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Robert Hamlin Bicycles is not open. I am available for repairs. Just call to set up a time.
435-764-1990

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Linked Baiku For Today's Ride

A ride through the past
On the old familiar trails
Under a gray sky

My face still hurting
From wearing a constant smile
Looking at the trees

Florida maples
Ample rain, no killing frost
Aflame with color

Saturday, December 26, 2009

At Last, A Bike Ride In Florida

In the morning, I am doing the Sunday!Sunday!Sunday! ride in Gainesville with the TT crew.  It should be fun.  I'll get to see the trails in the daylight and get in my first ride in nearly a month.  Sorry there have been no posts as of late.  After driving across the country to get here, I've spent most of my time in the car.  More soon.  We get internet at the house next week.  I hope.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm Going Home

I head out for Florida in the morning, away from the cold and snow.  My stops include Bluff, Tucumcari, Dallas, Louisiana or Mississippi, and the Jacksonville airport to pick up Patty, Lupine, and Lucky.  Yes, the cats are coming to Florida.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Not Bicycle Related

I spent way too many hours listening to the radio yesterday.  I was on U.S. 6 working on our wildlife cameras.  I listened to President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.  I listened to the analysis.  I listened to coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. I listened to Democracy Now.  After listening to Obama's speech, I was feeling comfortable with the contradiction of winning the Peace Prize and escalating a war at the same time.  Then I had some doubts.  Today, I have more questions than answers.

Are we in Afghanistan to protect our country from terrorist attacks?  If so, is this really cost effective?  We currently spend $3.6 billion per year there, and it will cost another $30 billion per year for the troop increase.  That's an extra million dollars per troop.  How many special operatives/spies/agents could you employ to protect us for a fraction of $30+ billion?

Are the terrorists really in Afghanistan?  Didn't the 911 hijackers live in Saudi Arabia and Germany while planning their attacks?  If you were a terrorist, would you be living in Afghanistan while planning your attacks?  With 30,000 additional troops costing an additional $30 billion headed for Afghanistan, wouldn't you go somewhere else to plan?

Does the President really mean what he said in his acceptance speech, or is he playing to the middle class moderates that got him elected?

Will the United States ever get serious about a meaningful climate change treaty?

Again, I have no answers.  But, it feels good to ask the questions.

Comments are welcome.  Just click the button and type.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Seriously Cold

It's 9 below 0 this morning.  That's minus 9 Fahrenheit.  The current temperature in north Florida, you ask?  It's 58.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One More Thing


I wanted to say a little more about cargo bikes.  Here is the link to the NPR story again, in case you missed it.  Yes, there is a revolution right around the corner, not just in Portland and Boulder, but in every sized town across the country.  I have said all along that the recession was not, and is not, about financial collapse but about fossil fuel/energy use and CO2.  Consumer economies based on fossil fuel will fail.  We all will be riding bicycles and building sea walls sooner or later.

My plan to build Car(e)free Bike Trailers is my attempt to do one small part to facilitate the coming revolution.  Cargo bikes are great, but I think the trailer is a much better option.  All you have to do is unhook the Burley hitch, and you can ride your regular bike, not a 75 pound, long wheel base, expensive monster.  Think about it.

Winter Shocked

I think I may be snowed in by the end of the week when I'm scheduled to start driving to Florida.  How will I ever get over Soldier Summit and the mountains near Alpine, AZ?  I can't believe how fast the weather has changed here.  Camping roadside along the way is going to be pretty tough, and perhaps permanent.

I want Michelle Shocked's latest cd for Christmas.  Listen to a song here.  There's a quote I really relate to on her site.  She says, "I think people have to choose between living with contradictions or painting themselves into a corner. I have a lot of contradictions."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cargo Bikes On NPR

The revolution is coming.  Here is a link to a report on NPR this morning.

The Big Swing

The season has changed.  Winter is here in full force with winds out of the northeast strong enough to blow garbage cans down the snow packed street.  The temperature is in the single digits this morning.  I feel like I'm being blown away too.  It's time to head for the warmth and familiarity of my Florida home, the sand hill cranes, the bald eagles, the live oaks trees, and the sound and smell of the wind coming off the lake rustling through the chalky broomsedge.

I look forward to being in Florida for a while.  I'm very happy to be out of retail.  I've learned some hard lessons that I plan to take with me on my new path.  I know now that you can't make everyone happy and you drive yourself crazy if you try.  So, I'm done.  Next Spring when the snow melts, I'll be spending every Saturday with my family or going on long bicycle rides rather than standing on my feet for 12 hours of retail stress pulling myself in three different directions at once.

I say this, but last night I was working on a customer's bike in the living room and delivering it to his house so he could have it to get to work this morning.  "How much?"  Don't worry about it, I said.  I still care about what the customers say and feel.  So, yes, there will be bicycle repair to do in the spring.  There will be plenty of debts to collect.  There will be plenty of "full of myself" advice to give.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Last Chance...

...for me to get up off the couch and do a cyclocross race in the morning.  The forecast calls for snow and very cold temperatures, well below freezing.  I really do want to go.

Here is a great video.  Enjoy.


Cyclocross from M.C. Preman on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bike Fit And Snow Tires...

...Just because it's time for a rant.  I tried to give some bike fit advise today, but no one listens to me.  I've gone off many times already about bike fit.  Here is a post from February of this year:

I'm not going to go on a long rant here, I promise. I talk a lot about bicycle fit. How do I do it? Good Question. Is it 0.67 x inseam? Is saddle height 0.883 x inseam? Do I use the FitKit? Here is a link to learn more about the many "systems." One thing for sure, if there are so many systems, they can't all be right. It would take a long time to read and understand all this information. So, make sure you read this one by Peter White. I really like this article. I use Peter's basic philosophy along with some formulas and 30+ years of personal experience.
So, if your bike does not fit, buying a new fork is not going to help one little bit.  Your hands hurt?  Tilt your saddle up.  I would never tell an engineer how to build a bridge or a doctor how to remove a gall bladder, but this I know; if your saddle height, saddle tilt, cockpit length, and bar height are not dialed in, you are going to hate your bike.  It's not about the bike, it's about the bike you are comfortable riding.  Now, go back and read Peter White again.  Bike fit is something that takes time, and you may never get it perfect.

Snow tires:  Studded snow tires provide no advantage on snow.  On ice, yes.  They are heavy, inefficient, and very expensive.  Make your own?  Been there and done that, wood screws, sheet metal screws, carbide screws, rolls of duct tape, it was all a waste of time.

Bottom line:  I've been riding in the snow as a commuter and mountain bike rider for over 10 years now in both Montana and Utah.  If the snow is dry, ride a fat mtb tire.  If the snow is wet ride a skinny cross tire.  In the winter (and the rest of the year) ride a fixed gear.  Slow down.  Let some air our of your tires.  If the road is covered in ice, don't ride.  If there are icy spots, learn to recognize them, and slow down.  Never hit your front brake on the ice.  On packed snow, just ride.  Slowly.

Now go out and buy that $800 29er fork and those $238 Nokian studded tires.  You need it!



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's The Plumber...

...I've come to fix the sink.

No, this is not a post about bicycles.

Yesterday there was water under the washing machine and food all around the floor drain and the laundry standpipe in the basement.  Weird.  We never eat in the basement.

Today, being a great plumber, I turned on the water in the kitchen sink, and sure enough, the water backed up and out of the laundry standpipe downstairs.  Real plumbers have real snakes.  Mine is really short, the type you turn by hand and get all that sewer grime and grease on your palms that never come off.  The solution, you ask?  I attached my cordless drill to the tag end and started rootering the standpipe.  I got past the trap but not to the clog.  Next, I went to the kitchen sink, removed the trap, and inserted my snake.  No luck.  Next, I went up on the roof and inserted my short snake down the pipe.  Again, no good.  Did I say how steep my roof is?  Old men like me do not like steep roofs.

At this point I was ready to call a professional.  When you call a real plumber, you might as well hand them $200 just for getting out of their truck.  A real power snake would cost more.  Gloves would be nice too.  That would include a trip to Lowe's and another two hours of dirty hands.  So, I gave up.  I called.  I paid.  He had a longer snake.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back In Loganistan

I'm back in Utah.  My repair stand is empty right now if anyone needs professional bicycle repair service.  I will be working in the "shop" some this week.  The weather is warm here today with a high near 45.  I am going for a ride right after I pick up Lupine from school.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Evening In Missoula

We are spending the night in Missoula, at the Sleep Inn, but we did not drink any tea.  As far as herbal tea goes, Evening In Missoula is pretty good stuff.  You can get it here at all the cool coffee shops and cafes.

We got all of the cameras checked today.  My boss is a slave driver, making me work on Thanksgiving weekend.  Tomorrow, we plan to install four cameras and move two more.  It will be a big day, and I get to use the spud bar!

We should be back on the road by Sunday morning.  Patty wants to go home via Bozeman.  We will see.

Next week, I plan to get the first Car(e)free trailer built.  The axle problem is solved, but I'm still working out a jig to custom bend my hitches.  I may do it like this.  There are other options as well, some more crude than others.  Trial and error.  Live and learn.  Bend, don't break.  Or crimp.






Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

We will be in Montana for Thanksgiving, doing a lot of work putting in new cameras and a little eating.  Lupine is out of school, the camera batteries are dead, the forecast in the Bitterroot Valley calls for snow, so away we go. 
On Sunday I installed a cat door in the bathroom window.  It's a test to see if they can survive without us for one week.  When we return, the cats will either be fat and happy or stubornly frozen stiff beside the front door.  How long does it take old cats to learn new tricks?  If they survive, they will stay here for Christmas.  I have vowed to never travel with cats again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"They Got This Depression On...

...I got to do for me and mine."

I finally pulled all of the new bikes out from the basement at the shop today.  Everything is out of the shop now, except for the sign over the door.  So, if anyone out there is reading this and looking for a bicycle, or knows someone who is looking for a bicycle, please look at the bikes for sale in the sidebar.  I put it back up because I believe there are people out there who would truly love to buy a quality bicycle at a wholesale price.  Really, you will not find a better price on these bicycles, anywhere.  Unless, you find another bike shop going out of business trying to sell bikes for what they paid for them.  Me, desperate?  At this point, it does not really matter.  I don't really care if they sell or not.  What I feel is a deep sadness.  But, that is another post.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Green Is Brown

I rode up Green Canyon today.  The great snow riding is now a mud fest higher up the trail.  Weird.  Snow at the bottom and mud at the top.  That's alright.  There will be more snow soon enough.

The snow turned to mud
Up above the inversion
Green, from white to brown

Cross race tomorrow?  Life may be too short to spend that much time in the car.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Been Awhile...

...since I've done a cyclocross race.  I may just jump off the couch and do the State Championship Race on Saturday.  No, there is not  a medal in my future, just perhaps a heart attack, puking, and a finish in the back of the pack.  I've said it before; I'm not very good at cyclocross, but I enjoy it more that any other type of bicycle racing.

Lupine, on the other hand, will be the Girls 9 and under State Champ, I predict.  We will see.  Wish us luck.

Monday, November 16, 2009

All You Need To Know About Snow

Icebike.org has the best information around for riding your bike in the winter.  I don't think they have updated their site in many years.  The products may be out of date.  But, the knowledge here is invaluable.  Check it out, particularly the clothing/how to dress section.  It will keep you from getting cold parts and a lot of trial and error.

It's 35 outside right now here in Loganistan.  Time to go for a ride.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snow Ride

I know I've preached the gospel of riding in the snow before. It's time to bear witness again. I went up the Green Canyon singletrack today with G.W. It was one of the best rides I have ever done. It was so much fun coming down, every turn a controlled drift. There was about 4 inches of fresh powder, enough to slide around on, but not so much that the tires could not find the trail after the perfect drift though each turn. Fun, fun, fun.

It's a shame people stop riding as soon as it snows. Riding in the snow is not hard to do, and it gives the old familiar trails a complete new perspective. And, the scenery is incredible, with several inches of snow hanging on the bare maple branches that form a canopy over the trail, creating the perfect winter wonderland.

As soon as the snow gets deep, it will be impossible to ride up the Green Canyon singletrack. The road, however, gets groomed for skiing, so that it can be ridden under certain conditions for most of the winter. Anyone want to come along? Here are a few hints for those who are interested:
  • let some air out of your tires
  • steer with your butt and hips, keep the bars straight
  • layer up, wear booties or double socks, put on a balaclava, and wear winter gloves
  • go a little slower and gear down
  • have fun
Sorry, I did not get any pictures.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Like There's No Tomorrow

I took the opportunity to go for a ride on the Deer Fence yesterday with K.H. and J.Y. I told them, "dudes, there is a tomorrow." That's just how they ride. Me, I was always behind watching the gap grow. I kept thinking that if I just went harder they'd come back. Yeah. Right. It was my first real ride since October 25. Bottom line, I got to get back in shape.

Sorry, no baiku. Poetry does not get composed during extreme Oxygen debt.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Less and More


I have not posted much as of late, but I will continue to maintain this blog. It will have more personal content now that the Center Street shop is closed. I will also keep a new blog as I begin my trailer business. The site is carfreebiketrailers.blogspot.com, but it is not much of a blog/website yet. I will be working on it and posting there soon. I already have a good story about purchasing axles without enough threads. Live and learn.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yesterday's Ride



Yellow aspen leaves
Margins frosted, crystalline
Frozen to the trail

At elevation
Utah looks like Montana
Doug fir and nine-bark

Freeze thaw mud and clay
Can not ride and can not walk
Should have turned around

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mud

Yeah. I know I said I was not going to post anymore. I lied. This video is just too good not to share. I wanted to do a cyclocross race today. Instead, I found this video. Enjoy.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Time...

To buy a bike. I still have 11 Fuji Bicycles. Just check the sidebar. Seriously, these are pretty good prices. But, if I have to sell them at a loss, I will. Just ask. Make an offer.

The Redline Bicycles are getting thin too. I still have plenty of Metro 9, Conquest Sport, and U-District bicycles left in most sizes. The Mono Cog 29ers and D440 29ers are all gone (see the post below).

All accessories in the shop are still at least 30% off. If you are reading this, give me a wink when you come in and it's 40% off.

Fe700c Bicycles will be open through Saturday, October 31. After that, it's back to the garage for me. I will still be doing repairs and replacement parts. I will also be making heavy duty bicycle cargo trailers. The aluminum, the hitches, and the wheels for the first 10 trailers have been purchased. So, stay tuned. At some point, I will move the contents of this site to carfreebiketrailers.blogspot.com and you will be able to see my next chapter. I plan to put up plenty of pictures of the assembly process, pictures of the trailers, and a specific description of the product. Again, stay tuned, and come in and buy the rest of my inventory, please.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Redline Bicycles Too

2009 Redline Bicycles, closeout prices, at least 10 to 23% off msrp:

Conquest Sport, 52 cm, 54 cm, 58 cm, and 60 cm, $675
Metro 9, 52cm, 54cm, $550
Monocog 29er 17 inch, $450 SOLD, FOR ONLY $385!
Torker U-District, 56cm, 54cm, 52cm, 50cm, and 48cm, $315

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Post #300, A Milestone And A Finish Line

Done. No more posts. No more retail next year. Das kaputt. This blog will now be mostly static.

All retail items in the shop are now being liquidated. All bicycles and accessories will be sold near or at wholesale prices.
Come and get them while they last.

Stay tuned for my next chapter, my next blog. Next year I will be doing repairs and fabricating my own heavy duty bicycle cargo trailers. Car(e) Free Bike Trailers. It has a ring to it, I think.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Post # 299

Yes, I'll be in the shop today. Fe700c Bicycles will be open from 11 to 4:30. I'll be spending time and money replacing a wheel on a new Fuji Absolute for Reed C. It's true: I will not be selling 2010 new Fuji Bicycles next year. And, once the 2009 bicycles are gone, I promise to never, never, never again sell bicycles with machine built wheels and MicroSHIFT components. So, look at the sidebar, and come get what's left of the Fuji Bicycles. I will sell them at nearly any price. I love to negotiate (I say $675, you say $550, I say "that's what I paid for it," you say $600, and I say "sold"). Seriously, if you want a Fuji Touring bike that retails for $1100, you can now get one for $600.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dude, It's Cross Season

I've seen snow twice already this year. Nothing in the valley mind you, but real snow on the top of Mt. Logan. The leaves are starting to turn. The fire weed is going to seed. That can only mean one thing. Cyclocross season. The first race of the Utah Series is October 3. There are local fun/practice/races here in Logan every Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30 through November. Meet at the Cache County Fairgrounds (400 S 500 W) on Wednesdays and at the Temple Benches (100 N and Boulevard) on Tuesdays. There will also be a Cross Camp at the Fairgrounds this Saturday starting at 3:00.

In the picture below from 2007 I'm the guy in the red hat. I finished right were I started, in 5th place, just 5 seconds behind 4th and 30 more behind 3erd. Most everyone else finished right where they started too. It's often like that in cross. The series leaders get called up to the front at the start of the race. Before the race started there was over a half foot of fresh snow on the ground. During the race nearly another half foot fell. I'm telling you, there is nothing more fun than a cyclocross race in the snow. Really. Right behind that, pouring rain and a foot of mud.

Closing In On Post # 300


300 posts, that is a lot of blogging. It's not a waste of time if it makes me feel better. It's cheap therapy, I say.

Here is a bad picture of Heather and Patty, high above Park Silly on the Mid Mountain Trail (photo by Greg W.).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where You Been?

I know there has been very little content on this blog as of late. I've been pretty busy: working in Montana for four days, working on bikes in the shop, and going to Park City over the Labor Day weekend. I rode the Flying Dog with Greg and Heather. Here is a video of this fantastic trail. Sorry I can't embed it here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Desolation Canyon Pictures








All pictures were taken by Meg and Mike Ketcham.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New In The "Choose Well" Sidebar

My CFO said I need to do more marketing. And, it's almost cyclocross season. Just in time, the Voodoo Wazoo could be your next bike. Why? Steel, single or gears, decent components, complete bike, or frame and fork, all provide so many many options. Who's in?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mid-Mountain Trail, Park City, Utah

I just wanted to say a few things about Park City's Mid-mountain trail. I know, I hate driving a car to a bike ride, but I had to go to Park City anyway. And, I'm just like all the other humans who say one thing and do another. If you are looking for a trail that goes somewhere (as opposed to the many short sections of spider web of most trail layouts) with a linear nature, is single speed friendly, has plenty of short ups and downs, is technical and butter, and is 23 miles long, you may want to try this one. Better yet, don't do it. It's not worth your time. Just take the ski lifts up and ride your pogo stick-with-wheels-motorcycle-without-an-engine down the short spider web trails.

Back To Work

I'll be back in the shop today. The river trip is done. Patty's cameras on US 6 are done. The Mid-Mountain Trail in Park City is done. Back to work.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Six days on a raft
Sleeping under countless stars
Still swirling, dizzy

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Floating

Fe700c Bicycles will be closed until August 24. Me and la familia will be floating through Desolation Canyon next week. So much for my training schedule, but my arms and upper body will be much stronger from all the raft rowing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tree Huggers


I hardly ever post pictures anymore. So, here is one of me and the kid taken in Jacksonville, ripped from my sister Lynn's website. It's evidence of our lefty, environmental wacko, tree hugging, anti-industrial, bicycle loving agenda.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More Hot Air

Here is today's Hot Air Words Of Wisdom: You have to inflate your bicycle tires before you ride. Really. Perfectly new inner tubes will loose around 5 lbs. of pressure every day.

Last week a nice family brought all of their bicycles to the shop. As usual, most of the bikes were not worth fixing. "I'll just make 'em run, and not put too much into them, OK? All of your tires look like they need new tubes," I said. "But you put in new tubes last year," they said. "Have you pumped up the tires since then," I said. "No," they said.

It was true. My tubes were in there. All the valve stems were leaning over,
a sure sign of riding under inflated tires, two of the valve stems were cut off from leaning so far over. I started inflating. Every tube with an intact valve stem held air. Repairs done.

You have to inflate your bicycle tires before you ride. Really.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Two In One Week

I rode again today. And I went on a mountain bike, the first of the season. I finally have the new Redline Monocog 29er up and running. Watch out cyclocross racers, I'm going to start training. I've got 7 weeks to get in race shape.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Robert Goes For A Bicycle Ride

Really. I went on a long ride yesterday, about 60 miles, Logan to Franklin, ID. Some call this ride LOTOLA, Logan to La Tienda. It felt good to ride. I can still count the number of real rides this season on one hand, but I have now run out of fingers. I may actually get serious soon. The first Utah Cyclocross race is October 3. That's only 8 weeks away.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

There Is No Such Thing As A Tune Up

I worked for 13 hours straight today at Fe700c Bicycles. I should be brushing my teeth, but I'm too wired to sleep. Perhaps I'll go back to the shop after I get a bite to eat and work until breakfast. There's only 9 more repairs and 2 builds to do. All 9 repairs came in today and 2 bikes were sold today. Yes, that's how I do it. I usually sell them before I assemble them. Weird ain't it? That's why adjustments are free for as long as you own your bike (not just 30 days). I build it, you ride it, if something is loose, I adjust it for free. If it don't shift, bring it back.

Speaking of bicycle repairs, at least several times each day, I get asked if I do "tune-ups." Well folks, there is no such thing as a tune up. Back in 1972, my father taught me to do a tune up on our Chevy Vega. It had points, condenser, and a carburetor. Today's fuel injected, computerized cars don't, and they do not get tune ups. At Fe700c Bicycles, neither do bikes. All the other shops in town (and in all the other towns and big cities) do "tune ups;" they check you bike over and do certain adjustments/repairs for a fixed price. This is the biggest rip off in the entire world. If someone tells you it's $69.99 to fix your bike, and they have never even #%!$ing looked at your bike, they are ripping you off. If you pay for a bicycle "tune up" you are a fool. "Oh, but our basic tune up includes adjusting both hubs, both brakes, both derailleurs, headset, bottom bracket, and cleaning and lubing your chain." Well, they are pulling your chain. What if your rear hub, bottom bracket, headset, and front derailleur are just fine. Does it cost only $49.99. No, it's still $69.99.

At my shop, I only repair things that are not working properly on your bike. Everything I do is itemized on the back of your ticket. These repairs do not have a fixed price. Let's take your front brake for example. It just may need some cable pulled and the pads centered. That's about $6. However, your front brake may need new pads, new cable, housing, and elbow, the brake arms pulled 0ff to clean and lube the posts, and one of the posts re-aligned (bent back in place). That's about $45. See, no one really knows what is wrong with your front brake until they put your bike on the repair stand and take an honest look at it.

Let's take your sad excuse for a rear derailleur, for example. It may just need a turn of the adjusting barrel. That's free. Really, that's free. Or, your rear derailleur may need the hanger aligned, new cable and housing, the H, L, and B sets adjusted (because the 18 year old "bicycle mechanic" who assembled your $1200 bicycle for $5 at the shop where you bought it had absolutely no clue, never touched the H, L, and B sets, and never even took off the rear wheel during the assembly, which is why your rear hub is so loose), and your jockey wheel and guide pulleys removed and lubricated. That costs about $40. Really, $40. Again, I repeat, no one really knows what is wrong with your rear derailleur until they put your bike in the stand and take an honest look at it.

My bottom line is this: I will put your bike in the stand and give honest free estimates for repairs. It usually costs less than the estimate, and usually less that $69.99. If you want to put a limit on how much you want to spend on your bicycle, I will write it on the ticket and not exceed that limit. Again, I do not do "tune ups" and I don't know what is wrong with your bicycle and how much it will cost to fix it until I take a good look at it.

Rant over. Goodnight.

P.S. Please read the above rant as humor. I know you may have to look for it, but it's supposed to have a humorous tone.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's mid July and several friends have asked me,"Have you been up Green Canyon and seen the new single track?" "Well, no" I had to answer. So, yesterday morning I got up early and went all the way up to the "fourth trough" meadow at the wilderness boundary. Single track is always great. Single track that you can get to by riding from your house is just fantastic. I rode the fixed gear Pake with only the front brake, cut-off shorts, hiking boots/Power Grips, 32mm tires, and 75 psi.

People ask "Why the skinny tires no rear brake?" Well, let me just say there are times I do enjoy fat tires, Lycra shorts, freewheeling, clipless pedals, and two brakes. I am flexible enough to try and practice other types of riding. I even have the geared cyclocross bike, but I hardly ever ride it. Yeah, gears.

That said, I love the simple elegance of the fixed gear cross bike. I like the feeling of riding with "normal" clothing and shoes. The no rear brake thing is no big deal, even when riding the freewheel. With skinny tires, you will always run out of traction before you run out of brake. It makes you ride smart. You have to brake early. You have to brake when the trail is flat and smooth. If you wait until the trail points down and is covered in loose rock, you have waited to long. The front tire will drift and slide out.

Speaking of drift, if you want to be a good rider, you have to get comfortable with drift. Drift is that fine line between rolling friction and sliding friction as you go really fast through a turn. If you experience drift enough, you can learn to control it and keep your tires from sliding out. Find a section of trail and practice at various speeds.

The same philosophy applies to braking. A good rider is very familiar with the full on emergency/panic stop, and comfortable with that fine line between stopping and going over the bars.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to a grassy field and practice the emergency/panic stop. Put two cones (rocks, potato chip bags, big gulp cups) about twenty feet apart. Ride toward the first cone at speed. Brake hard when you get to the first cone and try to stop before you get to the second. As you get better, move the cones closer together, and repeat. If you want to be a road-warrior-bicycle-commuter, you really should practice stopping as quickly as possible. When a car driver pulls out or opens a door in front of you, and they will, you will be ready.

Or, forget all the above, put on you cut-offs and hiking boots, and just go ride. Slow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fe700c Bicycles Is Open

We are back in Logan, and last night I slept in my own bed. I'll be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 11 to 6ish. The Fuji Touring-C and Cambridge bicycles are now in stock. You just have to see the Cambridge. It is absolutely fantastic, a beautiful bicycle.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We're Going (Coming) Home Today


Lupine and I are flying home today, Jacksonville to Houston to Salt Lake City. Patty will pick us up and drive us to Logan. But wait, I am home. Aren't I? Where is home, because I feel confused? North Florida is home because every plant, animal, and ecosystem are part of my soul. We spent yesterday floating down Juniper Springs Run in the Ocala National Forest and crossing the St. John's River four times. It was familiar and wonderful. That said, North Florida has plenty of issues to complain about. Every morning when I read the local red-neck-conservative-Baptist-bible-belt-biased newspaper, I am shocked at all the crime and murders. I've been away too long. Could I ever live here again, with the thought of crime always in the front of my mind? I have forgotten how to lock a door. And the traffic? Everything is Jacksonville (the largest city in the country, in area) is spread out and completely auto-centric, the model of failed urban planning. It seems all I do when I come here is drive.

So in a way, Utah does not look so bad. I live beside beautiful mountains. The doors of my house and car are always unlocked. Always. The keys are always in the ignition. Not that I turn them; I ride my bicycle nearly everywhere I need to go.

Good bye Florida. See you in five months.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My TT Ride Last Night

Here is a nice picture and baiku from Chip. It was a fun ride last night!


pokey vine snatch-back
leaves trail creator bloodied
looks worse than it was

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coming Around The Circle Again

Yesterday I saw a swallow-tailed kite. I would love to post something profound about being back in Florida and out of the shop. I was even thinking about composing a haiku. So, I looked back at last year's posts. Almost one year later, in the same place, and I have nothing new to say. The old words could not be any more true or current. Below is the edited version of my p0st from July 19, 2008, so you do not have to navigate away. Here is the full version.

I'm on vacation. I'm back home in north Florida. I've slowed down a little. I needed a break. My mind and body are tired from working seven days a week for the last four months.

Like still black water
Spanish moss on the live oaks
My life moves slower

I've missed the lake
Panicum, green, wet, and tall
Meadowbeauty, pink

Running (Fe7ooc Bicycles) has been hard as of late, a product of my own success, a control freak completely out of control. I've become another in a long line of jaded bike shop owners, my emotions constantly changing between exuberance, anger, depression, and giddiness. All or nothing, I've allowed myself to become consumed. I've made a lot of people happy, and I've even changed a few lives.

I've also made people angry. I've even lost a few friends. I've been flamed on my own blog. There are customers who have been waiting for over a month to get their bikes worked on. These things I truly regret. If I have hurt your feelings or pissed you off, I am sorry. If I cussed you and told you to "get the hell out of my shop" that was uncalled for and I was wrong. Nothing is worth losing friends.

That said, there will be some changes at the shop. I'm not sure what these changes will entail. I don't know if I will be selling new or used bikes next year, or running a bicycle cooperative, or operating a mobile repair service. Who knows? I may even be a wildlife ecologist again. I do know that there have been many days standing in the shop juggling tools, customers, invoices, tubes, and cog sets, and asking myself, "for this, I earned a graduate degree?" I also know I can not go for weeks without a real bike ride. My heart and mind wont allow it. Palpitations and depression are unacceptable. Saturdays with my family and evening meals before 8:00 pm are pretty important too. I may even keep a regular blog. Like a long ride on a fixed gear bicycle, putting my feelings into words for the world to see is cheap therapy. Thanks for reading.
So, it's taken a year, but I am making some changes. There will be a different business plan and bicycles next year, less hours in the shop, and more time at home with the family and working for Patty. I look forward to reading this post again in July 2010. Perhaps then, I will have something new and profound to say.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fuji Connoisseur

I will be out of the shop and out of Loganistan for the next week or so. I plan to be open again on July 16. I'm going home to Florida, where the unbearable heat is surpassed only by the unbearable humidity. I can't wait.

I ordered some classic Fuji bicycles today: Cambridge, Touring, and Connoisseur, which is still not ready to ship. I will post more details and pictures when they come in.

Below is the Fuji Connoisseur. I never thought I would see a new production (not custom) road bike in 2009 with a steel lugged frame and downtube shifters. Yesterday, Jimbo asked me on the phone, "Do you think anyone wants a lugged steel bike with downtube shifters?" I may not sell very many of these bicycles, but I like it. I would ride one. At least once a week a bike comes in the shop with broken STI brake/shift levers. I also think indexed front shifters with "trim clicks" do not work as well as an old school friction shifter. Really. I want to be able to trim my front derailleur as I see fit.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bicycle Assembly

Every fourth or fifth (that's 20% to 25%, just because I love math) bicycle that comes into Fe700c Bicycles for repair has the same set of problems. "I bought this bike just a little more than a year ago, but it needs some help." That's the first clue, a like new bike. When you shake the wheels, the hubs are loose. The brake pads do not align with the rim and are not centered. The cable ends are long, they were never trimmed. When you shift the bike, there is not enough cable tension. And sometimes, the left pedal is missing.

These symptoms all indicate poor assembly. Kids pretending to be bicycle mechanics in businesses pretending to be bicycle shops pull new bikes out of boxes, quickly put on the front wheels, tighten some bolts (perhaps), and put the bikes on the floor. I understand. They make $5 per bike and do two or more each hour. That is good money for kids, but bad news for the bicycle industry. In real bicycle shops, this does not happen.

The Gospel according to Robert says:
  • Pull both wheels off the bike, adjust the hubs by locking down both sides (this means pulling off the freewheel or cassette and locking down the drive side first on the rear wheel), and true the wheels.
  • Grease cables and pinch bolts, adjust brakes and derailleurs properly (another post or two), and trim the cables no longer than the width of two or three fingers. Yes, you do have to pre-stretch these cables!
  • Use a pedal wrench and tighten down those pedals. Yes, you do have to grease the pedal threads. Use a big 8mm wrench and tighten crank arm bolts properly, after you have greased the threads.
This is not a complete bicycle assembly check list, but it is a good start. Have fun kids.

Monday, June 29, 2009

U-District

The Torker U-District, $349, is another choice for the underpaid citizens of Logan, UT. It turns out that workers in Logan make less per hour than any other place in Utah. This bike will get you to that low paying job really fast. I have all sizes in stock. The U-District is a Redline 925 made with cheaper steel, flat bars, and without the fenders. The Bicycle Gospel According To Robert, chapter three, states: "Don't ride a mountain bike to get around town. It's like driving an F350 to do your errands."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Like A Broken Record

Most young folks don't know what a broken record sounds like. I do. I find myself saying the same things over and over, the same sales pitches, the one about good shoes that cost over $100 having less rubber than a bicycle and no moving parts so why would you expect a $100 bicycle to work, and the same old bicycle gospel according to Robert. My favorites are "don't ride on the sidewalk" and "buying a Walmart bike is like tearing your $80 into little pieces of confetti and throwing them into the air."

I repeated both more than once yesterday. In the afternoon, two men from war torn Burma, recently arrived refugees, came in to the shop. (The Burma story and the Utah refugee story are another post. Follow the links to learn more. Send money if you can.) They spoke very little English, and had a Walmart bike they were sharing. They said it did not ride well. Yes. I asked when they had bought the bike and if they could take it back, but that was beyond their language abilities. I put the bike on the stand. Neither wheel turned between the brake pads. I tried the backhand-whack then spot true method. It didn't help much. I tried to center the cheap V-brakes. I turned one adjustment screw all the way in and the other all the way out on both the front and rear. Not much better. I turned the adjusting barrel on the rear derailleur and got the bike to shift on four middle cogs. No, I was not about to take it off and align the hanger or mess with the H and L sets as was needed. Walmart employees (notice I did not say Walmart bicycle mechanics) see H and L sets on rear derailleurs and just assume they should turn them all the way in. "Look, Billy Bob, these two screws are loose, I'll tighten 'em up real good." I shifted the front derailleur and only got chain rub. The front derailleur was an inch too high and toed-out. I moved it to the proper location and it still would not shift well. Oh well. "How much" they said. "Nothing" I said. They had confused looks on their faces, and then they smiled. They crossed the street, and took turns riding their new bicycle. On the sidewalk.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Redline Metro 9


Yes, more marketing again. It's what I do. I've posted about this bike before, but I need to update and put a link in the Choose Well sidebar.

The Redline Metro 9 is a fantastic bicycle. I sold two last Saturday! The virtues sound like a repeat sermon: $679, steel, rack mount, full fenders, flat bar, and lots-o-gears that are easy to use (I tell people this bike has just as many gears as a 24 speed bike. It's magic, 9=24, but I could show you the math, no redundancy, no cross gear). Come in for a test ride.

A Smile On A Face

B. Z. came into Fe700c Bicycles two weeks ago, all 6 feet 4 inches of him. He asked all the questions the Bicycle Industry had programmed his brain to ask: questions about light weight aluminum frames, front shocks, disc brakes, full suspension, and "normal size" 26 inch wheels.

Like most of the people who hear me stand on my soap box and explain the virtues of the Redline D-440, he listened politely, asked a few more half hearted questions, and walked out of the shop. I had given my best sermon: $649, steel frame, front and rear rack attachments, big 29er wheels, utility as a commuter bike with fenders and thin tires, the ability to roll over bumps without the need for suspension, and the stopping power of v-brakes (and the negative side of disc brakes, but that is another post, wwwwhhhhhaaaaaa, wwwwwhhhhhaaaa, wwwhhhaaaa).

What I talked about most was bike fit. "Yes, B. Z., you are a big guy. You are going to have a much lower center of gravity relative to the bike on a 29er. Your OTB ratio is going to go down! I'm sure you have never had a bike that fit you. The top tube on a 21 inch frame on this bike is nearly 25 inches. The stand over height is 33 inches. You would really like the ride. You don't need shocks and disc brakes, really." On and on I went. Out the door he went.

Then, last week, he came back. Perhaps something had sunk in, or perhaps he had done some research. He said he wanted to try the D-440. So, I ordered the big 21 inch bike and assembled it yesterday. Yes, it was big, bars and saddle at my rib cage. B. Z. came in, hopped on, and went for a ride, perfect fit, perfect shifting, and perfect brakes. He came back with a big smile on his face.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fe

Just in case you really wanted to know more about Fe.

Goodnight.

Back in the Shop

I'm back from Montana. I'm back from Park City. I'll be in the shop all week long, except for when I'm not in the shop. Right.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Montana

I will be working in Montana for the next few days, so the shop will be closed Thursday. I will be open regular hours on Friday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Redline Monocog 29er


Dollar for dollar, the Redline Monocog is the best 29er singlespeed bicycle out there. Really. I ride one. Mine is stuck in Florida, and I sure miss it, but I ride one. The price is $549. Yes, $549 for a complete bike. I have these bikes in stock. Pay close attention to the geometry on these. The top tubes are long. So, go down a size, eh? I just got an email from Matt Chester, so I am speaking Canadian. I really am getting a monster cross from Matt, and I am so excited. If anyone wants to know where I got the crazy idea to sell only the bikes you really believe in, obviously, I got the idea from Matt. He is a smart guy. Thanks, Matt.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Classic Fuji Touring and Fuji Cambridge

$1100 (now $949!!)
$1250 (now $899!)
$1250 (now $899!!)

Sure, Fe700c Bicycles is still selling Fuji Bicycles. Above are the Touring C and the Fuji Cambridge in Men's and Women's versions. Just follow the links for details.

Redline D440


Fe700c Bicycles sells the Redline D440 as a complete bike. I love this bike! It's a 29er mountain bike. With 38c tires it's a heavy duty commuter or off road touring machine.
  • $650
  • Full Chromoly frame and fork with front and rear rack mounts
  • SRAM X-5 rear shifter and derailleur (no Shimano parts, no front derailleur, no front shifter, I'm not going to go into detail here, but just trust me that this bicycle still has all the gears you would ever need, 8 of them)
  • Tektro v-brakes that will throw you over the bars (I told you I don't really like disc brakes)

Pake C'Mute


This is the bike I currently ride. It can be built to do anything from touring to commuting to fixed gear cyclocross. Versatility.

It is has:
  • $360 price tag
  • butted Tange 4130 Chromoly front triangle
  • clearance for 35c tires with fenders (45c in front w/out fenders)
  • an extended headtube (works great with offroad flared drop bars)
  • removable decals (put your own on)
  • horizontal dropouts and a derailleur hanger
  • unicrown steel fork with rack and fender mounts and low rider pannier mounts, 44mm rake, and matching paint
  • color, Pave-Mint (kind of blue green)
  • 27.2 seatpost
  • 132.5mm rear hub spacing (this means it all fits)
  • 1-1/8" headset size, threadless
  • 28.6 front derailleur
  • no way to put on disc brakes (thank God)
You can buy the frame and fork only or talk to me about a custom build. Again, the choice is yours (but I would suggest a flared drop bar single speed/fixed gear cyclocross go anywhere do anything bike).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Next Bike?

My Redline Monocog 29er is still in Florida. I really miss it. I'm very tempted to go ahead and build a steel 29er, even though I don't want to be the type of person who owns two steel 29er mountain bikes. But then again, I do own a bike shop. I should ride what I sell. Fe700c Bicycles. And, Logan trails can be quite harsh on 32c tires. So, here it is, the Soma Juice. Steel, single, gears, V-brakes, so many choices. My next bike?

Friday, June 5, 2009

I Miss Charlie's Face


Back in Bozeman, Montana, I often got to ride with this kid named Tejay Van Garderen. I remember once going up Charlie's Face just as hard as I could go (see picture above), feeling really good about myself, when Tejay just blew by me. Up the trail he turned around, headed back down, turned around, and blew by me again. Yes, I was riding really fast, and Tejay was just doing intervals around me. Tejay is now a pro in Europe and I'm still a want-to-be. Good job Tejay!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Top Ten

I don't really know when I will post new baiku. Probably when the mood strikes. A few days ago I imported all the old posts from the old blog into this new blog. I realized just how much I have posted in the last three years or so. So, I have put my Top Ten baikus/stories with links on the sidebar. I must say, some of these are pretty good and may be worth a second look. If you are new to this site they are certainly worth a first look.

More Bikes

Here are four more choices for reasonably priced high quality steel frames, all from Soma. Road, comfort road, welded, lugged, gears, singlespeed, fixedgear, so many choices, but they are all steel. I will be selling these frames (or custom complete builds) real soon. Fe700c Bicycles. All pictures by Soma.

Soma Delancey lugged frame and lugged fork, $795

Soma Speedster lugged frame and lugged fork, $795

Soma Smoothie ES frame, $400

Soma Smoothie frame, $400

Guide Service

I'm going to tell you a secret, but you can't tell anyone. Really, this is an important secret. If it were to get out, it would change everything. It would alter the alignment of the stars.

So, don't tell anyone, but Logan, Utah is one of the best places in the United States to ride a bicycle. Really. It has the best roads, the best trails, and the best scenery around. There are few good restaurants, no place to buy a good beer, no night life to speak of, few art galleries, good people who follow a strange religion, and only one coffee shop. But, oh my gawd the riding we have. Cache Valley is a huge maze of empty roads with mountain views in every direction. The view is a circle of mountains really. The single track is some of the best I've seen. I would compare it with all the great mountain biking destinations I am familiar with: Moab, Fruita, Jackson, Driggs, Bozeman, and West Fir.

While in Bozeman, I did quite a bit of professional guiding. Now that I no longer have cheap Aluminum bikes to build and more free time, I am now offering myself as a guide to anyone who wants to come to Logan and go on a mountain bike ride. I know all the trails. I know the details that the guidebooks and mtbr.com do not, like where the cows are, where the mud is, where the downfalls are, and the difficulty level of each trail. Most importantly, I know trails not in the books or on the Internet.

Here's what you get:
  • A professional ride guide
  • Epic rides on the best trails without any effort on your part (other than pedaling) or ever getting lost
  • A professional mechanic who can do nearly any trail side repair
  • A gourmet lunch (I am a really good cook. Remember, we have few good restaurants.)
  • Someone to carry your gourmet lunch, snacks, water, and tools
  • Some of the best single track and mountain views you have ever seen or your money back

Cost:
Oh yes, there is a cost.
  • $300/half day for up to three people (now don't sweat the math, that's $100 per person)
  • $500/full day for up to three people. I'll let you do the math this time, because it's more complicated
  • Advanced riders only


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Marketing

Above is the Voodoo Dambala. Like many of their bikes, it is made from real Chromoly steel. It's a geared bike, and it's a singlespeed. I like it. It's Fe700c. I would build it without the shocks and disc brakes, but I like it.



This is the Soma Double Cross pic I promised. It's the high class, better steel version of the Pake C'Mute (without the semi-horizontal dropouts). Nothing more needs to be said. This is the real thing. Like Coke.

What Are You Going To Sell?


Voodoo. Fe700c Bicycles will be selling Voodoo. I really like the Nakisi, above, a true monster cross. Voodoo has many steel frames that can do it all. Below is a prototype of what the Nakisi would look like built up with big tires.



I've been selling, and will continue to sell these. Below is the C'Mute. I am currently riding this frame nearly full time on and off road. Again, this bike can be built to do nearly anything: tour, cross, commute, or fixed gear off road.



I will sell Soma too. I'll post picture of the Double Cross tomorrow.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. "Huh?" I have no answer for this question.
  2. "Will there still be baikus on your blog?" Only time will tell.
  3. "Do you have any cheap bikes?" The Walmart bikes are at Walmart.
  4. "Why are you doing this?" I have lost my mind and my heart. Fe700c may allow me to find both.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Metamorphosis

When a caterpillar hides inside its cocoon, it emerges as a butterfly. No, I'm not changing into a butterfly, but change is good. I'm changing my business, its name, my blog, and my clientele. I will no longer be selling cheap used bicycles. A good pair of shoes costs more than $100. Bicycles have more rubber than a pair of shoes and a lot of moving parts. My work has been undervalued and under appreciated for too long. Soon, I will be selling only bicycles with steel frames and 700c wheels, no aluminum bikes, and no 26 inch wheeled mountain bikes. Will I still repair them? Sure. Metamorphosis. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Louden Wainright III


I'll always be a want-to-be. Last night Patty, Tim S., and I went to see Louden Wainright and Hot Tuna in SLC. When you get close to real musicians, they put you in a trance. They make it look effortless. My review: Louden had somthing to say. Hot Tuna had somthing to play. Here is a song we heard last night.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Like A Flashback


This picture reminds me of the old days, selling used bikes in the front yard. Things have sure changed. This picture was taken in Missoula, Montana.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jinxed?

Four years ago we went to Antelope Island. Patty says it was on my birthday. I hopped out of the car, jumped on my bike, and started to pedal across the 7 mile causeway. I pulled off onto the shoulder to make a quick adjustment and picked up several hundred goat heads in each tire. Great ride.


Today was going to be different. I came prepared. Tubeless. We jumped on the bikes, rolled down the hill, and my back tire was flat. Where did that big sidewall gash come from? I've never had a sidewall gash in my life!

I will never take a bike to Antelope Island again. Really.

The place is pretty. The bugs ate us alive.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pooped


Build bikes, sell, repeat
At the shop at 2:00 am
And tonight 'till eight

No wrench tomorrow
We ride Antelope Island
Mother's Day, hammock


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Recycled & New Bicycles, New Shop Hours

Please note the new shop hours at Recycled & New Bicycles:

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 11 to 6

I'm Back

Rentolo became Rentover, Reno to East Wendover. OK, I bailed. It started to rain. My rear wheel was suspect (I had to replace all the drive side nipples. Try that as a roadside repair. Never tour with alloy nipples). Patty came and got me. I'm dry. I'm safe. I'll get a full report blogged later. For now, here is the nutshell: Reno, Dayton, Fallon, Eureka, Ely, East Wendover.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rentolo

The blog is lame of late. I've been too busy to type. Recycled & New Bicycles will be closed next week. I'm going on a long ride, Reno to Logan. I will try to give an update from the library in Austin, NV. If not, wish me luck and strong legs. It will be 700 miles in 6 days.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter Sunday

The seagulls waited
Circling, hungry, and watching
Alert for colors

They waited some more
They arrived four weeks ago
Gulls, sans calendars

The children brought eggs
Their parents and their parents
All with Paas hued eggs

Thousands of bright eggs
Blues, oranges, pinks, greens, purples
Easter hard boiled

They threw all their eggs
Down Old Main Hill, USU
A feast of color

I could not watch it
We ate eggs when I was young
Pearl Street, Trout River

They all drove away
Colorful shells on the grass
The seagulls moved in

A feast for seagulls
Yoke-billed and albumin filled
They left only shells

So I pedaled hard
All the way up McMurdie
Post-holing in snow

Up Pisgah Mountain
A stupid-hard long bike ride
They make me happy

Alone with Mother
Sagebrush wet in the snow melt
Nuthatches singing

The end of the road
After the last knee deep drifts
Egg shells on the ground

Some lone woods-person
Happily ate Easter eggs
For sunrise breakfast






Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thank You

I got an email from Jasmine today. She lives far away, but reads my blog. I have friends in the UK, reading too. I just want to say thank you all for reading. And, I want to say thank you to my customers. I appreciate you all buying bicycles and trusting me to do your repairs. Recycled & New Bicycles is a very busy shop. There is no waiting list for repairs as of yet, but it's not far off. Thank you too, for your paitience. I have to go back to work now and build JH's new fixie.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Returns, The Reviews Are In

I did a short ride on Sunday. The Logan-Smithfield Canal trail was nearly snow free. Not mud free, but it was nearly snow free. From Smithfield, I did the tour of Amalga (tour of the smelly dairy farms). The flooded Bear River floodplain was full of singing frogs. It's amazing how much greener the bottoms are compared to the benches. It gets whiter as you go up and greener as you go down.

Well, I've been flamed on mtbr.com. I guess that will teach me to yell at people and tell them to get out of the shop. I know, however, I will never change my ways. I sold over 100 new bikes last year and over 50 used bikes. I had a two month waiting list for repairs. "Second rate" they say. Fine with me. Don't come back. I've got plenty of happy customers. Especially the one's that get micro loans and free bikes. I've learned one thing about retail: you can't make them all happy.

Enough. I'm going to work. I have a lot of bikes to build.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Can I Do A Short Rant, Please?

Support you local bike shop. They probably have a lot of knowledge about bicycles and bicycle fit. It may cost a little more up front, but buying a bicycle from a professional will save you money and discomfort in the long run.

Yesterday, I got this call:

"Hey, it's Ringo, I'm a friend of John. I came in there, oh, about a month ago looking for a triathlon bike for my wife. Yeah, I pumped you for information for a half hour, and well, I bought her a bike on EBay. She does not like the bars. It has shifters on the end. Do you have any cheap used bars, you know, road bars. I also need brake/shift levers. I want Ultegra or 105 level stuff. Do you have those cheap or used?"

I lost it. I told him to go look on the Internet for cheap parts and hung up on him.

I never got to tell him that new 105 levers would cost $279, a good bar $79, a stem for proper position (different than time trial bar position) $59, new bar wrap $12, plus $80 labor to take the old stuff off, put the new stuff on, wrap the bars, and adjust the derailleurs and brakes. I knew what his reaction would be. Could you imagine if I had said this:

"Yes sir, it will be another $509 to make your cheap EBay bike ride like a normal bike. By the way, does the bike fit?"

Bottom line: Find a local bike shop run by a professional you can trust (
if all you see are teenagers, walk out). Listen to the professional when they tell you to buy a $520 entry level road bike that can be used for everyday riding and that anticipated triathlon. Listen to them when they talk about bike fit and function.

Never mind. You have EBay and Google.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tour De Gainesville Video, 2008

Here is the updated version, with music. Saturday is the 2009 version. If I had a magic carpet and a time turner I would show up for this year's roll out. Ding.

Tour de Gainesville 2008 from Lindsay Levkoff on Vimeo.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Looking For Great Deals?

No internet sales.
I tried. I get hits. Google.
I'm a LBS.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Social Business

Every year around this time I begin to post less and less. Right on schedule, Recycled & New Bicycles has become one busy busy place. Fifteen new bicycles, four reconditioned bikes, and countless repairs have gone out the door in the last ten days. I've put in over 120 hours in the last two weeks. I'm tired. I can not remember the last time I went for a real ride. But, there are a lot of smiley people out there on their bikes. Thank you customers. Thank you Fuji and Redline.

There was a fantastic program on To The Best Of Our Knowledge this morning on NPR. The guest was Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, famous for making "micro-loans" to poor women around the world. He described the difference between "Profit Maximizing Business" and "Social Business" and the inherent desire of humans to make the world a better place. Social businesses do not send profits back to stockholders or investors. Profits are made, but the investment is made in the local community.

Now, there are some people here in Logan that are "shocked" and think I commit highway robbery for buying a kid's bike for $102 plus $20 shipping, professionally building and fitting it, then selling it for $179. "Jesus Christ man, you made $57." Right. I have no rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, or licenses to pay for. My time has no value.

Again, Social Businesses do make a profit. But, there are no investors or profit takers, and these businesses give back to their community. Recycled & New Bicycles gave away 3 bicycles last week, and also did more than a few free repairs. I loaned my Burley trailer to a 21 year-old young man who has full custudy of his two children. I also loaned Lupine's little green Redline to another single parent. These freebies went to people who truly needed them.

Recycled & New Bicycles made no-interest micro-loans to over 30 people last year who did not have enough money to pay for a bicycle up front. They all had to pass my credit check. I looked them in the eye and asked, "will you pay me?" Most did. Some did not. I lost about $3,000 in 2008 and nearly $1,000 in 2007. Do you think I have learned my lesson? No. I have made 4 micro-loans already in 2009. I think I've helped a little to make Logan, Utah a better place. I'm a Social Business. Recycled & New Bicycles is different.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Graupel over ice

The crunch echos from our tires
Don't turn and don't brake

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Protracted


We pedaled through snow

On our way to school today
White on new-green grass

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