Saturday, December 31, 2005

Tintin and Assbike Song

When I was a kid I loved Tintin comic books. The big colorful books really stood out from everything else in the bookmobile. Buying the collection would be a real indulgence, so why did it not occur to me until now that scans would be available on the internet ? The scans obviously can't match the appeal of the books, but still they're nice to have.

What I probably got a kick out of was the slapstick comedy:

and the precise and detailed depictions:

Plus there was the cast of crazy characters: dimwit detectives, scimitar waving arabs, villains with skinny mustaches and eccentric scientists.

...and of course the hard-drinking ...

...foul-mouthed ...

Captain Haddock.

Last year's Life Aquatic

pushed a lot of the same buttons for me and also provides this week's Assbike song.

Now, don't get the wrong idea; I don't in a darkened room and listen to Sigur Ros, but week's Assbike song is Staralfur by Sigur Ros (6.5 mb) which plays during the climactic scene of that movie.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Trash Heap Bike

I rescued this white Peugeot hybrid from a snowdrift a few weeks ago.

I really just wanted the handlebars for the Porn shop hybrid, but I realized the whole bike was there including fully functional brakes. So now it's parked in the Assbike workshop awaiting reincarnation.

So far I've added that seatpost ($18). As mentioned before the Biopace rings make it pretty much unworkable as a fixed and making it a single requires some sort of device to take up the chainslack (like this), and buying one would go against the Assbike ethos. So I had the enviable job of going through the trash to find the rusty derailleur I'd tossed a week ago.

Changing topics: One accessory I highly recommend is this Ray-o-vac 15 minute battery charger. This thing is badass; when you plug this baby in it fires up like a 747, then in a few minutes your batteries are done, well done, and you pop 'em out nice and toasty. It's like an espresso maker that makes batteries. The charge lasts a days on my digital camera which eats up regular ass-Duracells in a few hours. If you have a digital camera you need one of these.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

X-mas in the 'ga

Christmas in the 'ga with my parents means entertaining, and entertaining means the nutbar is open:

Tis the season when the fashion renegades thumb their noses at the style police. So, my uncle was rockin' some natty white monostrap Rockports:

My dad has fashion ideas of his own. So when I get home this is what's waiting for me:

Four ! Four-freakin-pairs of Dockers/Khakis/chinos! in every beige possible! There has to be some sort of Indian action figure that parents can get and dress up just they way they like. Sadly, when I google for indian action figure, this is the best I get :

This is all part of the sinister plot to mold me into some sort of Indian-Canadian Ned Flanders. Which is also why we have a piano. No one in the house plays a piano, but someone is hoping that it's mere presence will elevate our social whatever. But playing the piano takes actual work and dedication, which is lot harder to pull off than buying a piano and plunking it in your living room, so now it serves as an elaborate display fixture for an intimidating assortment of kitsch and memorabilia. The seat even makes for a fabulous plant stand.

Let's take a closer look, shall we ?

This is easily the best looking trophy I ever won. In my first and only x-country ski race the ground was frozen after a slushly day and the resulting lumpy ice was unskiable, so I just took off my skis and ran with them most of the way. I just wanted to get home, I got the trophy weeks later. Here's to thinkin' outside the box!

This an ASCII art picture of me and my grandmother, taken and produced at the CN Tower ca.1980, we were all blown away by the high-techness of it all at the time.

This is a somewhat crude model of a house made by my brother :

It's pretty good considering who made it.

Having your old black and white photos photoshopped into colour is a booming cottage industry in India. This is a colorized picture of my grandparents printed on a plaque.

Even the cheesy trompe d'oeil frame has been photoshopped in. This one's actually not bad, there's waay worse examples, even at our house.

Above the piano hangs a picture of Subhash Chandra Bose, an Indian revolutionary with a dubious legacy:

This very creepy harlequin doll

has been stalking me. I first saw it at a bike race, where it was totally out of place, and then at my place downtown (how?) and now it's it's here (!?!) ! I have no idea how it got in this picture.

Holidays in the 'ga are always trying, but there is a new curse in town :

Indian TV! This stuff is all over the place. Christmas day, when I wasn't watching pseudosports on TSN, I was watching Bollywood flicks with my cousin, blissfully unaware of the damage it was causing my brain.

Today while assbiking I spotted this :

in front of the physics building -- I took it to be a sign. So there was no resisting when I came across a Bengali music shop (what the .. ?!) My brain is obviously now mush

...and I had to pick up some Bollywood DVDs (who can say no when they're $2 ea.?). Looking back I will realize that this marks the beginning of one long downward spiral.

So, the trip to my parent's at least gave me a chance to pick up the parts I needed for the hybrid. I replaced the trash heap bars with a nice one-piece bar stem combo, which was saved from obsolesence (it's a 1" quill), and I added a racier saddle. This makes it approximately 50% faster. Now it's more in line with what I pictured:


And there you have it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Assbike Song: Veruca Salt

It's almost Saturday which means it's time for another Assbike song.

Veruca Salt, a great forgotten band. No a lot of people know that Veruca Salt recorded a commercial for the Illinois lottery. Here it is:

Veruca Salt Illinois Lottery Radio Commercial (1.2 mb).


Assbike under $30



This is the hybrid, built up as a fixed gear. The bar and stem are from the trash heap find.

The step by step build:

-strip the deraillers, shifters and brakes (i removed the fenders too).

-remove the freewheel (involves removing the axle and cones), I had to have a shop remove the freewheel since I don't have the dedicated tool.

-thread on the cog and reinstall axle. Use spacers to set the chainline. You can lay the chain on the chainring and cog and eyeball it. If you're tha mathy type you can use the formula in this article. I rely on both methods.

-redish the wheel if you have to.

The hardest part was getting the freewheel removed since I had to take it to a shop. I set the chainline perfectly and there was no need to redish the rear wheel.

Despite all the fanaticism (more, and more) riding a fixed isn't that different than riding a single speed except for the braking.

Fixed gear bikes without shifters and brakes do have a cool simplicity (see above links) and braking with your legs is cool, but the supposed difficulty/insanity of riding a fixed gear bike in the city is waaay over-rated.

I may add a front brake if I find I'm getting too many close calls, but right now I don't feel the need (although the lockring is ineffectual so there's nothing to keep the cog from unthreading).

Oh yeah. The trash heap bike was looking like a good candidate for a fixedgear build. I set the chainline and everything perfectly but the chain kept dropping off. I couldn't figure out why, and then I notice it. Fucking Biopace chainrings. (Okay supposedly Sheldon Brown uses Biopace rings on fixed gear bikes, but this ring just looked waaay too oval to get away with).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NYC Trsansit Strike : Assbiking in Gotham

Transit strikes mean that every bus riding schmo dusts off the assbike. New Yorkers are getting on Assbikes. This
has some basics. Via Lifehacker (a gay blog title - but whatev).

In other news. The Assbike crew built up the Porn Shop Hybrid. It's a fixed gear and I used the handlebars from the trash heap find.

Here's the rundown:
Bike $15
BMX Chain and labour* $11
Track Cog $15 (I had it already)

Pics will follow.

*I took the rear wheel to Dave Fix My Bike at Christie + Dupont to have the freewheel removed, since I don't have the tool.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bart Wellens Karate Kick

Today at the Vlaamse Druivenveldrit C1 cyclocross in Overijsse, Belgium, Bart Wellens lost it with some unruly fans.

Video (700 kb WMV).

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Free Assbike & Guitar Wolf

Thursday night, when TO was getting dumped on I found an assbike by the curb, buried in tha snow. Pretty much intact, but pretty rusty. No seatpost, but good brakes. Pics soon.

In the meantime :

Jet Generation by Guitar Wolf (3.2 MB).


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Rollin' on Square Wheels

Square Wheeled Bike. From Fixed Gear Gallery.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow Day

Snow day in tha T-dot. Here's the view from Assbike Headquarters:

But there's a lot happeing in the Assbike workshop. The Porn Shop hybrid has been torn down :

The operation was relatively painless as the seatpost and stem slid out fine. There's one screw still stuck in the chainstay bridge and the crank BB might be an ordeal.

Right now the build options I'm entertaining are 1) fixed gear 2) single speed and 3) multigear. Probably down the road I'll build a rear wheel on a cassette hub and go 9spd, but a single or fixed might be the intermediate stage.


Ass Bike X-mas Song

Santa Karl (2.4 MB).


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

$15 Porn Shop Hybrid

Assbike Magazine scores! I picked up this sleeper for $15 from the Craiglist classifieds. I bought it from a dude who lives above a porn shop.

Most bike purists hate hybrids, but I've always liked them. They're more ridable than full-on road bikes and not as over built as mtn. bikes. And really a hybrid is just a more relaxed cross bike, and pursits love cross bikes.

I dig: The 700c wheels, 28mm slicks, well built steel frame and slim fenders. The wheels are surprisingly well built and the headset is totally buttah.

As you can see, the handlebar has snapped in half, in a crash. Despite this I managed to ride this home. Of course this means there is no rear shifter or brake.

I have a one-piece (Cameron I think) bar-stem which will be perfect for this project.

I picture the build as a lightweight crosser with a flat bar, what I was thinking the Wheeler was going to be. (This officially means the Wheeler project is put on hold).

The one downside is that it has a threaded rear hub instead of a cassette.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Asscheap Cupholder

One generally over-rated west-coast boutique builder sells a way over priced cupholder.

Assbikin' just aint't fun when you have to balance yr cuppa or you have to pay more for your cupholder than you did from yr entire Assride.

The Assbike Magazine solution:

3-inch hose clamp
1 1/16-inch (26.9mm) hose clamp
(for my 26.4 mm Cinelli bars)

1 Roll Cat-eye Cotton tape.

Figuring out how this shit goes together isn't exactly rocket-science.

(Optional) Use the tape to cover up the metal and make it soft.


PS. I dig cateye cotton tape. I'm surprised you can still get this holdover from the 70s.

Gives a cool retro touch to any drop bar bike, it's sold by the single roll and it's cheap.


Project: Beardman Bike

When I lived on Spadina my neighbor "Beardman" left me his old bike. Cottered cranks and coaster brake.

Most of the paint was sanded off and the Beardman is taller than me, and the seatpost is stuck way high for me.

I do dig the Two-Tone paint job and this may have to be reproduced. The Pinn is too racy and high-maintainence to be a true Assbike, so stay tuned as this get built up into an kick ass city bike. Step 1) Get that seatpost out (aka. the Assbike equivalent of the sword in the stone.


Riding the Track

At Forest City Velodrome, London. This June.

Ass Bike Song

Planet Earth.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Assbike: The Great Emancipator

The cycle’s relative accessibility coupled with the sense of freedom it lent its rider led many to praise the device as a great leveler in American society...An article in an 1896 Scientific American breathlessly praises the "universal fraternity" that has put all on "equal terms" and notes that "as a social revolutionizer it has never had an equal. It has put the human race on wheels, and has thus changed many of the most ordinary processes and methods of social life." more.

Susan B. Anthony, women's rights advocate and future star of an ill-fated dollar, was to say that the bicycle had "done more to emancipate women then anything else in the world".(Willard, 90)...The leveling effect acheived by the woman on the bicyle was so great that the coming of the automobile and subsequent demise of the bicyle can be though of as a major step backwards for women's empowerment. more