Shop Cat

We sell Arkel panniers.  We like that they are well made, and in Canada.  They have a huge selection ranging from commuting to touring to everything in between and even outside of those lines.  And they have an amazing guarantee!  And they make bags in lots of colors!!  And when we call them they answer the phone bonjour!!!!

And their Utility Basket can hold a 15 lb cat with ease so he can take his nap.

Some of you may have noticed that our supply of ready to take home Used Bikes has been up lately and there is a good reason for that.  We hired our first employee!

He is hard to catch on film, but he has many years of experience as a “pro” mechanic and has been a long time volunteer at the Iowa City Bike Library.  We are happy to have him on board.

He replaces our previous 3rd wheel, Sit on a potato pan Otis, who has been placed with a good home where he has the all day company of another kitty and new loving people friends who are home a lot to give him all the attention he deserves.

Plus he does not have to roll around on the floor in a dirty bike shop with all the grease, metal shavings, chain lubricants, and other pleasantries associated with the fixing of bicycles.  We miss him but know that this move is in his best interest.  And we still get to go visit!

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.

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.

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!

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!

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