the bike messenger did not completely kill the fax machine
December 29, 2017
i think this is a Tyler Goldsmith photo
yesterday I received an email from a person in Omaha with a document attached (pdf) asking for my original signature (in ink) and a return in one of a variety of ways.
I was proud of myself for riding my bike to a public library to print the document on actual paper so I could sign it with a ballpoint pen and take a picture of it so I could email it back to Omaha as an attachment (jpg) I sent the email and soon got a response that a photo of the document would not cut it could I please scan it and email it or fax it to Omaha. fax. fax it. fax machine. It's been nearly 20 years since I fed document into a fax machine and nearly a year since I worked close enough to office workers to print sign scan email a document. the 19 year old legal messenger in me wanted to take the hypotenuse and hand deliver the actual paper with my original signature to the address in Seattle instead of faxing it to Omaha so they could email it back to Seattle but in my old age I realized this would kind of fuck things up in some paper trail chain of custody legal sort of way so I did some online reasearch and found a fax machine near me in a kinkos-like playground within a large shopping mall at the southern-most tip of Lake Washington where I fed my document into the mouth of an actual fax machine and heard the high pitched whine and dial-up static of yesteryear while waiting for a confirmation printout so I could pay my price per page.
19 years ago the legal messenger in me was drinking really cheap beer at the Storeroom with Matt Case and I took his picture with a camera on film that I then dropped off at the drug store and waited a week for it to get developed and in the office of that legal messenger company at 89 S. Washington there was a fax machine.
didn't stumble upon this photo on instagram I got it at a thriftstore saying it was a gift for my brotherinlaw then a few days later I was thinking of subtle ways to tell my sister if he doesn't like it and wants to get rid of it then I will totally take it back until I realized I can skip all that bullshit and buy him another gift and keep this photo for myself because it's fucking amazing with layers and layers of hidden meaning and unanswered questions
why was the photo taken? why was it blown up to 16" x 20" and framed? why was it donated to a thrift store years later? why Linda Ronstadt? where is that footstool today? where are your priorities? what are you looking at? what matters? what's important?
super human strengths are needed just to make it to the pro peloton. enormous lung capacity and heart efficiency. resting heart rates around 30 bpm. from there begins the search for the next next little thing to gain advantages. bike technology consistently tweakes toward what some call progress offering small gains to the racers. while team doctors and scientists seek new and untested ways to push the human body beyond it's limits.
in the context of bike racing the fact that Chris Froome tested at twice the legal limit for an asthma medication is not surprising.
Alistair pointed out and I agree how entertaining it was to watch stages of the Tour live on OLN early in the morning before work back when Lance and Ullrich and Beloki and the gang were juiced up beyond belief. it was good bike racing it ws fun to watch it was dramatic
i haven't watched a Tour stage for a long time and it's not because I'm bummed about the performance enhancing drugs. I have a great deal of respect for Froome as an athlete but I do not believe he's much fun to watch on tv.
I used to like that song and I hope Supertramp got paid-paid because it's now tainted forever.
Amazon is a common discussion topic in Seattle and I don't want to dive into that pile of shit. But this photo sent to me by Mr AT speaks volumes on the most basic street level as well as the big picture level.
Andy Friday died last week and I don’t know the details because I heard it from a friend of a friend who facebooks and another friend who is on facebook.
I was unable to retrieve a photo of Andy Friday from my photographic memory except this one that I tried to take of him and Banks at the Ballard Crit eleven years ago so I’m going to retrieve a few images of him from my actual photographic memory.
Andy wore a flannel shirt and sweatpants no matter the weather no matter the precipitation and sometimes he wore a pair of work gloves. He sometimes sported a carry-on style bag with a radio tied onto the strap. He rode bikes that were pieced together with seemingly incompatible parts, but he made them work. The classic Andy Friday bike was a road bike frame designed for 700c wheels with a 700 up front and a 26” in the rear with a flat bar and only a front brake because the calipers wouldn’t work on the rear wheel. He would ride the wrong way down one-ways directing traffic with authority pointing waving and scolding drivers in his deep voice.
When Andy was between messenger jobs there were times when you’d hear your name shouted out and turn to see him behind the wheel of a yellow Mercedes convertible. He’d tell a short story about this or that then be on his way.
Riding down a residential street one weekend I heard my name and stopped surprised to see Andy Friday chilling in a bathrobe on the front porch of a very large North Capitol Hill home. He was house sitting and had a few random stories.
Andy Friday was unusual comical opinionated and intense. He was unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. He will not be forgotten.
One of the tenets of this place is: if it’s not one thing, it’s another as in in the absence of anything important or meaningful stupid petty little shit becomes monumental. It’s one of the pressure treated 4x4s holding up the entire deck that kickstand-dickstank-pilderwasser industries rests on rides on works on and so on in the whack-a-mole maintenance schedule we seem to follow. when we say we we mean me. taking care of business. the cost of doing business or not. there are some key keywords that keep popping up.
what are you looking at. what matters? what’s important?
the red octopus accommodates 16 empty Rainier cans
cognitive biases rosy retrospection phantom nostalgia syndrome and the what not playing cards drinking beer nine or ten years ago fond memories wondering what we used to do with all that free time with no way to really know what sequence of events would unfold into 2018 the five year plan questions still make me chuckle in a goal disoriented way I prefer realistic goals like wearing shorts until Halloween and that moving-to-Portland-to-retire-concept is so 7.67 years ago
amtrak to pdx circa 2010 bun in the oven what's your 18-year plan stress case scenario
Much of bike mechanics’ work goes unnoticed unappreciated under the radar behind the scenes back of the house. But the work of bike share bike mechanics in under under under appreciated.
Did you finish that bike yet?
No, not that bike, that one, the orange one to the left of those 750 other orange ones here in the warehouse
check the stem bolt on the 1 ⅛” quill stem and bar with basket one piece combo
Check frame alignment
repair bent and broken fender struts
replace damaged chain guard
true wheels replace broken spokes
replace brake pads
replace rear brake cable
adjust brake calipers
realign brake levers
replace torn grips
trouble-shoot lock mechanism
replace broken tail light
replace stolen saddle
replace rear tire
When that bike is finished repeat the procedure 751 times
As soon as those bikes are finished unpack and assemble the 500 bikes in boxes that just arrived from China in those shipping containers outside the warehouse
They're not just the same color they’re all the same fucking size too
I’m not providing commentary on the benefits of bike share in a crowded city I’m commenting on the mountain of work the mechanics have to maintain these bikes.
Sisyphean ground hog dayish repetitious loop de loop fuckin A ad nauseum
I thought you said your bike doesn’t suck
That’s not my bike
I want my oompa loompa NOW
In today’s disposable insatiable on demand tap the app instant gratification Seattle people want it now and they want it for $1.00 and they want it to function and be readily available within 50 feet of their present location at any given moment.
Other cultures other languages have the complicated sentiments boiled down to a single word or two. Powerful words that sum up the behind the scenes hard work the pride and internal motivation that keeps people showing up for work day in and day out. I can imagine it’s hard to keep that internal motivation cranking as a mechanic when people are tossing those bikes around the streets $1.00 ride at a time.
There are words to succinctly describe the spirit in the bike, its soul, its energy, its sum total greater than a bunch of parts strung together. The soul of a bike share bike is somewhere between a Walmart sale item and a Venice Beach cruiser rental and even at that it’s hard to identify. But it’s worth more than one dollar.
C. Forest Hoag used to speak of mechanical husbandry which brings to mind the idea of working on a customer’s bike for 4 hours then taking it out for a little test ride to see how it rolls and then asking a coworker to go out and ride it too and I was constantly reminded to ditch normal riding and ride like an idiot shifting too much cross chain under load uphill skidding stupid shit that you think no person would ever do on a bike. but people who consider themselves cyclists do stupid shit on their very own bikes all day long.
bike share bikes are in a whole new stupid shit category
If you know a mechanic that works on bike share bikes, buy them a beer.
Matt Case sent me this because I'm not on facebook and upon first glance I smiled and thought that's Tyler Goldsmith that's 1201 3rd that's around 1998 then later I looked again I looked closer I looked back into that grey area between 89 S Washington and 2225 4th Ave between Brian Voss and Erik Jahnz between Dez and Stu between Sit N Spin and Spitfire between the OK Hotel and Fuckin A
no tattoos no helmet no phone no radio only a pager and a tiny T2 bag hovering near Perkins Coie hanging on the beep wating for the word to go upstairs and call on a landline for further instructions something like call from Foster or take all that shit and come to base or all of the above twice in reverse and back round trip
what does that have to do with that or that? what does anything have to do with anything. what’s important what really matters what’s relevant and what is mindless filler well well well what’s the difference. what day is it? a PhD in pancake makeup. structural spackle at the journeyman level to fill-in the gaps and connect the dots.
this lime bike is the first bike-share bike we've seen in our zipcode. an outlier deviating from the standard pattern radiating round lightrail stations. it just took a few weeks to make it up the hill
there's a CETMA rack under that USPS tote but I'd like to draw your attention to the pilderwasser sticker via Chris Murray v1.0 it's so ten years ago clear backing three layers of uberautomotive quality like como se dice if it was on your toptube and you cared for your bike it would still be there today
circuitous routing coming back around again to the same old common themes with one more time around an internal smile that comes with the subtle satisfaction successfully completing a round trip I’m a big fan of barking up the wrong tree sending laser focused misdirected energy with astounding attention to detail only to learn later they were all the wrong details
not obedient just independent alone self-contained entertained unrestrained stacking rocks, riding bikes, building forts, lighting fires kicking pine cones, licking ice-cream cones slurping Slurpees until the brain freeze pinball, bubblegum, penny candy, pump cheese the babysitter smells weird smoking cigarettes watching soap operas Monday through Friday her macaroni tastes funny her tuna sandwiches aren’t as good as mom’s potato salad, dill pickles, baked beans, hot dogs the dog is so hot he’s not moving, panting ice cubes melting in his water bowl garden hose spewing plasticky bathwater warm the lawn yellowing drying dying crunching prickly on tenderfeet they’ll toughen up by Labor day then it’s back to shoes and socks and school
"Pump Cheese" circa 2008
nine years later and/or 39 years later that back-to-school feeling in the pit of my stomach has a little different meaning
with the flat bar and the seat slammed back on a setback post below it was delusional thinking I could get from here to there efficiently on this really heavy rig with huge tires so here and now I put on this giant handlebar above and squishier saddle and completely given up or given in to the idea of taking a slower slow ride and pushing this thing up the hill to get home. in this latest iteration the bike is 100% Bike Works parts all the way down to the bar plugs and cable ends every single little thing on this bike is now from Bike Works.
that's a Campy derailleur more than a full bubble off plumb.
on day 3 of RAGBRAI on the way to Clear Lake Tony's non drive side crank fell off and the bolt was long gone and when he tried to give it a go with just one crank just that first one big crank with his right leg was enough to suck the derailleur into the wheel and end his day waiting for the sag wagon. the derailleur hanger needs more than a little tweak it needs to be replaced. but luckily Tony knows the Daltex guy.
if you're looking for a Campy non drive crank bolt in or around Clear Lake Iowa in late July it might be hard to find even with Amazon Prime
of the few photos I took on RAGBRAI 97% of them involve beer bloody marys coozies beer gardens gas station parking lots bars and beer. this is the "liquid century" on a beautiful golf course parked next to Team Bud
there were some bikes on RAGBRAI too and the Hardees aporkalypse burrito features ham, bacon and sausage as well as eggs and two kinds of cheese
I haven't seen so many pilderwasser t-shirts and jerseys in one place since 2009 westside invite
this big bull was in Postville. I learned a little about Postville in the New York Times years back and it then I got to ride through it a few days ago and it's not the average Iowa town and as a pass-through town they only had 6 kybos
on another beautiful golf course sleeping just off the fairway where a handy bush next to the tent is worth two birds
I heard that more spd sandals are sold in Iowa than the other 49 states combined
back on RAGBRAI after a 6 year hiatus like a born again virgin but not making all those rookie mistakes
every time I felt tired out there on the bike I thought of Jimbo pulling his daughter across Iowa and I felt a little better about dragging myself to the next town
I gave this DANK coozie to Jimbo 10 years ago and a short time later someone hose-clamped it to the bus mirror to hold up a flag for a parade in Grinnell that flag broke off many years ago and this year I reclaimed the coozie and put it back to work taken out of context and put back in
the largest greatest bike ride party in the world involves a lot of interstate travel support vehicles busses RVs cars trucks ATVs airline tickets school busses police cars ambulances fire trucks street sweepers kybo suction trucks traffic signs and a shit load of empty beer cans but there's nothing else like it in the world in spite of its environmental impact it's good for Iowa it's good for bike shops it's good for gas stations it's good for church basements and middle school marching bands it's the superbowl of bike rides it's the Tour de Everylittlething it's the ultimate middle age spring break it's fucking RAGBRAI.
thanks to Ben for picking me up at O'hare and thank you Bill for driving me back there nine days later.
tilder sounds like pilder kinda close enough like they say when in Lansing put on some bug spray
got this jersey from Matt Case a few years ago and the goggles from Adam Smith about 17 years ago can't seem to bring myself to wear them in Seattle but they did well in Iowa a place where many people take organized religion seriously so this jersey got some longer looks confused about the church of cheese and rice
it's a study in dehydration sleep deprivation nutrition personal hygiene exposure and consumption swirled in a stew of Natty Light Busch Lite High Life Lite and whatever's on sale then toss in 15,000 cyclists and it's RAGBRAI
thank you to Mr Chris Murray and Jimbo for making the pilderwasser collective into what it is what is has become and what it will be
what if you saw this on instafacetwittgram? attention spans are getting shorter and shorter but that's not what they want you to think from point A to point B what's the point. it takes longer to upload/download a photo to this site than most people spend reading complete sentences in an entire day.
I see dog walkers. I see lawn & garden workers. I see house cleaners. I see over loaded mass transit. I see immediate delivery gratification professionals. I see new jobs and new people moving to Seattle to take those new jobs. What I don't see is a place for those new people to live. I see the median house price passing $750,000. I see 1 BR apartments renting for more than we make in months. I see horseshit.
I see parking where there is no parking.
I see the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the twilight zone
when I used to sit around looking out the window wondering what to do in a cheap and affordable studio apartment on Capitol Hill riding my bike to work in 17 minutes and home from work in 21 minutes I carried a notebook and recent New Yorkers to write and read because I had nothing better to do as Seattle kind of came to a stand still where even construction projects halted and filled in the excavations and legal messengers had to buy more six packs to fill the gaps these are some words from those days ca 2010 because they're all still true and now in retrospect I can't believe how much "free" time I used to have
I’ll find you near the intersection where expectations meet reality, but we’ll both need to wait in line for a while. Together. Separately. For complete instructions and rules of entry send SASE to PO Box 123.
Do you feel that? That’s not a subwoofer. That is 442 cubic inches of displacement. Muscle. Original flavor long-cut between the cheek n gum. Liquid smoke in the eye a poke. As if meeting in the loading dock makes sense. By design.
If and only if. If then. If only. Migratory six-pack rings wrapped around your finger. An environmental impact statement stated in terms like simplicity, utility and out-of-pocket. Out on a limb like the kitten in the poster on the ceiling at the dentist. You’re huffing so much gas, the kitten begins to speak Spanish and you understand completely.
Paperback reading walker. Walker reading paperback. I’m watching where you’re going, so you don’t have to. Warm shampoo. Cold Turkey. Fingerprints on the glass, compounded daily. Toothpaste splatter pattern on the mirror in normal distribution with standard deviation and occasional outliers. Fat-free vegan organic truck stop. Barstool etiquette. Free refills.
Cauliflower party platter. Roundhouse. Circle to the left counterclockwise here as well as in the southern hemisphere. Losing steam. Solar powered artificial color. 67% majority. Authority. Ponytail pulled back so tight your eyes go funny. Purple mountain majesty. I’m invisible for my own safety. Please ignore me. I dress like this as not to be confused with an attorney. Conversation may be recorded for quality assurance purposes.
They had me going. The entire package, the experience, the atmosphere, the ambiance, the greeting, the presentation, the valet, the hostess, the sommelier, the support staff, the music. They had me going there…but the smell. The butt smell. Who smells like doodie?
Textured vegetable protein American cheese product. Dust-free laboratory. Fingerless glove snot rocket. Tyvek jacket crinkling from Seattle to Portland in one day. That which we call a rose is a Mercury Bobcat is a Ford Pinto is a rose is a rose is a rose.
Terracotta façade undulating in the low angle winter sunlight. Getting all oboe. Oboe all up in your face. Peter and the wolf. Jack and the beanstalk. Hootie and the blowfish. Puke on the pillowcase spring break. Direct pressure eye contact. Plug n play they we all look the same. Are you my Bucky?
She rides around in the drops all day making us all look bad. We’re not in Marymoor anymore. We made the waiting list for the best preschool in Madrona. We got cold feet. Cold fingers. All ears. Captain Right Back Atcha coming out of retirement because he mixes it with love and makes the hurtin feel good.
So firm you could set your beer on them.
She’s a brick house elaborating on an elaborate set of rules. Getting upset when no one else plays along because no one else knows or cares about the rules or the game or the fact that she is still keeping score on that scoreboard that no one else can see. Accurate and precise yet cold and indifferent. Overcooked and cranked up to Asperger’s level. Horizontal stripes stack up like binders full of courtesy copies to C-203.
Quilted patchwork piecemeal. 650 front wheel. Campagnolo cranks BMX anodized fade to pink. Red turtleneck sweater February candy office party glazed high fructose corn syrup distraction delivered floral arrangement calling in sickly sweet.
I found a zip tie with a tree root growing through it. what are you looking at? what are you worried about? who are you following? who are you retweeting? what's important? what matters? what's the difference? how many likes? how many comments? how much horseshit?
I saw a kitten squashed in the street
I read about a plastic surgeon and his art collection
junior junior and junior didn't care much for the bike races yesterday they were more interested in baby ducks and shaved ice and monkey bars but when things turn 50 it's time to take a little look back
circa 2008 we made a stop at the HopVine during the races punctuating a full day of sitting in the grass drinking can after can of beer. now there's a beer garden right at the finish line selling $7 cups of beer.
those wheels are so 6 years ago just like the photo bro
but you can still get your hands on a pair for only $3025.15
i'm not sure if they age well perhaps if you keep them out of direct sunlight and maybe nobody really knows how well they age because they're only 6 years old??? the aerospace industry knows a little bit about a little adhesive used to bond chunks of carbon fiber to other chunks of carbon fiber over and over and over
using the same scale I'd like to present a ride to Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, Downtown, Capitol Hill and back to Rainier Beach and I could probably ask somebody under 40 to set that up and graph it neatly for me even though google is already tracking all that and more on each of us and saving it all on a server farm somewhere near Moses Lake but we don't have access to it at this time.
one day about 18 years ago I bought one of these shirts at a little shop near 6th & Denny that sold vintage posters and t-shirts before eBay made actual stores obsolete I didn't wear that shirt much becasue I thought it was ugly but I kinda wish I still had it as I will not be purchasing another one for $125
a couple days before 9-11 we'll call it nine-nine of whatever year that was I thought you said you'd never forget I went to Marymoor and took the little class they said you had to take to ride bikes in the velodrome and I went through the motions and followed directions which always seemed to be yelled at me to get in the drops because I was on the tops or where the hoods would be if there were hoods because I've never felt the need to get aero bro so drop bars have sort of dropped out of my lineup but the last 4 times I rode RAGBRAI there were drops on the RB-1 there are lots of pros and some cons to them there handlebars and I often catch myself wanting to yell at everyday commuters to Get in the Drops!
zoom in and see that sticker a la Chris Murray pasted on the bike rack RAGBRAI style here in the 98118 and then see the reflectors a la Travis K a la the first thing you take off your new bike when you're a kid but when you get to be my age in the 98118 you find creative ways to put them back on
it's not the rumble strips in the road that'll fuck you up it's the over reaction stress freak outs in the crowd that stack it up white knuckle like lock up
it's not the issue
it's your reaction to the issue
that is the issue
it's a quality of life issue
it's a question a child might ask but not a childish question
"Alexa, how the fuck did I get here?"
in the northern hemisphere my chapstick rolls itself up in my right pocket but not in my left
I want people that drive like assholes to wait longer at the next red light to slam on their brakes to avoid the car in front of them to spill their coffee in their lap to get a big dry mouthful of karma dust or something like that
as President Emeritus and founder of the Profile Design Cup Holders Club this would be featured on my twitter instagram horseshit to fulfill my contract agreements to place the product prominently 17 or more times per month if I had a contract or any kind of sponsorship...but in fact I have one or two of these cages on all of my bikes because they hold a cup of coffee as well as a tallboy as well as a roadmaster as well as an actual water bottle and it's not because I'm talking the talk it's because I'm walking the walk slowly up hill both ways
The passage of time personified. A little living breathing calendar that only gets bigger. A kid that is. All up in your face they just keep growing. For me ages 22-42 were kind of a blur on the north end of the I-5 corridor a gelatinous mass of memories low level jobs housemates studio apartments and singlespeed conversions. Then a kid came along and showed me the way time passes differently. Relativity in rain boots. Look away for a day and they’ve grown some more.
I know that kid. Six years ago he was in kindergarten. Six years from now he’ll be in college
Pushing my bike up the hill in the 98118 single speededly because I’m in no hurry because I’m not too proud to walk because paper-boying a hill just to avoid walking is so so so much more than six years ago came upon this sign in the grass took a photo sent this text to SteveG “can’t decide if I should text a photo or just steal the fucking sign” then 25 feet later came upon another sign and that one ended up in my bag for the ride home taken out of context and put back in the right tool for the job you can order any foo foo espresso drink you want as long as it’s a hammer
I haven’t put on an alley cat race for 18 years but if I did one today it would include this stop - South Spokane Street at Hahn Place South - the checkpoint to fuck up all checkpoints. Route yourself accordingly. There will be no smartphones, no GPS, no Strava. Good old fashioned paper maps are OK and hard-earned experience and knowledge of local geography are even better. Google maps can’t solve all your problems and the satellite images don’t clue you in on secret stairways and handy elevators.
I haven’t registered a domain name for a website in 13 years but if I did one today I hope it wouldn’t take 10 days for the customer service reps to figure it out. This site was suspended for a while because the domain name needed ICANN certification and I guess they warned me of the approaching deadline by emailing email@example.com which made me laugh almost as much as hearing a customer service rep say “dickstank at AOL dot com” in a polite British accent. dickstank? AOL? What year is this? How did I get here? As far as I can tell ICANN is just some dude in sweatpants watching Sportscenter and eating pizza pockets while the money rolls in. certification my ass but I do appreciate the emails and texts from the 5 people that noticed the site disappeared
I haven’t been a first-day-on-the-job-rookie bike messenger for exactly 20 years but if I was one today I’d probably be overthinking my wardrobe choices and I'd definitely not be drinking enough water
this reminds me of Seth and it also of Chris Murray and Chris always reminds me of RAGBRAI and if you've never heard of RAGBRAI it might as well be an acronym that stands for riding BMX bikes at night in bunny costumes with hooded sweatshirts. Yesterday Alistair sent me this link to something that I most likely never would have discovered myself and it's actually a great intro to RAGBRAI and what it's all about from an interesting vantage point. Ten or Eleven years ago I caught a glimpse or two or Lance on his first RAGBRAI but mostly I just saw the pack of people and the camera crews following him or leading him out and I never got that close
digging through my photographic memory for a shot of Lance I found THIS shot from RAGBRAI 2006
that's the bike that now lives next door to me
that's the bike I recently hacked the handlebars off of
this kid has been on a balance bike for years including this glorified balance bike until last weekend when she put the pedals back on and took off shredding alleys and derelict tennis courts at the edge of town deep in the 98118 and 98178. one set of courts has not seen tennis since Reagan was in the white house the other set still has nets up but sees mostly beer cans and fireworks and off-leash dogs and kids on bikes. at the Bike Summit in Oly last month where I got that fucking ditty bag I also got to see a presentation from a designer at Alta about the traffic garden in White Center that opened late last year on what used to be a set of tennis courts.
now all we need is $100,000 to transform the courts down in Rainier Beach
this was the most read article in the New York Times last year and with all the horseshit that happened in 2016, that's reason enough to take a look but there are some other reasons it's worthwhile too and if you're ready to explore a bit more there's more out there
Steve G sent me these photos of ye olde Cannondale that made its way across Iowa more than a few times and recently rolled into Bike Works.
those in the know know but it case you don't have the secret decoder ring it's important to work a little RAGBRAI into your day-to-day living. a taste of Iowa (50112) right here in this zipcode (98118) if that means buying a six pack of tall boys and sitting in the shade across from the beer store or if that means wearing your official RAGBRAI merchandise to work 51 weeks out of the year or if that means riding a tandem with a blowup doll strapped on the stoker seat whatever works works
a couple years later call me maybe. a new wheel set. two water bottles. a frame bag. new grips. seat post. saddle bag. I'm not a big accessories fan. keep it simple. but this bike wants to ride across Iowa and I don't want to have anything in my pockets or on my back or in some crazy canadian fanny pack. let the tool do the work.
can you find 14 differences between these two photos? the dream of the 90s is alive in Rainier Beach. I know a guy that knows a guy who's wife dropped this bike in my garage and said "can you tune it up?" and I thought "are you fucking kidding me?" but I said "how do you feel about those handlebars?" I'm pretty sure I can make this bike a bit more comfortable for every day just riding along and I pulled a few parts out of my back pocket and slapped them on and when I say a few I mean a riser bar thumb shifters brake levers el diablos a smaller chainring and cables & housing and a 27.2 post to replace the 27.0 that was in there with the binder bolt mashed to the max bottomed out and then she said she wants to pull a kid trailer around the neighborhood and it's all downhill from here so she wants some low low low gears and I said "I don't have all that in my back pocket right now"... but it is possible with a triple crank up front then change the BB spindle length and of course the front derailleur and the rear derailleur and the cassette too and toss in a new chain or you could just buy a used mountain bike and could I interest you in a lock? lights? a helmet? fenders? a rack? bottle cages? a computer? a bell? gloves? a jacket? a cycling cap? frame pump? tire levers? a patch kit? multi-tool? saddle bag?
Dr 37 Mike was in the house today when he paid a visit to HQ with the family as you can see in the photo he's just this side of the JIS screwdriver he gave me and just right of the poster from Whatcom County and if I was on twitter this would be so seven hours ago
You say tomato. I say scrunchie. You say wrist coil key holder. I say whatever, you know what I mean. I used to ride a bike a lot and I used to lock and unlock my bike a lot. A lot a lot. So much so that I suffered from phantom ass pocket U lock syndrome for many months after I turned back into a plain old bike commuter. As a messenger I tried many tricky tricks and strings and things to keep track of my key. After messing around with a bunch of silly contraptions I finally settled on the 89 cent wrist coil and stuck with it. These colorful coils were often available free in a big cookie jar at Perkins Coie reception or they could be purchased at a huge mark-up from a locksmith on Capitol Hill. These coils vary in quality and elasticity. Some would never spring back when the temperature dropped below 40. Some lasted two weeks. Some lasted two months. But the one I had until yesterday lasted over 7 years. Seven fucking years for 89 cents.
It seems silly to trust a cheap ass piece of plastic with the key to your ride. But it works. It worked for me and it still does until it doesn’t. Yesterday when I was drinking a cup of coffee and I heard a clang when some keys hit the floor and I thought somebody chucked their keys at me until I realized they were my keys and my scrunchie broke.
One day yesteryear I was standing in line at the Broadway post office when Art KnR handed me my scrunchie and key. He found it on the ground next to my locked up bike where I dropped it when I took off my gloves. Thanks Art.
Another day in the late 90s I rode up and down Second Avenue retracing all my stops looking for my scrunchie. After about 30 minutes of zigzagging around I reached in my bag and there was my scrunchie still on the right sleeve of the shirt I took off 30 minutes earlier.
The scrunchie lived most of its life in the crook of my right elbow with trips to the wrist to take care of business. It was an essential part of the pat down preparedness check performed each morning and countless times a day. Especially after passing through courthouse security. The pat down covered key elements like U-lock, scrunchie, pen, wallet, phone and to the untrained eye it looked kind of like a third base coach sending signals to the runner on first.
Yesterday my scrunchie broke and now I need a new one.
on Tuesday I got to learn more about it from the guy behind it and I won't try to summarize the entire story when you can just read it yourself but I will say it's impressive. well done with a simple user friendly interface. the information on your bike is actually useful when it's in a place where the people that will see your bike in the world can look it up instantly because you can get the word out that it's stolen instantly. Ever since I registered my bike with the local police department 30 years ago and I got a sticker and they wrote my name down in a three ring binder I've never bothered to "register" my bikes anyplace because it has always seemed pointless. but this 529 platform finally takes advantage of the fact that everyone is walking around with computers and cameras in their pockets and they can be useful. as you know bikes disappear in Seattle and reappear in SF or PDX at bike swaps and on Craigslist so when the I-5 corridor begins to get covered with 529 stickers it can really make a difference and as more and more bike shops get on board and more and more bikes are registered the effectiveness will increase and that little shield on your seat tube will really mean something. i registered my cargo bike this morning and plan to register my beer bike and maybe my kid's bike too because it's easy
if you and or your two friends ride a bike and want to gain a little more confidence working on bikes like basic bike repair there's another session of Bike Repair 101 starting in a few weeks on Tuesday nights.
this batch of classes starts the day after 327 Dave's birthday aka 3-28-17
my kid junior junior has an electric ninja turtle toothbrush that shouts out encouraging messages about fighting cavities but when the batteries were depleted to the point of exhaustion the bristles would no longer rotate and the digital audio sample was reduced to one syllable on repeat and that repeating sound has an unmistakable uncanny resemblance to Ali's laugh.
and that's why I found this picture of his bike because that toothbrush makes me laugh thinking of Ali laughing and it's not a non sequitur if on his old bike above that's my old CETMA rack that I sold to him and that's my bike with that same CETMA in situ below in front of that building with the writing on the wall that's no longer there because it's just another construction site where another 5 story condo will appear with mixed used street level retail where hopefully the Hugo House can come home someday in a way.
if you had a megaphone what would you say?
if you had some spray paint what would you write on the wall?
"The 2018 United States elections will mostly be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. All 435 seats in the House and 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested. 39 state governorships and numerous other state and local elections will also be contested."
I know a guy that knows a guy and he got his hands on this Fat Chance Yo Eddy that rolled into a small nonprofit community bike shop with its original aqua-fade paint job obscured by that homely rattle can camo you see above. So that guy took it out of context and spent quite a bit more money on the new paint job seen below.
I have this old school Burley trailer that collects a lot of dust these days but it used to move dynamic loads of kids around town. And I know a guy that took the Burley out of context out in the snow deep in the Olympic Peninsula with a static load of camping gear.
here's an actual fact: you can't swing a stick in Seattle without hitting a new townhome. Which is why it's so comical to me that someone felt the need to freckle Columbia City with these signs and why I felt fine liberating one for my own use. I walked to the Ale House spinning it and it was accurate in every direction.
when I finally quit this nonprofit shit once and for all I am not going to open a bike shop
or maybe it's already open in my garage but it's always closed
I wrote this bit years and years and years ago and it keeps coming up like acid reflux
because it's still true
When I finally quit this messenger shit, once and for all, I’m going to open a bike shop. A big bright historic space with huge store front windows and high ceilings and wood floors. With passive solar heating in the winter, and well placed shade in the summer. I’m going to work there all the time, six or seven days a week. The shop will be beautiful, stocked with every bike tool ever invented. French, Italian, Japanese, you name it, I will have it, hung neatly on the shop walls. Everything in its place. A place for everything. I will have two Campagnolo Cork Screws with Cherry handles. I will have seven different kinds of bike tool bottle openers. I will have four brands of headset presses. The 3000 square foot work space will have work stands and tools for 5 full-time mechanics, so I can work on 5 of my bikes all at once. Two air compressors enclosed in sound proof cases. Truing stands bolted down to work benches 42.5 inches off the ground. I will have two Phil Wood spoke cutters/threaders. There will be cement floors and drains built in so I can hose it all down when the kegs overflow or the chainlube explodes or the cat pukes or the shit hits the fan. I will have shop dogs and shop cats. The bike book library will be monumental. The furniture will be well designed, attractive, comfortable and functional. There will be no non-dairy creamer. The coffee will be good. The beer will be cold. There will be wholesale accounts with everyone and everyone. Paul, Phil, Chris, Grant, Brooks, Mavic, Moots, Sachs, Sidi, Swobo. For me and my friends of course.
I will be at work all the time. I’ll show up 5:30am, or 3:00pm, or not at all. I’ll spend the night. I’ll stay for two weeks straight. Or take a week off if I feel like it. However, the shop will not be open to the public. The sign on the door will say “closed”, and if you flip it over it‘ll say “closed”. I’ll also have a large neon CLOSED sign, and it’ll be on all the time, like a beacon of freedom constantly sending its message, at all hours of the day and night. I’ll be in there working hard on my own bikes. Or on poetry, free lance writing, silk-screening, carpentry, cooking breakfast, pondering or drinking beer and pondering. The shop hours will not be posted. The phone will not be connected, so people cannot call and ask about the shop hours. And there will not be any employees because I won’t need any. This will eliminate any potential human relations issues, staff meetings, communication failures, personality problems, scheduling conflicts, and all the junior-high shit that goes along with trying to run a business with employees. Fuck that.
I will be in the shop but I won‘t be selling anything. Retail bullshit will not enter my sphere of existence. The windows will have incredible displays of bicycle art and elegant simple functional bikes because I like window displays. And I’ll spend hours creating them for my own enjoyment, not to attract customers. I‘ll be in the shop, reading the NY Times, listening to Miles Davis, or the White Stripes, or Minute Men, or Bob Mould, or Guided by Voices, or Modest Mouse, or Guns n Roses or NPR and drinking coffee and beer and beer and coffee. Customers with stupid questions or flat tires or sheepskin seat covers or cracked carbon fiber forks can knock on the door all day long and I might even notice them between Hüsker Dü songs playing on the Bose Wave Radio, but probably not, and if I do, I’ll give them a half smile then get back to my work. My work as a sole proprietor and my work drinking beer and pondering.
The back door will be unlocked and open whenever I am in the shop and friends can stop by and bring their dogs and work on their bikes and add or subtract to the cold beer in the double wide Sub-Zero fridge or hit the bottomless pot of black coffee. The shop will include a beautiful stainless steel commercial sized kitchen. And a sleeping loft and an amazing bathroom with more magazines than a news stand, and I will not have to worry about customers fucking it up, because there will not be any customers.