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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bike Barter

After a hearty breakfast, I did a proper tune-up on a NEXT.


Normally, I wouldn't spend any time on such a cheap bike, but, as part of my life mission to empower folks through the use of bicycles, I adjusted the brakes, sanded the pads, cleaned the rims, trued the rear wheel, adjusted both derailers, oiled the chain, and aired the tires on this Wal-Mart monstrosity.


The other day, just as I was leaving home for work, a knock came at the door. It was an immigrant with a heavy accent named Andre. He didn't have a job, and wanted very much to have his bike work better. He said he liked to do drawings. I didn't really want to, but I have this sign in my driveway that says we fix bikes, so I told him I would.

When I came home this evening, he had picked it up and, in exchange, he'd left this sweet tie-dye tee:


Thanks, Andre. I hope your NEXT treats you well and you find good work soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tour de EUG

Thanks for the art, Ei.

Tired of a scarceness of alleycats in this town, I decided to put one on myself last weekend.

Thanks to all the checkpointers and other folks who helped out—you know who you are—for making this happen. I had a lot of fun, and most of you told me you did, too.

There were 12 checkpoints on the manifest, which I chose to put in the order I thought was best. Yes, this eliminates the challenge of choosing one's own route, but I wanted this to be an easy, fun race. Besides, some riders managed to get lost anyway.

1.) Stuart Smith's house, 2375 Columbia. Pull weeds.
2.) Blue Heron Bicycles, 877 E. 13th Ave. Park a cruiser for Sue. Receive an inner tube.
3.) High Priesstess Piercing & Tattoo, 525 E. 13th Ave. Get "play pierced."
4.) Autzen Bike & Pedestrian Bridge. Consume 2 oz. of a mysterious amber liquid.
5.) BMX track. Do a lap.
6.) "The Sun" at Alton Baker Park. Do a lap of the duck pond on a little girl's bike.
7.) Polo Courts, 2nd & Washington. Slalom down the dirt and stop in a circle.
8.) One Cup Café, 2nd & Blair. Enjoy a 160-degree shot of espresso.
9.) Monroe Park, 10th & Monroe. Push your bike around the park's perimeter backwards.
10.) Kesey Square, Broadway & Willamette. Have your photo taken with Ken, then lay on the ground and spasm like you're being tazed.
11.) College Hill Reservoir, between 23rd & 25th on Lawrence. Play stickwheel.
12.) Bike Barter, 25 W. 24th Pl. Savor victory.

Everybody said they had fun, and the top two finishers intend to throw one in about a month! I'm stoked to actually get to race instead of organize.

Des took a bunch of sweet photos and put a set on her flickr, and George took a bunch of photos and video at his checkpoint and I put them on my flickr.

George's Kesey Square checkpoint media

Des' radical coverage of other chekpoints

Click through, but here a few of my favs of Oudalay, who wins Most Entertaining Racer for doing the whole race on a tiny 16" bike:

Oh, and here's the results:
Tyler Allen 1:10
Ian Summers +0:01
Oudalay +0:04
Sam +0:07
Eddie +0:10
Drue +0:12
Micah Olsen +0:23
Sean, Anna, Kenney +0:35
Tony, Noora +0:45


Stopped by Eugene Jeans to replace summer cutoffs with full-length Levi's the other day, and Tim treated Jeff and I to a song and some good old-fashioned idle chat.

Check it out sometime.