Sunday, November 17, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Here is the Deluxe Session:
Deluxe at The Wheel Mill from The Wheel Mill on Vimeo.
Monday, September 02, 2013
In fact, I longed for Saturdays to come so that I could make the trek with friends. The Bike Shop was the mecca of bike shops. They were responsible for the BMX track that emerged on the hill overlooking the shop in the late 70’s and into the 80’s. They had rows and rows of bikes (Mongooses and JMC’s and GT’s and Redlines, and Race Inc.’s). They sponsored the experts. They had red haired sons that ran their shop and could wheely all the way down the street one handed! And, to my delight, they had parts bins. The parts bin, for a poor kid scraping together a bike, was glory. In the parts bin you could get new and used seats, bars, tires, pedals and pads.
Spokes became our shop while living in DC. They did not have parts bins but their lay away program allowed me to save up enough cash to buy my 1996 Gary Fisher Mt. Tam and the shop owners and wrenchers could talk bikes all day long.
When we lived in Aliquippa, PA from 1999 to 2003, Sniggers, in Beaver, PA was our shop. I bought a 2001 GT Vertigo from Marlin Erin (the Shop Owner) and he did miracles with helping me get a warranty honored. They did have a parts bin and old vintage Schwinns hanging from the walls. I have worked at shops, hung out in shops and even used shops as outlets where I wander the aisles just for the enjoyment of the wonder of beautiful things. This shop was and is a beautiful example of Bike Shop Professionalism and Old School Customer Service- great aesthetic and high value of good design combined with Western PA charm and connectedness to roots.
I live a few blocks from Bike Tek and Pro Bikes in Squirrel Hill but they aren't my shops. Pro Bikes is too pretentious for me- a tube of grease at Pro-Bikes costs 17 dollars because it is "good for the environment." Of course, there is nothing wrong with being good for the environment but it is grease, really. I bought a 2007 Haro Escape from them in 2007 but I felt dirty afterwards. Bike-Tek has Frank, the co-owner. I like Frank because I think he has Aspergers. He will insult you and your bike if he does not like you or your bike. I bought a Eastern Jane from his shop. He was mean about it. Even though that makes Bike Tek more human, they have to compete with Pro Bike, on the same block, so I think the pretentiousness has rubbed off on them. Anyway, Iron City Bikes is my favorite shop. Well, it is now my other favorite shop.
I cried when I left that shop. Seriously, I cried. At Kraynicks, Gerry does not sell new Bikes. He says he doesn’t need the hassle. He has a gazillion work stations in the back where little kids and bike weenies and old geezers and commuters and hipsters gather to work on bikes and this is a free service as long as you pay it forward. Of course, Gerry will let you bring your Waldors Bike in and show you how to true its crappy wheels without judgments or pretension.
In fact, Gerry is so down to earth, like Jesus, that I do not think he even remembers how to spell pretentioun. Gerry is in his late sixties and has white hair (like Gandolf but not long and hippyish), is the soul employee, and his eyes burn with the wonder of one surrounded by bikes for a lifetime. He is a kind man, not mean, which makes him even more real than mean Frank, and he lets you work on bikes for free. He has no cash register, figures out what you owe him by righting on scrap paper, and he does not give you a receipt. At Kraynicks, grease is not 17 dollars. Gerry doesn’t have a shop dog but he does have parts bins. In fact, Kraynicks Bike Shop is a parts bin! It is a four-story parts bin! The little boy in me, the scraping teenager in me, the climbing twenty-something in me, the established thirty-something in me and the now forty six your old me walked into Kraynicks a few weeks ago and found the best bike shop in this part of the world. So, when I left, I cried.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
On March 22, I slipped a disc in my neck- I thought I just kinked it so I went for a five mile run to work it out. Two days later I was in in the ER. A Week later an MRI indicated that I had slipped a disc in my fifth vertibre and was suffering from Cervical Radiculopathy- crazy pain that made my whole arm numb and kept me on my back for a whole month before I could do anything. On July 22, it will be four months since this injury. I took my first bike ride since this injury on JULY 4TH! That is the longest I have ever gone without riding or running or doing what I want with my body. PT, Chiropractics and retooling my whole work life is getting me back on track. Here is the irony. I did not get this injury doing anything extreme. On the contrary, I got it from studying. I do a lot of writing and studying as a part of my job. And, much of the creative work I do is done slouched over a laptop. 15 years of that caused me to suffer from what the docs call forward posturing. So, my disc slipped because of tiny amounts of neck strain over time.
Anyway. It is good to be back on the bike. Part of my recovery has been a required effort to use my hands so that I can rebuild muscle and nerve use. What better way to use your hands then working on bikes. Since mid May I have rebuilt and sold nine bikes. Lots of fun.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Amongst the multitude of bike shops across Manhattan and Brooklyn, 718 Cyclery (www.718c.com) stands out for their unique approach to the business. This is the "inverted bike shop".
June 2012 Update: We were honored to have our film selected in the official line up of the 2012 Bicycle Film Festival (www.bicyclefilmfestival.com) in New York.
Created by Show Love (www.showloveworld.com). For more please contact Peter or Chauncey at email@example.com
The Album Leaf