Monday was the Big Dummy's time to shine. I headed out on my usual Monday collection route looking forward to being able to painlessly (at least for my back, the legs are another story) carry as many tires as I was given. I had gotten accustomed to cutting my routes short when I had enough before, so it was nice to be able to visit all the shops I intended.

And after many hours in the saddle of this beast of burden I was left with...

One of these days the stack of tires will be over my head.

... 68 tires and a box of parts (chainrings, cassettes, freewheels)! Normally I was only bringing home around 20 tires, and my shoulder was hurting bad. Now I just deal with leg tiredness, completely normal!

 Not too tired for some sweet action poses though.

No words for this.

24 January 2010Big Dummy Time!

I finally got my Big Dummy all cleaned, re-framesavered, and ready to rock. I'm looking forward to heading out tomorrow to collect more tires without weight on my back!

Ready to hit the streets.

It's hard to describe the feeling you get while riding this thing fully loaded. Fun times!

20 January 2010Welding!

I signed up for a welding class at Portland Community College and last night we actually got to start welding! I started out just laying some beads, tacking plates together, and attempting to weld the two plates.

Two practice plates welded together.

Right-most weld is just a simple bead, in the middle of the plate was an attempt at welding the two plates. The bead there was a little low, more filler next time!

An attempt at a T weld.

I was pretty much unsupervised the whole time so I attempted this weld, which apparently is a difficult one. I did manage to eventually get a bead to form. Next week I will try a larger torch tip and more filler.

The class is really fun and I am excited about the possibilities of stuff to make. I need to find a space to weld on my own!

Sunny Days!

Monday was a beautiful day for a bike ride. I was practically giddy as I made my way downtown to cross the river and collect some tires. As I crossed the river I stopped in the waterfront park to bask in the glory of the day.

The bike needs to bask as well.

Then I got back to business, collected my tires, and headed home. On the way back I usually pass by Laurelhurst City Park. I've never gone in, but decided today was the day.

There was some sort of algal bloom going on.

Sitting at the bench, enjoying the algae.

After some water, I took it back to the streets. I apologize for the Battlefield Earth style photos to follow, but they were taken while on the move.

An interesting alley, lined by tiny garages and houses.

Burnside Street bike lane.

A dangerous crack.

 At this point, Burnside is divided by the MAX line.

Another successful ride.

Do you want lunch?

14 January 2010Art/Bike Event

Mondays my tire collection ride brings me to the excellent 21st Avenue Bicycles. I was browsing through their store when I saw this awesome flyer:

I didn't ask about it until I got home and checked out one of the mechanic's blog and realized this is a perfect opportunity for me! So now I have several belts as prizes, some of my bicycle part art in the art show, and this sweet writeup in her blog.

So looking forward to this!

09 January 2010Hauling Tires

I've finally set up some routes that allow me to hit a lot of bike shops in search of tires during the week. Monday is the west side of the river, Wednesday is the Northeast, Friday is the Southeast. Of course, visiting more shops mean more tires. Here's me at the end of Wednesday's tour with about 20 tires total.

The smaller, more foldable ones are in the bag itself, and once the bag is full I just strap them to the outside with bungees.

Friday I came up with a better bungee system and was able to bring home a whopping 27 tires (40 pounds!). I need to hurry up and build my cargo bike back up before spring is here, since my back can only take so much more of this!

Visiting more shops means seeing more cool stuff too! Monday at 21st Avenue Bicycles I found out about an upcoming art show/bike event where I'll be showing my bike part wall sculptures and giving some belts out as prizes. I'll also have some fun getting crushed on the roller races there. Wednesday at The Missing Link I was able to ride an old Yankee bicycle down the street to try out it's wacky gear shift mechanism, and Friday at Oregon Bike Shop I talked with the owner about the local mountain bike race scene. That will be a great time, and hauling all these tires should be good training for that!

02 January 2010A New Year

Here's to lots of bike riding in the new year!