You being bike like people the photos tell the story pretty well. I will point out this Benotto is now a member of the Profile Design Cup Holder’s Club. I turned that DANK toptube pad inside-out and it looks great. Smaller big ring (from 53t to 47t) bigger tires (from 23 to 28). I slathered the shit out of the Brooks saddle with Proofide but elected to set it aside to soak it in. That’s a Ritchey Force stem shimmed out around actual Nitto stainless shims on the flat bar (25.4 to 26.0) I started out with a wrap of Rainier tall can but it was a bit halfass slippery like, which is fine for me on my own bikes but I went all out legit on this one. The bottom bracket and headset feel just fine. All new cables and housing. New chain on a new old stock 7-speed cassette spaced out on the 8-9-freehub body. Thumbshifters all frictioned out like a trombone. The iron oxide colored fork is rust blooming through the chrome.
If there’s ever a time that it pays to hoard bike parts this is it. When a friend asks you to work on their bike and you don’t have to leave your garage to refurbish it. That’s the time, That’s the time, I love the best.
I went to high school in the 99205 with Steve and Sean, 50% of Steel Wool. But even if I didn’t I’d be a fan. “Lucky Boy” 1994 and “Simple Men Who Like to Work With Their Hands” 1993 were both on Empty Records. Empty used to place ads in kickstand and in exchange they’d send me CDs. you know those silver round things that get all scuffed up. So I learned more about Dead Moon and Sicko and bands I never would have listened to.
Steel Wool put on great shows and played with or opened for all the Seattle bands that got big and bigger.
If you’re out walking around your neighborhood aimlessly and you stumble upon a free pile or yard sale you just might find a Steel Wool CD. I was pleased to stumble upon the complete Lucky Boy album on youtube.
I’d like to draw your attention to an old flyer from Tyler Goldsmith’s collection seen here on the wall at HQ featuring Steel Wool playing at the OK Hotel. Fuckin A+
Those in the know know I cannot say Benotto without thinking of C. Forest Hoag. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before. The bike pictured here has way more than just a strong Forest influence. But that’s another story for another time.
A friend dropped off her bike for a little help getting it back into rideable condition along with the idea of moving away from road racing and more toward road-trail-path-sidewalk riding with her chin up so she can relax and look around and enjoy the ride. Five or six years ago I worked on this Benotto just briefly with only a few minor tweaks and some air in the tires. But now she’s ready to ditch the drop bars and spd pedals not to mention the rusty chain and moldy DANK toptube pad.
This is the “before” photo and some day soonish you can compare it to the “after”
The most striking feature of this bike is its frame. Not just the tube arrangement but the paint job. A couple years ago grandma and grandpa gifted this bike to Junior after they purchased it at a fundraising auction where it was donated after being refurbished by inmates of a Grays Harbor County corrections facility. Since then it had been collecting dust in the garage. But when Junior got her new bike from Bike Works the other day she got motivated to try this bike too. Now the Bike Works bike is collecting dust in the garage because this is the one.
Each morning right around peanut butter jelly time I stroll and or roll past this bike locked up near Husky Stadium. I only really noticed it during this smackdown crack down shut down lock down low down show down bro down because it’s been the only bike around. Each time I passed I’d smile and say it’s still here while at the same time I was kinda sorta amazed it hadn’t been jacked for parts. It actually lasted a couple weeks. The first thing to go was the saddle bag. Then yesterday morning both wheels were gone. And yesterday afternoon Sound Transit stuck a tag on it. I expect today the seat will be gone. And if it takes a while for the authorities to angle-grind the lock off, then the cockpit will disappear too. Bikes in the U-district get picked down to the frame. Each brake noodle sucked. Each crank bolt plucked.
Just after I took this photo I sat down under the pedestrian overpass to enjoy a tall can. As the trains are running every 20 minutes these days there is no reason to rat race rush things. I’ve recently been talking with myself pretending to be in a job interview speaking to the interview panel as they review my resume. “As you can see, I have a great deal of experience drinking cans of beer outside. With over ten years as a messenger and seven RAGBRAIs” Then I chuckle to myself and crack open a beer.
Just after that I heard a ruckus and looked up to see a father-son team bombing down the grand staircase at the light rail station on full suspension bikes. When they got to the bottom the father turned around and started riding back up the stairs. He didn’t make it very far but when his son passed him going up he bombed back down and shifted to a really really low lower gear and rode back up the stairs all the way. And that was pretty cool to watch.
The Ricky Triptych has popped up here a couple times before. But the third time’s the charm. 3 x 1 that’s the magic number. They say they come in threes. What would a triptych be without three. So here it is one more time around. I liked it so much I got it tattooed on my arm.
I was thinking about Ricky the other day and remembering this triptych and the good old days when times were simple and so on and so forth. And then I rolled up to my house after work and who did I see in my front yard but Ricky himself. He had just delivered Junior’s earn-a-bike bike from Bike Works right to her front door. We talked briefly about how Junior was 2 years old when Ricky started working at Bike Works and now here she is completing her first mechanic class.
this song has popped up in my head more than 3 times today and now it can pop up in yours too
What would you do with a coffee can full of roofing nails and a full weekend where you didn’t need to travel past the end of the driveway? A weekend when you couldn’t travel anywhere anyway because there was no place to go.
A previous resident of my current home left behind numerous Sanka cans and jars filled with nails. All kinds of nails and more nails. I finally came up with a project that allowed me to use 10 or 12 of those nails. Now I only have 2 or 3 thousand more roofing nails to use and 12 cans or jars of other varieties.
A few years ago I started thinking about free libraries more and more because my kids really like to visit all the ones in our zipcode. A few weeks ago I purchased a bag of cement and a pressure treated 4 x 4 and started thinking more specifically about building my own little free library. In that thought process I began to size up the various scraps that were sitting around the garage including a pile of 3-tab asphalt roofing shingles circa 1999, about 40 feet of pressure treated 2 x 8, a SIDEWALK CLOSED sign, a large DETOUR sign, half cooked cans of exterior house paint and a shit load of nails and lots of various sized screws. From two neighborhood friends I solicited some sweet plywood scraps and with some random other odds and ends I built a free library this weekend past. A gnome home. A destination for delirious parents in the hood that need to go for one more walk with their crazy kids that have no place to go. It’s a place to take a book or leave a book or just take a look.
I’ve long been a fan of road signs or signs in general taken out of context. These two signs that were absorbed into this little library construction have been kicking around my apartments and homes for years and now they’ve been repurposed into a whole new context. Made from durable plywood with reflective coating they’re just the ticket to be put to use in an unexpected way.
For the drip edge on the library roof I found some kind of metal threshold screen door thing from early in the Reagan years and hacksawed it to length on two sides and for the remaining edges I jerry-rigged some sheetrock corner bead into a halfass drip edge. But my favorite finagle was setting up a couple magnets to keep the doors closed. The magnets are the ones that come with a bike computer and attach to a front spoke to register each wheel rotation past the sensor mounted on the fork. Or at least that’s how it used to be because as you know it’s all ball bearings these days. Those little magnets are strong like ox so they will suck the doors closed when not in use by attracting a little ferrous square of metal that’s screwed into the door. Just like magnetic cabinet latch doohickeys except they’re made from repurposed bike parts. But not in a hipster instagram way more of a scrappy bike mechanic little library way.
They say the little library
Ain’t so little
this is a shot of work in progress with 9 year old kid added to show scale. you can see the rough framing (and it is rough) before plumbing, electrical and HVAC.
I'll send you another photo of it all closer to completion.