Monthly Archives: September 2011

Science Factory

The other day while Angel and I were riding around we found the Science Factory. It’s a brightly colored children’s museum in Alton Baker Park, across from Autzen Stadium. We took some photos in front of the building.

Surly Long Haul Trucker

Linus Mixte 3speed

Surly Long Haul Trucker, The sun is always in my eyes

Linus Mixte 3speed

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Target Missoni Bike(and other fashion BSO’s)

Target Missoni has been brought up so many times this past week that I had to find out what it was for myself. It’s a new collection that has come out from Target, including things for your home, clothing, luggage, as well as a few bikes.

While most box store bikes are pretty inexpensive, these bikes are in the $400 range. This is because of the designer label, not because the bikes are good quality. The item details on the bikes are very non-descriptive, like most cheap bike are, other then the Nexus 3Speed Coaster Brake Hub. This bike could be quite a strain for people to deal with, weighing in at 41.4 lbs. For comparison, my girlfriend’s Linus Mixte weighs 32 pounds and she sometimes talks about wanting something a little lighter. My Long Haul Trucker, a fully loaded touring bike, weighs about 36 pounds. Other less expensive bikes can easily weigh less than 30 pounds.

Here is a description of how to clean it from the site:

“•Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp Cloth”

I hope people realize the bike will need more “care and cleaning” than what a damp cloth will do. I don’t know how these bikes will really stand up to the test of time, like some old department store bikes have. These bikes will still fall prey to the troubles that other box store bikes do, like forks being put on backwards, and parts breaking after a week. People that are not into bikes always wonder why bikes from places other than big box stores can cost so much. It’s the quality of the parts. Regardless of the $399.00 price tag, it seems the bikes are pretty popular with their target market, selling out within a day of being released.  It’s hard to grasp why anyone would spend this much, when they could buy a better functioning bike for just about the same amount of money, even if it is a low-end model, from a real bicycle company. Another big reason for not buying from a big box store, is you can only get service from a real bike shop. If something breaks on these bikes, they can’t bring them back to Target and expect an associate to fix it, even something as simple as a flat tire. As far as I can tell, these are just fashionable BSO’s (bicycle shaped objects), that probably won’t get many miles put on them, but will look stylish in someone’s apartment.

Missoni Women's Comfort Bike - Copper or Black/White (28") - $399.00

Missoni Men's Comfort Bike - Black/White (28") - $399.00

Here are some other bikes that I share similar feelings about. Republic Bike  started out as cheap bike company that let you choose the color of all the parts you wanted, but that was all you could change.  A couple years ago they started producing bikes for Urban Outfitters.  I have seen bikes sitting on the floor there with cheap parts falling off of them.

Urban Outfitters has bikes from Republic Bike

Republic Bikes from Urban Outfitters - $399.00

Crate & Barrel also have a Republic Bike with CB2.

Abuelo 3-speed men's bike - $499.00

There are plenty of other bikes out there that are fashionable and of much better quality for reasonable prices, that will give you much more bang for your buck. These are bikes you can get from a real bike shop, with real service and warranties, for around the same cost:

Electra Bikes

Electra Bikes Amsterdam Original 3i


Linus Bikes

Linus Bikes Dutchi 3speed


Public Bikes

Public Bike C3

Bikes like these have a much more classic style and functionality behind them, being modeled mostly off of French and Dutch bikes that have been around for decades.

Surly Disc LHT *update more photos*

So far after the first day of inter bike, and wishing I was there. I have been trying to find so news about new product as best as I could. I did come up with a photo of the front fork of a Disc Long Haul Trucker. Also Surly has updated there website, as well as adding a page/specs for the Disc Long Haul Trucker(no photos yet), Troll Complete, Ogre, and Moonlander.

Finally A full photo of the bike. I actually like the looks of the bike as a whole. It looks very clean, but I did just see the rear disc brake cable running on the top side of the down tube. This might not be the final product; Surly hasn’t posted official photos on there sites. I figure there are some little changes they might do. The non-drive side seat stay has the spoke holder; I figured they would do that. With the Disc Trucker, it looks like it will be easier to mount fenders on. My brakes got in the way when I first put my fenders on, do to to the cables.

Front Fork

Photo via JustinPratscher on Flickr (click image for link)

Rear dropout

Image from Ride Bikes Blog (click image for link)

Doe, a Deer, a Bike Rack

There are some new great bike racks here in Eugene. I think they are pretty nice looking. The racks were designed by students at Lane Community College. Here are some photos I took of them yesterday.

There is a herd of deer in front of the Kiva Grocery Store across from the bus station. In an on street bike corral called the “Deer Park” .

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Located in front of the Kiva Grocery Store at the corner of 11th Ave and Olive Street.

Here is the “Big Wheel” along with signs pointing to major landmarks in Eugene; they include the distance and their approximate travel times by bike.

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Located in front of the Morning Glory Cafe at 450 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR

It seems there soon will be more of these nice bike rack art installations. Here is some information about it from The Register-Guard Article

Another artistic corral — titled “Real Wheels” — is planned to be installed in front of the Cornucopia Restaurant on Pearl Street north of Fifth Avenue next spring. It will include a wagon wheel, bicycle wheel, paddle wheel and others representing several historic modes of transportation.

More about the racks from The Register-Guard Here

Apprenticeships May Solve Skills Gap; From NPR

Here is a good article from NPR I heard this morning called Apprenticeships May Solve Skills Gap, Spark Economy. It talks about how apprenticeships might be a good addition to acquire skills for a career you would like to pursue. But here in the U.S. we have not been learning skill this way for a while now. I have thought about this ever since high school. I think there should be more than just going to a 4 year university to get your skill set for the career you would like to go into. I personally would like an apprenticeship, I am a “tacit” learner as Tim Brown is saying in the article, I easily learn skills visually and hands on, and would do better learning this way than I might other ways. Technical/Specialty schools (like UBI) fill the need for more hands on learning but more employers should think about apprenticeships before turning down an applicant that might not yet have the higher education they are looking for.

NPR

Read Full story here at NPR, Apprenticeships May Solve Skills Gap, Spark Economy

Funny Toyota Venza Commercial, Updated

I was watching TV tonight and there was a pretty funny commercial on. Toyota’s commercial for the 2011 Venza. The Commercial is about a teenage girl talking about how adults are anti-social. Meanwhile the parents are mountain biking with friends, and she is sitting on Facebook like most young people. There seems to be a lot more bikes in car commercials within the last couple years.

::Update::
Here’s another Toyota Venza commercial with the same girl talking about how old her parents are.

Bicycle Silk Screen Prints

Here are some bike related silk screen prints I had done last year in June, and one in October. I would like to do more prints like these soon.

Green Dutch Bike

Green Dutch Bike(7 color silk screen print 6/10)

Red Mixte Bike

Red Mixte Bike(9 color silk screen print 10/10)

Scanned in and stitched together with the help of my brother.