San Francisco

So this weekend Brooke and I are heading down to San Francisco. I hope to deliver a bunch of magazines, meet some people I’ve only communicated via email with in person, maybe ride around the city, but most of all we plan on relaxing and enjoying the town. It’s a little birthday gift to ourselves, even those who don’t work for the government deserve a three-day weekend.

The last time I was there I was just getting over my injuries from getting hit in Baltimore, renting a bike at one of those places on the water was fun and really brought my mood back up. Are there any places one could cheaply rent, or borrow, some bikes for a weekend? If there’s one thing I really love is riding around in another city. It’s a short trip this weekend, travelling light, so bringing our own bikes isn’t really an option. Besides it’s another 80 dollars a piece each way to bring your bike on the plane I’ve found.

Like I said we’re down to relax, but I would like to see some cool bike shops down there, but I’m not sure which ones are not to be missed. I’m open to suggestions.

Also, as I’m still waiting to get issue 5 back from the printer (I’ve been told today is the day), I thought I’d share the Bicycle Noose ahead of time. You’ll notice the call for entries to the Bicycle Film Festival has been extended to the 1st of March. Just like the Filmed by Bike deadline for entries. BFF~FBB


If there’s one thing that I’ve learned throughout all of this magazine business is this: that we really have little control over everything we think we do. Tomorrow the magazine is scheduled to be released. I think I’ve done an alright job of lining the issue up, designing most of it, staying on top of contributors, scheduling its release and distribution, etc. So no matter how much preparation you yourself do, no matter how much control you have over all the little factors and details, everything can be turned upside down very easily. So where did all that control go?

The magazine will not be dropping tomorrow like I’ve planned one month exactly before the end of winter. It won’t be available for me to ride around with on this week’s Thursday and Friday afternoon making deliveries to the numerous shops in town. I won’t be heading to Portland this weekend to make deliveries. I won’t be able to ship out to all of the subscribers and pre-order customers, just as I won’t be able to send out to the copious shops carrying Cranked across the country and abroad. Instead, because there were some anomalies during binding time at the print shop the magazine won’t be available until next week most likely. Next week my work schedule isn’t going to allow so much free time, I’ll figure it out and get this issue out regardless.

We don’t have as much control over what we think we do. I’ve just gotten home from work, I’m going to drink a scotch, relax, and put some new bars on my bike; just about all I got from the swap. I have seen a finished copy of the mag though, all in all, it looks good! I can’t wait for you to see it.

I’ve been liking the scotch lately, pretty new to it, anyone have any suggestions?

Bike Swap

So I very nearly forgot about the bike swap, I don’t really need anything, but I’m gonna go regardless. I’m sure I’ll find something or other.

Anyway, I hope to see some friendly faces there and on my way along the Burke and among the aisles of bike parts. Speaking of the Burke, keep an eye out for some development on a Community Driven Trail Art project. I believe there’ll be some meetings happening sometime in the next couple months for discussion as to what and where we’re going to see this art installation. I’m gonna chime in myself for the tunnel option! It could be a little archway that cyclists and such would travel through, complete with a Nickels honorary plaque for his efforts to really advance alternative transportation in Seattle.

All joking aside, the Viaduct Tunnel option is not what Seattle needs, but seeing some art on the trail would be great! I’ll keep everyone in tune with more information on it when I get it.

Well, I’d better get moving if I want to make it to the Swap!

You Smell Something?

The magazine’s proof has been signed off on, and I’m just waiting for the call to come pick them up. I’m excited. It won’t be too long now.

Other news, Justin has put together a great race, hopefully it won’t be as wet and rainy as last year’s, but either way, you’ll have a good time. (Probably the second weekend of March, more details to come!) Come out and play with us and your bikes, there’ll be an after party at the finish line where the wheelset raffle will take place and one lucky Cranked reader will be selected out of a hat to win the wheels. I just stopped into the shop today to check in on them, they said hello and they’re doing fine. Charles says hello too.

If postings and emails have seemed more intermittent than usual it’s because I’ve given up on dealing with my internet service provider. I’ve given up on having to unplug my modem repeatedly. I no longer want to find myself reaching behind the desk, pressing my face against the wall stretching to find the cable modem’s power cable anymore. I grew tired of being advised to go through yet another “method” of recycling my cable modem’s settings: unplug everything from the modem, the power, the co-ax, the data cable, wait 10 minutes, perform broadband dance…. No thanks, I’ll just go get a coffee.

I’m at Vérité at the moment, tonight has been interesting, Brooke and I took the bus out to Ballard only to have the driver pull over and announce over the PA that he smells smoke. He doesn’t tell us to get off the bus or anything, he just allows us sit there taking in the burning electric aroma. After a few moments of hesitation, there was a unconscious community decision to depart the bus. This was a nice delay only for the fact that we ran into Craig Etheridge and then later Justin himself, had a nice chat with both of them. How we had wished we had ridden our bikes instead of the bus; those two looked so much better off riding their bikes.

Well, I’ve been working at 5:00 am everyday this week, I’m glad it’s the weekend. I’m out. Don’t forget, this is the last weekend to get into the wheelset raffle. Only two more days left to get free shipping.


Helmet laws!

Alright, let’s talk about something else controversial. Just kidding.

I wanted to let everyone know that issue five is just around the corner. It has made it to the printer, and we’re just waiting for it to return all pretty and colorful! For all of those that have pre-ordered your copy, rest assure, it’ll be sent immediately after they get printed, and for those domestic orders, cross your fingers for those wheels, they’re waiting for you too.

To give a little bit more of a peak at the up-coming issue, its featuring the above article on this unique wheel-lacing method. As well as an article that adds some question to the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan and offers some alternative perspectives to it. What’s everyone’s thoughts on the Plan? I know many other cities are considering similar infrastructural changes, how are they working? Is this kind of meddling government necessary? How much would simple education for drivers and cyclists answer the problems these “Plans” are attempting to address?

If you’ve visiting the Cranked Mag mySpace page, you may have noticed a new image there. Yes, its the new cover. I’ll keep it small for the moment, but here it is:

I’ve put a cut-off date for the wheel set raffle. That day is tomorrow the 12th of February, but as the magazine won’t be completed tomorrow, let’s extend the raffle to the following Monday, the 19th of February. All pre-orders for this week will also have free-shipping, so if you’ve neglected buying a copy because of the $2.00 shipping costs, your time has come. Pre-order issue #5 here.


Phở Fo Faux

It has recently been brought to my attention that Cranked is seen as a magazine that panders to a specific group. That it is trying to “be” a messenger magazine, trying to “be” something that it isn’t. I’d like to set this straight.

Faux-real, faux-messenger, faux-magazine?

Isn’t this a rather closed-minded approach to community? Just because someone is riding their bike downtown, and its a fixed gear, or they have a shoulder slung bag on, their pants are rolled up or whatever, are they “obviously” trying to cop a style, and are therefore subject to ridicule. What is this? Is it style? Are people that self-important and conceited that they think they’ve set some precedent in fashion that isn’t to be replicated? That some amount of reverence needs to be submitted first? Are people that vain? It must be something other than vanity and selfishness then. Closed-mindedness is all I’m left with.

Do people think Cranked is a faux-magazine? Attempting to be a messenger magazine? Trying to be something it isn’t? Do people know what Cranked is about? I’ll tell you, it is absolutely not aiming to be a messenger magazine. Rather, it is attempting to offer coverage of some of the things messengers do. Read this sentence too: Cranked is also attempting to offer coverage of some of the things commuters do. Oh, and also what drunken bike groups do, what bike shops and mechanics do, what bike riders do, what those who ride alone do, what point83 does, what the Dead Babies do, what Fast Friday does, what bike groups like Cascade, Bike Dexter, SORBA, BBTC, Bicycle Kitchen, CCC, Velocipede, and what the B:C:Clettes do, Cyclecide, Streetsblog, Rochester Alley Cat, Baleen, etc, etc, etc. See a pattern? Does this sound like something that is pandering to one specific group of cyclists, like something that is trying to be one specific group of bikers?

Have I left anyone out? Has the magazine left anyone out? (Yes, I know there are millions more; want coverage? contact me.) We all know the old adage, don’t judge a book by its cover. This means give it a chance, taste the noodles, smell the broth, judge it by what it is and not what you’ve heard or assume it is. Don’t know it’s history, find out and ask.

Seriously, keep it real and forget about your judgements on what is faux-real or not.

Triple Laced

So, the wheelset that is getting raffled off to one lucky person (pre-order your copy today, the raffle is open until the 12th) is a three-cross, double laced beauty. This simply means each spoke crosses three other spokes as they approach the rim and is more or less woven around its neighbors. You’ll read all about it in issue five.

I’ve built a couple sets of wheels this way, and they’re solid. I’ve built one set thinking I was doing it again, but instead I built it four-cross and triple laced. I was curious as to why this set felt different while I was building them. It was a lot of weaving, but the end result is fantastic I think:



The technique detailed in issue five is not a pain to build at all and the completed set look just as pretty.