The day before yesterday I was northbound on Walla Walla Road when I spotted a glove and then its partner a split second later so I circled around and picked them up. They’d be right at home at a tailgate party in Ames in November shotgunning ice cold cans of Milwaukees Best. On an electric assist cargo bike ride to Magnuson Park in December they're chunky clunky getting stucky in the throttle and trigger shifter but they're warm warm warm with thinsulate and gore tex. When I signaled to turn right onto 65th my hands appeared to disappear into the surrounding plantlife.
A couple months back I found a pair of Showers Pass pilgrim buckle gloves splayed out at 3917 University Way NE. They say it’s the National Geographic logo but the pilgrim buckle fits. They were size small so I passed them on to my old lady and then bought myself a pair because I liked the feel of them. These gloves are ok for most of the Seattle winter. However they run small and the fingers are short so I feel kinda like a muppet. I shoulda coulda woulda bought the next size up (XL) if they weren’t sold out. When I was there shopping in PDX virtually I also purchased a mask Wearing a face mask 50+ hours a week really sucks but this is the best mask I’ve worn so far. The lining charged with negative ions may or may not be snakeoil but this mask doesn’t get skanky as fast as all the others I’ve tried.
About 15 years ago I found a pair of gloves in the lobby of One Union Square. I still have them today and I still wear them sometimes. This is Koshalla borrowing those gloves on a chilly December morning in 2007. These gloves are cheesy kinda funky like your grandpa’s drawers but they have a layer of thinsulate so they’re warm. They remind me to not take anything too seriously. They remind me of this Dan Marino commercial. These gloves would never be seen on the Rapha-Castelli bros raging around the lake.
I took this photo 10+ years ago and back then the bike made me laugh. Now it makes me smirk or maybe it’s a wince. I’m not just ten years older, I spent 5 of those years refurbishing bikes. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bikes in a small nonprofit bike shop.
Refurbishing a bike for resale is about sizing up where you are and visualizing where you’d like to go, staying in the realm of reality and working with what you have to create something greater than the sum of its parts for the new used bike owner.
This is like a bike that was refurbished by an over enthusiastic volunteer at Bike Works trying to utilize everything all at once. Now it’s awaiting a bolt check from a staff mechanic. But when the volunteer goes home, the staff mechanic starts over and rebuilds the entire thing. I’m all about swept back bars and thumb shifters but this is not the time or the place for rootbeer brown glitter grips. I want to skip those brake levers across the surface of a pristine alpine lake. The in-line barrel adjusters for the friction shifters is over the top and maybe just a remnant from its past life.
This bike is the poster child for trying too hard to look like it's not trying too hard.
This bike contains way more than one cubic centimeter of bullshit. (see Albert Eisentraut)
This bike is 27lbs of shit in a 14lb bag.
This is a road bike in a crappy cruiser costume.
This bike is using needle nose pliers as a chisel.
This bike smells like a thin veneer of air freshener over shit.
I applaud everyone that rides a bike to the grocery store or the library or to work every fucking day. I chuckle at the Castelli-Rapha bros who rage around Lake Washington but would never think of riding a single speed with platform pedals to their dentist appointment or just commuting to work.
I applaud this dude, who may or may not be an attorney, for attempting to slow down and enjoy the ride on one of his old road bikes. He's on the right track. I’m not just a bikesnob shit talker. This bike is barking up the right tree it just doesn’t know when to shut up.
$6.06 is the total with tax for a “Mark” and a 12 oz drip coffee at Bean & Bagel, one of the only coffee shops left in the Northern Hemisphere. I asked what I could add on like avocado or something to get an extra 60 cents exact but it hasn’t worked out yet. If it does work they can change the name to "mark of the beast" if served with a 12 oz drip. When you purchase 10,000 bagel sandwiches and tip well they put your sandwich on the menu and name it after you. Or maybe that’s just me. This story is tangential but everything’s related to everything else somewhere along the line.
6061 is the precipitation-hardened aluminum alloy containing magnesium and silicon as its major alloying elements in Junior’s new used Redline Conquest that Santa picked up at Bike Works the other day. He also grabbed a Specialized HotRock for Junior Junior but that’s another story and he’ll be riding this Conquest soon enough.
Although someone at Bike Works proudly built this thing with 8-speed brifters I knew I would ditch them the day after Christmas and put on some thumb shifters after Junior got her hands on those drop bars. In the recent past when I worked on bikes for friends Junior would say she wanted drop bars and I would smile and say someday. Well that day came and went and before I even got the new cables and housing hooked up Junior was installing spoke straws and valve caps and transferring accessories. This ride is much lighter than her 20” pink BMX tank and the choice of gears makes the ride home from anywhere much easier.
I recently reached into the magic milk crate for some thumb shifters and found none were there. So I spent about 33 seconds looking on eBay for some Shimano 7-speed and found these Are you fucking kidding me? I know I’ve been living in a cave for years but that’s horseshit. When I was firmly planted in a spot above the underground aquifer of seemingly endless Seattle bike donations I could just take a sip from the environmentally friendly non profit straw. But that’s now so 4 years ago bro. The cool thing is I know a few people that still move around in that space. One of them being Steve G and he set me up with some 7 speed XT thumbies in the midst of this lockdown. Thank you Steve and thank you Bike Works 501(c)(3)
This isn’t all just hypothetical retrospective emotional mumbo jumbo. It’s for an upcoming bike project that I cannot show you right now because it involves a bike for Junior (as well as Junior Junior). It’s still in Santa’s workshop. But I’ll show you later.
buckle up buttercup this ain't no mama’s boy sunday drive do your doodie hook & ladder oversize load you think it’s kinda funny but it’s really wet and raining when you’re playing in a puddle and your butt is in a muddle the proof is in the pudding milk milk lemonade ‘round the corner chocolates made carbon neutral my ass climate pledge this the kitchen sink bring it cherry picker goldbricker check the technique i got your final fifty fucking feet too bored to sleep wild weasel up your sleeve back pocket shock & awe shopping days ‘til christmas hallmark movie marathon string a bunch of cliche shit together then critique the sentence structure pushing the river misdirected energy pissing on the wrong tree
I look forward to Pantone’s color choice for the coming new year. This year I kinda forgot about it as this year has kinda made me want to forget a few things. Luckily my sister keeps me informed and she said this 2021 mashup reminds her of a hardboiled egg. Word.
Five years ago, as you may recall, the last time Pantone tossed out two colors of the year I thought it was a bit of horseshit.
But today I can see six more months of gray and not just any old gray but the Ulitmate Fucking Gray 17-5104. And then it’s like we’re all clinging to the idea of some light at the end of this tunnel. We can’t see it yet. We're not even close. But just the thought of it, the idea of it is Illuminating 13-0647
Just when I get it all dialed in sleep walking muscle memory autopilot driverless vehicle one eye open one arm tied and all that shit, the timetables tweak, the scale is skewed, the routine is rerouted, there’s a new access code, old currency has no value and everything is out the fucking window until further notice. So they say you can suck it. Same as it ever was. Whatever.
There’s comfort to be found in photos from 2006 and so on and so forth.
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out came the sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider stripped down to two t-shirts sitting on a park bench eyeing little girls with bad intent.
you’d want my job on a day like this but I don’t want to talk about it almost as much as how much you want to tell me the opposite in the rain. They’re two sides of the same coin and I’ll just keep that coin in my right front pocket.
at pilder’s coffee shop you can order whatever foo-foo espresso drink you want but you’ll get a cup of black coffee.
kinda like the ancient proverb I wrote a few years back:
he who run fast
catch crowded elevator
stop on many floor
he who chill the fuck out
get the next one
get there first
the other-other day I went to my favorite brewery and purchased some tall cans to go because that’s all you can do now until even further notice and it's all I can do to help the proprietor survive this shit show. then I delivered the tall cans to the baristas at my favorite coffee shop. it was a win-win-win situation slipping through a wormhole in the coffee-beer continuum and coming out on a park bench in the sun.