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Sunday, May 31, 2015

AND......there ya go!!

OK KIDDIES!!! Be the first on your block to take advantage of our blustery busy day, and check out the NEWBIES!!  Not only did we get the truck in primer and the first two coats of paint, but in between dry time were able to bang out FIVE new goodies!!!  Check 'em out and pay extra special attention to the GORGEOUS CLASSIC Puch touring road bike!  SAH-WEEEEET!!!
Now, gonna go home an try and have SOME relax time before tomorrow!! 

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ONLY $85.00!!
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ONLY $75.00!!!
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ONLY $65.00!!
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ONLY $80.00!!!
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ONLY $160.00!!

OPEN DOORS AND WARM HEARTH!!! ( AC...whichever works)

Yes, it's Sunday and regardless of the fact that we swore this day off in lieu of relaxation time, finally got the box for the truck done yesterday.  It took awhile of fit and starts as we had many visitors yesterday, thank you all so very much for coming in.  The sorry reality, however, is, giving so much attention to one project, we have fallen greatly behind on new builds and even repairs.  So, today we are back at the helm, with our sign on and doors open (figuratively, of course, don't want to air condition the outside!) in an attempt to progress on the bike part of the truck, as surprisingly we completely lucked out yesterday and found not only the correct shade for the stain, but exactly the shade of magenta we were looking for!  HUZZAH!  And, in between coats, I'm going to tackle both the repairs and maybe bang out a couple of newbies!  Here's hoping!  SOOOO, if you're in the area, we still have a few ready to choose from!
See ya soon! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015 take a phone book and hit them with THAT! It doesn't leave a mark!

Chock it up to the rigors of old age, and the resultant effects on the memory, but it dawned on me yesterday evening, as the shop was a flutter with activity from visitors, that dead days and busy evenings are not an anomaly this time of the year, but settle quite predictably into the summer months! 
Most vacationers gone, local Floridians know, the best time to do anything is in the early hours before the sun is too high overhead, and in the evening as it has begun it's decent into the West.  Yesterday was no exception!  Sent two rides too new homes first thing, then lots of time to catch up on repairs (with a side trip to our supplier) then right back on the truck.  Yes, she's dragging on a bit, but almost done with the detail on the Box, and hope to have it in stain later today.  But FIRST, I have got to get on to some new builds!!  We've accumulated a lot of goodies over the last three days, and due to my propensity for obsessiveness, have focused all my time on said project!  This, coupled with the fact that it has been a busy two days of sending home rides, we have a very depleted stock!  ARRGH!  Never a middle ground I'll tell you!  But PLEASE don't write that off s b!+@#!ng, it's all a very good problem to have!  Thanks so very much to all the real sweet folks who think well enough of us to refer us to their buds and neighbors!  Most everyone coming in yesterday did so at the behest of some "will-remain-nameless" friend or relatives!  SAH-WEET! 
But yes, on the subject of newbies.  We just have a plethora of new fodder for the forge, and a couple (a classic Raleigh MTB, a sweet GT MTB and a vintage Ladies Schwinn 3-speed) are really choice!  Then, of course is about a dozen more DBS stock!  Oh, those are fan favorites!  Actually, it's funny, had a gent in last night, ended up test riding everything we had left, then noticed the Huffy we had just got in.   Simple, old school 15 speed, but has a good body height (he's tall) and an extended neck with raised bars.  As I was puttering in my bay, and he had ridden everything else, he sat on that one, and declared it was perfect!  Originally I looked upon it as a parts bike.  Some goodies on it, nice gell seat, but had enough accumulated defects (plus a WAY screwed up crank) that I didn't feel it warranted a full rebuild, given the fact it wouldn't fetch enough to cover the expense and time.  BUT, he kept trying to convince me to let him buy it then and there.  It took some coaxing, but I convinced him, it wasn't even rideable at this point.  Needless to say it won't be going to the scrap pile! 
Oh, and this next story is PRICELESS!  It's like the Cosmos it's self stepped in to make our point for us yesterday.  Around 5.30 a gent came in looking for a "cheap" ride.  No worries, we had them.  He was looking at a couple of the 26" MTB DBS's we had, and at $80.00 a pop, pretty good deal considering the work that went into them.  Of course, like a scant few will occasionally do, he scoffed at the price, a bit, asking if we had something around $40.00.  I went into the brief explanation that, given the amount of work we put into each bike, $65.00 is about as cheap as we can go.  Still looking at the two rides, he commented that it must be difficult to sell them for "so much" and I assured him, we had no troubles.  He chuckled a "yea RIGHT!" kind of chuckle, then begrudgingly asked if he could test ride one of the two.  "Sure, no-problem"  then he set off around the block to give it a run.
in that ten minuets....
Three more folks (separate and in pairs) came in, and snagged up the one remaining MTB, and two ladies bikes, greatly diminishing our stock, AND there were three other folks meandering through the store looking in bone row.  Then the gentleman came back, and believe me, I know the look.  He came in, fully intending to try and talk me WAY down on the price of the ride he had just taken out, but as he turned to look at the Line, he did a double take.  Incredulously he turned back to me asking where was the other MTB's?  I just smiled and said, "just sold them"  Then, looking at one of the other folks who were perusing bone row, said in regards to the bike the first gent was still propping up "We also have this last remaining MTB if you wanted to take a turn on test riding it"  He didn't hesitate, and almost panicky said "Oh no, I'm going to pick this one up!
OH...Good times, GOOD times!
WOW!  I CAN be petty...can't I!
On the HOME FRONT!  Another exciting adventure of "The Stomach Turns!"
Either an example of how forgiving Angi can be, or how clueless Elijah is, went home to find him back in the house as if nothing ever happened.  I bit my tongue, remaining Sweden, and just went about my evening rituals.  Come to find out, though, that after arriving home from school yesterday, Kaleb dropped off his backpack, turned around, and left again, without a word.  Seems he hadn't said where he was going, just took off and no one had heard from him, by eight when we got back.  SOOOO, as we have discovered in the past (his older sister pulled this a couple times, as has Elijah) that in order to cover our butt's, by nine PM had to call it in to the Police and file a report.  As I stated to them, this was a case of teenager with chip firmly in place, attempting to flex his will. 
Now, as of this morning, I found him past out on the couch in his room (how he got into the house, I have no clue, but one can assume he met up with Elijah when he left work, and he let him in.  Once discovering him (and under no ignorance as to what he was most likely DOING last night) I could only assume he was probably quite tired, and more then likely a little hung over, and glancing to the bureau in there room, I noticed that Miranda's current favorite "noise maker" one of our Big metal stew pots, with accompanying metal ladle was perched there (a crude attempt to rest it from her hands, probably, as she serenaded the boys) I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO tempted to gently place it over his head and do my own rendition of "the Bells of Saint Mary"!!!
Buuuuuuut, I was already running a tad bit late to go to work, so, reluctantly, I passed on the opportunity.
Yea...I'm still regretting the loss of such a CHOICE shot at parental revenge!!
....kicking myself....
Live and learn.
OKEY DOKEY!  I need to get a move on, and hopefully have some new goodies to show off!
See ya!! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

"Raising teenager's is a lot like trying to teach a Bobcat how to swim: Painful and pointless!"

Romania!  How exotic and shrouded in lore!  Welcome folks!  Don't remember ever having visit's from Vlad's homeland!  Sweeeeet!
OKEY DOKEY!  On to yesterday!
wEiRd freakin' day!
Sent the really fine, "was-almost-in-scrap-pile", Pacific Mountain bike too a new home, first thing!  Actually, BEFORE first thing, as  got here early yesterday morning to get a jump on the workload, (HEH! the "W" stuck, and that came out "Orkload"  *snicker*  it's what the crew was constantly cleaning up during the filming of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy!  BWA-HA-HA!!)  and a couple came in around 8.15 and snagged it up!  Then the day went "Ker-PLOP!"  BUUUUUUT, that gave me plenty of time to dedicate to the "Truck" project.  I'll tell you, this one is dragging out!  Sad part is, I look at it, now about 3/4 of the way done, and yes, I'm giving it a little more detail then ours (plus a locking lid) but you wouldn't think something so rudimentary as a BOX would take so much bloody time!! True, ripping, processing, cleaning and sanding the re-purposed wood takes time, but golly!  I'm impatient when doing thing like this, as I want to see the finished project before I even start it!  This, of course, leads to rushing things, and it wasn't until I mounted the frame for the box top, that I realized I hadn't scrapped the bloody paint of the wood!  That was fun!  Instead of running it through the wire wheel, had to use a chisel to scrape it off!  UGH!! 
I did take a break mid afternoon, as I have promised myself to dedicate time each day to work on the book, but only had about a half hour to spare (LUNCH!!) and was a tad disappointed in that as the part I'm working on now is really fun to write!  Then, it was back at it!  Got in a really sweet consignment piece though, a little later, in the way of a Elektra GiGi ladies 3 speed, in really sweet shape.  I let her know, this time of year it could go either way.  I sell it within a day, or it lingers for weeks, given the higher sticker price.  Well, I was right with the first statement.  After about a half an hour and sending the Men's 26" MTB lightweight home with one of our neighbors, who unfortunately had the last bike he picked up from us stolen (may the thief find himself stranded with a flat tire and become an alligator's chew toy walking to the air pump!) we got real busy in the last hour of the day!  A group of three visitors, down on a party vacation through Florida, were recommended to us to grab some "Pub Crawlers".  They snagged up the custom Sun Cycle cruiser, the lightened up 6 speed, AND the GiGi!  Of course we cut them a deal on all three!  Then, to round the day out, sent the Men's 26" dual shock MTB home with a nice gent and his well mannered son.  They too, had been referred to us, so a great big THANKS to our anonymous benefactor! 
At this point, stayed a wee bit later to finish up the lid ( again,,,refurbed wood?  Not ALWAYS come's out straight! ) needing a realignment! 
Then it was to the homestead, where regrettably the fecal matter made contact with the osculating rotation device.  Unfortunately, all the lectures and discussions aside, a teenager will take, from any situation, that which benefits them, with no consideration for consequences or even simple appreciation.  Yes, this is a conversation that is akin to beating a dead horse, but gnaws at ones brain, none the less.  Being the home body, and primary parent, Angi is left to deal with the insubordination on a regular basis.  For the most part, it is dealt with in a relativistic calm manner.  She speaks her expectations, then leaves it alone.  The older boys, on the other hand, disregard that which doesn't "interest them" and push the boundaries wherever they can.  Something as simple as just cleaning up after themselves proves to be an exercise in futility.  Anyone with Teenage boys can attest to the fact that having four of them, sharing the same room and NOT doing so much as pick up and, God forbid, WASH their dirty laundry...well...things can get a little "funky".  Instead of separating his cloths (dirty...clean) Elijah will just throw them all in haphazard pile....on his bed....then sleep on them.
No, no...I am NOT kidding.  Kaleb is not all that much better.   Their sole purpose in life, apparently is to eat and sleep.  Not much of anything else.  The crux of the problem yesterday, apparently, was Angela having the audacity to wake Elijah up (after sleeping twelve hours) in the late afternoon and tell him and Kaleb to clean their room.
Then, apparently a gateway was flung open from the bowels of Hell and a cadre of Demons was set forth.  In short, Kaleb, becoming indignant, question his mothers right and reason for making HIM clean HIS room, and in no short order pointed out, belligerently, that she was being unrealistic and unreasonable (I'm...ah...putting it in nice terms differing from the words HE choose) Where as Elijah, having worked a grueling six hour shift flipping burgers, felt he had not had enough sleep to recover from such an arduous work schedule!
The resulting outcome was a less then pleasant living environment that evening.  Oh, there's more to the tale, I assure you, as this was a brewing, simmering pot set firmly on a ROARING  forge for Angela.  We have both tried, in vain, to get them to see how one must behave when cohabitating a space with  anyone, but to no avail.  They don't take advantage of the reprieve granted them by Angela swallowing so much, and actually change their ways, they just look at it as a chance to get away with more!
Needless to say...don't know what is in store for them, at this point, I'm Sweden.
Thanks for listening.  Needed to download all that junk so I could meander about my day, as there is still a lot to do, and I needed to stow my baggage in the over head compartment!
Y'all have a great day! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What NOT to do with a Mixie Frame!!!

UGH.  The duldrums of summer!  Things are getting so quiet around here, the other day when I came to work all the crickets were sunning themselves in itty bitty lawn loungers and one of them looked at me and said lazily "why bother, man, aint nobody listenin'!"
BUT, at least it gives me time to work on the special projects.  Got the repairs done and done, even though most of them won't be picking up until next week, but I figure while I got the time, what the hey!
Did have one mind blowing visitor yesterday, though.  Gent called me earlier in the day, saying he had some bikes to get rid of, as he and his family were moving back up to New Hampshire.  Well, of course at the mention of the old homestead AND the very familiar accent, the conversation went right into talk of familiarity. That's one unique phenomenon about Yankee's, once you meet a fellow Northerner, the tenor and lilt of your voice and the conversation becomes one of  great comfort, as if you were old friends who were genuinely glad to see each other and needed to catch up.  Turns out, he was moving back to Fremont NH, although he had grown up in Manchester! Of course he attended high school there, graduating one year ahead of Angela!  Well, now, my curiosity peeked, I inquired as to whether or not he remembered her name.  Of course, after 20 odd years, it didn't ring a bell, but once he came to pay us a visit peddling his wares, he took one look at the family photo near the door and declared "OH....I remember HER!!" 
No, I did NOT press him to expand on the emphasis of "HER"  As the old saying goes "What happens in High School, STAYS in High School!"  After all...there are some experiences in MY upper classman years of my career (most interesting six years of my life!) best left to the obscurity of time (although...I was aware that my high schools Drivers Ed teacher used me as an example of what NOT to do when driving for well over ten years after I left!) But that visit was ONLY the beginning!  When I got home last night, Angi was brimming with excitement.  Seems that chance encounter opened up a whole whirlwind of yacking on Facebook.  The visitor went home and looked up Angi, and as it turns out, he was also friends with many of their old classmates, whom Angi had lost touch with years ago.  So for several hours it was old home week as they all reconnected.  Of course, she had to contend with all the incredulity about "had she REALLY had nine kids" and "barefoot and pregnant" quips, as well as some thinly veiled jealous commentary about how she was able to retain her skinny figure after that many youngins!  It was really sweet to see how much fun she was having reliving old memories.  What I found REALLY funny was, there was a friend she had all through those years, who was by her reckoning, quite the bad boy with a real chip on his shoulder and a penchant for bucking authority at each and every turn (hmmmmm.... sounds vaguely familiar!) After High School, meeting me and shortly thereafter leaving the North, she lost touch with him.  Yesterday she found out, that of ALL the careers he could have chosen....He's running for CONGRESS!!!   Although, truth be told, maybe that's just what we NEED in Congress, someone that doesn't take any $#!+!!
Ah...Good times, GOOD times!
OK, now staying on the homestead, a new feature we'll be calling....

Having started on the Truck in gusto, I had laid out everything we had here to work with in order to determine what I would need to finish the Box for the truck.  With list prepared, I called Angi to have Elijah, one of our runners, come up to the shop to go to the Hardware store.  She woke him up, and as she needed supplies for the house, was going to send him to the grocery store first then he would be up, post haste.
two hours later....
Him having not arrived, and me quickly running out of things to occupy my time, I called back to see where he was.  She was perplexed, as she thought he was already long since here, having already brought the stuff to the house quite some time before.  She asked me to wait, as she checked, only to find that he had brought the stuff home, then under the guise of leaving, slipped back into the bedroom and fell asleep!! 
re- rousing him, he begrudgingly came to the shop, but not without his friend along in tow.  Ugh, we are becoming a temporary half way house for the "lost generation" and this young man is the latest visitor to crash for a couple days on the boys couch.  He had no bike with him, so he was jogging alongside Elijah as he had a brilliant idea in  how to help him get around.
The following is an example why you DO NOT put pegs, on a mixie frame with single walled, aluminum 700c rims!!!!
Yes, anyone who knows ANYTHING about bikes, can see where this is going, but bear with the narrative as it is depressively funny! 
AGAINST my urgent cautions, Elijah, being a teenager who, by divine bestowment of grander wisdom and intelligence then any "older" generation curmudgeon, knew better then I, and was completely assured that no ill would become of his ingenious solution.  SO, with dull orange pegs, mounted to his snub nosed 3/8 rear axel, this 260 pound Monolith of a nineteen year old took position in the drivers seat, as another 180 pound teenager mounted the pegs, and off they went! hour later...
Got a call from Ace Hardware
(don't jump the gun, let me get to the funny part)
from Elijah, informing me, they did indeed get everything on my list...
They would be later in returning as they were going to have to WALK back to the shop.  For some COMPLETELY UNKNOWN reason, his REAR tire had a "massive blowout" while they were in the store and he had NO idea what could have caused it
(at this point in the conversation a very audible SLAP could be heard as the palm of my right hand impacted with my face, being forcefully dragged, slowly, in frustration down it's length, resulting in a very heavy sigh)
THIS is the result of what was labeled a very MYSTERIOUS blowout!

(hard to see, but the weld was completely GONE!!!)

Seriously....SERIOUSLY!! The ONLY thing that keeps my insanity in check, delaying the inevitable trip to the Laughing Academy and donning one of their sporty jackets that ties in the back, is having to constantly REMIND myself, that at one time in EVERY young man's life, we were THAT clueless as well! 
My Mother smiles herself awake EVERY morning, knowing full well, that the curse she placed on me so long ago is working to it's fullest fruition!
As the old Chinese proverb (at least I think it was Chinese) "a small pebble, in a big pond sends out many ripples" so too does the delay of building materials!  Hell bent on getting the box DONE, we stuck around until almost nine to complete it (which didn't really happen as there is still more to do) and this of course, had the household in an uproar as we were so off schedule!!!  But, by eleven, everyone was fed, clean and in bed, and hand on face, I passed out on the couch!
So today, we are hoping for the best, as we have already sent some parts to a new home for a DIY'er to rebuild his ride, and sent the really sweet Pacific Dual Shock to a new family as well!
NOW, I best jump back on the truck project, as I still have a ways to go!
Hope to see everyone soon!!

OH, Special shout out to the newest country to join us here, Malta!  Took a Google Earth virtual tour of the place, very pretty!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Ah Wankah!

Okay, a little background on that pic yesterday, because it was one of those "you had to be there" sort of moments!  Yesterday, the bulk of the day, after repairs, was spent preparing the wood for the basket on the new truck. Not an easy task, given that yes indeed, when we say "re-cycled materials" we aint kidding.  All the scrap wood for this ride derived from a construction tear out of a dividing wall from a residential rebuild. This particular wall was both insulated and had paneling.  For those never having done such work, suffice to say, the wood was riddled with nails and screws.  3 1/2 inch wood screws, framing nails, staples for the insulation, and those annoying, easy to break paneling nails.  Once those were all found and removed, I set up the table and miter saw to rip them done to the appropriate widths and lengths.  In retrospect, I should have done it outside, like the last project, but as it is hotter out there now, and the sun, at this point, was directly above where I would have been working, with NO shade, I took the wimps way out and set it all up in my bay.
Stupid for the fact, that at the end of the day I spent an hour just cleaning up the fine particulate that had settled over the ENTIRETY of the shop!  ARRGH!  Thought the fans going would flow it out the open back door, but no such luck! 
At around four PM, realizing the pile of sawdust under the table saw was almost as high as my knees, I stopped to clean what had already been created. Here's the rub.  I have certain allergies, which (and forgive me for those with tender constitutions) can make me break out in a rather discomforting rash, should I endure prolonged exposer to certain kinds of wood shavings.  And as I have NO idea what kind of wood (in some cases) I was cutting into, I though it prudent to clean off myself as well.
Here's where it get's silly.  As you can see in the picture, the lower half of my body is obscured by the grinder "backsplash".  I had removed my shirt, shook it out and had just finished using the air hose to spray myself off when Logan, arriving here from school, walked in and did an awkward "what-the-hell-am-I-seeing" double take.  Relishing in his discomfort, I tossed him my phone and said "take a picture", not quite sure at that moment what I would do with it, save sending it to Angela to freak HER out.  Recomposing himself, more then likely just accepting the fact that "WELL! That's MY Dad!" and snapped the pic.  Once finished, I was in the process of sending it to Angela, when two rather timid ladies came into the shop to  sell a bike, and froze in bewilderment by the front door, as soon as they saw me, STILL obscured by the backsplash.  I SOOOO was tempted to push the boundaries of good taste and etiquette and pull a plagiaristic re-enactment of Billy Connolly's "the Spider Sketch" (check it out on you tube) and look startled and say "THANK GOD YOU'RE HERE!!"  but I denied the urge!  In propriety I assured them it was only temporary and I did in fact have my nether's properly sheathed.  AH-HA!  Priceless look on their faces, though, I must say! 
And, even with all the silliness of a rather slower Tuesday, I still did manage to get all the wood cut to size and ready to start construction on the bed of the truck.  Yep, going to build it separate, then mount and balance on the rig.  Thanks to our friend Bullet, who took the trip down to the shop last night to bring me our rather cumbersome order of parts, needed not only for the truck but the cross country rig we're upgrading, and another couple of fixers, PLUS a few newbie candidates he's had littering his shop.   "Hand's On Bicycles" is the only shop in Florida, aware of us, that actually won't just throw the abandoned or "un-repairable" rides away, but instead donates them to us to put back on the road (or at least salvage).  If only more bike shops would just stop plugging up landfills, we'd all be a lot better off! 
OK, so with that, I have my dance card FULL today!  SOOOO, I'd best get a move on! 
Hope to see many of you pay us a visit today!
See ya!

Oh, yea, before I forget, but a bevy of FIVE kiddo rides out yesterday.  These came from a grandmother who kept them at her house when the kiddos came to play, but thanks to the advent of handhelds and gaming systems, NEVER got used!  They are in PRIMO LIKE NEW condition!
OK, no I'm really outta heah!

ALL UNDER $45.00!!!!!!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Here at RE-Cycle, we are ALWAYS looking for unique, creative ways to generate more interest in both re-cycling, re-using and re-purposing NOT TO MENTION, getting people to get off their car seats and hit the world on all twos!  Well, today, whilst discussing this with one of our regulars, and the desire to turn-on people to all we do and the wonders of the Veloist way, he made an interesting suggestion.  "If you really want to turn-on people, why not have all nude bicycle mechanics!?"
Hmmmm.  Well, all concern of safety on the way side, I figured "WHAT THE HECK!"  We here are ALWAYS willing to try something new!  Honestly though...I really don't think this is going to work...

(psst!  For any of you without a sense of, I'm really not nude.  So fine, there...are you happy?  Perfectly good joke.....ruined!) 

Inactivity Means Death_Moussolini

WOWZERS!!!  What an incredibly busy day yesterday!  Had swarms of people descending upon our little shop with a slew of repairs and buying us out down to the wall studs!  INCREDIBLE!!!
That's what I WISH I could say! 
BUT...the reality was....?
'Twer it not for punting away on fleshing out some characters in the book, I would have had NO justification for being here!  Oh, we had the occasional Looky Loo's, but they were of the "just checking things out, because everything else is closed" variety.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.  We have had a lot of returns from folks who were "just checking us out" either in coming in later when they found need for a bike or a repair, or they have referred us to someone who did.  But, as I have said before, not having things to do while I am here, makes me feel more tired then if I was actually humping all day long.  At least I did manage to receive the necessary wood for the new "truck" build.  Even though we're STILL waiting on the wheel set I figure I can build the box separate, then mount it to the frame.  Might actually be easier that way!  I know the new owner is chomping at the bit to see this thing done, but one cannot rush art!  (*SNORT*  GUFFAW!!!!)
The biggest challenge on this one is going to be finding someone to mix the desired paint scheme.  Don't even know where to begin looking for that!  Oh well, thankfully, all things seem to come together in the end, at the last bloody minute as it were! 
Needless to say, I have nothing new to show off, as everything that can be built HAS been built! 
At the urging of the boss, she gave me permission to close up early and head home for an earlier dinner and some chill time. As it turns out, cooped up children breed hyper energy, and the house was in chaos as the evening progressed.  Logan and Owen, hard at their reenactment of the fight scenes from 300, needed to be separated with the aid of a Styrofoam "floaty" tube.  It always starts off as friendly rough housing but quickly degrades into fisticuffs because someone took a dirty shot, or some such. 
Owen, had taken his birthday money and took a trip to the Dollar Store, and amongst all the things he COULD have bought, picked up a really annoying set of toy guns (you know, the ones with firing sounds) and Miranda was walking around the house for a half an hour with the trigger set to "constant".  What Machiavellian sadist designed these bloody things ANYWAY!!! All I know is, they must never have had any children of their own!  Eventually, they slowly calmed down, and in an attempt to get Mommy and Daddy's "peaceful" evening off to a start, we put the girls to bed, with a wee bit of story time, and hoped for the best.  Unfortunately (even though Angela warned me and I didn't listen!) the bloody summer skies don't get dark much before 9pm around here, soooooo little Miss Miranda was having none of it!  Mrs. Izabella, her erstwhile sidekick (not too far removed from Vlad's "Renfield") wouldn't calm either.  Sooooo, Daddy fell, somewhat, asleep on the couch holding both little girlies whilst watching "Monsters Inc".

  Sad thing is, after a day of inactivity, and the begrudgingly cozy feeling of cuddling up with the two wee ones, once we got them back into bed, Daddy was, in a word, "Pooped".  Of course, this was much to the chagrin of a patiently doting Angela, who had had plans of her own for the evening.  Of course, ever the understanding sort, she tucked Daddy up for the evening.
OH, it really sucks getting old and set in your ways!!
Today...?  Just picked up a couple more kiddo bikes, with three more on their way back and these things are WAY clean!  Grandma picked them up for visiting grandkids, who, like most kiddo's in America today, really do nothing with their time that doesn't include a handheld or game controller!  Needless to say, they barely got any more movement then being shuttled back and forth in the garage!  Hopefully some adventurous youth will find more purpose for them, other then a laundry rack! 
Now, I am off to start pulling nails and screws out of repurposed wood, then make some noise in the back ripping it down!  If you are paying us a visit, just follow the sound of the table saw out back if you need me!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Home again, Home Again, Jiggedy, JIG!

HEY!  We just want to give all the folks that paid us visits on Saturday a BIG warm and hearty THANK YOU for making the day so Bloody fun! Got to mingle with some really great people, with a lot of nice things to say, not to mention even more "New Arrivals" to the Florida way of life from even more displaced Yankee's (watch out, native born, I think we may just about be outnumbering y'all!!) Give's me nothing but pleasure to offer up some recommendations of things and places to see down here in our little Dunedin (Flanagan's Pub ALWAYS being first on the list!) one gent, in particular, newly arrived from Indiana happens to have been lucky enough to marry an Irish woman, so he was more then excited to hear about an authentic Irish Pub in his back yard, especially with live music!  Yea, you cannot marry Irish, and not LOVE the culture!! 
We sent four to new homes, lickety split, then the remainder of the day was all about repairs, and I'll tell you, THAT is always a bit of a game for us on Saturday.  We're use to a flood of repairs, so it is a matter of personal pride that we do the whole "NASCAR Pit Stop" kind of repair!  Most folks, who come in on the weekend for repairs, are more then likely, riding their bikes in, so we give them the whole "give us a few minuets" and regardless of the repair, usually have them in and out right quick!  (OK...except for full rebuilds, need at least a couple hours for them!) It's just fun to try and beat your personal best on any particular job.  God bless the young lady who came in with her even younger sister (I swear, I thought it was Mom and daughter, until, as I was working on the little girls ride, the young lady was talking with another couple waiting on a fix, and of course, as most conversations do go around here, they and I were talking about family and kids when they came in, and she disclosed that the little girl, was in fact, her young sister (almost 20 year age difference)) so, after finishing up the quick tube fix, she asked me if we had a bike rack that would work with her car and the spoiler that she had on it.  Turns out the one we had left, did in fact, fit.  Once I mounted it on, she got so thrilled that she "Now owned a bike rack" she did a little jig.  It was so sweet! Now, as she professes, they can go out on rides together.  NEAT!  I can only hope our kids are that close!  Of course, a "shout out!" to Uncle Chippie, who helped save the day.  He heard my plaintive cry for the need of a double ringed, three speed hub for the Truck project, so he set about digging through his overstock, and found us one that fit perfectly! YAY!  I did SO want to make it a three speed!!
Of course, the day wound down quickly around 3 pm, as the massive gray clouds wafted in, and, as always seems the case, waited until a few minuets before close to dump on us.  Not wanting to get waterlogged (and Suzanne HATES to run in the rain) we stuck it out the prerequisite thirty minuets, until, like someone shutting off a tap, it stopped!  YAY!  Welcome to Florida Summers!  Get what you can done before 2 in the afternoon, each and every day!  Either that, or wait until the evening!  *sigh*  Speaking of which, don't take my word for it!  Had another couple come in for a quick repair.  They were out for their morning ride, when all of a sudden the drivetrain on his ride went "wonky" and had to bring it in (now, here's an oddity, that I have seen far to often and I have NO logical explanation for how it happens!  His ride had a seven speed freewheel on the rear.  The lock ring gave way and all the gears were a loose, jumbled mess, of the gears was missing...entirely!  How the HECK does that happen!?  Seriously!  The wheel never leaves the bike, no other serious damage...just one cog missing?  Kind of like Nessie, or Bigfoot, or a compassionate conservative...anomalous things, outside the natural order,  that just CANNOT be explained) as we were talking, and of course, the subject of weather came up, THEY pointed out, simply, that in order to get your needed riding in, you just have to leave early enough in the morning to get a good couple of hours before it get's to bloody hot!  SEE!  We're  NOT the only one that gets it!
Took the rainy time to clean, yet again, as I reluctantly excepted the reality, that it is, in fact, easier to find things if you keep them tidy!  So, it took me 47 years to figure that out!  So sue me! 
Was able to pound out two newbies, amongst the hullabaloo, as I have made a promise to myself that I will not detract from my normal daily chores to loose myself in the book.  Although it's hard at times, as I find myself "mentally" making notes as I'm going about my daily routine, and it's hard to fight the urge to sit down and put it on "paper", as I KNOW the limitations of my own memory.  Angi can attest to that, in spades!  With the gray clouds, however, and their propensity to drive Floridians into hiding, after my tasks were done, and I built the two newbies we got in, in trade, I had a couple hours to bang on the keyboard.  Literally...bang.  WAY too many of the keys on this thing stick! 
So then it was time to head for the homestead and enjoy an evening and a day of, basically, nothing but relaxations. much as one can get with a cantankerous two year old, who's favorite past time is crying in demanding fury for everything anyone else has, no matter how inane that item may be.  Ever try and eat dinner when a little kid is crying because she doesn't have possession of ALL the forks at the table?  You go to tell one kid "Don't eat with your fingers!"  and they look to you, incredulously, and point across the table at the little girl, standing in her chair, trying to manipulate her dinner holding eight utensils! 
OH, funny freaking story, that makes me look like such a sap, but also gives a great deal of admiration for the INGENIOUS design of one particular video game design.
So, punting around on my LG phone, having grown tired of the one game I have on there, as the kids held dominance over the household game machine, I downloaded one that Angi had played for a while called "Panda Pop".  The premise of the game (one of the all too familiar ones where you have to make triples or more of any given object to draw the "field" down to it's conclusion) is you play a mother Panda Bear, who has to rescue her cubs who have been trapped above her in a series of balloons.  You toss up corresponding colors, to match, pop the balloons, and free the adorable little cubs who float safely to the ground in a parachute.  Simple, right?  Well, as with all these games, they get progressively harder.  At one point, as I sat on the ottoman in front of Angi, I was down to my last balloon (and when you get to ten left, the mother Panda becomes frantic and panicky, and the little babies, encased in their balloons are wailing, thrashing and crying) and I LITTERALLY became emotionally invested in whether or not I was going to be able to free the little guy!  When I made an impossible ricochet shot and freed him at the last minute I gave off a "WHOOP, WHOOP!" in victorious glee, almost in tears of relief! 
OH!  Whoever designed this game was PURE, bloody GENIUS!!  If you run out of chances, they give you an opportunity to "buy" more plays, and in an attempt to "guilt" you into doing so, a little picture shows a crying mother Panda with the blurb "Don't give up on the baby pandas!"  WOW!  Pure, "Heart-String-Plucking" GENIUS!!!  These folks MUST be Quadrillionaires! 
Now, I best get to...something!  Still waiting on parts for the truck and one more repair (BLOODY HOLIDAY!!!) so I have to find something to keep busy!'s a thought!  Why don't YOU bring me something to do!  After all, you wouldn't want MY baby Pandas to go hungry...would you??
(did it work?)

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ONLY $35.00!!
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ONLY $65.00!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” _John Lubbock

Nope.  Not a big fan of this holiday weekend!  Means a few things.  Folks jockeying for position on the beach (why more don't ride bikes to that mad house, I have NO idea), lot's of drinking (stay OFF the roads come Sunday) and a lot of places closed on Monday!  And of course, the least positive aspect of the Holiday?  It's marking of the official beginning of summer! UGH!  Summers are great, when your a school age kid, but a business person and a parent...well, you whiten your knuckles, involuntarily tighten your sphincter, and stock up on Advil and antacid! 
Oh, but listen to me whine! 
No...really...listen to me whine...
Yesterday was relatively calm waters.  Had a staggering of repairs coming in, but nothing too complicated (thank you, as always for your continued faith in us!)  Had a gent bring in a NEW ride he picked up at Wal-Mart.  Now, I know I Bit...complain about the quality of Wal-Mart bikes, but I gotta say, this new Huffy is WAY sharp looking!  Now, I don't normally do this (heck!  I don't think I have EVER done this) and promote someone else's bicycles, MUCH LESS Wal-Marts, but you have to see this gem!  I think Huffy is trying to really make a come back in style and looks!

700c Huffy Supreme Men's Cruiser Bike, CharcoalRIGHT!  Am I lying?!  Couple things I would recommend though; make sure the wheels are TRUE, and change out the tires!  Tires are kind of cheap.  The whole reason he brought it in was the front wheel was out of true and the tire had an irregularity in it that gave it a bulge.  Probably what threw it off in the first place.  But this ride is only $197.00 NEW, and with a full tuning before you ride and regular maintenance, should get some good times out of it! 
There you go, proof positive I'm not ALL about bashing the Big W! 
Had a regular of ours come in and snag up the Specialized "wanna-be".  Sadly, the Motobecane he bought from us last year got swiped (may the thief suffer painful boils on the soles of his feet, and the front brake of his stolen booty seize up and throw him under a Yugo! Too Harsh?  GOOD!) and he was looking for something comparable. it's not what I would call "comparable" to a Motobecane, but it's a nice ride anyway!
Running a tad stagnant on the truck build, as I am waiting for the wheel set to come in.  Learned my lesson from the first one NOT to set the bed supports, until I can level it off in regards to the pitch of the frame on all three's.  Can't even do anything with the paint or set any other parts, as I have to paint the frame before the mechanics go on. No point in doing that, as any adjustments to the supports will be sure to muck up the finish!  The less touch up I gotta do, the better! 
With nothing much to do in the AM, punted around with the book for awhile.  At the point now, where the different time periods are screaming to be put down in words so I keep jumbling up chapters, but will smooth out the transition between past and future as I go along.  Probably not the best way to do it, but I'm no professional! 
As the day progressed , picked up a couple of trades so it gave me something to round out my afternoon!  A really nice looking Pacific Mountain Bike, dual shock, that at first I thought might have to be a parts bike, as the rear strut had a lot of play, and didn't think I had room to tighten her up.  But, turned out with a little elbow moxie, she squeezed up tight!  ALSO, picked up a SAH-WEET Nishiki touring bike (that before I even got to write this last sentence, went to a new home!) that didn't need TOO much coaxing to be a beauty!  And this one had rear and FRONT alloy racks!! WAHOO!  Don't see them all too often!!!  The gent that just snagged it, had timed it perfectly!  He'd been in yesterday looking at the Ross, that was just a tad bit too big for him, but came in today anyway (having got his pay early due to the Holiday...OK, yea...ONE good thing about it!) to snag it, only to see the "perfect fit" Nishiki!  SHA-WINNG!!
OKAY, at this point we are way into our Saturday, and the repairs are a steady stream, so I have to keep coming back to the postings, and I am SOOO loosing my train of thought! 
All in all, I hope everyone has a safe and happy long weekend, and we'll be here waiting fer ya!
I'm out!

PS...Wait, I gotta tell you this "mailman funny"  Just got our daily visit from our mail carrier, he handed me a flyer, and I commented about the whole "resident" thing.  He laughed, and told me, when he started out in the business, in Cincinnati, he delivered some flyers to an apartment building, and one older gentleman handed it back to him and said "Mister resident don't live here anymore!" ah-HA!!

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ONLY $85.00!!
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ONLY $65.00!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Sleep, born from exhaustion, is like a glass of water for a drowning man"

a Fuzzy gray veil of incomprehension, lain tightly across my brain, aching jaw and stiffening bones, brittle as dry autumn leaves, groan,  belligerent towards the incessant demands of dawn.  Do not speak my name, as my mouth will form words with no direct assistance from my incapacitated mind, an involuntary dialog born from the frustration of being torn from slumber, will spill forth nothing but vitriol.  Sleep.  Just let me sleep, as if nestled within the sanctity of a tomb, resting for all eternity, well past the Earths rendering to ash and cinder.

Oh yes....broke down and took Nyquil last night! What fun!  And surprisingly, at the insistence of Angi, who normally warns me away from even looking at a bottle!  She was so sweet though!  Gave me a hot toddy (with a shot of Irish Mist) then, after a little bit when I was still coughing, she brought out the Nyquil, told me to shoot it down and within ten minuets was making sure I didn't bump into walls as she lead me to bed.  There, she fluffed my pillows, drawn down the bed and tucked me in (insistent, of course, to insure the pillows were in optimum position to help decrease my chance of snoring.  Oh, the poor thing, my snoring can be atrocious, but when I'm sick? Heck, I've woken myself up it get's so loud!) and within seconds, I was passed out.  Needless to say, slept about ten hours and was still greatly resistant to waking up this morning!  BUT, Angi has put on some sort of a high energy techno song for her alarm, and BOY howdy!  Nearly shakes me out of bed.  After about three tries, her patience stretched to it's limits, she utilized the one sentence she KNOWS will draw me out "Don't you have to WORK today!"
ARRGH!  NO FAIR!!!  Playing on my work ethic, that's dirty pool!  So, I drew my sorry carcass out of bed with a "thud" and crawled to the coffee pot. 
SO, anyway, I made it, thanks to her, to work on time.  And yes, I DO need to be here as I have a lot to do! 
Yesterday, was once again, primarily about repairs!  Thanks to all for the continued trust and VERY kind words!  You all are the BEST!  And prompt pick up, each and everyone!  SAH-WEET!!  Managed to put out one newbie we got in on trade for one of the kiddo bikes.  We got the best end of the deal, as this one is a really clean, aluminum 24" Mountain Bike!  VERY Peach!  Spent the majority of the day, though, doing the dry fit for the new Truck.  Oy.  This one will be, by necessity, different then ours.  I learned a lot building that one, most specifically, what NOT to do!  This one, won't have the 26" front wheel, as it tends to make you have to pedal a little harder, and the bed of the truck will be level with the line of the bike, not pitched up like ours.  Trust me, it can be a fight at times riding an incline on ours.  The only down side is, I really wanted to do a three speed on this one, but still can't make it happen, only because I do not have a good three speed, double cog.  Bummer!  BUT, I did find a double cog single speed so I can put a coaster brake on the back.  I found with ours, I don't get going too fast, but if I have to brake hard, only having front brakes makes it shimmy too much!  And the rear reinforcement and stabilizers, are unique on the new one.  Instead of one center support, this one will have three, making the ride a little more rigid.  Once again, the "What-Not" box of goodies helped out tremendously in getting it to all mesh together.  Also learned that before we install the bed, you need to level and stabilize the whole thing ON THE WHEELS before setting the pitch! 
This one has been a while getting set up, as it took for ever to find a good candidate for a frame, and it will still take a few days to build, as I can't spend ALL my time on it, with a steady influx of other projects, not to mention the rebuild on the Raleigh that is making the cross country trip.  Gonna be an interesting week, to say the least! 
Picked up a few newbies as well, yesterday, and one of them is a home-spun rat road conversion of a five speed cruiser.  Gonna have to do a wee bit of tweaking though.  It was a great effort, but some of the more personal touches were set for that rider, and not a wider public.  Noting wrong with that mind you.  Heck, not many people would get on Greedo and ride comfortably!  Then a couple of parts bikes.  Gonna jump on those, likety split, soon as I finish up the repairs that came in this morning! 
So, that's about it, I best get a move on!
See ya soon!

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ONLY $90.00!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Things You Can Do With Scrap!!!

Yesterday was all about repairs!  Thank you, so very much, to all the folks for their valued trust and continual visitations!  Trust me, it's the best kind of visit, sight better then when the little gray guys show up!  Always end up very sore in my nethers when their done with me! 
And it was a real side step from the norm, as everyone came right in and snagged up their rides when I was done with 'em!  Normally I gotta wait a few days for some folks to come back in.  In the past, that's just been a reflection of the time folks allot for this kind of errand, as they have been used to other places that take three or four days to finish up with a repair.  Folks are starting to get the point that we do most, same day! 
(Ah yes, any chance to work in a free plug!)
Sadly, nothing new to pimp, for two reasons, the aforementioned repairs and lack of anything to work with!  *Sad Face!*   Truth be told, though, I am not completely heartbroken in that respect regarding a lack of things to do yesterday.  Was pushing it getting the repairs pumped out, as I am feeling the creeping cruds that the kiddo's brought home.  Not the worse it's ever been, but enough to give you head and body aches! ICK!  Once I had everyone taken care of, was able to just sit and bang away on the book.  Problem always is, most of the time, if there is something to do, I will do it.  I don't like idle time, something about the devils hand caressing your buttocks, or something like that. 
God...I'm in a weird mood this morning!
And no, it's not because of Nyquil!  Nyquil is my Kryptonite, and if the sickies get bad enough, I have been known to succumb to it's allure!  Oh, give me a shot of Nyquil and no joke, in fifteen minuets I'm delirious and drooling on myself.  Many is the time Angela has been forced to cover me up with a blanket where ever I dropped, because I didn't have the foresight to lay in bed right after taking it!  No, I save that for the most extreme cases! 
Oh, trip down memory lane!  Hence the happenstance of America's Melting Pot, Florida!  Yes folks, every American eventually ends up here!  Just had a visit from a gent down from my neck of the woods!  Small world, that brought back a flood of memories which reminded me of how long I have held an affinity for junk.  Or more specifically, for what junk could become.  Before recycling and repuroposing became fashionable, I dabbled in it, continuously!  You grow up in rural New Hampshire, you find fun where you can.  I noticed the distinct Yankee accent as he came in to inquire about a hybrid, and we got to talking.  About ten years my senior, turns out he was born and raised in Kingston NH!  For those not in the know, twas but a stones through away from my youthful stomping grounds.  Of course, he remembered fondly Kingston Lake and "Bolton's" restaurant located just beyond the boat launch, and he too, held fond epicurean memories of their hand battered onion rings! DAH-ROOOL, DAH-ROOOL!
Come to find out, he cut his teeth in the labor market working with his dad that owned a scrap yard in Brentwood NH!!! This is where the surrealism of it all hit home, because there were only two scrap yards in Brentwood, and I hung out and worked in both! When I asked when that was he stated "Early 80's" WOW!  At this point, pushing the boundaries of coincidences, I asked if he remembered a wiry, scrawny pre-teen who would hang out in the work shop stripping down alternators and starters for the copper in exchange for the odd pieces of junk that he could carry home?  He became thoughtful, then as if a light bulb went off, he smiled and exclaimed "YEA!  I remember having to pull him out from underneath a pile of aluminum that fell on him when he was digging through for some old McDonald's timers!  Heh!  I had all but forgotten about that.  I stuck out my hand for him to shake, and jokingly said "Thanks, again, for saving my life!"  You could have knocked us both over with a feather! 
It is SOOO a small world, folks!!
Oh, by the way, the McDonalds timers had cool switches, and coupled with a lot of odd's and ends, an old metal cabinet, a trucks bench seat and some duct work, me and a friend turned an old horse trailer stuck in our back field into our own personal "Millenium Falcon".  As I said, finding fun where you can!
OKAY.  I best get off the past, and look forward.  Hope to see y'all soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Forgive the late start in todays Blog post.  When I got in this morning, sat down to start, and once again the computer was running a wee bit slow.  She's pushing about five years, with no major work and I think she is just getting tired. But in an attempt to clean her up a bit, I went through some old files to delete, and happened to stumble upon several old "photo files" I didn't even realize we still had!  As with every bike we build, we take a pic and post on Craigslist, and obviously the computer keeps a digital memory.  These had all been dumped into a miscellaneous file, and forgotten.  I was  somewhat taken aback.  Now, I realize that a lot of bikes have come in and out of our doors, and the only ones we actually take pics of are the ones we have rebuilt,  so this photo memory isn't even an accurate count of everything we have had, as about 20% of the bikes we pick up end up being parted out.  So all I could think was "WOW!!"  This file was dated Jan 2013, but actually had pics going about half way through February.  I did a cursory count (top row, multiplied by down!) 532 in under six weeks!?!?  WOOF!!  Seriously, it's an overwhelmingly good feeling to know we put that many rides back out on the road, that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill.  This is one of the reasons, actually, the prime reason, WHY we got into this in the first place.  We could have gone the way of the norm and just become another "new" bike shop, but wanted to do something different and ecological.  I really want to take this opportunity to thank those 532 people and ALL the others over the last eight years who have chosen to come here, when honestly, they could have shelled out a few hundred bucks more and gone and picked up something "Shiny and New" so thanks for "Coming on bored" because we were not necessarily "Expecting you!"  (OK, Capt. Stubing....sorry!) or for an average of about fifty bucks, gone to Kmart or Wal-mart and snagged one (but I credit the majority of humanity with a little more "snap" then that!).  Of course, within these files were even more photos chronicling our start, not only from the garage, but to the shaky beginnings of the old shop into this one!  Heh,  looking at the pics from when we were building this place out to now, and I could only think "It was sooo CLEAN in the beginning!! Ah yes, memories!
OKEY DOKEY!  Now on to the present.
Yesterday was one of those Monday's!   I should have known, from the happenstance of the ride in yesterday, that it was going to be interesting. But ever the glutton for self flagellation, I didn't run  home and climb back into bed, but instead tempted Fates humor. 
In retrospect, a long nap would have been preferable.  Got to the shop, did the morning thing, then got to work on a couple of newbies.  I should have know, again, the day was going to be odd, when, I went to take a sip of my coffee, and while doing so inadvertently coughed as I swallowed, which forced the contents back out, explosively!  But that wasn't the worse part.  For some inexplicable reason, at that exact moment, I inhaled sharply through my nose...and took a healthy portion of the regurgitated coffee up it!  LORD!  Thank heavens no one was around or they might of thought I had gone rabid!  Ever cry tears of gas station House Blend?  I don't recommend it! 
Once recovered, I set to work on the Schwinn Aluminum Comp MTB we got in on trade the other day.  Teenage boy had beaten on it, but it's fate was sealed, when he left it on the floor of the garage and Mom ran over it.  Now, for a moment, far be it from me to preach (*cough, cough*) but, if you are of diminutive stature, you really shouldn't be driving a honkin' big SUV.  This is the third bike she has driven over.  Just sayin'!  ANYWAY!  It needed some big time work, however, foolishly, I didn't give it a good once over before I started the work!  ARRGH!  Yea, you see where this is going!  Got three quarters of the way done when I realized the rear derailleur mount was completely stripped out, so in order to make it work I had to get...creative!  Finally made it function, but took far longer then I would have originally dedicated.  Had I been smart, and checked it, would have just parted it out!
Second BONEHEAD maneuver I did actually started on Saturday.  Had a scrap truck come in, and picked up several goodies.  Now, the price we paid was based on a Specialized "Hard Rock" in the bottom of the pile.  The frame looked good, even though some of the more insignificant components were gone, so I took everything gladly.  Without so much more of a glance I put the Hard Rock in Bone Row, and stripped the remainder down for parts.  After finishing the Schwinn, I popped this one in my rack, stripped it down, and it wasn't until I went to clean the frame that I realized...It was NOT a Specialized!!!  ARRGH!!!  It is the same color, frame style, seat, components, even the graphics were identical silver and pink, right down to a stylized "S" on the head tube, but turned out to be some "No-name" knock off!  OY.  Well, always the trooper,  pressed on, and ended up turning it into a really sharp looking and riding 15 speed urban comfort commuter.  I mean, it's got the same rigging as a Hard Rock, just not the name!  It should make someone a real happy rider!
At that point, I decided to call building, a day! 
Today, I have HIGH hopes for!  Started out ok, and have had a slew of repairs come in already, so my fingers are crossed! 
OK, speaking of which, I best cut it off here, as between those last two sentences, have had two more repairs come in.  I best get hustling!
See ya soon!

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ONLY $85.00!!
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ONLY $95.00!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it."

REALLY!  I need to get one those "slap timer clocks" Uncle Chippie recommended, hang it on the wall, big red digital countdown, and every time someone comes in, looks at a bike, and loves it but wants to "think about it", I "WHACK IT" with gusto!!
Yes folks, our weekly infusion of "salt in the sound" has come around again!  Well, in a way. This one has a 'happy ending" (and NO, they didn't have to pay extra!) of sorts.  Had a gent come in on Saturday, had been out running the gambit of local shops for a nice urban hybrid, as he's looking for exercise that may turn into commuting. HEY!  We're all for that.  Another one suffering from sticker shock, not realizing just how expensive "New" bikes had gotten in the 20 odd years since he rode as a teen.  He told me his needs and wants, and given his stature, both the Peugeot and Marin we had were a good fit.  He test rode both, and liked both, but the Peugeot more for the new C-9 seat it had, but he preferred the Marin over all. Can't say as I blame him.  Of course, as some are prone to do, he wanted to negotiate price.  Again, I remind you, I have NO problem with negotiating, but he was a tad bit off, given the fact it was not only a gem of a ride, but a scarce commodity in this market flooded with Mountain Bikes!  I countered, and he hemmed and hawed, looked at them both again, and said he would have to think about it. 
About the time he was pulling out of the parking lot a couple and their two kiddos came in looking for a replacement ride for the oldest boy who had outgrown his 16", by a mile!  He needed to get on a 20".  They looked at a couple, but as the Mom was planning "days out" with the young men who had happily, recently rediscovered the joys of riding, needed a ride as well, and was overcome by the sexy gravitational pull of the Peugeot.  Even though they couldn't find the "right one" for the young man, they willingly snagged up the ride for her. 
After they were loaded up and on their way, the first gent return, to continue negotiations, in regards to the Peugeot, and was quite alarmed to see it no longer here.  I just shrugged, and reiterate my earlier statements regarding the brevity of a bikes shelf life around here.  And given the fact that I had only had that ride for thirty minuets before he had come in, in the first place.  Now, he was looking a LOT harder at the Marin.  Making the smart choice, he snagged it up (and a good thing, because the person walking into the shop, as he and I were talking, had come in to look at the Marin, specifically!)
See, these little reports are a lot like Aesop's Fables, meant to teach the moral,  "He who hesitates, is lost"
In addition to that, we had a funny!  A very nice lady had come into the shop to get a tube change on a , "enh"...let's say...well loved 15 speed.  As it turned out, she would also need a new tire as it was worn to threads, but she looked about and ended up going home with another bike, in the way of the Ladies 26" DBS we had, sighting the fact that it wasn't that much more to just buy another bike!  HOW many place can say that in reference to a tire and tube change!  OH YES!  We are that good! (OUCH!! Threw out my arm patting my back!) 
Boy, I should have become a rapper, considering the size of my ego!
OH, that reminds me, forgive the mild "ethnic" humor, but on the way into work this morning, plodding along with Suzanne sniffing about for a place to do her business, we came up upon some young, black teenage men on their way to school.  Now, when I go in to work, I have my blue tooth speaker on the bike, boogying out to my "Jams" and I have a WIDE range of musical tastes from classical violin to "Five Finger Death Punch" and everything in between!  Of course, given the hilarious sense of humor "happenstance" has, about ten feet behind the eight young men, leisurely chatting amongst themselves, Suzanne decided that was the spot to do her business.  Mind you, the blue tooth speaker is a 360 degree sound system, not at all quiet, and given my decreased hearing, I listen to it at about full volume (once I leave my neighborhood, of course).  It plays the Pandora off my phone, and my phone is tucked into my pocket with all the other junk and not easy and quick to get to, for a fast "turn down" should something be playing of questionable content. Heh.  Somewhat oblivious to my surroundings, I had been half listening to Harry Belafonte's song "Pick A Bale Of Cotton", but I became keenly aware of it, as I stood within ear shot, of this rather large group, when the chorus "You got to jump down, turn around and pick a bale of cotton
You got to jump down and turn around and pick a bale a day!" came blaring out behind them!  For a brief  moment I felt a little like Rex Kramer: Danger Seeker from "The Kentucky Fried Movie" (Google it, you'll see what I mean (be warned, it is a TAD bit offensive!)0 when they all turned and looked at me, as if to say "WHAT THE..."  But, thankfully, they all seem to have a great sense of humor as they saw the apologetic lilt of my face, and burst into laughter! 
OY!  Monday!  What else can I say!!
SO, anyway!
Picked up a few more goodies on Saturday, I will be turning my attention too, not to mention a few repairs (although I still am awaiting parts) and have to dry fit the new "Truck" project.  As this one is going to be used in downtown Saint Pete for daily deliveries, we're going with NEW wheels and tires all the way around, with heavy duty 12 gauge spokes, so going to have to wait a few days for that order, of course, coming out of Indiana.  Once everything is caught up, going to try and jump back on the book. it's really kicking into gear, and even though it strays from the original outline a wee bit (more characters being added constantly to move it along!) going to let it keep going and see where it leads!
Allrighty-roo!  Best get at it!
See y'all soon!!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

"Opportunity is a bird that never perches." ~Claude McDonald OR "Oportunities are kept beneath the soles of your workboots" Steven Atherton

Another week is winding down to a close.  Today, riding on the short bus, I invariably get a tad lazy knowing tomorrow I have no work to do, well, aside from house chores.  In preparations for focusing on the regular flow of Saturday traffic through here, we worked diligently yesterday to get caught up with everything, and aside for the new "Truck" project, it's all wrapped up.  I finally (pretty much) emptied out Bone Row.  Had a couple hangers-on, that I had not yet decided what to do with, that finally got scrapped out.  Too much work needed, with no potential return to justify, so they're in the parts buckets.  At least we got some unique pieces off them, as they were older folding bikes.  Pumped out three newbies, a cute 7 speed 20" MTB, a repainted 6 speed cruiser that we lightened up with an infusion of alloy and speeded her up a bit with some thinner road tires.  Topping it all off, got in a decent set of hybrid wheels to finish off that custom paint Triathlon bike we did.  Oh, that one's a bit of an odd bird!  21 speed, Shimano equipped with grip shifters, straight bars, and a springer comfort seat!  In you FACE, Mr. Conventional!  Then moved on to the tear down on the tandem.  Felt a little somber about that, as the bike itself is in awesome shape!  Obviously some promotional ride someone won, then didn't want, it sported several references on it to "Select 55".  I think that's some kind of watered down American beer.  Plus, it's going to be a repaint, although it already has a really sweet metal flake candy red paint job, that is really cherry!  Oh well.  the customer want's Magenta and orange, so who am I to judge!  As it is going to be a total custom rebuild, not many of the original parts are going back on, so we ended up with a super clean variety of parts from it!  Sweet set of alloy rims, complete with single speed freewheel, NEW set of MTB tires (why did it come with knobbies?) set of chrome lift bars, brake assemblies with NEW shoes  etc, etc!  Yes folks, we hate throwing ANYTHNG away!
OH, ugh!  Speaking of "throwing away", talk about missed opportunity!  Got a call from a gent that works across the street from another local "boutique bike shop".  Seems they were "cleaning house" and had discarded, in his words "a HUGE pile of bikes and parts" by their dumpster, and if we wanted them, we should hurry down and grab them.  This is the only downside I can see for NOT driving a car!  ARRGH!!!  I called my two available "pick up artists" but neither were available at that moment, which I understand implicitly, as they're not at our disposal.  They both called me back shortly thereafter, but by the time our scrap guy, Terry got there, it was all gone.  Scrappers in this town, are like seagulls.  They come out of nowhere when there's food to be found.  What peeves me, and forgive me the indulgence, is the unnecessary waste.  I realize, contacting us and asking if we wanted it, is Polyanish to think and extremely unlikely.  They're not going to want to feed their "perceived" competition, but WHY chuck it?  There are at least three, well known charities in this town alone that service the homeless, indigent, and recovering addicts by supplying them with bicycle transportation.  They have their own operations to rebuild, service and supply the rides to a LONG waiting list and are always in need of parts or full rides that they then rebuild and give out.  I'm sure they would have jumped right in their truck and come down and grabbed the goodies, and been incredibly thankful for it!  But instead, they just chuck it all to the curb!  Just something VERY wrong with that!  A bicycle is NOT an intricate mechanism with a short shelf life.  it's not an outdated electronic, or wear worn automotive part.  The only reasons, truly, to chuck a bike, is if the frame is damaged or in the rare case,  its just so far gone, nothing can be salvaged.  Yea, we do get them from time to time, but it's the hardest thing to bring ourselves to do. We'd rather take the time and parts to get it back on the road then to be scrapped, shipped to China, melted down and made into something else to ship back to us and sell at Wal-mart.  Ooooo, was that a bit too nasty? 
As I said, today is all about slapping palms and answering questions and general meet and greets.  And, with nothing to work on, yet again (gotta wait until Monday to get the parts for the work we have had come in) going to putter. 
SO, hope to see y'all soon!!

Here's dem goodies!

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20" 7 SPEED MTB!!
ONLY $45.00!!
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ONLY $145.00!!
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ONLY $95.00!!

OH!  And available again!  Just back in and cleaned up from a two week Vacation Plan are....

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ONLY $80.00!!
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ONLY $140.00!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.” _Heraclitus

The repetitive nature of Fate never ceases to amaze me!  Little subtle coincidences,  the perpetual, and all too familiar happenstance that never fails to occur.  That of which I am speaking, in particular, is the inevitability of beginning one project only to be, invariably, inundated by others.  Hence was my prediction yesterday, that when I began the most inane of tasks,  something else would come across my bay! 
We have, over the last few weeks, obtained a plethora of "used" tubes.  Let me qualify that for a moment.  We DO NOT resell tubes with patches, nor do we patch ourselves.  They don't make good patches anymore (THANK'S a LOT Wal-Mart!) so we don't bother.  No, any tubes from a tear down, are overinflated, then hung up.  If after a few days, they go limp, we cut them into even strips and use them for handle bar wraps.  Well, we had accumulated so many, that the bar we hung them from was bowing, and you had to duck to get out the back door.  So as I had free time, I reflated all of them (about 80) and did the water test for each one.  Submerging them in a bucket of water and slowly turning them, looking for air bubbles.  Surprisingly, only four failed the test.  Oh well, at least now I can wrap about a dozen bars!!  It was at this point, after inflating all the tubes (and much to the chagrin of Suzanne, who has a REAL issue about having anything obstruct her passage through any particular area)  blocking the small path around my bay.  Well, at that point, the real work started to come in!  Yep, sent the real sharp looking refurbed Triathlon bike to a new home.  LOVE those kinds of departures.  She came in, took one look, then a short three minute test drive, and didn't even bother to bring it back in when she came in and said "LOVE IT!!!"  Cha-CHING!  Then, it was three minor repairs back to back.  Once those were finished I could refocus on the tubes!  That's a heck of a lot of fun.  Once they're tested, you have to roll and deflate them, then bag 'em up and label them.  Took me all of MST3K "The Black Scorpion" and half of "The Projected Man" to get THAT done!  Shortly before finishing, got in two more newbies!  A real sharp looking Murray men's 18 speed, and a five speed cruiser.  Finished up the Murray, which quickly left this morning with another one of the Spring Trainers over from Jay's Stadium.  The cruiser is in my rack, which I ended up doing a flat black repaint on.  Haven't decided if I'm staying stock or going Rat Rod.  Love the old cantilever frames, they make for a sharp looking ride, but, as we have a custom already, may just stick to stock.  Enh. The Muse will direct me!  I took a break at that point from building, as the all too familiar twinge in the back of my throat forbore the onset of the creeping crud that has inflicted some of the family over the last week.  Ugh!  Took the last hour of the day to just hang out at the counter and bang away on the book.  Finally got the story out of space and into Nazi Europe.
FINALLY found a prime tandem bike on Craigslist for the "truck" conversion we have an order for!  YAY!!  Hopefully, we'll have that one in soon so we can get to work on her!  It's the perfect single speed, with only the single seat and chain stay in the back, so I can adapt it to a three speed rear...hopefully. As with the first one, never done one before, so it will be a learning experience!
Also, found a new home for the Raleigh 6 speed conversion, which will end up being converted...again.  OK, this is an interesting one to say the least.  Seems a gent, who somehow hooked up with Uncle Chippie, has decided he is going to undertake a 4500 mile, cross country trip.  As laudable as that undertaking is (and I truly envy him the journey!) I don't think he has seriously thought the endeavor through, thoroughly.  See, that kind of an endurance trip (especially when he has only allotted six weeks to do it in) is something that you really have to train for.  Not to mention, you  need to be adept at bicycle maintenance in order to survive!  Trouble is, he has NO formal training, no working knowledge of repair...and he's not even a daily rider?  His exposer to cycling has been primarily, on a stationary bicycle in a gym. 
You see where my hesitation lies.  No, I am NOT trying to doom this trip, really.  I wish him all the best and we will be modifying the bike to survive the rigors of the estimated 100-120 miles a day he plans to ride, as much as one can, that is.  We will also be trying, diligently, to get him to change a few of his plans , such as relying on his support driver to carry all necessary items in the car as opposed to the bike.  It's great to have back up, but I seriously doubt he's going to be able to travel on a variety of different roads being followed, slowly, by a car with it's flashers on.  More than likely, the driver will have to go on ahead each day, and wait for him.  What happens if the inevitable flat happens and your cell phone is dead?  Or any other multitude of flubs that may occur. 
It's going to be interesting, to say the least!
On the Home front!  OK, not holding my breath on this one, but Angela informs me, that pursuant to our discussions with Elijah, something has apparently set in, and he was nothing but helpful, courteous and considerate yesterday.  No folks, not looking a gift horse in the mouth, but we have been here several times before and, sadly, the effort has not, historically, lasted.  There is a difference between acting contrite and being so.  As far as Kaleb is concerned, well, there is a time when the roadblocks of youthful wisdom (or lack thereof) become so insurmountable, you just have to back off and wait for the inevitable "crash".  Here's another stubborn, pig headed "yute" (YEP!  No prize if you get THAT ONE!) that is just going to have to find out on his own just how "right" Mom and Dad are!  Although, quite frankly, if the "attitude" keeps up it may be "Wood Shed and 2X4 time" for that one! 
I am going to get my keister in gear!  Just heard that the tandem HAS been secured and is "On it's way here!!!"  So, I'm going to get the cruiser rebuild out of the way to make some room!  Have to hang it up, and stare at it awhile until how it will come together....comes to me!  Heh.  I am by NO stretch of the imagination...and engineer.  In the word's of the immortal Indiana Jones "I'm making this up as I go!"

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stagnation Breeds Contempt.

Hmmm?  Ok, I guess I don't have a good working theory of why we have occasional number spikes in our viewers, as apparently they have nothing to do with tag lines or key word searches!  After my impromptu (and silly) experiment yesterday, the numbers this morning were rather usual. 
Yesterday was a day of desperation, as I was desperately trying to find something to work on! ah-yuck-yuck! Tore down the other triathlon bike, did a nice black repaint on it, and a full assembly and upgraded the gearing and headset, neck and bars.  Now, it sits idly awaiting  a set of tires!  Which, honestly I hate to do it that way.  It never fails, do a full repaint, then leave it sitting in bone row until a needed part comes in, only increases it's chance of being knocked over by some witless clod, namely, me!  Oh well, I just despise NOT having things to keep me busy! 
I did manage to pound out another couple thousand words on the book, and will more then likely be returning to it today as LORD A GUMPSHIN' I gots nuttin' ta do! 
Well, that aint totally right.  I do have a wee bit of busy work, that regardless of whether or not I like  to do it, it is so very nice to have a clean bay to work in and not be tripping over shi....stuff.  And, not unlike lighting a cigarette while waiting on a bus, will make the bus come that much faster, getting involved in doing something else invariably brings in work!  YAY!  That's right!  Keep thinking positive!
As you can guess, yesterday was rather slooooow, but we did manage to move out a few of the repairs that had been waiting, so it thankfully freed up some space.  For what?  I don't know, but we got SPACE! 
enh.  Aside from dealing with the teenage minds inability to grasp reality, it was rather quiet, thankfully!  After getting everyone to bed, Angi and I had the rare privilege of being able to do nothing but veg in front of a movie.  Captain America: the Winter Soldier.  Angi's observation that she knew, after going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron (no...I'm not doing it again, so relax), it would be a Marvel movie fest for a little while, was right on the money!  After that, it was pass out time, although she was pretty much gone towards the tail end, as she was a tad bit exhausted.  Dealing with inconsiderate, lay about teenagers who have no compunction about taking what they want, and doing what they want out of a sense of entitlement, while having to fight your own base instincts to choke the living crud out of them, can be VERY draining!! 
Alright, I'm going to try and "prime the pump" and get busy on something else, and hope for the best!

See ya soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The (Avengers) Benefit (Ultron) Of (Joss Whedon) Google (Iron Man) Searches!

So..... strange goings on folks!  I mention this NOT for the proposed idea some may accuse, that it is to do with my status as an egotistical Leo, but rather because I am, to say the least, perplexed!
Let me go back to the beginning.  Yesterday I had mentioned the high views we had on the blog.  Quiet frankly, I'm not sure it has as much to do with my winning personality, as it has to do with the fact that it was a movie review.  Every time I mention a movie, our numbers spike, and that is probably due to the fact that when folks out in the Wide, Wide World of Web Google, say, "Avengers: Age of Ultron", they may get a link to us.  Luck of the draw.  See, if I want to attract more (Avengers) folks to our (Avengers) blog, I just (Avengers) mention the (Avengers) name Avengers (Avengers) a couple times, and the (Avengers) search will link them (Avengers) here. 
( I wait and watch the numbers tomorrow.  I'll let ya know!)
Anyway, as I was was I saying?  ah yes...
I had mentioned the spike in views. So, recently, while going to post the Blog, a prompt came up asking if I wanted to link the Blog with my personal Google page.  I have a Google Page?  Yep, apparently!  I had to kick start some neurons, but eventually remembered that ALL those years ago when we started this little venture (the Blog that is) I had to set up a Homepage.  I did the basic info, no frills, tad bit of off beat humor, and got to the meat of the Blog, and never looked back! 
Now, once I linked the two together, something strange happened.  I started to get E-mails.  Several. a LOT of Emails.  And not junk, but questions, insights, opinions, comments etc.  Nothing bad or negative, mind you, thankfully (I can't handle rejection!  Special No-Prize for pointing out that movie ref.!) but they got me wondering as to where they all came from.  One in particular, from an old friend of ours, Joey, happened to send me to my own Home Page to answer, and this was where it got REAL strange!  On the page is a counter for how many views your page has had, and how many followers.
I REALY thought it was a typo!
I was convinced, however, that perhaps it was just indicative of how many folks are on the Web, and   that wasn't an abnormal number.  I have been assured, it's NOT normal.  Yes, OK, say what you will about Ego, but honestly... I don't get it. 
Still, incredulous, I thought I'd check this morning, perhaps the numbers would reboot.  Nope, they went up almost another 1000?
Well, let me know what you like folks, and I'll do more of it!!
SO, alright, I'll get off my high horse, and back to business! 
Yesterday, was all about newbies!
Oh wait, before I get into that and forget, have to send out a Hearty CONGRATS to Kasi!  She brought in her newly purchased Specialized Hard Rock for a tire swap (making the smart move to a thinner set of road tires) and she FOUND STRIPE!!!  Yes sir and/or Madame, she got her savings of $7.50 for locating the little bugger!  Unfortunately, being spotted, he did the cowardly thing and hid in a different spot, so we still need help finding the Gremlin!  Spot him, and get your own 10% off!
OK, put out three new ones yesterday.  First was a refurbed 21 speed Triathlon ride, next was a LIKE NEW 18 speed Dual Shock MTB "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!!" very sweet.  And the third is a REAL gem!  Garage kept, hardly rode, and by that, I mean it was a gift.  The gent who brought it in, had inherited it from HIS dad, who got it from his granddaughter when he was 74.  He, had not ridden it much, as he sighted the fact it was too light.  Don't scoff, I can agree with that sentiment.  I ride a 77 Schwinn Tank because I like the feel and stability of a heavy bike under me.  In the end we got an ultra sweet Marin Stinson, lightweight, triple butted cro-moly framed, BIG BOY hybrid!!  This thing is GORGEOUS!!!  Check them out below!
On the docket today, we have a couple more road bikes I'll be tinkering with, although I am not set up with tires right now *sad face*!   Our supplier is out for the week, so we are up $#!+ creek without a poodle.  At the very least, I can get them ready for tires and hope for the best! 
On the Home Front.
Oh boy....
Angi, is, in a word, frustrated.  The rippling effects of my unfortunate intervention, are clearly being felt.  The boys, contrary from what I am TRYING to get them to understand, are still harboring the impression that they have divided the opposition, and doubly troublesome, is they are not too far off.   Angela is justifiably upset, that my actions of Saturday have stymied what she was attempting to accomplish, and that is to get the boys to realize their aint no free rides in life, and too not grow into being "users".  I have some fences to mend, and really need to toughen my skin when it comes to these two.  She is very correct in her assertions that their examples ARE being witnessed by the other children, and it won't be too long, if this continues, before they are going to start questioning why THEY have to tow the line, if their brothers don't!  Sometimes my foresight is only achieved through Hindsight!  I really wish life came with a rewind button! Well, it's going to be an interesting next few days, I'm sure!
SO, with that thought neatly tucked away, I am going to get busy with work!
Hope to see y'all soon!!

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ONLY $95.00!!
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ONLY $190.00!!
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ONLY $130.00!!!