Monthly Archives: January 2010

taking conch cruiser to a new level of rust

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Tomas dropped by the other day with a major chain problem and a bleeding thumb that prolly needed minor surgery. We treated the chain and released the bicycle healthy and ready to cruise; but not before I shot this photo of Tomas, his bicycle and his rusty key. Yep. I have seen it all. Rusted headsets, rusty handlebars, completely rusted fenders, rusted out frames, chains and locks….and now…a rusty key. The climate here is brutal on bicycles.

Snowballs in Key West

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I took this a few weeks ago while waiting for lunch at Sandy’s on White street.  There were a few posts I wanted to keep at the top so I never put this one up. I thought an elf with snowballs in Key West was pretty damn funny; which is a great segue to complain about the cold on Monday night. WTF!?! I had to pedal home to grab a long sleeve shirt, vest and hat and was still chilly. Shorts prolly didn’t help matters. The low might have been 61, though that seems acceptably cold. However, last night the cold was not acceptable. I like cooler weather for riding and not being a sweaty mess, but last night’s libations commute felt like a fatal Artic trek. Ok, maybe not fatal, but we’re certainly losing a few digits to frostbite…

sunday night pier tour

Four fixies decided to go for a nice Sunday night ride. Actually, there were to be six of us, but the Patricks were a no show. boooooo! They did join us afterward for beer and noshes at the midnight happy hour at Finnegan’s Wake. mmmm….wings with wasabi dipping sauce! The night began at Fixed Gears where we tightened chains, lubed links and topped off tires. Amy suggested a pier tour so we headed to Simonton Beach. It seemed like three of us were out to pop a tire that night with flagrantly flashy skidding. There’s a wonderful slickness to many streets when its wet here, making for some fun slalom skidding around obstacles and around corners.

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John decided trackstanding on the narrow Simonton Beach Pier wasn’t enough of a challenge, so here’s a pic of him doing it one handed. wooo-haaa! I opted for a backwards circle at the Duval/South Beach Pier.  Actually, the full, real name is Emma Carrero Cates Pier. She was a Key West City Commissioner for 18 years, helped preserve many beaches in Monroe County as well as being a large part of the creation of South Beach. Thanks Emma!

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Beware of Jumping Sharks!

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Never a dull moment in Key West, even if this pic looks totally casual; nothing exciting, just another day in the Conch Republic. Damn i love living here! Although, not a pier, we stopped at that little park thingee near Casa Marina, rode by lots of fishermen at the White Street Pier and ended the tour with a nice rest at the sanctuary pier. Well, i guess its a boardwalk through a tiny remaining wetland area, and it ends on a tiny beach; but we like to think of it as a pier; it is Key Wierd!

Fundraiser for Moe Kempa, over $3,000 raised!

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The fundraiser at  Stay Fit Studios was a full house and brought in over $3,000! I stopped by for about an hour to donate some money and jump on a bike for my first spin class. I was a sweaty mess! A projector was set up to show photos of the ride on a screen whilst everyone pedaled…or spun. It was my first time spinning and i have no idea what to call it! There was a great vibe and I was thankful to be able to take part. Best wishes to Moe!

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Another shot of the spinners! I am not sure how everyone could keep the pace the whole time. I took a few breaks, but lots of riders pedaled the entire time as the instructors rotated shifts. Wow. And there aren’t even hills here to enjoy.

Smart Ride 6!

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229 cyclists left Miami last Friday morning enroute to a wet, cold and blistery Key West to raise money for AIDS related charities in Florida. 100% of all money raised goes to a variety of organizations to help many, many people. 100%! Please check out the Smart Ride website for much more information about the ride. Hundreds more volunteers helped make the ride successful and wonderful. I have heard so many great stories from people involved and was lucky enough to attend the closing ceremonies; that my heart is super warm. Great job everyone! The above photo shows the amount of money raised at the time; it is now thousands more thanks to many donors and volunteers continuing to bring in the money. This post barely scrapes the surface of the 2010 Smart Ride. I cannot do it justice. Patrick closed down Fixed Gears so Max and I could attend the ceramonies. He had also been gone for the last few days as a volunteer mechanic and helped many people with their bicycles along the two day, 165 mile ride. Please also check out the Conch Republic Cyclist who rode the ride and will have a much better post and inside view!

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There was a tent to keep the bicycles out of the nasty weather. The loop around the island was canceled and the closing ceremony at the AIDS Memorial at the White Street Pier was moved to the HOV School auditorium.

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Crici Stroy-Martin, crew manager and ride committee member, addressing the emotional crowd.

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A riderless bike was walked though the crowd as a song was played to pay respect to those who could not ride today. A very emotional moment for many.

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Rosie’s Bar and Grill was presented the Founder’s Award for contintiued service. They have helped with every smartride, helping and feeding many riders and crew. I heard many amazing things about their Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast this year.

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FREAKING COLD!!!!!

Ok, mother nature, we need to talk. First, it is Monday and quite sunny. Thank you. We all needed some sunshine! But i must digress, or be distressed, or just pissed about the weather yesterday. ARRRGGG!!
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I had to wear arm warmers and a hat inside the shop to keep warm. ARM WARMERS! They helped a lot and i hoped it would help sell some of the varieties we sell at Fixed Gears, but not too many people were out and about. Every time i had to brave the cold i had to add a scarf and jacket. I know what y’all nawtheners must be thinking about my 50 degree tirades, but it really is an issue in Key West. Very few places have heat, including businesses, schools and homes. There are emergency homeless shelters opening up. I have certainly lost my thick blood, but would still enjoy some crazy downhill snow hill biking with my friends back in Hartford, Connecticut. Bless y’all! That looked fun and I am sure I could survive if I wore most of the mountaineering and winter camping gear I have packed away.

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A lot of the bars here are pretty much outdoors and that makes drinking to forget about the cold kinda a lesson in futility. Jonathon was having drinking issues with a full face mask at the Alamo. We are still all getting drunk. And we are still all cold. Yep. Sooooo….  I’m not really sure where else to go with all that….

The BeatBikeBlog has some tips for winter riding that might help us here on the island, or at least make for some funny reading.

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Toubab Krewe did an amazing job keeping everyone at the Parrot warm the last few nights with beats and music that caused widespread dancing and dancing and happiness. West African music and southern rock!? I am not sure how to describe it except… GREAT! I missed seeing this band last year and I am super grateful I got to see them finally for a few sets. Many blessings on your tour and please return soon…especially if its cold!

Winter Rain Blues

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I took this yesterday. A sunny day. It was actually warm. No socks. Shorts. And sundresses!

Although I have been complaining, bitching and generally bemoaning the colder weather, I will admit I have enjoyed the novelty of wearing a scarf and socks; and not just any socks, my Smartwool argyles! I guess i enjoy the simple things in this life. I also remember August.

Today I rode to work in the rain. The cold rain. I could see my breath. I would complain even more, but there’s a hardcore group of riders coming into town today who left Miami yesterday as part of the Smart Ride to raise money for AIDS charities. Great going everyone…show this crappy weather who’s the boss!

dave on the penny

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Its mad fun riding with Dave on the penny. He’s developed a great feel for the bike now and is super comfortable riding fast and dippin’ through the streets. Or trackstanding at red lights. Or just bouncing up and down down like a fool on the seat.

I took this shot last week riding along the border of the cemetery enroute to somewhere or no where, i don’t remember.

Sunday Funday…..Meeeooow!

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Just another day in Key West. Cats riding zebras. purrrrrrr…….

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Rusty Conch Cruisers or crazy fixies…this is a bicycling town! I really liked the furry handcuffs, very important to prevent chaffing and scratching the paint job.

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The Amycat got a flat after breakfast of catnip and mimosas but we got her purrring again soon!

Happy New Years!

I love my job, I actually made it in at 12:15 and was somewhat fully functioning! Happy New Year to all, i hope everyone’s has been as good as mine and everyone made it home safe. I left my bicycle locked up at the Parrot and went home from the Alamo. The next day when i retrieved my bike, all was good and the christmas lights were still on, its good to be festive!

2010 has been a bit chilly so far, but I don’t even mind this freezing-ass 50 degree weather. I can wear scarves, pants, use multiple blankets and comforters to sleep with and all kinds of other island oddities! Life is good.

Ride on 2010!