Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Am Growing Weary of Straightening Up the Shop Building

I spent another 8 or 9 hours of working on getting the shop building rearranged and organized, today.  Counting all of the time I put in sorting parts and whatnot, as I got ready for the yard sale, I have put well over 40 hours of labor into it!

 The motorbikes fit in there a lot better now that I have opened up the floor space a bit.  Most of the stuff along the back wall will go into another building, or it will be given away.  That will open up even more of the floor.

 The top of my work bench is still a mess, but the areas to either side are good to go.

 The shelves are organized neatly, and I am actually able to put stuff where it goes, now.

I put a few pictures on the wall, as I worked.  I had come across a lot of photocopies of snapshots, and such, when I was cleaning the house and sorting stuff for the yard sale.  I figured I might as well hang them up, rather than leave them in a folder, somewhere.

Hopefully, I can get this chore completed by the end of this week!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thanks, Jeremy!

You may recall that I sorta broke my camera when Brad and I went on our motorcycle camping trip, last month.  I managed to fill it up with enough dust that the lens was jamming, rather than closing, as I would turn it off.  Even though I eventually got it to take pictures, again, uploading was a hassle and the picture quality seemed somewhat lower than before the trip (dirt behind the lens, perhaps?).

Jeremy read my blog post about the camera woes, and offered to send me a camera he no longer needed.  I asked him to let me pay for it, or trade for something, but all he would accept was an Association of Caffeinated Wheelmen pin!

Today, I came home to find a box on my doorstep.  Inside was this:

  So, I thought it appropriate to take a picture of taking the first picture with the new camera.  The Scrambler is always photogenic, so I pointed the new camera at it:

Thanks, again, Jeremy!  

It seems that I meet the nicest people on Two Wheels...


Monday, September 19, 2011

My Tax Dollars at Work

They finally repaved my street, for the first time in 28 years (so I'm told).

Brand-new, smooth as glass, black as my soul just doesn't seem like home, now.  I think I preferred the old scabby, patched-up, character-filled, pitted surface to this.

Change is hard, sometimes.


Busy Weekend - Good Yard Sale

I had a good turnout at the yard sale, and sold about 90% of my stuff.  But, that leaves me with a few boxes of parts to dispose of.  I suppose I will take them to the Bike Co-Op and donate them.

I was so tired, last night, that I went out to dinner rather than cook.  I lived on bagels and cream cheese, Saturday, and had the same for breakfast, Sunday.  Then, I realized I had not eaten or had anything to drink, all day.  So, I hit Poppies, down the street, and had a nice celebration dinner.

I got home, took a shower and fell into bed.  Out like a light...

Got up this morning to a message from Carol, on my phone, "Story, tonight?" it read.  The time-stamp was 8:30, last night (while I was in the shower).

"Dammit,"  I thought.  So, I wrote two stories, this morning.  I am still averaging one per day, at least...


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sometimes I love The Shuffle Mode on the iPod

Treat Her Right,

by George Thorogood...followed by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Skunk .



Scenes From the Yard Sale

Here are a few shots of the spread, just before it started raining at 3:00 PM:

 I had already sold five bikes before I took this picture.  Three of the bikes in this picture are consignment bikes, which probably won't sell...

 I had sold four or five good-sized boxes of parts out of this stuff, too...

 Brad's Raleigh XXIX (brand new, never ridden).  I t will probably sell for $500 (half retail)...

 Five frames.partial bikes already gone..

 Man, I had a lot of stuff!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting Ready For the Sale

Built up a few bikes, today, for the yard sale. 

This is an Iverson ten-speed.  I got it as a junk bike, with drop bars and down-tube shifters.  I swapped bars and stem, threw on some tourist-style brake levers, friction thumb shifters, and new tires/tubes, then topped it off with gold metal-flake Schwinn grips and an Electra sprung saddle.

It is a lugged frame, but the rear dropouts are attached with the crimp/spot weld method that you see on old Huffy bikes.  The alloy Bluemels fenders are probably worth more than the bike, itself.  But, I love that green paint, and I think the bike will work well as a neighborhood cruiser.

I picked this Schwinn World Sport up for a guy who ended up finding another bike without telling me.  In the old days, I would have converted this to a fixed gear or single speed.  It has horizontal drops and a bolt-on rear wheel, so it would lend itself to conversion.  As it is, I am trying to build bikes I can sell at yard-sale prices, so I just cleaned it and tuned it.

This little 53cm SOMA (no connection to the currently-available SOMA brand) came to me on a trade.  Some cleaning and lubing, a few adjustments, and some bar tape got it ready to ride/sell. 

I figure I'll mark the green bike at $100, and the other two at $50 each.  That gives me room to bargain, and still get my labor time and parts cost back.  As I said in my Craigslist ad, the "flippers" are going to love my sale.  I have stuff priced so that someone could buy it and resell for a profit. 

I think of it as Craigslist Wholesale...

I have a couple of mountain bikes to get ready, tomorrow.  Then, I will be as ready as I will get for the yard sale.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Despite My Camera Woes

I have figured out a way to post some pictures.  My broken camera will still take pictures (though I think the quality is degraded a bit), but it won't upload them to my computer.

So, I take pictures, then pull the SD card out and put it in this cheap little $25.00 video camera I have, and use it as a disc drive to load the pics onto my Mac.  (Why can't Apple just put a slot for SD cards in the damn computer?)

Here, then, are some pictures of my life, at the moment:

 I have been clearing the house out, for a week, getting ready for a yard sale.  Today, I started in on the shop building.  I plan on getting rid of most of my bike parts and partial bikes, as well as some junk guitars and such.

The parts in the back of the truck will possibly be used to get derelict frames up and rolling so that I can sell them as bikes.  What I don't use will just be for sale as parts.

 These boxes are random items that will be for sale, cheap.  I plan on pricing stuff so that nothing will be left over.

 The pile by the door is a "keep pile".  The tubes need to be inflated and left, overnight, to see if they leak.

 I have sorted through the first two shelf units, and I've started on the third.  The tub on the floor is full of things which will end up back on the shelves, once I am done.  The Honda is going up for sale on Craigslist, later this week.

 The stuff on my workbench is "keeper" stuff.  Tools, art supplies, etc.  I dread getting into this side of the room, even though I've already cleared the bench and gathered up all those mountain bike handlebars.

I started on this at about 10:30, this morning.  It is now 6:00 PM, and all that stuff is sitting outside.  I have to figure out where to put it, until Friday.  I don't want to move it back into the building...

I am getting rid of a lot of stuff.  I got into that "my possessions own me" mode, so I am fighting back.  I don't want to sell a bunch of stuff on Craigslist, because it's just annoying to do so.  eBay charges too much, nowadays, plus I don't want to pack and shipp 100 different items.

So, I am having a big yard sale.  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

New Phone - New Blog

Two things coincidentally happened at almost the same time:  I got a new Android phone, and I broke my digital camera.

On the motorcycle trip that Brad and I took (where I broke the camera) I played around with posting photos to FaceBook.  Now, I don't particularly like FB, but a lot of people I know check it out regularly, and they never see my blog.

However, I realize a lot of you blog-readers don't care for FaceBook (or just don't want to send out "friend requests" all over creation).  So, in order to be able to show those of you who want to see the random off-the-cuff photo posts like I make to FB, and because it is a royal pain in the ass to get photos from the Android to the Mac, I started up a Tumblr account.

Check out So Many Voices in My Head, if you'd like.  Not everything on it will hit FaceBook, and not everything I upload to FB will hit SMVIMH.  But, I hopeyou find it entertaining, anyway...


Back In the Saddle

I rode the XOXO to work, this morning.  I had the Nelson Longflap bag loaded with clothes, lunch and rain gear (due to the weather forecast) and never really noticed it was there, as I rode.  I like the relatively compact load, as opposed to carrying panniers on each side.  I think it's going to be a good system for me.

I had a bit of a headwind, but I got to work in good time (32 minutes, door to door).  I might have been riding a little harder than normal, since I was pretty excited to be back on the bike.  It remains to be seen how my Achilles tendon will react.   So far, so good.

I had a tailwind on the way home, and cloudy skies with temps in the 70s but no rain.

So, I am back in the saddle and writing blog posts that, I suppose, only another bicycle-commuter could find interesting, at all!


Sunday, September 04, 2011

"New" Nishiki

I picked this 1983-ish Nishiki up as part of a barter deal, recently.  The rear wheel was bent, so I stuck some 700c wheels in it (which I wanted to run, anyway), with 45c tires on it.  I didn't figure the tires would fit into the frame, but it's easier to store a bike with wheels than without.  Imagine my surprise when the wheels actually spun.  The tire clearance is minimal, but they do clear.

I know you can't see a great many details in the cell-phone camera shot, but I wanted to get something up about it.  I'll post more photos once I have a real camera available.

I finally found a bike to use the gold SunTour crank on.  I picked it up at VeloSwap, a couple of years ago, becase it was, well, gold and because it is a SunTour rather than a Sugino.  I don't see many actual SunTour cranks, around these parts.

I retained the SunTour bar-con shifters, but I installed them on a mustache bar/dirt-drop style stem combo, with new Aztek cables and housing.  I swapped the high-normal (if you remove the cable, the derailleur shifts to the big ring - high gear) front derailleur for another vintage SunTour unit which is low-normal (remove the cable, and the derailleur shifts to the small ring - low gear), because I hate the backwards-shift thing on the front, with the high-normal version.

Origin8 racing-style saddle, Deore DX platform pedals from the late 80s, a new seatpost,  a handlebar-mounted water bottle cage, new brake cables and housing, and Cinelli "natural"-colored cork tape rounded out the build.    New brake pads will soon be installed, to replace the 25+year-old pieces that are on there, now.

Plus, I found an old Zefal frame pump in my parts pile, and used an Agfa clamp to mount it to the seatpost.

Dave Webb and I rode down to the bike race, last weekend, and I took this bike on its maiden voyage, then.  It rode nice, even if the tires seemed to roll a bit sluggishly (I will probably drop down to 35c, or so, on it).  The racing-style seat was really comfortable, even with street clothes, which surprised me.

I love the color of the paint, and the trim.  The patina of age adds a certain "beausage", as Grant Petersen would say, so I won't be repainting it.  I will shellac the tape, pretty soon, though.

So, now I have an actual road bike in the stable, once again...


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Rock Hammer

Sometimes, something will just catch me off-guard, and I am stunned by my reaction to it.  Tonight, as I sat trying to come up with an idea for my Bike Stories blog, I had the iPod playing on Shuffle.  Then, a song came on which totally took me out of the moment, and put me in a completely different place.

The song was a little ditty by the name of "Rock Hammer", by a group called Dick and the Gonads (my shot at a punk band, back in college).  On this particular cut (which I wrote as an homage to Joan Jett, by the way), I am playing lead guitar, Johnny B is playing rhythm, my sister is playing "drums" (actually Tupperware, but it got the job done), and Taylor Davis is singing.

Long-time readers may remember that Taylor died a couple of years ago.  He had a heart attack, and it was a sudden and unexpected passing, which made it that much harder for me to process.  I still feel bad that I didn't get together with him, while I was home that summer.

Anyway, I was sitting here, surfing the net and wondering what to write my story about, when I heard Taylor start in on "Rock Hammer", and it just froze me in my figurative tracks.  I sat, motionless, and listened to my friend, 30 years ago, belting out the lyrics I had written, and it struck me hard just how lucky we are all are to still be around...still able to sing, and live, and love.  And, it struck me, how sad it is that so many of our loved ones are gone.

Enjoy your labor day weekend.  I hope you are able to be with those you care for.