April 2010


Today is Earth Day.  We opened our doors for business on this day last year.

It was a great first year, and we are looking forward to our second.

Happy Earth Day!

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It’s times like these that I think about Douglas Adams, specifically that he liked deadlines.  He liked the sound they made as they go whooshing by.  Now, I haven’t missed my deadline for the ARTCRANK show next month, but it’s coming up fast, and I think I can hear that whooshing sound in the distance.

I’ve been working on a linocut print, which I can’t completely reveal here, but here’s a nerdy macro shot for teaser fun:

ARTCRANK started in lovely Minneapolis.  It’s a bicycle-themed poster show that has spread to a handful of cities around the U.S., including Des Moines.  Thirty copies of each poster will be available for purchase at a breezy $30 a pop.  Proceeds from the Des Moines show will benefit the Des Moines Bicycle Collective.  The reception is on opening night, May 8th at the Instinct Gallery in the Des Moines Social Club.  The show will run until May 29th.

Support local art & bicycles!

It is officially the mowing season in SE Iowa, and Cyclismow is on the job.  Here is the simple yet powerful set up of bicycle, trailer, and reel mower.  Freshly sharpened reel blades offer a superior cut to grass, which makes for a healthier lawn.  From wikipedia: Of all the mowers, a properly adjusted reel mower makes the cleanest cut of the grass, and this allows the grass to heal more quickly.

More importantly, the larger benefit is in environmental impact.  Research has shown over and over the advantages of human powered lawn equipment:

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles.

Go human power!


Sure, this Retrotec was always a great looking bike, but now that we replaced the old silver Deore crank with a black ENO singlespeed version we feel safe calling it a really great looking bike!

The Twisted PC pedals help, too.

In other freewheelin’ singlespeed news, the 30¢ race team of Steve was in action again last Sunday, this time on the singlespeed mountain bike at the Sylvan Island Stampede.  After a poor start we rallied to the top 10 in the Sport division!

Photo of poor start as it was developing courtesy of J Cochran.

Always great excitement at the shop when a box from Arkel shows up, especially when it has bags we have not seen before in it!  Okay, we have seen the seat bag before, and we have been using them to rave reviews since last summer, but this order answered a question for us.

Last year we were asked if we could order just the shell, so the dry bag part  could be switched between bikes.  The answer is yes.

The Shopper is new this year and has a lot going for it.  It is huge, sports vertical stripes for that slimming effect, has a carrying strap, a canvas flap to cover the attachment system when you are shouldering it, and an interior zippered pocket for small stuff.

It also has a drawstring top that can be pulled up to extend the bag taller, and you can zip it right out if you don’t need it.

Arkel also added a new convertible backpack to pannier to their lineup, the Switchback.

From your bike rack to your back, another well made and versatile bag from Arkel.

Last summer a customer, on the phone with his dad, told him our shop had a lot of sweet sweetness.  I thought of him when these bikes came in for repair yesterday.

This beautiful Bridgestone RB-2 came in for some wheel and brake work.

And this KHS Turbo about knocked our socks off.

Lots of Shimano 600 parts and a cool head tube badge to boot.

You can’t really tell because I can’t take a decent picture, but that is 2 lions on each side of a wheel with a knight’s helmet on top and a KHS scroll across the bottom.

So yeah, the shop is busy and sometimes we feel like we would need a shoehorn to fit another bike in here.  The blog had a rough week, sorry, but Otis has agreed to step up and do the occasional post.

When he can find time, of course.