Monday, December 18, 2006


Point form Project update

-Project-Pho is both educational and delicious. The vietnamese coffee is like liquid meth. No. Not like. It IS liquid meth.

-It seems the only way for Louise to out ride me, is to out drink me first. I can't keep up through Coal harbour without pedal strike. We portage over downed trees in Lord Stanley's cruising area. Louise says Hi to every man she sees.

-N1ck calls a Project-Breakfast meeting, then flails.

-LTR3 is officially owned by Project-B. We're going back Wednesday night to own the LTRace. Note: wear a lighter Jersey.

-Momentum's Harmonizer Party is off the hook. B:C:Clettes rock it THRILLER style, I die a happy zombie:

-Clancy's Angel's are alright. But everyone agrees Clancy must be stopped. The Tuxedo shirt Christian is pretty cool though.

-Sadly I don't win that Chrome bag I so desparately need.

-The quad-turntablists were just getting their electro on when we decided to leave.

-Reverse delta formation all the way out West to the UBC endowment lands to escort a lovely 'Clette and her station wagon Centurion. (carrying two panniers, two extra wheels, and a set of fenders)

-Back downtown for some Pizza, and road rage from our commercial vehicle driving friends.

-We hit the top of the Alley Kitten parkade to relax and reflect.

-Sunday's bike craft fair was pretty cool. Most of the patches and stickers you've already scene. Good thing I didn't set up a table for top tube cozies. That market was covered. I scored a Sprockettes Calendar, with no holes. DIY.

This was my last weekend in town, before heading to the frozen tundra of Hoth Alberta. I like to think that I made the most of it. Things seem to be falling into place. I've got goals for the upcoming year, and lots more fun to look forward to.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hey N1ck, want to race that train?

We gap 180 it, then we be like *BLAU BLAU*

(Note: I do not condone gun violence in any way, but it seems riding fakie while drawing a firearm could be a useful skill down south)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Blissful Midnight Ride.

Midnight Mass last night was awesome. With a wind warning of 70-100km/h, I didn't know if there would be many people out. It was still raining when I got to Grandview Park, and the group was huddled under an awning across the street. I didn't actually count, but I would estimate 20 people showed up. Only 1/3 of Project B reppin', but lots of friends. Awesome turnout for what would appear to most people as a dismal night.

I don't know whether there was an actual plan, but we headed down the Adanac path into downtown. Underneath BC Place and up Smithe. A convoluted way through downtown the underground of Pacific Centre. Down the first level and it's warm, really warm. We do a number of laps of the underground, up a level, down a level, backwards, etc. Re-congregated on Dunsmuir and south on Howe. Looking for another underground. It had stopped raining, but was still nice and slippery, so I practiced my 180 skids at every opportunity.

A sharp reverse u-turn just past Smithe and back to the sub-terranean. This is a service underground, and leads north, eventually back to the Pacific Centre underground. Confused looks from the delivery drivers down there. A stop for a possible flat tire at the back of the pack, but it turned out to be alright. We did a few more laps of the underground and got somewhat lost. So fun. At some point here we took our jackets off, as it had stopped raining.

North to Cordova, and under again just after Burrard. I locked into a nice drifting skid coming down the ramp and around the corner, but got it too far out. Unclipped one shoe, and that jarring motion caused the other to pop out too. A near sacking, but I ran it out unscathed.

We stopped at the waterpark on Coal Harbour and had entertaining conversations about the blogonets among other things. Haley was raving about her plastic bag shoe liners, leaving Simon F envious. Camilo was downing Bombay Sapphire. Tasty Baileys and hot chocolate from Alec, who was a MM regular last winter, before my time. Talked tallbikes with Maitland - now I'm torn as to whether to commuterize the Miele or chopperize it.

There was talk of a seawall loop but that was quickly quashed when we realized it was closed at the bridge. I suggested taking the trail past Lost Lagoon. Simon was down, and asked me to take the lead. I briefly caught up with Leanne, then we stopped to put our jackets back on - it was raining. Kirstin and I led the group, still 15 strong, through the darkness around the Lagoon. English Bay was windy and rainy, but blissfully secluded.

Another stop under the Burrard Bridge to regroup and discuss food options. It was getting later, and a few people decided to split off. We chose to ride the seawall to the Cambie Bridge and up to Broadway for pho. The bridge was intense with rain and wind. There was a big lineup of people camped out in front of the Best Buy, at which point a drunk Camilo (or should we just call him Flash) crashed into Simon F. They were alright though, and we continued up to CamBro.

There were eight of us left. We had enough locks to make a decent bike pile, and Maitland capped it off by laying his bike right on top. Pho was awesome, just what we needed. Lots of tea. Oker shot photos of the fishtank amidst a conversation about Alberta with Kirstin, Maitland told stories of teaching in Taiwan, Haley dozed off in the corner, and Camilo appeared to have sobered up slightly.

Heading east on Broadway was easily the highlight of the ride. Heavy westerly winds meant we'd have a tailwind to help us up to Main and Fraser, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Traffic lights blowing around. With banks of concrete, we flowed with ease up the Broadway River. Tributaries created entertaining turbulence. Nice sideways skids sustained by the wind. Haley shoots left at Fraser. Down the hill to Clark, Simon and I have a spinning match. 40/15 gives me an advantage over his 44/17. Maitland heads to north to Strathcona.

Just after Clark, a tree branch is blown across the street and I barely miss running the whole thing over, clipping the end of it. Whew. Kirstin and Simon call attention to my rear wheel, and an unexpected stowaway. A piece of newspaper got stuck in my the wheel, spinning around and around. Eventually it came out and wrapped around my left seat stay. I pulled it out, and let go. It blew ahead of us, then veered left and got stuck in Simon's wheel! Veritable bike herpes!

At CommBro, Simon pointed out a large tree that had been uprooted in front of Uncle Fatih's. I said we should stop and get some photos of it. I threw my bike up on top, Simon shot a few photos, and we all agreed this was an awesome ride. Going up Commercial was pretty crazy. Sporadic power outages, crazy crosswinds. We bid farewell to Kirstin at 4th, and continued north. Debris all over the road: patio furniture, tree limbs, newspaper. Down the turbulent north slope of the Drive, Simon and I exchange stoked goodbyes. Yes, it was an awesome night.

Photos should be up soon on Simon's Midnight Mass blog and Oker's flickr.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Since I don't know how to embed videos yet..

^Apparently N1ck didn't have to take this test. Its just written now.

^be sure to watch all of those =D

Monday, December 11, 2006


Whoa. Stop the track. I want off.

This weekend marked quite possibly the most mid December fun I've ever had.
Not a hard feat to accomplish really. The past few years I would have been sweating over 'the perfect gift' and trying to organize my plans for the upcoming break. It seems that this year, I'm much more on it. My xmas shopping is pretty much complete, leaving me time for debaucherous acts of bike sex and drinking. (comma intentionally left out from in between bike and sex).

Friday brought us another MC3 ride.
Or is it the MCBC? Jim keeps balking that not enough people are on choppers. The fact is, people are showing up in DECEMBER to ride bikes! BIKES IN DECEMBER! Anyways, there was about 25 people, (40ish % on choppers) that met up at the Gazebo. We took to the South side of false creek doing stupid bike stunts. Skylar ghost rides the whip, sans jazz hands. Up and over the Cambie bridge, and into Yaletown.
The library steps were a good spot to stop and drink. Paul gapped over half the steps on his 243, and some curious japanese girls chatted us up.
There was some disorganization as the crowd couldn't collectively decide on a plan. After a brief stint on the Granville strip, we headed down to the Inukshuk statue at Engrish bay.

I wheelied up the grassy embankment, flipping my bike into its parking spot at the top, and landing on my hip. I gazed up at the trees. At that point on the bay the trees have been decorated with lights, so that if you stand under them, you are not only illuminated, but have an incredble hue about you. If you wear a helmet under the trees, every light can be seen compressed onto the helmet. An infinity of xmas, on one piece of safety gear... or a tea kettle.

Rhiannon convinced everyone to join her for a magical half hour at the Hotel Vancouver. Bike parking in the parkade was a little sketchy, with fewer locks than bikes. I kinda wasn't feeling the idea of 7 bikers shuffling through the hotel, to get to a room for 30 minutes (to not have sex) then leave. I wanted to ride. Morgan and I offered to 'guard the bikes', which meant, we would lap around and check in on the bikes every few minutes. First we headed up the parkade. It was a pretty standard setup of ramps for vancouver, until we got to the top. the 7/8th level was half uncovered, as a corner of a building stuck out over top of it. So climbing at speed under the lights was a little trippy.

After chilling on the roof and admiring the art gallery from above, we decided to get it hectic. We started doing laps of the parkade, gaining and losing a level here and there.. something like 8,7,8,7,6,7,6,7,8,7,8...etc.. It felt like some kind of 3-dimensionaldrome. I think it would be fun to do that with more people, on different levels. I made myself a little dizzy.

Sure enough, the bikes were safe and sound, so we did a lap around the streets of downtown as well. Our energy was starting to bleed off. All of the bikers came out of the hotel, clothing in its original place.. Exept for Haley and Skylar, who got up to some adventure on an abandoned floor of the hotel.

We ended up waiting for them at the art gallery before breaking up and making our way back to eastvan, via Main street for some reason. I needed to get a stem from N1cks house, and it was right where it was promised. SR Sakae Giger alien looking thing. Kind of cool, kind of fugly. Its black, drillium, and 10mm longer than my other one. Thanks NikC=D

^My new stem

The next day, after going out for Projekt-Breakfast, I got to work on the bikes. I didn't spend too much time on Morgan's new Miele, just a few tweaks here and there. After my stem swap, I managed to rewrap my bars using my orignal tape too.

Around 7 we gathered to head to the Drome for our LTR2 class. It worked out really well, as it was Myself, Morgan, Andrew, Brandon, and Simon F. Just 5 of us, with the track to ourselves. Innuendo to make Clair blush. No handed laps. The reacharound. Only one near crash for me, as Morgan got all up on our paceline without me knowing. The Trackies were actually impressed with our riding, as was Clair.
It was a pretty good class. Stop the track, I want off.

After the drome we got geared up(down) for Jackie and Adam's sexy Global Warming Xmas Beach Party. Swim trunk and sunglasses. Which way to the beach? ..7 blocks south of course. Hot bikers getting sweaty without their steeds. Debaucherous, and Lecherous are two words that come to mind. I had to make a quick getaway just as things were getting really steamy, which sucked in some ways, but was good in others. I didn't want to get a sunburn.

Sunday afternoon we (slowly) made our way to OCB to scrounge up some parts. I got spokes and balls for Kira's wheel, and morgan found a decent 110mm, 52T ring. We then hit a Martini brunch with the Pod6 crew, where we were served exquisite truffles and other holiday treats. We also admired Drew's new Surly Cross Check, outfitted with a Shimano Nexus-8 hub. We didn't make it to Mighty, but MEC had the stuff Morgan needed anyways.

Building Kira's wheel last night, proved to be quite difficult. I was lacking in brain power by that time, and I couldn't get the wheel to lace together properly. As it turns out, the new rim has a 'slightly' different ERD due to its profile. So my 296s were too short for the drive side, and my 298s were too short for the other side. I used the 298s on the drive side, and I'll have to get some 300s today or something. Confusing? Try it hungover with little sleep. It should come together pretty easily tonight though... that is, if I don't do Louises Bridge on Bridge action ride.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

blogging the blog-o-blog

This is me blogging Simon's Midnight Mass Blog. Blogging my own horn because I shot the photos for the anniversary ride on November 23. Blogging that you should come ride with us on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. It's a blogging good time.

Feisty Simon blogs his anniversary cupcake with a vengeance:

Woo! New bike day!

First, you have to read this comic:

Then, you can read about my new bike.

It's a late '80s Miele, with white to blurple pearl fade paint. Riser bar came on it, which is a plus. Shimano Light Action shifters and derailleurs, white brakes with Miele screened on, stock with 700c wheels.

The "Baby Come Back" top tube protector that Lyle made a couple weeks ago is perfect on it. Funny, because he found the fabric scrap at Dressew and had to buy it, but it didn't fit on any of the bikes we tried it on until now. It was meant to be.

My plan is to run it as a 6-speed with the 52t up front, 28c tires, and the riser bar.

Monday, December 04, 2006

arts and crafts time

bored + drill = bike accessories.

How to make it through the slush

1) keep the weight as far back as possible

2) loosen up the arms, but maintain a good grip on the bars

3) let the front tire go where it wants to. steer with the hips. no sudden movements

4) hammer on the pedals and keep that momentum up.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Midnight Mass 1-yeariversary/November Critical Mass/Brandon learns fixed

Point form recap in somewhat chronological order (to be edited later?):


-I got Laura and Tobi out to their first Midnight Mass. They were very excited to be there=]

-Asha made some sweet cuppin cakes.

-NikC debuted his new Pake, a solid machine if I've ever ridden one.

-Morgan shot photos while riding

-It was insanely cold. Wool socks don't cut it. time for booties.

-The Cemetary is a perfect spot to stop

-Rhiannon's bike lost its front derailleur cable sometime before the Crescent, and she was pretty bummed. I set the bottom of travel limiter so that she could use the middle ring. Hopefully she had an alright ride home.

-N1ck switched it up from Rye to Brandy. A welcome change.

-For some reason, after saying they were going to Cambie/Broadway, the pack went west. Morgan and I broke off and headed North on Granville, then back to Eastvan on Broadway. No Pizza could be found.

-I was a zombie at work on Friday.



-After work I headed back to Morgan's work, and met up with him again.
We picked up some supplies for Critical Mess on Main street.

-Somehow I overshot Howe downtown, and that made getting to the art gallery much more difficult than usual

-There was only a couple hundred people at the mass. Just the hardcores.

-I helped clot the Granville bridge. The first guy to stop REALLY didn't want to stop, and made me a littled worried for my safety. He was practically foaming at the mouth.

-I didn't really like the vibe of this mass. I guess the percentage of vocals was up, due to the cold weather.

-Nick3 bombed the yellow line of Burrard on his Penny Farthing. Nearly took out my arm with a spinning pedal

-I met up with him on the bridge, and after boosting his ego, watched him go over the bars and taco the Penny's wheel

-We threw our bikes over the side of the bridge to stop and help.

-After unsuccessfully trying to do a quick bend and tension of the wheel, we determined we'd have to stop, and do a complete tensioning.

-I got to work, Morgan shot photos, Ifny and Nick3 cracked the beer

(see flickr)

-I was glad to stop and help Nick3. The mass passed, and we had no intention of catching up. This was fine by me. I'd rather just get this Penny mobile again.

-We got it running! The wheel held, and Nick said it felt better than before! GO CHEAP TAIWANESE SPOKE KEY! (who knew I would ever use any size besides the ill fitting 14 gauge)

-While on a Freshly taco'ed then trued Penny Farthing, Nick bombed the lane down from the bridge to Beach avenue. His footjamming technique is oustanding. Tokyo drift style with the consequence of hitting a concrete wall. I am officially blown away. I have never witnessed such riding. (and I've seen unicycle trials!)

-We made it to the Anza and waited for the mass...and drank, and rode the penny. I felt heroic.

-Half the mass finally arrived. Just half? Where was the rest?

-At Budgies of course. Don't you know theres a burrito eating competition and bands playing?

-That burrito was SOOOO good.

-The fact that bands played at a TINY burrito counter still amuses me.

-Camillo spent the entire time trying to convince us to have a skid competition. I wasn't too sure about it.

-Eventually, he voiced his plan well enough to convince us.

-5 of us rode up to Kings-tenth, with plans to bomb down the hill, and lock up at the North crosswalk, hopefully skidding all the way back down to Budgies.

-We timed the light, and locked em up.

-The bus pulled out behind me while I skidded. James' tire grabbed traction and tried to buck him. Morgan had perfect technique... and it happened. Camillo went down!

-Instantly, a guy in an Echo got out and steadied Camillo's neck, telling him not to move.

-The ambulance arrived in under a minute and a half. Impressive.

-Despite not wearing a helmet, Camillo was okay.. apart from being a drunken bloody mess.

-Convieniently I ran into Kim at this point. Not sure if she saw the ambulance. I felt sheepish for some reason.

-The crowd was starting to thin, and the band kind of sucked, so we headed back to the Anza to check the scene. Nick3 gave me a hug. Aww.

-It was then determined that more biking was in order. a Crew of 5 (Skylar, James, Matt, Morgan and I) decided to hit the club scene downtown.

-We scared pedestrians at crosswalks with our impeccable style. You cant touch this.

-That giant Pizza place is perfect for bringing in bikes.

-more crosswalks were carved. were some road blocks.

-I found it funny when the cop yelled for us to 'GET BACK IN THE BIKE LANE' when not 100m ahead, was a long line of cars idling in that bike lane.

-Back at the gazebo we finished off Matts last beer.

-Strangely a curious boy in a wheelchair rolled up. He was nice enough, asking about our bikes.. and what were we doing out so late.. WHAT WAS HE DOING OUT SO LATE? He was like 14!?!?! Roll on, kiddo.

-Arriving home, I was still amped from such a fun night of riding.

Brandon learns fixed:

-The next day we Met up with Brandon at Morgan's work. He needed a 'crash' course in fixed gear riding, so he borrowed Morgan's bike. I took him around the cemetary a few times, then over to QE park, then the crescent, then to MEC.

-I exchanged the booties for some XLs and they work like a charm. My feet have never been toastier.

-Brandon took to the fixie like I knew he would. Only one attempted bucking from the Sekine.

-and then.. it started to snow. By the time I made it home that evening, it was REALLY coming down. I was covered, as was my bike.

-Sadly, I haven't ridden my bike since that night. Its glare ice, and I've been dreaming about studded tires.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Project-B sides and rarities.

As we process photos and attempt to recollect this week's Midnight Mass and Critical Mass, Vancouver is covered in a blanket of snow. I took my bike out to get groceries and ended up having way too much fun riding through white fields. Kids rolling snowballs even stopped to say "hey, that looks like a lot of fun!" Heck yes it was.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Morgan and Louise

The day started off with a hearty breakfast, some rocket fuel, and making a lunch.
Raingear? check. blinkies? check. coffee? check. gloves? check.
This would be a long day.

On the run out to Lord Stanley's park, I picked up some glass with my front tire. I first noticed it in chinatown, and thought we'd better book it if I wanted to make it across the downtown core before the tire completely deflated. So book it we did. I managed to make it to the ReThink Offic on Pender@Georgia before hitting rim. Close enough. I'll walk it.

No worries, because Adam and Louise weren't there yet. I laid out my stuff, and got to work patching the tube. Louise arrived, then Sascha and Rhiannon. A full crew!

Off we went up the causeway. At the top of the bridgespan, we determined that we'd need less rain gear. It was getting nicer out. Time to strip. ..and have a shot of fireball for energy.

We made it around the mall just at the North end of the bridge, and then onto Marine.
Ahh west Van traffic. Most Vehicles were over $40k, and most of the drivers were unsure what to do when passing a peloton of 5 cyclists.

Things got twisty and tight. There are weird driveways connecting to the main road. There was no shoulder. Sometimes you just have to assert yourself for your safety.

I took it upon myself to 'coach' the motorists into slowing through use of hand signals. Then when I felt it was clear for them, I'd wave them on. Most people are good about this sort of thing. Theres only the odd asshole that completely ignores your hand signal, and passes anyways when there's an oncoming car around the bend.

I'm not sure if it was advantagous or not, but our pack would break apart on the hills, due to our differences in gearing. I suppose having to pass 3 groups of cyclists is more stressful than one?

Morgan led us down a remote road to 'The Dale' so we could stop and check out the view of the ocean.
We took a few shots on the rocks there:

Once we we cooled down, we decided to continue onwards, and go to Whytecliff park.
This is where people go to watch the submarine races, and to scuba dive.

The ride out there took us through a pretty posh West Van marina. It seemed half the traffic that was passing us, were pool/spa trucks. Does everyone have a pool that needs servicing out here? I waved at the soccer moms in their SUVs. They looked confused.

We made it.
At the park, we rode past the people with their scuba gear, to the lookout circle.
It appeared to be a great place to watch the races from.

Rhiannon, blew me away when she pulled out a red and white checkered picnic blanket. I think I have a preparedness crush.
We laid out all the food on it. Fruit, lasagna, carub bars, walnut bread, turkey sandwiches, fireball, coffee.
Never have I been to such an incredible November picnic.
What else is in that Pannier?

At the park we met a couple roadies named Dave and Chris from Kits. These guys offered us some smoke, and some insight on staying young. "Just keep riding." Sounds like good advice to me.

We cuddled in the cold wind, ate as much as possible, and finished off the fireball.
Morgan put Louise's camera to work, for the benefit of the fixed gear gallery. We're all at peace. Bellies full, legs strong, nothing can stop us. Imagine getting to feel this good all the time.

Finally the cold gets to us, and we need to move again. ..but not until we practice skidding along the park drive first. The wrong way. Down a narrow street.
I practice my slaloms, Morgan does the no hands dance. Strike a pose. Vogue. Sascha is happy to just get used to his new frame.

The ride back was just as much fun as the ride there. It almost seemed like the descents were more intense. Was it because our legs were tired? Either way, the pattern was 'grind-grind-grind, take the lane, and spin-spin-spin'. A pool truck passed me dangerously cresting a hill, so I returned the favour when he slowed for the corners, feeling his fender as I did so.

On one of the faster descents, coming into the Marina again, I was completely spun out and hugging the yellow line coming around a left hand corner. All I was thinking about was how long I could maintain this RPM, when suddenly I saw an oncoming bus. His drivers side tires were completely over the line. I made eye contact with the driver, and saw right into his fear. A subltle weight adjustment, and my ride is a meter over to the right, giving me just enough clearance to feel the turbulance from the bus mirror. I feel like a gunslinger.

We're definately slowing down. Apparently these hills are getting to us. Its much harder than the Deep Cove ride. The West Van gas station is all sold out of water, so we get Gatorade. We stop again on the bridge, and decide that our departure point should be Robson square.

The trip East on Georgia is a delight due to the construction.
I caressed an Infinity with a sensual gloved hand, along its entire body. Notice how much better the vancouver traffic is at dealing with bicycles.

We break up, and make our way back to East van. I changed tenses to the past.
We broke up.

On union we ran into Lee (mentioned in the MC3 ride post). He had done a lap of Stanley park on his cruiser, and got 4 flats over the course of the day. Lee is known as the 'Fossilosopher', due to his study of the culture of fossil fuel domestication. Anyways.. after telling us about his flats, Lee offered us a poem.
I was delighted to hear it flowing from his mouth as we made our way East. 4 blocks. The poem was 4 blocks long, about the beauty of fixed gear riding. Thanks Lee.
I don't think anyone has ever recited such an incredible linguistic composition to me while riding before.

After grinding up the last hill towards Victoria, Louise invited us back to her place (3 blocks from mine) to relax and stretch. As a birthday gift, she gave Morgan an old school MTB jersey from Vail Colorado. I'm a little jealous of its old schooliness.

This has been a great day. My heart is feeling it.

Sidenote: Upon my arrival home, I checked my messages, and found that Nick had attended a 'China Creek Jam' on Saturday. It seems no one wants to see these bowls go. The next public meeting on the matter is Dec 5th. More info TBA.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

a different kind of NYC chain

Project-B is already known for being serious about bike security. We rarely lock our bikes with less than two locks, put silicone in our allen head bolts, and (literally) wrote the book on bike security in Vancouver.

While compiling information for that document, Lyle came across something that seems to be popular in New York: a bike chain saddle lock, from the seat rail to the seat stay of the frame. Such a device would force a would-be thief to use a chainbreaker to steal your saddle.

I ended up with a spare KMC 410H heavy duty 1/8" chain while trying to get a drivetrain swap going last month. What better thing to do than chain down my beloved Brooks.

Parts: chain of your choice ($10-12 for a new one), old 700c road tube, electrical tape.
Tools: chainbreaker, old brake cable, scissors.

The heavy duty chain is a good choice because it requires a wider than standard chainbreaker. I started by measuring out how much chain I'd need and then put a couple layers of electrical tape on the contact areas. I like my bike's paint, but I suppose this step is optional.

Next, I threaded the chain through the road tube to figure out how I'd go about putting it together on the bike. The tube leaves little clearance, so there's not much room for the chainbreaker. It's also pretty difficult to thread through the thin tube - an old brake cable would make it easier, but I didn't have one readily available.

After a couple of attempts, I ended up squishing the tube up a bit and working the chainbreaker on the straight section.

The finished product looks pretty decent, and is completely functional. I only used 1/3 of the chain, which means I can do two more bikes with the same $10 chain. Word.

When it comes down to it, bike theft is generally one of opportunity. The smartly locked bike will have a better chance of sticking around longer; this saddle security measure is just another way to keep your bike (and its parts) yours.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fashion vs. Function.

I like to think of my Bianchi Conversion as functional.
I built it with the sole intent of commuting to work on.

I had this idea that it wouldn't be flashy, and would be rock solid.
I like the idea of beater looking bikes that perform flawlessly.

So where did I go wrong?

I guess it started when I was stripping the original champagne paint off my bike.
I sanded it really well, primed, painted it black, then shot clearcoat.
The clearcoat reacted with the last coat of black, and it bunched up. I resanded and started again.

What I ended up with was a glossy black frame that looked much better than I originally thought.

I threw whatever parts I had on it, to get it going.
Nice wheels, scuffed up crank, rocket ring, female saddle etc..

Sure, I rode it like that, and it IS functional.
I put some full fenders on it, and they work really well. I even trimmed down the support stays so they're flush.

..Then I guess I got carried away. It was starting to look pretty.
I started sewing colour matched top tube protectors.
I put a Brooks saddle on it..

Sure, all these items ARE useful, but surely not NEEDED for a commuter.
If I was really in it for the commuting, I'd put a rack on the back, and invest in some kind of Xenon/Lithium Ion lighting system

I must be a slave to fashion.

I saw a Shimano 600 ring, with the ovals cut out, and decided I must have it. My rocket ring was okay, but ugly for sure. This was a switch from 41T to 40T.. which gave me significantly less skid patches.

..then I saw some 600 pedals on Craigslist and I had to have them as well. They're about the most uncomfortable clip/strap pedal out there. Its just one bar for the foot to rest on. I don't really use them too often for that reason. And grinding up the hill from Marine Drive is MUCH easier with SPDs. But the hot leather foot bondage wins aesthetically.

This weekend I picked up ANOTHER chainring. This time in Gold. Yes gold. Its for a reason though. Its back to 41T, and this is NOS (New Old Stock). THeres something about using NOS on a bike that feels good. Like a tie to the past.

Now I've gone too far.

I needed a change from the bullhorn bar I'm running.
Why? I don't know. Its perfectly comfortable, and offers me many hand positions, and is great for getting the weight forward in a skid. Not to mention the Time Trial lever on the end means I've got lots of brake if needed in an emergency.

I just need something different. Something more fun.
I dug out an old North road style cruiser bar I had in my parts bin, and put it onto a long stem.. upside down.
Oh yes. This will look hot.

However, I need to do something about the brakes.

I went to Dream, and Darren convinced me to run a straight lever across the stem. I guess this is the old school track method, as you can add these levers without messing up your bar tape.

I have to say, it really looks great. Very oldtymey.
HOWEVER, My braking is a little compromised. I'm just so used to having the brake at my fingertips, so having to move my hand slightly will increase my reaction time a couple milliseconds. As well, my braking hand is now near the stem, so I won't have the steering torque available before with the bullhorns.

..and the worst part about this, is that I now don't have a place to mount my front light. The brake lever effectively takes up the space on BOTH sides of the stem.

My bike seems to be getting less and less functional each day.
I'm going to have to draw the line somewhere.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Project-B hits the MC3

Shit yeah! I love the MC3!

We showed up right on schedule at the gazebo to see the regulars.
I reintro'd myself to the oldschoolers. They've been around a lot. I feel like I've been on the fringe of this scene for a while now.

Everyone is in great spirits.. because its the MC3's second anniversary.
2 years of being a bike gang. core core. We rep the Project B shirts and get the name known.

Its pouring. so I get a poncho fasioned from reflective safety blankets. it works GREAT. I'm warm and dry.

Morgan eats pavement crossing pacific of all streets. Right at the start of the freakin ride. Alcohol numbs the pain. for sure.

The 'high school art' exhibit is great. I love the cartoons!

Again we're at the Crab pier (more like crap pier?) I am so happy that I've been here 2 times in 3 nights. I really can't get over it.

We roll by the old MC3 shop. I was eager to tell people that I had built a chopper there. it made me feel a part of something really positive.

We ripped up and down the streets. Escorting our chopper brethen through the intersection, with cohesive communication amongst the gang. this is the way to roll. serial. super serial.

After pubbing, and pizza, we end up at a really 'female' party. but thats cool cause I run into Laura and Tobi, who both fucking rule. dirty bikers show up, distract all the lesbians, and then roll. you know we don't stop.

I'm fucking hyped. tired, but hyped.
We make it back to a guy named Lee's house. I guess Lee lived with Jim back in the day. I wonder when back in the day starts. I was probably around then too. its all so connected. blogoblog.

For a badass chopper gang, I gotta say, the MC3 is incredibly accomodating =D
Thanks for the ride.

More like the Crap Courier.

Four days a week, I ride my bike to Cap College in North Van. Among other things, I'm involved with the Environmental Issues Committee, which allows me to give bikers on campus a voice that can be heard. I'm known there to be a bike nut, which would be an understatement. This semester, the school newspaper - the Cap Courier - contracted a dude to write a weekly article on Vancouver bike culture. Not such a bad idea; in fact, a great idea, I thought.

This story starts at the last Midnight Mass of September. Skylar, Nick, and myself had arrived pretty early, and ended up being the first ones there. We congregated at the north side of Grandview Park, waiting for people to show up. A few did... and then, by himself, an extremely drunk guy named Mike - bragging about how much he'd drank already. Don't get me wrong - I have no problem with drinking and riding. However, I'm not one to show up to an event where I don't know anyone in a state such as I've just described.

That night we headed west, along the south side of False Creek, ending up at the east end of Jericho Beach. We stopped near a concession building to hang out for a bit. Some people climbed on the roof of the building: DRP, and, I was told, that drunk guy. Shortly thereafter, Vancouver's finest showed up. The officer was very civil in informing Simon and myself that people lived in the concession building. We apologized and gathered the group to head eastward.

At this point you're probably wondering why I went on such a tangent, so I'll cut to the chase.
The next issue of the Cap Courier had a great looking cover that was a bike wheel shaped like a heart, and a headline about bike culture. At quick glance, I noticed there was an article on both Midnight Mass and Critical Mass. The introduction states that he was given the task of writing articles about Vancouver bike culture; being a regular at both the aforementioned events, I was stoked to read it. However, it turns out that the guy writing the articles is the inebriated moron named Mike who I'd met at Grandview Park.

The Midnight Mass article is a bunch of bullshit. He talks about how, since he'd seen a picture of someone with a flask on the Midnight Mass blog, he'd come to the conclusion that it was a drunkfest. He notes the highlight as his camaraderie with DRP. The guy went incognito to the ride, and didn't even talk to the organizer or prominent attendees about what it was all about. Way to go, champ. Great coverage of the ride. Way to miss the point that Midnight Mass is a group of friends who are very open to meeting new people, and like to explore the city on bikes.

Next up was the article on Critical Mass. For anybody that happened to be there, Mike was the guy handing out the "Attention: Critical Mass Cancelled" fliers. I thought the gesture was funny at the time, but it turns out that I'd misinterpreted his message. The article goes off with his opinion that Critical Mass isn't good for bike culture, blah blah blah. I do agree that it's a debatable topic, but this clearly pre-conceived anti-Critical Mass position was not what I was expecting in an article covering the event.

Now, I don't work for the Cap Courier, but was I wrong to anticipate objective articles about these events rather than the ignorant and sensationalized pieces of garbage that were published? Furthermore, his subsequent articles have deteriorated to the point that the most recent one wasn't even about bikes (though he mentions that it should have been). As a cycling advocate who is actively involved in bike culture, I'm disappointed in the inaccurate portrayal of the bike scene by the Cap Courier. Not only does it reflect poorly on bike culture, but on the paper as well. This entry to the blago-blogo-webo-sphere is a longer version of a letter that I'll be sending to the paper. If anything else comes of it, I'll be sure to report back.

Morgman out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Now aproaching.. Miiiidniiiiiight

I'm such a space cadet right now.

Midnight mass was pretty chill last night.
We didn't really look for Simon's bike too hard. Only did a few blocks of Hastings.
..there were a lot of people out downtown.

I only put in 14.9km, and decided to turn around to go back and get sleep.

The Project-B shirts look ill for sure. I'm wearing one right now.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Find the Free Agent

Last night's ride was great!
I ended up putting down 25km, giving me 54 for the day.

I showed up to the Gazebo 15 minutes early, and there was already 5 people there.I think at one point there was nearly 20 milling about.
Since Simon's bike was recently stolen, I wanted to try and get this posse together to sweep the DTES and look for it. Its a long shot, but why not try?

Nick, Skylar, and some other guy (James?) were reppin the freewheels, stylin as much as possible.Skylar is a hazard for sure. I really wish that guy would wear his helmet. He's good.

I had printed out maps of the DTES and highlighted the 'crack affected areas' where one could see bikes being bought and sold... so pretty much the whole DTES was highlighted.
We did a snake pattern east north west north east north west north along the east side of Main.. and then decided to hit Hastings and really get into the meat of it.

After a slow cruise of the strip, Skylar led the group down the sketch alley between Carrall and Columbia. I have no problems with that, but quite a few in the group got noticably scared. The junkies are for the most part, docile, and a pack of 12? bikers is not something that their going to mess with.
I was suprised when Skylar and I were at the end of the alley, and we looked back to see that the whole pack did indeed follow us through the alley.

A few people wanted to take a break, so I led them to the ever slick pier at Crab park.
The cops rolled by, but they can't touch us, so they moved on.
I then raced Mark to Canada place. I think he's about 140lbs, and was riding something like 48/17.. I was spun out, but I don't think he had any more torque, and we were matched pretty much the whole way. Good spin along that stretch.

The roll through Coal harbour was slow, as was my roll home.The knees were glowin as I prepared for bed.
"You want some of this? You want some of the glowing?"

Its too bad we didn't spot the bike.How fun would it be to triumphantly roll back to Simon's to present him with his steed.
Oh well, there's always tonight..

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Is this going to become my commuting blog?
Might as well since I'm the only contributor.

Things are going okay. I'm getting reorganized, trying to clear the mind.
This week seems alright for commuting so far.
Today it was 5°C and clear.

Yesterday evening it was like that as well.. however, I managed to get a flat.
I guess my rear Continental is getting a little thin, so whenever its wet out and I roll over glass, I'm really taking a chance.

In the 10 minutes I spent on the tire, two other bike commuters rolled by, both asking if I needed help.
Thats 100% of bike commuters being helpful people!

After patching the tube, I booted the area with the glass shard as I couldn't dig it out, and it held.

..the only crappy part was that I broke my SKS multitool trying to get my tire on.
Apparently you cannot use the tire lever in cold weather, as was my suspicion all along.

I've since abandoned the SKS (allen set, 10mm wrench, chain breaker, tire levers) and will now pack separate PROPER tools.
Pedros Tire levers
Allen set
Park chain breaker

Hrm.. I guess that leaves out the 10mm.
I only really need those for brake bolt and fenders.
Am I chancing it going without those?

Monday, November 06, 2006

racing through the darkness.

Some weirdness went down this weekend.
I was able to distract myself Saturday night though.
We took over the velodrome.

Flickr set is here:

Today was probably the hardest rain I've ever ridden in to get to work.

Just going to work was hard.
Do I feel any better for having done that?
I guess.
Its just best to keep these good habits.
I'm not getting off the bike for anyone.

Thursday, November 02, 2006



At the Gazebo, things were chill as per usual. I met a couple new people, Momentum Amy, Tenten, Josh (or was it Ross?). We were determined to actually ride somewhere, since it wasn't raining, and there was a decent turnout.

NikC had suggested we head east to play in a schoolyard off commercial, but I wanted to go a bit further. I convinced everyone to head out to New Brighton park, as there is tennis courts, and a pier there. Once we were all saddled up, Amy shot us as a group. I hope to get a copy of that pic.

The spin out there was pretty chill. We kept it low altitude by zigging through cracktown, and all the industrial areas north of Hastings. As we warmed up, the crowd slowly picked up speed.
Rather, Louise, Adam and I picked up speed =D

Unfortunately, we found the tennis courts to be dark and still netted, so we did a loop around the cloverleaves that separate the roads and the track, then we headed to the treehouse.

Its a pretty quiet spot to sit and watch the city. Though, with 5 people already climbing in it, I (and a couple others) didn't think it would be safe to add more.

Once we were back on the bikes, we decided to attack the big hill, and head straight south on Skeena. Now, this is only a 46 vertical metre climb, but it gets steeper as you go. I had fun racing Adam up it, and watching him blow up just near the top. It was a great way to warm up after standing around in the cold. After that we hit Adanac to bomb west along the rolling hills airing the speed tables all the way.

The group wanted to get some hot chocolate on the drive, so thats where I broke off to head home.

Overall, a pretty fun spin with zero problems =D

Next Project-B meeting is Saturday Morning 8am, Bons.
Agenda items will include but not be limited to:
-the 'drome
-logo design
-saucy waitresses

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hallow's Eve / Critical Mess / Devils Night

Almost got taken out tonight at my favorite intersection.

A car pulling out of the canadian tire parking lot, looking right while turning left under throttle. I made it around them and my pant leg brushed the front bumper while I slapped my hand down on their hood.

Not even 50 meters later, a group of three people, (two girls and a guy) walk out in mid block, from in between parallel parked cars without looking. I shout "Hey" as I swerve around them, and only one of the girls sees me and stops.

The guy starts yelling "FUCK YOU!" and chasing after me. He's basically trying to start a fight with me because I warned his dumb ass to pay attention. His girlfriend is screaming at him and pulling on his arm. I'm loud as well, but don't resort to name calling. A crowd gathers around as we stand in the middle of the street yelling at each other.

What is wrong with people?
Could he really be that pissed off that Canadian tire was all out of inflatable lawn pumpkins?

East Van is a war zone tonight.

I suppose I should take this time to write about the Halloween Critical Mass as well.
This was really well attended (300ish?), and went over pretty smoothly (I think).
There were so many people in costume, it was incredible. This is probably why the motorists were so happy to wait. We were much more entertaining than usual.

People at bus stops would high five us. Couples trapped in their cars would smile and wave. The really interesting thing, was that lone men stuck in the traffic would be on their cell phones, reporting on the mass.. Whereas lone women (mostly in silver SUVs) would have the glazed over death look. They looked the unhappiest. I would make sure to smile extra big to them, waving, and sometimes commenting on how much I loved their Pathfinder, Murano or whatever. Not one smiled back.

The Negatives:
-Someone along Burrard, just up the hill from the bridge was thowing eggs at the mass from their condo.
-A pedestrian felt he shouldn't have to wait, and shoved Morgan with two hands while barging through the mass. When Morgan stopped, he tried to pick a fight.
-A motorist on Robson, nudging a corker, then getting out and claiming that he wants to move his vehicle so it won't get scratched, and inspects the front bumper on his Delta88 for damage!

The Positives:
-sexy costumes abound
-pulling mad wheelies along Hastings
-ESL students continuously photographing the mass
-Sealab Jumpsuit getting recognized by all the right people 'I LOVE SEALAB!'

Oh.. and this is both a positive and a negative.. The Brinking.
I feel that I shouldn't cork traffic with a beer in hand.
I'm not going to do that anymore.
It looks and feels unprofessional. I only had 2 beer over the course of the evening, so I was probably alright, but still. It doesn't help the cause.

I got what was coming to me after I broke off from the mass though. I was riding solo up Union, on my home, and decided to practice wheelies some more. That went pretty well, until I crashed. I basically bunnyhop flipped the bike, as a result of being stuck in the cleats. I landed on my shoulder with the bike still on my feet. Damage to the bike included: Stem misalignment, ripped bar tape, gouged saddle, and my rear wheel was knocked out of true. I made myself fix it that night as punishment.

Speaking of Punishment (segue). I did not participate in the Devil's night alleycat. I had decided before I saw the manifest, and when I did see it, it concreted my decision. What a mess. It looked like a full day of messing, starting at 8pm. I'll let Morgan report on that one. I rode around town a bit, then helped carve pumpkins.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The bicycle bee

Wow.This was incredible.I wish I had more time this weekend to help.

Early Saturday morning we were all chillin in the alley behind the Pivot Legal parkade. What better way for everyone to get to know each other besides standing around in the cold, waiting for someone with keys to let us in.
By the time the keys arrived, there was about 15 people ready to work.

The actual setup went faster than I thought it would. Signs were erected, chairs and tables were distributed, tools were set up, Armbands were tied.

I had to get some copies printed up for our workshop, so I had to take off and hit up the local copy shop (on Clark).. Of course they couldn't print from a flash drive, as their 'computer' department wasn't open.
"But there's a computer right there.."

So I had to go downtown and hit Staples.Of course they would take 2 hours.. meaning I had to come back.It seems I did a lot of trips east/west on Pender that day.

The security workshop went over really well. Though it was poorly attended, the people that were there were really receptive to our tips. Apparently there was some talk of Momentum Magazine publishing my security guide.

The stands seemed busy all day, both days. Hopefully my truing stand was put to good use. I haven't checked it to see if its still calibrated.

Saturday Night, N1ck rolled over to my pad and we stumbled down to Simon's for the bike movies and social.. of course, I was too looped to be social, so I planted myself on a couch until I was coherant again. I love Triplettes of Bellville.

Sunday was kind of a writeoff for me. I didn't get much done for myself, but I helped out Kim a bunch and thats rad. When we stopped by the bike bee at 6pm, things were still going strong.
I freakin love this community.

Upcoming Project-B events include:
-Hey Fixie
-Midnight Mass
-Halloween Critical Mass
-Logo design brainstorm sesh ... meet at Bons?
-Sekine 27" wheel integrity investigation
-Project 'N1ck needs a job' bike build
-LTR1 racing class at Burnaby Velodrome Nov 4th
-Finishing my stupid hillclimb chopper

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sketchy Night sessions

N1ck and I hit up Scratchkona for a mini-sesh last night.Some smooth grinds were layed down in the shadows. Unfortunately my pegs don't spark, even at high speed.
I managed to double peg up the incline ledge, and across the bench. Nick was actually able to pop out of some sprocket grinds too.

After we had exhausted all of our possible lines in the park, I suggested we roll to the Powell/Clark loading dock. N1ck declined due to his delicate shoulder, so I went on alone.

I rode there for about 15 minutes before a larger guy (probably 300lbs) walked up from the east sidewalk. I'm not quite sure what this guy's deal was. He had a dated leather jacket, and gold braceletes all down his wrist.

Things started off friendly enough, with him asking where he could get a used BMX around here.So I stopped briefly, 2-3m from him, with a foot on the crank while we chatted.
I told him about the used places in town, OCB, sports junkies, Cheapskates etc..(I didn't mention that a used BMX like the ones at those shops wouldn't hold up to a 300lb guy, but whatever.)

Eventually, he started asking about MY bike..

"What kind of bike is that one?"
"This is a Macneil, they're a Canadian company"
"Oh yeah.." he said while nodding, "How much does that one.." as he started to step forward.

At that point I determined that he was attempting to bridge the space I had purposely left between us.I gave some crank pressure and said "I'm gonna keep riding now." and I looped around to do another sketchy bank fufanu.

On my loop back towards the top of the lot he said "Its like you've got your own playground here!"
To which I replied "All of cracktown is my playground."

.. I hit the bank again, and I heard him say "Hey man, I've got something for ya!"

I kind of ignored that, and kept riding. Eventually, he tired of standing there, and waddled back the way he came.

I did a few more runs, then looped up to the top of the lot again to monitor his position.He was now sitting in a beater Festiva, on a cell phone.
I still wasn't sure of what was going on, so I decided it was time to get out of there.I grabbed my hoodie, and rode out of the lot past him, waving at him in his Festiva.

Now.. The guy COULD have just been a regular joe, asking about bikes...But I got a dealer vibe from him.

Its possible he wanted to jump me for my bike during that conversation. Its also possible that after he determined he wouldn't be jacking me, that he hoped to exchange my bike for some crack.

If he wasn't a dealer, then what the hell was he doing waiting at the loading dock at night?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Slumming it

Three of us were in attendance this weekend, as we slummed it on Main St.

Mind you, it didn't really feel like slumming, as I paid double what a normal Projekt-b breakfast should cost. Thanks Jim, that was 'slickety'. The potatos were nicely seasoned too.

After much discussion of inter-scene politics, and the desire to help, we decided it was time to get rad like Cru Jones.

We did a good spot kill on China creek. Skylar tried a 3 to manual out of the teacup and back into the bathtub, with hilarious results both times.
I landed a few incomplete 3s, and N1ck held down the wood ramps.

While working on the G-ville bank, it was learned that Skylar has never seen Rad, and I have never seen BMX Bandits. Possible movie night in the future?

Pretty much every spot near false creek was sessioned, and we were all able to make it back up Mt. Pleasant, just barely.

Next meeting is a potential 'SPACE RIDE' Tuesday night. (THATS TODAY!!!)
This is less of a ride through outer space, and more of a ride from space to space.
The spaces are for this:

There is also a bike bee meeting this Wednesday, see their blog for more info.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Well now.. you're probably wondering what Project B is.

To tell the truth, we don't know yet.
We do know that it involves a core group of Vancouver cyclists that meet regularly to get ill on our steeds.

We keep it street, whether we're rollin on 20's, 26's or 29's.