March 31, 2010
I expect a jetpack too!
Today marks five years since I stopped living out of my van and took up residency here in Minneapolis.
I don't want to get all introspective or anything, but I will say that I never expected my life to take such dramatic turns or to to be this good.
I've got a wonderful lady, a "cool" job, a nice house, more bikes than I can ride, a Carmel Starship, and am lucky to be surrounded by an amazing group of cohorts, ne'erdowells, cronies, mugs, thugs, and homies. I don't want to brag or anything, but I've got the best group of friends an asshole could ever hope for.
Minneapolis has been good to me.
Thanks to everyone who supports the races, reads the blog, or rides their bike.
Big thanks to the Bike Jerks family, you know who you are.
Bike Jerks 5 Year Anniversary is also coming up this summer, I'll likely throw a bike party or something for that, so keep your ears open.
P.S. you know what I'm doing today? I'm going to the dentist and getting a tattoo (separate appointments). The worst part is that not only am I getting a tattoo on my 5 year MPLS anniversary (I didn't plan it for this day. A friend at the tattoo shop called last week because they had an opening and she knew I was trying to get in) but I'm getting a Bike Jerks tattoo. The moustache skull. Only I'm totally not getting a Bike Jerks tattoo because that would be super stupid and I would never do that. I just happen to be getting a tattoo of a skull that a friend drew, that I used in a screen design. That's it.
Last night's Pentagram show pretty much sucked. It was fifteen bucks to get in and the band played for about 25 minutes. Ten minutes of which were dedicated to a very self indulgent cover of ZZ Top's "La Grange." When they were playing metal they sounded pretty good. But a 25 minute show? That's total and utter bullshit. And to play blues for ten minutes of it? Come on!
For instance if you paid money (at a county fair or something) to see Charlie Daniels, well ol' Charlie better damn well open with Devil Went Down to Georgia, close with Devil Went Down to Georgia, and play the Devil Went Back Down to Georgia somewhere in the middle. That's what the people came to see. The people went to Pentagram to hear some fucking doom. I know they're old an all so I'll cut them some slack, but devoting nearly half your set to "La Grange" (I like ZZ Top as much as the next guy, but that's not the point here)?
The saving grace of the evening was that we had a spectacular ride to and from the show. First short sleeved ride of the year, and it was amazing.
If Pentagram is coming to your town, I'd think hard about it. If we would have gotten a longer set it would have been fine, but it seemed very much like they couldn't give a rats ass about the fans or playing a good show.
It was also kind of weird that the frontman kept saying how much he loved the crowd and "god bless". Not that there's anything wrong with that, but we were all hoping to see something much more evil.
William Spencer doing his thing:
March 30, 2010
After once being convicted in the 2007 murder of a Minneapolis bicyclist, Jamaal Freeman was found not guilty in Mark Loesch's death on Tuesday.
Loesch was killed in September 2007 while biking out late. Police said he was robbed and beaten to death.
His body was found the next morning on Elliot Avenue South. He left behind a wife and four children. He was 41 years old.
Freeman and Donald Jackson were arrested two months later. Jackson pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and became a key witness against Freeman.
He testified that Loesch came to him to buy drugs and that Jamaal Freeman lured him into a yard, killed him with a baseball bat and then robbed him. He was carrying $40.
Jackson was sentenced to six years in prison.
Freeman was originally convicted of second-degree murder last May, though the jury acquitted him of his first-degree murder charge.
Then in August, a judge granted a new trial after the Hennepin County Attorney's Office didn't turn over police notes in a timely manner.
The jury in Freeman's second trial was handed the case on Monday after Freeman himself took the stand. Freeman denied having anything to do with Loesch's death.
The jury deliberated for less than a day before arriving at their verdict.
This is a travesty of justice. I am deeply saddened by this news.
The American doom metal band Pentagram was formed in 1971 in Arlington, Virginia, by vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Bobby Liebling. The band was very much influenced by Sir Lord Baltimore Groundhogs and Blue Cheer. Their first release was a 7" in July 1972 under the name Macabre. Next was two new 7" releases under the new name Pentagram in June 1973 and October 1974. In 1974 Columbian Records became interested in the band and the following year they recorded a demo for them. There were also plans for a tour with Blue Oyster Cult but it never happened.
In 1975 Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss came to see Pentagram in Virginia. They were looking for a band to sign to Casablanca Records and Stanley wanted to buy a song from Pentagram called "Star Lady" but Bobby said no. Simmons also wanted to buy the song "Much Too Young To Know" to use in the Destroyer album bu Bobby said no once more. This resulted in Kiss signing the band Angel instead.
In 1979 the band broke up. In 1981 a band called Death Row [this band was actually formed in 1979 but it wasn't until now that Bobby Liebling joined in] was formed with Bobby Liebling on vocals. In 1982 they recorded a demo called "All Your Sins" and managed to secure a deal with the Dutch East India Trading and changed their name to Pentagram. In 1985 they released their first album entitled "Pentagram" on Pentagram Records which was just a re-mix of their first demo. New albums and many shows on American soil followed. In mid 1987 the band broke up but reformed with some old 70's members in 1988 only to break up once again in 1989.
In 1990 the popularity for Pentagram as well as doom metal in general became stronger. Cathedral did a cover of the song "All Your Sins" and Peaceville Records became interested in Pentagram and wanted to re-release the two albums and also produce a new one. In May 1993 the first lp was re-released as "Relentless", a remix from the original master tape. In August they also reissued the second album "Day Of Reckoning" with some re-recordings. On September 14th, 1993, Pentagram played their first show in over six years at Tikifala, Virginia.
From April to June 1994 Victor and Joe were guest musicians for Cathedral during their tour with Black Sabbath. In November Pentagram released their new album "Be Forewarned". After this release followed five years of silence until the band returned to life.
Joshy, Dirty, and myself are heading over there around 10. You should totatlly go.
March 29, 2010
This is my 55cm Nature Boy prototype
I'm loving this thing, there are several improvements that are going to be made for production, but even imperfect this bike is awesome. (As one of my personal heroes Dave Gray once pointed out to me, when you have the prototype, sure it's cool and all, but all you really got is the f'd up version)
I'd like to take this opportunity to call out the tires. I'm running 37c Conti Contacts and they roll incredibly smooth and fast for a big tire. I never thought I'd be happy commuting on a tire larger than 32c, but these things feel great. Highly recommended.
in the photos the paint looks kind of greenish, but in person, it's definitely a super dark dark blue
I'm currently testing out some Velocity wheels built on their 23mm wide A23 rim. So far these wheels are super sweet, they're lightweight, have cool looking hubs, a wide rim, and I've yet to put them out of true even with all the potholes and drunkeness they've come into contact with
Big thanks to Velocity for the hookup on this!
In case you were wondering the eyelets are going to get chopped off. As you can see he's polished the face of each dropout. Now I just need to persuade him to polish the entire thing. I want fork tips that match the lovely stainless fork crown, and if you're going to do the tips, you've got to do the dropouts too!
Speaking of forks, here's mine in process
The Clock Starts Ticking
Dropouts, Chainstays, Fork Crown
Or as Erik would call it, deep custom.
Some photos of the bikes up for sale. Note the deep curves of the stays. Both bikes are 55cm square and are pure veldodrome hell.
Up first is the Bad Penny. Bad Penny's patina has gotten even more lovely with time. Be honest with yourself, have you ever actually seen a track bike as fully realized or gorgeous as this? I mean really really look at it. You could own this bike for a hell of a lot less than it's worth. If you're serious about potentially owning this bike, contact him at (651) 269-5295.
*photos by Andrew Gruehn
This Kill Bill inspired build earned him a special place in our hearts as our own bicycle American Choppers. It's name is revenge. He is selling a complete build, with matching rims. Contact him for build details, I've seen it and it's very nice.
March 28, 2010
March 26, 2010
I'll try to get some pictures for ya. Till Monday, I'm outta here
However come the spring and fall seasons, knickers make a lot of sense, especially when paired with a nice high wool sock or leg warmers; they are often just the ticket to dressing perfectly for the cool 25-45 degree weather.
So the solution here is to simply make your own out of some Dickies. A broken in pair of Dickies are pretty much the best thing ever. They're great as pants, the best cutoff shorts in the world, and they make a great pair of knickers for under $20. Dickies will always be awesome in the same way that a pair of Chuck Taylor's will always be awesome. And nobody can give you shit about your stupid little shortpants.
Ok, that's not true. People will still totally give you shit about your stupid shortpants, and you know what? They'll be right. To the non cycling world your shants are fucking ridiculous and you should grow up and get a real job already. But if looking silly gets you down at least you'll be able to fall back on your morally superior DIY punk rock* ethos.
*punk rock died when the first kid said, punk's not dead... punk's not, dead
So how do you make a set of Dickies knickers? The answer is obviously to just cut them off. However in the years I've been doing this I've gone the extra mile and built in some extra features that I'd like to share with you.
Cutoff Dickies, bottom of each leg hemmed
P: So you cut them off and have extra material, what are you going to do with it?
A: Sew it on the ass
The ass is the first place you're going to wear out your pants while riding, especially if you ride an embroidered saddle. Sew that extra material where you think you'll need it. This was the first attempt at an ass gusset. As you can see my aim was a little low. (I use the word "my" but I've got to come clean, I can't sew for shit. I provided the direction and B.Ridget's mom, M.P.B., did the sewing. She's a real whiz with that kind of thing) Next time the patches will get sewn on higher.
P: You're using these things in the cold weather and you're looking for some extra warmth.
A: Line them with flannel
Keeping the knees warm makes life so much better on the bike. These are lined 360 degrees around the knee up to the mid thigh, if I had to do it over though I wouldn't bother with the rear and would just line the front from seam to seam.
So yeah, if you're looking for knickers I recommend you skip the bike shop and head to a workwear store and get yourself some Dickies. Kid tested, mother approved.
*sorry for the black and white images. At first I thought it would be sweet, but now I realize that they're hard to look at and that color would have been way better. Next time..