Bike Imagery

In all honesty I’m glad to see more bikes on the road. That gas price is not coming down and dude, it’s great to see people seeing the light! I’ve been seeing more bikes in other places too besides the road and trail. Marketing! I know I’m not a marketing genius but using bikes to make things more sellable can be a good thing. (I’ve seen examples of where it’s a bad—or maybe a dishonest or irrelevant—thing too.)

But what’s good? Wine is good. I bet I’m not the only one that grabs a bottle with some level of choice going to the label. I was at one point in time an assistant sommelier so I know a couple things about wine, but with so many affordable choices out there, sometimes it’s the label that pushes it into my bag. My all time favorite so far was the Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon/Carménère made from organically grown grapes. That’s cool, but so is the sweet citybike graphic they used:

Seriously though, this was awesome wine, if you can find it buy yourself a bottle. But also buy me one too.

There’s this commonly seen image out around too, this wine is good too for the price. We’ve actually got a great piece of art on our wall with an original design of this:


With a friendly French spelling:


I’ve never had either of these, but check out the bikes:

DSC00032.JPG DSC00025.JPG

I guess it just matters what you’re into, I’m into bikes and I like wine so I’m alright with it. It looks like dogs are a pretty popular image to push wine as well; I like dogs, sadly my landlord doesn’t:



Not the Mad Dog I remember:

Perhaps a more dignified version of Mad Dog?


There’s many things to look forward to moving to a new city. The research done prior to relocating is usually pretty exciting too; learning from afar about things in your potential new home town. When I moved to Seattle some eleven or so years ago, I didn’t do much internet research, even if I had, I wouldn’t have had the internet of today: Google Maps, unique and descriptive blogs, so many ways to find information. My initial research those years ago made me think it’d be no problem riding from Fauntleroy in far West Seattle to the University of Washington. Sure I could do it now, but back then, I had no idea what the terrain and streetscape was like between those two destinations. The AAA map I had of the city didn’t describe true enough what the route would be. I moved to Seattle nonetheless—albeit never to West Seattle.

Looking into other cities nowadays is pretty easy; and one of the things I’m looking into is the bike infrastructure and culture of cities other than Seattle. Finding this video was remarkably satisfying and entertaining:

From the TARC website.

Finding an equivalent of Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan was also very appreciated. It’s all in context of course, but positivity goes a long way in my book. A program labeled the Bike Friendly Plan is something I’d put my energy into. It sounds welcoming and encouraging as opposed to the iron fist of a master plan. This might, or might not, just be one of those greener grass issues. We’ll just have to see won’t we?

Big Dummy Build

Wright Bros has been fortunate enough to get a Big Dummy to work on. It’s a rad little (but big) machine. The second we threw on the wheels it reminded me of some low-rider Harley or something totally badass. Maybe it was the tires, maybe it was the fresh black powdercoating. I don’t know, but this bike is made to haul some loads. I’m actually tempted to try to get one myself.

After the requisite frame prep, so far we’ve put the wheels and discs on it, as well as the crankset and bottom bracket and are wondering if those too cool tires might be a bit too big. The Surly folks say 2.5″ tires are copacetic, but it seems as though we’re going to have to do some spacing magic to prevent the chain from rubbing the rear tire.

So far these are the photos I’ve taken of it. Isn’t the new powdercoat a nice look?


Hopefully the bike’s owner will bring in the rest of the components (handlebars, stem, etc.) so we can finish the build before I take off for UBI. Hopefully: because I’m dying to test ride it.


80’s Vice Bike

Way back in the day I had a road bike. I was probably in the eighth or ninth grade when I was given a Centurion for Christmas. I don’t remember it as well as I should, but through my research and vague memories it was either a Sport DLX or an Accordo. This would have been probably around 1989, so that would more likely be the Accordo—according to this page on Sheldon’s site. This is proving a difficult history to research; I’m dying for more photos really. This is the closest, memory striking, one, and from the looks of the picture the paint is on it’s way out. But note the sweet decals and two tone paint job. Those shapes and squiggles always stuck in my memory.

I remember having a good time with this old Centurion, it was as fast as I had ever gone on a bike before, and wanting to be like Mr. Lemond at the time, I taught myself how to ride stronger: trudging up hills in progressively harder and harder gears. I’d like to try those hills again, they at least seemed like steep hills at the time; climbing up the street my old elementary school was on in suburban Maryland. I remember people would ask me why they’d see me looking behind me so often while I rode. I admit, I had no idea why, I probably had no idea where I was going.

I also had no idea that I would eventually get rid of this beloved Centurion in an ignorant desire to ride a different bike. I only say ignorant now, at the time of this decision to “upgrade” I was eager to get rid of the road bike. It was fast, it was fun racing busses up and down Kembridge, but… my big brother had just gotten a sweet new mountain bike! A Scott Delano hardtail (& nose) mountain bike. His friend Dan also got one with a suspension fork! And I just felt I had to do the same, why ride alone, when I could ride with the big boys. However, all I could afford was a Scott Peak that looked just like this dude’s. What was most troublesome at the time was the fact that I could only afford it by trading in my Centurion, and even then I remember it only buying me a hundred dollars credit towards the Peak. Oh well, I was in knobby heaven, again ignorant at the time of my newly reduced speed. But I remember those rides well: me, my brother, and friend Dan hitting woody trails and muddy swamps near and around the Patuxent River.

I brought that Scott out here to Seattle with me but it has since been Recycled. I had plenty of miles on it but I stopped riding it after I got a lighter Fuji. I only remember vague highlights of the old Centurion, a mostly white frame with the awesome geometric accents and colorful squiggles that afterwards I would always describe as being Miami Vice-like (it pleased me to read a similar description on Sheldon’s site). Just a few weeks ago—on my birthday no doubt—I got reacquainted with another Centurion-as-gift. I’m back with a “close-enough” Centurion, albeit with only a few of the sweet decals that I liked so much back then….

This color scheme is a bit more my current style

To really firm up the memories though, I need to get my mother to dig through some photo albums, surely there’s one of me and my bike. In the meantime, there’s more pictures of this gem; soon enough I’ll be re-working this gifted bike and converting it to more modern components—like Biopace isn’t modern—and using it primarily as a city bike capable of towing the B.O.B. and utilizing a front rack. It’s not my old bike exactly so a restoration isn’t required; one day exactly whatever that bike was, it’ll return to me perhaps.

Market Your Product-or-Die

I must express a bit of disappointment in the Specialized Innovate or Die contest. I’d like a little more follow-up with the winning entry, I want to see more, read more, and see where this thing is going. The Aquaduct Mobile Filtration Vehicle is possibly the most beautiful bike concept I’ve ever seen. Absolutely outstanding from the little information I could glean from the brief YouTube video.

The entire Specialized IoD website is way too clunky to provide much detailed information; I’m sort of shocked they’re relying on YouTube to convey the contestant’s entries. And their site? Way to overload the bandwidth! The ominous galactic sound isn’t fooling me to thinking HAL is about to lock me out of my apartment. The site appears to solely be emphasizing the selling of their own product. (Yeah, yeah, I get it—it is!). I’m tempted not to even care about how their line of bikes are supposed to be different in furthering environmental change. Doesn’t the act of riding a bike at all “further environmental change”? Nevermind the Toyota ad seen on the same YouTube page as the “All Entries” page. I’d like to see Specialized do a bit more than throw five grand at a brilliant idea that they “inspired.” The Globe, upon initial observation, seems a decent bike albeit a bit mundane. Nothing hugely revolutionary.

Specialized Innovate or Die: bit of a let-down; Specialized Globe: nice and neat; Aquaduct Bike: Fantastic, I wanna see more.