Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
The other evening, a coworker and myself went for a walk where I got a feel for the traffic and pedestrian patterns. I only learned one thing: speed bumps are the only obstacles that remotely resemble traffic signals. Vehicles will be going at a good clip and very abruptly slow down to traverse the speed bump. These speed bumps aren’t the type you can fly over by any means. There are no lanes to guide mopeds, motorcycles, bicycles, taxis, flat bed trucks, buses, rickshaws, pedestrians, feral animals, cows and scooters. There are no traffic lights to navigate the intersections of roads; it is every man for them self.
When I first got on the road I felt as though I was in the final level of Frogger’s evil bastard brother that is far too difficult for anyone to ever beat. Soon, however, I started to get into a rhythm. I was flowing with the traffic. I found out that the excessive beeping is very useful to know where the cars are. After a few km on the road, the erratic driving became what can loosely be described as graceful. The intersections are really interesting. I think that the only analogy I can draw to these intersections was when I worked a checkpoint for the Toys for Tots race on the weekend before Christmas in front of the FAO Schwartz and Apple Store near Central Park. They are just jam packed with a bunch of indecisive people looking around.
I am slowly inching my way closer and closer to the main city. The area that I am staying in is touted as the Silicon Valley of India. Needless to say when you call Dell to get your computer fixed you are calling a few km from my hotel. It is difficult to navigate the streets here because there are no real road signs except for some sparse highway numbers, so in order to get around you need to find landmarks. But when you are new to an area, mostly everything looks the same.
That is all for now. Once I get more comfortable with riding I will post pictures/video. I feel really uncomfortable taking pictures at the moment because I stick out like a sore thumb.
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
What a punk. He probably couldn't ride backwards either. I'm digging those riser bars though...
Saturday, June 28, 2008
While I was walking around I ran into something that all of us fixed gear nerds had heard about several months ago. Philadelphia International had two of Lee Stoetzel's pieces on hand. The one that particularly caught my eye was the fixed gear bike. The size of the bike and how perfectly craft this piece of art is lost in pictures. With that said here are some pictures.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
So I just arrived at my hotel. I'm so exhausted from the 26 hours of travelling. I can't make heads or tails of the time right now. This shit is going to be a fucking adventure. I'm really excited for what is to come.
I want to thank everyone who made me smile these past few weeks. You have no idea how much it means to me to know that you guys reassured me that I'll always have a home to go come what may.
Holy cow this is real.
Oh and check out the new Gaslight Anthem. It's fucking awesome.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's on the front of a Chase bank building, and I have no idea what purpose it serves. There is no window there, no door, no ATM, nothing. It's just a well lit covered patio with the most perfectly smooth and level concrete you've ever seen. If I had designed and built my ultimate trackstanding spot, it wouldn't have turned out nearly this well...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Anyway, Circle A not only makes great fixed gear frames, they also make some absolutely killer flatland BMX frames, like this one...
Even if you couldn't care less about BMX bikes, you have to appreciate how this thing was built. Here is a photo series that takes you from start to finish.
And in case you haven't seen this in the past, there is also a photo series that shows how they built up a bike for Brian Fu from HKfixed.com...
Note that it is fully barspinnable...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Chris Habib (http://www.visitordesign.com/) put together an amazing video in under 24 hours of Tom Lamarche, Ed Wonka (who's on the come up), John Prolly, and Wilis Johnson.
My boys are killin it! Consistency is the new hot trick.
I can't wait to see where everyone is when I get back in a few months.
Anyway, I was messing around on the beater today before boxing it up in order to dial in the setup a bit. Recently I've been doing this new thing where I jump completely over the top tube to switch my feet on the pedals, which I'm sure is pretty intense on the drive train. I've been doing it on my Milwaukee with the Profile hubs for about a month with no problem, so I wasn't really thinking about what might happen when I tried it on the beater which has some POS Formula hubs or something.
Well, on my very first attempt, I land on the pedals and BAM! The hub strips instantly...
As you may have guessed, I went down HARD. Not fun. So kids, remember... if you're doing anything other than straight up pedaling forward and using brakes to stop, then don't mess around with cheap hubs. Get the real deal.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Unfortunately, I will be heading out there during monsoon season. I only have a messenger bag that is water proof and I find them terribly uncomfortable especially when I am walking (which I will be doing a lot of). I decided to splurge and get a Reload Midpack Backpack. Besides the fact that the bag is waterproof, the dimensions of the bag are exactly the maximum size allowed for carry on luggage. This is one of the first production with the new revamped design.
So far the bag is incredibly comfortable. The shoulder straps and waist are soft and stiff. The new adjustment mechanisms are so freaking convenient. There are 2 D loops that allow for easy tightening and loosening of the straps. The position of the sternum strap offers a lot of room for adjustment to accommodate different sized loads and body types. Also, there are several straps on the body of the bag cinch down different loads making sure things don't shift while the bag is being used. This will be ideal for some of the hikes that I plan on doing while I am out in India. With all the adjustments on that bag it is hard to fathom the bag not fitting anyones frame.
I decided to go with the colors from the 80s Philadelphia Phillies uniform. It came out great.
Big ups to Roland at Reload for getting this bag done in time for me to leave. Thanks a lot!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Looks sick. I'm really impressed that the Fixed Gear London guys were able to put this together. Doing a DVD project is a pretty serious amount of work, but doing a magazine has got to be a tremendous pain in the ass. Can't wait to see it.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Last week we had an order from Jay at wearevillains.com, which sounded pretty killer, so I checked it out and discovered that it's an independent clothing company in Toronto that is putting out some really nice stuff. I saw this shirt with the old school razor in the shape of a "V"...
...and really dug it, so I contacted Jay and we worked out a trade. He also sent me an image of a piece that is coming out in July...
Wicked. May have to pick one of those up as well. They only make 25 of each style though, so I guess I'd better not sleep on it...
Me and Spike Jonze go way back. He is now best known for directing movies like "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation", and perhaps for inspiring Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" (the prick photographer who ignored his young wife in Tokyo was based on him, I don't care what Sofia says). He is also known by many as the director of some of the most killer skateboard vids to ever hit shelves, including "Video Days" and "Yeah Right!"
But for me, Spike Jonze will always be one of the triumvirate of young kids who put together Freestylin' magazine in the '80s. Loved that shit back in the day. That's why it's cool to see this video...
Saturday with Spike
He still gets out and does his thing. The more things change, the more they stay the same...
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
That Prolly did.
This vid he did
Without one skid.
When you have a little kid, everything becomes a Dr. Suess rhyme. Yes, the middle section is running backwards, so it looks like Prolly is going forwards when he's actually not. Tricky. Smooth stuff. If you're going to mess around on a track bike, you might as well make it look like you're not even trying.
Enough with the hardcore though homeys, it just doesn't fit! Come on now, am I wrong? You gotta groove it when you're riding fixed, it's all about the rhythm!
Slow and Backwards Saturday from John Prolly on Vimeo.