a quality of life issue

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March 1, 2015

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  

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Goldilocks' 3 beers

February 26, 2015



divisible by 4

with liberty and justice for all

when one’s not enough

and two’s too many

who you gonna call

that’s too small

that’s too tall

this one is just right

they’re all made in the same factory

no need for a coozie

empty calories

misdirected energy

static stasis stagnant

stationary bike ride to nowhere

anywhere anytime anything

all the time

mindful living

with a mind full of bullshit petty details

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people taking pictures of people taking pictures of bikes

February 24, 2015

a pair of 17s beats a full house

February 23, 2015

top tube

February 22, 2015

horizontal dropout pincer grasp sacrificial anode

February 19, 2015

a little pilderwasser pops up in conversation now & then

someday you can buy this guy a beer    then sit back and listen 

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so this bike walks into the shop and the bike builder says, "why the long stem?"

February 18, 2015


February 13, 2015

are you my Bucky? 

I know a corndog that's been a bike messenger in Seattle for 15 years. 

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it seemed like a good idea at the time

February 11, 2015

take your coworker to work day

February 9, 2015

wrote the piece below for the company store and that's why there's less profanity and more punctuation than I'm comfortable with and eventually the words may or may not appear on that site but you can read it here now    
here and now
Refurbishing Refurbisher 
Seattle sits on an underground aquifer of bicycles with its established culture of recreational cycling, competitive bike racing and everyday commuting and BikeWorks benefits from this bike culture as each year hundreds of used bikes are donated. The stream of incoming bikes is directed  into various channels such as youth programs, adult bike repair classes, re-donation to other nonprofit organizations or straight into the scrap metal recycling pile.

One of the most important incoming bike channels feeds into what we at BikeWorks call Green Bikes, these are the bikes that are refurbished and sold in the shop as a reliable, desirable and dependable source of earned income.

I have refurbished over 1000 Green Bikes at Bike Works.


I’m a bike mechanic but not in the traditional sense. Most bike mechanics hang out in the shop and a bike walks in with its owner who describes a problem they’re having and then the mechanic can focus on that and try to fix it. I hang out in the shop and bikes roll in with no explanation. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bikes roll in. Bikes cast off by their former owners. Bikes Bikes Bikes. Bikes ready to be sized up checked out and spruced up. Or maybe stripped down parted out and recycled.

Sizing up a bike I can extrapolate from the wear & tear and the accessories how it was ridden, how it was cared for or how it sat in storage for 30 years. From that I can theorize how the bike will clean up and perform for a new owner. The cool thing about refurbishing the bikes is visualizing that potential new owner and where and when they’ll be going for a bike ride. Are they a sunny day joy rider, everyday commuter, off-road shredder or perhaps a grocery getter???

Many bikes arrive whole and don’t need much attention. Their refurbishment quickly almost effortlessly falls into place dictated by the intact group of compatible and functional components already in place. However some bikes are missing a lot of bits and pieces, components are broken or destroyed or completely incompatible and they need a great deal of re-working which allows for some re-imagining and re-purposing.

Success on these bikes requires some luck and a deep well of used parts to draw from.  

Of the hundreds of bikes at Bike Works let’s let one bike serve as a parable, this Bike: a Dorado Sherpa Comp which arrived in a container last Thursday in sad shape and missing its front wheel. My coworker stuck a 27 inch wheel in the front as a placeholder and that’s why that odd wheel made it into the before photo.



With a totally rusty chain, rusted cables and housing and an overly crunchy pitted  headset, unsightly rusty bottle cage bolts, crusty crank bolts, dead accessories and a lot of stubborn reflective tape and stickers.  



Riding a long top tube and long stem with a flat bar and big bar ends was all the rage in the mid to late 90s.  This frame has a 16.5” seat tube and a 22” top tube.

With some work I got the bike down to the frame & fork. Saving only the bottom bracket, cranks, seatpost, thumb shifters, derailleurs and brake calipers.



The buildup included new grips, a new swept-back handlebar, used stem, new 1 ⅛” threaded headset, new old stock cable hanger, used wheels, new tubes, new 1.5” slick tires, new brake pads, new chain, new cassette, new cables & housing, used pedals, new saddle, a new jockey pulley, and four shiny new bottle cage bolts.

Left in its “as-is” state this bike would sell for $45. However I was able to see beyond the rust and visualize a solid trusty everyday bike for a theoretical new owner. Built up around the Tange cro-moly steel frame.  With plenty of room for racks and full fenders and a swept back handlebar and slick tires this could be the ultimate urban utility bike with some new parts, lots of used replacement parts and labor all adding up to less than $300.  It’s nothing fancy but it is solid and dependable and of much higher quality than any brand new bike available at the same price point.  

This bike is currently available at Bike Works for $293.  


checka checka check it out





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get plenty of rest & eat right. or not

February 6, 2015

everything in moderation absorbtion cross polination lubrication grease the threads coffee coffee coffee beer give me a 5mm long enough and I will move the world clockwise as the crow flies 

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I'm not making this up

February 6, 2015

photo via Frank Renfrow

this is the wedding photo of Charles Pilderwasser and Gertrude Daener who were married June 21, 1908 in Cincinnati. Both were born in the 1880s and later came over to the USA from Europe.

Charles was born Pilderwasser and later went to Pilder.

My family tree took some twists and turns but it all goes back to Cincinnati. I think Charles is at the great-great-grandfather level to me and it looks like he rode about a 52cm road bike.  

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shoulda coulda woulda

February 2, 2015

it makes more sense in the hindsight mirror

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what would Mike Sinyard do?

January 29, 2015

Specialized Shiv Pro Race   msrp $6750.00 


 if you're worried about credit card debt, paying off a student loan or back taxes then $6750 for a bike helps to put things in perspective.

I spoke with Alistair electronically this morning and my math was a more than a bit off but the gist was right on.

Bike Works brought in record sales on Sunday at the annual Warehouse sale. A huge amount of income in 4 hours for a small nonprofit shop that only sells used bikes and bike parts. But that same amount of money wouldn't even buy you two Shivs with Washington State Sales Tax.  

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Bike Works is hiring

January 29, 2015


in the coming weeks there will positions opening in the shop and the warehouse. these are part time permanent positions and not just your average seasonal bike shop gigs.

really for real

keep an eye on bikeworks.org 

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barefoot balance bike

January 26, 2015

the dad in me wants to say       slow down 

the cyclist in me says                   tear it up 



she dives into corners like a pro 

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tuesday is a licking day

January 20, 2015

today I was able to work a little RAGBRAI into my January and finish a jersey for a pre-paid customer patiently waiting in Wisconsin

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kick in the pants

January 18, 2015

bench mount work stand

January 16, 2015

taken out of context

take your kid to work day

taken to the next level


take it to the bank

take it or leave it 

take a picture it lasts longer 


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point of contact

January 15, 2015

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