Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Holidays


I'm in the midst of a nice stretch of time off between the Christmas and New Years holidays.  I had a very busy two weeks prior to the holiday at work - traveling and tying up loose ends.  Not much time to blog.  I did get a nice vintage poster, a bicycle chain bottle opener and a bicycle chain picture frame.  I must be pretty hard to shop for...  On the up side, I picked up a new Gibson F-9 mandolin, my real Christmas present.  Sounds great!

I have had some interesting things happen bicycle wise though.  I came across a 1980 ladies Raleigh Sport 3-speed at the Thrift Store and picked it up for $35.  Another great find!!  Literally 2 days later my neighbor from across the street gave me a matching pair, ladies and gents, 1972 AMF Roadmaster Pacemakers.  In lime green none-the-less.  So my garage is FULL of bicycles.  It is COLD out there so I have not done much other than clean them up a bit.

It got me thinking of blogging... I have a lot of bicycles now.  And they all have their stories.  I'm going to create a blog post for each one, update it as I make modifications and upgrades.  This will start up in the next couple days.

Not much riding taking place.  I did get the Surley out last week and rode in one day between the sub-freezing weather we've been having.  It sure felt good to get outside again.  I've been rifing the exercise bike recently- not nearly as much fun, but it keeps my bum knee limbered up.

Happy New Year all...


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Careful Out There

The time of year has come for extreme care on the roads and trails.

It is dark in the morning and early evening: lights and reflectors are a MUST. I use a Nightrider MiNewt on the front paired with a cheap LED Flasher. On the back I have two LED Flashers and a red reflector. I removed the reflectors in my spokes - I think they make the wheels unbalanced.

Ride slow. Roads look wet, but could be icy. The Mercer Slough trail across I-90 is frosty and it lasts all day! I took a slide last year at this time in that same spot - not fun.


Let's try again..

OK, now it's serious. Seriously. Serious.

After 10 years of working my tail off in a job that has evolved out from under me, I'm ready to get serious about biking. I've got an idea and this blog will be the start of it!

The VeloScene...

"Velo" the French slang for bicycle
"Scene" for "a happening, the place to be.."

My plan is to start up a physical location, a "bike shop," near my home. But I'm not selling bikes. I want it to be a "gathering place" for cyclists around the Puget Sound to start out on rides. I want it to be a "pit stop" for cyclists on long rides that include the I-90 Trail. The location will be near the I-90 Trail that crosses Mercer Island, WA. For those that don't know about it, Mercer Island is a 16-17 mile loop ride on a suburban island in the middle of Lake Washington near Seattle. It is a popular destination ride that is fairly level, windy roads with gorgeous views of the lake and Cascade Mountains , including Rainier.

So how will it make money?

OK, this is still formative, but here is the idea

  • Be a virtual storefront to assist people in purchasing bicycles online. Be a shipping location and do all the setup and fitting once the cycle arrives. Bikes are a complex online purchase. I will do pre-purchase fitting and sizing, facilitate the purchase, handle the shipping and do all the setup.
  • Establish relationships with online vendors to get bikes at a discount or wholesale; free shipping. Charge customer full price and make money on the spread.
  • Be a community resource shop. I will have a couple work stations in the back for doing setup and these can be rented by-the-hour for doing your own work.
  • Small item sales: gloves, beanies, tubes, patch kits... that kind of stuff. Stuff that's too small to buy online.
  • Cafe: the front end of the shop will be a small cafe where coffee, juice and home-made "power bars" can be bought. Tables inside and out will give people a chance to rest, plan a ride and "hang in the scene." The cafe will have a map kiosk, a Cascade bike club kiosk and other ride information
  • The whole place will be decorated in vintage Italian and French cycle graphics and venerate the classic riders of the past.
What do you think? Am I nuts? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

a little disappointed..

The season has not even started yet, and I am already a bit disappointed....

  • It's been cold cold cold and wet wet wet. Sure, I know this makes me a pussy, but I still crave a nice long warm ride day...
  • My Surly has been giving me fits. I finally got the rear brakes to stop squeaking... by toeing them in severely. The rear wheel has a spoke that loosens, not enough to warp the wheel, but... come on! And, the most annoying thing, the chain-ring bolts are loose and cause the front end of the drive train to creak a little... Gotta get this bike under control before putting serious miles on her.
Just got back from a visit to Recycled Cycles in Seattle. Picked up a chainring bolt tool, hopefully this will help me tighten them up. I'll keep an eye on the spoke and toe in the brakes slightly. I still really like this bike, but I expected a little less worry out of the gate.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Mercier up for sale

Had it for a couple years... just a bit small for me and I'm trying to free up some funds.. Interested? Jump in the comments

Update: 12/2/2009 - I've decided to keep this bike as decoration for the new shop I'm opening.

Back at it again

Another bicycle season is upon us. I've already started riding again. Over the past few months, I've logged roughly 2 days a week coming in to work. It's been a cold winter here in Seattle-land. I actually slipped while riding slowly on the concrete bridge over the Mercer Slough in Bellevue one morning and went down. Pretty sure it was partly black ice and partly the fact that I had knobby tires on the Surly. Didn't get too hurt, but I was upset the bike got a little more scratched. Character, right?

I did the Chilly Hilly in February. My goal this year is to do all the Cascade Bike Club rides - Chilly Hilly, Summer Century, STP and RSVP. The Chilly Hilly was a fun ride. A bit rainy in the AM early, but it cleared up a bit by mid-ride. I was so far ahead of the game that the snack stops and end of ride party were not even set up. I made one stop over the course of the ride - 10 minutes. Most of the hills were smaller and had a ramp up to them. The biggest hill was just a long 8% grind. There were a lot of walkers and a couple people got sick at the end. All in all, pretty fun. I've never seen so many bikers all in one place - thousands.

Been sick for a bit, but plan to get back in the saddle next week.