Sunday, August 9, 2009

Turning a new leaf....

Hello all...To my few loyal followers and any new I apologize for my absence. 5 months have come and gone. I have been working on going back to school for my MFA. So i have been shooting tons of photos and creating collages, blah, blah, blah. I am going to start some new etsy pieces so I'm back baby. Stay tuned for new posts and updates and all things Velo and Mellow!



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Sorry to post after 17 days...I suck i know!  But life has been getting in the way of my other responsibilities.  I realize work, wife, and family should come first.  There are very little consequences for not creating work, crafting, working on my bike, etc. just the self-sense that i will explode and that i am a complete failure to myself and everyone that breathes the air around me...Enough self-loathing, lets move on shall we!

I am posting pics of the updated steed.  I have received my saddle, toshi straps, and crankarms...Still waiting on my rims though!  I think this is the longest I have taken to finish a bike.  Most of that thanks to bills, school loans, general comforts, and gas money ( I commute over 120 miles a day!) boo me again!

In any case, i read that Kashima(x) saddles were uncomfortable, but for the sake of sounding like a fool, i wanted the bike to stay as true as i could muster to being a Japanese track bike.  I think my friend Ian or someone he knew coined the name "butt knife" for his Fizik Arione saddle, but it most definitely fits the bill here too!  I got a really good deal on the butt knife though when i bought my Sugino Mighty seatpost, couldn't pass it up.  To look at it is to fear for the life of my 'taint' but such is life!  

I also purchased a used set of Toshi straps...I figured used Toshi's are better than anything new i could buy in the store short of new Toshi's.  When i can afford it i will be getting some brand spanking new ones!  I also purchased some steel NJS toe clips to fit the bill.  I won a set of Sugino AS Mighty crank arms to go with my Sugino 75 chainring.  They mated just lovely together.  I wanted a pair of Grand Mighty Champagne cranks but of current economic crisis didn't allow for it just yet!  

What i have left is to receive my rims to build up to my Dura Ace hubs.  I pined for a long time on this subject and of course the obvious choices were Mavic Open Pro, CXP33's, Velo Deep V, etc.  I sometimes choose to go the other way with such things.  Yes Mavics are great, Deep V's look the business and so forth, but i went with the Sun CR-18 high polish in 36 hole offering...I know the logic doesn't seem to be there but hear me out:  First off i wanted to go outside of where most would choose to go.  I also wanted a high polish set of rims to go with my high polish Nitto Jaguar stem and drop bars.  I like that the CR-18's are a box style rim, nice and flat and wide.  I know, i should have stuck with tubbies and gotten a pair of Araya Gold 36 hole rims and some Soyo tubular tires...I wanted some practical aspects of the bike, i know a track bike on the streets is not practical but the trade off is the clincher wheelset.  That said though, i am looking into tubular clinchers for my rubber. 

If i decide to stay clincher i would go with a Gomitalia tire, very similar to tubulars or the Veloflex clincher.  Another option is to go with the Tufo tubular clincher but i will try my friend Tim's Tufo out and see how it fits on my rim...The saga continues...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bridgestone Build!

     To begin with, i would just like to say that i have the coolest and most understanding wife in the world...She purchased the frame and build kit for me as an early V-day/birthday gift from NJS export.  She bought me a Bridgestone frame 54cm with Hatta Super Swan headset and Sugino 75 bb.  If you buy the frame you can also purchase a "build kit" for the bike for an extra $30: it consists of a Sugino 75 144bcd chain ring, DA cog, DA lockring, super v chain,Nitto bars, Nitto stem, etc. No wheels or cranks though... but a good deal none the less!  I also purchased a Kashimax seat and Nitto seatpost, as well as NJS single straps.  Along with that purchase i bid on and won a set of DA 7600 NJS 36 hole hubs...very pretty!  
Along with those things i have a set of clear champ grips i have had forever, and a set of clean and polished velotech by Mavic bronzed 36 hole rims.  What little i have found on the rims they were made for peugeot and came on some of their mid-range bikes. I like the thin profile they are non machined walled and look the part!  
All that is left is to find some Sugino 75 crank arms and not get burned on the price, and get the wheels built up...This build is costing a pretty penny but i think will be well worth it.  I might do the rear wheel build first as my Aerospoke fits up front and that would be fine till pay day comes around next month and i can finish the rest!  
Here are some pics and hope to update the build as it comes along.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MCD last night!

I am very pleased to say that i saw the Murder City Devils last night...and they kicked ass!  They played the Glasshouse, Pomona, Ca last night.
The night began with some food and drink at Aladdin Jr.'s in Pomona with friends, and then off for some french coffee at a Vietnamese joint, very very good coffee actually.  Then off to the venue.
  The show was good. A nice playlist. Some of my favorites were played too, Bride of the Elephant Man, Bear Away, Johnny Thunders.  The crowd was pretty subdued compared to the last time i saw them, but that was 9 years ago...Spencer was in top form, as was everyone else, Leslie rocks the electric organ!  
I saw a lot of "mini-moody's" too! These are guys that obsess over looking and taking on the persona of Spencer. People who have so little personality of their own that they think street cred is inevitable if you mirror your idol.  Not into it at all.  What do they say about imitation...
On that note i saw way too many flannels (myself included), and tons of caps. Everyone had an L.A. hat on. I don't prescribe to the, "Oh i live in L.A. or Cali, i can only wear a hometown cap."  I have just about every MLB team fitted and in many colorways.  I am a fan of design, logos, and insignia.  So many good ones besides the L.A. logo.  I rocked my Seattle Mariners cap in respect for MCD.  They showed the Inland Empire some love and i am a better person for seeing them...again.  MCD is dead, long live the Murder City Devils!

Monday, February 16, 2009

After-Work Session!

Sorry...I have been neglecting my blogger duties as of late. Bad weather coupled with too-much going on means that i do nothing! Makes sense right.  I have been rolling on my new Velocity 650c front tire for the last few weeks and have nothing bad to say so far. I may have a few complaints though... For one, commuting on this thing is kind of a no-no.  THe steering is twitchy and very tight, might be something i have to get use to.  I also find that i had to raise my stem add a spacer or two, but feel that a new set of higher risers would fix all that. ( I really hate a threadless stem that sits on a dozen spacers...looks so very terrible.) 

Another gripe i have is that finding a decent tire that is readily available for it is kind of a wash.  I went to the only shop in my area (shout of the Jax Bike Shop, Claremont, California!) that had one in stock.  Of course it was some Bontrager race-something-or-other and cost about $50!  I can order them on-line but i am one that enjoys the response of going into a shop and touching the items and communicating with other human beings...thats just me though!  On a lesser note...why the hell can't i get a 650c tire in colors. Gran Compe ss, Vittoria Rubino and Zaffiro, Michelins, the list goes on and on for the 700c crowd. But i can hear it now, "Stop your whining, and get a 700c tire, 650's are so last year"...) But i have never been one to follow trends, i do what i want, and what i think is cool and it seems to have worked out for me. Carve your own path people its the only way to get to the finish line!

Enough about my bitching and stitching.  THis has been a slow week for everything im into. I did put up some new Etsy stuff last week to tide everyone over till i get to work on my next set of goodies!  I am also in the process of jumping into the sewing world with some top-tube pads and possibly some cycling caps if i can get the stitches right.  I have lots of friends who will R&D and test out for me!  

When it rains it pours, if its coming down then get down indoors!  Here are some pics of the indoor after work session my buddy Ryan and I partook in on Friday! Enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Down but not Out!

I have been away awhile but not that it matters too much...(except for my two followers!) In any case i have been keeping to my promise of spending more quality time with the wife and the 4 kids (our doggies)!  I have put up some new merch in the etsy...Two new spokecard designs and a new card set.  I am also posting up some new designs i have in the works just not finished yet.  They are part of the Bonafide series!  I have been riding as much as the weather here in Cali will allow. It's raining y'all!  We need it though; and its fun as all sin to skid my fixie in the puddles...There is something pure and childlike about riding my brakeless bike around in the rain and just after not a care in the world except that i have no brakes and i am rocking my ipod.  I feel that somethings are best left to fate, if that was my time to go i would be ok with going out on my bike!  Sounds stupid and romantic doesn't it?  Anyway dont think that's my M.O. either. I own a helmet and i am very aware and cautious too. Now if i could just get the cobwebs off of the thing enough to wear it my wife would be happy too!  I keep meaning to take some pics of bike thurs and fridays and update on my newest tricks, but it would only be benefitting myself so no rush right! Soon though.  Enjoy the new designs and hope to have more very soon...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

650 in full effect!

So i have about a week on my 650c front wheel and it is awesome!  I think that it will open up some good trick combos and i feel the progression coming.  I know that there has been a lot of talk about the progression of fixies moving away from the 650c and what not, but i love my 650c wheel for tricks!  I also have another ride for long shots and commutes so i am not too worried about the jarring ride of the smaller front end.  I just started doing bar spins to  no-handed and one-handed pop-ups and i feel my tricks moving forward!  More progress and a photo shoot coming soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

slow start...

So i have to say that 2009 is off to a slow start for me... particularly my etsy stuff.  I have had the random purchase here or there but it is slower than i wanted it to be.  I dont expect to get rich off my goods but it would be nice and reassuring if it would at least cover the material costs to make it, that alone would make me happy!  I hope that things start to pick up!  
The funny thing is that i keep creating new designs and i have a bunch i need to photograph and put on etsy even though my sales are non-existent right now.  I find comfort in the fact that i will make this stuff even if no one buys it because i think its cool and its something that i am really into.  
I hope that others in my situation will find the guff to ride it will get better.  My sales aren't up right now but my spirits are.  I am back to shooting photographs all the time. I am in the process of creating some new Art work, particularly collage and bookbinding.  I am slowly learning the ins and outs of my industrial sewing machine.  I hope to create something very soon with it!  
I think the push for me now is that i want to go back to school and get my MFA and hopefully teach college kids photography!   This is my driving force right now. I need to pump up my portfolio, get out some good work, and hope that i can land in a good MFA program somewhere and sometime in the near future.  I am riding my fixie a ton and i am continually coming up with ideas for photo shoots, etsy product, and I generally have a sense of busy excitement...  So if  i am rich with anything this month it is definitely motivation, creative ideas, and the will to muscle through the hard times! 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

650c vs 700c

So i am about to get my 650c wheel in soon...I have been researching and obsessing over the idea of the 650c vs the 700c debate...Prolly posted on his blog the very debate.  I respect Prolly's views and his riding style very much so I take what he says in high regard...but f$%&@ it!  I am old, married, and broke, so i am just getting on the 650c thing as it seems to be on its way out!  Go figure: a day late and no dollar short!  
I have two different bikes for two different reasons...I have my Pake with the soon to be 650c wheel with riser bars and a deep v rear.  This is my tricky track bike.  I also have an unbadged Mercier setup with an Aerospoke front, track drops, and different gearing.  I find that the debates and comments people are leaving on various boards is totally negative...
I understand the, "if you want to do tricks get a bmx!" But i came out of the skateboarding scene and no disrespect to bmx but i just aint into it!  I ride my fixie the way i skate. I look to do lines and runs and stay to the flat land tricks.  But i can totally respect the skill of bmx and the tricks that fixed gear has pulled from them is obvious.  But where is the frickin' love people.  The boards are full of hate...People are hating on the trick scene and people are hating on the mashers, the velodromers, etc.  WHo cares!  Ride how you want. Find like minded individuals and hang out with them.  I dig the kids that trick out, i dig the velodromers and respect the mashers.  Its all good right.  Respect your brethren and create community not hate and disrespect!  

Here are some pics to get me through till i get picks of the 650c....the debate rages on!

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK Day!

It never ceases to amaze me that so many people forget why we get so many Mondays off...I am guilty of this as well. Days off of work or school usually mean that someone died for a noble or note-worthy cause.  How did you spend MLK day?  Probably not thinking much of the man who stood up against racism and prejudice and set the bench mark for what it means to be a good decent human being. A human being who ultimately cared so much more about himself and more for his cause that he was willing to die for it...How many of us can stake that claim?
    I usually try to associate my feelings of the world with cycling...I know pathetic but true!  I got up this morning stretched and took out my unbadged Mercier for a stroll.  I spent my time avoiding getting hit by various unaware, uninterested, and some down right stupid people!  I thought to myself what can i do to cause more awareness for cyclists?  How could i make our presence more felt?  I am willing to die for my cause?  Probably not, at least not intentionally...My world revolves around me being on my fixie with the wind whipping across my face, the sun chasing me across my path, and the faint sound of car horns through my ipod earbuds!  I want to become more involved with my brethren, my fellow cyclists, and everyone in-between.  I want to focus some interest on my Etsy site with cycling awareness and things to help enrich and benefit my two-wheeled family.  
     I could almost get killed daily by a motorist and what would i be leaving behind.  A mangled corpse who spent too much time on his hobbies, paid less attention to his family then he should have, offered nothing to his cycling community.  I dont want to go out in vain so change is upon brothers and sisters!  Make it happen, do something to benefit your cycling community today!  

Tell next time my friends...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So today is Saturday. Day one of the long holiday weekend.  A fresh start and some well needed rest is at hand.  I rode my unbadged Mercier bike this morning.  I will post pics of it, but i have it set up as a would-be-light-rando bike.  I had two small bags on it but decided that i only needed the Velo-Orange bag on the saddle.  I cant decide on a look for that bike.  I thought i wanted the retro fixed look but also thought what the hell my Aerospoke might look nice up front too!  I will change it up and put it up for discussion.  My buddy Tim has his Batavus vintage fixed set up pretty nice: Modolo lever and brake, drilled track adjustable stem, seatpost, sew-up Brooks, twine and shellac bars,etc... I have always had an affinity for the next look or the futuristic look of my bikes. I dont have a hold on the vintage look yet.  Verdict is still out.  Sorry did the pics at the worst time...Noon makes gloom for photos...Will post better when i have time!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to the Grind!

Back to the Grind indeed!  Things are in full swing now with work at both of my jobs and I have been trying to work in my studio (garage) after work.  I try to work from 10/11pm-2am.  Burning both ends of the candle i find that i think  a lot more about how much time i dont have.  My wife told me that if i had my way i could live on a deserted island with all my hobbies and spend the rest of my life there...That statement stirred through me and made me feel quiet and sad inside.  I think sometimes as artists, crafters, tinkerers, etc. we forget that we have lives outside of ourselves... I need to remember that I have a wife, family, dogs, friends, and colleagues that need my time and input as well. 
Tracked another dozen or so miles this morning on my fixie...I get a different feeling when i am on my brakeless as opposed to my fixed with a brake.  I was almost taken out by a motorcycle who made a left turn in front of me as i crossed the intersection.  I somehow did not exist in his world and he slammed his brake and i slammed my middle digit!  I rode off not thinking too much about it, but what if....That's what prompted this whole post was that I need to have no loose ends left in my life. I cant leave this world with regrets.  SO from now on i am going to spread my love and my time to everyone in my life and give my hobbies and craft just a tad less time...or i learn to live on this planet sans sleep!  Lets see what develops...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to Basics and a sense of normalcy!

Today is the first day back for classes at both of the colleges i work at...So i started the morning the way i always like to, with a bike ride.  I recently purchased a new frame which was a no-name Mercier Kilo TT. I needed to feed my bike habit with a new build. With little money for excess (NJS or any vintage track frame) i was coming up short!  I found these on and was watching them for a while.  It is a really nice frame and has a nice flat-crown fork, with rear rack braze-ons!  This worked out perfectly for me because i wanted to build a pseudo-rando bike.  I dont want to load it to the gills but as of now i have a Velo-Orange bar-bag and a military surplus ammo bag in the rear. Soon to be replaced with another Velo-Orange bag, Acorn, Minehaha, or a Carradice!  I will post pics of the bike.
On another bike note, i put a brake on my pseudo-rando because wanting to do long distances it is not good on the legs or tires to be skidding down every hill i climb and descend...What i have noticed is that the young crowd seems to write me off for riding a brake on my fixed gear.  I have no problem what people decide to do with their bikes, (although i do ride my Pake brakeless) i dont judge anyone, as long as you are riding thats cred' enough!  I think a certain sector of fixed kids carry a sense of superiority over others riding around on a track bike with no brakes.  Dont feel discouraged, remember that when this "fad" is over for the hipsters all those frames that are now plus $1000's will be back to $500's range! I cant wait!
Say hi to our new runt!  She was something we had to keep!  Here is a new design for my etsy site. Bonafide! is in full effect!  And some random b.s.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lets start the ball rolling

Alright...Another day another dollar.  I always find it reaffirming that i received my BFA in Photo and Media and yet i spent my day vacuuming, dusting, and wiping the legs on a bunch of chairs...I did find some motivation to shoot some pics around work.  I also got some goodies in the mail that i am very excited to get.  I got the parts i needed for my Singer Industrial sewing machine!  SO now i have no excuse to start except i dont know what the hell im doing!  The American dream right!  

I rode 12 miles today on my pisuto (pista) and cant waive the feeling that i want to ride my bike a lot more and create for my Etsy site a whole bunch more.  The next step in my plan for world domination is to start working on my portfolio for school...

But one thing at a time....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009