Recipe for disaster

Here I am, once again, mid-December, stressing out like so many others in the bike industry. As a domestic race mechanic, make that a seemingly sporadically employed race mechanic at the moment, I probably have less work than many right now and there are some days that drill it in more than others.

Being lucky enough to be surrounded by a small group of people that at least on the surface support my suicidal endeavors, but also others that send work my way when I am in town this time of year is a huge help. Whether it’s the humans in my life that don’t even ride bikes encouraging me to chase my dreams, or the cyclists asking me to build wheels, pick up full suspension mountain bikes for complete overhauls, or even the simplest tune for a single speed commuter, they all brighten my day, and in turn mood, when things seem grim.

With all that in mind, I do this to myself, every year. Every year I find myself sitting on the floor, flipping through records, listening to sometimes forgotten sounds, audibly asking the walls “What the fuck are you doing?” I know exactly what I’m doing though. It’s not the best plan, it’s certainly not the most responsible one, especially as a father, and a partner, but it’s my plan, and by plan, it’s really just more of a path. This path drawn out on paper is simply just me threading the needle of poverty, somehow sustaining a home for my family, a relationship with the people I love, and working as much as possible without being nailed down so much as to have monotony set in.

Monotony however, can be a certain level of normality even when finding yourself in some of the most surreal situations if that makes any sense at all. That’s really why I do this and why I continually place myself in this position. It’s the world of the racing and that as a traveling mechanic that I’m not ready to walk away from. Even still, I must still acquire food, help provide some shelter, and especially at this time of year, keep the heat on. So with that in mind, I’m here to remind you there are still some fabulous t-shirts available, both old and new, as well as a couple cozy zipup hoodies ready for your snuggling pleasure. Black December specials are still in play so shirts are $15 and hoodies are $35 shipped where ever you like as long as it’s in the lower 48. Check the shop page for ordering!

I can honestly say these all make great holiday gifts as it’s exactly what my family all got last year, and it may well be this year too. Here’s hoping everyone has a fruitful winter.

Back to life

Your Holiday weekend is over. I don’t have a regular job at the moment, cyclocross season was slightly less fruitful than expected, so every day is a holiday right now. Black Friday has passed along with Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and whatever the hell Sunday is called in the middle of all that. Yes it’s true, I can not only turn on a computer and hunt and peck my way through a paragraph, but also rear a calendar.

Now with the Thanks-taking weekend out of the way, so to does pass the wonderful savings that were found at all your favorite big box stores and small businesses alike. Not at the Ritual Device Retail Outlet however! Also known as the trunk of my car, prices will remain the same for the duration of this print run as it’s not like I’m really making money off this, it’s more about spreading the gospel than putting food on the table. The last of the weekend orders hit post today unless that order was a sweatshirt in which case those will go out as soon as they are done at Heritage.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Soft-goodness

Internet shirts are in hand and ready to ship out or hand deliver, which ever way you’ll have em! Additionally, sweatshirts are in process and should be ready for the same any day.

Add to all that, the new logo print is a reversed fading halftone and I’m super happy with the printing results thanks to Dave at Heritage Print Shop. Dave takes a lot of pride in the work that Heritage puts out and he’s always a pleasure to work with on these projects. With that said, I have nothing but praise for the shop and must recommend them for all your screen printing needs.

With all the details out of the way, let’s get down with how to acquire these things. Seeing that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, t-shirts are $15 shipped anywhere in the continental US, and sweatshirts can be pre-ordered at $35, same shipping rules apply, through Sunday at midnight. Beginning Monday morning t-shirts will jump to $18 shipped / $15 in Louisville, and sweatshirts will run $4o shipped / $35 in Louisville.

PayPal link here, easy peasy, just make sure to include a note about what size and please remember your address.

What a long, expensive trip it’s been

Home for a week with Derby City Cup / PanAm Championships this weekend and proper cyclocross weather has finally found us. It started on day 2 of HPCX in New Jersey and looks to extend through both days of racing here in Louisville.

One of the things I’m really enjoying about being home, aside from the obvious great company, is not doing dumb shit like having $6 fruit “plates” and $10 beers in airport after airport, or giant bags trail mix and red bull to fuel cross country driving. That said, it’s still hard to get back in to the regular swing of things with both diet and house routine with race work still to be done and another cross country drive looming early next week. Regardless, it’s good to be here.

All that aside, what this post is really about is an informational inspiration for you to have your bike fixed up by me in the coming weeks! I’ll be back from the west coast by what I would call mid November and moseying about Louisville through the beginning of January, as far as I can tell. Call it gone for a week to do cyclocross nationals in Reno, then I’ll be back for “good”. That is, until something else comes up and I hit the road again. You know how it goes.

Additionally, there looks to be a small run of shirts happening having been inspired by onlookers by my freebie Google Fiber shirt. “The internet won’t fix your bicycle” coming soon. Same easy prices as before $18 shipped, $15 local, and the same awesome quality from Heritage Print Shop as always.

Pardon my mild astonishment

I’m always amazed when first, I remember this website is on the internet, and second, it’s still in it’s original state and hasn’t been taken over by some Russian porn hacker. Though I suppose looking back, the Fuck Gas site was really just asking for it.

At any rate, while enjoying dinner with the lovely nomad this evening she posed the question “So, are you doing that race at the end of the month?” Apparently in my self centered idiotic ways I remembered to tell everyone I’d be gone for 8 days aside from the woman I live with every fucking day. I’m really not sure how in the hell she puts up with me, but I’m glad she does.

That said, I’m heading out to Portlandia to pack up the Point S Racing rig and hit ye ole’ Cascade Cycling Classic over in Bend. While I’m at it, The Friar posted up about an open house over at the Abbey compound with enough beer to drink til it’s gone, so here’s to getting all my work done early Tuesday and hanging with other mechanics while ogling bike tool stuffs. Now seems like as good a time as ever to finish up that whole travel box overhaul that I started a couple weeks ago then immediately set off to the side. Hey, cross season is like two months away. New tool additions, new pallet layouts, what better way to roll into a road race than with a tool box ill-prepared for cyclocross? Fuck it, it’s all bikes with wheels and handlebars. It’ll be fine. I like working on bikes, you like racing them, let’s do some bike stuff together!

 

#crossiscoming

Had a nice phone conversation with the cross boss yesterday and I’m getting excited for a long and full cross season. Some things are up in the air, as they usually are for a winter sport at the beginning of summer, but there’s plenty to look forward to.

As it is, I’ve enjoyed the hell out of myself being home for the summer in Louisville. Hanging with the lady and kids, working with a kick ass crew at Parkside Bikes, and riding my ass off. What I haven’t enjoyed is the constant lower back pain that has turned me into Shaquille O’neal’s biggest IcyHot fan in town. Though thanks to that same pain, I have returned to a regular, almost daily, yoga practice. It’s early, but I’m hoping by the time travel season gets here I’ll be back to just dealing with my normal pain spots like hip, knees, and wrists.

In the mean time, I’ll be around town til September 1, give or take. Riding mountain bikes (hopefully my new Rocky Mountain Altitude if it ever shows up), hanging with the family, drinking beers, playing Jarts, and banging on tires with a hammer over at Parkside.

Changes

The changes we am here to discuss are very unlike those so annoyingly sung by Ozzy on Black Sabbath Vol 4. True that song was released before I was born, but I have always hated it since the first time I heard it so long ago. I feel happy, I don’t feel sad, though it’s hard to say who would be the best friend I’ve ever had. We’re getting off track.

Here it is. I accepted a job at a local shop, Parkside Bikes. Being part of Team Teal as Ben likes to say, has me very excited. The meetings I had with both Ben and Jef (owners) were extremely encouraging. This because I feel we have a lot of the same goals. Add to that, the few days I’ve spent working at the shop have been great. It’s going to be an awesome summer working, riding, and hanging out here in Louisville.

That said, Ritual Device isn’t going anywhere. It will simply exist in a different atmosphere so to speak. There will still be apparel (more in the works), repair, wheel building, and race support. However, if you’re in Louisville I encourage you to visit me at Parkside. I will be available at both locations, Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive until the NuLu shop opens on Market Street. Once that happens, I’ll update on my whereabouts. Keep in mind I will not be undercutting or taking business away from Parkside in any form. I am dedicated to working with them to improve and grow the repair side of their business. Hell, I’ll even sell you a bike, maybe a helmet. Looks like you could use some new kit, perhaps a water bottle?

So there it is. It would be great to see your stupid smiling faces rolling through the doors and working with me on this next chapter of bike repair. I know how this sounds, yes it’s really me, I’m trying on this upbeat positivity thing. Get off my back. Now where’s Spring?

Now or never, maybe later.

Here we go. Please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times. My cyclocross season is officially over, all items accounted for, hand delivered to their home in Portland, Oregon. I was lucky enough to have my oldest son, Ethan, along for the trip out this past week and I’ll be working on a post that will detail that a bit more.

Waking up at home in Louisville this morning is a massive reset of sorts, and this means it’s time to get to business. I’m gonna miss that damn van, with it’s drivers seat finely molded to my ass, but spring is just around the corner here. With that comes cobweb dusting for so many bicycles set aside for the winter, as well as what seems to be a never ending list of great bicycle related events in and around the city. A handful of these I will be doing all I can to help with and participate in, a couple I’ve already committed to, we’re just waiting to get the final details set.

In the meantime, be sure that I will be available everyday for all your bicycle maintenance, repair, and discussion needs.

Home and gone

Back home from CX Nats and of course the heat in the apartment is out, once again. Here, I provide you with one of the two actual race pictures I took all week. It is, I believe, Katie F’n Compton on her way to here 13th straight National Championship.

Now, as I sit here hovering over a space heater I am instantly taken back to the cold frozen tundra that was most of the past week in Hartford. Overall, even with the ridiculous cold, frozen everything, and never ending wind, it was a great trip, and I’m happy to be home for the next few days.

All things considered, it was a pretty good week for racing. I was able to see a few podium finishes from all those huddled in the PBS compound for the week, while over all, even those that didn’t have the most spectacular finishes still had a great time at nationals. As is generally the case, I was able to see a lot of people that are closely knit within the traveling domestic cylocross carnival, as well as a few that are a bit more transient or even retired and only happen to show up when you least expect it.

I am going to take the next few days to regroup and get everything in order around the home and office. Friday afternoon I’ll be throwing my oldest son in the passenger seat of the PBS van and we will set off to Portland. While I’m watching the weather to determine how we are going to get there, either route we take back should be a great adventure with some much needed one on one time that the two of us haven’t had in far too long. Hopefully we will get to take in a few skateparks, see some friends, and I’m especially looking forward to watching him take in the western US for the first time.

Flying home late on the 18th I’ll be ready to begin acting like a real repair shop and here for all your daily needs. On an actual day to day basis. Even this week, if there’s anything you need, I’ll be around Louisville through Friday afternoon and would be glad to help.

Hope everyone’s new year has gotten off to a great start.

On the road again

I’ve got a couple shorter trips happening during January. Once back in Louisville, it will be the big push to get this business off the ground. At the moment I’m in Connecticut for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. Keegan designed a hell of a course, as I heard lot’s of riders complaining during the pre-ride yesterday, and that’s always a sign the course designer did their job well. It’s cold, it’s rainy, it’s muddy, it’s cyclocross.

Today, Tuesday, gets the week started with a non-championship race or two for the Portland Bicycle Studio crew. By the looks of things I should have plenty to do in the pits and after racing all week. I’m not going to lie and tell you I hate the dry dirt crit races like Dallas was, because the easy days are pretty awesome. This is cyclocross though and it’s supposed to be a mess. With the possibility of rain for the day mixed with the temperature hovering just above freezing, we should have a pretty sloppy day ahead of us, and week for that matter. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope all the power washers at the venue keep working. Who knows, maybe I’ll even manage to take more than one picture of the venue today as well.