sticking with the sticker on the downtube theme. I’ve never been to Palo Alto and I never made it to WheelSmith but I know someone who has and you’ve probably heard of him because he’s kind of a big deal.
this sticker is one of the coolest things about this bike and this bike is my next RAGBRAI bike. For my next next RAGBRAI probably 2016 because I can’t make it this July but more on this later as the bike transforms and ends up looking like all my other bikes. it’s nothing fancy just simple solid predictable and dependable perfect for leaving in storage 51 weeks out of the year then pumping up the tires and riding across Iowa.
for every 1000 bikes I fix up for other people I fix up one for myself
it's a Specialized Allez Sport circa1994nearly stock OEM showroom condition aside from the wheels. The cool thing about 1994 is if you were born in that year on today's date or earlier you can buy me a beer legally in all 50 states
dusted off this sticker on the downtube of an RB-2 yesterday and it brings back memories of Capitol Hill yesteryear. I purchased a GT Continuum at Seattle Cycles in the fall of 1991. It was small shop with some really nice bikes and a whole lot of attitude. I really can't remember why I picked that shop when there were at least 3 other ones very near by selling brand new bikes of similar quality. REI was right around the corner as well as the Velo Store and the other Velo Store down Pine Street.
I have a fondness for that Capitol Hill of yesteryear with years and years of personal history there.
Today when I pass through the neighborhood it makes me queasy and claustrophobic. It's as if I don't speak the language, I feel like I can't afford it and I can't find a bike shop.
One day 16 years ago or so I bought a Bucky’s vest from a real Bucky for $10 on the back porch at Linda’s. It was really worn out and reeked of sweat but we both felt like we were getting a good deal. He said he could tell his dispatcher he lost it and get another one and with that ten bucks he could get another 1.5 pitchers of Rainier. I wore that vest once in a while mostly on the weekends.
Today I made myself a new Bucky’s vest but I’m not your Bucky and I never was.
at Elliott Bay you couldn’t get out the door at the end of the day with your purple vest or jersey. They were checked in and checked out with amazing precision and a well documented chain of custody.
tradition convention this is how we do it we do it that way because that’s the way it’s always been done join the club get on board don the uniform assume the position non-drive side flip side clockwise quick release skewed skewer works consistently consistency constantly variable iron oxide steel wool wire brush white lithium simple green whatever
this from a series of amazing shorts Alistair told me about
if you think this guy is just installing fenders, you're mistaken. go back a few videos and watch how he customizes every little thing. every little thing. it's a joy to watch. to watch someone at ease with a huge variety of tools to watch a master craftsman in his natural habitat a guy who knows his way around a work bench.
if you've ever half-ass zip-tied your way through another Seattle winter you can appreciate a set of full fenders, but these go way beyond "full" this guy is not just unwrapping and installing a set of fenders.
and watch a few more of his videos. those fenders are just a hint a taste a whiff of what else he's doing with bikes
this graphic originally appeared in kickstandas a centerfold visual representation of all the legal messenger companies started by guys that used to work at ABC and then a few years later a revised version was published after ABC bought-out sucked-up and re-absorbed PNP back into the mothership adding just one more arrow to show PNP flowing back up sort of completing the circle in a comes-around-goes-around way and although this is just a digital photo of an 11" x 17" poor quality photocopied facsimile that’s stapled to the wall here at HQ it gets the point across and when one of those guys down at DANKbags a few days ago sent me the Kozmo-PNP throwback mashup snapshot seen below it reminded me of this flowchart centerfold like it’s 1999 and by the way that’s Neil himself a messenger air traffic controller dispatcher postal worker Seattle history mashup which reminds me of a time when a messenger could rent a spacious apartment on Capitol Hill for $350 and when 157 Yesler housed no fewer than 3 legal messenger companies
a JB Welded freewheel gerry-rigged into a fixed cog radially laced all wrong on both sides with a complete absence of tension on spokes that are too long creating a dangerously sketchy attempt at a wheel that probably popped a few spokes on the first half pedal stroke of its maiden voyage
propped up near a cement wall in midday sunshine the shadows make it look a little more like a two-cross just a little less sketchy