July 2011

Any ol’ bike shop can handbuild you a wheel, we aim to be the first shop in the world to offer the service “by the foot” as well.

Using only the finest components and nail polishes, here we have a Shimano 105 36 hole rear hub, Sun Rhyno Lite rim, and DT spokes.

Yes that is a hand, the technique is still evolving!

3 cross, over – over – under, under – under – over.

Nipple driver could use some pedergonomic enhancements…

Dished and tensioned to the proper foot-pounds.  Nyuck-nyuck.

Of course the big question is how does it ride?  Two big toes up!

You’ve probably already heard about the framebuilding class offered at the U of I.

We bid adieu to this lovely bike yesterday.  Local artist/artisan/farmer/wizard Katie built the frame & fork, and we were lucky enough to build the bike up from there.  She opted for the 8-speed Alfine hub with Versa shifter (ooh, sorry about cutting that out of the shot… try this), among other fine components.  The geometry is based loosely on the Long Haul Trucker, ideal for a touring townie.



Lots of exciting infrastructure is going on all over town, but here are two worth mentioning that we’ve found ourselves riding upon lately.

North Side:

Although this photo shows the vast impervious surfaces of our transportation system, what we are focused on today is the slab of concrete dedicated to getting non-motorized users over the interstate without getting squeezed by the usually antsy motorists on North Dodge St/Hwy 1.  Excellent for self-propelled commuters who work up north there.  Also excellent for heading to an out-of-town ride, say, on Rapid Creek Road.

South Side:

For the long way to work, there is the path around Sand Lake, alongside to Gilbert St.  Why, just this morning, Steve & I (Cody) came across a happy commuter heading to the lake path to do a lap before heading to the office.  A great way to start the day, take a break, or decompress from a day of work.

We have been all in a touring tizzy around the shop lately.  Lots of folks are coming in, getting set up for loaded tours, and it must be rubbing off on us or something.  Of course, we can’t close up shop and just leave, so we are reading bike tour blogs and planning to ride up the Natchez Trace Parkway this winter (via the train to New Orleans, returning from Memphis).

l-r: Zoa, Jack, Fin, and Paco, the Cycling Gypsies.

Of course, there is an option to get that fix right away.  What with the rising popularity of the bicycle overnight trips, people no longer look at you like a bore for going 30 miles from home just to pitch a tent for one night.  It is quite rewarding and a great way to discover the treasures just beyond your door.

Next Year is the 30¢ Squad motto for good reason as we look forward to longer trips.  Steve is planning an all out assault on the Adventure Cycling Great Divide route next summer.  Not going to race it, just do a “quick” tour with a small group of friends.  Also next summer, Cody is going to head North through Wisconsin to Lake Superior and back using mostly gravel roads, trails, and fire roads.  No regrets!

In other touring type news, ever wonder why Tour de France riders go so fast?  Maybe it is not for any other reason than to get off their incredibly uncomfortable bikes as soon as possible:

Check out that drop.  A 140 mm stem slammed all the way down plus a saddle way up and pushed forward sounds like a good formula to start hating your bike.

Maybe not as uncomfortable as a sword down the ol’ windpipe, but still.

Don’t miss the Legendary Luther Bangert of The Royal Bombay Circus performing at the City Park Shakespeare Theatre on Saturday, July 23 at 7pm.  He will defy logic!  He will leave you in awe!  He will break World Records!  Plus, he’s a really nice guy, so pay the $5 to show your support.  You shall not regret.