Saturday, March 31

the old GT

My old GT, always strong and trustworthy, has been rebuilt and reborn to life with my brother. I purchased the 'Team Avalanche' in the mid-90's from a guy who raced it downhill, but had it in pawn so he could get his BMX fix. (We went to the pawn shop so I could test ride it - haha) Here is a 'before' shot:

The bike made the trip from Durango to Seattle with us in 2000; getting some fatty street tires and eventually a rigid fork. Recycled Cycles pretty much rules, as does the place down the street from me, 20/20 Cycle - not sure if he has a site, but I found Alex's (the owner) myspace page googling it.

My brother left Seattle on Wednesday, after living with us for about 9 months. He has a nice road bike, but nothing to ride around town. Until now. I worked on the GT for him and now he's stoked. I took it pretty much down to the frame, put in a new rear brake, and removed the front derailuer and extra chainrings. We decided to leave the shifter on the bars for visual balance, but maybe it's a good place for a light or something. He plans to order some street tires for it, since I kept the ones I have (now on my wife's mountain bike). Now the bike - and my brother I guess - makes it full circle, back to Durango and life in the mountains.
Here is the 'after' shot:

Wednesday, March 28

Japanese bike crime

I love Japan. I've never been there, but I am completely obsessed with the *idea* of Japan. Here is a story of bike theft that is exactly the sort of Japanese story that has me so fascinated.

Sunday, March 25

whirled peas

Cycling is a weirdly polarizing thing. I was just reading a blog about commuting by people in my little town, and the attitude there is all about being safe and following traffic laws, and using the federally mandated 10 reflectors, and stuff like that. It is really condescending, like if you run a red light ou are fucking up cycling for everyone, and if one of these guys ever sees you, they will chase you down and let you know how much of an asshole you are. It's really offensive. I mean, I'm not a proponent of breaking laws, but I jaywalk, and speed, and overestimate the value of charitable donations, and if I have an opportunity to safely run a red light, I'm probably gonna do it. It's like a perk for being on a bike. If I were in my car, I would be waiting. But I have to pedal this damn thing, so I'm gonna take a few liberties. Cars already hate me, so screw it.

Like Aesop Rock sez: "I've got the solution to world peace: kill every mothafuka but me."

Monocog pix

So I got one of these Redline Monocog frames from Pricepoint for $160. The whole point was to get something with horizontal dropouts to make my Nexus 8 happy without a chain tensioner. This also had a slightly longer top tube that the Soma Groove it replaced. The Soma was kinda short, and I found myself wishing the front tire was a couple inches further out there. I love cheap frames. I also love brown frames.

Now that is a sexy drivetrain! Sexy!

I think this above-the-BB cable routing is going to be a good thing. The Nexus hubs are supposed to be pretty finnicky about cable routing. It shifted ok before, with goofier routing (more and sharper bends) so hopefully this will be lakbutta!

The downside to combining a cheap steel frame with a cheap coil-n-oil fork, and an internal gear hub is the weight. This thing weighs in at a healthy 29 lbs. Oh well. I'll just make up for it by not carrying any water, and selling a kidney.


Over at Hen Waller there is a post on Velocouture ("cycling fashion" for the francophobes). Thanks Tarik (Moscaline) for the link.

But before I get into that, I want to say how cool a blog Hen Waller appears to be. The subtitle is "An Urban Homesteading Journal and Recipe Repository". Awesome. Plus they appears to be in Portland, which is one of those mythically hip places I have never had a good enough excuse to visit. I really need to go there.

I like anything that has to do with bikes and makes people excited about them. If clothes are part of the equasion, great. And I hate the spandex racer thing, so alternatives are very much welcome. I mean, wool knickers - that rocks!

I was going to write about how I feel conflicted about how the whole outsider bicycle messenger scene is being co-opted. I first got that feeling when the fixed gear gallery took off. But the root of that conflict must have something to do with wanting to keep a part of cycling "underground" and "pure" - but what that really means is that I want to keepo it to myself and not share. Or something. So nevermind about being conflicted. I think it is an unqualified Good Thing. But if there is a Mountain Dew commercial with bike messengers in it, I might just go insane. Wow, there probably is one.

Thursday, March 22

Welcome Back!

So, speaking of spring and newness, here it is. I finally built a bike that's right for me- simple, smooth, quiet, and fast! That's how I would describe my new ride, the Voodoo Wanga. The first ride (virgin run at white mesa, sweet!), was... well, magical. A return to the hardtail, and an excape from the fruntration of owing the wrong bike. A quick trip over the bars for a true test of durability, and i was sold. Yeah srping! I want to ride my bike!

Wednesday, March 21


Ti bike, wool jersey
Leather saddle, GPS.
Still have to pedal.

-Kent Peterson
"200k haiku"

Sunday, March 18


So when are we going to be able to buy that new Shimano Alfine group? The disc-compatible internal gear one. I want one so frickin bad. The sites all say 2007 and the parts definitely exist, so what's up?

new bike soon

So the season is upon us. Thoughts are turning to bikes as the snow melts and the mud dries up. To celebrate, and because I always have to change something about my bike(s), I ordered a new frame for my internal gear mountain bike. I'll give you a hint - it is the cheapest singlespeed frame you can buy :) Here is another hint - certain blogged-about hardcore fellas ride one. Ok, I'll just tell you. It is the good old Redline Monocog. Not the 29er. I wanted to go 29, but I would need too many new parts. To compensate, I ordered some fatter tires :) Hopefully next weekend you will be reading a "first ride" post.

In other news, Eric and Justin rode the White Mesa trail, and it was probably really great. Maybe one of them will post something about it...

Thursday, March 15

Kent Petersen

Kent Petersen is that guy that rode the Great Divide trail on the Redline monocog singlespeed. He has a really good bike blog that I have been reading lately. You should too. In fact, I'm gonna add it to the links section over there.

I was hoping to find a photo of Kent and/or his bike to sum things up, but no luck. So imagine a photo of a guy on a crufty old bike that has been ridden thousands of miles, has lots of home-made parts on it like his legendary chloroplast fenders and rubbermaid panniers, and looks functional is the way that only things that you use constantly are. Not clean, not brand new, not shiny, but still somehow beautiful.

Update: JimG posted a comment with exactly the picture I was trying to describe. Behold.

Sunday, March 11


Well it has been a lot of winter since that turkey post. Just thought I would post something to make me feel a little bit better about not really being "hard core" and riding all winter and stuff.

Here is a bit of cyclocross carnage from the cyclofiend blog: