Monday, June 29, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I know you, and you cannot sing

Man has good taste. Vespa 150 Sprint, probably first year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hot Rod or Rat Rod?

I'm not quite sure. It's pretty damn cool. 1930 Model A, with a fairly healthy chop. It's just channeled about 4" enough to hide the Model A frame. The undropped axle has a suicide perch sticking thru the 32 Ford truck grille. The engine sits kinda high but I guess that's better than scraping the oil pan, and bummer that it's an SBC. There's no windshield and the tires appear to used truck tires, just tall sorta square profile radials. It has a slight "Alhambra rake" and the trunk lid seems to open. Interior is the requisite Mexican blanket. There were no skulls or spider webs, but it did have a single Iron Cross taillight, but standard Model A's only had the one taillight on the driver's side. I think the top was chopped and the roof filled a long time ago judging by the depth of the bondo cracks and the rust down in them. Overall I really like it, but in a way I hope it's not "finished".

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tallbike up and running

So it's complete and put together and working, but the chain still rubs. I rode it to Sunday Funday, it took about twice as long to get there as on my Aerotrack. Not a bad riding bike, and the coasterbrake gave me no surprises. The seat post could stand to be a little longer, I'll have fun finding a long 27/32" seatpost. I let other people ride it around, hoping to get others interested in building tallbikes. As far as I know the only place you see freakbikes is at Critical Mass, which I am not a big fan of. I haven't been down the beach, but the boardwalk is known for cruisers and weirdness, so there's gotta be some freakbike, burrito bike or chopper action down there.

I'm pretty happy with the paint job on the lower frame and fork. It's red spray paint, and then I beat it with a bike chain and rubbed a brick against it to simulate years of abuse. Then I wet down a rag with bleach and rubbed it on the new paint, so get some rust going. The idea was to match the existing state of deterioration that the rest of the bike has suffered. This is the second bike with some "faux-tina" on it, it's fun to do so why the fuck not?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Tallbike?

Sure why not? There were a couple of cruisers behind Andrew's house, so I decided to make yet another tallbike. Instead of the standard "bike on top of a bike" approach I just used the rear triangle of a girl's cruiser, and made an extended fork. It's all fairly straight forward, the bottom frame's seatstays sleeve over the top frame's seatstays where the dropouts were chopped off, and the chainstays hit up against the seatstays. The bottom frame's downtube was chopped about 6" up from the bottom bracket and mitered to sit against the top frame's bb. This required a fair amount of bending things around and a few trial and error cuts.


So much fun cutting the fork dropouts off

Not the tallest tallbike

SunTour Coasterbrake

Being welded (flux core wire, no gas)

There are some issues with the chain hitting the chainstays, and this will be dealt with, with a big hammer. I have some plans for a rather unique finish.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hipster Nascar

At the San Diego Velodrome. The stands are almost completely full of racing fans and friends/supporters of track racers. Drinking is allowed and I get the impression that they are racing for money and beer. This is the second week I've attended and I've spent more time socializing than watching the races. I just like the idea that people who are riding track and fixed gear bikes on the street are interested in track racing, even if it is as a spectator. I don't quite know how to use my camera, so I apologise for the picture quality.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spruce St. Suspension Bridge

Well-known party spot for us old-time scooterists, but judging by the skidmarks the fixsters have found it. Rare daytime pictures.

View to the South

West entrance

Campagnolo Rims....

...on a BMW 2002!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

i Viva Lucha Libre !

I've eaten Mexican food all over San Diego. Valentine's, Lolita's, every 'bertos you can think of, and Lucha Libre is the best. I like their build-your-own vegetarian burrito. Still in this day and age it's very hard to get a Mexican vegetarian option. It' also hard to get what you want when you special order. They work so fast and it's usually the same thing every time and of course there can be somewhat of a language barrier, especially if I attempt to hack up Spanish. I get what I want, which is fairly simple: beans, rice, guacamole, maybe some pico di gallo. Sooooo good. And they totally roll me a fattie every time- lunch and dinner. The hot carrots and chips were free.

They have also installed these awesome fold-down bike racks!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Keep an eye on your bike @ Sunday Funday...

Don't let this happen to your poor innocent bike.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bikes from Sunday Funday

I went to Sunday Funday with my old friend Bhava Das. I ran into another old friend, Eddie Castro. I met these guys when they used to pierce at Dr. Jefe's and I worked at Envy Body Jewelry as a machinist. Bhava was always bikey, and when Eddie got into bikes, he started a bike club called The Kutters. It's nice to see the bike scene blow up in San Diego, and I'm stoked these two guys are in the mix. I had a great time hanging out with everyone, getting my bike nerd on with Jacob, talking about wheelbuilding, Jobst Brandt, Sheldon Brown (R.I.P.), commuting/traffic laws, and the problem with being anti-car. You see, as long as you are anti-car, and you project that image to car drivers, and this does nothing to get them to park their cars and get on a bike.

And now the bikes....



Kiyo Miyazawa


Murdered Out

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Old habits die hard

I'm sitting at Gelato Vero typing this. This is the old Vespa hangout. I don't think it's even on the fixster kids radar but once again it's familiar and comfortable, and it has free Wi-Fi. It also has coffee from where I used to work, Cafe Moto.
I get to ride up Washington St. when I leave, it's not that bad, not like climbing out of the canyon where I'm staying at a friend's house. When you live in a flat city, you whine and moan when you get to a hill. In a hilly place like SD they are a fact of life and you just hump up them. Luckily I run a low gear, 48 x 19 or 68 gear inches. The bike is a '99 or so KHS Aerotrack. It has a Campagnolo headset, and some vintage 165mm Sugino 144mm b.c.d. cranks. I laced the Suzue ProMax hubs into the Velocity DeepVs (VeepDs) 4x rear and 2x front. I'm glad I built these because there are some craters in the roads down here. SRSLY reconsidering my "free pile" rear tire even though it is a Continental. I'm seeing fixster kids running around with no front brake, but I have yet to see one going down hill. I'm old so I play it safe. Also I'm lazy and resisting (the forward motion of the pedals) has gotten old after 6 years of riding "brakeless" in Portland. When I worked up in Seattle I put a brake on cuz I knew there were hills, and I just never took it off. I've grown accustomed to bombing hills and grabbing a handful of front brake at the last possible second. Panic stops are a lot less taxing too.

A dreaded sunny day... I'll meet you at the cemet'ry gates. Keats and Yates are on your side.

Wilde is on mine. Graveyard Park. I wanted someplace pretty and familiar to consume my 5 rolled tacos w/guacamole from La Posta de la Acapulco #8.

Cinco Rrrrrolles y Wacamole

I haven't had decent REAL Mexican food in 7 years. I have had nothing but Mexican food since I got back. On Tuesday Lucha Libre, on Thursday Taco Fiesta. I don't play favorites, it's mostly a location thing, knowing where the best ones are.

Tuesday,June 1st, 1:00am.

I arrive in San Diego. Looooonnnnnng train ride from Portland, Oregon. In LA a dude gets on with a Surly Crosscheck, singlespeed. I see this as a good omen.

Some Stingrays

I only had a Grants High Riser when I was a kid, so the Schwinn Stingray has always been an object of envy. I alway kinda hated Krates because I crashed on one, chipping my fairly new two front teeth, and killing them, so that they required root canals. It's why I don't smile much. Somehow in my adult life I've managed to own 4 of them, never paying more than $14 dollars for one.

Poor Man's Krate

This was the most recent. I got the frame in a trade for a low-end Italian frame & fork, a Garlatti. It had been sandblasted and left outside to rust. As an east coaster, VW nut, and Vespa restorer a little rust does not scare me. I tore off some strips of emery cloth and started sanding, and it took way less time than I thought it would. It got a nice coat of Rust O Leum flat black. I had a donor Slik Chik or Fair Lady that I had built years ago, so I already had a sissy bar, banana seat, ape hangers, stem, and hard-to-find headset & bottom bracket (28 tpi). As a condition of the trade I made him find me some Varsity forks, to go with the 16" wheel I was using. So basically zero dollars into it, because most of it was shit I had laying around. I sold it for $200 to a dude who is going to put a "replica" Whizzer kit on it.

1969 Stingray
69 Schwinn Stingray
I got this one at the Goodwill Outlet store for $14. It had been "converted" to BMX and repainted with an almost-matching blue spray bomb, killing it's collector value and interest. I guess they are all about original patina these days. I had a repro Stingray banana seat and sissybar from another Stingray, and some apes and a chrome Ashtabula stem, so all I needed was some tires, some 20 x 1-3/4 tires (not the same as 20 x 1.75/2.125) . I picked up some used Westwind tires at a swap meet for like 5 bucks. Does anyone get bargains like this on ePay? I ended up selling it for $140.

My Lowrider, "Lobo Negra"

This one started with a free frame left behind by some tweekers in a garage I was cleaning out. There was also a Harley Hummer, which I sold for more than I thought it was worth but less than it was actually worth. This Stingray is a 1971 and originally yellow so maybe a Lemon Peeler. I cut the head tube off and flipped it and bent up some tubes to rake it about 15 degrees and stretched it about 6 inches. This left the bottom bracket almost on the ground so I made some dropout plates to raise it up some and make it about 4" longer. Later on it got the "tank".

This was done the "Old Skool" Mexican way (as told to me by several Mexicans) where you cut a piece of wood out and maybe cut a shape in it, and then bondo it to the frame. Then you set about molding it in with more Bondo. I used about a quart. It's painted Rust O Leum Semi-gloss Black and has a genuine swap meet Zarape seat cover. There's little money into it, with the chrome and the Bendix Red band, but not that bad. The vintage Wald Springer, stem, and apes were a yard sale find for 5 bucks, all 3 items not each.

There was another one, a 1964, that I got for $8 dollars at Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store (DAMVets). At the time, I was a little Schwinn ignorant so I discarded the seat and sissybar, which were the correct Solo Polo style. At first I built it as a lowrider. Instead of a bent springer I heated up some Varsity forks till they were red and bent them in an arc, dropping the frame so far that I had to use 2-1/2" cranks. the back wheel was shot so I laced in an NOS chrome rim with stainless spokes, and shod it with an NOS Schwinn Stingray Slik that I picked up somewhere I don't remember (maybe in Poway). After I painted it metalflake purple (spray paint!) I sold it for $125, back in 1990. This was the first old bike that I fixed up and has a place near and dear in my heart. I wish I had a picture.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

20 of the Freakiest Custom Bicycles on the Road

Two of them are mine: Reverse Cowgirl, my tallbike with a steering wheel, and my Burrito Bike.

Reverse Cowgirl was the first tallbike I built, but it really wasn't cool until Dingo Dizmal gave me the steering wheel that's on it. This is the most recent pic, it's being "murdered out".

And here it is at the PDX airport

The Burrito Bike made it's debut at Oregon Manifest (another handmade bike show that Drop Out Bicycle Club was invited to show at) It's the second one in, that's my Stingray Lowrider too.

And here is a more recent picture taken in beautiful Aloha, Oregon


I had the idea for a fixed gear tallbike about 3 years ago. Not an original idea, I'm sure someone had done it, but this was when the "fixie" thing was first starting to really blow up, and I felt it necessary to poke some fun at it. Also the Drop Out Bicycle Club, of which I am a member was invited to have a booth at the first Oregon Handmade Bike Show. I was a bit dumbfounded when we were approached, as it was entirely professional builders, of which I have the most admiration and respect. I knew I had to do something special. I had Mizutani Seraph that I got at Goodwill and a Bridgestone Kabuki from a yard sale, so I had two lugged mild steel frames from which to build a tallbike. I always start with the steerer tube, and I set it up to both the top and bottom headsets, so the tube in between is more of a stem extension. Four bearings are sturdier than two, and once the neck extension is fabricated it acts as a jig, holding the top frame in place. I also did a monostay, and placed a substantial gusset at the bottom bracket. It also got track ends that line up with the bottom bracket for maximum chain adjustment. I finished it off with a big 52 tooth chainring. The most recent addtion is the bum bars, which a very comfortable. So here it is, the Suicycle.

Brakeless? Check. No foot retention? Check. No lockring? Check. (welded 5sp. cluster)
27" rear wheel & 26" front wheel (for teh barspinz)

Here you can see the sprocket gusset, and triangle gusset

The rather precarious monostay, made from part of a fork leg.

Seat lug with seat stays carefully cut away, cut and laced Brooks saddle.

Rear dropout cut from a Schwinn Varsity and grafted to what was a vertical dropout.