October 2013


Been breaking in the new shop truck, the Edgerunner from Xtracycle.

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Recycling hauled over to City Carton.

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Also a couple of cycles to be re-cycled and box of parts to the Bike Library. This new design taking the low to the cargo is great and rides super stable, even with a heavy load just on one side, which of course we have tried. Looks like the Bikes at Work trailer will even be able to hitch on there, turning the shop truck into the equivalent of the shop aircraft carrier.

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Check it out, 30¢ Squad coffee roaster Jarrett is in the paper again.

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Combining his love of coffee roasting and his education in art he threw together a little found object composition demonstration for us yesterday morning over a cuppa, explaining that the juxtaposition of a perfectly roasted bean and a shiny tin was one of the first techniques employed by artisan coffee roasters in, uh, the middle Roman / Germanic times. Yeah? Um, sure. Hey look over there!

This caught our eye over at Urban Velo:

Mobility Lab recently held an event at George Mason University’s Arlington, Virginia campus with former Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood on the future of transportation in America. He predicts that in the next 25 years we will see a huge expansion of nationwide passenger rail, wide adoption of driverless cars, and continued gains in biking and walking infrastructure.

“Transportation is always about the future,” LaHood said. “There are no Republican roads or Democratic bridges,” he added.

About his prediction that America’s future transportation needs would be met more by passenger rail than automobile, LaHood referenced a “pent-up demand for passenger rail,” and said, “The people almost always get it right.”

LaHood told the audience that if Eisenhower had signed a “Passenger Rail Bill” rather than the Federal Highway Act, then America would look much different than it does today. LaHood envisioned a future America that looks, transportation-wise, more like Europe. Smart-growth advocates in the audience undoubtedly were pleased, as the Federal Highway Act is widely considered to have played a significant role in urban sprawl.

When asked by an audience member how a major infrastructure project like the rail LaHood envisions would be funded, LaHood was unequivocal in his response. He called for an increase to the national gasoline tax ”not raised since ’93″ of 10 cents, tied to the inflation rate. He also referenced the Highway Trust Fund as a good starting source of funds, but said it should be supplemented by a vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) tax, tolling, and public-private partnerships operating to cover the shortfall.

LaHood’s final pronouncement was that while America is no longer number one in transportation, it can be. The countries that are surpassing us, such as China, are investing heavily in rail. If America does that as well, it will create jobs in the short term and ensure our competitiveness in the long term.

 

Boo! Gather close, and hear thee the good word of scary bike parts.

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No! I speak not of those of ye hyperlight stem, wheel, pedal spindle or even that most dogawful Off the Front Bar tape although hear me and remember well the terrifying graphics and neon splash colors! Lo this here message is to warn you of an evil most diabolical that lurks in the deep dark greasy places of maybe your bicycle. The ball bearing retainer is of what I speak! Good dog what could that be you ask?! From the e-gospel of Saint Sheldon himself they are described thus and with a thoughtful illustration as well praise be to Saint Sheldon:

retainersA retainer is a clip, usually of sheet-metal or plastic, that holds and separates the bearing balls in a ball bearing. The advantages of retainers are ease of assembly, and economy because the manufacturer can get by with fewer balls, if they are spaced apart by a retainer.

Beware thee that bearing of the retainer! Do we need ease of assembly?! Nay! And what of this economy and benefit to manufacture? Enough I say! You can be most sure that if you are not of the Sealed Cartridge Church and thy hub ails or thy crankset becometh cranky or creaky it was that evil retainer that didst fold under the pressures and pleasures of wholesome normal just riding along usage! It is through sloth and slavery to false idols that a wrench, as it were, came to be thrown into thy works and from within!

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Go then, and do not abandon the fight against the armies of undead bike parts! Armed with this new knowledge of thee bearing retainer now be assured that if your coaster brake should stop stopping or your crankset wiggle it is through a retainercism ceremony that peace can be returned to thy noble machine!

We have built some nice wheels, sure have, and this is surely the nicest picture we have ever taken of wheels we built.

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40 spokes per, fer a bicycle built for two. Strong like Bull! That is custom paint on those Velocity Deep Vs, too.

Finally we have the Xtracycle Edgerunner in the shop! This is the new cargo bike of the future design with the 20″ rear wheel, lowers the load and that wheel is strong like Bull!

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This is our shop ride, yes, but it is also our demo so if you want to spend a day or a few with it come talk to us.

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Built up with a mix of the stock parts and our favorite substitutions, one highlight is total right hand shifting control. Which makes sense because your left hand is holding your cup of coffee.