Happy Thanksgiving! Even in our lives, which are nigh on to entirely dominated by the bicycle, there is not much bicycle in this holiday. Perhaps this illustrates that a balance between a person’s passions and their family and relationships is important. Even when there are things that we truly love, they are not as important as the people we care for and we should make sure that those people know it.
It is our hope that you are having a dandy Thanksgiving and that you are close to family and friends if you want to be. We are thankful for our families, and our bicycles, and that we get to work on bicycles for a living. Among other things. After all, thanks are for giving.
We are not entirely certain that people want to know much about us, but just in case. We will put this here as an introduction, of sorts.
If you do not give a hoot…
Well… come back next week.
I’m not going to tell you everything about me. Some intrigue must remain. So, I picked three things.
- I like old bikes.
Steel is all I need. I am not 100% sold on indexed shifting. I also don’t care at all about suspension.
Not that I don’t appreciate the new-fangled ways. I just don’t want them in my garage. If you like that sort of thing, I’m excited about it and would love to work on your bike. The reality is that bikes are mostly about personal preference and my preferences skew towards the 80’s.
- Bikes reminded me that the world we live in is magical.
That may sound a bit silly, but it is true. I lived outside when I was a kid and I loved the woods, in particular. When I got older, I forgot about that. Three years into my cycling life, a good friend revealed to me that one can go camping on a bicycle, and ride on gravel roads that lead to woods, and rivers, and pastures. That brought me back to my senses. Bicycles are uniquely suited to connect people to the natural world. That is one of my favorite things about them.
- I love a bargain bike.
For a good portion of my bicycle life, I have been strapped for cash. College does that (and I went late and took the long route). Thus, most of my bicycles have been scrounged, and cobbled, and cheap. However, I have managed to accomplish all of my bicycle goals and put together remarkably fun, great riding, machines for a fraction of what you usually see on the Instagram. That excites me! I am on a mission to show people that, contrary to the way it seems, cycling is accessible. It takes some work and some time to build a great bike without spending a lot of money. But it can be done and it is fun.
If you like/are interested in bicycles, I want to talk to you about it. I’m not the worlds foremost expert but I am a damn good mechanic and I am always working on expanding my horizons.
There is more to me than bicycles, of course. You will find out about that as we go along. The important things: I have a wife (her name is Kate and she is the best and also rides bicycles), one fat and one unfat cat, and I like books and jazz.
Nice to meet you!
My name is Jason. To my friends, who don’t ride, I’m “the bike guy”. Riding a bicycle is a thing that I enjoy doing. I like the independence and freedom to go almost anywhere within a given time frame. I’ll ride downtown, across campus, out to some gravel roads, to a nearby small town, through yet unfamiliar neighborhoods; almost anywhere. There are always new things to look at and I find such snooping much less invasive when practiced from the seat of a bicycle. “Don’t mind me, I’m just exercising”.
This independence was further enhanced when I began to learn about my bike and how to fix the problems I was having. What a feeling to be miles from home with a flat tire or other problem, then to be able to fix that problem in under 10 minutes and continue on as if it never happened.
My wife, Katie, is very supportive of the hours I spend riding. She’s not into riding miles for the sake of riding miles. However, she doesn’t hate bicycle dates and that’s just fine with me. I don’t have it in writing yet but she has said multiple times that she doesn’t mind the number of bikes that I own. I have a dog named Sam. We often refer to her as Samdog to avoid confusion with Sam Butterfield (the person).
I live two and a half miles from work and I commute by bicycle every workday in all seasons via bike path, residential streets, and sidewalks. Each of my five bicycles gets a bit of commuting duty but most often I choose my first-generation Soma Wolverine. Rolling on 700c wheels with 43mm tires, it’s very comfortable and capable. Its 1×10 drivetrain is simple and adequate for my demands. Wide drop handlebars add to its confidence-inspiring nature and provide a bit more control when my front-mounted basket is fully loaded, usually with snacks.
As I introduce the rest of my bicycles, in future posts, you may recognize a theme of steel frames with modern componentry. This is due to my affinity for classic styling, paired with an appreciation for advanced function and performance. That said, my practical and frugal nature keeps me just a few years behind the technological curve.
Sam and I have discussed this blog for quite some time as a means of recording our thoughts and experiences on, about, and aside from bicycles. I much look forward to sharing with whatever audience may be interested, even if it’s just my mom and some of her friends.