Sunday, March 22, 2009

MacGyver…I reference this old television 1985 – 1992 show in a comment to Cranked blog. It was a blog about a set of pedals the author has had for years and the repairs/maintenance done to keep them running.

From Wikipedia…”The clever solutions MacGyver implemented to seemingly intractable problems—often in life-or-death situations requiring him to improvise complex devices in a matter of minutes—were a major attraction of the show, which was praised for generating interest in the applied sciences, and particularly engineering,…”

To be clear, I am not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise stating that I think we are MacGyver mechanics…in fact other than my fairly short stint in a bike shop in the 1980’s…all my previous experience was from being a kid with limited means. However, there are certainly those around that are for sure are deserving of that status. And we love chatting them up, never enough info can be shared. The day you stop learning…Well you fill in the blank!

What we do working on various old school vintage bicycles is sort of MacGyver-ish. It is a lot of hunt and peck through parts piles and draws of bolts and nuts. Try this then try that…Not giving up on a problem that if we had a new part would be easy…heck simple, but not a MacGyver challenge. So once in a while, we do MacGyver mechanics all to return a bicycle that has perhaps seen better days to the road. But will serve as a set of iron wings ready to whisk its rider of on yet another urban dash through the paved paths.

Come on by, we have some pretty obscure parts, knowledge, places to get a fix etc. We are happy to provide support to those that are attempting your MacGyver on your ride!

What better way to say BIKE ME than to resurrect a bike…or keep it on the road with a great MacGyver!

Be Current, Ride Vintage
Ride of the week...Phillips Butchers Bike...coming soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Vernal Equinox

Happy Vernal Equinox to all of the
Metro Boston Biking community!

First, I have not been very good at keeping this current...I hope that will not happen again.

Second, a couple of facts off the National Geographic site.
In the Northern Hemisphere spring officially begins at 7:44 a.m. ET on Friday, March 20, 2009—the vernal equinox, or spring equinox.
But don't be fooled by the old rumor that on the vernal equinox the length of day is exactly equal to the length of night. The true days of day-night equality always fall before the vernal equinox and after the autumnal, or fall, equinox, according to Geoff Chester, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

So much for that rumor! How about Phish will play at Fenway in 2009?

OK, so what does the official beginning of spring mean to you…less possibility of snow…however, remember the April Fools Day Blizzard of 1997 (Google that!) or perhaps it is time to break out you high end road bike…or it means that finally taking off the 2nd layer of clothing?!?!?!?

For us it means our second season doing the used bicycle thing out of the Cambridge Antique Market. It means the crush of those that see bicycles as not just something to do on the weekends, but an every day means of transportation in and around our lovely metro area is back on! A good thing!

It means for those that do ride road bikes for distance that the season is here and you can put up your stationary trainers and get out on the roads for real….less a half ton of wind blocking, insulating water proof clothing. It means that you can ride in daylight for a few hours after work again. It means that cars may have the window rolled down and might be more aware. It mans that those morning rides will be again a joy of hearing, smelling, seeing the city as it emerges form it’s annual winter hibernation.

And for those who are in that frame of mind it means you can say BIKE ME and be heard, yet again for at least another season.

Be Current, Ride Vintage!

This weeks ride, 1990's Specialized Sirrus.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy 1st day of spring, meteorologically speaking.

So on this snowy first day of March.......while awaiting yet an even bigger dump of snow later tonight, I just finished rehabbing a 1963 Raleigh Sports. Over a cup of tea I got to thinking..............

At this time every year I angst for winter to be over, I can not wait to move on to the next season. March can be a very long month for me. (Yes, I know I live in New England and we can get snow 6 months of the year). With every weather forecast I hold my breath, hoping that the predicted winter weather system will go out to sea or head north. I truly love those first warm windy days of spring with all it means… new beginnings, growth, fresh starts, etc. etc.

It is similar for me with rehabbing a bicycle, a new beginning for something that may have been lying dormant for a winter season or for decades. I get to take a bicycle from a dormant state to something that will take someone, like a set of iron wings across the block, down the street on to where ever they want to go.

As with this 1963 Raleigh, the paint on most 40 something bicycles can be pretty tired but responds well to a good rub of wax and will look pretty darn good. Yet, what I find most remarkable is how well the chrome on these old bikes comes back to an original gleam. A few minutes of effort will remove all but the deepest rooted rust, which is not unlike tending next years grass or say my lavender plants. It is the coming warmth which they promises that brings out that gleam in people, just like a little elbow grease on chrome does.

I would really like to say "Bike Me" to winter…but apparently not just yet!

Ride like the warm winds of spring, soon I hope.