Monday, January 29, 2007

When I say Shitshow, You say MASS!

When I say Skylar, you say CRASH!





Now we go to VGH just like that!

Hope you feel better soon Skylar. You can credit me with taking your bike apart. (Though it was Momentum Amy's bright idea)

Another hectic weekend.

I began my minibike 'training' today.. which means I rode the new chopper to work.
Rather, I rode it to the skytrain, then rode it down the extremely steep Patterson hill.

Handling- predictable, with a decent turning radius
Gearing- low, but managable.
Ride- smooth, but a little bouncy while sprinting.
Tires- loud
Brake- fade

Okay.. so the brake needs a bit more work.
I'll have to get a mountain lever, and possibly file part of the caliper mount.
Right now I have the option of dragging pads, or a brake without enough power.
..and the knobby tires have got to go if I plan on keeping up with the Portlanders.
(who will incidentally be rolling 12 deep at the ALLEY KITTEN)

Minibike Winter Promo Vid:

I'm not going to get cocky just yet, but this ride feels fast... for a mini.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Critical Dinosaur Comix



Oh yeah, we're kicking in a beer prime to the first one in to the first
Operation M.E.O.W checkpoint because we love Midnight Simon, K8T-J, and unsanctioned bicycle racing in all of its wheel diameters. Something on the order of a dozen or so, maybe a Pil cube if we're feeling flush.  Pin it out of the gate, kids, because Morgan likes to take beer primes, and if he wins it, I'll just end up stealing them back out of his Chrome.  Pretty much a win-win situation all round.

Fakie to 13-stair drop courtesy of The Come Up:

Shoutouts to Gordon "Prayer Warrior" on Velolove, and Adam/Jackie/Tara/Rob for further scandalizing the local cycling community last weekend.  On that note, please do take a moment to vote for Donald's Lawn Chopper on the Feeg.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Almost there.

Whats left:

-Find tandem brake cable
-Find 6004z bearings
-add stay bridges
-tow it home
-sand and prime it
-build and test

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sixteen Inches Closer to Death

Trout Lake > Booties

This is a man made lake.

It is located in John Henry Park.
Its in a pocket of low land, pretty much at sea level.

Today the path around the lake is flooded.
I was too sleepy to notice, and I rode directly into bottom bracket height water.

My booties tried.
They tried to repel the water, but it crept in from the bottom.
Slowly, I felt the arches of my feet get wet, then the toes.

Poor Booties.

On a related note, the smell of my shoes and gloves drying by my space heater is less than pleasant.


Monday, January 22, 2007

No rest for the wicked

It seems I get more done in the two days of the weekend, than the other 5 days of the week.

Friday afternoon I was feeling multi-modal (read: sick and low energy), so I took the bus/train to downtown after work. This cost me $3.25, and only saved me about 15 minutes, but it saved a LOT of energy.

Interestingly, the bus driver informed me that I would NOT be allowed to take my bike on the bus if it were any darker (this was at 4:10pm). The bus was a New Generation New Flyer, with the headlamp/bike rack issue. From what I could tell, my bicycle did NOT obstruct the headlights.

Courier Article on the New Flyer headlamps

The online Translink schedule STILL shows that little 'bicycle access' icon for the 116 route WELL after dark. Which is strange, as the site has been updated with a Press Release.

I guess an email to Translink is in order...

Once downtown, I met up with Henry at Bikeworks and he let me paw through their minibike wheel selection, until I had found something suitable. My only REAL criteria were: 16", straight, steel, preferably with similar flange size to my cassette hub (which I didn't have with me). Henry is quite knowledgable and was curious when I was telling him of my mini chopper build idea. He told me I could dremel out a Shimano cassette cog if I wanted to fit it on the coaster hub. That is something to consider if my cassette hub doesn't work out. Anyways, I walked out with this for very little money:

Saturday's sun was stunning to say the least. I hooked the BOB trailer up to my bianchi and made my way West to purchase a disk wheel and Rock Shox from a Craigslister in Kits.

On my way down Union, (with the trailer in tow) I had a truck run a stop sign and pull out right in front of me. This forced me to do my first trailered emergency stop. I grabbed the brake and locked up the rear wheel, hockey stopping short of the truck's fender. Suprisingly the trailer didn't push me over during this maneuver. I suspect it would if it weren't empty. I also have a feeling this stop was really hard on my rear hub, more on that later.

I made it safely out to Blenheim, which was a bit farther than I thought, and met up with Dave. Nice guy. He threw in a brake and a headset along with the fork and wheel. I won't be using this stuff right away, but its good to have as I intend to have front and rear disk brakes on the chopper eventually.

A lovely B:C:Clette met me out there and we made our way to Granville Island for coffee. Ah.. nothing like threading the cars congesting the penninsula on a Saturday afternoon. Leila was working too. I wonder if she's still riding to work.

After that I hit up Budgies, and then made my way up to Fraser and 33rd to deliver Project-Budgies to Morgan. I relaxed in the cemetary for a bit before making my way back North.

Along the Windsor st. bike route, I got called a 'Bobarian' by another cyclist towing a trailer.. It was our resident cycling Poet, Lee! He had a two wheeled, ladder framed trailer about 10' long. His plan was to move some of his victorian furniture with it. Will the wonders of human powered transport never cease!?!

I thought I was almost done for the day, but on Commercial Drive, I ran into Skylar and Tim outside of the Bump'n'Grind. They convinced me to come check out the bike polo at Granview park..and so I did:

As it was such a beautiful day, there was a LOT of bikers out. More hot bike porn from the polo grounds can be found on my Flickr.

By late afternoon I was feeling pretty wiped out. There was to be a "Scandalous" biker party at 1843 William, to welcome their new roomate Tara. I couldn't do it. I was still feeling sick, and just couldn't handle another party. I'm old. fuck.

Sunday I got my grocery on, without the help of BOB. Mainly because my bike was still in high gear, and I didn't feel like flipping the wheel. I can always make more small trips.

I then hit up the BIKE BEE potluck and planning meeting. Much delicious food was eaten. It seems I've taken on the task of doing a brake workshop. Thats cool. I like brakes, I like dialing them, and I like for other people to understand how these things work.

After that I rolled down to the Pedal Metal Studio to work on the chopper with Jim. I finished up my mitering, and closed up stays where they meet the dropouts. After that it was tacked together, and fitted up. Jim was impressed with my system for holding it together, and it turned out pretty straight. The only things left are adding a couple of bridges for stability, and possibly cleaning up the welds. No pictures of course, as I forgot my camera. Just believe me when I say it looks sick.

I took my hub home with me, and tried lacing it to that 16" wheel. I think I may need to get creative in order for the two cross pattern to work.

..and speaking of work, here I am again.

Oh yeah.. This morning I flipped my wheel over, and felt the bearings in my hub. They're shot. I'll have to hit up BC Bearing or something for replacements.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Deadline..

Okay, now my chopper has to be done (in mini form) by February 3rd!

I guess I'll paint it camo?

PS- big ups to Kati-J and Simon for putting this on

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Straight Choppin' it.

Some of you may know, I'm franticly working to finish a chopper I've had in the works for almost a year. I got a sudden spark of motivation back in November, and its only now (after the holidays) that I have a deadline. I want to race this thing at Minibike winter. In order to qualify for that, the bike must have wheels no larger than 16". I originally planned to put a 20" rear and a 26" front on it, but now am curious as to how it will handle with sweet sixteens. The long rear end should give me a pretty huge range of wheel sizes.

This weekend I went down to Pedalplay and really got to work fitting the back end together.
I cut the 4° 6mm slots in the stays for the dropouts, and angle-radius'ed them to the bottom bracket and seat tube respectively.

Its coming together pretty well so far.
Theres still some minor alignment to do, but its almost ready for welding.
Using the tow strap worked pretty well to hold it together while
mocking up, and was a snap to undo and remove a stay for filing.
(Though, it pulled the dropouts on a bit of an angle. The pix are not
of the final fit.)

I still haven't found a suitable rim to build into a wheel with that disk hub, but I'll be working on that this week.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


On the second Friday every month, the Margaret Charles Chopper Collective invites Vancouver out to ride. I decided the gravity-powered Tryke would be appropriate for the MC3 ride, as it usually goes at a slower pace than the other rides I frequent. With temperatures from -5 to -7 and windchills from -10 to -12, it was decided beforehand that we would meet at Asiana Sushi on Terminal rather than at the gazebo.

After meeting Lyle at his house, we headed down Adanac to McLean, skirting the hills due to icy streets and my steed's lack of drivetrain. When we reached 1st Ave, there was a fair bit of traffic. When it finally cleared up, I took off down the hill toward Clark, threading between the two lines of cars stopped at the light. It went green just at the right moment, and I was able to get across Clark and on to the viaduct without pushing.

In fine MC3 style, the entire stairway and railing outside Asiana was covered in a variety of wheeled machines. Consequently, the inside was full of mischievous eastvan bike geeks. As the menu was 40% off, we ordered a lot of food. N1ck and I shared the tempura onion rings, which were even better than expected. Sushi trades to all corners of the table without regard for STDs (Sushi Transmitted Diseases). With bellies full and spirits high, we suited up to brave the cold.

The Tryke was well-received. Since it was a production model apart from my parts upgrades, it doesn't carry the street cred of most of the MC3 rides. However, it does qualify for freak bike status. It didn't take long to reacquaint myself with the handling characteristics, and I was soon jumping stairs, doing 180s, barspins, and x-up manuals - quite the spectacle. The MC3 ride could be mistaken for a circus parade, which would in turn make me a circus within a circus.

We rolled up Main with Crab Park as a destination, the group evoked its usual happy cheers from onlookers. As we came to the Georgia Viaduct, I was at the front of the group, and eyed the snow-covered hill between the eastbound and westbound lanes. I decided to run up to the top, and as I did so, the rest of the riders stopped at the bottom to watch - leaving a gap large enough for me to drop off the rock wall at the bottom, across the sidewalk and on to Main St.

When I got to the top, the line looked gnarlier than I had anticipated. A snow-covered, bumpy slope, leading to a small drop, and off the curb into the street. From below, shouts of "you're clear!" resounded, and with a push I was off. Exhilarating, and flawlessly executed - Go Monkey Go - I remembered how fun riding Trykes was.

I took a well-deserved rest, grabbing N1ck's seatstay for a tow up to Hastings, at which point he informed me that I would have to ride the brick banks at 222 Main. I didn't turn down the challenge, and was able to pull off a couple of bankrides. N1ck also hit it up on his Olmo - Project-B represent! I pushed up the overpass at the north end of Main, and got into a peg-grab tuck on the downside, while N1ck laughed his ass off from behind.

The Crap Park pier was snowy, which is arguably better than the other option of greasy wet lumber. Initiated by Leanne putting her frozen feet in Kati and Amy's respective crotches, I volunteered my new gloves and warm hands to help bring the toes back to life. Maitland showed up and gave Leanne a spare pair of socks. Donald lit up the BBQ bike while a VPD car looked on from the parking lot. They did a drive-through of the park loop, but didn't come out to talk to us. We shared Jagermeister and Fireball. Kati drew a circle in the snow, and she and I had an impromptu series of sumo wrestling matches, which culminated in me taking a stumbling/running faceplant in the white stuff.

Kati and I were the first out into the parking lot when everyone was getting ready to go. I found a completely solid puddle of smooth ice, and took my stable three-wheeler through its paces. I was able to do slide 180s, and then completed three sliding 360s! Fun! When the rest of the group came out, I got N1ck's attention among everyone else, and proceeded to do a 270 to elbow/hip slide. Nice. Kati was the only witness to the completed 360s.

Kati went into workhorse mode and towed me at high speed through the Canada Place tunnel. I let go as we got to the hill that curves up and on to Cordova. In the next block, there is a sequence of two six stair sets on the south side of the street. I couldn't resist, and hit it once before the group showed up. As more bikers rolled up, I hit it again, this time with a lot more speed. I aired the second set a fair distance, got bucked off on the landing, and ended up running into the street. I couldn't have that be my final attempt, and went to hit it again as the last of the group arrived. This time I was in full control, and had so much speed that I rolled right on to Cordova with cars coming. The Tryke's quick turning ability paid off, as I was able to cut back to the curb unscathed.

By this point I was getting pretty tired, and was grateful that everyone on big bikes was willing to tow me. All the way down Cordova and Powell to the Princeton, where we once again covered the sidewalk with bikes, and took over the dance floor. Another foot warming session with Leanne. A group of degenerate fixie kids had assembled at Louise's place and made their way down as well. Cheap pitchers and good times had by all. We finished off the night with a trip up to Four Brothers Pizza, where my Tryke was fondled by the likes of Claire, Tim, Simon, and Skylar.

The MC3 maintains their high energy and go-anywhere attitude, proving that all you need are wheels and friends to enjoy yourself - even during one of the coldest winters in a long time. Thanks for another great night.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Trykes in the house

This is a Tryke:

More accurately, it is my Tryke. 20" front wheel with v-brake, 12" rears, custom Roach frame pad, pegs, shocks, lucky. I have owned it since ~'00, though it spent the last few years in a friend's crawlspace. The way it sits is very close to how I had it set up when we rode them regularly, except that I ran a 48 spoke aluminum front wheel. The paint was also in better condition when I last saw it, but I don't mind it this way either since the frame is aluminum.

The Tryke was invented by Joe and John Miller, of North Vancouver. The story goes like this: teenagers are goofing around on little sister's tricycle and break it. They decide to design something stronger, and more suited to doing jumps, etc. Joe's dad gets behind them, and after numerous prototypes, Trykes go into production. I guess this was around '97, when I was riding BMX every day, year round.

The original frames were built from aluminum, and welded by Rocky Mountain. They had 1-1/8" threadless forks, initially without suspension. They retailed for $395 at the time, which was about how much it cost to buy a decently equipped freestyle BMX. They were marketed, and showed up in most of the local bike shops. We would play around on them in the showroom, but never considered actually buying one. Two things came along to change that.

One: In late '97 I crashed my BMX within 5 minutes of arriving at the (new) Richmond skatepark, fracturing my skull and chipping a disk in my neck. This was a momentum killer to say the least, and the turning point of my "career." After recovering from that, I still rode BMX, but not as hard. I went from pushing boundaries of street and ramp riding to simply maintaining my current skill set.

Two: In early '99, my mom and I moved to a new neighbourhood after living in the same place for twelve years. I met Chris Hodgson, who I had played soccer with a few years earlier. We quickly became friends, and he introduced me to Joe and John Miller, the aforementioned inventors of Trykes.

My BMX background transferred very easily to Trykes, and after borrowing one for a while, I had the opportunity to pick up one of the original Rocky Mountain frames. I outfitted it with a beefy Amoeba riser bar and a 48 spoke aluminum wheel, which was lighter and braked much better than the stock plastic wheels. Chris and I spent the next year or so riding Trykes harder than they had ever been ridden: Mt. Seymour roadbombs and trailbombs, skateparks, street, and just general goofing around. The plastic 12" rear wheels were very fragile. Though we broke a lot of them, we also developed a clean riding style that avoided doing so.

All the while, Trykes was trying to figure out how to get their product down to a price that would be more reasonable to the teenage market. They outsourced to Taiwan, and got a whole lot of crap. Steel and aluminum frames were commissioned, and the usual calamity that comes along with offshore production was experienced, complete with "Made in Candad" headtube badges. The cheaper-built steel framed Trykes came in at $195 retail but, not surprisingly, lacked the durability of their predecessors.

In their attempts to have the Taiwanese Trykes better built, the company borrowed my customized Tryke and Chris' as well. They disappeared for a while and, with the advent a new local skatepark, we got (back) into skateboarding during the summer of '01. When the Trykes finally came back some time later, my front wheel was missing. Into Chris' parents' crawlspace went all of it.

Becoming involved in Vancouver bike culture in 2006 had me thinking about unusual wheeled machines again. I talked to Chris about liberating my Tryke from his parents' place over the summer, and we finally hooked up to do so in December. A couple of technical glitches and I had it running. Shortly afterward, another friend's parents sold their house, and I found a couple of the Taiwanese frames and a brand new 48 spoke wheel in the aftermath.

The only problem now is the shortage of easily breakable rear wheels: I have three that are intact. If two of those break, the Tryke may be forced back into hibernation. Until then, I hope it will have the chance to put a smile on some faces.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Track Track Track

Edit: just got photoshop CS2, my editing skillz are back =D

My photos are likely to be shite while I figure out the processing software on my new computer. It's still a track bike posing in the snow though.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I take my car off the road, and what happens?

80km/h headwinds with hail, followed by 10cm of snow.

I'm feeling pretty hardcore right now actually.
My coworkers think I'm insane, or a hero. Either of which is fine by me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fastest Courier in the Drome...

Yep. Project-B's Morgan is officially the king of courier town.
Expect footage soon.

On a related note, he's going to get himself a spiffy yellow track bike today.

I in comparison, am slow, and am presently building myself a new bike. Maybe (just maybe) I'll be able to beat him in next months winterbomb.

Which reminds me.
Heres a banner. Check the site out:

Oh.. and one final piece of news. As of today, I am carfree. I let my insurance lapse, and just don't feel like putting it back on the road. I've got a BOB trailer, and some raingear so I should manage.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I don't even know what you call this trick.

Watch the end.
He hammers at the steps, does a slight hop, and rides UP them to whip out.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Happy New Bikes Eve!

I'm such a freakin party monster.
This year I built a bike instead of going out and drinking.
Yep. Built a bike in the last few hours of 06.

I had been wanting a slightly shorter frame for a while now. When I found out Seshin Bikes offered a 21.5" Liger (yes, the mythical half lion half tiger bred for its skills in majik) I was all over it. I got in contact with Ted @ Seshin, and he said they were sold out, but would be offering a new frame at the end of the year in 21.5"

So I waited.
And my wait finally ended in December:

This is a Seshin Megatron.
Its got a 21.5" top tube, and 13.65" chainstays.
This means that my knees will still clear the stem, and I'll be able to spin it much easier than my Macneil (which was 22/14.75").

I swapped over pretty much all the parts from The Macneil, except for the headset and bottom bracket.. oh, and Morgan gave me that wicked blue tire (which sadly has a bulge).

Even though BMX standards are pretty much set, I ran into a couple snags with the build.

1) I've got more crank clearance, so I can tuck in the Q factor a bit more, but the head of my sprocket bolt is stripped, so I can't remove it to take out the spacers... or the out-of-round tophat spacer the sprocket rests on.

2)My chain tensioners don't fit on the dropouts, which are too low profile. Taking a cue from Morgan, I'll go without, and just crank the axle nuts down 'BMX tight'.

3)With the rear end being so short, my brake booster will not fit. I've built it with a straddle cable for now, but I may have to redesign it.

Its almost there though. As you can tell, these things are quite nit picky.

Onto the ride.. its FUCKING INCREDIBLE.
It fits me so well, and feels so responsive!

After looping out a few times and finding out just how short it is, I've almost adapted. I have nearly dialed my hop 180°s in just the first short session.

I absolutely cannot wait to take this thing to Hastings.