Saturday, March 31, 2007

Well, this about sums it up

We tend to field a fair amount of questions as to what this Project-B thing is all about. Thus far, this is the best definition I've come across - three drunk guys laughing at each other while trying to make their bicycle trying to do something it wasn't really designed to be doing in the first place:

It's like Lumber Jetta, only with more bike. Also, back around these parts, that log would be destined to be used as a BMX tool.

Also, I left the house for Critical Mass yesterday with eight beers and a mickey of scotch in my bag. I returned with nothing.

'twas a fine day for the sport of kings out on the Grandview park polo grounds today, though. Haley was giving it like a Skylar/Tenten skid battle and bleeding about as much. Word persists of various bike nerd gatherings tonight and a FUCK A $25 RANDO, SON. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH BEER I CAN GET AT KINGSGATE FOR $25? ride out to Richmond tomorrow.

Fresh over-peg and nose manual-to-barspin poachings from The Come Up. Close your eyes during the dorps to falt, turn the volume off, and bump the new Crime Mob instead:

Friday, March 30, 2007

WHAT IS GOING ON ?!?! [/Xandir]

What not to do on a friends bike:

Attempt to do a front brake nose pivot on a bike with Time pedals, while you are wearing SPD shoes. The twisting will JUST allow your foot to 'clip in' enough that you're hooked. You will crash. You will be thankful the bike is built like a 26" BMX.

While working on Porchject-B yesterday, we ran into Wendell of FearlessGearless. He was celebrating his birthday by purchasing a fancy new helmet, and we made him stop at the porch and drink a tallcan with us. He also insisted I crash his bike.

We discussed the presentations at the 'THIRD WAVE' of cyclists lecture we attended Wednesday night at SFU. Jack Beckers talk was hardly even a talk. More of a mechanical dictation of points that moved too fast on an automated .PPT animation. Hans Groen on the other hand was captivating, and had some really funny (and true) points to make on the way our city is engineering its bike routes. ..and Gordon Price had a really good slide show with all types of cycling based infrastructure shown.

Sadly, our city takes so long to react.

Around this time last year, I wrote a letter to the city, inquiring about the traffic signals at Main/Union, and the intended bike route through Victoria/Broadway. Read here.

..well, the good news is that the city FINALLY painted the bike box at Victoria/Broadway. So maybe I won't get killed while Zoolandering that intersection. Maybe.

But the bad news is that even though Transport Canada has approved the use of the bicycle signal, it hasn't been installed or implemented yet at Main/Union.

One thing I would LOVE to see our city implement, is the the approaching barriers surrounding roundabouts, that Davis California uses. These devices just make it inconvienient for a motorist to cut the wrong way around a roundabout.

Enough about infrastructure. Yesterday was BUY EVERYTHING DAY.
This included parts for not only my bike(s), but Rhiannon's Centurion too. She's been such a good girl, I'm giving her a new drivetrain.

The Centurion gets:
-Sugino Cranks 170mm 110mmBCD triple
-Shimano bottom bracket 123mm
-MEC Blackspire 38T 110mmBCD chainring
-NOS Shimano Exage front derailleur
-P clips

I got:

-Shimano 520 SPD pedals
-Ridiculously light XC MTB bar
-Lightweight french style stem 80mm
-Brown Animal BMX grips
-long presta valve tubes
-new spoke wrench
-fender clip for SKS fenders

I tried installing the new BB and cranks on Rhiannon's bike last night and things didn't go too well. The 123mm BB is too short for the little ring to clear the I've got to respace it, or get a longer one. Also, the granny gear seems to be the wrong BCD for these cranks too. It would be so much simpler to keep it a double.

I did manage to get my stupid light new bars on the track bike though. I might as well just book a dentist appointment now:

My shoebox is overflowing with bike stuff, which can only mean,

110mm stem, unknown make - $5
Changstar levers with Gum Dia Compe hoods - $5
Mildly worn Shimano Dura Ace 15T cog with matching KMC510HX chain - $20
Suzue high flange 36H front hub - $5
14mm 48H front BMX hub - $2
mini coaster hub 20H - $2

26" x 22mm rim tape - $2
2x road drop bars, approx 42cm wide - $5 each
Green under seat bag - $FREE
Seats - $FREE

Let me know if you want any of this crap. (Cog and Chain sale pending)

One last note. I've got tall bike envy. Seems like everyone's bike is higher than mine. I almost want to buy into the 'I CAN TOTALLY SEE OVER ALL THE TRAFFIK' SUV mindset.

Nice one, Gabe. Bad America indeed.

Now I'll go back to patiently waiting for Canada Post to bring my new hubs.

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.

Since we're Youtubin..

Pain is Love

I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain, the only thing that's real.
The pavement tears a hole, the old familiar sting.
Trying to kill it all away, but I remember everything.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Seatless is the new brakeless.


Two flats within an hour. You can't run to Simon's and fill up a bent valve stem shaft, nor can you patch it, nor can you reef down on the locknut enough with Camilio's adjustable wrench in order to get it to seal. No, you buy two tubes from Simon and suck it up, pobrecito.


Seatpost clamp bolt (not to be confused with the ubiquitous and little-stressed seatpost binder bolt) shears - and quite cleanly - while crossing Cambie at Water with three trips in the bag. Had to wait for the intersection to clear, then run out and scramble for the shiny bits all yard-saled across the cobblestones. Tres spring classique, non? Pulled the seatpost to avoid an anal probing the likes of which would shock, intrigue, and possibly turn on our readership, and carried on seatless to finally clear the BlackBerry (I think it needs a name of its own now) at Georgia and Thurlow. Mod trials is the new messengering; indeed, the Ibis Ed's got hanging from the rafters is one of the hottest rigs in the joint, but more on Mighty later on.

Made a last-ditch run to Simon's again to see if there's an 8mm bolt LOL OK RITE WE ALSO HAVE SOME MAVIC TRACK HUBS AND ITALIAN-THREADED UNICORNS in the bin, then logged out and ran into Skylar on 10th on my way up to OCB. He made fun; we parted, and up at OCB (still rolling Selle Sans Marco), I ran into Lyle and Tim, who is apparently throwing another alleykitten because Leanne and I weren't loud and violent enough at the last one. I'm not much into riding the alt.bikes myself, but I'm fairly into challenging for a Project B podium sweep this time around.

Nothing in the OCB 8mm or seatpost parts bin was long enough, so Lyle and I rolled back home and offically opened up the front steps for the season. Porchject B: drinkin' my beerz, critiquing ur conversionz. Switched the Thomson over from the .243 and rolled out to a strong HeyFixie! turnout. As much as I love to see my friends out, I'm even more stoked to see new faces showing up and fixedvan humming along rather nicely, with Mr. Charlie Kelly as this week's special guest star. An online community milestone has also been reached, with the first comedy e-thuggin' courtesy of Camilo and Jer-o-me, who is also killing the lighting game. I say this as someone who fully bit his turtle-hub steez, but I will still stack the Olmo in full 8-light fighting seizure robot trim up against anything on the streets in pure annoyance value.

So then I got all up in Lyle's Cunny and skidded it farther than anything else I've ever jumped on, and got it halfway around a backwards circle, making me 50% of the way towards backwards circles and barspins this summer. As we cruised out down Quebec, though, I noticed my rear wheel was out of true and rubbing the brakes, but slackened up on the cable and kept going out to Waterfront for the inevitable climb-descent-sprint under the overpass out onto the Coal Harbour seawall. It was too nice out not to go for a ride, and fine weather for a spot of the dirty-dirty with Sascha and James through the twisties before I broke off and wibblewibblewibbled back home, thinking I'd just get it up on the truing stand for a couple of minutes.

It's never that simple. Broken spoke on the freewheel side. No replacements in the bin, even if the rim wasn't on its last legs. Called Morgan, but the Sekine is apparently in pieces and I'd be damned if I'm going to work on a tallbike, so it was looking like I'd have to switch the seatpost back and get my grind on with the .243 in the morning. Italian seatpost binder bolts being Italian seatpost binder bolts, they require not one, but two, 4mm allen keys. Grabbed one from my tool kit and one from my multi-t... Wait, where's my multi-tool? Oh right, I left it back at Water and Cambie about six hours ago.

Dug out a vintage 1990 blue-anodized Finish Line Chain Pup from the kit and killed two birds with one stone; a 4mm allen and an emergency chainbreaker to take to work. Had to wait until the liquor store was open to buy the beer to take to Mighty to drop my wheel at before I logged in at 11:30am and still ran 25 trips, including a Helijet-Beach Ave mission, on a 30lb skatepark bike. Rode extra-dirty: plateless and without full regulation Corporakit. Street MTB is dorky enough as it is without riding in tights.

Leanne is awesome for calling me up out of the blue and offering up her spare wheel(s). Mighty is awesome because they come through in ridiculous situations and have three Lynskeys hanging downwind from the Ibis. Lynskey is awesome because they're using tapered thinwall diamond-shaped titanium top and downtubes. The BMC Time Machine is even awesomer because it lacks the Lynskeys' horrific headtube-mounted cable stops and has integrated thumbwheeled chaintugs. This week is awesome because it can only end up even stupider than it already is, and perhaps my little Corporate shorts could catch on fire at some point and leave even less to the imagination than they already do.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Everybody's workin for the weekend!

Holy crap. Another crazy bikey weekend over here.
Friday night I picked up my new ride. N+1. I think I last posted about this on Friday afternoon, when I was giddy like a little girl over the spare parts that Steve so graciously threw in with the sale.

..well. Here's the rest of the deal:

More shots on my flickr

Saturday we did a project-Breakfast, and suprizingly everyone was able to attend. Actions were assigned, food was eaten, no resolutions were made.

After that, Nick came over to wank all over my bike with a ruler. Then I rolled out to Surrey (via rail) for their first Critical Mass ever. There was about 55 people in attendance, and the route was a leisurely loop around the Guilford area. Save for one agro dump truck traffic behaved pretty well, and the mass was a definate success.

Here's some footage from Bob Alstead:

Shortly after that, we all hit the train again, and made it back to Van for the first of the Fixedvancouver Summer Series events. This would be a skid comp, held at a super secret location in the downtown core. Check the Vids:

Big ups to NikC and Duncan for organizing this, and Simon and Joe for shooting vids.

Sunday was another excercise in growing bicycle culture. Carcass3 was held at ScratchKona park. I unfortunately was late, and only got to watch the Panty race. It was worth it however as I got to see KTJ get stuck in her pants while riding her fixie. hotness. The rest of my day was an absolute writeoff.

Tonight I intend on streeting the Cunningham for the first time. Lets hope I can find a long enough seatpost, and that the Bianchi's tires clear the frame..

Tall bike commuting

I've been riding the Mielgeot all over the place since I got it together. It's a rolling fun machine - not just for me, but for anyone who happens to be near.

Its inaugural ride beyond coming home from Pedal Play was Midnight Mass. We did a downtown loop via Cambie Bridge, and I practiced getting into "pole position" (leaning on whatever is available) at stoplights.

Friday morning was drizzly and tired, but that woudn't stop the Mielgeot. I rode to work, noting the dreary-looking zombies on the way to their shitty jobs on a "shitty" day. Brrring-brrring, the Mielgeot is here to remind you that I'm having FUN on the way to work!

Saturday morning, we had a Project-B meeting planned. Riding south on Victoria, I experienced my first tall bike flat. It was a 2.5" long nail, stuck right in the tire! What the crap! I had to walk it 10 blocks to Bon's, and changed the tube as we ate, drank, and were merry.

I observed a tall bike sabbath on Sunday, but couldn't stay off for long. Sunday night, looking at the weather forecast, I decided I would be taking the Mielgeot over the 2nd Narrows to school on Monday morning. As I approached the bridge, my heart was beating furiously. The weather was beautiful. I stopped before committing to the crossing to pull out my camera. Check out my flickr for a few action photos.

The bridge turned out to be less scary than I thought it would be, and the ride up the hill to school was decent in the 40/19 (~57 inch) gear. My friends at school were pretty stoked on the bike, as most people are. One of them asked, "why would you build a bike like this?"... to which I replied "for nothing but that big smile on your face."

Bikes like the Mielgeot will evoke a smile from most, and a lot more from others. I suppose it's just a side benefit that it's ridiculously fun to ride as well.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Everything is comin' up Lyle!

This is the best new bike day ever.
..and I haven't picked up the bike yet!@

Thursday, March 22, 2007

On top of the world

A new addition to the Project-B stable tonight, as I was able to ride the new steed home from Pedal Play. That's now four running bikes living in my bike room. I did everything except welding, which Jim helped me out with. I'd guess at about 8 hours total work, including stripping both bikes down to their bare frames. It's single-speed with the derailleur right now, but I do plan to have some working gears in the near future. Even though I've only done 5km in the dark and rain, I can assure you this bike is fun as hell!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

Exciting New Crush

I first saw her hanging in Pedal Metal studios when I was working on my kittenchopper. Black Pursuit style frame, with 20" wheels. Vertical Dropouts, derailleur hanger, strange Affluenza sticker on the bent top tube.

What is it? It's some kind of pursuit BMX, only made for a couple years in the late 80s. It's called a Haro F1.

I took it down, and began dishing an MTB spaced freewheel wheel over to fit in the rear end. Once I had that done, I threw the wheels on, added a layback post and then tried out some different bars on a 130mm MTB stem.

I think I like the look of the risers the best.
I also think I may have to start playing polo if I get this together.

It could be tricky though, as I don't know if I should attempt to fix it or not.
There might not be any provisions for a rear brake, as it originally had a roller drum in the rear hub...

Its so exciting, like after that first real interaction with Scarlett Johanson.

In other Proj-B news: Morgan's tallbike is coming along quickly, blue and white and white and blue. Nick's Triple Tangangle is a freakin anchor, and I predict he will spend more than his budget of ZERO dollars to get it running.

We need silkscreening equipment, so let us know if you've got the hookups.

Friday, March 16, 2007

3 days, no bike

Today I am the Monster, Oh Daesu.
41/15 again, 100RPM all the way to work.
That's what 3 days with no bike will do.

I didn't see too many cyclists in Milwaukee this week.
6 total, I believe:

1) 60+ year old man in jean jacket on an original USA schwinn cruiser. Dynamo lighting, cigar in mouth, Gatzby cap. The real deal. I imagine this guy got laid off from Pabst when the union took it down.
2&3) Roadies in their 50's, Team kit, Carbon bikes, riding on the jogging path pretty slowly.
4) A binner with a trailer on his MTB
5) Cute midwest looking girl on the MSOE campus, Some kind of 'freeride' style bike
6) Black dude on a racing BMX, gloves, big jeans, minor bling, haulin ass.. bars were all the way south in Chicago (a 15 minute flight from Milwaukee)

No one out there seems to wear helmets. Not even the motorcyclists.

I also made it a point to stop in at Ben's Cycle.
This is in an older part of town, south of the downtown core.

At first it seemed pretty unassuming. Standard lineup of bikes on display. Then I noticed each wall had a glass case to showcase a different style of bike. I went to the 'Track' display to look at the 'Milwaukee' bicycle company track bike they had built up there. Average taiwan frame, nice parts.

I didn't see too much of the stuff that's on their website, so I asked.
The guy there was nice enough to take me upstairs to look at their inventory.
Their 'track aisle' in the warehouse was incredible.
I was overwhelmed. Picture rows of Champ grips in EVERY shade of every colour under the sun, then another shelf of EVERY NJS toe strap in existence..

I only picked up some Cinellis for myself. Just being in there completely erased my mind.

Oh.. and their hubs are nice too. They're the same as the Nashbar/Dimension ones I'm running, but come in Red, blue, Gold, or a coppery brown. (which I would have bought if it were fixed/fixed not fixed/free).

When I got out of the store, mouth still agape, I noticed that they had a second warehouse across the street. Damn.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Try'na keep the rubber side down

Crashing isn't uncommon for Project-B; crashing at 25km/h is a bit more rare. Last week, I had a similar crash to what you will see in the video below.

Riding the Sekine, I had just sailed past a car at the front of a stoplight as it went green, and accelerated to keep ahead of him and get into the left turn lane about 30m up. I was spinning at about 120rpm (40+km/h) as I approached the red light at the upcoming T-intersection.

I applied a small amount of brake, and moved to the left lane position. Slowing to about 80rpm (still 25+km/h), I gauged the distance and locked in to a right foot forward skid - my natural foot position. The intention was to slide it out a bit to the left, steer right and into the right lane position, and fishtail to the right - once again my natural way - as I brought the train to a halt.

The next few moments were a blur. The kick to the left worked out alright, and I steered into the right lane position of the left turn lane. I guess it was pretty slippery, as the pendulum motion bringing the back end to the right side just kept on going. Enter the "oh shit, I'm going down" feeling.

Rotated beyond 45ยบ, we'll cue up a quote from Rad:

Christian: "You over-rotated."
Cru: "No shit."

The SPDs unclipped on impact, and I tumbled to a stop on the wet asphalt, 3-4 metres ahead of my bike. Immediately I was up, and spotted my bike and the cars slowly approaching. As I picked up my steed, a lady driving along in the right lane rolled down her window and inquired about my condition. All I could come up with was "yeah, wasn't that awesome?!"

I mounted the bike and rolled up to the still-red light, and trackstanded until it went green. Damage count: ripped bar tape (now fixed up with hockey tape), and a dime-sized scrape on my knee. Not bad for a high speed crash.

Now, on to the real entertainement. Keep your lids on, lest ye be performing The Mash - The Hipster Mash.

Monday, March 05, 2007