Monday, September 17, 2012

San Felasco in September

Means hot and wet.  End of the rainy season is nearly here and the creeks and tributaries draining our recreation areas are bulging to the brim with run-off, and our trail surfaces are like oatmeal.  This was the backdrop for our latest club foray to the trails.

 One of the above mentioned tributaries.  Bloated to the gills with outflow from the nearby Snapple Tea bottling plant.  OK not really, but bloated with water anyway!

Dividing between horse and bike/hike.

One of the puncheon style bridges on the trial.  Without these many parts toward the end of the trail would be unreachable because of water.  There were a few places on the trail where riding through was a questionable decision both for the trail surface and for the bikes!

Another puncheon and the Turner (with an SDG and Alteks peekin'!).  Heading back now...

...still with time for a cell phone pic.  I'm the Arrogant Bastard.

Friday, September 14, 2012

When Seagulls Go Pro

Watch where you set your awesome Xtreme self promotion digital HD camera!

I may have nightmares about this shot for years! - Cannes France
Somebody may run away with it!

San Francisco

And that somebody gets around!

In the drink.

And if it does get dropped in the drink, or by some box-jawed euro dood, then rest assured, it will be just fine.  Trust me.  I saw it on the Interwebs.

And to assure you this is still a bike related blog.  Here is a random picture from Second Spin of a restored Klein Attitude frameset in team Storm regalia.

Now I'm off to scour da Nets for more useless crap.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

The 1%'ers - or, "when I have all the money in the world, who will buy my crap?"

Not to be confused with "Ambition" and "Success",


and "Gluttony"...

are characters and characteristics best left to the pages of crappy anime graphic novels and comic books.

Unfortunately in real life Greed and Gluttony look like this:

So what we do is use animal traps to capture poor urban children and then we send them into these big holes that their parents are forced to dig with their bare hands for $2 a day.  Then we play a really fun game called, "Bring the coal to the surface lump by lump and get a rotten potato for dinner!"

Barry Switzer, (not Jim Hightower, or Ann Richards, or even Molly Ivins), one time college and pro football coach, once said of people too self absorbed with their own wallets and family standing to recognize the inherent advantage afforded to them by their wealth and nepotism, "Some people are born on third base and think they've hit a triple."  

Don't make the mistake, Ms. Rinehart, of thinking that because you are standing on third base that you have hit a triple.  You were born there.  That isn't success in business that is luck in genetics. Keep the misguided lectures about personal responsibility to yourself please, or at least have the decency to leave the 'pro business at all costs' rhetoric to people 'clever' enough to make up their own words.

As long as the American People are worried about stupid crap like abortion rights and "family values", they'll never notice we are bleeding them dry.  Then we can move our swindled riches to a private island off the coast of Costa Rica and live like gods.  Of course, under funding public education will help us dumb down the masses just long enough to pull off our little scheme...

Of course Mr. Switzer, who coached the Dallas Cowboys and was compensated in the millions by billionaire oil man Jerry Jones, was fired in disgrace after trying to take a loaded handgun on a commercial airplane.  That just makes him a good Second Amendment luvin' American though, and the millions paid to him to bark orders on a football field at other overpaid professional sports figures didn't get him, or his players for that matter, into the rarified air of the 1% club.  That's right.  Even coaching pro football for millions a year isn't pulling up the bootstraps far enough to get you into the truly elite club of the rich that are calling the shots in today's political and social discussion.


There is an election in November that is in no small part directly influenced by the attempt to protect the greed and gluttony of the 1%'ers.  Vote accordingly unless you were born with gilded bootstraps already tied up high and tight, because if it all goes sideways you won't likely be afforded the opportunity to pull them up on your own any longer.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dan's Bike and Key Shop - Ionia Michigan

Slight diversion before I get into it.  I snapped this pic...

Somewhere in MI and then had a memory meltdown as to where it was.  Cadillac?  Ionia?  Dunno...

Neat-o rack though.

On to the shop!

This is Dan's Bike and Key, located in picturesque downtown Ionia Michigan.  East of Grand Rapids and West of Lansing, just a stones throw from I-96.  I'm giving you the details because you should go there.

Google say...

350 West Main Street, Ionia, MI
(616) 527-0471 ‎ ·

Dan's has all kinds of cool stuff.  Lots of ambiance, cool architecture, downtown location, a funky employee with a nifty bushy beard and John Lennon glasses. The works.

Outside the box thinkers too.  Here's a bike on the rack that gets attention, at least from the astute of eye.  Yes that is a Shimano Alfine generator front hub on a 29er full suspension mountain bike.  A cool idea.

And the staffer's own Surly Pugsley with a full bar Jones handlebar in aluminum.  This pig is dirty and even proudly sports a flat tire.  Why?  Because at Dan's the staffers ride.

They also strut some nifty historic rigs around for ambiance.  Here, a vintage fender mounted light.

The calling card on a beautiful brick wall.

And on the other side of the shop, two interesting round windows peak out at the trees and give a hint to the weather outside.

The front is pretty nondescript.  To a fault actually.  Designed by McClain Cycles in Cadillac?

But around the side, next to the round windows, a simple sign.  It all comes together.  Love the spanner as apostrophe. 

See this is what makes this shop kick ass.  With a straight face and possibly full acceptance of the responsibility of the pig headed arrogance that it implies, they intentionally placed some tattered copy of  Longfellow on some sad shlock of Astroturf next to a Chinese overpriced slave-labor produced Mountain hardwear crap sleeping bag and an empty coffee cup in the front window of the shop; as a display for...biking?.  Irony? Maybe. Intentional?   I'm not so sure.  So dry and unassuming that it could just be small town thinking lost in a modern world and misinterpreted as folly?  Certainly possible.  The place has a Late Night 'Top Ten List" feel about it.  Fun but with quirks and seriousness peeking around the edges. Does it matter?  Not at all.  Rock that Longfellow crap. Make money off it.

To the griddle.

 Shop! - What an awesome place.  Bright.  Cheerful. Fun demeanor.  Well done!
 Bikes! - Trek predominantly, but the presence of the Surly, owned by a staffer and there for the customers to fondle tells me that they know how to think outside the box.  Sure they can sell you a Trek from stock, and they probably do numbers too small in Ionia to keep large stock on hand, but the Surly tells me that they know what else is out there and they can get their hands on it.

 Merch! - Same as above.  Not a bunch of stuff to fondle, but a wide assortment of commuter standard goodies, fenders and bells and the like.  Remember that Alfine generator hub on the 29er though?  They know what else is out there and they can get their hands on it.

 Staff! - Same guy has been there the three years I've stopped in.  He may be a relative of the long time proprietor, or maybe the young new owner, but no matter as he's on point with a friendly greeting and a snappy bearded smile on his face.  When I walked in he was elbows deep in a wheel repair and put it all down to greet me and ask if I needed anything.  Now most modern shop rats don't do wheel repairs at all, and even if they can they usually lack the aptitude to put it down and then pick it back up and know where they left off.  This guy?  Didn't miss a beat.  I was so impressed I bought a little weird Japanese spinner bell that I know I'll never use, but they earned a sale and I needed something small and not chemical (for the plane) to take home with me.  First rate.


5 crispy critters.  Dan's is the "Curious George and the High Voltage Fence" of the bike shop world.  What a small town shop should be. Awesome.