Monday, March 31, 2014

Bike Co-Op

After putting it off for nearly a year, I finally joined the local bike co-op a month or so ago.

I read the handbook and did the requisite orientation before finally going there ‐ yesterday, as I write this – to work, which is what I had really been looking forward to.

The place is called Community Cycles, and what I got to do was strip bikes. That is, I took a few donated bikes that for some reason had been designated beyond ordinary repair. I took them apart piece by piece, salvaged what was useable, and trashed the rest.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can't wait to go again.

I took a very short break at one point. I was waiting to ask someone a question but she was temporarily unavailable. So I wandered through a large, open garage door, outside to where a guy was working on an unusual-looking bike. It was, I learned, a homemade vehicle. Its most prominent feature was a low platform in the middle of the bike. I asked the guy about it: it's a cargo bike, he said. It appeared capable of carrying at least a few boxes of stuff at a time.

I didn't get to ask anything else, though, because the person with the answer to my question reappeared, and I didn't want to keep her waiting.

All told, I spent about three hours at the bike co-op. When I finished stripping the first bike I was told the frame wasn't any good, and that it had to be trashed. For liability reasons, apparently, I was instructed to crush the frame's rear triangle, that section of chain stays and seat stays. I set it on the floor and stood on the stays. Kee-runch.

The entire experience was a total blast. I didn't take any pictures. The picture accompanying this post is more than twenty years old.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Collapsed Bridge: Repairs Underway

Six months after unprecedented rain and floods washed over the region I live in, a collapsed bridge is finally getting fixed.

I must note that countless thousands suffered from these floods in ways that far surpass what we endured last September. I can't even remember the official death toll, but there was a death toll, and genuine human suffering. I don't mean to diminish any of that by whining about some dumb bridge.

A nearby golf course was destroyed, but I don't play golf, so I've never been too concerned about that. As for this bridge (seen last September at right, a day or so after the collapse) – well, it's a blast to go screaming down the hill in the background on my bike.

I read somewhere that it would be a couple of years before the bridge would be fixed. But lo and behold, repairs are underway. I stopped by there yesterday, as this is written, to document this surprising turn of events. I walked around for about fifteen minutes and got a lot of loose dirt in my boots. After just seven or eight pictures my battery ran out. I got a few more images with my iPhone. The pictures look okay but it's a poor substute for a real camera.

There were a few things I didn't photograph because of the battery and iPhone situation. There were a few other pieces of earth moving equipment, like one of those tiny Bobcat mini-bulldozers. When I was a youngster I always thought they were really kid-sized bulldozers.

So the thing is being fixed, and from what I had heard earlier, it's way ahead of schedule. This is most unusual.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...

It was a dark and stormy night. It was a night of stormy music. Let my children hear music. Let my children hear dark and stormy music.

It was a dark and stormy night of the living dead men tell no tales of the south pacific, pacifica radio, public radio city music hall of the mountain king of the beats some kind of popular head-phonetic tock tick takamora taka moral of the storyville jazz at the phil harmonicats, a musical act in the forties and fifty is the new sixties were not all they were cracked up to be or not to be a morning after all we’ve been threw up the shades of blue and green green hills of home on the rangefinder as opposed to an SLR, a single lens reflexively pushing back in the good old days of our lives of the poets are people too much of a good things don’t always work out the way we shall over come over here we go against the grain to glass, a brewpub motto of the marines? You don’t want to know all about it, read all about it went a little something like this time you must listen to monk, that’s what jon hendricks called rhythm-ma-ning com-poop deck paul and mary, where is peter and the wolfgang of four times four is sixteen tons whadda you get your goddammed hands oftentimes we don’t really know what to reed instrument or implement of mass this catholic thing called love crazy little thing that character on the addams family feud typically over inherit the wind beneath my wings over the rockies baseball team work off that excess wait wait don’t tell me all about it was a dark and stormy night.