Sunday, September 29, 2013


Okay, since I reduced my hours in the bike shop, that left us a little short handed.  Especially since the shop consists of the owner, and only 2 employees.  The owner is typically building bicycle frames so he doesn't do much in the bike shop, which leaves one person to run the show.  Answering phone calls, walk-ins, bike sales, and service; sometimes it can be a little much for a single person.   Obviously we needed more help, and found someone to work 4-5 days.  I figure that means it's time for me to move on.....  I really liked working at that shop, working with Ed and Drew was fun, but all good things must come to an end.  Ed and I worked really well together, and had a lot of fun.  Really great regular customers also.  I am really going to miss it.

Made a couple phone calls, spoke to some people, and BOOM before we know it, in about 2 weeks we are moving!!!  Holy Crapoly that was fast and sudden.  My good friend Dan has a custom carpentry business, he is happy to let me work for him, and in an odd coincidence, the home we used to live in in Bucks County will be available for us to move into at the end of November.  Weird!!!  We found some temporary housing to stay in until the current tenant moves out and we move in.  Super cool, I will have a place for my workshop again.  Lathe, mill, brazing/welding, fabricating stuff, I'll be able to do it all again.  YAY!   450 acres, barn, ponds, fishing, wood splitting, peace and solitude, and a great place for a 3 year old to run around and have fun.  Oh yeah, and most importantly, a public school system that isn't a total fucking joke.  This is gonna be cool.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Moving On...

Well my lovely wife got a new job.  Since the physical therapy world pays quite a bit better than being a lowly bicycle mechanic I have reduced my time in the bike shop to 3 days a week. The rest of the time I stay home with my 3 year old daughter, which is pretty cool.

Now I leave you with fork seals and busted BB's.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Didn't manage to make a single post for the month of June.

We've had A LOT of rain so far this summer.  Have barely been able to get on the mountain bike!  Been spending a lot of time sweating at Philadelphia's new Paine's Skatepark instead.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beautiful Bridge

So this was the most beautiful steel bridge of 1960?!

And here's some fun stuff from the bike shop...

It is not common to see the super cheap brake pads worn all the way on a cheap murray MTB from the 80s.  Front AND rear were this worn.

ALSO the new skate park is completed. It is only a couple blocks from my home.  Looks really fun.  Early AM it seems to be pretty chill so old dudes who used to skate can get a chance to goof around.  I am in to it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

and she's off!

bike ride, originally uploaded by rackntroll.

she will be 3 in a month. can't wait to go on bike rides with her!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Creepy Crawly

Untitled, originally uploaded by rackntroll.

This is a big one!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tool Making

Untitled, originally uploaded by rackntroll.

A little bit of sunday afternoon toolmaking.
This is to remove/install the ring nut on a DT Swiss hub.
The tool from DT Swiss retails for nearly $100.
I had an old star-ratchet lying around doing nothing, that has now become useful.
I just need to braze or weld it onto the stub.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Time for an Update

I have a bunch of photos since my last post.  Some are neat, some are boring, in no particular order.  You be the judge.

This didn't happen overnight.


Good cranks and chainring

Electronic Hydraulic

Chestnut Hill is still Philadelphia!  Thankfully nothing was stolen.

Failed King Headset.  Not something you see frequently.

Since the cranks on my Ti Engin SS failed I slapped together this classy ride. She's a good bike.

Here's the cranks that broke.

The bolt that hold the cranks together broke.

A new knob for the truing stand.

I like sidewalk flowers.


14-25 cassette, but clearly I don't need the 14 or 15.

Neglect.  Original brake pads to my Cross Check.  If I didnt change them yesterday surely the pouring rain this morning would have worn them to the metal shoes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Illegally Parked

It was a Saturday evening, and I was cycling home from work in some light snow/sleet/hail mix.  Wissahickon Creek trail runs parallel to Lincoln Drive, a very twisty narrow road that is extremely accident prone.  The speed limit is 25mph, but most people drive in excess of 40 on it, regardless of roadway conditions.  As I spotted police lights in the distance I figure it was just another driver who blasted through a turn and spun out.  NOPE!
This person managed to punch through the guardrail into the creek.  I stopped for a while to watch them try and pull it out with a tow truck.  They weren't having the easiest time.
There were 2 officers in dry suits in the water assisting the tow company.  One of the officers crosses the creek close enough to address myself and the few other onlookers.  He begins-
"I just want you folks to know..."
(at this point I assume he's going to say something along the lines of people driving too fast when its wet out blah blah blah)
but he proceeds with-
"this person is illegally parked, and he will be issued a parking ticket."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Back in the Swing of Things

Getting back on the bike after a week off felt so very very good.  I guess it was a good chance for my body to recover a bit, because I feel really strong riding to and from the work.

People must be starting to get the spring time itch, we have a surprising amount bicycles being dropped off for service.  Missing chain bushing and some really nice "git er done" repair work.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NAHBS 2013 final thoughts

Finally caught up on some sleep after the mega push from Denver to Phila.

Met a lot of really cool people, they're all super nice.  Some of the Moots crew, Rody from Groovy, Paragon Machine works guys, Tim from Shamrock, Andy who does a lot of a machining for Ericksen, Engin, and others, Jeff from Sputnik, etc. Sorry if I'm forgetting anyone.

The Moots party Saturday night was great.  I drank a lot.  That made functioning Sunday quite difficult.

After all the amazing landscapes we saw on the road, hands down western PA has some of the most beautiful if you can believe it.  Wonderful old farms and barns on rolling hillside leading in to layered blue round top mountains.  It really does it for me.  New Mexico and Texas panhandle had some really cool views but not as pretty as PA.

Lots of classic rock radio stations were listened to.  The song we heard most---  ready for this one?  I would  not have guessed it--
Steve Miller Band, Jet Airliner.
That was played pretty much on every classic rock station we drove through.

The best cup of coffee I had (and there were many ounces of coffee consumed) was from this not-particularly-nice looking hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint in Dumas, Texas called La Herradura.  The burrito was good too, but the coffee was amazing, I can't get over it.  Ed made the mistake of trying to put his contact lenses in after consuming particularly hot salsa verde.  This did not make his eyeballs happy.

So many cars in ditches from the snow.  Saw the aftermath of a 6+/- tractor trailer pile-up.  whoa. Has to have been somewhere between 50 and 75 cars in the ditch.  Insane.  If it's snowing, SLOW DOWN PEOPLE!!

Finally the List of states we drove through.  Would have been considerably fewer if it wasn't for snow on the way out and in.

West Virginia
New Mexico

Also wanna thank my boss, Drew, of Engin/Wissahickon Cyclery for letting me help.  It was fun, now lets sell some bikes!

Thanks for reading.  Back to the various miscellaneous intermittent pointless content that is Rack n Roll.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NAHBS 2013 Wrap Up

Well, it's 8 o'clock tuesday.  We got back into the city around 2pm after driving straight through from Denver.  The way out we had to take the southern route to avoid snow (we still had to travel through some). The way home we had to take the northern route to avoid a second blizzard!  We beat the storms altogether on the the way home.  Last bit of pictures here...