit the site. If you're a Wheels North rider, you can sign up there and track your donations. If you want to donate to Wheels North and the Histiocytosis Association of America, you'll find easy-to-use donation tools. Direct link to the fundraising site is

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Sponsors have started signing up! We are proud to announce that the world famous Davis Bike Club and equally famous bicycle painter Joe Bell as sponsors. They will help make the ride possible, and to help find a cure for Histiocytosis. They join PMC as sponsors.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The 1909 Postcards

We will be using the latest technology to report back from the ride next year: cel phones, digital cameras, computers, etc.  Vic and Ray also used the best technology available to them: pen and paper.  Along the way, Vic sent back postcards, which we are pleased to be able to present for the first time in high-resolution, full-color scans at the Wheels North web site.  We've included clear scans of the backs, so it's now possible to read Vic's original words.
Click here to see the first set of scans.  The full postcard collection will be available soon.
Thank you to Evelyn McDaniel Gibb for loaning us the original postcards so that we can provide these scans.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Big Dawg's "Big Fix Walt"

Readers of this blog will recall that Wheels North rider Walter "Big Dawg" Dawes crashed about 8 hours short of his 24-hour bicycle riding goal.  A broken collarbone and two broken ribs have sidelined him for a while, although we're pleased to report that he is doing much better (spoke with him on Tuesday).
Now, Walter's friends in the Houston bicycle messenger community are organizing an event to help Big Dawg get back on his feet. No firm date yet, but look for something happening around the end of May.
Walter has promised us that he'll be riding and fundraising and on the starting line in Santa Rosa next year.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Readers of "Two Wheels North" know that Vic and Ray carried a Billiken with them in 1909.  Billiken ("The God of Things As They Ought to Be") was the patron of the Alaska Pacific Yukon Exposition, and they had purchased one of the small ceramic figurines from a traveling publicity show.  
In keeping with the spirit of the ride, Wheels North will carry a Billiken with us.  We have an authentic, 1909 Billiken, which will ride back to Seattle for a 100-year homecoming.
In addition to Billiken, our own Groovy Boy will be along for the ride, continuing his own world travels.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Green Wheels

Vic and Ray tread lightly upon the land during their epic ride, and so will we.  Wheels North will incorporate a number of practices to reduce the impact of our event on the land, water, and air.  Click here for more information on how we will go "green."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Event in Chehalis

We'll be stopping in Chehalis, WA, at the end of our first day in Washington state. While we're there, we'll stop at the Antique Motorcycle Museum, which includes in its  collection one of the first US-made bicycles. A nice stop for our historic ride!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Videos from the Big Fix 500

Videos from the Big Fix 500. Be sure to watch the Texas Gold Sprint--it's amazing.

Walter Hits 1000 Laps

Walter Chalks Up Another Lap

Walter Circles the Track

Texas Gold Sprint Final

Wheels North Day-by-Day Itinerary Released

Here is the day-by-day itinerary for next year's ride!  Check the Wheels North web site for additional information, including potential special events that we are working on for each day.

July 4 - Santa Rosa to Winters
July 5 - Winters to Corning
July 6 - Corning to Dunsmuir
July 7 - Dunsmuir to Yreka
July 8 - Yreka to Ashland (First Day in Oregon!)
July 9 - Rest day in Ashland
July 10 - Ashland to Grants Pass
July 11 - Grants Pass to Eugene
July 12 - Eugene to Salem
July 13 - Salem to Portland
July 14 - Rest Day in Portland
July 15 - Portland to Chehalis (First Day in Washington!)
July 16 - Chehalis to Seattle
July 17 - Special Events in Seattle

Monday, April 21, 2008

Big Fix 500 Photos

Photos from Walter Dawes' "Big Fix 500" ride are now online, here.
Walter crashed before reaching his goal, but he promised to be in Santa Rosa next year for Wheels North!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dawg's Big Ride Ends Early

Katy, TX -- Walter Dawes' attempt to ride 500 miles in 24 hours ended early when another rider slid down the track and into his bike.  More photos and videos from Walter's big ride will be posted soon.  
Walter promises to be healed and ready for Wheels North next year.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Big Fix 500

Houston, TX--We have just arrived here for tomorrow's (today's?) start of the Big Fix 500, an attempt by fellow Big Fix alumnus Walter "Big Dawg" Dawes to ride 500 miles in 24 hours on a fixed gear bicycle.  Watch for photos (and video, if possible) from the event!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Wheels North History

We are very fortunate to have the support of Evelyn McDaniel Gibb, author of "Two Wheels North," as we plan for our centennial commemoration of the original ride.  Evelyn has been very generous with her time, but she has outdone herself now.

Evelyn has loaned us her entire collection of the postcards sent back to Santa Rosa by Vic McDaniel, her father and one of the heroes of Two Wheels North.  What an incredible piece of cycling history!

We'll be scanning all of the postcards (some of which have never been published) and posting them at Wheels North.  Evelyn also sent copies of a number of maps and articles that she used in the writing of Two Wheels North, and we'll be posting those as well.

Thank you, Evelyn!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

T-Shirt Sales Begin!

We've added a secure "Buy Now" feature to the Wheels North web site to buy our fantastic WN T-shirt online.  Check it out:
Remember--proceeds from T-shirt sales benefit the Histiocytosis Association of America.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shirts Are Here!

The first test run of Wheels North T-shirts has arrived.  Sarah models one for us.

Check back for info on ordering your own shirt--be a part of Wheels North!

Friday, March 07, 2008

T-Shirts are Coming!

The first batch of Wheels North t-shirts will be delivered soon!  Here's a mockup of the shirt--photos of the real thing will be posted soon.  This first run is reserved for some special folks, including Evelyn McDaniel Gibb, but don't worry, shirts will be available for sale soon on the web site.  Check back here at the blog and at the WN web site for info:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

#2 in Google!

Check it out:  Go to Google and search for "Wheels North"

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wheels North Logo Unveiled

Thanks to graphic artist Louis Lillegard, we have a new logo, which will be used on the web site, T-shirts, and other promotional materials. Thanks to Oregon University Press for permission to use the original photo of Vic and Ray at the start of their ride in Santa Rosa for the logo.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Coming Soon: Wheels North T-Shirts

Thanks to a graphic artist friend, we have a new Wheels North! logo, which will be unveiled soon.  We'll be turning it into a Wheels North! T-shirt that will be available for purchase on the web site, proceeds benefitting Histiocytosis.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Starting Point: Fifth Street in Santa Rosa

Evelyn McDaniel Gibb, author of Two Wheels North, has been very helpful to us in planning our ride.  Here is her description of the starting point for the boys in 1909, which we will do our best to recreate in 2009:

Vic and Ray were given a town send-off by Ed Finley, Editor of the local newspaper, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, on the morning of August 9, 1909. The little ceremony was held in front of the S.R.P.D. office on Fifth Street. Finley told the group of townspeople gathered around theyoung bicyclists that these adventurers were about to start their trip through three states and much unfamiliar country to visit the A.Y.P.E. in Seattle, Washington. Then Mr. Finley himself took the official photographs of Vic and Ray as they were about to set off. They rode down Fifth Street past the newspaper office the short distance to Mendocino Avenue where they turned right one block to Fourth Street. On Fourth Street they turned left to ride past the newly built Court House (the original was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake), and followed Fourth Street east out of town.

Our Route

We've posted a map of the route followed by Vic and Ray over at the Wheels North! web site:  Look for the links to The Route.

Coming Soon to a WebTV Near You ...

The folks at The Bicyclist, a webcast TV series about cyclists in Portland (one of our stops on Wheels North!) have offered to do a video public service announcement for our ride.  While you're waiting for that, check out a preview of Episode 25 of The Bicyclist, at  (We're of course hoping that "Steve" and the gang will join us for a ride on our rest day in Portland!)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sheldon Brown Tribute Ride

A group of riders gathered in Davis, CA, today to ride and remember Sheldon.  Photos here

Friday, February 08, 2008

Two Wheels North Plus 50 (or so)

Here's a great video from England in the 1950s that captures the spirit of adventure of Wheels North!  The film was made in 1956 ... just about 50 years after Ray and Vic's trip.

Update: The Route

We've started working on details of the route we'll be following on Wheels North!  The towns we'll pass through, of course, are the same as those visited by Vic and Ray in 1909--our decisions focus on keeping the length and difficulty of each day's ride more or less the same, and ensuring that there will be a place large enough for the entire Wheels North! entourage in the evening.  We'll also be selecting back roads wherever possible to make the ride as enjoyable and car-free as possible.
To see the towns we'll be visiting, click here.
For details on becoming a Wheels North! rider, click here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sheldon Brown Passes

All of us here at Wheels North! were saddened today to learn of the passing of Sheldon Brown.  Sheldon is very well known in the cycling community, and while he wasn't around when Vic and Ray did their ride, it seems like it has been almost that long.  Sheldon was a major proponent of cycling, and an expert on everything.  In 2006, he was part of the Big Fix cros-country fixed gear ride.
We'll plan to commemorate Sheldon's memory in some way during Wheels North!--watch the web site for details:

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ouch! Rider Down ... and Back Up!

Wheels North! rider Mojo Cosgrove was riding in Yuba City when he tangled with an SUV yesterday, ending up with just a row of stitches on his chin. Could have been much worse--his bike's front wheel was trashed.  He'll be back on the road soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Big Fix 500

Wheels North! invites all of our online friend to check out another fundraiser for Histiocytosis: Big Fix 500.  Big Fix 500 will take place in April 2008, with Big Fix alumnus Walter Dawes riding a fixed gear bicycle for 24 hours straight on a velodrome in Houston, Texas.
Walter hopes to raise $50,000 for Histiocytosis.  Check out his web site and donate online at: