Monday, January 26, 2009

Sometimes, Simple is Good Enough

There are times simple is good enough. A 1960's recycled Dunelt 21" Frame with new 26" Wheels. Single speed w/ coaster brake, yes I know there are those of you that do not like coaster brakes. A new chain, pedals and taped mustache handlebars.

Add some light weight Freddie Fenders and you have a year round bike. The rear sprocket can be changed out for more robust riders. The wheels on this were just to far gone with rust, pedals were frozen, we don't throw good stuff out! So any useable parts went to other projects or the lost parts pile.

Not a bad new-old least it is one less bicycle that ends up in a dumpster.

Ride more, restore, recycle or otherwise well...Bike Me!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ride of The Week and a Miracle!

A folding Fuji built in 1980's. The bike breaks by pulling the seat post and folds to reasonably small area. It is a promotional bike for Marlboro Cigarettes. Back in the day Marlboro had Marlboro Miles. Collect various numbers of miles; turn them in for various outdoorsy items, like camping equipment, a Marlboro man jacket, new set of lungs, or a folding bicycle. Fascinating marketing for an obviously hazardous product!

I have to mention that yesterday the stars were in alignment, prayers were answered or some karma was paid back. Regardless of the whys, what happened on the Hudson was a miraculous set of circumstances, actions and decisions. Kudos to all those who helped in the rescue, great job! A special tip of the hat to Pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, co-pilot Jeff Skiles and for sure the flight crew of US Airways Flight 1549.

Call it a miracle or whatever, but sometimes things work out and I hope that those who survived get to pay it forward someday.

Ride more and pay it forward.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya!

Flick: Are you kidding? Stick my tongue to that stupid pole? That's dumb! Schwartz: That's 'cause you know it'll stick! Flick: You're full of it! Schwartz: Oh yeah? Flick: Yeah! Schwartz: Well I double-DOG-dare ya! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a "triple dare ya"? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare. Schwartz: I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!
A Christmas Story (1983)

So it's gonna get wicked cold! Cold as in, it hasn't been this cold for years cold!
Some might suggest that you should stay off your which you reply... Are you crazy? I have to ride... it's in my blood. I love winter here in New England, I'm, I'm...OK so it's my only way around I have to ride and it really sucks! But I'm gonna do it anyway! As they say down south, get 'er done...

Alrighty then...well dress warm...really warm! But remember this, everything moves slower in the cold. I think I remember something about Absolute Zero from long ago school days. Winter in Boston, on a bicycle, it takes hardy souls to ride in such conditions. Hey, but you are one of refuse to let sub zero temperatures and or wind chills, snow or slush to slow your cycling down. Kinda like winter surfing on the New Hampshire coast! Only not as wet, for the most part.

Please remember a couple of things among which are...You are going to be a even bigger surprise than usual to drivers that will "see" you even less. And your having extra everythings on, will have a hard time seeing and hearing, not to mention with the snow conditions in the streets it will be dicey 24/7.

It is in weather like this that the grease in your head set and bottom crank can get stiff plus even the cables can be sticky. Tires get low, hydraulic brake lines can become very brittle. Storing you bike outside might become necessary because a warm surface allows for melting/condensation etc. to get into places that, when you return to outdoors, will freeze fast and solid. Needing to check your brakes often, before you need them and because it clears any snow off the rims. Oh for joy! Sounds like real fun!

But despite all this, it is your McMurdo Station attitude that make it the ultimate BIKE ME statement!

Ride safe and stay warm!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ride of the Week

Men's Kapok Chinese Made, Single speed, 21" frame 33" stand over, rod brakes, full rear kickstand, very heavy duty bike. This might be one of those bikes you see stacked with banana leaves or wicker baskets headed to a local market.

Kapok is City in China and there was bicycle manufacturing there, we are not sure when this bicycle was built.

Anyone with any information regarding Kapok Bicycles, etc. please let us know!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stolen Bikes, Locked Bikes

This past Saturday a woman came into the shop looking intently at various bicycles. When I asked if she was looking for anything in particular she told me yes. She needed to replace the bicycle she had purchased from us this summer, because it had been stolen about a month prior. My heart sank. And then I got sad, frustrated, and pissed off...

For many of the people that buy our bicycles it is a major, if not only, source of their transportation. Which, at the very least, it is a partial source of their economic well being. Thus, someone’s economic well being is impacted very time a bicycle is stolen. And a stolen bike just might have a crucial impact on their lives.

We sell used bicycles BUT we do not purchase bicycles at our space in Cambridge. This is for many reasons one being, if a thief has no where to fence to what they steal it becomes worthless. Thieves only steal items that they know where they can sell them for a good price. WE purchase our bicycles from only those people that we know and have legitimate and long term relationships with. To any establishment that might not be so diligent, we urge them to become so!

The following list and links are a a primer for you to whet your (bicycle knowledge) appetite with. A point to note, some locks come with an anti-theft warranty! We all know there are no guarantees in life, but we can increase the odds in our favor.

ALWAYS Lock your Bike.
Brightly lit places are not thief friendly.
An inexpensive locks equals a cheap lock. Locks are not the things to be stingy about. Go as high end as you can.
If you are leaving your bike for a long period of time (like for more than 5 minutes) or over night use at least two locks.
Learn how to lock your bike properly. Thieves want to hit quickly, they look for the easiest targets. The harder you make it for them, the less likely your bike will be stolen.

We all know that thieving has and always will be a part of life, desperate people will do desperate things.

Help defend yourself by learning as much about how bicycles are stolen, knowledge is power!

Help defend others by being vigilant, if you think a bike is being stolen call it in!

Help defend your bicycle with locks and techniques that says...BIKE ME to those that might want to steal it!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 - The Year of the Ox

2009 in the Chinse Calander is the Year of th Ox...amoung other things that would make one bright, inspiring, sun and easy going, an exceptional parent. Oh my, what a year this may be! A new president with an agenda that will take super human strength, the Wisdom of Solomon, patience of Mother Theresa. I could go on but I think you get the point.

There are so many issues that face us all, because in the end we are all in this together. What does this have to do with bicycles? Well actually, I’m no more certain than you are. However, I do think this.

IF the area basically inside the Route 495 (Massachusetts) corridor most of the commuters used bicycles, combined with mass transit, many things would happen. First, a huge statement would be made. We are not kidding about a way of life with a little less oil in it. That as a people in this nation, to be political, and of the world, to be sensible; we are willing to start to take care of this blue planet as of right NOW! Couple of major implications there! This is not to even mention what kind of place this would be then, people out ridding bicycles actually talking to each other, health impacts, aw heck even cleaner air.

Now be sure, I’m not advocating, although how cool would that be, that the UPS, Postal, and the FedEx folks convert to
Big Dummies and we all hug a tree once a week. But imagine, just for a minute, what a 2, 3 or 10 fold increase in Bicycle commuters would look like. Imagine what the local governments, MBTA and the State would have to do with bicycle issues then. Makes one wonder where the tipping point will be? Makes one wonder that if a family no longer needs two cars because they use two bicycles where THAT savings would be spent. It does make one wonder, doesn’t it now!

Given the above mentioned altered sense of reality, major paradigm shift, the new normal; one sure could say to those that were not sincere to issues that directly and collaterally affected bicycle commuters…BIKE ME!