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

Some more pics...

Yet more...

Ok...Like i said i am going to write in this thing everyday, even if no one reads this but myself and it is just lip service i find it therapeutical if anything.  I have lots of ideas for stuff i want to do and art i want to create.  I will be posting rough drafts, drawings, etc.  I will also post some photo shoots i will be getting done on a weekly basis.  

My love of bicycles and specifically fixed gears, got me thinking about how efficient things can be when brought down to its simplest and purest form.  I was out riding this morning before i had to put in 10 hours at a job i dont particularly like right now.  The wind was blowing through my locks ( i since shaved my head today and shaved my beard....) the smell of asphalt and dirt was in the air and my legs constantly moving in rhythm with my bike and my soul. It is times like that that i realize how life is as good as you want to make it. I had my shuffle rockin' and I was skidding my way to get a cup of joe and a vegan muffin.  All is well...

I have some new designs and ideas for my etsy site.  I will post periodically for the peanut gallery to chime in.  My gut is telling me that i need to focus more on my Art and Photo and create as much as i can without sacrificing quality over quantity.  I am going to spot-weld my crappy lil' digital to my hip and shoot shoot shoot!  I do most of my Art with film and a Hasselblad but there are times where digital has its place.  So bear with me as i post my pics daily: good or bad, blurry or sharp it is going out for all to see!

Here we go! 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Things that motivate me...

Here are some of the things that motivate me:

A New Year is Nothing New!

So we have all been through the hustle and bustle of the New Year.  A time to tell ourselves that we are setting goals and making big things happen! Well it's all bullshit unless you commit yourself.  Dieting, moving up in the world, attaining bigger and better things, are what a lot of people strive for in this day and age.  I think we all set ourselves up for disaster.  It's not about the boat, or the SUV, or how much you make. So many people i have met in the last few years have stepped up their game and are looking at things that matter: our environment, our health, our kids health and education, our economy....I feel a great sense of fear and hope and frustration with all of it... 

I will say that it aids in driving me to create work and art and making the most of what i got while i got it!  I vowed this year to quit my complaining and bitching.  There are people in this world that got it way worse than i do. I got a wife, a house, a good job, and a Singer 291U3 Industrial sewing machine that i hope to create buttery goodness with. I just gotta learn how to sew thats all! 
I think if you want to make a real change for yourself, think in baby steps. Set obtainable goals and get your head right!  On that note, I have set some goals for myself this year.  I want to be less of a troglodite and spend more time in this thing we call cyberspace.  I want to create a new design a week for my Etsy site: (http:// by the way.  Oh yeah shameless self promotion is also on the top of my list!  

I will be posting various musings on cycling, the people i interact with, and anything else that tickles my fancy, or chaps my ass!

Stay tuned...