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Monday, February 19th
Knickers Up Again
The second run of our Classic Wool Knickers arrived last Friday, and we've finally gotten through inventorying the delivery. Those of you who are waiting for backorders will soon be receiving packages; those of you who have been thinking about ordering, now's a good time! I ordered heavy on size 32 as the demand for those caught me by surprise last time. Retailers too: if you want to stock them, now's when I've got them. The lead time for getting more in seems to be about 2 months, and of course all factories are always late.

Richard Risemberg on Mon, 19 Feb 2007 06:22:38 -0800 [link]  

Saturday, February 17th
Liberty, Law, & Us
As many of you may know, the NYPD has been engaging in blanket videotaping and photographing of people involved in peaceful, legal demonstrations or even simple public gatherings for several years now. This is the same police department that recently (and fruitlessly) proposed requiring a parade permit for even as few as two persons to bicycle together somewhere, in an effort to limit public expression of political sentiment!

I personally don't see how any parade permit law can be constitutional when applied to political activity.

As you also may know, NYPD has been aggressively targeting Critical Mass rides in the city, apparently cead set on either favoring the arrogant minority that drives there, or suppressing anything that smacks of an expression of opinion, no matter how legal it may be--and riding a bicycle on the street is a specific legal privilege granted by the Universal Vehicle Code as well as every state law.

Well, here's a partial victory: a judge in NewYork ruled that the police department itself has been breaking the law in not requesting a permit from the court for its taping and photography, in which procedure it would have to substantiate significant probability of illegal activities occurring in the course of a specific gathering they wish to record. (Remember, what they are recording are your faces!)

Unfortunately, the judge seems to have made an exception for Critical Mass, apparently because some folks run red lights during rides:
At monthly group bicycle rides in Lower Manhattan known as Critical Mass, some participants break traffic laws, and the police routinely videotape those events, Judge Haight noted. That would be an appropriate situation for taping, he said, but police officials did not follow the guidelines and apply for permission.
Police would still have to obtain permission to videotape CM.

The irony is that this concept, if applied to drivers, another group privileged to use public roads under the law (though they don't pay nearly the cost of accommodating their habit), would require police videotaping of every motorist in Manhattan!

Seems to me a clear case of unequal protection. Who's protecting us from motorists while the cops are "protecting" motorists from a bunch of 22-lb. fixies?

The only things that make the US different from the dozens of countries that suffer under dictators or fascist juntas are the basic rights granted in the Constitution and its amendments, specifically freedom of speech and the press, freedom of assembly, and trial by jury.

New Yorkers, start opening your mouths if ya haven't already! (Many have, of course; it's New York!) The rest of us, let's watch out. The powers-that-be in every state will be watching to see what NYPD can get away with.

It can happen here.

The article (02/16/2007): Judge Limits New York Police Taping (NYT; requires free registration.)

Richard Risemberg on Sat, 17 Feb 2007 08:02:42 -0800 [link]  

Sunday, February 11th
Get Your Guts in Gear
Those of you who have read Beth Hamon's article on "Bicycling, Health, and America" know that she is a dedicated trasportational rider despite suffering from Crohn's Disease, a chronic intestinal condition with no present cure.

Next August, Beth will be embarking on what will be a challenging ride for a chronically-ill person: a 210-mile, three day charity spin supporting research into Crohn's and other associated conditions--there's a whole constellation of debilitating intestinal diseases, some of them quite drastic, and any contributions will go directly to research on Crohns' disease, chronic colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal and colon cancer, and others.

It's called the "Get Your Guts in Gear" Ride, and I've already sent them some money.

To read more about Beth's effort, and to make a donation of your own if you wish, go to:

Beth Hamon #S-15

Richard Risemberg on Sun, 11 Feb 2007 07:46:44 -0800 [link]  

Thursday, February 8th
Fixies on NPR
National Public Radio has run a spot on the fixed-gear fascination, and not only is it surprisingly sympathetic and non-stupid, it even mentions suit-and-tie bike commuters who have chosen to ride fixed, as well as featuring the usual messenger interview and fashionista references.

I know that in the LA area there are plenty of older folks with regualr jobs who not only commute by bike, but ride fixed, so it was nice to see something that focussed on other than the tatoos and the danger. They didn't even diss brakeless riders, but praised their skill!

Short and worth reading (or listening to); see it at Cyclists Switch to Single Speeds on the NPR website.

Richard Risemberg on Thu, 08 Feb 2007 06:56:04 -0800 [link]  

Friday, February 2nd
Update - Vivian and Her Nickel Plated finish
Here is the latest about Vivian, my 1983 Miyata 310. Vivian's little flaws in the head tube remain untreated, cosmetically or otherwise. The structural repair may never happen, but the cosmetic solution--clear resin to seal the finish and prevent corrosion--is still on the "to do" list. Why? I donít know. No good reason, maybe. I think I refuse to accept that absolutely nothing else can be done. Perhaps I'm simply procrastinating. Either way, it seems that waiting may have paid off.

I recently received an email from Donald W. Gillies, a reader of my article about Vivian. Mr. Gillies, as some of you may know, is a well known i-BOB whose work in restoring old bicycles I can only describe as "inspiring."

In his email, he relates a technique of re-chroming that can be done at home, by knuckleheads like me, for a price almost anyone can afford. And with his kind blessings generously given, I canít wait to share his ideas with blog readers.
"I've been involved in re chroming old Raleighs. Did it under the supervision of master frame builder and painter Brian Baylis, using local frame shop Equality Plating which does all the chrome for Joe Bell, here in San Diego. These guys aren't cheap but they know what they are doing.

"Chroming can cause hydrogen embrittlement, which could make it more likely for the head tube to crack after headset installation.

"I don't know if Miyata frames are JIS or not. but even a little bit of extra chrome on the inside of the head tubes could also help to stress out the head tubes, especially after the chroming process had weakened them.

"If you are able to do something to reinforce the top and bottom of the head tube, the you can fix the any lifting chrome for about $35. Buy a brush-on 'copy chrome' plating set at Mask off the good areas so that only the lifting area(s) show. sand away the chrome, and then re-chrome the areas with the brush chroming set. These sets have nickel and cobalt, which is sort of blue, to cancel out the yellow of the nickel.

"I invented this technique to fix the rear triangle of a Raleigh international, which had a pea-sized spot of rust on the rear triangle, in maybe 2 or 3 places. Now, after polishing with 2000 grit sandpaper, then Never-Dull, the re-chromed areas are undetectable, even though the coloration is slightly different than the authentic, original, British chrome."
Thanks, Don. I'll let everyone know how it goes.


Gina Morey on Fri, 02 Feb 2007 07:25:09 -0800 [link]  

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