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Review: Cache Lifestyle Backpack by Lizard Skins

Cache Lifestyle Backpack by Lizard Skins
Cache Lifestyle Backpack by Lizard Skins

Lizard Skins introduced a new backpack in September of 2017 – the Cache Lifestyle Backpack. This bag combines all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a modern commuter or all-around backpack into a remarkably usable product. If you are looking for a new backpack for daily use, this is well worth considering.

We like to use the Ortlieb Velocity as our standard benchmark for waterproof commuter and day bags. At $109.99 the Cache Lifestyle Backpack is right at our benchmark price point, but offers a lot more functionality.

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What is a cycling journalist to do?

A Scene from the movie The Program
Scene from “The Program.” Armstrong and Landis in hotel room.

I miss bike races. I miss watching them. I miss following them. I miss enjoying them without needing to be cynical constantly. But mostly I miss the constant feed of interesting things to write about.

As a cycling journalist blogger hack, finding something interesting to write about on a regular basis is the food that feeds the soul. It is super easy to take the advocacy fear mongering path. One can find a steady stream of stupid comments from politicians, tales of death in the city streets, ridiculous public spending on things that are supposed to be “infrastructure.” Some can brave this stream and do the hard work of exposing these important issues. And some can do a damn good job of it. But it it as unfortunately negative view.

Bike industry news is another topic. But even that can be draining. How many times can I enthral you with yet another new product, reinventing yet another old product, by copying what an even older product already did?

But bike racing. The human drama. Battles to the finish line. Heartbreaking crashes. Overcoming incredible odds at the last minute. Ahhhhh….. that’s good stuff.

Except when it isn’t.

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Why eliminating TUEs is wrong

There is an old saying – don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Unfortunately, that is exactly what some are calling for in response to the abuse of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs). Namely, a total ban. While that reaction may seem like “common sense” to other racers that feel cheated by the abuse of TUEs in the pro peloton, it actually impacts others in an unintended way. In fact, there is one entire team that relies on valid, legitimate Therapeutic Use Exemptions to even compete. TUEs were made for a reason – and we must not let that reason be forgotten.

There is a need for TUEs and that is for someone to treat an illness or a
sickness. They are not intended and should never be used to improve

Phil Southerland. CEO and Co-Founder of Team Novo Nordisk

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Sacramento Bike Trails: The promise and challenges

American River Bike Trail, Sacramento, CA
American River Bike Trail, Sacramento, CA

When you mention Sacramento bike trails, many area residents immediately think of the American River Bike trail. Also known as Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, the 32 mile mixed use path winds along the American River between Sacramento and Folsom, CA. The trail is regarded as one of the longest paved purpose-built bike trails in the country. Not surprising that it is what many associate with the phrase Sacramento bike trails. But this gem is only part of a much larger network of bicycle infrastructure.

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Freedom Cycle System reimagines the water bottle

Freedom Cycle Hydration System
Freedom Cycle System, showing both regular and aero bottles

Adding to a running list of bicycle related Kickstarter projects is Australian effort Freedom Cycle System. We’ve seen numerous bicycle related products get the “kickstarter improvement” – everything from helmets to pedals to lights. Usually these projects revolve around making something “smarter” – or, cramming a bunch of electronics into them and somehow linking them to a phone app. It would be hard to imagine a way to make the lowly bicycle water bottle cage smarter. I don’t need an app to tell me if there is bottle there after all. But Freedom Cycle Systems is focused on making it better. Which is what “smarter” used to mean. Keep reading →

Ford Motor Company Bike Rack Patent

Ford Motor Company has notably been in the bicycle news lately as the title sponsor of the San Francisco bike share program Ford GoBike. But the company’s recent patent application for a Retractable Bicycle Carrier is geared towards those that own both cars and bikes.

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There, and back again…

…a cyclists tale.

Way back when, I started riding a bike as an easy way to make the monumental commute from Sacramento, CA to Palo Alto. It was a 7 mile bike ride, to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train, to a bus, to another train. I did it 3 days a week on average. The bike was a very practical thing, and I had a very practical bike.

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Chicago balks at contra-flow bike lane, while SF rejects paint-only treatment

Some folks in Chicago are a little confused about why city engineers would actually want to make cyclists ride against traffic. In infrastructure terms this is known as a “contra-flow bike lane.” At first glance, it takes the norm of bikes riding the same direction of travel as cars and intentionally turns it on it’s head.

Polk Street Contra-flow bike lane
Photo by Dianne Yee. Used with permission.

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NAHBS won’t be coming back to Salt Lake City, Utah

Official press release from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS):


Portland, OR, 2/19/17 –  NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show) releases their official statement regarding the state of Utah and land policy that is affecting the outdoor and cycling industry.


Aligning with the recent actions taken by other brands that exhibit at Outdoor Retailer as well as the conversations regarding the future of Interbike in the State of Utah, NAHBS will not be calling Utah home to the show in the future.


“When we were negotiating the show, Governor Herbert hadn’t begun his assault on public lands. His agenda for the state of Utah has the ability to curtail the recreation of our exhibitors and their customers. If not for signed contracts, booked airfares, hotels and the builders depending on the show taking place, we too would be relocating” said Don Walker, founder of NAHBS. “Our goal is to spotlight frame builders and the cycling industry partners that support them. NAHBS moves the location each year to accommodate the needs of builders across the country. Regardless of our schedule we would not chose to bring the show back to Utah unless serious changes are made by government officials.”


This news and the subsequent backlash from industry leaders occurred a month before the 13th edition of NAHBS was set to take place. Unfortunately moving the show this year is not an option. March 10th-12th NAHBS will take place in Salt Lake City and NAHBS look forward to spending time with all the small builders and craftsmen that the show was founded for. We hope that Utah will come support these businesses in light of recent events.


About NAHBS:

NAHBS Showcases the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. We are a meeting space for frame builders and consumers who are passionate about custom-made bikes.