Shop Information

Robert Hamlin Bicycles is not open. I am available for repairs. Just call to set up a time.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pulse of a Community

If you ever want to do a pulse check on your community, all you have to do is go downtown and listen to some live music. Do you have live music? Yeah, we have that here in Logan. There is music at the Caffe Ibis most Friday and Saturday nights. Holly Conger books the musicians, and deserves a giant thank you. Thank you, Holly.

Tonight I went to the Ibis and listened to Jason Riggs. Jason has a day job but is working hard trying to make a living by singing his songs. He is really good. He sings with heart, and I enjoy his music. The sad part is that on most nights there are few people who come to listen. Tonight the place was almost empty.

Speaking of supporting downtown businesses, I heard today that the Bombshell Exchange is gone. Who is next? If we do not support downtown Logan, it will die. This weekend I bought a wool hat for Patty at the Sportsman. Sure I could have paid 30% less by going to Gart's (not Gart's anymore) or to another store along strip mall heaven on the north end of town. Why would anyone support stores up there? Because we love to drive our cars. It makes me question the wisdom of opening a new bike shop downtown. If I build it, will they come? If I open, will 1 Cognito Bicycles survive? Let's find out.

On a positive note, I found a really good tea tonight, Zhena's Gypsy Tea. The organic Gypsy King Chai is fantastic.

I did not ride my bicycle today. I am putting on a Mary Bar and turning it back into a mountain bike for a while. It may even get two brakes and a freewheel. Instead of riding, I went for a one-hour trail run with J.B. Boy do my legs hurt.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Between a Hot Tub and a Bakery

I think I found a spot! There is a chance that my shop may be located between Great Harvest and Tubbz, just across the parking lot from my old location. Discussions and pre-negotiations are underway. The dream may be coming into focus.

Today's ride was another classic ice bike day. I rode all the way up Green Canyon. Most of the snow below the second gate and on the lower single track has melted and reformed as ice. Very slick. The road has been groomed. I don't cross country ski, but I am thankful for the groomed and packed snow. If the road gets groomed all winter, I may be able to ride it right into spring. Whahoo! If I can just keep my toes warm.

Green Canyon is white
Numb toes and an open mind
Dreams of Spring come true?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Yesterday's Ride

Temps above freezing
River Trail almost snow free
Is this December?

Above Spring Hollow
Rock garden to single track
Rolling back to town

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Still Riding the Trails

Utah, low snowpack
Rubber tires have some traction
On the groomed trails

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Dream

There is a huge pile of bike-shop inventory stacked in my basement bedroom. Half a dozen or so new bicycles are in storage. Four pick-up truck loads of used bicycles, frames, and wheels are in the back yard under the protective branches of a large blue spruce. These days are dark. Shadows are long, even in the middle of the day. Sleep, for a while. Dream.

Dozens of dead bikes
A mass grave, covered in snow
Waiting for Spring thaw

The solstice comes at the end of this week. As the daylight hours begin to stretch, I want to re-open in a new space. I want to make the dream come true. I can see it all so clear, a new shop, 1 Cognito Bicycles. I see new lines of bicycles too, Redline 925, Monocog and Monocog 29er, On One's Inbred, Inbred 29er, and Pompino, and others.

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Official

Tomorrow is my last day at 29 W Center Street. I am currently searching for a new space. As I said before, Recycled Bicycles will be a Mobile Bicycle Shop for a while. Contact me if you need me. I will come to you!

Alexis' Haiku

Basho wrote many poems about crickets. My favorite (can't quote it) involves a cricket in an old helmet inside a shrine. Here is Alexis' classic haiku:

A merry cricket
Alone in perfect silence
Leaves are cool and moist

Snows Are Falling...

Do you need a quality, inexpensive trainer for the winter months? It has magnetic resistance and a handlebar remote. It's only $99 during my year end sale!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter's Baikus

Warm winter night sweats
Cold beer, hot wings, and good times
Bikes make it happen

Dark black nights, trails where?
Bright lights gleam, wrong turns abound.
You know where you live!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thank You

I want to thank everyone for coming to the year end party. There's nothing better than coffee and guava pastries.

Even with new bicycles marked down 20%, reconditioned bicycles are still the going concern. This weekend, Amanda's Stumpjumper got a rigid fork, front and rear racks, and slick tires. It's now a touring bike. Her RB-5 came back and went right out the door one day later. What a great bike with flat bars, big 27 x 1 and 1/4 tires, trick steel chainring/alloy cranks, and a freewheel. An old Hardrock with new tires, saddle, pedals, and grips also found a new home.

There are a few clouds and some moisture in the air this morning. That's a good thing. All week the mountains were obscured by an inversion. Did anyone notice? Thursday and Friday were officially Yellow Air Days. There is a solution. Ride your bike.

I wrote the following haiku on Friday as I pedaled to work. On the way down the hill I was passed by at least four big diesel pickup trucks all with single occupants (and a few snowmobiles in the back).

The inversion's back
the Wellsville's have disappeared
in fog white and brown

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Year End Party!

Friday, December 8, from 5pm to 8pm
Robert's Roast Coffee
Patty's home made treats
Year End Sale
20% off new bicycles (only 10 or so left)
35% off new accessories

Sunday, December 3, 2006

No Direction Home

There is still no real news about the future of the shop. The owner of the building wants a single lease for the entire west half. I just want the back. Not knowing truly does tug at the heart. It is so hard to tell customers and friends that I just don't know yet. It is even harder to tell myself the same thing. Looks like I'm going mobile. A veritable back-street gypsy.

Physical sick, yes,
but heart sick is even worse,
without direction

Perhaps a bike ride will help the sinuses and the heart. It's going to be cold (20 degrees F). The Snow Cats are on the beater bike, tire pressure is low, and 34/22 equals 40 gear inches. Bring on the snow.

I'm Cured

Cloudless deep blue sky
mountains white, patches dark green
frozen but alive

There is nothing better than a snow ride. Nothing. I rode the Shoreline Trail and up Green Canyon on the road to the second gate, and came down the lower single track. It was so much fun, I don't even feel sick anymore. My heart feels better too.

"Naw, I don't ride in the winter. It's too cold. You can't ride in the snow." I have heard this for years. Oh ye of little faith and even less gumption. There are a lot of people doing it.

All you need is the right set up. Snow Cats (no longer in production) are double wide rims. They make tires look like a U in cross section rather than nearly round. This allows you to run big tires at low pressure (10-15 lbs.) without getting snakebites, creating a very large tire footprint. As long as the snow is somewhat packed, you can ride it. Even a few inches of powder over packed is very easy to ride. Single speed and fixed gear make a lot of sense for snow riding. Speed is not really a concern and shifting is even less of a concern, so a 40-45 inch gear is good for me. Fixed gear allows you to instantly turn a rear wheel slide back into rolling friction (Physics 101). On snow, sliding friction is the enemy. Studded tires do nothing in the snow. Ice is a different story.

The right set up also includes the proper clothing. Today was about 20 and sunny. I wore a wool shirt, a light Bellwether jacket, ski gloves, balaclava, and a heavy wool sweater on the top half. I wore poly-pro long johns, jeans, heavy wool socks, and insulated hiking boots on the bottom half. I was a little overdressed. Oh yeah, hiking boots require big platform pedals. Forget going clipless in the snow. If it is steep, loose, or deep, you are going to be hiking anyway.

Great Trail News

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is getting better. There is now an improved section of trail around the east perimeter fence of the new Logan City water storage/treatment facility. This allows users to cross the steel bridge and traverse down to the underpass leading to first damn. The old trail section above the water facility was really steep.

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