What’s up with Pashley pricing in the US?

The Pashley brand is new to me. I think I saw it first on ecovelo. Some of their bikes — especially those in the “classic bicycles” range — are gorgeous.

When I looked in to how much they cost, I was shocked to see a huge difference between the UK prices and the US prices. The Guv’nor, for example: GBP795 (USD1167) in jolly old, and USD1795 here in the states through Gold Country Cyclery. (And nobody else seems to carry them.) That’s more than a 50% markup. I can’t imagine that shipping cost makes up all of that. Maybe there are onerous import duties on British bicycles? Who knows.

Either way: amazing looking bikes.

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Auspiciously timed, I finished building up the old Bridgestone that I’ve been working on since November last night. Calling it by its decals, I give you Resurrectio:

Here’s the original, for compare/contract purposes:

A quick note regarding the name: Riv sells decal sets for old bikes made new. There’s lots of resurrection and phoenix motifs in them. Here’s a closeup:

And the seat tube decal:

I quite like them.

For the final push of getting it from assembled to “no really: ready to ride”, I had some help from Ken down at Stan’s Monrovia Bicycles with the bar tape. I wasn’t sure how to wrap the end of the bars such that the shifters would still fit in (turns out that you just don’t tuck the tape in to the bars), was impatient, and knew that Ken help me put a bullet in the project.

The blue tape is, I think, an extra-nice touch. Thanks, Ken!

The other thing I’m rather happy about is finally getting to use the saddle that Stephanie gave me for our anniversary last year.

Overall, I’m just really, really happy with the way the bike turned out, and I’ll probably do another sooner or later. (Definitely not until I get the garage cleaned out and tools organized such that I can avoid taking over the entire garage. No really: cars go there. It’s true.)

Building up a bike from parts — especially an old bike — was a really educational experience. I got to learn all about the difference between 27-inch and 700c wheels, and between recessed brake caliper mountings v. nutted mountings, and which parts screw in left-handed, which parts really, really need grease before you install them. Etc. It was a lot of fun, but I think I’d do a few things differently next time. (In particular, I’d not paint it until I was 100% sure that all the components fit. Trying to MacGyver in brakes on a freshly-painted frame is more angsty than I’m down for.)

I was able to take it for a short ride this afternoon. You know, shake down the components, make sure it’s adjusted correctly, etc. The seat is angled a little far forward, and I’m going to have to make a new shim (the first one is too thin) for the seat post. Also, I really don’t need a 52t chainring. I’ll never use it. So probably I’ll swap it out for the 42t “small” chain ring and put a 34t or something on as well. (I know that I forfeit any roadie kred by doing this. Oh well. I can still hang out with the touring crowd.)

Without question I would be remiss if I did not thank the people who helped me out with this project:

  • New Belgium, for the best seat-post shim stock on earth
  • Rivendell Bicycle Works, for a gang of parts and inspiration
  • Sheldon Brown, for an endless stream of maintenance and repair tips
  • Stan’s, for more parts, advice and making Monrovia a cool town to ride in
  • My parents and in-laws for helping me avoid tragic technical errors along the way
  • Fletcher, for being a shop hand without comparison
  • Stephanie, for limitless inspiration, creative consultation, support and that just-right amount of ass kicking to get me to finish the damn thing. I love you!

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What not to wear. [TEN DAYS OF PATMEME]

Day VI!

Top Six Gender-Appropriate Outfits I Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Wearing In Public (pics required)

Ok, this one I think I could do. First off, I can’t see myself wearing a dashiki.

I don’t know. Just not my thing. For similar reasons, the Canadian tuxedo doesn’t really work for me, either.

Sorry, Jay.

Since I’m not European, I’ll say that the speedo is right out as well.

I’m beginning to think that the Euro Speedo Dude is a myth, as they only Euro Dude beach frolicking stories I’ve every heard involved beachgoing au natural, which in its own way is better than the speedo. More honest, at least.

I can never remember the Safe Word, so the Gimp look is out.

Perhaps the most regrettable look ever — that I would not for a moment consider rocking, unless it was really, really funny, in which case maybe — is the frat-boy multiple collars, some popped, some not look.

What on earth are those guys thinking?

Finally, I’ll call upon the good doctor to let me know what not to wear:

“I’d like to get hold of some priests’ robes,” I said. “They might come in handy in Las Vegas.”

But there were no costume stores open, and we weren’t up to burglarizing a church. “Why bother?” said my attorney. “And you have to remember that a lot of cops are good vicious Catholics. Can you imagine what those bastards would do to us if we got busted all drugged-up and drunk in stolen vestments? Jesus, they’d castrate us!”

So I’ll not be dressing as the Pope, either.

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Taking a miss [TEN DAYS OF PATMEME]

Day 5.

Top Five “Top Ten Lists” That I Found Outrageously Wrong

No. Just… no.

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So bad, I should be in detention. [TEN DAYS OF PATMEME]

The madness continues. The weekends are tough, because I don’t have that “at work, waiting for the coffee to kick in” time to think about what to write. Oh well. Onward!

Top Four Things I’m Really Bad At Doing

  1. Golf. Lord almighty am I bad at golf. Often I give up scoring with numbers and use symbols. One time I made the 7th hole in lightning bolt after making the sixth in pentagram. I attribute this to the fact that 95-99% of the time I’m golfing is at bachelor parties and I’m three or five beers in to things by the fourth hole. Or at least the fourth hole for me. I usually hit six or eight or whatever the maximum is on at least half the holes, so it takes me eight holes to actually sink four. Anyway, yeah: I’m awfully bad at golf.
  2. Corresponding. You’d think what with the email and the basically free VOIP and the atomic hover video chat, it’d be easier to keep up with the people I’d like to keep up with, but I just don’t do it. So everybody who doesn’t live in Southern California who wonders why I never write/call/atomic video yell, it’s just because I’m bad at that sort of thing.
  3. Crossword puzzles. I just don’t have the patience/mind for remembering trivia.

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In which Corey cops out [TEN DAYS OF PATMEME]

Patmeme ho! Day three!

I’m tired this evening, so I’m not really going to try. Sorry.

  1. Rockport
  2. Vasque
  3. Adidas

Wow that was lame.

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Continuing on from yesterday’s Patmeme kickoff, we’re now at Day two:

Top Two Pets I Won’t Let My Children Have

  1. A cat. I’m violent allergic to cats. Plus I just don’t like them. Sorry, Fletch.
  2. A parrot. This aversion is probably shared by much of the San Gabriel Valley. We’ve had a feral parrot problem for at least ten years. The damn things set up shop in a tree outside your window — dozens and dozens of them — and just squawk and squawk and squawk…. I hate them. I really do. I’m not a fan of guns at all, but I’d be all for issuing a shotgun to every home in the SGV that agreed to shoot at these damn birds whenever possible.

Extra bonus question: What one animal would I definitely let my child have?

A falcon, to hunt the parrots.

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Wheelchair Vacation [TEN DAYS OF PATMEME]

Behold: Pat is doing his Top Ten List of top “ten” list memes, which allows for TEN DAYS OF PATMEME.

Day one:

Top One Vacation Destination to Visit If I’m Confined To A Wheelchair

I’m going to break Pat’s rules right out of the gate and answer twice: Once for the relative sedentary vacation — i.e., both of my legs are very and recently broken and it hurts to move them even a little (or if you just feel like being sedentary) — and one for a more active vacation. It’s the only fair way to do it, I think.

For the laid-back vacation, I’d say a film festival. Lots of sitting to be done, which would suite a wheelchair just fine. The question of which film festival to go to is important, though. I doubt France as something akin to the ADA, which would make getting around a pain in the ass, so Cannes is out. Sundance is in Utah, and they have those messed up blue laws (although I hear they’ve gotten better), so forget that. I’d probably say that Toronto, given that it’s in Canada, which is exclusively populated by the most polite people on earth, would be a pretty perfect destination. You could probably get perfect strangers to wheel you from theatre to theatre there. Yeah. So the Toronto International Film Festival it is.

If I’m shooting for action, though, I think the only way to be sure is to find some sort of Murderball/Thunderdome-style wheelchair basketball camp. I don’t know if one exists — as a vacation destination, at least — but I think that’d be the way to go.

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March riding

March miles: 206.1
Percentage of monthly goal: 123%
2009 miles: 641
Percentage of annual goal so far: 32%

Well, I’m a quarter of the way through the year and about a third of the way to my goal. Pretty pleasing.

I rode much, much less than I wanted to during March. (I had to go out for a ride on the last night of the month just to crack 200.) There were the (for me) pretty standard mechanical difficulties. I say “standard” and “for me” because I still haven’t gotten over the whole “tinkering with the commuter” thing. This would be tantamount to deciding on Sunday evening to put a puffer on the Civic that you take to work every day. Needless to say, it ends up with the bike in more pieces than it would ideally be on a lot of mornings. There was also a certain amount of work angst that lead to either late nights or martinis, both of which make riding in the morning pretty unappealing. That seems to be clearing up, though, so no more excuses.

Well, except for the whole “while attempting to fix my bike, I’ve pretty well destroyed it” part. A few weeks ago I broke a pedal. In replacing it, I broke the crank arm it was attached to. In replacing that I ruined my bottom bracket. Got a new one in place there, and now the replacement crankset — which, admittedly, is very very cheap — is warped beyond recognition and hitting the chainstay with each and every revolution. So, yeah.

I’m damn, damn close on the Bridgestone restoration I’ve been working on since last year. The frame is out at the powedercoat shop right now and should be done by tomorrow. When I get that back, I’m pretty sure I have all the parts I need to put together a really nice weekend bike, so I can ride that while the commuter is dead. All there is to it is assembling a bike from parts. Which I’ve never done before. But I have a copy of Zinn and Sheldon‘s always there on the internets. What could go wrong?

The riding highlight of the month was, without question, a bike camping trip with Fletcher’s scout troop. Glenn Trail Camp is an amazing place to camp. It’s ~6.5 miles up a road where only handicapped fishermen can drive. The camp is huge, usually empty, (on account of having to bike there, which most people for whatever reason won’t do) and immaculate. After we got to camp, the boys did another quick five mile ride up and down the trail (for a requirement for the cycling merit badge) and Stephanie and I got to tool around without our bikes loaded, which was wonderfully relaxing.

I’m really interested in doing some more bike camping. You can get away from civilization quickly, and camping just with your own group in the middle of nowhere is infinitely better than camping next to 30 people’s parked cars. Anybody interested in joining me?

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Happy Jazz Appreciation Month

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