Thursday, March 29, 2007


Eclectic is a word that, using its literal definition, embodies Proj-B quite well. From, to be eclectic is "selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles." We ride a bunch of different styles, and use parts from whatever source will work best to build some pretty rad machines (see N1ck's recent seatpost train wreck).

Doing my part for these endeavours involves going to Cap College as a commuter-slash-bike nerd, and exploring my native North Shore while I'm at it. Though the shops over there don't specifically cater to our everyday needs, there are some nice finds to be had. Last week, it was a pair of Sidi shoes at North Shore Sport Swap that weren't even my size. I bought them anyway, and passed them on to a very stoked Nik C.

Earlier this week, another unique score from Sport Swap: a NOS GT chain ring in 43T - a piece of my BMX history. This chainring is reminiscent of twelve-year-old lust for a chrome GT Performer, while riding a Venture (read: Zellers) frameset that was purchased from a friend for twelve dollars. My best friend Alan had the highly desirable GT Performer that, as with many of his high-end belongings, was stolen one night while parked outside his house.

Back to North Shore Sport Swap, I noted another wonderful piece of junior ripper history: an early '90s Marin 20" wheeled mountain bike - replete with double-butted cromo tubing, forged dropouts, and a fluorescent yellow with pink splatter paint job that continued on the rigid fork and quill stem. The price was quite reasonable at $30, which makes it the perfect kids' mountain bike - far better than the Infinity dual suspension pieces of crap clogging Craigslist at twice the price.

In the spirit of eclecticism and indestructible kids' bikes, it seems quite fitting that a 16" Haro BMX comes up on Craigslist. I've got an email in; hopefully it's not gone yet.

In other news, today I made one of my more frivolous expenditures in the past while. Yes, after building a tall bike, buying shoes knowing they didn't fit me, and buying a chain ring that I only intend to use as wall decoration, I am truly on a roll.

After reading on fixedvan that Duncan (Sorin) had a new BLT Super Doppler, just missing batteries and its mount, I decided that I'd head down to John Henry after school. I'd been eyeing the new BLT lights for a while, but didn't need a new headlight (though, after Tuesday's Hey Fixie Stanley Dark loop, that comment is debatable). Presented with the opportunity to try a new product I was already considering - for free - I am pretty excited.

Once in the shop, another shiny thing I'd been eyeing was on the horizon. There's nothing wrong with my last-generation On Guard U-lock, but I've never been crazy about the big chunky plastic end. The Kryptonite Evo Mini has been looking more and more appealing, and today I pulled the trigger. Duncan and I discussed the virtues of the different locks, the questionable structural integrity of the GoFast risers on my track bike, and the recent appearance of Charlie Kelly on fixedvan.

The new lock means I can pass on the On Guard to my room mate Andy, who is riding my S&M while on the lookout for a BMX of his own. One thing I will mention about this lock is that it had recently started sticking part-way through the key rotation. I picked up some Pedro's Extra Dry teflon lube at MEC, and put it in the key way and each side of the shackle lock. It's now working like new, with no residue on the key. Though it's somewhat coincidental that my old lock was "acting up" recently, I still knew the Krypto was imminent.

And, speaking of locking, I had a moment of bike nerd triumph at school yesterday. A few weeks ago, I met a cute girl named Leigh at my usual bike rack, who rides a Kona front-suspension mountain bike to school from East Van. I can't help but confront people when they've locked their bike poorly, and like to pass on our theft prevention techniques. Leigh's Kona was locked by the frame only, leaving both quick-release wheels vulnerable. I explained the Sheldon Method, and told her about Midnight Mass. Last week, Leigh's bike was still locked frame-only. I ran into her at the cycling event we held, and subtly hinted at the laziness in locking.

Yesterday, Leigh's bike was backed into the rack and locked as per Sheldon's instructions! I left an encouraging "High Five on the lock job!" note on her bike, and noticed later that the note was gone. At the end of the day, we got to the rack at the same time. She got the note, and had some questions about brake pads. I offered to stop by MEC with her on the way home. While we were there, she bought a Planet Bike cable on her own accord, fully completing Project-B's (n+1) locking protocol. Conversion successful!

What would Sheldon do in this situation? I don't actually know. It feels good to know that you've passed on a simple, yet effective practice. We should celebrate by having a big bike ride. See you at the VAG at 5:30 Friday.


((lyledriver)) said...

Just yesterday, Nick was holdin down the skidgate bike racks while I was inside picking up the tall cans, and I come out, and he's just finished helping some cutiepie with strategic locking (front wheel and frame with U lock)..

We roll out, and then Nick mentions that she's got a flat..

...and he told her where to go, but didn't offer to help.

Nick said...

DIY is the new chivalry.