This coming Monday, the 31st of January, I will begin teaching another frame building class at UBI. For those of you not familiar with it, the United Bicycle Institute holds all sorts of bicycle related classes: Mechanics certification classes; wheel building classes; and a couple of different types of frame building classes, including TIG welding and brazing. I’ll be the guest lecturer for this next brazing class. The class is two weeks long, and usually has about eight students. Each student will leave the class with a bicycle frame that they have built with their own hands. I’ll be there to demonstrate and to guide people along. This said, I will be checking e-mails and returning phone calls as I can. But if it takes a few days for me to get back to you, please understand that I’m not ignoring you, I’m just occupied. I’ll post news about the class along the way. Photos, words, maybe some video
Someone hacked a construction sign on N. Vancouver Way this past weekend and changed the directive. I was heading toward the shop when I saw it. As big as it was I wasn’t really paying attention and didn't see it right away. It alternated between messages: “Calm Yourself” & “No Big Deal.” When I finally realized what it was saying I laughed. The trailer holding the sign was nearly in the bike lane, and the message itself was so large. Simple imperatives; positive messages. I wonder how many people went right past without even noticing? In that case would it be considered a subliminal message, if it never made it into the person's consciousness?
Maybe the city should try putting more signs like this around town, flashing simple positive statements, especially during rush hour & around busy intersections. If only there were a way to measure the impact, see how it affected people. Maybe place a hidden video camera to see if people smile and laugh or shake their heads and scowl. Or if they just keep on staring wall-eyed at the tail lights in front of them.
We could use more street art here in Portland. Stuff to make people laugh, or make them think. Or both. There are enough creative people around…
“What is this thing?!” This past October at the Oregon Bicycle Builders’ Show, Jonathan Maus of bikeportland.org stopped by the booth and was looking at this crazy bike of mine. I tried to sum it up as succinctly as possible: “It’s a mixte off road touring 29er commuter monster truck thing, with a flask cage.” Something like that. The bike was hanging on a stand at the back of my booth. I’d been riding it for a couple of months without paint, and it had a nice patina of rust going. When Jonathan was done taking in all that information the only question he could think to ask was, “Why?” The only proper answer to that is, “Because I can.”
This is the high-speed version of building the front triangle of a bicycle.
Here is what it looks like to assemble and braze the front triangle of a bicycle on high-octane caffeine. The music is by Annihilation Time.
This is the fast version of building the front half of the bicycle.