It was a dark and stormy night when I reached up and pulled an investment cast steel seat collar off a hook on my workbench and put it in my left front pocket before I headed out to the company holiday party because I knew there was a good chance I was going to see Steve Gluckman there as he’s on the board of directors. When I arrived early Steve was already there and when I got around to chatting with him I said “I’ve got something for you” and before it got to his hand he knew exactly what it was. He smiled and said “lost wax” and told me a bit about the process and we had an interesting conversation about bike companies and the choices they make in production and OE. I like to visualize a large conference room table at Novara in the late 90s where someone was able to convince all the other someones that these sweet steel seat collars were a good idea and I’d like to thank that someone 19 years later and say “good call”
I’ve stripped a shit load of busted bikes for parts down to the bottle cage bolts and seat collars do not go unnoticed. In 2016 we received no less than 7,547 donated bicycles. That's a lot of seat collars, seat post binder bolts, quick releases and straight-up seized seat posts. Over the past 4.67 years I’ve collected several of these steel collars but didn’t really realize they were from Novara until recently while in the men's room I read this review from November 1999 Bicycling magazine where the coolest thing about the bike was the sweet steel seat collar and then it all came together.
If you don’t know who Steve Gluckman is, this story will help and after you read that I’d like to point out that I have at least 3 examples of Steve's first bike computer in my archives. If you don’t know what Novara means...
sometime in the past couple years I got my hands on this gently used Bucky bluish vest as seen in the photo above. I screened "are you my Bucky?" on the back with 22 Joel in mind and when I made my very occasional trips into the 98101 or 98121 I brought the vest along thinking I'd see him on the street. Then finally on December 2 I actually saw him and dug the vest out of my pack and handed it to him.
took this photo today. it's original but all that jibber jabber on the lower part is poached from the wiki wiki. this hits close to home like almost hitting the nail on the head without smashing the thumb as most accidents occur within 5000 miles of home.
the dream of the 90's suspension corrected shimmed out with a beer can pure energy party like it's 1989 big in Japan
October 28, 2016
In 1989 the dream of the 90’s was futuristic kind of optimistic not like some neo retro Portlandia joke but more of an Information Society pure energy big in Japan kind of thing. When I bought a mountain bike in 1989 (actually my mom bought it for me) I wished I could afford this stumpjumer but I had to settle for a Shogun.
Let me take a moment to direct your attention to the Ritchey Force stem no rise one country mile long 26.0 clamp beauty made by Nitto so you’ll look away from that unsightly black replacement fork because you can’t just call up QBP and get a heavy cream 26” one-inch threaded fork with a rather long steer tube. Can’t really call it suspension corrected when the original offered 62mm of travel. 27 years ago the original owner chucked the sweet matching rigid fork and put on that Rock Shox contraption to keep up with the times and yesterday I took off that Rock Shox contraption and winged it into the dumpster and when I did the crown race flopped off the fork as it was just resting on a beercan shim. No joke.
I block all that suspension shit out tune out drop out phase out like Chuck Close and his claims of no facial recognition while he is known for portraits all that suspension just looks the same and sounds like the Charlie Brown voices on the phone. When I went to UBI the advanced suspension days in the 3rd week were like a bad dream that I can’t remember 13 years later.
For handlebars I’m a big fan of beer can shims with a little beer still in the can as I cut a strip to wrap just so with just a hint a whiff a slender stripe of beer can poking out stage right unintentionally intentional to show those in the know that I know that you know that I know...
give me a Salsa stem and some el diablos and I will change the world
October 16, 2016
I have refurbished over 1.6 Billion bicycles but I have never worked on a Zebra until the day before yesterday. Reaching into the bag of tricks only to pull out a 26.4 GT seatpost black not silver and that gold Shimano 44t 130bcd chainring. The Salsa stem stripped from an old Lemond sat for about 12 hours before it found a new home on this bike and those big chunky Suntour thumbies all frictioned out on that 6-speed freewheel complete this keep-your-chin-up urban utility pretty cool cro moly steel steed made in Taiwan about 25 years ago now waiting for someone in the 52cm size range to walk in and roll out.
the bartender says, "excuse me sir, this is a hydraulic disc bar, we don't serve your kind here"
Scotty M says "it's cool, copy that. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your energy but I've been sitting at this bar for 30 years and the guys in back will take care of me. the names change the things come and go rise and fall this and that. this used to be a freestyle fixie bar and before that it was six or seventeen other things with some anodized purple shit along the way. you do your job and I'll keep sitting here"
at interbike i saw a lot of this 1 x 12 shit. i saw some people i was really hoping to see. i saw some people i didn't expect to see. i saw a lot of electric fat bike bullshit. i saw some inspiring electric bike shit that could put some versatility back into my cargo bike. i saw some Cross Vegas velcro grass amazing UCI big time Euro racing machines from the VIP free beer viewing sections thanks to Sally and his substantial bike industry rolodex.
i saw the PK RIPPER turn 40 with some sags and bulges in new places
i saw just a tiny bit of this
if you were there you would've seen this
i got really tired of it all and wanted to step out for some "fresh" air and all i saw was this. you can't get there from here. it's just across the street. but the street is an 8-lane freeway. please return to your casino and spend more money.
Sally said "you're doing it wrong" and showed me the climate controlled consumer walkway between monumental casino hotels including the fake as fuck Irish pub that turned out to be more authentic feeling than any of the casino bars. then 1.5 days later kitty-corner from the pub I saw Pete Rose at a card table ready to sign autographs but nobody was there. nobody cared.
i'm holding back on my personal opinionated commentary on Las Vegas the city of unmet expectations false hope crushed dreams the overconsumption capitol of the world the ash tray of the US fake hair fake nails fake tan fake tits ask me how i really feel but after 2.25 days there i had my guard up as if everyone everywhere was trying to sell me something or get one over on me or overcharge me for a shitty cup of drip coffee because they were. and all this paranoid skepticism this counterfeit authenticity this series of empty promises began to...
I like to think I’m not that old school but I guess I kinda sorta am and many times I forget because almost all my coworkers are 26 fucking years old or younger. Not so long after seeing one of my bike computer collections Travis gave me this “bike computer”. It was bolted to the bars of a sweet Schwinn circa 1974 wired to a monumentally big battery behind the seat tube.
Looking back to within a few years of that back in my day I had a speedometer the size of a keg cup bolted to the bars of my Sting Ray hardwired to the front wheel and when I say hardwired I mean it was a mechanical connection where the thingamajig near the hub rotation made things spin and the orange needle bounce on the gauge in an uber analog 70s way and I could get that thing over 17mph bombing down the big hills in the foothills of Spokane.
I’ve had a few bike computers in the past. But now I collect them and toss them in a bucket like fish heads and when that bucket runneth over I glue them down to a piece of plywood and call it art
The analog needles on that thing appeal to me but that label maker tape really impresses me the font 40 years later it’s crisp and clean and the adhesive is holding strong. This says to me Boeing Employee. By the way it's about the size of of your phone but thicker and three times heavier. No fluffy trendy shit there back when a ten speed was a ten speed cranks were 170mm handlebars were 38cm wide and top tubes were 56cm long no matter how tall or short the seat tubes were anywhere from 47 to 64cm. it wasn't geometry or ride quality it was mass production.
the 1970s spitting distance from 12-speed and not that Sram $420 12-speed cassette horseshit. I mean...
if anyone has the official actual physical tangible one of these that I can put in my wallet please send it to me and I'll send you some Onza pedals with all 3 elastomers or 5 pairs of Onza bar ends or 12 mega range 7-speed freewheels but you have to pay for shipping or you can just meet me at the warehouse and I'll give you a truckload of metal recycling and a case of 26" folding tires.
I don't plug books very often but sometimes one jumps out and asks for attention. this one jumped so far out I'm getting both of my biological parents onto it and an old friend and now you too. I'm not reviewing it because it's been reviewed well here and here and here too.
True Temper Cro-Moly hand made in the USA. it just feels better. it doesn't suck. steel gives off negative ions and has a different magnetic field around it or something like that. refurbished this little ditty the other day and when I say refurbished I mean I replaced every thing every single little fucking thing on it except the seat post quick release. you may have noticed the cock-eyed brake pads in the photo and that's because I didn't replace them yet when the picture took and that cigarette butt was not staged it's actually on the ground lending a little old school authenticity to rapidly changing Columbia City. the opportunity to use some purple sparkle barbie-bike brake housing does not present itself very often and there is not a lot of orange compressionless housing sitting around either but this bike asked for it and Mike coughed up those sweet Dia Comp levers from his secret stash. yes.
this 16.5" Trek 850 is only $369 at a little shop on Ferdinand Street
on the 30-year check-in theme I sent this photo to Stevil a couple months ago because he's an Oly fan and Evil Dave knows a little something about a little bottle too. stumbled upon a 12 pack of stubbies in Grays Harbor county back in July. it was cold so I drank one. then Stevil informed me that the stubby will be making a return in the next year or so but they haven't been in production for 20+ years and he wondered how I got a preview prototype but it wasn't a preview it was a look back and the more I paid attention to it all the more the beer tasted like it was 20+ years old. not that bad but not quite right and I fucked up the eBay re-sale value by busting open the 12 pack
about 40 years ago I took the tour of the Olympia Brewery in Tumwater, WA with my family "it's the water" and at the end I enjoyed some root beer while the adults got the real deal. I got a souvenir giant inflatable Oly can and an Oly tank top that hung down to my ankles but was worn as pajamas and a t-shirt that years and years later fit me and I wore it in high school until the washed-up former MLB pitcher then AA 12-step PE teacher said we could not wear beer logo attire in gym class but he could never seem to be able to pronounce the word Pilder either.
I've only lived in Seattle for 25 years but I grew up in the 509 and have...
We can't return we can only look Behind from where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game
it's like the stem and bars from a late 80's Stumpjumper a little 30-year check-in that reveals what 30 years of sunlight can do to the original black finish
because you don't notice the slow decline looking in the mirror every day but when you see an old friend for the first time since 1989 you see what 30 years does to a person and realize what 30 years has done to you too
she who run fast catch crowded elevator stop on every floor
she who slow catch the next one get there faster
spit gum on sidewalk
get gum on shoe
there's a force in the universe I like to think of as the shut-the-fuck-up force that comes around for those that talk too much about never getting flat tires or always this or never that until things come around and even out and then those big talkers get the message and shut the fuck up
hose clamps and duct tape. these are a few of my favorite things. not much experience with pvc but I've seen the hundreds of fittings available at the local hardware store and it's like a toy store with too many choices. I pulled this off a donated bike and I've had it hanging on the wall since because it symbolizes the diy spirit of bikes that appeals to me. the self contained independence of riding to work or riding anywhere on your own schedule. even when bikes don't work quite right they work pretty well and if you can't find what you're looking for then make it yourself. I'm not exactly sure what this person made here but they put some time and effort into it and I bet it got the job done.
it's still true eight years later but now you have a new perspective
constantly maintaining a professional appearance with consistent locknut lip clearance. Sweet & sour pork triple clamp fork front suspension of disbelief. Loose balls, bearing jars of pickled herring. Brass nipples shits and-or giggles. Crank arm extractor. Ask Greg Vogel about the chicken tractor. Nine dollar gourmet cupcakes. Poorly adjusted cantilever brakes. Headset press. Barefoot summer dress.
Cycling computer. Psycho commuter. Hose-clamped milk crate douche bags expecting respect from bungee-corded pickle bucket Dexter Avenue warriors. Fluorescent yellow jackets lineup. That light was red suck up. Heads up. On your left all around. Fixed gear conversion virgins whack track standing. Vehicular cyclist charade. Late-November chuffer parade.
Thin ice. Poor advice. T-shirt tan. Window fan. Be kind please rewind. Your credit card has been declined. Forget full retailing smooth sailing. Forty hour work week too much tongue in cheek.
It will all make sense behind a white picket fence.
this bike rolled in with lots of mismatched parts and a blownout fork. the rat trap rack secured with a shoelace and a piece of plastic laminate wedged under the plastic crate to act as a fender. it had a 25.4 seatpost just floating in the seat tube.
I got it down to the frame saving only the cranks and then I started over. Installing a threadless fork and quite a few new parts complimented by some trusty used ones.
as president of the Profile Design cup holders club easing seamless transitions along the coffee-beer continuum it pains me to be seen in public with an unsightly strap-on bottle cage like this. However it's wicked hot out and I'm a little more thirsty than usual on my short commute to work and this frame has no bottle cage bolts. when the temperature goes back below 90 I will most likely remove this thing. or bust out a bunch of zipties duct tape pvc pipes popsicle sticks and twine in the DIY bike commuter spirit of home-baked-half-assness perhaps drill the shit out of the frame and use some sheetrock screws to get that bottle cage to rattle around and kind of stay on there just a little cockeyed.
give them an inch and they'll take 150mm plus or minus 5 as your aspect ratio has slowly changed over the past 20 years and this stem will no longer fit onto your screen without losing something in the adjustment want to come downstairs and checkout my Control Tech stem collection?
I'll be looking for an opportunity to bring this stem back to the streets of the 98118 in the next six weeks on an urbanized mountain bike refurbished for the consumer with a set of really really swept back bars more upright and more laid back no need to dive out to that flat bar like Graeme Obree's superman on a 24 inch toptube with a stem stretching out another country mile over a blownout mag 21.
ten years later the only thing that's changed is I'm charging $7 more for shipping and handling and I'm using American Apparel shirts now and I most likely will not deliver your shirt by hand directly to your place of employment bike messenger style. I'll drop it at the post office. in 2006 I used to ride around to local bike shops with a bag full of shirts and try to sell them to poor underpaid bike mechanics.
over the past several years of diminished pilderwasser shirt production this is the one shirt I've gotten requests for from repeat customers repeatedly.
here it is. send money. $27 that is. paypal does the trick. firstname.lastname@example.org.
you can have any color you want as long as it's black
you can have any size you want as long as it's XL*
*other sizes available:
understated dignified classic colorways that can take a beating
there are some other classic pilderwasser designs available but I don't play games so you can tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you'll get
at my shop you can order any foo-foo espresso drink you want and I'll take your order with a smile and hand you a cup of black coffee and there are 17 tap handles at the bar so order whatever beer you want however all those taps are connected to the same keg of IPA.
the other day the month before the month before this I went to Venice Beach and wandered around aimlessly intentionally walking down Abbot Kinney the hippest street in the USA and all I remember is some pretty good coffee in a shop selling $180 sunglasses as well as visiting briefly the Linus bike shop and passing by the Rapha shop that I could not even think about getting close to but closer to the actual Venice Beach I ran into this guy and that guy keeping in mind that these photos below are 4 -9 years old they are here to get the point across. there were no tweets no instagram or facebook live or snapchat but I learned that there actually is a lot of snapchat and google there as in there goes the neighborhood. real estate. abbot kinney. dog town. cycles. cyclical. canals.
this guy has somehow figured out the quality of life issues in LA since he left Seattle
that guy has gotten things dialed-in in LA as well
only at Bike Works does a Bridgestone like this show up really dusty and crusty but sound rolling 27 inch wheels rear dropouts spaced 126mm and where two months earlier a cycling enthusiast donated a hand built 27" wheel set of modern hubs laced dangerously yet enthusiastically under-tensioned to new Sun M18 rims the rear hub spaced to 126mm with a fine 6 speed freewheel already installed in that place where these wheels hung on or near the ceiling waiting for their chance and finally it all came together topped off with a six speed thumb shifter of course.
I replaced every single thing on this bike except the brake calipers.
Univega Alpina s6.3
the marblized reptilian greenish gold & black splatter paint job is actually amazing and a photo can not do it justice and as you know I've always been a big fan of the oversized bi-axial power oval and the bent chainstays on vintage Univegas. I replaced the suspension fork that used to offer up to 25.4mm of travel. I also swapped several other key parts on this rig to make into the ultimate urban adventurer.
Just around the corner from catastrophic failure not just some jackass bike mechanic making fun of unsuspecting customer’s bikes on instagram this is my seat post the one I rode to work today and yesterday and off and on here and there for the past 17 years since I bought it used at Recycled Cycles back when they actually sold used bikes and used bike parts. Yesterday I thought my saddle was creaking up a storm and I thought it was the ti rails in the seatpost clamp that I haven’t really touched or even looked at for years because I hardly ever ride the Soma anymore. I’m sure there have been some creaks coming from that bike in the past few years but I’m really good at compartmentalizing and the harmonic dissonance of old full fenders rattling takes center stage or takes over like smooth white noise. Someday a real rain will come and silence all the creaks and squeaks for a little while then they’ll all dry out and be even worse than before. A reliable maintenance schedule could be turning up the music a little bit louder. Just ignore it, it will all go away some day. Last night in the dark garage after the kids went to sleep I greased the shit out of the clamp and the bolt and the rails and slapped it all back together and turned off the light as there aren’t many test rides around here only rides to work this morning I hopped on and rode to work and the fucking saddle seemed to be creaking even more than before so when I got to the HoneyComb Hideout I yanked the post out and finally noticed the crack the big big crack with the big big creak that’s been trying to tell me something for years.
Every place kicker dreams of the fake field goal direct snap roll out TD pass
Efren Herrera had a few attempts and caught a pass or two too
the fake field goal is under utilized these days in the conservative all business NFL and nobody seems to pull off on-side kicks any more. high school teams execute these things much better than the pros
Every morning at 832 on the way to work I pass a park with a soccer field and a couple baseball diamonds and near the first base line bleachers on one of them stands an older gentleman and I say to myself “there’s Tai Chi guy”
the sound of a pressure washer nextdoor blasting in my head as the neighbor has some expensive toys and feels like he needs to use them even when there is no use for them he's blasting the same stretch of driveway he blasted last week so don't worry there will be no moss growth today on his driveway as hundreds of gallons of water shoot through a confined space at a high rate down the drain.
on a bike this makes the most sense to other cyclists and motorists. in the increasingly rare circumstance when I actually need to signal a right turn like when I really really have to take a piss in this cornfield right now on RAGBRAI I like to use my right leg.
fight the power 220 221 whatever it takes. what is that guy doing.?
the cocked left arm makes sense when you're driving a car with no turn signals. on a bike it's horseshit and I can say it's horseshit because I don't have any sponsors or source of income here I'm trying to dance around and appeal to the masses I'm making fun of or search engines i'm optimizing or Cascade Bike Club .83 schmaltz.
Dr 37 Mike sent me the poster below via the good old fashioned USPS arriving at my door he didn't send me the link he didn't snapchat it he didn't create a fucking facebook event page he actually mailed me an 11 x 17 piece of paper in a tube and then I stapled it onto the wall in a prominent position formerly held by the Hodala calendar here at pilderwasser world HQ not far from that JIS screwdriver 37 sent me a while back.
please take a moment to notice 37's bike it's a bike that gets ridden one might say it's the actual ultimate urban utility bike and now take a moment to notice the t-shirt under the lab coat that's a pilderwasser 1.0 circa 2004ish you can tell by the handlebar-to-seat-height ratio it's old school.
sitting on a park bench the day before today eating lunch from the musette Jonny Sundt gave me some years ago filled with Axley product because his new team could not be seen wearing that stuff I was thinking this has been my brown bag lunch sack my bag within my bag for the past 600 sack lunches or so so I sent El Gato a text message and then I thought maybe actually I sent some brogrammer new to Seattle a text message because he has the phone number Mr Sundt used to have because it’s been awhile either way any way I then learned that Dodge sponsored the Tour de Georgia in 2003 2004 2005 and it was a big deal big time UCI race here in the USofA won by guys like Chris Horner and Tom Danielson a guy named Floyd and a guy named Lance warming up for a little race in France and this little lunch sack is an artifact to the fact that El Gato was out there with the big guns bunny hopping traffic circles and doing bike handling things that come naturally to bike messengers from Okanogan County but may not come naturally to thoroughbred bike racers then I finished my lunch and went back to work no response from El Gato or from the brogrammer
not far from that same park bench "the Swisher Sweet Bunny laid another egg" like Wamsley said and they’re ubiquitous in this zipcode they grow on trees which reminds me of the time in highschool the first time I really really got housed was at a house party drinking Rainier tall boys and smoking Swisher Sweets --- I hurled and there has not been a need to touch Swisher Sweets again but Rainier Tall boys have been a recurring theme
9 hours later on the eve of another July a good time to get a little taste a whiff of RAGBRAI...
Shimano BR-MT63 brake levers: simple functional bomb proof no bullshit. they'll work with any caliper and make it feel better. the reach adustment clicky clicky flat head underside is pretty cool
Shimano SL-M732 thumb shifters: any derailleur any time any place. fuck finicky front derailleurs with friction shifting it's all over-rated horseshit ramps and pins whatever whatever
Prestige cro-moly flat bar with some serious sweep: gives any refurbished bike credibility instantly retroactively. this bar is too cool to use on any old bike.
when the pods blow when the grip shifts when I'm not feeling sram I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad.
if only I had an endless supply of cockpits from 1989. or cases and cases of NOS thumb shifters and brake levers. all y'all think I'm a luddite curmudgeon stuck in the past and maybe I am but I'm not just blowing my own bike horn I'm trying to refurbish hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bikes every year. bikes with blown shifters bikes with blown everything bikes stripped down to nothing. simple versatile proven technology helps the rebuilding process. no fluffy trendy shit.
visualize an old road bike made in Waterloo with blown first generation STI levers. I'd chuck the drop bar and levers keep the stem and insert a dignified flat bar then add thumbies and these levers and then you'd have a great all-around urban utility bike.
how about an even older touring bike made in Japan with non-aero levers and down-tube shifters. I'd chuck the bar and levers and shifters. add el diablos. insert dignified flat bar add thumbies and these levers and you've got the ultimate super commuter.
picture a Rock Hopper 24 a kid-size mountain bike with a 6-speed shimano cassette and shit shifters. I'd ditch the whole cockpit and the worn out cassette. add a hacked-down handlebar with thumbies and these levers....
Stumbled upon this Gary Fisher on Friday. It got my attention because I wanted the thumb shifters and the brake levers for another bike. When I started cutting cables and removing parts I took a look at that hose clamp holding the downtube together and wondered how long this person rode like that and really wondered how they blew out a tube like that. This is not some dainty frame. Those oversized tubes are beyond beefy and strong like ox (see similar cross-section in Exhibit A below) The big fat inch & a quarter headset headtube steertube stem are all fun to look at in an incompatible historic way and this is not some hairline crack it’s a 3.5 inch long flap like an access panel into the frame.
All this reminds me that bikes are cool and even when they’re tweaked bent rusty squeaky or on the edge of catastrophic failure they’re still more efficient than walking.
the 1995 Stumpjumper will always remind me of 09 Dave. this particular example was in great shape. I chucked the blownout front suspension that originally offered about 65mm of travel and slapped on rigid fork and a cheap steel swept back bar from an old Schwinn and now it's an urban adventurer. sometimes it's fun to have piles and piles of used bike parts to pull from and some bikes don't suck energy from the atmosphere they actually bring it back.
there are days weeks months that go by when I work on one Specialized after another after another after another Hot Rocks Hard Rocks Rock Hoppers Rock Hoppers Rock Hoppers Stump Jumpers even a cracked Sequoia now and then and then Allez Allez. this is one of those weeks or months.
on a brief visit to the 98102 Monday I saw this Coke machine this crazy Coke machine that's lived on the hill for many many years and I was going to pose for a photo with it but didn't so I'm using this shot from six or seven years ago taken by a civilian pedestrian while my dispatcher was chirping asking my fucking 20? and I'm trying to downplay the one too many IPAs
you can visualize the shot that didn't happen Monday in which I'd be trying to downplay the overtired kids melting down ready to get back on the lightrail and me with only one IPA and the Coke machine is really beat up and spray painted and showing its age
this Schwinn Collegiate is from the donation dumpster the next paragraph is poached from wiki
Parkinson's law of triviality is C. Northcote Parkinson's 1957 argument that members of an organisation give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. He observed that a committee whose job was to approve the plans for a nuclear power plant spent the majority of its time on discussions about relatively minor but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike-shed, while neglecting the proposed design of the plant itself, which is far more important but also a far more difficult and complex task.
I'm into bike-shedding as I built a bike shed outside the warehouse from scrap wood a few weeks ago. it's a place to store broken frames and scrap metal shit to keep it off the floor until we can unload it because stuff like that tends to pile up when 7000 bikes a year are donated and we have to sort through them some how but now somebody (singular and or plural) has started to dismantle the little bike shed at night taking the screws out of it so they can walk away with the broken frames. I want to paint a large sign on the door that says DON'T FUCK IT UP but that's not quite in line with our mission statement or maybe I can spend the night in the shed with a sleeping bag and a 12 pack and a flashlight.
I'm into bike-shedding as a participant observer watching certain gold bricking sand bagging cherry picking workers gravitate toward busy work or light fluffy stuff in an effort to avoid doing any dreary drudgery or anything less glamorous or anything at all really while the clock ticks the time away.
I'm into bike-shedding for comic relief because the pumpkin carving contest gets more energy and enthusiasm than the strategic plan.
I'm into bike-shedding because it makes sense as a coping mechanism or a shirking strategy like the slacker's...
I like to leave a little something to the imagination some dead air some negative space some room to breathe not leaving it all up to punctuation your mind will connect the dots no matter how far apart they are no matter how hard you try not to the unwritten rule unspoken understanding unachievable ideal it’s out there it’s hard to describe but I know it when I see it and that’s not it and I’m not angry I’m disappointed but you can find something like it on the odd side of the street kitty corner from the coffee shop not that coffee shop that coffee shop lather rinse repeat as needed repeatedly it’s all been said before
This Rich Beyer sculpture used to live on a rotting log near the playground that used to be across from what used to be the Hugo House in what now is considered Cal Anderson Park. The sculpture lived there for 20 years or so inviting kids to climb on it as much as allowing junkies to puke on it. The cast aluminum held up well. When the reservoir was capped and the astroturf unrolled and the various reflecting pools and teletubby hills were installed the dragon was quietly trucked off into the woods of West Seattle where it now lives near a playground in Lincoln Park and that’s where I saw it last weekend.
You may know Rich Beyer and not even know it because of this "people waiting for the interurban" in Fremont. For me living in the salad days of Capitol Hill just a block away from the dragon I got to know it pretty well before I ever knew the artist’s name. Years later I got to know Mr. Beyer a little bit when he and his wife took me and my girlfriend out to dinner and we discussed his creation of a memorial artwork sculpture for Yianni to be placed under the viaduct. The city was down with it in its initial form but Yianni’s family was not into it and the idea was put away into the archives.
Climbing on this dragon again connected some dots and brought back a lot like olfactory memory or a song that’s connected forever to something yesteryear.
It's 1992 and I'm a daycamp counselor wrangling a whole bunch of other people's kids asking them to please stop beating the shit out of each other and take turns on the dragon.
24 years later I'm repeatedly repeating myself but these kids are mine.
Give me a box cutter and I will unpack 65 department store kids bikes then standing back to look at the pile of cardboard foam zipties and plastic shit instead of making some touchy feely environmental impact statement I will mutter well above under my breath something about box cutters and jet fuel’s inability to melt steel and bring down well constructed skyscrapers neatly in their own footprint.
Give me a gallon of McDonald's coffee and a flat of Safeway donuts and I will experience chest pains hypertension and neck muscle spasms.
Give me an adjustable wrench long enough and I will round out cross thread shear off the robot gorilla tight 13mm stem bolt on more than one cheap kids bike.
Give me an air compressor plugged into a succession of extension cords and I will blow the shit out of more pinched inner tubes than you could possibly replace before 9am on a Saturday.
when shit goes down and things blow up because the big one hit and people are standing around looking at their dead phones tapping swiping tapping swiping unable to feed their fucking facebook feed because there's no internet no electricity no running water no refrigeration no snapchat no uber no shazam no one bus away no linked in no google
when everything is fucked there's no app for that
please refer to your Chunk 666 manual for instruction on how to proceed
19 years ago I never thought I'd use the words insulated and curtains in the same sentence and I'd have to look at a map an actual paper Thomas Guide map to find an address in Rainier Beach and I might have to put 35 cents in a pay phone to call my dispatcher
this picture is a couple years old but it never gets old
there's something special something meaningful something that makes me smile in the thought of wearing a black pilderwasser live-wrong bracelet stacked on back-to-back with a used-to-be-ubiquitous yellow livestrong bracelet
adjustable stem maxed out riser bar cocked forward bar ends poking up riding high on a sprung out bouncy front suspension it makes my wrists hurt and my jaw hurt in a TMJ way and if I was a shop mechanic I would respect this setup with extra caution like dealing with a wounded animal but being a bike mechanic in an unconventional context the first thing I get to do is yank that cockpit and fling it across the parking lot so I can replace the stem and bars with something a bit more durable functional versatile traditional
There will be a meteor shower at 3am, this Kate Bush album is good, Nick, who I sort of knew, died yesterday— I tell you anything.
I told you when a guy in Pioneer Square yelled at me, “Someone just died back there!” I heard sirens Then he added, “Ya got a nice butt!”
I could think of no better response to death.
I told you that when Nick died I pulled his old bag, embroidered with his nickname, “Fingers,” from under my bed and cried, thinking of a painting he made of a refrigerator with a forest inside it.
I told you the lace of peeling gray paint surrounding an electrical meter which no one else would notice but you made me feel like a moderately-priced car rattling from outrageously loud, clear speakers.
All these words would be depleted by your absence like the word “Fingers” on that bag
I could walk around complimenting strangers’ butts, except “butts” would mean something different if you died and so would “compliments.”
I wouldn’t know what to pull from under my bed or put back.
- See more at: http://cityartsonline.com/articles/your-name-embroidered-it#sthash.9WJDOVYr.dpuf
one Seattle cycling season spent working at Perfect Wheels with Larry Naylor I learned a few things about bikes and working on bikes. some of it stuck with me. some of it makes so much more sense to me 13 years later. Larry liked to call STI stops "El Diablos" and that's what I liked to call them too because I never really called them anything before I had that job. Now 13 years later I still call them that and it has slowly leaked out into the air of the Warehouse and last week became official in print on the small parts bins. I know someone that spent three days sorting and labeling all this little shit.
We don’t need another hero and I don’t need another bike but I’ve rejuvenated 393 Rock Hoppers over the years for so so so many other people now finally one of them is for me.
This is my newest used bike in its rough draft outline first iteration form but as President of the Profile Design Cup Holders Club I had to install a bottle cage right away but it’s not just any bottle cage it’s the ultimate facilitator of travel along the coffee-beer continuum able to accommodate road masters as well as tall boys just as well as tall drip coffees and plain old water in water bottles. I’ve been dehydrated since 1997 you know diuretic-schmiuretic
The dropouts are semi sorta horizontal so it can go single-speededly but most likely it will go 7-speeds with XT thumbies naturally like urban utility with room for bigger big big tires and fenders if need be in a clod hopper long wheel base thursday is the new black stealthy 559 bsd so six years ago Suntour Shimano mashup thrift store accessibility sort of way.
The foundation is set for this bike to be built up and over the next few weeks it will end up looking just like all my other bikes because it’s one of my bikes now. One is not enough and seven is too many ( you know that Bianchi is for sale )
you may not have a shifter cable you may not have a shifter or a shifter cable but maybe you have an old Bic you could wedge in there and keep things on the second cog. it beats walking. whatever works. works.
as the fair weather fans and weekend warriors come out of hibernation and bike shops staff-up
if you've ever worked in a bike shop you will appreciate Ric's perspective and experience
i'm the guy that prefers not to chit-chat and gets shit done and gets frustrated with all the horseshit
vestigial galvanized festivus fence poles are great places to collect reflective 1996 chilly hilly ankle bands
your pants can't get stuck in the drivetrain if you're not wearing any
plaid shirt tucked into pleated khakis tucked into sock all good until the messenger squeezes onto the market elevator with you and tattoos your nondriveside pant leg way up high with a well worn drive train because the elevator is full of fair weather fans and tourists
this Panasonic mountain bike is a text book example of a Panasonic Individual Choice System (PICS) bike that back in 1988 (senior year Garvey High) could be ordered at your local bike shop and delivered to you with the paint job of your choice. Almost everything I've learned about PICS bikes came from this site so there's no need for me to plagiarize or poach or play it off blow hard like I actually knew anything about them before two days ago when this bike came out the of the donation dumpster.
I believe there is a time and a place for an after market Switch Blade fork and this may not be the time or the place but that's a personal choice.
when sorting through thousands and thousands and thousands of bikes once in a while one of them stands out in the crowd and deserves a closer look
full suspension of disbelief heading in the opposite direction of a simple elegant solution with 20 years worth of hindsight to arm-chair-quarterback-monday-morning-critique the design and smile at this 1996 Schwinn s [9 six] even reading the name is kind of all over the place fittingly the vectors scalars and tensors are heading every which way on this bike this bike that I pulled from the donation dumpster yesterday
I'll take the rear derailleur and the cranks and transplant them to another bike and maybe the wheels if the rims aren't shot and maybe the big-click beefy grip shifts because they're Shimano compatible and they'll hold up 20 more years you can have the rest
in 1996 I bought a 1996 Rock Hopper with front suspension and immediately put skinny slick tires on it and tried to lock-out the fork with harder elastomers. 20 years later I ask "why the fuck did I buy a mountain bike?" and "why the fuck did I pay full retail for a Rock Hopper?" it seemed like a good idea at the time
thanks to Dr. 37 Mike I now have a brand new JIS screwdriver at my fingertips within an arms reach. As you may know it's not just any old phillips screw driver. And as 37 pointed out those cranky derailleur limit screws on all your Japanese derailleurs are JIS so why not use a JIS tool to adjust them. Your phillips is bottoming out and rounding out those screws as we speak.
Hitting close to what used to be home. Former pilderwasser World HQ at 1712 E Spruce is now a just hole in the ground. The house is gone and soon the lot will be excavated down six feet to street level and construction will begin on three or four or more town houses Seattle-style where especially in the CD they really pack ‘em in. Luckily we were just passing by on a Sunday and got a chance to peer down into what remains of the basement and look at what used to be the yard the awesome backyard the site of many parties and kegs on ice. Games of horseshoes and kiddy pools. Orange picnic table and plastic stacking adirondack chairs. Raised bed gardens and kick ass tomato plants. Catnip for everyone. The yard where you could talk to your neighbors over the fence and through the hedges with Zeppelin II on cassette.
To be honest the house was beat. It was a tear-down with mold issues and the occasional leaky roof. The basement flooded after heavy rains. The appliances were from the Carter Administration. The toilet flushed over 7 gallons of water each time. There was no insulation so the already inefficient furnace worked even harder to keep warm. But we lived there for 4 years it was really cheap and the landlord was cool. We had two kids there. We buried two cats there in that kickass backyard.
It was a tear-down and now it’s torn down and the fact that we lived there makes it more meaningful to me but it’s actually another perfect example of what’s happening in Seattle and maybe it’s all happening too fast too much too many too tall too dense too stupid. I’m all for progress but my definition differs from the developers’. The city of Seattle seems to be rather $hort-$ighted. Urban density beats suburban sprawl and I'd love to hop on the light rail to get to...
top to bottom left to right repeat as needed take a number get in line out of context structural spackle facelift paint job day job take the elevator to the gym to ride the stair master circle the block three times then finally pay for off street parking to ride the stationary bike walk to the light rail and pay to run on a treadmill go green read red move your clocks ahead
the dream of the 90s is alive in Seattle too where 600 square foot apartments are now going for $2300 in the 98102 but sweet Stumpjumpers are going for $289 in the 98118 where a little rise and a bit of sweep go a long way toward modernizing ye olde school set ups because we're all not riding like Graham Obree and we're all not Andy Friday and we're all not Fever and we're surely not all Jonny Sundt and if you've seen one you've seen plus or minus one slight variation on that theme that theme that recurring theme and as you know 6061 + 7005 does not equal 4130
one thing leads to another and another. thanks Steve (one of the guys down at DANK bags) for the cute cat coozie it's the real deal like a firm hand shake and thanks Steve (one of the guys at BikeWorks) for years and years and years of work helping to transform that place into what it's becoming. good luck in your next adventure and take advantage of your free time to enjoy open containers contained in that coozie. sitting on the sidewalk drinking beer hiding in plain sight is in the top three things I miss about being a bike messenger. cheers. here's to building community drinking tall boys from cute cat coozies. I was able to field test that particular model once in the 98118 when Steve gave it to me a couple weeks before re-gifting it to Steve as he leaves BikeWorks. I'm just the conduit. those cute cats have inspired more coozies.
taken out of context the downtube of a 1994 Bridgestone MB-4 in regular red. not the most functional cheater bar but more of a sentimental souvenir radiating positive energy and or negative ions from the original owner. the north-south oval at the head tube seamlessly transitions to a east-west oval at the BB shell this shape along with its satisfying substantial heft give it a good feel in your left hand and or your right. right. taken out of context in 1994 and put back in 2016.
i've never hashtagged anything until today and i don't plan on doing it again anytime soon but this is for a good cause with a not so catchy name. i haven't patched an inner tube in a while but i could if i had to. i know Jonny Sundt hasn't patched a tube since 1994.
where others see a box of bar ends collecting dust from the late 90s I see a trophy set of elk antlers mounted on the wall or an 8-foot long sign spelling out the name of a nonprofit community bike shop it's not just a bin of used kickstands it's a basket full of unused potential ready to be taken out of context and put back in on a larger than life Greenfield porcupine spray painted purple
Sitting on a Park Bench... not really in a Jethro Tull way but how can you not chuckle out some Aqualung lyrics when you're cracking open a beer in a park in January snot running down your nose seriously really sincerely for real please take a moment to locate the DANK bags tag on that coozie
it's a recurring theme as in has been will continue to be same as it ever was on the weekends and the rest of the days
wanna come upstairs and see my pictures-of-coozies collection?
I'm not talking about Justin Timberlake more Beastie Boys and more like finding $20 in the parking lot then going inside to buy beer only to leave it in the parking lot for the next guy it comes around one way or another and if you don't think it will it will when you least expect it or in a way you never thought possible it's not really payback because you never really had it in the first place it wasn't really yours to lose it just passed through your fingers like beer when your red plastic keg cup runneth over
Bret in ABQ sent me this link about a bike drive that's kind of right up my alley but the photo is more interesting to me because I can see the bicycle/BBQ assembly temp worker at the big box store slapping together bikes out of the box as fast as he can working on commission and if the fork is backwards that's OK the bike just handles a bit differently as he flips a coin with a 50-50 chance of getting it right because the brakes can go on either way so some of the bikes have a little shorter wheel base and ride kinda funny but the BBQs look great.
this is the best base layer you've never owned. no joke. and not only that it's made in Grays Harbor County. they know a little something about getting wet in Grays Harbor and you don't have to go hunting or fishing when you wear it you can ride a bike in it too. my get-up has always been a mish mash of thrift store and Christmas gifts and this was a Christmas gift that keeps on giving I have been wearing the long sleeve crew neck since December 25 nonstop. it's great. it's so thick it crosses the line from base layer to insulating layer if you're actually active here in the 206.