Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tiki Tote (formerly Grocery Goblin)

 photo TikiTote0003_zps9a25e2eb.jpg 1962 Sears Tote Cycle 20" (451mm) Aerospoke front wheel, and NISI/Shimano Nexus3 rear with Kenda Small Block Eight tires  photo TikiTote0001_zpsf050e751.jpg 145mm Redline cranks and Odyssey pedals. JagWire cables and an old DiaCompe front brake.  photo TikiTote0002_zps472523af.jpg Native-carved (I'm a CALIFORNIA native, aren't I?) hardwood cargo deck, repurposed antique boat throttle shifter, leather saddle and bar tape on Soma Walker Racer bars (flipped).  photo TikiTote0004_zps91414459.jpg  photo TikiTote0005_zps23b027fc.jpg  photo TikiTote0006_zps988aebc7.jpg

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Did the Train/Bike to work thing today.

Early in the morning, preparations were made for departure:
The station was clean and airy, and once aboard, the bicycle car was roomy.
I rode from Chatsworth to Calabasas, so a little over two hours and $11.50 Door-to-door:


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tour de Pants - Aug 18th

Concept: The bike ride for the leisure cyclist, the classic bicycle rider, and those wanting a day of riding in the city of Ventura and along its beaches. Come spend an August afternoon riding in a cooler, coastal climate. Cruisers, classics, customs, choppers, comfort bikes, fixies, city-bikes, BMX, mountain or road… everybody is welcome. You won’t need spandex for this ride – it’s going to be a mellow cruise, averaging around 8 mph or so. Helmets are optional, though the law still requires them for riders under eighteen.  photo 474281_3458902026156_1079063740_3031822_1262542505_o.jpg The Rules: Have fun – if you’re not having fun, then why are you riding? Be considerate – ride in a predictable, relaxed manner. This will promote safety and a good time for you, auto traffic, and your fellow riders. Speak up – if you have a problem or concern, see a hazard in the path, etc., please speak up and let the riders around you know. We don’t want to leave anybody stranded alone, hurt or broken-down on the side of the road. We’re riding in a group, so if you’re not sure that somebody knows that you’re there, let them know (bells work well, if you don’t like to talk).  photo xing.jpg We're going to meet up at Ventura Harbor Village at 11am on August 18th and ride around, grab a bite or two to eat, talk, laugh and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tiki Tote Assembly

I had the chance to start assembling my Sears (Huffy) Tote Cycle on Sunday: Done for the day, I think. photo 965522_10200469901844947_860869713_o.jpg Paint is far from perfect, but what the heck, right? That wheelbase is loooooong. Check it out next to my rather sizable Flying Pigeon for a comparison. Godpigeon and the Tiki Tote photo 705237_10200469908565115_1165917298_o.jpg

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Puttin' The Ol' Chopper Back Together

Time to sell some stuff, and I figure it'll be easier to make one of my two Nirve Switchblades go away if it can be ridden. Since this pic, I've swapped out the crank/chainring, replaced the front 700C wheel with a 26" double-wall heavy-duty unit to match the rear, replaced the orange glitter seat that had bolts that poked the rider in the butt through the vinyl, and sanded/painted the fork legs because the chrome was really pitted down by the dropouts.  photo NirveChopper_zpsf6dda08e.jpg Any takers at $300? Hit me up: mcgowjobs@gmail.com

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gnome Gauge Pt. 2

Some time ago, I posted pics of a one time model railroad project that I'd started. It's been long enough since that post that I think I should provide background before I post the drawings that I uncovered today while moving/sorting/storing some old boxes and books:


My friend John Watson was a railroad modeler. By that I mean that he didn't just take engines and cars out of the boxes in which they'd been produced and run them around some track layout in his den. No, he built his own engines and rolling stock. He converted kits into variants that weren't purchaseable in stores, and he painted and weathered them so that they looked like they'd spent years on some narrow gauge rail line that couldn't afford to paint things every few weeks.

As you might imagine, building such miniatures requires one to keep a lot of parts and pieces on hand. One might also consider that with so many tiny little parts, screws, springs, motors, castings and such, finding just the one you need when you need it may be a rare occurrence. The explanation (exclamation?) associated with these situations often centered around gnomes making off with them in the middle of the night.
 photo funkfaerie01.jpg
As this became a running joke with us, we often ruminated on what these little people could be doing with their ill-gotten gains. After many cigarettes and cups of coffee, we concluded that in a long-forgotten corner, somewhere in the back yard, they must by now have their own operating transit system.
 photo 9689236a-dc5a-4c70-9cec-09941445c113_zpsa06ab4a7.jpg

With this idea in mind, I began to build a GNOme gauge engine, with an eye to building an entire trainload of cars, and finally, a layout upon which to run them. We called it "GNOme Gauge" not only for the tiny denizens that would crew it, but because I designed the engine and cars as caricatures, using G, O, and N Gauge components.
 photo funkfaerie02.jpg
 photo funkfaerie05.jpg photo funkfaerie04.jpg photo funkfaerie03.jpg
 photo Image3_zps60c86542.jpg

The following drawings are of some of the buildings that I considered for my proposed train layout.  I hoped to make the whole thing look as if it had been merely dug up from the back yard and placed in a glass case/coffee table, including a dead stump that would form the centerpiece of the faerie town.
 photo Image2_zps8f100a2e.jpg
 photo d16ac848-dcb5-4216-860a-9725762a62b6_zps3d658f51.jpg Long story short, a fairly expensive, very tiny motor to drive my little engine burned up on its second test run, and I shelved the entire project.

But you still can imagine what may have been, or may yet come to pass.