Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The South

I hate to admit it. In the last 24 hours, I've spent 93.00 dollars on gasoline. A tough one to swallow for someone that doesn't own a car. I could have taken a train all the way from Chicago to New Orleans for that amount. Instead, I rode with my father from northern Mississippi to the gulf coast and then with my brother to New Orleans. Funny thing about the south. People always ask us northerners, how the hell do we put up with the chilly weather. However, touring the south in 80 plus degree weather, what I've found is mostly, folks sitting in air-conditioned homes and cars. Nice porches that are mostly house dressing. Entering into New Orleans via highway 10 is quite beautiful. There are many miles of swamps and marshlands. Being in a car you can't actually see it, at least in it's real glory. There's a retaining wall the whole 25 mile stretch leading into the city. Cars traveling at 70 miles per hour, also keep the view for the most part, uninteresting. I took these pics from the web. Since the ones I tried to shoot at 70mph, suck.

It's a shame that the car prevents people from taking advantage of this beauty. While driving along with this beauty at our side, my brother remarked, "man I really like that Buick Enclave". The car that was on a truck being hauled into the city. Go figure. As a kid and through much of my life, I too loved the car. My brother as a kid and teen, could care less about cars. My how things have changed. After arriving in the city and navigating traffic we neared our destination. Then came the hunt for a place to park. Something else i don't miss about driving. We finally found a space We finally found a space and backed in. Of course, because of the car we were immediately limited with how long we could stay in the city. Parking meters only last 2 hours and we only had enough quarters for 1hr 45 measly minutes.
People buy cars, looking for transportation. I constantly hear the term "in control" or "allows you freedom". From what I observe of most motorists, that's complete bullshit. Freedom? Hardly, restrictions? Absolutely. Control? I could hardly call sitting in traffic with thousands of other control freaks, control.
We finally, got our chance to tour and of course within 10 minutes were at the touristy, but oh so good:

Cheesy yes, but god do I wish there was a Cafe DuMonde in Chicago. Probably best it be 800 miles from since, I'd be walking around Chicago with grease stain on my fingers and powdered sugar all over me. What a pig..

There are loads of really cool things in New Orleans. I never watch live music in Chicago, as I don't care for amplifiers indoors. Or lame bands with long names, for that matter. But these guys got my attention on the street.

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Of course being as this blog is generally about bicycles, I have to say. New Orleans truly is the land of shitty cruisers.

I love how they cover their saddles with plastic bags. Not, I'm sure because they want to protect expensive leather. More likely because those foamy bun busters can hold a shit ton of water. Perhaps they should offer them to BP?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nothing to do Friday Evening?

I'll be one of 6 Re (cyclists) displaying current work at the 2nd Friday art walk. There is a reception at 1900 Halsted. I'll be there after 6pm. come on down and browse the neighborhood as there will be much to see and do. Be sure to stop by and say hello and have a drink perhaps. I'll be there all night

Friday, May 7, 2010

Crap ass Fiber

Most people who know me, already know, how I feel about how certain materials that are used on bicycles. I'm not the biggest fan of aluminum. I do think it's relatively safe however. Carbon fiber? well..that's another story. I honestly question the sanity of anyone who rides it. I'm sure some of it's out of ignorance. Many feel, If it's the latest in light materials what could be the harm? Some say, if it were dangerous, companies wouldn't use it. Boy are they misguided. Big bike companies mostly care about selling shit. In the quest to have the next new thing to trumpet, they quite often introduce unnecessary crap. For instance, carbon fiber brake levers or calipers. These are completely unnecessary and certainly no better than alloy. Perhaps worse actually, and in many cases much more expensive. Another example would be, who's faster? A guy with a 9-speed campy group or a guy with a 10 speed group? (answer) The guy with the strongest legs and largest lung capacity. A Lugs regular, Kate, forwarded me this sweet photo of a carbon fiber failure:

Ouch! I hate too see what that guys face looked liked after a few feet of pavement scraping. He's lucky he wasn't impaled.
I also have a favorite photo of a Giant TCR-1 that came into the shop recently. The kid wanted this fixed. In my mind this was, so he could go about the business of plotting his own timely demise. I told him I wouldn't be involved in that.

Photo #2
Searching around for more lovely photos, I came across the blog:
"Busted Carbon" which has tons of photos of broken carbon fiber components.
Here are a few for your viewing pleasure. I named the first one: "Balls in the Hospital"

This one is titled, " You Really Need to Get Your Facials Some Other Way "

I always cringe when people come in looking for carbon forks. My first question is, why? I've never gotten a straight answer. A common one is, I just like it better. Someone should cane these poor bastards before they hurt themselves.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Stuff Happening

Too many things going on and not enough time to write about it. The Pilsen art walk was very well received last month. The curator, Keith Hayes, was asked to again setup for Friday May, 14Th. We will have 2 new bicycles on Display. Other recyclists have also been asked to contribute their work. Should be a fun time. Bring good beer. I'll help you get rid of it. I don't mean to be a beer snob, and I know plenty of you drink PBR. I just haven't been in the mood to drink out of the toilet lately. Fun starts around 6pm. There are about 20 or more storefronts, businesses and restaurants participating in the evenings festivities. I'm uploading a flyer the print is a tad small, sorry.

New saddle options.
I've tried for months to get in touch with someone who could reupholster old saddles. I've thrown out way too many. Finally, he came in to see me. Like a saviour. Salvation for old saddles, yes! I have had about 12 or so covered so far. Beautiful work and very cost effective. So please don't throw that old saddle away. Unless it's one of those shitty comfort foam seats.

That saddle went from hard vinyl, to soft leather. As did this one, in white.

He's currently out of this color, but has dark brown and black.

I also had him cover my favorite stool. That 70s looking thing that the saddles were sitting on. It now has padding and no more holes! You can get yours done as well. Won't cost anywhere near as much as a leather replacement.