Thursday, January 11, 2007

One Frame To Rule Them All.

Hand-me-down frames used to be the norm. Back when Standard ruled the East Coast, it seemed like half the riders in the city were on second-hand (or third- or fourth-hand) STAs. And why not? They lasted forever, and who wanted to pay $330 for a brand-new one if it was just gonna get beat to shit anyway?

For the most part, those days are over. As frames get lighter and lighter, they get more and more disposable (although, alas, no cheaper). You can still find used frames, of course, but they're a lot more likely to be dented, twisted or otherwise mangled. And actually, with half the city riding for somebody (or just knowing somebody), there are always new frames to be had at less than retail. Not to mention people switching out frames from week-to-week—so I suppose the hand-me-down idea actually is very much alive, just with newer product.

Which brings us to the battered green frame you see up top (and below—in an exhaustive collection of photos). It's a rarity in more ways than one. For starters, it's one of the first Sunday frames ever made. I believe Jim Cielencki himself rode it first [CORRECTION: I spoke to Jim, and he did NOT ride it. My bad.], and it was the frame that appeared in the first Sunday ad. Then, in less than a year:

• Mike Hoder took possession, and was riding it when he 360ed over the Sean Burns gap at the Brooklyn Banks (see the Lotek Mixtape for footage).

• It was passed on to Vinnie Sammon, who rode it as his first Sunday frame.

• Big James got it, and rode it for a while. I believe the huge table out of the Banks (the very first shot on my blog) was on this bike.

• Mike Brennan had it for the Tiseo Jam this summer, and rode it for at least part of his Shook part. It survived sprocket stalls to over seven-foot drops to flat. More than once.

• Then it went to Blackman, who did God knows what on it. Hopped onto police cars, jumped off things that shouldn't have been jumped off of.

And now it sits in my apartment, waiting to go back to Buffalo. Jim sent Blackman a brand-new '07 frame in exchange for it, and I expect it will get a place of honor at the Sunday shop/offices. The amazing part? No dents or cracks. And still straight as an arrow. It looks beat, sure, but it's still perfectly rideable. A fresh coat of paint, and it would look brand-new. Not bad for a 5.4 pound frame that's been through the hands of some of the biggest street killers on the East Coast.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Who would have thought it? Bob Scerbo buying into the whole "wider is better" revolution? And in chrome, no less? Apparently he's been spending a little too much time out of the New York/New Jersey area. He's not running brakes again quite yet, but if he decides to, he'll have plenty of room for the levers. Chroming was expensive, but well worth it jusdging by the finished product. The new bars are 28" wide and 8" high, and will retail for about $15 more than the current Bob Bars. Same sweep and bend.

According to Ralph, Bob "just wanted to try something different, and there was no way I was gonna let him run Slams."

(None of the aforementioned is true. Well, except for the measurements. In reality, that's two pairs of uncut GT bars from the early '90s, the bars that the "Bob Bars" are based on. One pair actually IS going to Bob—he doesn't have any of the old ones left—the other pair is probably destined for one of my bikes. And while it wouldn't surprise me if Bob ran the GTs, you can expect them to be cut down and—probably—painted black.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Global Warming.

Woke up yesterday at the crack of 2 p.m. and turned on NY1 to check the weather. According to the little box in the corner, it was 72 degrees. 72? In NYC? In January? I had to open my bathroom window and stick an arm out just to make sure they weren't kidding. They weren't. Didn't even bother to wake up more, just threw on whatever was closest and rolled down to the Banks. It was crowded, of course, but just to be wearing a t-shirt in January was bliss. Never did get my camera out of my bag—which is unfortunate, because apparently Garrett Reynolds trucked the steps. To flat. And I didn't even see it.

Today it's in the 50s, which feels chilly compared to yesterday, but still downright tropical for NYC. I should be riding, but with my main bike down for the count (broken cranks) it's a day for laundry, football and finally updating (my bad) this site.

And I guess what this update is about is this—it doesn't have to be 70 in winter for people to be killing it. While some riders seem to disappear in October and hibernate until spring, others just bundle up and stay out there 24/7/365. Like Skinny. He's in Cali right now (or somewhere out West anyway), but this is what he was doing from 12/28-30 in the City. RIDING. You can check the image file names for exact dates if you're interested.

"Hey! I'm gonna do a fakie wallride and make a face!" Um, OK.

Fakie wallride to barspin. Progression. Joey Piazza behind the lens on the other side.

50-50 around the corner (sort of—sticky icky icky) at St. Vincent's. Someone wanna buy me a fisheye?

Good trick, bad photo. That's what I get for shooting from the hip.

Much better. Suicide no-hander up the wood.

(Oh yeah—also ran into Keith who does Ride LI yesterday. Cool site with great photos of guys from LI and the City. Check it out.)