Monday, July 30, 2007
I am planning on biking from Portland to LA this August with a friend. Not for any particular reason other than to go on a tour and have some fun on two wheels. So if all goes as planned I will be gone during the month of August and will probably be shutting my online store down for a little while until I return. I haven't decided what to do about all of that yet but will post a notice soon. In preparation for the tour I went on a 3 day tour this past weekend with some new friends out to the Clackamas River east of Portland. The river was cold but felt great after climbing some big hills and gettin all sweaty. We ate some blackberries, huckleberries, salal, saskatoons, thimbeberries.
This is my bike all loaded up after returning from the ride. I just got a Nitto Campee front rack and I love it. I strapped on a basket and some cheapo lowrider bags. The bike felt very stable and I could ride with no hands even. The basket is nice because I could access it while riding and was able to stow tomatoes and bananas in here with out smooshing them. On the back of the bike is my Carradice saddle bag that came in handy when I wanted to haul some cedar bark along with me.
Pictured above are some gifts from the forest. (Left to right) Cedar bark cordage made from the inner bark of a fallen Western Red Cedar (cedar was used for everything by the indigenous people of the Northwest and considered a sacred tree because of all that it provided for the people: clothing, canoes, rope, nets, boxes, cabins, medicine etc). Next object is a bow drill kit made from western hemlock, big leaf maple, nettle fiber cordage, and stone for a hand socket. Lastly is a rather large dog skull found along the roadside with a full skeleton. I have a pretty sweet skull collection and will maybe post some photos of that sometime. Ok, gotta go. Lots of work to do before the big tour. More news to come soon.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I grew up in York, Pennsylvania and when I was in highschool a friend and I always used to ride our bmx bikes over to this elementary school to watch this bad ass flatground rider named Kevin Jones. From what I am told he is sort of a grandfather of the freestyle/ flatground/ bmx scene. He and another guy produced some videos back in the day, 1980s, called "Dorkin' in York". I still haven't seen the videos but was on Youtube today and did a search for it. Here is one of the videos I found. Kevin Jones performing 52 whiplashes on his bike as the credits role to the movie. This guy was a big inspiration for me when I was younger and getting into bicycle trials. One time 2 friends and I went for a ride with Kevin around East York looking for different spots to ride and bust out tricks. One of the kids with us got a flat front tire and we had no patch kit. We decided to ride back to a bike shop and Kevin hopped on this kids bike and rode a wheely almost the whole way there! Anyway, dig this video it will blow your mind.
I've made a few modifications to my Bridgestone Spica recently. I added a new wheelset, phil hubs laced up to some new old stock rigida touring rims. Very shiny. I figure that a nice wheelset is something worth investing in. Rather than riding some crappy Taiwanese made hubs that will wear out, I could potentially ride these Phil hubs for the rest of my life. Made in America too. Also added some old SKS fenders that I found on old bikes. Actually they are two rear fenders and it gives much better coverage in the front than most front fenders.
Then I added these French Nervar cranks that came off an old Schwinn sports tourer that I found in the trash a long time ago. They are great because they are designed after the much coveted cranks once made by TA, an old French company. The Nervars use the same bolt pattern. The chainrings came off of a Sugino super maxy crank from an 80s Peugeot mtn bike and also use this same bolt pattern. As far as I know TA is no longer making their cranks but still manufactures the chainrings so I can replace them at some point. I ride in the 46t chainring and use the 28t granny gear as a bail out for big climbs. I think I need to take a few links out of the chain though.