A Few Surlac Photo Memories


Decisions: Bike Up & Rocket Pop

On April 7th I picked up an All-City Macho Man bike. Since I always name my bikes, Surlac was the name of my Surly Cross Check that got stolen on April 3rd. Per the Facebook conversation here my buddy Brett suggested a name that I’m going to go with, thus, this new bike is officially dubbed Rocket Pop!

Additionally I pulled the trigger on an All-City Space Horse Disc! More on this bike and Rocket Pop in the coming days along with the story of April 11th when the nice fella in a Jeep Cherokee drove into me and my bike! Weeehoo! Stay tuned.


Going All Kinds of All-City

I took a stroll over to Back Alley Bike Repair. It’s a cool bike repair shop located in Pioneer Square area in one of the back alleys. Super cool place, with some rad guys that run the shop. I knew they do custom builds after seeing a friend’s wicked awesome ride.

I walked in and talked to Julien and Ben about getting a build done on a Surly Long Haul Trucker. However Julien noticed some issues with the measurements of the Trucker compared to my previous bike that might just not work out. We discussed and looked at some other frames. The Ogre might have worked, and a few others but most ended up with a slanted top tube instead of a straight top tub, which I preferred. Also it wasn’t clear if the wheels would be set correctly to my riding position or if I’d feel like I was riding out of alignment all the time. So we kept looking.

After looking through a number of options we took a look at the All-City Space Horse Disc build as a base to start with. After reviewing what the build starts with, noticing it includes a number of components I’d want, I decided to pull the trigger on this ride! To start with, here’s the basic bike. I’ll have more on this bike real soon.


Bike Theft & Building a Replacement

April 3rd, 2017 my bike, a modified, custom component, solid machine I’ve had for six years was stolen while I ate a po-boy in the International District in Seattle. I was immediately heartbroken that what I’d spent so much time, effort, and planning into had been whimsically stolen from me by some piece of shit scum human being. But these things happen. The police are unfortunately ineffective in fighting bike theft, and plans and organizations exist to fight this scourge, but alas the chances of recovery are so small it is simply best to immediately go through the stages of of grief: shock & denial, pain & guilt, anger & bargaining, depression & reflection, the upward turn, reconstruction, and acceptance as quickly as possible.

Simply, mourn and move on. There are trails to ride, adventures to have, and bike riding to do.

April 4th, 2017 begins and the obvious thing to do, which I’m privileged to be fortunate enough to do, is to simply get started on plans for a new bike. The list of things I want aren’t really difficult to have, but they are specific.

A New Bike?

With that a list comes to mind of must haves:

  • Front and rear disc brakes.
  • Mounting points for front and rear racks for panniers.
  • Dynamo hub for front and rear lights.
  • Brooks saddle because yup.
  • Some solid drop bars with appropriate brake & gear levers.

But then the N+1 problem begins. do I really need drop bars, how much carrying do I need when I’m just commuting to work? Obviously I want 2-4 panniers for grocery getting, but I don’t need all that when it’s just the urban attack of commuting. Maybe I can just get some bullhorns or pursuit bars without the excess weight of panniers and related collateral weighing me down? Right? So maybe I should build two bikes?

Then it occurs to me, maybe that’s exactly what I ought to do. Ugh, I’ve got things to do and am not sure I want to blow that kind of money. I’ll have to think about it. That thought is going on the back burner, what do I need right now for the daily grind of commuting, grocery getting, and just living life day to day? That brings me back around to the list above. This needs collected and assembled as soon as possible. This is what I’ll do and updates will be forthcoming, until then, hold the ones you love close and watch out for those bike thieves.

Discover Redmond’s Future

I sat shifting through some website material I found after receiving a postcard about the upcoming Downtown Bus + Rail Planning for January 26th, 6-8pm at Redmond City Hall. I was instantly curious and dug into the link on the post card.


But what I found was what I’d been curious about for some time. What in the world is going on with the transformation of downtown Redmond. First things first, let me show you a map I created first to get an idea of where and what we’re talking about.

First, Redmond in comparison to where Seattle is. Seattle is the large red zone to the left on the map that is labeled Seattle. Continue reading →

Living Subserviently to the Automobile

Let’s talk about how to describe effectively how the automobile, and our heavy dependency and emphasis in taxpayers dollars for the automobile to design and build roads and other infrastructure, homes, towns, and almost everything around the automobile has shaped our world. Here are a few terms I’ve started using. I don’t know if there are official terms for these things, but none the less I have observed and know of these systemic characteristics to exist in the United States today.
Dependent Communities – These are communities that can never be dependent on their immediate retail, infrastructure, and related facilities. The jobs aren’t located within reasonable distance, nor food, or other necessary items needed for living life on a day to day basis.
Red Line Divisions – Like the red-lined districts where “blacks” or “others” would never be loaned capital to improve their neighborhoods, the construction of many roadways were often done so in a distinctive and careful way as to split communities that were diverse into communities of sameness and inequity.
Motorist Elitism – This is less evident in Seattle & Cascadia than in much of America, but it is evident among the poor and the rich alike. The idea that one of means (i.e. the person with money) would only drive and looks down upon those that don’t drive as a lesser person who has made bad decisions or some other nonsense. This elitism is misguided, myopic, and filled with contradictions on many levels, not including the idea that it’s horrifyingly wrong.
Subservient Marketing Choice – This is the practice of marketing a “make your life simpler” style product or lifestyle that really locks one into an ongoing monetary mortgage against this lifestyle. Auto-dependency itself is one of those things, and we’re all bound by this to some degree even while alone in a mountain cabin – as we’re all part of this ecosystem Earth. However this is specifically oriented toward the suburban lifestyle dependency and subservience that is often coupled with motorists’ elitism and dependent communities. In the end, it causes those sold this lifestyle to be subservient and supportive of the entities (businesses, government, or other entity) that keep them in this lifestyle.
In summary of these terms, I leave this post with a question and a quote. The question is, if you’ve got any additional quotes, or know of  better way to more accurately state these specific characteristics of modern American life, please share them in the comments or ping me on Twitter @transitsleuth. The quote is on this general topic in which we find most of the populace today.
“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” – Thomas Jefferson

Urban Seattle Blogs – Rollcall

I sat down recently and put together the list of how to stay informed on what’s up in Seattle and the immediate area. Here’s the run down.

Transportation Specific Blogs

Neighborhood and Related Blogs

Other Extremely Useful Sites

Others that aren’t Seattle specific but really good reads and often report on Seattle urban and transportation news.

Ok, so there’s gotta be more. Please ping me @TransitSleuth and help me build this list even bigger!