Monday, June 29, 2009

Decal Decision, Night Herons, And A Hopping IPA

Thanks to everyone who added their two cents to my last post and to those who posted to the Google Group. There were a ton of great comments and viewpoints. Some of which were for decals but most were against. As for my decision I had to go with the majority. I set to work on removal which started with my fingernail at a stop light on the way home on Friday. These stickers come off with remarkable ease. When I got home I used a credit card to finish the job in about ten minutes. My only suggestion is to put paper towels down before you start. The decals come off in flakes and end up sticking to the floor and everything else the touch. I haven't taken the head badge off yet but I will. Maybe down the road I will get a cool custom piece for the head tube.

Nekid or Naked?

Next up are the Yellow Crowned Night Herons of Sligo Creek. If any of you have been around the creek this season you may have noticed scenes like this...

or maybe this...
You have this fine feathered specimen to thank. The yellow Crowned Night Heron has taken up residence in the park in abundance. Last season I would see one every once and a while but now a days I see them every morning. Mostly in their nests with 4 to 5 you ones pooping up all day long. I can't complain too much as they are a beautiful and I get to see them hunting in the morning which is pretty cool.

Photo: Don Olsen
I took a few shots of the young ones in their nests this morning. Click on the image to see a larger grainy version. I need a better camera for this sort of thing.

Lastly, I tried a delicious IPA from Dog Fish Head yesterday and I thought I would pass it along. It's continually hopping after all.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

LHT: Decal Or Not Decal?

So I have been wrestling with this since I go the new LHT. Do I remove the decals for the classic look or do I rock out with the brand recognition? I have nothing against the Surly decals but with this frame and the Brooks B-17 special it might look super classy without them. I need your help. Please comment with your, well, comments.

Here is the LHT with decals in all it's Surly glory.

With some quick photoshopery, here it is sans decals.

What say you dear sweet reader?

PS: Thanks to for the props

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Richard Pryor Wednesday

Today is Richard Pryor day for no particular reason.

Is it irony that John Belushi is playing the sober one?

A roast retort in two parts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Best Father's Day Ever

A great breakfast,
a bike ride to the Takoma Park farmer's market,
a bike ride to the park for a picnic,
a bike ride to a good friend's house,
and a bike ride home,
all without a drop of rain.

My first father's day was amazing thanks to my girls
and my trucker.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Product Review: SKS Fenders

I picked up some SKS P45 fenders from Silver Cycles (LBS) for the LHT yesterday and I must say they are a pretty good solution. I researched several of the higher end, fancy pants fenders and figured I would try these first. They are cheap enough that I can always upgrade if I didn't like them. I also didn't want to mess around with drilling, measuring, and getting leather washers and the whole thing.

The biggest competition for the SKS are the Planet Bike fenders. I had these on the Cross Check and I liked them too. They are durable and the price is right but overall I am liking the SKS a lot more. The installation was easier than the Planet Bike fenders and took a lot less time.

I like the multi layer chromo plastic. The stripes gives some depth to the LHT. Time will tell if it can hold up to a beating.

I really like the Secu-Clips. The idea is that when a stick gets caught up in the fender the fender arms will pull out of the clip rather than the fender shattering or causing a wreck. Another use I found last night was that you can simply pull them out to put the bike on a fork mounted roof rack. When I put the LHT up on the rack the fender was hitting the tray blocking the fork frown lowering down to the fork mount. After popping out the arms from the clips there was no problem. Afterward I just popped them back into place and was ready to go.

During the installation of the front fender I realized that the black plastic tabs (guides) that hold the arm in place didn't allow for adjustment I took a knife and cut the plastic halfway up the arm. This kept the plastic on the ends of the arms keeping them safe from poking or snagging (and they look good). I know I could have just removed them but I'm lazy. I had no problem with the rear tabs, the fit was perfect.

The only other issue I had was that the directions provided were pretty vague and didn't specify which bolts went where. It's not rocket science though, I got through it.

Other than that that installation was very smooth. Over all the Planet Bike and the SKS fenders offer a great solution for an inexpensive easy to use fender. That said, having worked with both recently I would recommend the SKS.

This photo makes me very happy. An LHT in every kitchen!

Have a kick ass weekend.

Missy Giove - Watcha Gonna Do?

It's not the fact that Missy Giove (object of everyone's early 90's obsession) was caught with marijuana. Don't all extreme sports super stars compete with a little weed on them for good luck? No, it's that she was caught with 400 pounds of it that boggles the mind. (Via VeloNews) "Former world downhill champion Melissa “Missy” Giove and two alleged co-conspirators were arrested in New York Tuesday, charged with plans to distribute some 400 pounds of marijuana."

"Giove, also known as "The Missile," earned a total of 14 NORBA national downhill titles, 11 UCI World Cup victories, two overall World Cup titles and the world championship in 1994."

Never missing an opportunity for laughs, DEA agent John Gilbride dropped this little zinger, “drug trafficking can lead you downhill fast." Rimshot!

It's unfortunate that Missy may be spending the foreseeable future behind bars because she kicks so much ass.

I'll choose to think of her thusly, or like this, or this, or any of these, ok and sometimes like this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Affluent White Boy Street Gangs and Traffic Monsters

There is a video out there that is tearing around the internet like a pack of mud covered raccoons in an Apple store . I think this video has exposed the true ugliness of white boy gangsta douche bags everywhere.

At first I thought it was satirical, then I saw this on a soon to be demolished McDonalds in the ever so rich heart of Bethesda MD.

Kinda makes you Wunda, doesn't it?

This comes from the dudes over at DudeCraft. Some kid was kick ass enough to make a monster out of traffic barrels and when anything this kick ass happens the police just have to get involved. Read the full story here.

I want one of these for the random use on the Capital Crescent Trail

Swap Meet Met

As many of you know, I launched my own marketing campaign for the WABA swap meet in Silver Spring this past Saturday. I did this mainly because they don’t do enough marketing and nobody shows up making it hard to sell my junk. Anyway, my marketing prowess paid off. I met several people who said they came to the event because they heard about it here, or on other blogs linking back to mine. Hurray for the internets!

Thanks to Gwadzilla, The WashCycle, and DCBlogs for throwing me a shout out.

Here are a few photos of the hot swapping in action.

I can't remember your names but I enjoyed
talking chit with you guys.

See anything you like? A lot of that is still for sale.

People came,
swapping happened,
it was better than last year,
you're welcome.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Surly You Can't Be Serious...

I am officially in it for the long haul. My new Surly Long Haul Trucker arrived yesterday and I couldn't be happier. It has been a long journey to get to this point, having scrounged, saved, purchased, and sold a Cross Check that was too small. Enough about the past though, check it out!

I threw the rack and the Brooks Saddle on yesterday and I love how the honey color works with the green paint. I have big plans for tricking the LHT out which started with an early birthday gift from the brother man.

A vintage Swiss military issue cycling bag from WWII. The leather and waxed canvas are in pretty good condition for being over 60 years old. All I need now is a mount for my 60 year old Swiss K31 and this thing would be ready for a land assault (or a really interesting commute).

Silver SKS fenders, cotton bar tape, (or leather if I can afford it), and a brass bell from Velo-Orange are the immediate necessities. Who knows what else I'll "need" in the future. Please comment if you have any suggestions or fowl things to say about the stock parts.

Ok people, as you know the swap meet is tomorrow. It is your duty as part of the cycling community to foster local events such as this. If that doesn't guilt you into participating show up to peruse all the gems that I will be unloading! Wheelsets, cranks, bottom brackets, tires, bars, frames, shocks, saddles, pedals etc.

This will be a good swap meet dammit!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Mulberry's Revenge and Swap Meet Meat

Let me start out with a personal fact. I was born in Indiana, therefore I hate mulberry trees. In Indiana they are prosperous. Growing anywhere and everywhere they can. The berries kill the grass and fill the birds with bright purple bird shit that stains everything.

I spent a good portion of last weekend removing a particularly annoying mulberry tree. Cursing and laughing as I widdled and chopped, and eventually the tree was transformed into nice bundles at the curb awaiting removal. Oh happy day.

Fast forward to this past Friday, I was making my way home in the rain, approaching one of the wooden bridges spanning Sligo Creek. The wood was wet so I slowed a bit. I was steady and holding my line across the slick wood. When I neared the far end of the bridge, my bike slipped out from under me and I went down hard. I landed on a piece of metal that covers the bridge seam, on my ass, with one leg in the air and the other under the bike. I leaped up and proceeded to hop and dance around in a small circle trying not to yell as I cursed "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck son of a bitch fuck fuck fuck". Finally the pain subsided and I assessed the damage. I wasn't bleeding too bad and my shorts were not torn so I went to check on the bike. It slipped out so fast that the impact with the ground sheered off the drive side pedal (recently rebuilt) bending its axle and mashing up the crank threads.

I was a bit surprised that I went down so hard and fast. I've crossed that bridge a hundred times before in all types of weather and never had a problem. Upon inspection of the bridge I realized it wasn't the wet wood that took me out. It was a thin coating of rotten mulberries that turned that end of the bridge into a lubricous death trap. Touché mulberry tree... touché...

Now down to business.
This Saturday there is a bike swap in Silver Spring behind the Bicycle Place. Now I know I have talked about this swap meet before but I think we need to revisit the subject. If you don't show up to buy and sell bike parts at this thing it's going to continue to be mediocre. I am talking to you, blessed reader. You have some bike parts that you have been saving for way too long. It's time to cash them in. Bring a blanket to the parking lot behind the Bicycle Place at 9am this Saturday the 13th, put said parts on the blanket, read a book. Someone will probably approach you and want to give you money. Or just show up with a few bucks and maybe you'll score that bike part you didn't know you couldn't live without. Either way it's not a bad way to spend the morning. Also, Bikes For The World is usually there accepting bike donations.

Don't be a wanker.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Progress, Music, And Change

We have a little bit of everything today. First off it's Friday and that means...   something...

Next up, this comes via DCMUD (name?) The city of Bethesda announced that it has OK'ed a plan to demolish a McDonalds and replace it with a 9 story high rise. This is both good and bad. The good is that there will be one less McDonalds in the world and the bad is that there will be one more high rise in the world.  However you look at it there is a definite plus side to this plan. Montgomery county has stated that in order to proceed the building must achieve a LEED Silver Certification and provide 20% of the space for public use. 

The big win is that as part of this 20%, the builder must build "Two 5-foot wide on-street bike paths will be laid along Pearl Street in order to connect it with the popular footpath" WOOT! Currently access to the trail from Pearl St. is a tangle of roots on a steep incline to navigate before you cross the newly installed drainage system or as I like to call it,"The Brown Line"

As illustrated in the artist rendition below, the county also states that the builder must crate a plaza with art and fountains and crap for people to happily ignore as they go to work. The builder must also provide an area of 85% opacity where people and trees are partially transparent. 

Next up I would like to pass along a couple of songs that come to us from the Black Cab Sessions. who won't let anyone embed their videos for some reason. So you'll just have to click the damn links you lazy bastards.

And lastly another inspirational message of CHANGE.
Anything is possible people... as long as you are a huge robot.