Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Happy Holidays wherever you are on this planet. I wish you all a safe and prosperous New Year and I'm looking forward to keep on hearing from you throughout the coming year.

Gerry :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My CCM Marauder

Here's one of the reasons that I got back into biking, apart from that caress of the leather saddle on the Raleigh Sports. The CCM Marauder.
Back in 1975 my trusty Raleigh Chopper 10 speed bike of doom got stolen. It's the only bike that ever got stolen from me and it was the first one that I bought with my own money. There was no way my Mother was going to pay for that death trap, so I had to find the coin myself.

Anyways, my Dad felt my pain and decided to make it all better and bought me a CCM Marauder thinking it was the same thing. Well you know, it has a small front wheel and those ape hanger bars right? Not! I gave credit to my old man for trying real hard but I hated that bike. I rode it for a few years and one day it just vanished from my life. The Marauder, compared to the Chopper, is a heavy weight and doesn't handle as good. The frame alone must be in the 30 pound range. The brakes however are similar to the Chopper, they don't work worth a crap!

However, even tho it's not as cool as the Chopper, it is still a very different looking beast than your run of the mill lowrider bike and very hard to find. Low and behold 2 months ago I decided to have a look at a local garage sale a few houses from my place with zero hope of finding anything good. Most of the stuff sold around here is left over baby toys and clothes. My spur of the moment decision that day paid off big time.

I saw the bike at the end of the driveway just begging for me to take it home. I was thinking to myself "He's going to ask at least $50 for this thing, I don't have room, I'm done with bikes, etc..". The other problem was that at some point in my life I was actively looking for one of these and 10 years of searching provided me with zip. But there it was and my mouth was opening to ask the price knowing that the answer would seal my faith.

Me - "So, I much for that bike?"
Seller - " $10, it's a collector's item you know?"
Me- "OK I.....I didn't bring any money! Would you take a $2 deposit? I'll be back in 10 minutes"

So now it sits in my storage shed waiting to be revived in the Spring. This bike got me back in the swing of things. Within 24 hours of getting it, I had located a NOS seat and chain guard from my contacts. The bike rides nice but does need a lot of work. I even have to get some welding done on it. I'm also debating about repainting it or bringing the original finish back as good as I can and live with it. I'm leaning towards the second option since these things are only original once.

On a side note, I love you honey and I promise to sell one of the bikes to make room for this one. :)

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


For those of us who live in the snow belt, winter bike storage is a yearly chore that has to be undertaken. Granted some of you still ride in the Winter, but I'm sure you use a beater bike or at the very least store part of your stable away from the elements for the season.

Tossing a bicycle under the balcony or leaving it in the yard at the mercy of Mother Nature is a sure fire way to shorten a bike's useful life. We'll deal here with some of the preparations that should go into proper bike storage and other considerations.


The best of all options. If this is possible for you, by all means please do so. Controlled climate is the best way to keep your ride healthy over the Winter. The best place would be within your living quarters or the basement of a single family dwelling. Lockers that are usually found in apartment buildings are often the favorite shopping place for bike thieving scum. Lockers are usually away from living quarters and not the scene of regular human traffic. You might want to hide your bike underneath boxes or a swarm of your unused knick knacks. Putting a lock on the bike is not an option in this situation. Make the bastards work for it if they decide to give it a go anyways.

The least desirable of both options, but sometimes the unavoidable one. At the very least, your pride and joy should be covered with a tarp of some kind, left under a roofed structure or in a shed. The enemy here is prolonged exposure to humidity. Strip the bike of all removable and delicate components. Leather seat, bike computer, saddle bags and anything you can easily remove should be stored indoors.

Storage units are also a useful thing to consider. Sometimes there’s simply no room around the house, and storage units are safe, secure, and usually climate-controlled, meaning you can put your mind at ease until it’s time to ride again.

Here are some things you should do before leaving your ride alone for a long period of time. Lube the chain and all derailleurs. Shift down all derailleurs to remove tension in the cables. This will effectively put the spring in them at rest. You run the chance of losing your first gear on the chainring and the last gear on the rear wheel if you don't take that precaution. Trust me, I've been there.

Clean the bike to remove any dirt residue that could turn into rust over the winter. The best thing to use for this would be lemon furniture polish. Pledge does a great job, clean with one rag and then buff with another. The wax left from the cleaning should add some protection to the finish. It smells nice too.

Put some air in those tires. Rubber inner tubes are porous to some degree and you do lose air pressure over time. A low pressure tire sitting at the same place for a long time will develop a flat spot. This will effectively turn your ride into a clown bike...sorta. Another way to avoid this is to hang the bike from the ceiling, eliminating any contact on the ground with the tires.

Lastly, lock your bike up. Even if it is stored with you in your living quarters, it is still vulnerable. I've heard of a friend who's bike got lifted while he was inside his apartment. If you already have a lock, it won't do you no good if it sits in storage in your saddle bags over the winter. Take the extra 30 seconds to get some peace of mind that you already paid for.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Well I guess only crazy people don't change their minds and that's why I'm glad I didn't say I was pulling the plug for good in my last post. I guess I needed to get away for a while and that put things back into perspective.

You can thank my 1956 Raleigh Sports for this return to bike blogging. I took it out of the shed yesterday to bring it in for a warm winter storage in my basement shop and it just hit me. I love bikes! What was I thinking? The sweet leather saddle, the old yet sexy finish and those skinny black tires just begging to be taken for a spin. I did and then it all came back.

So right now I don't have much to write about since I've been mopping in my corner feeling sorry for myself and doing other worthy yet not as fun things as bike stuff. So I promise you an intelligent post before Monday. In the meantime, if any of you wish to read about anything specific, please feel free to ask about it in the comments and I'll be more than happy to oblige if I can.

In conclusion, I'll share with you my final thoughts on surviving a heart attack and being hit by a car within 6 months: If the almighty wants me back, so be it! Until then, let's have some fun and live.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This Blog's swan song...for now.

Well it was bound to happen, I have nothing left! OK, maybe not but 2 brushes with death in the past six months has left me thinking (I survived being hit by a car while crossing the street on foot 4 weeks ago without any damage despite flying 10 feet in the air and landing on my back and head). After covering my legacy , my kids are well off in life without being drugged out or spending time in jail, writing a book about basic bicycle repair and this blog, I figured it was time to think about me.

Besides, I have covered just about everything I know, adding anything else would just be re-ashing old stuff to please the search engine ratings of the site and that's not what I'm about. I've renewed with my old passion of building and flying free flight model airplanes and I won't even blog about it so I have all kinds of time to dedicate to the hobby.

Do not despair, the blog is not going anywhere. It will be here as long as blogger keeps hosting it and I will renew the .ca address. I will also keep responding to comments and answer any of your email questions with pleasure.

I think I suffer from ADD so it is possible that I might pop back in with an article here and there, but don't hold your breaths. I have been privileged to spread information that, from the feedback I got, was used wisely and fruitfully. For that I figure it is mission accomplished.

I just figured I owed you guys at least this explanation so you don't expect something that won't happen.

Enjoy every minute of your life as if it was your last, tell the people that you care for that you love them often, ride defensively ALL the time and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Some months ago me and my buddies improvised ourselves into a film crew and tried to put together a how-to video to show you how to the stem and fork on a threaded fork equipped bicycle. I taught the result was disastrous, but my friend Bob managed to work some magic with his video editor and here it is. The sound is not wonderful and we have yet to figure that bug out.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The difference between a good chain tool and a cheap chain tool.

I recently received a question in the post about fixing a broken bike chain, here it is:

"I must be doing something wrong here--I am trying to replace an old, rusty chain from a mountain bike. I bought a new chain and a chain tool, but I can't figure out how to use the chain tool. I am lining up the chain with the guides on the tool, but the pin will simply not budge. I have checked, and double checked to make sure that the tool is aligned with the pin, but nothing happens. Just to verify that it wasn't the rusty chain, I also tried using the chain tool on the new chain, but the pin barely budges. I actually used so much force that the guides on the tool bent.

So, the question is--how much force is needed to remove the pin from the chain links? From your video and others on the web, it looks relatively easy, but when I tried it, it was near impossible. Do I just need to get a higher quality chain tool? (The one I bought was from Wal-Mart for $6...) Or am I doing something totally wrong?

-bustabuckt "

Well first off you shouldn't waste your chain tool on a rusty chain that you will throw out anyways. Cut it with bolt cutters, a hacksaw or a suitable power tool if you happen to have it. If you don't have that option, you should at the very least lube up the link that you will break prior to using the tool on it. Align the link and tool pin properly and use any amount of force necessary.

Now let's address the last question, should you get a better tool? The short answer is yes. There is a definite difference between a cheap Chinese chain tool and a quality tool like the Park's CT-5 at $20 pictured above on the left. The steel used is of much better quality and you can actually feel the closer tolerance of manufacturing when using it's smooth pushing action.

The $6 Chinese model, pictured above on the right, is made of much cheaper material and when you use it, you actually feel the rough action. It's as if every part is fighting you not to do it's job when using it for it's intended purpose.

Now both of these tools are mine and if you think that the oldest one with the most chains opened is the Park CT-5, you are wrong. The $6 cheapo on the right was the first chain tool that I bought 17 years ago for $4 actually and I've opened hundreds of chains with it. These tools are made to last between one and four chains only but there is a way to make them last longer, lubrication. I used automatic transmission fluid on the thread and pin of the tool every time I used it. The friction from pushing on the pin can sometimes create heat that won't help things with that cheap metal they use. I bought the Park tool 5 years ago because I figured I was overdue for a nice chain tool. I still keep the cheapo around as a spare for when I waste an hour looking for the good one somewhere in the mess that I call my workshop.

So bustabuckt, it's time for a new chain tool. You can't go wrong with a quality item like the CT-5 by Parks but if you can't, a cheap one will do fine just as long as you baby it with some lubrication and don't expect much from it.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Don't ride your bike on the sidewalk.

Ever! Pedestrians own the sidewalk and it is very dangerous to ride on them as if they were bike paths. I always take my chances on the road and never use sidewalks. If I absolutely have to, I get off my bike and walk the required distance.

Besides, they're not always safe even for us. Take into consideration what happened to this guy!

Until next time, do ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle!

As I write these lines, my legs are burning and I'm sweating like a pig. This was all caused by one great ride, how sweet it is! Recent events in my life has made me evaluate what I really want out of it. Riding my bikes every chance I get has been one of them.

I've realized that in the last three years, you have been witness to my building a fleet of 6 bikes that I love riding with each one having a specific purpose. Only problem is, I haven't been riding them all that much. Shame on me!

I've been riding a lot in the past few months and rediscovering the joys of getting around on 19th Century technology and the pace of those times. It's incredible what you see when you take the time to enjoy the experience and you are not in a rush to go anywhere. I also make it a point to take a different route every time. Just today I came across a great bunch of folks who were giving a free music concert along the railroad tracks. No chance of this happening while driving along in the car.

Riding a bike is freedom for me, no insurance, no plates, nos gas and you can go pretty much anywhere you want. Mind you it's not all roses all the time. Rain and flats being two of the most annoying pitfalls of bicycling in my opinion. Both happened to me one night 2 weeks ago at the same time in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully I was prepared and all went well.

Where am I going with all of this? Nowhere, just wanted to share the experience and maybe kick myself in the butt to get you guys some more how-to articles in the next couple of days. I guess I needed to get my groove back on and turning some pedals helped.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Back in April 2008 while riding at Critical Mass, two friends decided to go ahead and try to motivate more people to get on their bikes in Montreal. Melanie Gomez and Peneloppe Riopelle got some help from their friend Jean-Michel Simoneau, a webmaster of sorts, to slap together a blog and promote cycling. They called it "À Vélos Citoyens" (To your Bikes Citizens).

They started to post, linked the blog to their Facebook page and even created a group with over 1400 members. Then one day they came up with a scoop on the blog, a spy photo of the upcoming City sponsored self serve bicycle program bike, now known as the "Bixi". A lot of people couldn't wait for this program to get off the ground and there was a lot of buzz around it.

Now here's the kicker, turns out these three people don't exist. An article published by cyberpress exposed the whole thing as a scam. The PR company, who is really behind all this, doesn't think so, they say it was a viral campaign. All of a sudden, the three "crusaders" don't have an account on Facebook anymore and the blog is now labelled as the official Bixi blog. I learned today that this is called "astroturfing" where someone emulates a grassroots movement to sell their stuff.

It's really too bad, the Bixi is a noble cause and I don't feel that this fact alone permits someone to scam people into wanting the product. Right now I feel violated as much as I find the scam absolutely brilliant. I guess you learn something new everyday.

The Bixi program officially started in Montreal on May 12 2009 in the downtown core.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :) (I actually am a real blogger)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I finished the extension, hooked up the brakes and installed the fender. I managed to cobble up together a rack from some steel brackets and a piece of flooring. Right now, I'm at a loss to make this rack work and bring it into a real practical mode. I have one problem: WEIGHT!

This bike would be great at doing double duty as a battleship anchor. It weighs a ton. I guess it's what you get for building it yourself for free. I was expecting this of course and I had changed the wheels from the original steel jobs to alloy to get at least a little break. Going up any incline, this bike will remind you that it's no Ally McBeal. The other side of the medal is that whenever you point something that heavy downhill, it doesn't require much effort from you to go fast.

Handling is a bit weird but the bike is very comfortable. The addition of V-Brakes was a good idea as well. All and all I am pretty happy with my monster since it will make me grow legs like the Hulk in no time. :) Now if I can only figure out this rear rack thing!?!

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


From what I hear in the media, we live in hard times. I do agree that some parts of the economy are having it rough, but a lot of it is artificially created by media hype. Seems that talking about bad news sells, what a shame!

For those of us fortunate enough to still have a job, it is imperative that we go out there and spend if we have to. I don't proclaim that we should over spend, but if you have the money and in need of something, well go out there and make some people work.

If your purchase involves any bike related items, then I strongly suggest supporting your local bike shop. Not any bike shop, one that will look after your best interest whatever it is you set out to buy. If they don't really care about helping you, then they don't deserve your business.

Buying bikes or related products at Wally World and such big places does cost less...in the short run. Actually in the very short run, I'm talking parking lot short! Don't believe me? Try taking that new bike for a ride in the parking lot right after buying it without fiddling with it. People I know have seen these bikes end up in bike shops merely hours after being bought and the money saved was spent on adjusting and fixing what was wrong with it.

You have to realize that very few of these big chain stores have qualified mechanics on staff and if they actually do it's by a fluke, not on purpose. Bikes are actually assembled by hired crews that are paid by the unit, so they have every reasons to go fast. Quality is not the main issue here. I play a game with my kids when we go at these stores to try and find the mistakes on the bikes while my wife is shopping for decoration stuff. Brakes and pedals assembled backwards are just the tip of the iceberg, I can just imagine how well the brakes and shifters are adjusted!

All these things will not happen at a bike shop and if they do, you can be sure that a qualified mechanic will take care of it right away. Your new bike should also come with a 6 month free adjustment package. Buying cheap tools is also a waste of your time and time is money.

Buying at a local professional bike shop is smart and economical. Buy the good stuff and pay only once. You'll also develop a relationship with the people there that will last for years.

That's my .02 on the economy.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


It's not a little thing like a coronary that's going to keep me back from some R&D on my latest Sport Utility Bike project...all right it does make me go a bit slower I'll admit.

So once the frame extension is in place, I had to install the rear derailleur and chain. In this case about two chains and a half compared to a regular bike. All that chain and the places where it is supposed to run is an invitation to slapping around and grinding some frame paint! This is where chain management comes into play.

This is one of the first things you learn, by force of necessity, when building homebuilt recumbents. The chain is a lot longer and runs through a whole bunch of funky places, it needs to be guided along. In our case, it's a pretty simple case of slightly guiding the chain and giving it some extra tension. For that purpose I use hard plastic hose made for underground lawn sprinklers. It can be found at the local hardware super store and I bought mine at $10 a few years ago for a roll of 100 feet.

The hose will eventually need to be replaced after a few thousands miles. Despite the looks, this set up is surprisingly quiet. You can use something a bit better looking than black tape to keep the hose in place, but it does the job quite well.

Next step will be to put together the big rack. I have some steel for the framing and I'm thinking about using some left over flooring wood for the main top body.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Last Monday, nearly hours after posting about the homebuilt frame extension, I went to bed and I got the surprise of my life. I was in excruciating pain by what turned out to be a clogged artery induced, full blown, heart attack.

The next 2 hours and 30 minutes was handled by a team of dedicated and truly professional health care personnel. From the 2 EMT's who got me to the right hospital fast, the Nurses and Doctors who then took care of my problem right there and then the ones who took care of me afterward were all fantastic. Many thanks to the CCU staff at The Royal Victoria Hospital.

I woke up the next morning in my hospital bed with some left over pain asking myself the dreaded question, how much damage does my heart have? I know for a fact that surviving a heart attack is one thing, but the damage caused to the heart is also something to consider and this will impact the rest of your life.

My life was not a very healthy one. I had a terrible diet, until recently I was a pack and a half a day smoker for 25 years and I never spent any regular time at a gym or sports. I was expecting to pay the note at some point for this type of living, but not at 43! Anyhoo, results came back and the Doctors told me I had very minor damage and that with a better diet,some exercise, a bunch of pills taken every day, I would be OK.

According to them, my saving grace was the fact that I've biked on a regular basis since my late twenties. I still have a week of staying put, but I can't wait to get back on the saddle...Doctor's orders!

So keep riding, it's so good for you, it might save your life!


Gerry :)

Monday, March 23, 2009


In spite of chaos at work and digging out of home improvement Hell, I've managed to get one of my Spring time projects started. I've been using my Firmstrong Chief bike as my workhorse now for some time and I always wanted a big cargo bike of my own design. Since the Chief is very comfortable and easy to ride, it was a logical step to see what I could do to upgrade it instead of starting from scratch again. I like to be able to carry a lot of stuff and although trailers are great for that, I must admit that they are a pain to haul.

Xtra cycle makes a great product that includes an extension and a rack to make any bike into a serious cargo hauler. I've seen them and they are worth the money no questions. However, I think you folks would enjoy a homebuilt project more than just a simple install/product review article. I'm also a cheap skate and I had all this scrap lying around for free to put this thing together!

Xtra cycle was the inspiration for the want and this great instructable(trebuchet03's article) was the inspiration for the how. Making a bike frame extension requires a few things, the rear triangle from a cheap suspension mountain bike, the down tube from another bike with part of the head tube still on and some brackets.

I simply bolted the rear triangle of the MTB frame where the rear wheel on the Chief is supposed to be using it's pedal axle and the bolts that come with it. I then measured the cut down tube for lenght while the bike was resting on a block at the proper height. I cut the tube, clamped it in a wise for it to fit inside the shock mount on the rear triangle and drilled a hole for the mounting bolt. The other end of the tube was then secured to the seat tube of the cruiser using 3 clamps. Why 3? Remember the golden rule of homebuilt anything, when in doubt, overbuild!

The bike is nowhere near done, I still have to make the custom 34 inch long rear rack that's going on it, but extensive testing of me jumping my big butt on the seat has proven successful with no flex whatsoever.

Keep posted for the rest of this build.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Want to work for a bike trailer shop?

My good friend Josh and his team are looking for staff. Check out the message they sent me today:

"We're getting ready for spring and looking at bringing another employee on board here at Bike Trailer Shop.
Despite the slow economy we're still growing at a good pace and from our view point it looks like the utility cycling movement will be growing strongly in the year ahead.

We are currently seeking an employee to join our team here in Flagstaff, AZ.
I was wondering if you might be willing to mention our available position on your Blog.
It seems that among your readership there is likely someone who would be interested in the opportunity.

Detail about our position are on the About Us section of our web shop.

Best Regards,

So if you feel you have what it takes, get in touch with them and say Gerry sent ya. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Making my how to bicycle videos is usually a solo affair with the help sometimes of my kids. I "hired" a couple of my friends to help me out to make a better video and I found out that working with a crew is not that easy. The dynamics are totally different and communications are not necessarily obvious from one person to the next. I also realized that the crew is somewhat of an audience and that throws me off of my usual "one take" self.

Needless to say it was a complete disaster and we'll have to start all over again. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy the blooper reel of this catastrophy in hopes of salvaging at least some of our work, well ok, we actually had a lot of fun doing this.

So in the name of meaningless entertainment, on with the show!

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Here's a comprehensive list of the better how-to articles in this blog. More will be added as time goes by. I've also noticed while going thru these that some are dated and need some tuning up! I didn't realize until now how big this thing is getting and I have my work cut out for me. What am I saying? This is not work, it's actually a lot of fun, enjoy.

Repair How-to's

How to remove a bicycle wheel
How to fix a flat tire
How to grease wheel bearings
How to adjust a bicycle seat
How to emergency wheel fix
How to align a bicycle wheel
Regular bike maintenance routine
Springtime bike checklist
How to adjust brake handles
How to fix brakes
How to adjust the front derailleur
How to adjust the rear derailleur
How to lubricate your chain
How to use a chain tool
How to replace a chain
How to repair a 3 piece bottom bracket
How to remove a one piece crank
How to remove bike pedals
How to remove a freewheel
How to remove hand grips easily
How to remove a threaded fork
How to prevent rust on your bike
How to remove rust from chrome
How to repaint your bicycle
My pedal / crank keeps falling off!
How to prevent bike theft
How to get an inexpensive kid's bike
How not to buy a new bike
How ot ride a bike in winter
How to start a bicycle repair business
How to paint a bike the quick and easy way
How to install  a bicycle cargo rack

Bicycle builds

BMX rebuild 1
BMX rebuild 2
Vintage CCM muscle bike
1950 ladie's CCM
Homebuilt Recumbent 1
Homebuilt Recumbent 2
Homebuilt Recumbent 3
Homebuilt Recumbent 4
(note, this last project ended up being a failure, but it is still listed since you might find some valuable information within the articles written about it and the origin of the failure was the actual layout, not the work itself.)

Special projects

DIY Big Trailer
DIY Smal Trailer
DIY Hard Saddle bag for almost nothing

Gerry :)

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Here's a post for the local Montreal crowd. Once again you have the chance to escape the dull drums of winter for a few hours by getting your legs to Place Bonaventure from the 20th to the 22nd of February and spend some time drooling over the new offers for 2009 at the Expodium bike expo.

From bike manufacturers, accessory makers, travel agents and many representatives from various regions of the country(US and abroad as well). If you want to plan a biking vacation just about anywhere, this is your one stop shop. I'll be there myself on Saturday.

Hope to see you there.

Check out all the information on their website here: www.expodium.ca

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

The mountain bike for the beginner

Here's a publication that I found on issuu.com that explains everything about riding a mountain bike off-road. It is a bit hard to read since it's all hand written but the information is top notch and to the point. Enjoy!

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Free Bicycle Maintenance Book, IT'S HERE!

Well it's been a long time coming, but it's finally here. I thought that writing a book about bicycle maintenance would be a pinch since I knew my subject pretty well, how wrong I was! Putting something down in writing like that is much more intensive than I expected despite the fact that I've been publishing this blog for almost 3 years now.

I decided to forgo copying and pasting the blog outright and went ahead by starting with a blank page. New images were made as well for this document. 40 pages of bicycle how-to's and tips for the novice bike mechanic with keeping in mind that not everybody is comfortable with a bunch of technical bla bla.

Many thanks to my darling wife who is a magician with Word. She took my pile of crap and made something awesome out of it. I love you baby. :)

I hope you enjoy this book and find it useful. Download the pdf for free right now and feed on my experience. Yeah, you read it right, free! Print it, use it. You're only invited to make a donation of the amount of your choice.

View the book here



Wow! 3 000 downloads in 12 days, amazing! I'm glad to see that the book is being appreciated.

As always, comments are always welcomed.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed

Gerry :)

You can read some excerpts of the book here

Friday, January 30, 2009


Specialized initiated a contest called innovate or die to motivate the creation of alternative human powered version of every day items that contribute to planetary pollution. Here are a few of those designs in action. The compost turner was fabricated in the Mile End Bike Garage by folks that I know. The pedal powered snow plow is pretty cool.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)


Reader comments on the Facebook group about adding tags made me do what ended being a well deserved revision of every post ever made on this blog. It made me realize that some of the earlier articles had no tags and that some of the pictures are all screwed up because of the multiple redesigns and change of templates over the last 3 years.

I might have known about bicycle mechanics and making decent pictures in the beginning, but I was pretty clueless about putting a website together! Well, I've seen the light and I will be doing a major revision of everything in the following weeks. Proof again that reader input is very valuable to me and to this living bicycle website.

I might have to do the same thing I did with links and make a separate post with links to all the articles there instead of having them all on the right side of the site. What do you think? Please let me know as I need your valued opinion once again.

A million thanks to all of you who take the time to read me.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

LINKS TO OTHER BIKE SITES I LIKE. (Mostly bikes anyways.)

Since the right sidebar is getting quite crowded and the links of other websites and blogs of interest, including howtofixbikes.ca reader's, is getting longer, I decided to gather them all here. I will also add any other blog or website of interest here in the future. So please feel free to suggest any additions for me to review and I will gladly add them. Here's the list:

Retro Vintage  My local buddy Wesley who restores vintage bikes.

DIGnGO   (High-end bicycle tours throughout Europe.)

Jack's Garage  (A reader's blog about homebuilt recumbents, you gotta see this)

Underground Velo (Another Rat Biker friend of mine)

Reciclone (A reader's bicycle restoration blog in Spanish and English)

TWOSPOKE.COM (Bike forum for all tastes)

Reusable Grocery Bags

Bike Reviews

Local Bike Trader

Bike Trailer Blog

Bike Hugger

Opus Urbanista Blog


The Bicycle Bum (Huge directory of bike makers)

Rat Rod Bikes Discussion Forum

CHUNK 666 (Bike craziness at it's weirdest!)

North Baltimore Bike Brigade

For the love of bicycles


Bicycles and Beansprouts, a journey

Biking Brits

Righteous Velo Metal Broad

Bike commuting adventures in France


Montreal Gazette Bicycle Blog

The Bicycle Tutor

The Bike of Doom

For Bikes Sake!

Kustom and Classic Bicycles

BMX site and forum



The IHPVA site for recumbents

Ottawa Bicycle Club

Blog for the self sufficient family

Makezine, make anything!


Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


I've been wanting to make my own custom bicycle headbadge for a while now and finally found the way to do it. Some cardboard, a pencil, an X-acto blade, previous experience in drawing, some imagination, a small drill and a jeweler's saw was all that you need to make this happen. You can cut your headbadge from any sort of flat sheet metal. I prefer to use Aluminum since it is pretty easy to cut and most of all, cheap.

I make a drawing first of my design on cardboard that I then cut it out with an X-acto blade. I then transfer the design by going around the piece with a sharp pencil on the sheet of aluminum itself. Sections that are inside (like the eyes and nose on the skull and bones) are drilled with a hole so the saw blade can be put in there to cut. I cut the headbadge and finish with a small file to clean things up. All I have to do afterwards is bend the headbadge and stick it to the bike with some epoxy (most permanent) or clear silicone (can be removed). The jeweler's saw and blades can be found at hobby stores or a friendly jeweler that can buy it for you or order it.

If you don't feel like making your own, you can buy one of mine. The models below are available for $10 USD each paid thru Paypal, shipping is included for anywhere in the world. They are made from brushed recycled aluminum sheet and are shipped flat to keep cost at a minimum. I can also do custom work, just email me with your idea and I'll give you a quote.

For inquiries and orders(using the model#): xddorox@gmail.com

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Thursday, January 08, 2009


As mentioned before, I made one New Years resolution and that is to wear a bicycle helmet every time I ride from now on. I use to wear one when I was commuting and mountain biking religiously. Here's an example of me being very stupid: I stopped wearing a helmet about 5 years ago, when I started riding mostly cruisers, thinking that the low speed wasn't as dangerous and I figured I could avoid any major accident.

Now that was a totally false reason at the time and even now. Let's face it for once, one of the major reason why people, me included, don't wear a helmet is because they look dorky! I really couldn't see myself riding my cruisers with what looked like a sperm on my head. I'm the first one that should know that a helmet will save you from major head injuries since I have crashed myself 3 times on my head while riding. My last crash 12 years ago was so blindingly fast that I'm still flabbergasted to this day on how hard and quickly my forehead ended up smashing the ground after going over the handle bars.

A lot of my friends crashed or got hit by cars last Summer and it got me thinking that I should get a brain bucket while I was still ahead in the game. I do own one of those funky looking space helmets from my moungtain biking days, but there was no way I was going to wear that. I did the same thing that some of my riding buddies have done and got myself a "multi sport" helmet, basically a skateboarding helmet. It's not perfect, but it doesn't look as dorky. The thicker plastic shell offers better penetration protection from sharp objects and I slapped on one of my custom headbagdes on it. It's comfortable and the vents will actually keep my head cooler in the Summer than the usual baseball cap I wear.

Some efforts has been made for making cooler looking helmets for kids to encourage them to wear one. But some things I have seen gets me worried. I saw a helmet covered with material and one with the surface comparable to sandpaper with camo green paint. The last thing you want your helmet to do, in my opinion, is for the thing to grab when you hit the ground with your head. The risk of hurting your neck is a lot greater, you want that shell to slide. Proper size and fit is also important. I've seen people and kids wearing there helmets tilted all the way on the back of their neck, cancelling out any decent front end protection. My son would have been dead or seriously injured on his very first day on 2 wheels if I hadn't made sure he was wearing it properly. He lost control of his bike going down a slope and stopped by braking with his fore head on a cement wall! He was freaked out, but uninjured.

So, if you are a bike helmet manufacturer, and you are reading this, make a cool looking helmet! People will buy them, you'll be making money and you might save some lives in the process. For those of you choosing not to wear a helmet, I respect your choice. But remember that $30 of foam and plastic can stand between you and a life changing event that you might not see coming.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Once again another year is over and a new one begins. This blog is in its third year and the fun never stops. I plan on continuing to give you the best information about bikes in the matter that you are used to.

I was planning to use my holiday break to finish my bike maintenance book. I had figured that all that was left to do was the format to make it look nice...AAAAAAAAARGH! Somehow I got a brain fart somewhere and just realized that I have a few more things to do.

So, I will publicly commit myself to you, my readers, on getting this manual available online to you by February 15th 2009. Mark your calendars because I am usually pretty good with deadlines. This does not qualify has a New Years resolution, actually I have another post on this coming up in the nest few days, but an actual commitment to get my lazy butt in gear. It's fun being lazy but it gets boring fast and it's very counter productive.

I hope that all of you and your families have a prosperous, safe and happy 2009.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)