January 2010

News from the world of beautiful bicycle accessories… the production team at MK Fenders is still hard at work, coming up with new varieties of wood fenders, and their in-house hardware is close to perfection.  (In the meantime we have Honjo hardware in stock at the shop.)  Lately, they’ve been experimenting with inlays.

As the above right detail shows, this inlay is a mix of translucent and opaque.

Above, a simple yet elegant inlay of contrasting wood…

compared to the stripes achieved by laminating together the different types of wood.  All MK Fenders are fully shaped like traditional fenders and finished with a marine-grade varnish for rugged durability.  We love these things!

This weekend we broke out the power tools and made some changes around here.

First was a new shelf in the corner.

Then we moved the lending library from the front door to the counter.  Not sure about this one, but we will give it a try.

A wall mount map dispenser under the bulletin board.  The statewide map and the local trails map, free!

And, sure to be a mechanic favorite, a new centrally located shelf with cables, housing, and such, nicely tucked out of the way.

And of course, Otis keeps making our shop a better place!  Here he is hard at work helping compose this weblog post.  Thanks, buddy.  Otis is the latest Your Change Can Make A Difference Can beneficiary, to help with the costs of his vet bills.  We are glad he is here, and not out in the cold, and we think he feels the same way.

This morning Cody and I rode our bikes to our polling place and voted in the special election for Johnson County Supervisor.  We urge everyone to vote today!  As citizens it is important that we take the time to vote, and as cyclists it is important to remember that our County Government has a great deal of say in road conditions and infrastructure decisions so we need to not just pay attention but be involved.  Please vote today!

After voting I decided to take the long way to work.  I rode over the Interstate and enjoyed the natural beauty of Iowa.

Saw quite a few eagles looking over the Iowa River, no doubt enjoying the beauty, too.

A fine start to the day, but hey Sun, if you read this weblog, we love your work and this is not a complaint, but we want you to know that we miss you, please come back!

Today we built a Bianchi.  Otis watched.  It came with a clever cautionary tale!

In case of use on open traffic road, the vehicle, to reach the homologation should be completed with proper lighting and hearing devices agreeable to the law of each country.

Woah unto thems whom don’t heed the words!

We had table 111 at the Madison Bike Swap on Saturday.  We had no idea what to expect, having never been before.  We were green, and it showed.  We had no special table stands to cram more stuff on there, forgot a tape measure and a caliper, and some of the stuff we brought was unlikely to sell.  But it was a great time, we did get some of our idle parts and frames back out into the bikestream, and we came back with less stuff and more money than we went with.  Success!

Some tables were packed, some not so much.  Old stuff, new stuff, carbon stuff, steel stuff.

Wheels, tires, wood fenders, (we brought the MK’s, yes, and even sold a set.  They were Swapstoppers, the darlings of the day for sure, get yours before they become commonplace!) clothing, complete bikes, truly a you-name-it situation.

Cody scored some SIDI Dominator 5’s at 75% off retail!  Brand new!!  In the box!!!  I got a 203mm rotor for $4.  Success!

It was great being part of the swap, and seeing firsthand the breadth of Madison’s fabulous bike culture.  So many people came through, and from many different perspectives.  While cruising around Madison, one thing made us smile again and again — people up there are riding through the winter in great numbers!  We saw lots of people on bikes, riding where they needed to go.  So come on Iowa City, let’s kick some ass on those bikes!

We had such a good time being closed over the holidays we are going to do it again!  Well, sort of, we are going to take our show on the road and go up to Madison for the Brazen Dropouts Bike Swap.

Closed early today, Friday, January 8th at 3pm and closed Saturday, January 9th.

Well, the break is over, we are back!  It was great to take some time, do some skiing, read some books, and build some wheels.

For a Raleigh Twenty project, Sturmey Archer 8sp in back, Shimano generator up front, 36 hole 3 cross bomb-proofness.

For my XtraCycle, I built this 36 hole 3 cross XT disc hub to a Rhyno Lite rim.  Should do better than the 32 spoke Mavic Open Pro race wheel I had on there, and the disc brake won’t hurt, either…

But it was not all relaxing and wheel building around here, we had plenty of time to play with Otis the shop cat, too.  He has quite a playhouse, thanks to Cody, and the big boxes bike stuff comes in.

He loves to watch the birds, even if they scare him because they are bigger than he is.

Now our break is over and we are happy to be back in the shop, looking forward to a great 2010 with all of you!