I finally received my Bootleg Sessions package last night (Erin, Paul, Tony, Jason â€“ holla at ya boy!) and I think Burd did a great job putting the whole package together, keeping true to the simple and gritty intent of the project. I havenâ€™t made my way through all the additional sections yet but thus far Iâ€™m fairly impressed. I will say that the first three sections (Tom Lamarche, Keo & Burd) are easily the most impressive and in that sense most of what is seen from that point on may be a little bit redundant â€“ it maybe would have been nice if their parts had been sprinkled in throughout the video to make the whole thing a little bit more engaging. But I digressâ€¦ all in all it was well done and in claiming that those three are the best parts, I donâ€™t mean to undermine the effort or skill of the other riders involved.
One of the greatest criticisms I hear of â€œFixed Gear Freestylersâ€ is that these bikes werenâ€™t made to do what these guys are using them for. Ironically enough, this criticism is most often put forth by people riding track bikes on the street.* Iâ€™m not huge into trick riding and really have no desire to learn to do 80% of what is seen in this video but what I find that I do really enjoy about learning tricks is that they improve my bike handling skills and make me a much better cyclist on the whole.
I wonder how kids in the skateparks feel about all these dudes on big bikes rolling around their stomping grounds? Iâ€™m curious, are fixed riders the new rollerbladers?
Three â€œOne Lineâ€ Reviews
The Ocean â€“ Precambrian
Apparently this is what the formation of a planet sounds like.
Priestess â€“ Hello Master
Itâ€™s funny how playing Guitar Hero III can make you appreciate bands in ways youâ€™ve never bothered to before.
Black Mountain â€“ In The Future
Apparently this is what the formation of mountains will sound like in the future.
*Iâ€™m aware that a fixed gear bike is a piece of 19th century technology that was not originally designed specifically for the track either. Regardless, my point stands; eat it.
Iâ€™m an immediate gratification kind of guy. When I want something badly enough to part with my hard earned cash for it, I want it on the asap. This is why I love mail day so much â€“ when I know that something is coming for me I hurry home to check my mailbox every day until it comes with the anticipation of a schoolboy hoping and praying for a glimpse of brastrap or *gulp* an actual boob during a hair cut.
When my friend Andrew was in town from Vancouver last, he was nice enough to bring with him a lovely Super Champion shirt for yours truly. I didnâ€™t have the heart to tell him that it didnâ€™t really fit all that well but I did really like the shirt and most definitely appreciated the gesture so I contacted Tyler @ SC and we arranged the old switcheroo!
Thanks Andrew & Tyler.
Oddly enough, Andrew is back in town for a couple of weeks so I managed to drag â€œTroubleâ€ out of retirement tonight and did some wrenching / part swapping to get this bike back on the road for Andrew while heâ€™s in Toronto.
All I need is a star nut and some straps and Iâ€™ll be able to put â€˜er together enough to be ridden. Itâ€™ll be nice to see the old guy back on the road!
For most of my life Iâ€™ve been lucky enough to have most things just kind of work out for me, more or less. Iâ€™m not saying that I havenâ€™t worked hard or that bad things have never happened to me â€“ Iâ€™m just saying that for the most part, Iâ€™m a pretty lucky guy. I wish I could remember all the â€œEven Stevenâ€ stories from over the years (there are some good ones, I swear!) but for now:
Iâ€™ve needed new shoes for a while but the pair I really want are in short supply in the city and have been for the last year â€“ any of the online distributors that Iâ€™ve found donâ€™t ship to Canada so Iâ€™d pretty well given up. Last week I bought a pair of all black Chuckâ€™s to wear for the time being.
They didnâ€™t really fit perfectly and I donâ€™t really like how skinny the toebox is so Iâ€™d decided today that I was going to take them back â€“ the only problem is, even though Iâ€™d worn them for a grand total of 5 minutes and they were in perfect condition there was a note on the receipt that said â€œworn out of storeâ€“ final saleâ€ so I had to keep them. So be it, right?
After meeting up with the boys at Manic and going to look at a bike for Sparkles â€“ we were walking along and what do I see just sitting there, as plain as day? $60!!! Enough to pay for the shoes and chip in on a gift for the brothers McCrackenâ€™s birthday. Happy birthday, fellas â€“ Happy Birthday, me.
On a totally unrelated note: I realized today that this is the first pair of Chucks Iâ€™ve ever owned â€“ this isnâ€™t exactly normal for any self respecting punkster. As a younginâ€™ I had shoes like this but they were always of the BiWay / Bargain Haroldâ€™s variety. North Star… Championâ€™s Choice â€“ you know the ones? Probably made by the same kids in the same factory but sell for about 1/10th the cost.
Last night I ventured into the unknown, a place that my tattoo snobbery has thus far prevented me from entering â€“ the Tattoo Rock Parlour to see my friend Chrisâ€™s new band, Metz, play. Iâ€™ll save you the long winded rant about the commidification of culture and the ultimate in cheese (which I just wrote and deleted) and say that this place, although it looks nice in that sort of pseudo-gothic Osbourne Family kind of way, is every bit as douchey as Iâ€™d anticipated and I felt horribly out of place the whole time I was there.
The environment there was so uncomfortable that I felt that taking out my camera to snap a quick photo of the band may well bring down upon me the wrath of any number of the beefcakes in black circling the room searching for people with jackets on to escort over to the mandatory coat check.
Metz is rad – Tattoo gets The Gas Face!
Pick up this monthâ€™s issue of Gasoline Magazine for a little write-up on Doublenaut – although the magazine is a little on the corny side, itâ€™s always nice to see my boys getting up.
I’d like to meet the guy with the Cervelo winter beater.
The fine lads at Breadwinner have been busy over at Manic over the holidays giving the shop what appears to be the beginning of a nice little makeover; freshly painted walls, a new standing bar, a handmade magazine rack stocked with late 90s skateboard magazines (Iâ€™m gonna dig up some of my late 80s rags for the shop), an awesome sign made from a vintage basketball backboard and a Niall McClelland / Jeremy Jansen photo installationâ€¦ Lookinâ€™ good, boys ‘n girls.
Sparkles: Professional Male Model approves.
Looks like it wonâ€™t be long before Dave & Laura’s little one decides to grace us with his presence. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it out to The Rock sometime in the near future to say hello in person.
Iâ€™d like to thank the city of Toronto for making sure that our bike lanes are nice and safe to ride in… and for the jarred wrist… and blown tire… and the embarrassing dismount…
I’m back at work after a nice little well deserved and much needed break for the holidays. It’s actually kind of nice to be back, made nicer only by the little delivery I got today from IRO.
Thanks a lot for the fork, Tony, now I can rebuild Trouble and have a nice spare to roll around on.
Everyoneâ€™s favorite tiny dancer, Robbie, is back from Jolly Old England for the holidays and Iâ€™m super excited. Merry XMas, Robbie.
Youâ€™ve met THE SUNDOGâ€¦
Now meet THE RAZOR!
An epic battle of stares, wills & hairy chests has begun
If there is one thing THE SUNDOG knows itâ€™s babes, and if there is one thing that babes canâ€™t resist itâ€™s THE SUNDOG.
Yesterday a bunch of us headed out to the Forest City Velodrome – totally new to some and old hat for others, but an amazing time for all who made the trek. I didn’t manage to get very many pictures and literally almost no good ones because I was much more concerned with learning to ride the track than taking pictures. Wes, Mark & Erin did manage to snap a some good ones so I’m including a few of them below, hopefully none of them sue me.
For the 3 of you that are actually interested; The track is 138 meters and has about a 50 degree incline at it’s highest point. The Track 1 course is, besides being mandatory, a good amount of fun and helps you develop some very basic and very necessary skills. I’m sure, had the course not been mandatory, we’d all have opened up right away and just torn around the track at full tilt and at least a few of us would have been coming back with some pretty serious road rash.
During Track 1, you get up above the light blue line (reads white in most photos) but during the recreational ride afterwards you have to stick to the black line pretty strictly until you’ve logged more track time / taken subsequent courses. I found riding the black line to be extremely difficult at first because all of your instincts are pushing you to ride harder, faster & higher. When we seemed bummed about how hard it was to stick to the black line during the rec ride Rob Good, the man behind the whole fandangle, exclaimed “that’s the point!” and he was right – by the end of a couple hours trying to fight your instincts and stick to the black line I think most of us felt pretty damn confident with our skills on the track and will enter our next sessions at an entirely different comfort level.
7am – all packed up
Thanks for the interpretive dance, Keith
The kids get the Marinonis (or Mariposas) with full Miche groups? What the heck?!
Odd Numbers Crew. WHAT?!
Thanks to Keith & Wes for setting it all up and Erin for hauling my ass out there!
Well, I asked for it.
When you come home from a brisk ride in a snow storm and your lady has shoveled your walk – you know you’ve got it made.
I’ve been having a great time and getting a good workout on the rollers over the last couple of days but it was pointed out by Keith that I didn’t even have them set up correctly. Me = total n00b. Note to those new to rollers: the front roller should be more or less directly beneath your front axle.
Who has the best special lady friend in the world?
Me, that’s who. I haven’t owned a video game system since the original Nintendo (not unless Game Boy counts) so this should be interesting – I need some ideas of what’s good / fun to play on this thing other than Guitar Hero which is obviously totally boss.
Now, all I have to do is master “Through The Fire & The Flames” on expert while riding the rollers and my life will be as complete as it gets.
Winter is officially upon us and for the most part the roads are pretty clear but weâ€™ve had a couple of days of heavy snow and I expect that we will see many more before spring. Even with the major roads being fairly clear, itâ€™s not uncommon to have to ride over some snow or ice and there is very little to stop drivers from pushing you into the hard packed snow drifts in the curb / bike lanes.
Iâ€™ve been running some Conti Touring tires through the last couple of winters and theyâ€™ve served me well but theyâ€™ve seen much better days â€“ dry, cracked, and not so good on the traction anymore I figured it was time for some replacements on the Jamie Roy. Eric at Curbside made me an offer that I couldnâ€™t refuse on these Hutchinson Cyclo Cross tires.
I forgot how difficult some folding tires can be to mount and these suckers were no exception â€“ my poor thumbs were raw by the time I got them mounted.
Unfortunately, my fenders are only rated for 28mm tires and the Hutchinsons are 30mm so I had to make some modifications to get these to fit. After a little while with a drill, some tinsnips and a file I managed to get the front running smoothly enough and to give myself a nice deep wound on my left thumb.
The rear needed another millimeter or so but the rear brakemount on the Jamie Roy has a little knob on the bottom which prevented the rear fender from moving at all.
Given that I wasn’t ready to start hacking away at a perfectly fine aluminum frame just to make some tires fit, I figured a little fender drilling may have been in order.
With that small hole in place, the fender fit perfectly into the brakemount and I got the clearance I needed on the rear.
I find the knobby / lower PSI tires run a little bit slower on the street but I donâ€™t find them overly sluggish and the added traction is well worth the loss in speed â€“ itâ€™s winter, how fast do I really need to go? Iâ€™m greatly looking forward to the next big snowfall so I can go out and really tear it up!
WE’RE NUMBER 1! WE’RE NUMBER 1! WE’RE NUMBER 1!
Itâ€™s been a long week full of work, birthdays, snow rides, new babies and much more so I havenâ€™t spent much time online â€“ hence the lack of updates. Itâ€™s been a fantastic week, though, and I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of people so loving and supportive that I need to check myself from time to time to make sure that I’m able to give back some of what they all give me – I don’t know that I always do, but I need you all to know that I love you and wouldn’t trade any of you for the world and that’s the god damned truth. Pause*
1) Jose Gonzalez is an absolute monster on stage – the man never misses a note. Thanks a lot, Steph.
2) Sparkles (Professional Male Model) is also a monster on stage â€“ representing FHBC proudly as always. Thanks for everything, Spark.
3) I havenâ€™t owned a baseball cap in longer than I can remember, maybe for good reason? Either way, thanks a lot for the hookup Sean.
4) 13t? Fahgettaboudit! Iâ€™m going to train all winter and then when sprints get going full speed again in the spring itâ€™s on! Thanks Chris.
5) The stock IRO tires (Duro) look like a Pizza Pizza promotion. Right Aner?.
6) The transformation into â€œOld Man Rennickâ€ is complete â€“ I spent yesterday behind the wheel of a Buick! Thanks Budget (Budget, indeed)
7) Robbie – I miss you, buddy, and I can’t wait to see you at later this month – I’ve got one of these with your name on it.