Freewheel Collective's Blog

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man." -Iris Murdoch


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George Washington Bridge Ride

On Saturday, Adam Ehmer, Adam Laybourn and me, J. Matt Hoch, went for a rad bike ride.

We left from my place in Astoria, and rode over the Queensborough bridge.

Adam E. on the Queensborough

Adam E. on the Queensborough

We crossed into Manhattan and rode through Central Park.

Adam L. in Central Park

Adam L. in Central Park

We made it to the West-side bike path that rund up the Hudson River.

J. Matt on the Hudson bike trail.

J. Matt on the Hudson bike trail.

We went up through Riverside park and made it to 180th st.  We got on the George Washington Bridge Bike Lane.

We were spitting off the bridge at this point.

We were spitting off the bridge at this point.

Riding over the bridge was awesome.  We saw some serious bikers and crazy people on the bridge.  The bridge had an excellent view.

View from the New York side of the bridge, looking south.

View from the New York side of the bridge, looking south.

gwride-81

The bridge is the fourth longest suspension bridge in the United States. It's just under a mile long.

We ate lunch at a park in New Jersey.

gwride-4

The path through New Jersey as treacherous.  The Hudson bank in NJ is really weird, with strip malls and grocery stores right up to the water.  There are lots of decomposing old piers, new apartments built on piers and a few heavily polluted Superfund sites.

Typical of the shoreline for much of the New Jersey side.

Typical of the shoreline for much of the New Jersey side.

We made it to Hoboken.  We were planning on taking the Hoboken ferry back to Manhattan, but it was closed.  We took the PATH train instead.

In Hoboken.

In Hoboken.

Once we made it back to the City, we drank some beers before heading home.

Not pictured: J. Matt and 4 empty pitchers.

Not pictured: J. Matt and 4 empty pitchers.

Both Adam L. and my computers failed during the ride.  We estimated the total distance to be between 35 and 40 miles.


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Stop staring at my dirty hands!!!

greasynails

Every tuesday I help a large number of people fix their bikes.  Doing so, I am often handling dirty, greasy parts, tools and equipment.  By the end of the night, my hands are coated in a grey-black layer of dirty grease.

In the shop we have a huge dispenser of GoJo hand cleaner that does a generally good job of degreasing hands.  It works like this: I take a dollop of gojo in the shop, and rub it all over the greasy parts of my hands as I walk to the bathroom for a full wash.  I scrub and rinse but inevitably, There are spots I miss or spots that don’t get clean.  Most often affected are my fingernails, the backs of my knuckles and any cuts or cracked dry spots on my fingers.  A black residue remains.  I wash my hands with handsoap, but I am reluctant to use more gojo, as it is very harsh and I have already problems with cracking owing to dry skin (which then capture more uncleanable grease).

The end result is that my fingers look pretty bad for the next few days.

I teach.  I have students working with me in the lab and I teach a computer course.  I have to demonstrate techniques.  When I do so, I can feel their eyes on my hands.  I can almost read their thoughts:

“Eeeeewwww…Grosss…Look at J. Matt’s nasty hands! Does he never wash them?!?!”

When this happens, I want to explain, “No! my hands are grimy from bicycle repair. I am not dirty, I swear!”  But I never do, because maybe they didn’t notice.  I don’t want to draw attention.

So there it is.  I have bad hands.  I admit it.  But not as bad as they look.  Please don’t judge me by them.


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Bike ad via Craigslist (SF) (edited to keep this blog worksafe and family friendly):

Manly Bike for Sale


Date: 2008-07-22, 10:18AM PDT

Bike for sale

What kind of bike? I don’t know, I’m not a bike scientist. What I am though is a manly guy looking to sell his bike. This bike is made out of metal and kick *** spokes. The back reflector was taken off, but if you think that deters me from riding at night, you’re way wrong. I practiced ninja training in Japan’s mount Fuji for 5 years and the first rule they teach about ninja biking is that back reflectors let the enemy know where you are. Not having a rear reflector is like saying “**** YOU CAR, JUST TRY AND FIND ME”.

The bike says Giant on the side because it’s referring to my junk, but rest assured even if you have tiny junk that Giant advertisement is going to remain right where it is. I bought this bike for 300 dollars from a retired mercenary that fought in both World War 1 and World War 2 and had his right arm bitten off by a shark in the Phillipines while stationed there as a shark handler. When he sold it to me I had to arm wrestle him for the honor to buy it. I broke his arm in 7 places when I did. He was so impressed with me he offered me to be his son but I thought that was sissy **** so I said no way.

The bike has some rusted screws, but that just shows how much of a bad *** you are. Everyone knows rusted screws on a bike means that you probably drove it underwater and that’s bad *** in itself. Those screws can be replaced with shiny new ones, but if you’re going to go to that trouble why not just punch yourself in the balls since you’re probably a ****less lizard who doesn’t like to look intimidating.

The bike is for men because the seat is flat or some shit and not shaped like a *****. If you like flat seated bikes you’re going to love this thing because it doesn’t try to penetrate your *** or anything.

I’ve topped out at 75 miles per hour on this uphill but if you’re just a regular man you’ll probably top it out at 10 miles per hour. This thing is listed as a street bike which is man-code for bike tank. The bike has 7 speeds in total:

Gear 1 – Sissy Gear
Gear 2 – Less Sissy Gear
Gear 3 – Least Sissy Gear
Gear 4 – Boy Gear
Gear 5 – Pre-teen Boy Gear
Gear 6 – Manly Gear
Gear 7 – Big Muscles Gear

I only like gear 6 and 7 to be honest.

Additionally, this tool of all immense men comes with a gigantic lock to keep it secure. The lock is the size of a bull’s ********* and tells people you don’t **** around with locking up your bike tank. It tells would-be-thieves “Hey ***hole, touch this bike and I’ll appear from the bushes ready to club you with a two-by-four”.

Bike is for 150 OBO (and don’t give me no panzy prices)


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Getting some bikes

We are going to bring 4 or 5 bikes back from the storage shed today.  If you get to the shop, there might be one that you can restore!

UPDATE: 3/18 We have several bikes available for granting at this time.  A few that were just pulled from the shed are still available and some others have re-entered the available pool.