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May 31, 2008

Bicycle Update

Tonight I re-wrapped my handlebar tape because this moring, with the way I strapped my bike down on the bike rack, it rubbed against the rack and ripped up the tape in one spot. Then I creatively engineered adjustable slides for the front fender. I dyed the leather toestraps whiter, and took her for a six mile maiden voyage with my co-workers today at lunch. Back fender and headset is tomorrow.

Posted by carl1236 at 12:09 AM

May 28, 2008

American Arrow, Superia, Made in Belgium

Well, this isn't exactly a restoration, but a salvage operation. I saw this white ten speed all beat up and ready to be scrapped but it was weird. First, it was a brand I had never heard of and second it was made in Belgium. The frame looked cool so I thought it had potential. It is my size and solid white with some racing stripes on it and chromed labels. It has aluminum wheels with steel hubs and the spokes all have washers on them at the nipple end, except for the one spoke that had evidently been replaced at some time. It has a Shimano 333 five spped freewheel on it and Simplex derailers. I had never seen those before either so I was hooked. But I thought I coudl wrench on it for a little while and it would all work fine.
I started with the back wheel which was badly warped. It had one broken spoke that someone had twisted around another spoke. I thought maybe the rim was warped because of the broken spoke, but it's actually bent. I replaced the spoke and trued it up to the best of my abiility but it's still a little off. Withouth retentioning all the spokes, I'll settle.
To replace the spoke I had to take out the axel then take off the freewheel because the tool would not fit in there with the axel there. So once I had the axel out I saw how congealed and stiff the old grease was. I just had to clean it and regrease it.
I moved to the front wheel and it went a lot faster. I regreased the bearings there too. Both wheels got new tubes and tires.
I salvaged some really awesome 27" chromed fenders from an old waverly that was all busted up and they look great on the bike, but I I have to construct some new adjustable rods to get it to adjust.
Then I dug into the bottom bracket., It had a solid axel with steel, cottered cranks. I replace that with a modernt bb. and aluminum cranks. I also added some nice aluminum pedels with toe clips and strap.
I replaced the seat, added handlebar tape and it's almost there.
I have not done the headset yet, but with all of this work I think I am obligated to do that too, just so I know what I have in there.
Before I post a photo of it, I have to create the mounting hardware for the fenders and regrease the headset. I also want retape part of the handlebar that doesn't quite look right. Saved from the scrap heap, intended to be used to ride with buddies at work, I dub this bike "Project Friendshop"

Posted by carl1236 at 12:23 AM

May 25, 2008

The most powerful weapon on earth

You know, at the end of world war two, we developed what seemed to be the most powerful weapon on earth, able to destroy a city with a single strike. But soon after that a new weapn was developed by the Soviet Uniion that could destroy ten times that. It is without a doubt that after all these years, we could destroy the entire earth in one blow. How much power is enough? If I warn others that if you attack me, I will destroy the planet and you will be dead, would it save the earth? I'd rather be dead than under another contries control., I ask why do people feel the need to expand and control others, probably,

Posted by carl1236 at 11:02 PM

May 24, 2008

What we really want

You know, it's not hard to see this or understand. What we really want is to just be ourselves and be accepted and recognized. And so it's also not hard to see why our society can get so screwed up and stressful. D...The other day when we were talking, I heard you. And I listened. I saw the real you, the sparkle in your eye when you talked about what you love. The energy you gave off was totally awesome when you realized that I was really interested what you had to say. And to tell you the truth, you made my day!

Posted by carl1236 at 12:45 AM

May 21, 2008


Sometimes our mood effects everything we do. And it's easy to take things out on others. Today I faced a situation where someone took out their frustrations on me, and they were kind of unreasonable and would not even listen to my point of view. So what does a person do when they are in a bad mood? I guess first a person has to realize they are in a bad mood. In this case I tried extremely hard to listen to what they were really saying and pinpoint the source of their frustration. I found it, but it wasn't easy. I still don't know if I can do anything about it, but at least I understood and aknowledged that they were frustrated and angry. And I think it all worked out ok.
I hope that I can see when my own attitude causes me to take it out on others.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:04 PM

May 20, 2008

The true purpose of competition

I was out running in the beautiful sunshine at lunch today with one of my coworkers. As we jogged along, we got on the subject of athletic ability and being an athlete. I recently ran the cinco de mayo menudo 5k benefit run in West St. Paul and felt like it was a great race. But I didn't win, nor did I place in the top ten. I was close, but not quite there. Two people passed me close to the end but I just couldn't match their pace. My goal at that point was to just "not slack off" my own hard pace.
So our conversation today drifted toward 'gifted' athletes, like Lance Armstrong. Lance is a good one to use for an example because he has a heart of a bull and can pump oxygen through his veins at an astounding rate. Granted he's younger than me, and youth should be able to out-perform older people, if training properly and motivated, but his times at the recent boston marathon were much faster than my 5k run. He ran about 6.5 minute miles for 26 miles! I ran 7:40 miles for 3.1 miles and that was about the max I could do on that day. I once ran a two-miler at 10:24 but have never been able to quite repeat that stellar performance. I came close a few times, but gradually over the years my times crept up to around 8+ minutes per mile. That was when I was in the Army, training regularly. And this is now, after two kids, work, school, and countless other obligations and hobbies to take up my tiime. Even if I did train constantly and consistantly and properly, I don't think my heart or lungs would ever reach Lance's capacity. I'm just not wired that way. That doesn't mean I couldn't beat him some day if I worked really hard. Because he could have an off day, or not be as motivated or heaven forbid, stop training and take up knitting. Many less-gifted athletes have beaten the 'naturals' in races.
I have found though that I don't compete to beat other people. I race to motivate myself. I race to beat my best time at this stage in my life. I race to push my boundaries and feel the exhilaration of pushing my limits. I race to see what I can do. In my experience trying out the athletic lifestyle, competition is not really useful or meaningful if it's just to beat the other person.
Recently another person came into the bike shop and was scoping us out. He runs a business selling used stuff, including used bicycles. He admitted to me that he viewed our bike shop as competition. And that he would be looking for ways to beat us. He didn't come right out and say that last line, but it was strongly hinted. I had to chuckle because, we are not competing with anyone. We are simply creating something really cool. And honestly, beating us at our own game would not deter from our mission, just make it easier. Besides, monitarily, who can really compete with dozens of volunteers selflessing giving to the community? And if that person found a way to shut us down in the spirit of 'competition' would that make his business any better? I don't think so. In the end what he has to offer will sell itself.
In life we do not have to 'beat' others in order to win. If we use competition to better ourselves and our output, then we are benefiting ourselves and others. If we use competition just for the sake of winning, there is always another Lance Armstrong to come along and put us in our place. Even Lance did not win the Boston Marathon or set the world record. Maybe he could do it, but in the end old age will wipe that clean. In that light, winning, just for the sake of winning, could do more harm to us than help. Why not do what you can to stretch yourself and see what you can do. Be creative, be concious in life and use competition for it's true purpose, to better yourself and others.

Posted by carl1236 at 6:07 PM

Where is the revolution?

Is society fragmented and unable to rally behind any one issue? Or are there just too many problems in every area of life to focus on one? It's been fourty years since the revolutions of the late sixties. I think it would be difficult to reach a critical mass these days. Civil rights? Freedom of Speech? Maybe other countries will soon have their revolution, but ours is more of an ongoing struggle of special interest groups and fragmented individuals, trying to be heard in the roar of images and sounds of conglomerate media. And the voices that do speak are relatively quiet, as if apathy steals the air. And the kids go back to their wii's, the spin machine plays all sides, and the revolution quietly stares in disbelief.

Posted by carl1236 at 7:42 AM

May 19, 2008

Bike Jerks All City Championship in July

Bike Jerks All-City Championship from BikeJerks on Vimeo.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:37 PM

May 18, 2008

Back from the wedding

You ever see a grown man cry? Just try seeing your son get married. I was so happy and proud of him. What I said the other day is so true. Love is what makes life meaningful. That includes the love between lovers, friends and family. We saw it all this weekend and couldn't be happier for our son.
and let me tell you, this was a good wedding that went off without nearly no problems, thanks to our new daughter-law's planning and organization skills. Absolutely fabulous! I was crying all weekend. Seeing my son getting married was a very emotional experience for me.
Now I'm burning a wedding candle in their honor while my wife and I settle into dinner and remember the great weekend.

Posted by carl1236 at 7:18 PM

May 14, 2008

A toast to my son

When we dropped off our toddler at daycare, we worried if they would take good care of him.
When we watched our little boy get on his first school bus, we worried that they would get him there safely.
We worried about the bullies at school, the grades he made, the friends he hung out with.
We worried about the transitions from one grade to the next, from one school to the next.
We couldn’t wait until he grew up so we could stop worrying.
But then our young man moved out of our house, and we worried that he would never return.
There is a lot that can happen in life, and a lot of things for parents to worry about,
But there is also a lot to be sure about, like when we first set out on our own to find the world, to find the love of our life and reach for our dreams. Even when our parents worried about us, we had the world at our feet and the power to make it all work out.
We discovered that life’s not always easy and things don’t always work out as planned. But the love we find in life makes all the difference in the world. When we have someone to share the struggles and the joys with, our lives seem just that much more meaningful. Love enriches our lives. It makes us happy. When we look at this grown man and think about the love he has in his life now, and what that really means for his life, we don’t have to worry any more.

Posted by carl1236 at 7:29 AM