Saturday, December 18, 2010

Could You Ever Expect Such a Frankenstein?

As you may know, I like bikes. I like riding bikes, but I like building bikes too. Sadly enough, I might like building bikes more than I do riding them. If you know me, you know I've been talking shit about starting a shop. I'm giving myself a year to really get that out of the pipe dream stage and into the full effect zone.

Here's a bike I've been calling "The Frankenstein Bike" for awhile now. I built it for my friend Andy, the cook at the Buckshot, the bar I work at. I found the frame and fork on the sidewalk in front of my house, and set about building it in my mind almost immediately. Somewhere along the line, early in the project, I had this text exchange with Andy:

DUNCAN: So how cool can I make this bike? Regular cool or wildly cool? 'Cause I just had an idea.

ANDY: Wildly cool sounds wildly cool. What are you thinkin'?

D: Tall bars and a sparkle green banana seat.

A: Sounds pretty shweet.

Indeed it does. The original idea for this bike was going to be a single speed, freewheel cruiser with promenade bars, a regular seat, and green parts. I decided to run 8" tall BMX bars from a '90s Torker I had laying around, plus a banana seat and sissy bar, which I mounted to the frame's rack mounts. The freewheel got jettisoned for a coaster brake when I discovered that the frame, which fit the humungogigantor cruiser tires, was actually not a rigid MTB frame, but some kind of a hybrid frame designed for 700c wheels. Meaning, the brake posts were not in the right spot, so coaster was the only option. Since the dropouts are vertical, I had to run a chain tensioner, which worked surprisingly well with the coaster brake. Other unforeseen ass pains included a bottom bracket that had basically cold-welded itself into the frame with corrosion--the wrench area of the cartridge completely broke off when I tried to loosen it. Luckily, the spindle still turned fairly smoothly, so I had to say "Good enough for rock and roll" and throw some cranks on that bitch. (Though I did consider buying a used MTB frame at Re-Cyclery so I could use the V-brakes I bought specifically for the build.) Green tires, pedals, chain, seat, grips, and an old school Hunt Wilde number plate rounded everything out.

If you need a bike and don't want a boring one, let me know. Let's build something. And yeah--I can do boring if you absolutely must, but I'll charge extra. "Classic" is standard rate, but boring is extra.

Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you: "Could you ever expect such a Frankenstein?"
Had to find something to do with the brake posts. I thought about sawing them off, until I had an idea. A trip to Green Apple Books, who I happened to remember sold finger puppets, and bingo--monster mounts:
Let's see here. Hunt Wilde plate with rainbow tape "69" and "SIT ON A HAPPY FACE..." stickers. I bought the plate and numbers from a guy on eBay, who threw in a couple silly '70s rainbow tape stickers. This one fit the them particularly well. The Frankenstein Popeye is a drawing by XNO. Works better than a plain Frankenstein sticker because Popeye was a spinach fiend and spinach is green. Grips are knock-off Schwinn classics in sparkle green from San Francisco Cyclery. Horn cost 2 bucks at a Chinese variety shop on Clement.
This was another freebie prism sticker from eBay dude: "NO BUTT NO PUTT." I think it has a similar meaning to the classic "GAS, GRASS, OR ASS: NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE" slogan. You know, like a motorcycle or car or bike putts around? Either that, or it means if you fuck the owner of the sticker, he'll take you golfing. Whatever. It was vaguely dirty in a harmless, cornball way, so I knew I had to stick it:
Innova retro cruiser tires, flat-blacked beer, "water bottle" cage, Shimano 175mm square tapers I had laying around, Primo Josh Stricker plastic pedals:
GT knock-off 1 1/8" threadless stem on a converter post. Skull Skates pads for extra bad-i-coolness:
Lowrider brand seat:
I was having problems with the tensioner in conjunction with the coaster brake at first. When you brakes, the chain slacked (because of the tensioner), causing it to hit the chainstay. A half link shortened it up just enough that it didn't do this anymore:
Neighborhood ruler:
Monsters. Sure hope that isn't a nail in the tire:
Post bolt looks like a top hat on this guy. A tiny top hat:
Hate plastics on my BMX bike; love 'em on stuff like this:
Horn is boss, though Andy has an old rusted one with a HUGE bell and bulb that came off a Model T, so we might switch it:
Sparkle grips match the seat:
And we're off:
I've been trying to think of ways to get more traffic to this blog. So far the only thing I've enacted is posting more frequently. Apparently, that's enough though, because when I googled "freak magnet blog," I came to, which, among other things, let me know that my meager fart in the great smelly trough of the cybertoilet was getting 765,082 daily pageviews! Fuck yeah! I think all of you should send me two bucks in an envelope. Then I'll blog all the fucking time, I promise.
In actuality, I think the folks, and by "folks" I mean "algorhythm," at somehow came up with's total daily hits, as in all their blogs combined. I also find it hilarious that any website that got three-quarters of a million hits per day has a potential to earn a whopping $2,695. What, a day? Even that seems meager for that many pageviews.

If I stay on target, I will sell this bent, rusty nail in the great edifice of Bloggerdom for the above estimated $4,004,514. As for now, I'll trade it for a case of beer and a grape-flavored blunt.

I'll roll out (fakie, to half cab, of course) with some graffiti/wheat paste street art shots from around SF, and some randoms.

On 10th Ave near the library:
In the Mission, 18th St:

Valencia crazyfaces on the old New College building:Apparently, this is a queer dude:
My apartment/my bikes:
Laura's. Eric Wareheim and Marilyn like to watch us make out. I smell a 4 way comin' on:
Photo of a photo of a grizzly and a doe:
I like the colors of the lights in this. It's like truffula trees or something. This fanciful, sugar granule sand painting element is made all the more whimsical by the fact that the subject is a 90 pound waif about to hurl the rhinoceros-sized portion of booze she'd recently imbibed onto the front window of Bella Italian restaurant:
The moral of this photograph, and this entry, is three-fold:1. English bicycles and Japanese beer is a better combination than it sounds.
2. Racks are useful.
3. A shitty day can be rectified with a judicial application of bike riding and beer.

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