Bicycle Kitchen

Just got this interesting email from the Bicycle Kitchen. Maybe there’s something you can do!

For those that have gotten issues #4 or #5, you might be familiar with the Bicycle Kitchen down in Los Angeles, otherwise, check the articles out here and here. They’re cool folks.

But back to current events—check it out:

Back in the day (and many of you remember those days fondly: fridge full of beer, bikes everywhere), the Kitchen was housed in a studio apartment at the Eco-Village at 117 Bimini Place. For two years they hosted us, rent free, without very many complaints and with tons of support. Three times a week we’d roll into their lives, clutter their hallways with bikes and bike heads and really the only person who made a fuss was Dale – but doesn’t he always fuss – he’s Dale.

Well, right now there is someone fussing with the Eco-Village and I urge you all to take action. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is proposing to take property by eminent domain and demolish housing to build elementary school #20. I am not against schools – by any means. What I am against is the LAUSD choosing to take away such a valuable asset to our community and city. Without the generosity, guidance, and fostering that the Eco-Village gave the Bicycle Kitchen – we would have never existed. Why doesn’t the LAUSD choose the properties to the north of Virgil Middle School to locate a school? They already own many of them and no one lives there (it is a collection of industrial buildings and auto shops)?

The Kitchen isn’t the only thing the Eco-Village has affected. They worked with the Bresee Foundation (, to close part of Second St. at the other end of Bimini Pl. to install a park with a running stream ( They have worked to reduce parking and slow down traffic on their street by installing planters where there were once parking spots. They started the food co-op that is now running at the Eco-Village.

And most importantly, at the core of the Eco-Village, is the model of community! How folks in this huge city, with millions of strangers, can come together, live close to each other and thrive! This inspiration, this love and devotion to humans and their true needs – this source of knowledge, this teaching by doing – we cannot lose this resource!

If you would like to sign an electronic petition you can do that at the Eco-Villages website
If you can, please attend the public meeting with LAUSD Thursday, February 28th at 6pm at Virgil Middle School (1st @ Vermont).

Thanks for your time, I appreciate it, and the Kitchen appreciates it.

Yeah, not local to Seattle, but important anyway. Do what you can to help out!



So I popped into the shop today and lo-and-behold we got some new rims from Velocity in! Nope, NOT the sperm ones, but the Popsicle Purple ones, which I must admit, look pretty rad:

Just like my old high school Algebra teacher said: “…you cannot wear purple and think that you are purple too!” Well, I didn’t really know what the hell Mr. Dail was talking about with that either, but he would have been pissed to see anyone’s bike with these rims. So come on into Wright Bros. and get some Purple wheels built up!

Grape Ape!

Lock it

Some seemingly pretty good advice here in this post on Although I’d agree with many of the points, the number one security tactic to avoid having your bike stolen being abstinence is downright silly:

1. Don’t ride a bike.
This is a very secure option. If you don’t have a bike, it won’t get stolen…

Throughout I do enjoy the unique and different terms used commonly in the UK where I’m assuming this site is produced: walkies, half-inched, nicked (I do use this one myself), and white van man…. What I find more intriguing though is the fact that an agency with government backing of sorts has interest in this sort of thing; albeit ineffectually it seems.

This type of testing is always interesting to say the least, at the shop we’re always advising the lack of security with mere cable locks, demonstrating this with a tangle of cut cables, all performed with a similar pair of these:

When I can’t bring it in with me (as their #3 security tactic states), it’s a Krypto Mini for myself, within the rear triangle through the rim with a cable to keep the front wheel deterred. Never simply on the top tube and within view as much as possible.

One Big Room Down

Yeah yeah, NAHBS was a few days ago. Took the train down with my wife on Sunday and had a really good time. Took a few pictures and thought I could throw them in with the overflowing cornucopia of photo streams for this timely event.

Did everyone take this shot?

As predicted, the comment of the show was easily: Nice lugs. Less expected was the comment that also occurred frequently: Nice rack. There was an appreciated abundance of porteur racks and other such cargo carrying bikes there. Carry it by bike as much as you can.

(Still looking forward to the Bike Swap. Not to be confused with the Bike Expo; interesting they have these two events so close together, but don’t really advertise the Swap that well.)


I’ve never been so indeterminate on my pedal selection for any of my bikes. I was pumped to be able to put some sweet Suntour XC Pro’s on my wife’s bike, they’re real nice, she loves them. Even though I grew a little jealous, I didn’t do much about it. I was content to ride these on my road bike:

Crank Brothers Candy

These were pedals I got for cheap at Interbike a couple of years ago. They’re so so, I’ve unclipped from them more times than I ever did with my old SPD PD515’s. (This post is reminding me a bit of a museum I just got linked to from Bike Hugger. My own little pedal museum of sorts.) After these problematic Candies, I came into ownership of some Campy cages that are a bit too long for the ultra-tight geometry of my road bike—finding medium clips for these pedals is proving difficult.

But this post isn’t about those pedals, this is a bit more in relation to my last post about pedals, the much unanswered query as to why the MKS Sylvan’s have that moniker. This post is about these pedals, the Sylvan inspiration:


These are sweet beyond comparison, and no they’re not going on my beater IRO cargo fixie. They’re going on the Coppi, with nice black alloy toe-clips. (Gotta find some trick straps still.) These were also gotten at a good price; trade is always a good way to do things, just some clicks of the camera and voilá. (More on that in the next couple of weeks—there’ll be a slideshow coming online soon detailing the build of someone’s special Marinoni.)

But that’s not all this post is about… wait, there’s more.

Just yesterday, a few visitors came into the shop and introduced us to some pretty rad accents for these sweet pedals, among other things, check these out.


How nice is that red leather going to look on those black toe-clips? When I get around to sewing them up I’ll have some more pictures to share. The same dude also makes a really subtle and classy looking top tube cover. To the three of you that came into the shop, Hugo, Timmy, and Yohei, thanks! Hope to see you down at NAHBS, keep an eye out Sunday!

Rest in Peace

A definite loss to the cycling world, the death of Sheldon Brown certainly came as a surprise to me. Condolences to his family and friends. Here are some news articles on his passing, Bicycle Retailer and Bike Magic.

Surely we’ve all perused the pages at Sheldon Brown’s Bicycle Technical Info for either solutions to bike problems or answers to some bicycle curiosity in the past. His glossary is unequaled anywhere online. But as much of the time I’ve personally spent on the site, for some reason I never came across any of his products: Superleggero Bearing Balls and the Geomagnetic Booster both seem wildly “useful”. The man’s humor was ever present in his technical info, one of my favorites though, found in his glossary indexed within I-K.

One of my favorite French puns. The letter “K” is pronounced “kah”, the number “7” is “sept” (the “p” is silent, like the “p” in swimming.) Thus, “K-7” is “kah-sept” or “cassette.” I first encountered this in a French electronics catalogue, and it took me quite a while to figure it out. As far as I know, the French only use this abbreviation for tape cassettes, but I have fallen into the habit of using it as a shorthand for freehub cassettes.

I’m a fan of puns and twists in language, admittedly, the “p” in swimming still makes me laugh. Hearing the news of his passing was sad indeed. Rest in peace, it would have been nice to have properly known you.

Spirit of the Woods?

Today’s Word of the Day (or here).


The ubiquitous MKS track pedal. They’re nice, they work, they’re fun (and sometimes necessary) to rebuild. Are they my “Spirit of the Woods”? Not really sure…. Maybe I’d feel more mythical were I riding Custom Nuevo’s, but that’s another story. As an aside, those are Soma four-gate clips (available at the shop) with double-straps, they work pretty well and are pretty affordable too.

How many people out there are using these pedals do you think? I’ve seen criticism of their ubiquity online. But I guess the purpose of this post is really to question why they have “Sylvan” on them? Anyone know? I believe their inspiration had something else written on them: nice gallery images here.

Just curious I guess….