Friday, January 06, 2017


I found this little wonder of CNC machining and anodizing from the 90's
I cannot say that I am real big on New Year's Resolutions at all. I found out a long time ago that making them was setting yourself up for disappointment down the road. Likely in a few days to maybe a couple of weeks. I decided to just quit trying that route. So, don't take this post as anything other than my decision to start cleaning up around here.

"Here" being my basement shop area which I jokingly refer to here on the blog as "The Lab". Only a few fortunate souls have ever seen it, and it is likely better that way. Well, from the standpoint of the past, it is. Now I am hoping to change that a little bit.

Cleaning up this vortex of bicycle paraphernalia has often been an exercise in futility not unlike making New Year's Resolutions. I would start in earnest, make a little headway, then something would distract me from my task and the next thing you know, I am adding to the piles instead of removing them. In this sense, I am my own worst enemy. Not unlike trying to diet, when you just cannot let that last doughnut be  left to dry out because that would be such a waste, and what's just one more doughnut today? No big deal. Except that you do that every week, and you sit on the couch and watch the 150 channels of doom on your dish TV because, you'll get around to exercising soon. Then your pants don't fit.

How did that happen!

So, how am I like that? Well, I have this terrible habit of bringing home stuff folks don't want at the shop which I still see value in. Tubes for instance. Customers want tubes swapped out in this magical thought that new tubes will help prevent a flat tire. I guess that is why many customers want perfectly good tubes swapped out. Anyway, I bring them home, because, ya know, they are still good tubes, right? Well, after almost 15 years of  adopting "misfit toys", the island has reached critical mass. It was time for an intervention.

No- that is not a "badge" from the recently released "Rogue One"
I started by carting out three huge storage tubs of foldable tires, and then I tossed out two huge garbage bags of unusable junk, making some organizational changes along the way. The effects have been dramatic and positive. Now I am encouraged to keep it up. I actually go down there every day and arrange stuff, throw out more junk, and store more stuff in bins and whatnot. It has become therapeutic and I actually find it relaxing to do.

Besides the obvious mental benefits I have also found that I have been getting things done as far as repairs and changes to some of the bicycles I have down there. I recently got the Snow Dog back up and running, as a for instance. I have rediscovered bits and pieces I had forgotten I had. I even found a cool pocket knife I barely remember getting but is really quite nice and useful.

One thing I ended up digging out was a frame I had custom made back ten years ago. I figured I would get that back up and running again, since it really is basically a Fargo knock-off, but it was made pre-Fargo. So, a drop bar specific 29"er. I'll be posting more about that in the coming months. Since it is orange in color, I think it might actually end up being a "matchy-match" for the new jerseys we'll have coming out soon. (Stay tuned for the pre-order linkage if you are interested.)

The decent bits, but still stuff I'll never use, is being carted out temporarily to my "garage of little use", a run down two stall affair that we cannot get the doors open to. The only way in is through the walk in door, so it is a safe place to temporarily store these bits for now until I can transport them to our local bike collective so they can make use of the stuff.

It's been a good thing to get started and I intend to keep going until I have the place stripped back quite a bit. I don't need to be a hoarder, and the simpler I can make the shop, the cleaner I can make it and keep it, the better it will be in the end.


Phillip Cowan said...

Were Americans and we suffer from affluenza, too much stuff. I used to be a serious pack rat. In my old age I've discovered how liberating it can be to get rid of stuff, especially if you pass it on to someone who can really use it. Good on ya!

Ari said...

Same here. 25 years a mechanic. I still have 5 speed free wheels with lots of life on them. So, I agree to start cleaning and making our labs a workable area. Thanks for the post. It will encourage me!

jack said...

very cool frame badge. Is that a badger?

Guitar Ted said...

@jack- Yes it is. said...'s amazing what people will buy and it also puts some cash in your pocket.

Guitar Ted said...

@ onoffrhodes - Yeah, I get it, but that means more of my time invested into herding that along, which I have very little of to spare. It's easier and more beneficial to the bike collective here for me just to cart it all down for them to deal with.