Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things of Late

The Renegade Craft Fair came to our town recently. It's one of the only street fair type events that I ever attend. I find most of them boring. I also think paying the suggested donation is bullshit. I'm also no fan of Miller Lite and it's twin Bud, which seems to be the preferred offering at most street fairs. Alas however Renegade seems a bit different. (there is still cheap beer however).

While browsing the marketplace I noticed something completely different from last years fair. No one was selling bicycle top tube covers. NOT ONE! I ranted about this early this year. It always seemed like a dorky idea to me. Yet, last years festival had hundreds of pads to choose from. Hopefully those of you who no longer use them can recycle that inner foam or use it for it's intended purpose, covering pipes. I have some sweaty water pipe in back of the shop and would welcome your donation. Thank you Renegade for keeping pace with trends. (and giving us all, hot ladies to check out)

With that fulfilled prediction now in the record books, I'm going out on a weak limb here for my next psychic vision. THE END of COLORED DEEP-Vs!

Enough already. These have gotten way out of control. I know you say, deep is stronger and better for the street. Possibly, yes. But all these wheels to match seats and hipster sneaker colors is just tired. Sure some of the plain colors will remain, silver, black, white. But neon anything? No way. Checkered, snakeskin? Hell no! Also, if you're gonna have a front brake? Please get a machined wheel! Rubber on powdercoat does not work and looks horrid. Last year we had people coming in asking for wheels by color. Never once asking about hubs, build quality, spoke tension or thickness. Just, "do you got any yellow deep-Vs?" I've already seen ads on craigslist for guy's wanting to sell or trade one color for another. "I need to sell these cause I changed my Oury grips to blue." Silly Hipster.

These are limited edition wheels. Only 55 pairs being made. Why limited edition? Because they will be out of style before the UPS man gets them to your door. Sucka.

Oh you colored wheels, we hardly knew ye.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's Time!

I was having dinner with a friend Thursday night. It was 66 degrees out that evening and we were riding west on Division st. There were people still sitting outside, eating and drinking. I love summer but I have to admit, It's hard to beat a perfect autumn evening. I was wearing a light sweater buttons opened and catching the cool breeze of the evening. Then it hit me. What haven't I done to take advantage of the season? Unlike Critical Mass. What could be done to show non-cyclists just how sweet and beautiful cycling is. My answer?
Tweed Run!

So , here's your opportunity to get all dressed up. Show those Yuppies and other Philistines, that their Range Rovers are classless Shitboxes. Cause you're rinding in the...

Tour de Franzia!

So get your tweed riding wear together and join us Oct, 10Th. 8pm. Starting and ending location TBA. This should kick start the fall riding season. You don't want to miss it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Need help, Changes, Thoughts from You


I often look at the Chicago area bike commuters. I'm so impressed at the increasing number of cyclists. It's cool to see people from all walks of life pedaling up the avenues. It doesn't matter what their riding. The fact that their out in force every day, makes it a beautiful thing. I saw a Facebook post from Brianna yesterday. Went something like: i feel like crap and i hate cars!!! why the fuck u wanna hit me assholes!

Frustration for sure. It's not an easy feeling when a 6000 lb vehicle is rolling up behind you, it's engine revving way too high to have a civilized person behind the wheel. What really got to me about Brianna's post was one of the replies: i hate bike riders who ride in the street like its fucking 1920s get with it fuckers. ill hit a fool.

What a shithead thing to post. The first thing Brianna should do is de-list the mofo as a Facebook friend. Probably thought he was being funny. Not! Many people have forgotten that driving a car is a privilege not a right. You're not cool and you don't actually own the fucking road.

While I don't really hate cars, it's this kind of attitude that makes me furious. It's my belief that someone dumb enough to make a statement like that should have their privilege revoked. Let them sit on a bus for the next 5 years.

During the drinking hour last night, a few of us were discussing how we've changed as cyclists over the last few years. It was nice to hear many of them say, I'm a lot more courteous than I used to be. Carene said: I even over compensate sometimes. She's says she doesn't want drivers to feel like every cyclist is against them. That's a good attitude to have. Too often I hear cyclists say: I had the right of way! Well dumb ass, the right of way won't matter if you're being dragged 200 feet under a goddamn Escalade.

It's seems there needs to be a movement. Something positive that let's drivers know we are not against them, please don't hurt us, and in the words of Rodney King: can't we all just get along?

Critical Mass, ain't the solution, so please don't write me to inform me of the next mass. Too many massholes for me. Not gonna do it. Ever! Active Tranportation Alliance? Not active enough for me.
So, here today, I say'n let's get the movement started! Who's with me? speak up. As the 60s taught us. You get enough people around a cause, then shit will change. I want to hear from you, if not here then maybe over food/booze. Let's let cyclists know we dig you. Let drivers know we don't hate you, don't try to kill us. Try to join us. I want ideas people. Let's get organized. Let the status quo know we want changes in status. Hit me up.

Just because I know you love photo's, here's Kaitlyn, whose starting to do her own bike repairs.

And here's Haley who is part of a soon to be growing trend of Commuter Cross. A subject for another post.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How many Bikes is Too Much?

I often wonder about this. One? Ten? Is fifteen obsessive or just excessive? A lot I guess depends on where you live. In Chicago we don't really have four seasons. There's the cold season 7 months, the rainy season 3 1/2 months and the warm season. About 6 weeks. So if we commute by bike, that puts the need at about 3. Certainly any bike that makes it through a Chicago cold season is in need of a full rebuild and a good rest, at seasons end. When it is, nice here, it rains or the winds swirl and change direction. Usually against whatever direction you happen to riding in. So of course you need a bike that can handle the wind and rain. Something with a nice set of fenders, but lighter weight than your cold season bike. It doesn't have to contend with salt so it also has a better paint job than your cold season bike. Then there are about 12 days that fall sometime between June and November, when the weather just fucking magnificent. For these rare days you need your baby . That's the one you never take your eyes off of. When you're sitting outside having a beer/drink and it's looking back at you like a beautiful horse. Just waiting til you're ready to get back in the saddle. (hopefully sober) That bike looks different for everyone, for me it would look something like this.

That's a 1938 Schwinn Paramount. It's more than 70 years old so, naturally you would only take it out on perfect days. Bikes have been sexy for a long time. Why is that some people don't see/get it? What a hot little shit...

I've been in love with bicycles for as long as I can remember. My first bike as a kid was gold with a leopard print saddle. I was three years old and my dad buys me this wild looking bike. I've been a freak ever since.

I once lived in a 1 bedroom apartment. I stored as many as twenty bikes in my living room and kitchen. Often people would visit and say something sarcastic like: Think you need a few more bikes? My answer was always the same. I do.

Here's what I think. 1 bicycle is not enough. That's what I'd call woefully unprepared. Three would be meeting the necessities of a cyclist. Four or more would make one an enthusiast. One should always ride their bikes. If you collect and don't ride. You're a loser. Except for those planning to open a museum. So those of you who only have one bike, if I see you and look at you strange. It's just because I'm wondering, what's up with you. Don't you think you need a few more bikes?

What a sexy decal.