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rabidmonkey4262
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14 Mar 2011, 11:38 pm

Bikes are an obsession of mine. I love fixing them, riding them, and currently I'm building my first racing bike. I also built a commuter bike from craigslist parts. I'm on my racing team at school (UIC) and I frequently ride in the Chicago area. If anyone out there is interested in exchanging information on training or componentry, go ahead and blurt it out. I'm always looking for someone to talk to about bikes.

Also, if you're in the area and would like to share a ride sometime, I probably wouldn't mind. The weather is getting warmer and riding solo can be boring.


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TheBicyclingGuitarist
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15 Mar 2011, 12:00 am

When I was a little boy I started riding a bicycle in tight circles for hours on my family's back porch. As a teenager I went on forty or fifty mile day trips quite often and rode most of the roads in my home county. I started playing guitar when I was 18 years old. Sometime in my early twenties I found I could combine bicycle riding and guitar playing. Since the early 1980s I have ridden tens of thousands of miles "no hands" on my 1977 Schwinn Sportabout ten-speed while playing a Fender Stratocaster guitar at the same time. I don't enjoy bicycling without a guitar. I am out of breath in half a block and feel every pedal stroke. I also don't enjoy playing guitar as much unless I am riding my bicycle. I've ridden the same bicycle doing this the past thirty years, the past twenty years with the same guitar.

Just today my helper from the Regional Brokerage drove me to the local community college so I could ride and play there. I wasn't allowed today to ride indoors there, but it was nice enough weather for me to ride around their buildings. Several staff saw me and were impressed, so maybe they'll give me a break and hook me up with some time I can ride and play inside the gym when it is cold and wet outdoors.

I am hoping to find a place where I can ride and play indoors during wintertime when it is too cold and wet for bicycle guitaring outdoors. A week or two ago I tried using a handball room at the local YMCA. It was just a little bit too narrow for me to make the turns inside the room riding no hands. If it had been about thirty-six inches wider, or if it had carpet instead of hardwood floor, I could have easily done it. My helper is still trying to get me access to their gym or roller rink. Liability issues seem to be the big problem here, plus finding a time when those rooms aren't already busy.

Bicycle guitaring relieves some of the pain from body sensory overload and my mind racing in all directions at once at light speed. My body is distracted by keeping me balanced as I ride "no hands", and my mind is on the music flowing from my heart through my fingers to the guitar. It is the only peace I have yet found in this life, better than sex, better than drugs, a meditation in motion, but I can't ride outside when it is cold or wet because that's not good for the guitar or my fingers.

Look for "bicycling guitarist" in any search engine. I'm all over the internet, and the official web site of The Bicycling Guitarist has been online since 1997. I hope to be filmed and recorded this year, because there isn't much footage of me riding and playing yet and most of my songs (including my best) have never been recorded. A few dozen of my older songs are available for free on my web site. I play guitar and especially sing better right now than anything yet recorded of me or posted anywhere.


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"When you ride over sharps, you get flats!"--The Bicycling Guitarist, May 13, 2008


rabidmonkey4262
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15 Mar 2011, 12:20 am

Thebicyclingguitarist, your signature is truly amazing. Also, riding a Schwinn with a strat is the epitome of badass. Best of luck to you, I just subscribed on youtube.


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TheBicyclingGuitarist
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15 Mar 2011, 12:34 am

You honor me. Thanks. In 2008 I came up with that signature quotation standing by some people who were playing piano at an outpatient clinic. It will probably be the title of my next album and my autobiography, or should I say bicyclebiography? The Bicycle Museum of America (formerly of Chicago, now in New Bremen, Ohio) wants to display "The Minstrel Cycle" after I die. I've made arrangements for them to get it. They should probably get the guitar too, although I am tempted to take that with me when I die (have it buried or cremated with me).

If you think what's posted is cool, just wait until I get some new recordings posted. Something clicked the past year or so where I now play and sing much better than ever before in my life. Of course here I am fifty years old now, been doing this thirty years, and I have yet to make a dime doing what I love. Hopefully that will change before my talents fade. Please help spread the word of "The Bicycling Guitarist" to help me get discovered so I can get a sponsor for some professional studio time, filming, and promotion.

Keep pedalin'


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blackcat
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15 Mar 2011, 12:52 am

Nope. I am a longboard kind of girl. But that sounds neat! I would LOVE to be able to build ANYTHING let alone something as cool as a bike. I kind of want to try making a longboard, but I have never been good with that sort of thing.


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rabidmonkey4262
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15 Mar 2011, 1:12 am

I'm actually a longboard girl too, but not so much anymore. I have an Arbor Fish and a Barfoot. The Arbor is my favorite. Unfortunately the potholey Chicago streets are awful for longboarding, not to mention the terrain is flat. If I ever visit somewhere more hilly maybe I'll revitalize my interest in boarding.


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blackcat
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15 Mar 2011, 1:19 am

Awesome! Hey...if you ever need someone to take one of those longboards off of your hands I would be more than happy to. :wink: I'm poor. My longboard is a piece of crap.


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rabbit90
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16 Mar 2011, 12:53 am

Bikes are cool



Solvejg
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16 Mar 2011, 5:38 am

I enjoy cycling. I had to stop when i had my son cause they haven't invented a newborn cycling option yet. seats and trailers start from 6 months. Then when my daughter was born, my son's autism was really becoming all encompassing for a while and he wouldn't sit in a trailer. I have just found a tandem attachment for a bike that has a reclining seat similar to a recumbent bicycle so i can have my son on the back and my daughter in a centre seat. I am also thinking of splurging and getting a new schwinn in july and give my rust bucket schwinn (too many days cycling next to the beach) retirement.

While researching schwinn bikes, i fell in love with the town and country. It is so cool. I was wondering if it would be possible, to alter it enough for a child's booster seat where the basket is..... :?


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rabidmonkey4262
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16 Mar 2011, 12:57 pm

Sovejg,

What year were you thinking for the Schwinn? I ask because a trike might be harder to service than a typical bike. I don't have much experience working with trikes, but I would check out the condition of the chain, tires, break cables, and break pads. I might be stating the obvious, but that old rubber doesn't have much stopping power. It's also getting harder to find high-quality replacement tires for the older 27in-630 mm diameter. If you're getting an older bike, I assume the tire rubber will be cracked, regardless of how much the bike was actually used. They're still available, but your purchasing options are generally more limited. I'd recommend looking at bikes with modern standards, like 622 mm wheels and an aluminum frame.

In terms of child seats, you could probably get creative and replace the basket with a home-made rigging for a child seat. The con is that you're going to add a few pounds of weight to the trike (it's going to be heavy already). I'm assuming you were looking at a tag-along-style attachment? The guy that owns the bike shop I used to work at always raved about how his tag-along improved his son's balance and helped him ride independently.

If he's still too young, the other option is the kangaroo-style seat. It mounts by a bar that runs from your seatpost to the head tube. That being said, I'm uncertain on weather the older town and country head tube geometry would be compatible for this type of mount, so you'd need to go see the trike in person to make a better assessment. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful, as I don't know much about trikes.


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Solvejg
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16 Mar 2011, 6:17 pm

Rapid, I am thinking of buying a brand new schwinn cruiser 2011. Yes the tag along bike option at the back is what i was looking at but my son has major strength issues in his wrists and knees so a typical one wouldn't work. I found a guy here (can not reveal location for security purposes) that custom makes recumbent bikes (the lay down ones) and he has made a few tag along ones for children with a disability before. I will also be getting a kangaroo style seat but for my daughter who is 2. Bike options for multiple children are not very good. :x

With the town and country, i was looking at only getting one at this point in time if i could have it modified for a booster seat and for it to be legal(stringent safety laws regarding child seats here) because that would be a cheaper option for my son and daughter then having a custom made tandem bike attachment made.

Oh i love researching bikes. :P


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aussiebloke
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16 Mar 2011, 11:59 pm

Yes , ultimate AS nerdish hobby sadly it's become the sport of choice of the Mammal demographic.

Mammal = Middle aged men in Lycra :roll:

They also say cycling is the new Golf since most golfers are right wing douche bags I stay well away.

This sport shows how sheepish NT"s really are most of these mammals are in the sportive range (where I'm at ) bikes in the $3000 -6000 K and that's where the silimtires end. They have the obligatory over stiff carbon bike in red ,black or white , Ultegra equipped (their are other groupset makers people!) with the usual Mavic or Shimano rims . I do not know how cycling journalists can get so excited about the same ol same ol (they must gee themselves up)

Than you have the mammals who are on top of the food chain ( CEOs ) they spend something like 10 K ++ on a bike often their of the "weight weenie" variety their the sort of losers who would spend $ 400 on a stem to save 30 grams.

I wonder when their going down at 80 km +++ down Mount Cootha and the stem breaks would they be feeling so clever ?

Myself I am anti weight weenie :) I just sent 3K on a heavy steel bike! 9.5 kg most sportive bikes are in the 7 - 8 kg range. Oh and it's bright yellow to!

At least with steal it will be with me for life ,sometimes plastic ain't always fantastic...

PS I will never ever ride carbon :D next bike retro 90's cool Titanium...


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aussiebloke
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17 Mar 2011, 12:03 am

Solvejg wrote:
Rapid, I am thinking of buying a brand new schwinn cruiser 2011. Yes the tag along bike option at the back is what i was looking at but my son has major strength issues in his wrists and knees so a typical one wouldn't work. I found a guy here (can not reveal location for security purposes) that custom makes recumbent bikes (the lay down ones) and he has made a few tag along ones for children with a disability before. I will also be getting a kangaroo style seat but for my daughter who is 2. Bike options for multiple children are not very good. :x

With the town and country, i was looking at only getting one at this point in time if i could have it modified for a booster seat and for it to be legal(stringent safety laws regarding child seats here) because that would be a cheaper option for my son and daughter then having a custom made tandem bike attachment made.

Oh i love researching bikes. :P



I have that bike the "deluxe" model in black it's crap I hardly ride it and it's only giving me grief it's to be expected it's only like $ 800 over here, a bike like that if it where a quality prouct should cost closer to $A1500 , people want everything built to a cost when the in the long run it would be cheaper if that bike where closer $A1500


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17 Mar 2011, 1:14 am

I'm not sure if I'm making anyone jealous though it became a obsession after watching a tv soap (UK) about cycle messengers, not a bad show great line of work, (if bikes are your thing which they are I suppose if your on this thread!

Though having ones head run over at 50 km per hour by a motorbike ain't much fun . Time to find a new line of work now that I'm about to get of disability....


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rabidmonkey4262
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17 Mar 2011, 1:14 am

aussiebloke wrote:

Mammal = Middle aged men in Lycra :roll:

They also say cycling is the new Golf since most golfers are right wing douche bags I stay well away.

...They have the obligatory over stiff carbon bike in red ,black or white , Ultegra equipped (their are other groupset makers people!) with the usual Mavic or Shimano rims.

Than you have the mammals who are on top of the food chain ( CEOs ) they spend something like 10 K ++ on a bike often their of the "weight weenie" variety their the sort of losers who would spend $ 400 on a stem to save 30 grams.

I wonder when their going down at 80 km +++ down Mount Cootha and the stem breaks would they be feeling so clever ?


I myself am a "weight weenie" but I'm not dumb enough to spend that much money on a bike. I build and get parts off ebay. I'm not a fan of these "mammals." They are never in shape, yet they spend obscene amounts of money on a bike that really is only effective if you're in top condition. Then they get temperamental on the bike path, toting along their sense of entitlement in their snappy carbon bottle cages. Funny thing is, these bigshot, under-trained, lawyer types used to come into the shop to adjust their breaks. You'd think they would have enough sense to turn an allen wrench. My reasoning is, you only deserve a bike that fits your level of cycling. I laugh when I see these mammals in the cat 4/5 races with zipp wheels. Then there's always some chump on a steel frame cross bike who does better than the lot of them.

okay, I'm done with my rant on over-indulgent cyclists.


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aussiebloke
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17 Mar 2011, 1:26 am

I was fliping through one of my old mags and schwinn had a carbon copy of the that 50's cruiser back in the late 90's and it was like US $1200, it it was the real deal no gears and ALL steal , the one they have now is just a cheap carbon copy with plastic :(


wish they would bring it back...


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