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