Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BIKE WRITE for Obama

Now I know what y'all are doing this Sunday (Oct. 12) . Here are the Details:

BIKE WRITE for Obama /// SUN OCT 12, 2008 /// 1:30 Providence Center

Posted using ShareThis

I guess people are meeting at Providence Center on Hope St. 1:30. Wear Yellow or buy a T-shirt for $6.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I love Chris Rock!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stolen Bike Alert!!!

Attention all you cherohonkees and food-court druids: there have been several reports of cable locks getting clipped and bikes getting stolen from the bike rack at the Providence Place Mall.

The bike rack is located in the shadows of the pedestrian walkway that connects Francis Street with the Woonasquatucket River Greenway on the West Side of the Highway. Be sure to use a U-Lock at this location even if you think you're only going in for an Orange Julius, because it seems as though while you're inside trying to decide if you should get the Chicago Dog or the Triple Cheese Dog, some scum bag is riding away with your bike.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Recycle-A-Bike seeks Full-Time Americorps*VISTA


Recycle-a-Bike (RAB), Providence's community earn-a-bike program, is taking applications for an Americorps VISTA position (for which we are currently in the grant application process). RAB is entering a one-year trial as a program of the Steel Yard starting on September 1, 2008. At the end of the year trial, the organizations will make a decision about pursuing a long-term partnership.

During the one year trial period, the RAB Program will be managed by an Americorps VISTA volunteer. The volunteer will be managed by RAB staff and, to a lesser degree, by Steel Yard staff. This individual's job description will include organizing and monitoring access, formalizing program and partnership structures, developing an annual budget, identifying and researching funding resources, and communicating his/her progress with the Steel Yard staff and board. The VISTA should also examine the possibilities available for RAB program to remain as a collectively-run organizational tenant of the Steel Yard. A final report and recommendation on these issues will be due one year after the start of the trial period or no later than September 1, 2009.

From the Americorps website:
By serving through VISTA, you'll gain new skills, friends, and experiences-plus you'll get the satisfaction that comes from helping others. During your service, you'll also receive a modest living allowance, health care, and other benefits. And, upon completing your service, you can choose to receive either an education award worth $4,725 to pay for college, or $1,200 in cash.

Inquire ASAP to Mike Eng or call (805) 234-1032. Applications due by June 27th!
Personally, I went with the $$$ for school.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot Enough?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Spaceship Earth

If ever there was a time to get your sustainability on, its now. This weekend is the Rhode Island Sustainable Living Festival and Clean Energy Expo at the Apeiron House in Coventry, RI.

There's a bike train forming at the Providence Railroad Station for the 22 mile ride which will pick up cyclists along the way. The route will incorporate the Washington Secondary bike Path and the rural roads of West Warwick and Coventry.

Free admission and a T-shirt will be given to those who pre-register and arrive by "train". The festival features live music, food and workshops on living a low impact lifestyle. Yours truly will be conducting a Bike Commuter workshop at 3pm on Saturday. Other workshops will feature community gardening, renewable energy, community organizing, etc. Come down and check it out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cover Up

Just like we give the Dinosaurs their catastrophic meteor, I think the cockroaches who will be overpopulating the planet a million years from now will point to inadequate sunscreen as the cause of our demise. They will uncover remains of a glorious picnic spread that some humans had enjoyed at Colt State Park on Memorial Day 2008. Although they will definitely find nothing that would constitute litter, they will piece together the imprint of several adult humans and their bicycles in the fossilized grass, a stray tortilla that flew from my nose when Chris Bull made me laugh, a drop of sunscreen their science would determine to be spf 15, and then somehow they would find this picture and connect the obvious dots: humans evolved far enough to develop a delicious snack chip, had good times, then burned their flesh off in the direct sunlight.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One More Reason

As y'all must know by now, tomorrow is Bike to Work Day just about everywhere in the Free World, and as if you needed another reason to leave the car in the driveway and pedal into the old 9 to 5, here it is: You might win a bike. That's right, your friends at RIPTA and the Hub are teaming up to throw down. One Jamis Commuter 1.0 with fenders and a rack valued at $375 (Sorry ladies, Peter not included) will be raffled off between 3 and 6pm for all those participating in the BTWD festivities at the B of A Skating rink across from City Hall. There are speakers scheduled during the morning session from 7-10; and live music as well as commuter workshops planned for the afternoon. Check out the schedule of events here.

J2K Bags have arrived!

The Hub is proud to be the first outlet for J2K bags! Led by local entrepreneurs Hayden Prouty and Josh Bonnenburg, J2K has raised the messenger bag bar with their thoughtful design and color choices. Josh and Hayden were recently awarded with a $1000 grant from Entrepreneur 360 which is a local organization to get young businesses going.
All bags are made to order at their West End studio. Come by the Hub to check them out and order one for yourself.

Monday, May 12, 2008

product of the month!

What you are looking at in the above image is the hottest new gadget to his the streets.
It's a steerer tube extender.
for doing bar spins.
on a 700c bike.
yes, bar spins.
Get 'em while they are hot right here.
and while you're shopping, don't forget to pick up the necessary conversion plates to make that old fixie you found in gramama's attic into a road worthy 10 speed, with brakes.
We'll I'm off to go install a spoiler on my civic.
wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's Happening?

There are some great events coming up as well opportunities to support local friends who are doing good things for your neighborhood:

First, Sunday (May 11) is the Spring Bike Swap at AS220. Whether you're buying or selling, the swap is a great place to run into all those bike geeks you see out around the city. This one is indoors noon - 5. Show up early to get the best spot to sell that box of Bio-pace chainrings.

Friday (May 16) is Bike to Work Day here in the Capitol city. This event coincides with the national Bike to Work Week. Now more than ever, having a bicycle in your personal transportation aresenal is essential living the New American Dream. Whether you're making a statement or an actual lifestyle change, come out to support a more bicycle-friendly Providence.

Thursday - Saturday (May 15 - 18) is a fundraiser at the Steel Yard. Stop by and drop some money in support of local arts and culture. Check out the action-packed schedule on hand including some sort of Iron-Chef-style sculpture competition on Saturday afternoon followed by a BBQ and late night dance party with local legends Micah-Jackson.

I'm a believer, that in this day and age with food prices rising like a plume of smoke on the horizon, its time to start making friends with the local farmers. The best time to do this in Providence is Saturday and Sunday May 17 and 18 at the Southside Community Land Trust annual plant sale. The SSCLT farm has been around for 30 years at the corner of Dudley and West Clifford Streets providing space for local gardners and growing food for local families.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

To the untrained eye this might seem like just two happy hairy dudes on recumbents, but to me, it may be the beginning of the end. They said there would be four horsemen, right? Well, pair these two up with $4 a gallon gasoline and melting ice caps and maybe you see what I'm getting at. I don't know about you, but I'm going right home to start digging out my shelter.

Oh, and by the way, we'll be staying open till 8pm on thursday starting this week. Mention the coming Apocolypse and get a free water bottle(half empty of course).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Saddle Up

Winter has been taking its sweet ol' time walking out the door this year. Its been like having one of those conversations where you're cornered and can't get a word in edgewise. Suddenly, winter turns to leave; and just when you think its gone, something blows across its cloudy skies and it turns around to talk at you some more.

But the sun will warm things up one of these days soon and when it does, its on...I mean "off" like this saddle here. Winter can be hard on a bike, so now is the time to bring yours in for a spring tune up. This time of year we sell a lot of new tires, brake pads, and handlebar tape. A new saddle on this rig will mean that at least one customer won't be sitting in April showers while smelling the lovely May flowers.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

To the Max


Stage 5 Cycling's Eric Bascomb and Tom Scotto were at the Hub to put some local racers through their paces today. Eric and Tom are fitness trainers who specialize in creating training programs customized to the individual. Local cycling legend Kip Bradford is shown here having his VO2 max threshold tested. Stage 5 has a full time studio in Woonsocket where they provide the soup to nuts treatment for developing your fitness to is full potential.

After returning to his Clark Kent heart rate, Kip stepped out of the phone booth, straightened his tie and pedaled off into the streets of Gotlam.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

You talkin to me?

In case anyone needs to be reminded, Rhode Island is in New England - which means we might as well live in Canada - which means that this time of year, although we pay for our own health care, we should expect it to be a little cold. It is these crucial, cruel few weeks in the transition from winter to spring that makes us the bitter, mean, puritains that we are here in Providence. Don't fight it - embrace it. Roll the giant stone of winter from the mouth of the cave and emerge into spring proud that you made it through another one.

Friday, March 14, 2008

We'll always have the Mayflower Hotel

It doesn't happen often in my day to day dealings with customers' bicycles, but I must admit I am a sinner. Ever since Benno hired us to build his a Surly Crosscheck with Nexus 8-speed internal drivetrain, Schmidt Son 28 Dyno hub, and Honjo hammered fenders, I have strayed over the line more than once. After touching the supple Brooks Honey Brown saddle, stretching the matching leather tape around the bars and feeling the smoothness of the Phil Wood and Chris King bearings, it was all I could do to get back to the shop after a quick test ride around the block instead of pointing her west and heading straight for Albany. There will be plenty of that for this one I'm sure. Now that Benno has come to take it away, it will just have to be without me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Josh Hadar is a sculptor from NYC who uses only hand tools in constructing his bikes. "No hydraulic pipe bending equipment, no computer driven metal cutting machines, just leverage, heat, hammering and time."

Friday, March 7, 2008

Photographer Needs Models

The Providence Bicycle Coalition is looking for photos of you and your bike. The PBC has a new listserv which needs a personal touch. Feel free to forward pictures depicting you or a bicycle commuter you admire in action to me:, or stop by the shop with your bike (181 Brook Street) and we'll take the picture for you (you know...tasteful of course).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blackstone Boulevard

For those of you who may be new to the East Side, Blackstone Boulevard is the stately, wide, thoroughfare that runs north-south along the easternmost edge of Providence. Wide travel lanes and the linear park down the center with a well attended jogging path make Blackstone Boulevard a destination for walkers, runners, families, and yes, cyclists. Traditionally the four mile lap, with its ample room and big-ring ripples, have made it a perfect training lap for individual as well as pace-lining cyclists. It is equally usefull as a natural corridor for bicycle commuters between Providence and points north through Pawtucket. There is little reason to wonder why it has been the first choice as the connecting link between the East Bay Bike Path and the Blackstone Valley Bike Path since it was first proposed back in the early 90's.

The opposition to striping a bike lane on this route has been strong over the years for various reasons. Neighbors cited "safety for the cyclists" as their main concern which, at the time, may have been mistaken by those Providence citizens represented by a different council person as "You don't belong over here". In recent years, as the traffic appears to have increased along with vehicle speeds in the form of drivers trying to avoid the current cluster-fu@% related to the new "I-Way" construction, the neighbors seem to have come around. Monday night there was a public meeting to discuss a plan to remove recently placed pavement markings and stripe the Boulevard for cyclists. The paint that went down last fall allowed for two lanes of vehicle traffic and a parking lane in each direction. The City now wants to remove one of the travel lanes and add a bicycle lane.

According to those who stood up to speak at the meeting, neighbors currently want to stripe the lane for bicycles because they feel that it will slow down traffic and reduce the volume of vehicles using this route as a cut-through. Many who spoke at the meeting used the word Bike "path" which conjures up images of roller bladers and mothers with baby strollers. As a avid cyclist who understands the local culture, I know that the pace lining cyclists will avoid the bike lane and continue to use the left hand side of the road, while in the wetter seasons, the strollers and joggers trying to avoid the muddy walking path will find sanctuary in the relative safety of the bike lane. This makes for bad juju for the rest of the legitimate users of the bike lane including the transportation cylists.

While I am all for officially completing the connection of the East Bay Path with the Blackstone Valley Bike Path, I wonder what the neighbors will think as the paint inevitably starts to fade and the cars keep on coming. Will they continue to support the bike lane? Will they see bike lanes in general as a failure because they do not provide the protection from traffic that novice cyclists often cite as a reason they don't ride more? My concern is not the bike lane on the Boulevard or even bike lanes in general. My hesitation is with installing isolated bike lanes (a la Allens Ave.) in a city that doesn't otherwise support cycling. I wish the City would actually look at the big picture of bikes as legitimate transportation option rather than using a bike "path" as a traffic calming device.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Windsocks II

Another fender option just arrived today. SOMA Fabrications
makes these crazy full-wraps in several colors. We have 2 different blues, a pink, and a sweet red color that just happens to look great on this Surly Crosscheck. Hell-if you buy the red ones we'll even throw the Crosscheck in for $950. The other colors are $40. Come and get'em.

Friday, February 8, 2008


The weather station on my roof has been down for the past few days (I think a squirrel got tangled up in the windsock), so as I was leaving my house today I made an ill-informed decision on which bike to to grab. Once on the road, it didn't take long to realize that my fixed gear with just a rear freddy fender was a poor choice, but I was running late so I kept on keepin' on.

I know what you're thinking; and yes of course I saw the snow falling out the window. But how was I to know the road would be so wet? As it turned out, today was the perfect day for my winter road bike. With full wrap SKS fenders and mudflaps I would surely have arrived at the shop with dry feet. In my experience, there is nothing more damaging to an otherwise sunny disposition than standing around all day with two cold, wet dogs.

So let that be a lesson to the kids out there: stay in school, don't do drugs, and put some damn fenders on your bike before this "good" weather goes away.

Sheldon Brown 1944 -2008

Sheldon passed away this week. I for one am thankful for the many questions he answered about obscure technical issues that occasionally come up while doing a repair or spec'ing an unusual part. His internet presence was omnipotent. Often customers would come in and inform us that "Sheldon said..." whatever about whatever, and I have grown to pretty much consider it gospel.

Even the Bike Snob - who has made it his stock in trade to lampoon every aspect of cycling culture - had nothing but kind words and respect this giant of cycling culture. Thanks for all that Sheldon. RIP.

Friday, January 25, 2008

stimulus package

Sure, I could use 600 bucks just for being an understimulated American consumer.

I'll spend it on updating my porn collection. After all, subsidizing your sex life is a $10 Billion industry - and whats more American than watching other folks get it on?

Or perhaps I'll put it towards the $4745 its costing each individual tax payer to destabilize the Middle East.

Of course, I really shouldn't buy another bike - but you should. What would be better than putting that $600 towards driving less and getting more exercise? I promise that we will in turn use your money to make your neighborhood bike shop better. I will drink more coffee from the Coffee Exchange, buy more vintage clothing from Into the Wardrobe, rent foreign films from Acme Video and stock up on supplies at Adler's Hardware. Each one of these businesses is locally owned by a neighbor and a friend. Get to know them and support them at the same time.

Keep the stimulus local to help arouse the local economy.

Friday, January 4, 2008

We're Back

Happy 2008! In case you have been in a fruitcake hangover for the past two weeks, you may not have noticed that we've been closed for vacation. Now that our batteries are recharged, we're looking forward to our 5th year in business, and we've got some exciting things in store for y'alls. Let's ride more! Let's drive less! Let's eat more sushi! Let's use more exclamation points!!!