Wednesday, September 23, 2009

resurrection on the wheel

allow me to introduce a close member of the family, and recent recipient of a very nice Resurrection from the dead ( only the second guy to get that sweet deal for himself in history that i am aware of ), scootie.

scootie is, externally and/or in this plane of existence, a 1962 honda 50cc step-thru. but he is much much more than that. he is a person or persona of a nature perhaps beyond human understanding. he came to me in the murky and vague period of the mid 70's. the specifics of how, and the details of legal title and so forth are shrouded in the twists of the quantum warp of the fabric of the universe which accompanies scootie, and in which he trully resides. one does not "own" scootie. he simply is by you, or he is not.

for the past 10 years, scootie was in my garage, inert and inactive to our perceptions. previous to that, he was in my brother's dank basement for perhaps 8 years or so in a similar state. prior to those spells and while awake, he was the coolest pit-bike in the world at venues such as road america, road atlanta, mid ohio, watkins glen and so forth, where he enjoyed being a star in the sports car racing world . . . before that he hung around the early years of the skateboard world. he is omni-talented.

this past weekend, as a way to avoid doing any actual work as gretchen and i cleaned the garage, nicky decided to start scootie up. 20 years of not running at all - just start him up. ummmm, yeah, ok nicky - you do that.

a splash of new gas, some fiddling with the carb ( which he knows nothing about ), and a few healthy pushes up&down the alley later . . . . . . . . . and scootie decided to awake. 20 years of quiet slumber, suddenly scootie deemed nicky worthy and putt putt putt putt - off he goes. since then we have actually cleaned the carb, and have been running a mysterious gas additive known as "sea-foam" thru him and scootie is ripping around like it is the pre-beatles days from which he came.

scootie rules. as does nicky.

now i need to go tell the friendly DMV guys to dig around in the basement someplace to find the title that hasn't been active since 1976 or so, and nicky will have the coolest commuter to ever exist in this most unworthyworld underneath him, come next spring when he gets his license. in the meantime, i need to ask scootie who was cooler to hang out with, jesus or elvis, or maybe hemingway or perhaps . . . . .well i dunno, i'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a yearning for the simple days

after a tiring week of various comminques concerning recent events, and with missing the cheq40 for one of the couple times over the past ump-twenty years . . . i find myself in a reflective mood.

so - little quiz, in that vein.

only one WI/MN ( she was pre-WORS )rider has ever won a NORBA / USA Cycling XC Mountain Bike National. she is pictured above. know who it is ??

bonus pints for knowing where her win took place, and which pro team picked her outta the obscurity of WI racing ( which was not that obscure in those days ).

and yes, she was faster than the people today ( obviously ).

Friday, September 18, 2009

featured rider of the week

issue resolved. nevermind.

Friday, September 11, 2009

still life with carbide steel spearpoints, and heart-piercing daggers

one can only wonder what MK's rommates are going to think, when her alarming looking scar-headed dad shows up to drop these little items off to brighten up her dorm-room. a poster with icicles, and a dagger thru a heart ?? this represents "comfort-decor" to her ?? well good, say i. as russell advised - " let them be the ones who feel the need to sleep with one eye open ". sound advice from the shedmaster.

as for the roller-ski poles . . . . well . . . . few things outside a 5 foot lightweight spear tipped with a razor sharp carbide steel spike say " personal- safety-spoken-here " with the same panache'. she could kill lions with those things if she needed to. take the hint, would be scumbag drunk assailants - or don't. hint #2; she's going for the eyes first, and she ain't gonna drop 'em - they're tied onto her hands . . . . . either way is fine with the old dad.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

safety first.

i am of the mike tyson schol of safety - always lead with the head. which is not to say i don't like or wear helmets. indeed i have numerous roller skiing helmets. they are painstaking made of fine woven cloth ( cotton ideally, with coolmax acceptable. i like a nice little brim on there, too. the graphic "campagnolo", "suntour" ( the old one, OK? ), or the belgian flag colours in a spiffy ribbon down the center are always a plus.

anyway - i will not compromise on any of this, because one can easily see above why i insist on one at all times. sure, my melon still has a little burn up there, no worries except prompting - among others - lamprey eel jokes at work. when is the last time you heard a good lamprey eel joke ??

Sunday, September 6, 2009

patience, tactics, longboards, and back ridin ??

nicky quit ridin, and racin road/XC bikes a few years ago. retired, more like. not that he stopped loving bikes - from from it. he just tended to street/park BMX and DJ/urban styles of ridin. if anything, his cycling thusly has been MORE of a lifetyle thing than straight up road/XC.

but, i always hoped he would find his way back. he might be on the way. above we see his new fixie he threw together one recent afternoon. went like this . . . . i meet him comin home from his job at the cool coffe shop in town. with him is a 20-something co-worker, with a longboard. i walk up, say hi, and grab the longboard from the young man. at this point the young man gives nick a look of grave concern, as in "dude-your-old-bald-dad-is-gonna-break-his-arm-in-this-parking-lot-like-every-oldbald-dumbass-dad-when-he-falls-off-my-longboard" sorta way.

now, indeed there are a LOT of things in the modern sk8 world i can't do - but ripping/shredding/sliding on a longboard in a low-slung-pivotal-z-boy style is not one of them. i proceed to do so. the young man is stunned. talk turns to bikes, fixies in particular . . . . . the young man has a shittily conveted fixie, and nick and i - as frank zappa would say: ". . . tell him how to do it right".

nick starts to think . . . . . . cool coffee shop job = style to work via longboard or fixie = not a bad thing. presto - a new fixie is born. i've been keeping the frame, and an ENO rear wheel around for just such a day. he went with the mustache bars for now, because i kept singing the line from the viral "performance" video to him . . . . . " you can barely fit your hands on the handlebars - you look kinda shaky, weaving thru cars ". of course many friends chime in wondering when he will start wearing girls pants . . . . . . " anodized chain? cards in your spokes? how can you ride, your pants are a joke". and so on. which is cool with nicky, he is fun. bubba should bring him a pair of meghans to try on at lake geneva next weekend! :)

mostly tho - he's back on the road. it's a start.

good day, and talking with, ot kicking a live horse

gretchen and i loaded up the van with BMX bikes, DJ bikes, skateboards, and our own old-person style pedal bikes. we dropped the kids at a sweet skatepark in schofield, and then had a very very sweet ride at 9-mile for a few hours. i never know where i am out there, but we ended up hitting most everything.

it was G's first real trail ride since her foot surgery, she did well, and was stoking.

oddly, we paid 3 dollars to ride, not $350.00 there weren;t that any people there, a few groups of 2-6 riders whom we did not know. it was a nice day, and we would stop and talk with them. every group the subject of 24-9 and GG and that debacle came up. is was uncanny. it even came up somehow with some equestrians. i could give a shite one way or the other at this point but lemme tell ya, GG dug a deep ass hole for themselves on that deal. again and frankly i was amazed - we never brought it up.

i hit a few follow-the-leader runs with nicky back at the park, and we marvelled at their growing bag of BMX sk8park tricks/speed/height. howzabout a carve 12 feet up OVER-vert to vert-wall pocket manual, to 270 hip over a 10 foot wall with an extension to a tabletopped and tweaked 10to 56 foot spine transfer ?? that is some crazy shite.

during the procedings, i was fully dorked out with my portable XM radio listening like a hopeless sucker to my kid's new school's football game - which XM/sirius plays on The Catholic Channel", not a sports channel which i find hilarious. yelling "touchdown" every 6 minutes didn't help with the dork factor, but it was fun. it was MK's first football game EVER ( inclding hi-skool ) she was never remotely interested in even a packer game - but she is ranching out and digging college life. riding time is way down, but that's the way it is - se is geting a few hammerfests in. anyway, they make a freaking grand spectacle of it the f-ball thing there, by report, and MK loved it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

2 kinds of mechanics in the world . . .

there is the "place for everything and everything in it's place" type.

and the type that works in a pigsty but knows where every washer, spring clip, tool and specialty part is, even without looking.

here we see nicky's style revealed mid-project - he is of the latter school. it would bother me more, but my brother was of the same school. and he could rebuild a MG's engine from the cylinders up with his tools scattered in the dirt at elkhart lake, and go win the june spints with it 5 min later. or dissemble a triumph tridents transmission on the side of a county lane, fix it, and put it back together with the ragtag band of shit pot-metal tools they ya gave to carry with you. when he died, 2 brothers and i cleaned HARDCORE his appt for 3 hours before we uncovered a trek 2300 hehad in there. so - he was of this school of mechanicing also, and it is the probably the only reason i do not kill nicky for it.

he has his new project in there someplace . . . . . more on that later.

Friday, September 4, 2009

just so we are clear . . . .

i enjoyed the artful DVS sk8boarding video making the rounds. it is beautiful, and artful in the extreme. i see why a designer as talented as jesse posted it. it might win second place in cool sk8spot film.

but T-H-I-S pic is first place. T-H-I-S is the vince-lombardi-trophy of sk8 related film. there is no debate. this photo INVENTED skateboarding, defined it, and changed the world forever. anything in popular or ( especially ) underground culture that exists today that combines aggresion, style, speed, grace, grit, balls, skill, and the pure act of being outside the norm for the pure sheer hell and fun of it came from this photo. that is a fook of a lot of things, but is is the truth.

one image. black&white. the man who according to stacy peralta God himself put on this earth and said "let there be sk8boarders".

rusty tool shed fabrications

on their wat to school, russel insisted MK and G stopped by the shed for a care package. MK was nervous as to what it could be, naturally . . . . .

but behold !! the sweetest campus cummuter one could ever wish for. only the most discerning of eyes will note that under that spiffed up old 3 speed frame there lurk ultra-trick SS BMX hubs/wheels, the beautiful crescent handlebar, the wholly trick crank with chinguard, etc etc. and russell always knows the secret ingredient - love. just as when rick and liz hit her with the original iceman artwork from hero jesse L for her dorm wall, MK was choked up beyond words with this ultrafine goin' away present.

reports from scool indicate she is already known as the girl who rides that yellow bike with the basket stuffed full really fast everywhere you look. she sez she can't help it - it makes her smile and feel like people at home are pulling for her everytime she gets on it. in a lot of way, she is the country-cousin-at-the-big-city-wedding, so to speak at an elite-level school - but having the coolest campus ride east of the missippi makes up for it.

as the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers ( ya'll BETTER know who they are . . .) used to ( sort of . . ) say" " having a cool-ass bike in times of no money, is a hell of a lot better than having money, but a crappy bike ". russell has my girl covered.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

indy fab

oh wait, that name is already taken ?? dang. anyway - here is a set of new-skool large-diameter rollerskiis that nicky and his buddy made for me in the garage. not bad, eh ?? the colour is their trademark "playboy-blue", BTW. i am told the alloy wheel hubs will soon be picking up the blue, in a nod to hipster deep-V rims everywhere - perhaps i will print "all you haters suck my balls" on them afterwords !!

the wheels i got at cost from a generous supplier, when i explained the plan of having the kids making them. otherwise, they observed a friend's set of $350 marwi's along with a few pics of other rollerskiis, and had at it. their design and execution is superior to everything by the marwi's IMHO. observe the carefully dropped shafts for a lower - better - center of gravity, for example. nice work by anybody, and they slay skiis costing $250 and more in this and nearly every other every way. keep in mind they ( nicky and sawyer ) are 15 years old, and had a budget of pocket change. i'll take them sk8boarding in schofield maybe, and buy em lunch at wendy's - nice deal !!

more plans are in the works to actually move them past the benchmark marwi's and thus make them the best rollerskiis on this earth. think foam injection into the shaft for vibration damping first off. maybe some experiental wood shafts down the road ?? other laminates ?? awesome job. oh yeah, they ski great as is !!