• December 2021
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“Still crazy after all these years…”

Why not?!  Purchased a batch of great “home mechanic” vintage frames and bikes from a super person in Duluth.  If you’ve watched Craigs-List then you might have seen the posting.  Well, now those bikes are available at my shop!  Wow!  Stop in and check out the first ten!  I’ll try to get a couple of photos up on the web site or Facebook between repairs and tune-ups.  Good Luck.

The track light is up and lighting up the place.  A special and great big “THANK YOU” to my brother-in-law for the help on my “day-off.”  It’ll take some time to adjust the lights to what I want but it’s much brighter in here and a bit more shop/retail-like in the place.  All the bikes look shinny and new-ish with the extra light.  Once again I’ve managed to up-cycle some old lights and track to make this little shop look better.

Thanks everyone for the early spring business and word-of-mouth work.  I’m having more fun and loving my “job” more and more every day!

T-shirts to rags

It might take a little extra time in making them but since taking over the space the shop has gone through only 1 (partial) roll of paper towels.  The shop rags and towels are all down-cycled t-shirts cut to size.  When they get too full of grease etc. they go in a bucket and then home to be washed.  Once the shop acquires a good working second hand washer they washing will be done here.  Drying will be done by line.

Looking around the shop I’m reminded of how much of the space was built up using up-cycled fixtures, building supplies, paint, etc.  There are about 4 items that were purchased “new” for the shop.  Two of those items were light fixtures which are too dim for the space.  Turns out, if I had been more patient, a great set of track lights became available on K-bid.  I won the bid and am cleaning, painting, and getting them ready to be set up soon.

A while back there was a great article in the Star Tribune talking about buying items at second hand shops, garage sales, etc.  The idea was that most of the things people need can be bought at these places at a major savings.  A person just has to get used to up-cycling being cool, trendy, a possibility.  The key was to make a list of the things you need, maintain the list, find and then start shopping at these second hand shops and garage sales.  The great thing about shopping this way is that you’ll support a lot more LOCAL businesses and people.

Take a look at “The 3/50 Project.” CLICK HERE

Sun light

It happens every year about two weeks ago.  The happy fuzzy feelings of the holidays are over and the cold dark of winter grabs hold of my ambition and shoves it into one of the brown icy Minnesota snowbanks.  It usually takes about a week for me to figure it out and another week for me to get out of it.  Coming out of “it’ usually coincides with the day or two where I notice that it’s still light, sun having set but casting light, around the five o-clock hour. Once I make it to this point I know mental survival is possible, the winter is done and soon it will be spring.  There will be more snow and cold but the extra light of day keeps my perspective much more positive.

It’s already the 15th of January and after looking at the blog realized that nothing, aside from blocked spam, has been on the “blog.”  Several things were in the works but they were mainly angry rants, again the dark mood, about some of the crime in the area and the lazy people who feed their habits from our hard work.  Posting this is my way of beating a low in my productivity ambitions and jamming it into gear to move forward on the projects my creativity won’t stop building.  In other words, I have done nothing about anything but think about very specific projects.  Time to start creating and building again.

If you have a bike that needs fixing, parts, etc. I can help with that too.

Experienced riders

Today a rider, and this person is a rider, stops in to pick up his bike.  The bike needed a basic tune up and a crank arm replaced.  The rider and I start a conversation about his bike and then it quickly leads into his age.  This guy is 83 years old and riding strong.  His bike is littered with at least 5 tickets from the St. Paul Classic Bike Tour.  A couple of years ago, on the Habitat 500 Bike Ride, I met another rider in his late 80’s.  Just two examples of where I want, hope, to be when I reach that point in my life.  The customer today tells me “you’ve got a long way to go to get to my point.”  To which I responded “yes, but I can, at least, see that point and aim for it.”

Duck Dodgers…

My oldest daughter and I worked on our first “ray-gun” today.  This project and future ones were inspired by an article I read in Make Magazine a long time ago.  I’m trying to use old bike parts to make toys that would make Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon jealous.  So far the 8 year old seems to be very impressed and as long as I continue along this path it should be successful.  Stop in and see the new “toys” made from recycled parts next week.

Looking for artists

Hey there,  I’m looking for people who create art and items (hand bags, magnets, clothing, etc) from reclaimed materials and who want to sell those items in a retail setting.  Follow the contact link or give me a call at the shop and we can get something set up.  Thank you!

Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center

The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center is having…



(Yeah, we know it’s really a groundbreaking ceremony and fundraiser, but this one will be hot…we promise!)

Celebrate the official start of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center at the hottest ticket in town.  Break some ground before snacking on fiery fare courtesy of Azia Restaurant and sipping blazing bevies. Take in the searing sounds and atmosphere of DJ Sheelz & Hasselhoff and Glamorama-guru Christopher K. And delight in sizzling live performances. All from inside our new digs in the former historic Nokomis Theater building at 38th and Chicago. This will be your one and only opportunity to see what 3749 Chicago Avenue looks like before restoration begins, so please come, explore, and help us heat up this marvelous mass before the construction dust starts flying!

Help Us Catch Fire

Groundbreaking Ceremony: 3:30 p.m.
Fire-Taz-Matic-O-Rama–A Fiery Fundraiser: 5:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
3749 Chicago Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55407

To learn more, please visit us at or follow our blog at http:fireartscenter.blogspot.comEven if you can’t join us for the fundraiser, secure on-line donations are always gratefully accepted through our blog.

Thank you!

Minneapolis cyclists, hello?

Eventually this type of enforcement will come to Minneapolis and it’ll be about time.  Don’t get me wrong I think this is a great place to ride but with the number of recent articles printed lately that are pro and con cyclists this type of traffic enforcement will balance the argument.  Who on two wheels has not broken some traffic law at some point in their cycling adventures.  What gets me going is the one(s) who do it recklessly then get hit/hurt and expect the rest of the world to feel sorry for or angry with them.  NOT!  Here’s the link and article.

Police to enforce bicycle laws more heavily to increase safety

BELLINGHAM – With the onset of worsening weather conditions and fewer hours of daylight, a new education and enforcement effort is under way to help bicyclists and cars better share the road.The Bellingham Police Department is teaming up with the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to educate people about bicycle safety and fine cyclists who ignore the laws, said Bellingham Police Sgt. David Richards.The program, which has been in the works for more than four years, is designed to educate bicyclists on the rules of the road, and in turn, increase the amount of respect drivers have for bicyclists, Richards said.Under the new program, police officers are encouraged to treat bicyclists equal to drivers when it comes to stopping and ticketing people for traffic violations, Richards said. Officers will specifically be looking for lighting violations, which include improperly equipped bicycles, and traffic violations, such as failing to obey stop signs and stop lights.

By law, bicyclists must equip the front of their bicycle with a white light visible from 500 feet away and the back with a red reflector visible from 100 feet away.

If a bicyclist is found without the proper lights, a warning will be issued, giving the cyclist 15 to 30 days to purchase the correct equipment and show a police officer the problem has been fixed. If the problem is not taken care of during that time, the bicyclist will receive a $103 fine, Richards said.

“Our goal is to develop better bicycling behaviors from riders and gain more compassion and respect from drivers,” Richards said.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission provides a free brochure on its Web site,, that outlines safety tips for bicyclists as well as the laws bicyclists must follow.


For cyclists:

• When holding up more than five cars, pull over to the side of the road and let them pass.

• Use hand signals.

• Wear light-colored clothing.

For drivers:

• When passing a bicyclist, leave at least 3 feet of space between bike’s handlebar and your passenger door.

• Keep an eye out for bicyclists.

• Be patient when looking to pass.

PUMPKINS at the shop

Hey, stop in and sign up (if you have not already) to be on my email or mailing list and get a FREE pumpkin.  Well, at least until I run out of the things.

A very special thanks must go out to the family that donated them to the shop.  So, if you want to make a donation to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance ( for the pumpkin(s) I’ll take care of getting it there too.


New bike at a used shop

Sitting at home watching an episode of “Eco Trip.”  A show that discusses how certain products work in the environment.  Granted, I have questions about the footprint the manufacturing of a new bike makes on the planet but I can’t get the new bike at the shop out of my mind.  No doubt that the footprint of driving a car far out weighs that of riding a bike.  But, what an odd day today.

Mid-afternoon a guy stops in with a brand new, still has the plastic and cardboard on it, Schwinn, limited edition, Fat Tire Amber Ale, cruiser bike.  What a cool looking bike.  It’s a direct copy of the 1955 version of Schwinn bikes complete with tank horn and front fender light.  It’s really cool!  A neighbor of the shop owns it but can not use it and wants to sell it.  I have a bike shop and can help.  This neighbor has a friend drop it off.  I want it.

About an hour later a young boy stops by the shop with his bike.  His bike is the exact opposite of the Schwinn and in really rough shape.  He knows this and wants to know “how much it would cost” to fix up his bike.  To be honest with him, and you, it’s not worth it.  How the kid was able to ride the bike to the shop, the five blocks, I’m not sure.  It’s has no working brakes, the seat rails are bent, the front fork is twisted, the handle bar is loose in the stem, and the stem is loose in the head set.  Really!  Come on!  Kids have to ride bikes in this condition.  At least he’s got a bike, right?!?  Granted, I don’t know the whole story but this kid cared enough to bring his bike to a bike shop.  I would not have been surprised to pull this bike out of a dumpster but to have a kid actually ride it up to the shop.  Lance’s bike handling skills are nothing compared to this kids.

So, I’m going to fix up the bike or find a better one for free .  It’s my shop and that’s what I can do.