Thursday, October 25, 2007


For the last two years I have been looking to score a deal on a nice old Carlton Raleigh... one that I could restore and convert into a 'Country Bike' (thats what European touring type bikes seem to be called these days)

So, the other day I took a quick look at Craigslist and saw this posting for an old raleigh 10 speed for $49. The owner said in the ad that he thought it was a valuable bike. The picture was too fuzzy to tell what model it was, but it looked like my size. "What could it be?" I thought... "Competition? Super Course? International???" (I would have died and gone to heaven if it was an International)

I called the owner. He said the bike was still there, but I was the fourth caller already. I told him I wanted to buy it, sight-unseen, and I wanted to pick it up right away before someone else did. He told me he wouldn't be home until after 9:30pm.
At 9:45 I arrived at the house and found a beat up old 1974 24.5" Gran Sport. Not quite what I was hoping for, but still, the Reynolds 531 frame, Stronglight (Model 93?) crank and Brooks B17 saddle made it worth the price of admission.

Overall, it's pretty rusty, but nothing serious. The chrome on the rear triangle is in decent shape, but the chrome on the fork is pretty bad and I may have to paint over the fork. Covering up the chrome on the fork will detract a little from the classy looks of the bike, I know, but the fork is just in really rough shape.
After stripping and re-painting it is going to look awesome!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Utilitarian cycling in Rhode Island!

I spotted this awesome pedi-cab bike outside a restaurant in my neighborhood! Of course I had to stop and talk to the owner.
Jamie lives only a few blocks from me. He frequently takes his two children for rides on the bike path's, in parades or, like he was doing today, out for lunch at a local restaurant.
This Main St Pedicab  has an electric assist motor for the hills and a high-power lighting system for nighttime riding.
Jamie also used to be a hardcore bicycle commuter too (52 miles round trip!)
While I was talking to him everyone that walked by and saw the pedicab said 'Cool!'
Cool indeed!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

fixed gear pics

My old pink Bridgestone 550 has a new black paint (spray can) job.

The pre-1990 Bridgestones are nothing like the Grant Peterson cult classics from the final days of Bstone. This one has a short top tube, no fender eyelets, no tire clearance for anything bigger than a 700x25, and the headset stack height is so ridiculously low (and it has no spacers) that I cant find one to replace it! Still, I LOVE the way this bike rides, feels and handles.

The Lego skeleton has been hanging from the mirror in my VW for years. Once the car died, It only seemed fitting to make it a headbadge for my new ride.


Monday, October 01, 2007

car free!

My old 1997 VW Golf finally died. It's been spiraling the drain for about a year now, and I kept fixing it but now it's just not worth it anymore.

I've been on a lot of adventures with this car. Folk festivals, mountain bike festivals, more snowboard trips than I can even count, camping and road trips... 
I'm gonna miss it. 
I'll really miss my Windells Snowboard Camp decal. 

So. I'm now car free... not completely by choice, but I'm ok with it for now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recovering from broken rib

Its been 6 weeks since I got a broken rib in jiu jitsu. It still hurts, but I did get back to riding the bike last week. wow! have I gotten out of shape while waiting for the rib to heal!

Last night, while riding home in the dark (fully lighted and blinking like a Christmas tree, mind you), some old geezer yelled out the window of his Volvo "Get outta the road you fucking nut job!!!"

I really care less and less about being courteous towards motorists. Despite doing everything in my power to be a visible, predictable, law-abiding bicycle commuter, I still have at least one near-death encounter every week because of some motorist doing something completely stupid, careless or aggressive (0r a combination of all three) towards me.

I don't think that Critical Mass is the answer... It's not going to enlighten any motorists. It only seems to piss them off more.
The only thing that is going to give folks a clue, is when gasoline goes to $22 a gallon and 80% of the population starts riding bikes. Only when they have been FORCED to ride a bike on the road with stupid, aggressive morons driving Hummers will they understand how it feels to be treated so callously.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

more signage

This one is just awesome! Speaks for itself really...

Friday, July 06, 2007


Today I rode home from work slowly. I took turns I don't normally take and I stopped at all the lights.
I didn't want to go home.
I watched my feet turn circles on the pedals. I looked at clouds in the sky and I saw this funny sign for a yard sale. I'm not sure what the sheep has to do with selling used junk on your lawn, but it made me laugh anyway.
I needed the laugh.

You see, I knew that at my house a celebration dinner was being prepared and people would be arriving. It is my birthday. The only thing I hate more than it being my birthday... is celebrating that it's my birthday.
Things just never go right on my birthday.
This morning, for instance, I got a flat tire on the way to work. It's the first one I've had in almost a year. Why today?

I don't like getting older and, normally I do a pretty good job of fighting off the years... I excersise, eat well and keep a very kid-like attitude but the last few weeks have been tough. Hell, the last few years have been tough! and its starting to catch up with me. I just feel OLD today and it's bumming me out.

Anyway, the party went OK. Although the dinner I was really looking forward to didn't turn out quite right. But, I sort of knew it wouldn't...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

is it stupid to think a cargo bike is cool?

Oh man, I really don't have the money right now, and even if i did my wife would surely kill me for buying another bike, but I would LOVE to go pick up one of these awesome cargo bikes that someone is selling not too far from my house. Heck, for the price I should just buy both.

What a sweet machine for going grocery shopping on!
(That really is a stupid statement, isnt it?)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

rivendell bumper sticker

Funny. Saw this old looking sticker on a car in a parking lot the other day.
'Wear Wool, Sit on Leather, Ride Lugged Steel'
The small print at the bottom says ''

god bless Grant for changing the world.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is this too dangerous?

Crap! It happened.
I started thinking about things.

Lately, I've read way too many stories about bicyclists killed on city streets and its got me a little scared.

Now, I firmly believe that most bicyle deaths happen to cyclists who were not being smart.
You know... No lights at night, unattentiveness, riding unpredictably and violation of traffic flow. (This DOES NOT mean it was the cyclists fault but, sadly, many of these fatalities are preventable)

Sometimes however, a good cyclist, a cyclist who was alert, riding defensively and doing everything right gets killed anyway.

Everyone has the internal dialogue that says "It won't happen to me". Its a survival mechanism thats millions of years old. It's the only way we can get out of bed in the morning and walk out into the world. "Sure there are big carnivores out there and they're gonna eat one of us... but not me. It won't happen to me"

Steve Irwin no doubt thought that same thing on the day he went swimming with the stingrays. And why shouldn't he think like that? He arguably had more experience dealing with dangerous animals than any other person on the planet.

I certainly have better bike handling skills than most mortals. I have years of experience riding a bicycle in traffic. I am physically fit and hyper alert.
It won't happen to me.

But then I start remembering all the close-calls I've had over the years, and how they could have turned out.

I have a wife I love very much, and we want to have children someday soon. I don't really want to leave this world for a very, very long time. Sure, I might be better, smarter and faster than every other cyclists out there but, drunk drivers never seem to pay attention to those fine traits and can ruin everything in a second.

Should I choose safer routes to work? Should I wear safety vests and cover every inch of my person with reflective material? Should I get rid of the fixed gear bike?

Should I take the bus and not ride at all?

Friday, May 25, 2007

the urban machine

Well, after commuting on my Bridgestone 550 fixed conversion for a while I was pretty much hooked. The bike is one of my favorites. Not just because it is fixed, but because this is a really great frame! it is light, comfortable and handles amazing! better than many other bikes I've owned (and I've owned some really top-end road bikes!)

But, I decided I wanted to give it an even leaner and meaner urban look.

Step 1. Apply torch to braze ons and remove them from frame.
Step 2. Sand down pink finish.
Step 3. Apply black semi-gloss spray paint.

I was really worried about putting heat to the frame to remove the braze-ons. I don't know much about metallurgy and metal working, but I do know that too much heat is always bad and I didn't know how to tell if I was approaching "too much".
So, I started heating the shifter braze-ons and as soon as it started to get a little red and glowy near the seam, I grabbed it with the pliers and gave a little tug. *pop* off it came. Nice! The tubes don't seem any worse off after the heating.

Ok, it's ready for the paint!
Updates to follow...

Ha!! I just noticed something.
After I popped off the first shifter boss, I dropped it onto the tray on my workstand and went to work on the second shifter braze-on. A few seconds later, out of the corner of my eye, I see the first boss fall from the tool tray and hit the ground. "That was weird" I thought, because I hadn't bumped to stand or the tray. I didnt give it much though because I was busy with a flaming hot torch in my hand.
When I was cleaning up I realized that the scorching-hot braze on had melted its way right through the tool tray! The second one melted halfway through before cooling and embedding itself permanently in the plastic!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


The future of my current job is a little shaky these days... the result of corporate restructuring after a big merger. My position may remain, or it may move to another part of the country. I would have the choice to move with it if I so wanted...

Out of the two new HQ locations I could relocate to, there is only one I would even consider. Seattle, WA.

Aside from leaving friends and family behind, another major drawback would be the weather. I've heard horror stories about the continual rain and grey skies but, there seems to be a huge bicycle commuter population in Seattle? So, what gives? Are the horror stories just blown out of proportion, or does everyone just ride with fenders and raingear daily?

I'd like to hear some of the Pacific Northwest Pro's and Con's from any Seattle/Bothell/Redmond folks.