About

I’ve lived a varied life as a designer, writer, photographer – and for the last decade, as a teacher. I’ve traveled extensively, which is reflected in my personal work over the years. Bicycling, like walking, is to me a better way to explore my world. Travel by planes, trains, and automobiles leaves me with the feeling of a tenuous connection – at best – to places and people and events. Too, the mode of two-wheeled transportation has a magnetic pull on me; the simplicity and elegance of bicycle mechanics and mechanisms reminds me of the journey… and for me, the journey begins long before I pedal out of the driveway.

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14 thoughts on “About

  1. Ray Jaegers says:

    Hey, fellow Bike Forums member here. Just checked out your site, very nice job. You mentioned powdercoating on your site, Have you ever used Groody Bros.? I see their ads on Craigslist from time-to-time and their work looks great. I’m considering having a bike powdercoated and was interested in whether you had first-hand knowledge of their work.

    Thanks!
    Ray

    • I love to ride and I love steel road bikes. Writing this blog is a natural extension of those interests and I enjoy this opportunity to share my experiences and to communicate with like minded souls. I’m glad you found this helpful, and that HLE frame bike your getting started on yourself should turn out to be a pretty great project. All the best!

  2. I have a Katakura Silk I bought in Japan – 1973 I believe. I have been thinking of restoring it for years and your site has given me inspiration to actually do it. The frame is painted silver with chrome on the lugs and dropouts. There is corrosion on the chrome areas. Ideas on what might be done?

    • Good morning, Henry. First, let me say that I’d love to see photographs of your Katakura Silk!

      Often, what we see as “corrosion” over chromed areas is actually a grungy build up of surface crud. Begin with a gentle cleaning of the tubes, taking care where the chrome and paint meet – paint often easily scratches where it is applied over chrome. I use a soft cotton towel, warm water, and Dawn dishwashing soap. Avoid the temptation to work the surface aggressively, but apply firm pressure to remove anything that will loosen up. Dry the chromed tubes and inspect. The more stubborn areas of surface crud can now be more easily seen. At this stage I will use brass wool (steel wool may actually scratch the chrome, and brass is soft enough to do the job without damaging the surface of the tubing.) Where possible, use circular motions and firm pressure. You may find it helpful to moisten the surface of the tubes with WD-40. WD-40 is not, as many believe, a lubricant. It’s a solvent and excellent cleaner though, and works well in this situation. An alternative measure is to crumble aluminum foil into a small ball, spray the area to be cleaned with WD-40, and use the foil in place of brass wool. In either event, the tubes will usually turn black as you work the area – don’t be alarmed, this is telling you that you’re making progress. Use a clean, dry, soft towel or paper towel to wipe away the black residue as you work. Follow this process carefully and I think you’ll be very pleased at how much shine will be regained!

      Have a merry Christmas!

      • Thank you very much for your tips on how to proceed.

        Somehow I missed your reply, as I have been checking on your site regularly. Finally saw it this morning – so a belated Happy New Year.

        Glad to send photos, just not sure how to attach them to a reply. If you could provide an email link in a private message to my email?

        I have already started a “do over” of my old bike. The frame has had some components removed for cleaning. I’ve even gone so far as to put the Handlebars ( complete with its Bar Con shifters) and center pull brakes on a newer Schwin (1992 ) frame temporarily just to have a semi vintage ride. I have been off bikes since knee surgery went bad in 05 but a recent procedure seems to be working and bike riding is one of my therapy’s. I must say this thing feels very uncomfortable, added incentive to get the Silk together again as I have fond memories, including a trip the day I bought the bike from Yakota AFB to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Nearly did me in.

        I am in the currently frigid south near a small Town called Pelzer in South Carolina. Where do you call home?

        If interested, I can also get together a list of the components that came with my bike. All of these are original except the seat, which was changed out long ago.
        Cheers,

      • Henry, I sent contact information to your email address. If you’d be willing to share, I’d love to add your bike and story to The Early Morning Cyclist.

        In answer to your other question, we’re enjoying a “school closing day” this morning in the Kansas City, Missouri area as we ride out the first winter weather watch of 2018. Yesterday Mother Nature teased us by throwing in a day of 56 degree temps just to divide up the previous weeks of zero and sub-zero weather from the forecast of similarly dismal crud over the next several days. That allowed me the opportunity to get off the damn indoor trainer and get outside. I go just a little stir crazy this time of year!

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