Thursday, May 15, 2008

Six Dollar Fix


I decided I wanted a beater bike, one so homely that no thief would even look twice let alone take it. So I found this rusty blue 10-speed in my size at the recycling center for $6. The decals had already been stripped off so I have no idea about the brand but based on the parts mix and its age, I suspect the country of origin is Japan. I had a fixed wheelset laying around from an upgraded project and added the saddle, bars, pedals, chain and bottle cage from my parts bin. It was an easy build, just took a couple hours and I was sold after the first spin down to the post office. She may be butt ugly but she rides great! Total investment: $6 Canadian

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Crunching Some Numbers


I've been known to rant about the price of gasoline and using a bicycle for everyday transportation (see Zero Emissions and End Of An Era) as well as recreation. Of course I'm not alone. This has been coming for quite a while and many have been waving red flags around the world. But here is some recent data to fuel the end of fossil fuel flames: Gasoline is now at $126 a barrel with some analysts predicting $200 in the not too distant future. Concurrently, bicycle sales are up 14% in Europe and 9% in the US (no numbers available for Canada). So I guess my wife and I aren't the only ones parking our vehicles and biking or walking where we need to go. And if you're as put off by the price of a new bicycle as you are by the numbers at the pump, stay tuned. The next post will be about a set of wheels guaranteed to be within your budget.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What's Old Is New


I haven't posted much in the way of artwork lately so...here's a poster for The Steelwool Bicycle Company by Ottawa artist Aaron Bihari done in the style of the classic turn-of-the-century cycling posters.

Friday, May 2, 2008

MCMLII


I had a birthday this week. I was born in 1952 (you do the math) and it was certainly a very different world back then. In architecture, Mid-century Modern ruled and people like Richard Neutra and Mies van der Rohe were defining the style. On 26 July of that year, Eva Peron passed away in her native Argentina. Who knew that a girl named Madonna would bring her back to life half a century later? Hank Williams' Jambalaya was Number One on the country charts. The Trans-Canada highway was under construction as was CBS Television City in Hollywood and suburbia all over the planet. Doctors in New York created the first usable artificial kidney. But really, who cares about a plastic kidney? By far the most exciting thing going on in 1952 was Il Campionissimo. That was the year Fausto Coppi won both the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia!