Saturday, December 8, 2012

The great biscuit massacre of 2012

All hands abandon ship, them biscuits ain't edible!  It was a sad morning here at Drum as our breakfast turned into one of the worst tasting disasters in recent memory.  Sure, it wasn't as bad as a chain restaurant on a Saturday night, but something was amiss with them biscuits and they all had to be destroyed by our faithful garbage disposal, Steve.  We might never know why they came out tasting like burnt paper, or why those sad biscuits were light, fluffy, one might even say airy.  Oh well, no time for tears, as Team Drum has a few new projects going on and it is time to get cracking.

Steve post biscuit massacre and just prior to ransacking a woodblock fiefdom for dessert.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 or project ______

A long time ago we were in college. During this time we thought we could conquer the world. We also thought emo rock was cool and we spouted so much BS that we can't believe more people didn't smack us more often. We doubt that little has changed as far as university kids are concerned, but the difference between the average college kid and a Drum college kid is that we had a low-rider bike. Yes, its true, we were that cool. And to prove how cool we were we had a bike that would send anyone over the age of 25 to the chiropractor straight off. With its chromed fenders, ape hanger handle bars, TINY 16" front tire, banana seat, and sissy bars that curved down by the wheels to look like a pair of exhaust pipes that stuck out two feet out from the back tire ****(warning this is dangerous as you WILL trip over them again and again and again)**** we thought we were a force to be reckoned with! Other than proving our coolness, the other major advantage of owning this bike in college was the short distance one would fall from the low-rider when inebriated...which may have been often.

As the years went on we smartened up a bit and realized that some things are for the young, and that includes low-rider bikes. So into dry storage it went, with the thought that perhaps one day we would rebuild it into a bike a kid could ride! Oh no, don't start thinking like that, no little Drums running around here. But we do have friends, and these friends have kids that are getting to the age where they will need their second bike and that is where this story begins again!!! Thus, over the turkey day weekend, we managed to dig out the remains from its 10 + year resting place in order to start project _______ !!!

Over the course of this winter and next spring we will strip, paint, and rebuild this symbol of rebellious youth into something that can be ridden around the hood with reckless abandon!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rolling to enlightenment

Much like a busiest monk stuck at the airport, we here at drum are also on the path to enlightenment... Or perhaps just lost again?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bike as cart.

Moving big boxes filled with whatever Drum has been slinging online can be an adventure. This morning Drum's resident delivery boy got the call to bring the bike around to the back door of the lab, where he was presented with a sweet wheel set headed to the 'live free or die or tie dye' state. Needless to say, it was a bit bigger than his pannier, and with no porter rack (the springer front end makes such a rack a bit difficult to install) he had think on his feet. Wielding only a ratchet strap our delivery boy was able to, in the words of Tim Gunn, "make it work."

With no access to his seat or steering, we had the strange feeling that he would be unable to ride this steed into battle. Hell, we're STILL not sure how he managed to turn the damn thing while pushing it! But push it he did, dragging that beast left and right! Slapping it on the keister, calling it names like a cheap porn star, and all of this only to have to dodge a chick on a fixie while crossing at the cross walk. My god woman - brakes ain't that expensive!!!

Surviving this mishap our young go getter was lucky enough to find an empty bike rack where he could lock his cart. See, here in Chicago there is many a bike rack filled with unwanted or perhaps just unused bikes. Some bikes with tires and some without tires, or a seat, or handle bars. The next leg on his adventure was the usual waiting and waiting and waiting some more in the never ending USPS line. So instead of describing the lady that sighed every two minuets or the guy on his phone talking ten decibels too loud we'll just say it was an average day at the post.

Back at Drum HQ, a few hours after his departure we received our electronic delivery conformation number, proving once and for all that our intrepid delivery boy did indeed survive this five block jaunt...guess we'll have to make it harder next time. Experiences like this make owning a cargo bike seem like a great idea, not only for packages that are a wee bit too big for our standard bike but also to give us an excuse to build a custom cargo compartment for taking the shop dog out on rides!!! Betting his 90lbs won't effect the handling as much as some of the cargo we've seen people hauling around.

We think Steve Dog is ready for some high speed bike action!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Last chance beach.

Team drum decided to spend the day at the beach. Ended up being the end of the world. Oh well...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review!: The last ride of the Dispatch Slim Pant (V1) by Nonetheless

Let's start this off on the right foot, we love these pants but Nonetheless is running out of stock on the first generation (V1) and  currently has no plans on manufacturing them again has plans on releasing a V2 some time in the fall of 2013.  Thus, much like a classic western, they will likely be riding off into the sunset never to be seen again only to come back for a sequel; stronger, meaner, and perhaps fallen out of love with their previous paramour, dog hair. Now that we have that out of the way, onwards and upwards to the review!

A little about these pants:

They're made of a fancy-dancey wool/recycled bottles(PET)/spandex mix that will stretch with you and keep your stink down. The wool/plastic bottles material adds a nice feel, the wool seems to be high quality and doesn't itch the way cheap wool can, and they don't chafe like cheap polyester does.
Also, they have six deep pockets...two of which are super secret hidden pockets like James Bond would have if he was ever being a secret agent on an Aston Martin bicycle. The super deep pockets are great at keeping our change and phone IN our pocket while peddling along. And the hidden pockets are super sleek and work great with our new Cathrinette card wallet.

Only down side that Team Drum has found so far is that they attract dog fur like a bastard and, like all wools, they pill a bit. For more fun facts about these pants check out the Dispatch Rider Pant web page.

Ok. What else?

They are SLIM cut which won't work for everyone but it does keep the pant leg out of the way while you're riding. And be warned, if you stuff too much junk into your pockets you'll look like you're trying make, um, "it" look bigger than it really is.

Since they were designed for commuting by bicycle this leads us to believe that they will be tough in all the places your standard Levis are weak. As professional dog herders we will put the durability to the test while riding, walking, bending, squatting, and getting more drool on us than your average office worker. (If you get drooled on at your work place by any humanoids please speak with your HR department.) If we had to guess we'd say these pants would make a great three season (spring, summer, fall) addition to your wardrobe. They look sleek with t-shirts, flannels, and even as dress pants with a button-up...they were designed for the office after all.

After two weeks we are in love but love is a fickle beast so check back in a few as we will be adding on to the review after we spend more time with these pants.

*Oh yeah. We here at Drum purchased all products in this post because we wanted to. No one gave them to Drum, and we are just reviewing 'cause that's what you do on a blog. You review, give info to the people. Drum likes to be helpful. If we ever DO get free stuff, which would be kinda' cool, we'll tell ya.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

It not like we're naming your kid.

Naming your car, dog, cat, kid, or bike all have the same basic idea. You want to find a name that reflects what their personality is, will become, and may have been before you came into the picture... kids are probably excluded from this but maybe not, depending on your line of thinking.

For kids, cats, and dogs this can be a bit difficult as we are expected to come up with a name out of thin air, and who knows what these little monsters will be become! With a car or a bike one can take their time and get a feel for their specific personality. The guys over in the Drum psychiatric ward feel that this is due to the fact that bikes and cars are technically not living, breathing entities that need a name for us to feel "normal" when interacting with them. Saying 'where the hell is my bike' is much easier than 'saying where the hell is kid number one'... though we did have a dog on our route that we named 'third dog', but that's another story altogether.

So team Drum is living with our 1950 Schwinn Panther and allowing a name to come from our trials and tribulations together, organic like. Thus far we are pretty sure its a boy, though it does have pink fenders...hmm. It is also fearless of parked cars, dislikes other bikes with no brakes, and loves to sunbathe. Not sure if it likes crappy TV(drum doesn't have a TV) but Zombie movies and Westerns are a weekend must - along with a long ride down by the lake.

Guess time will tell!

Now I'd like to hear if your bike has a name - tell us about it in the comments section!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A belated Halloween scare.

Picture a gray, chilly Halloween morning in Chicago - you're in town, away from home, and have crashed at your buddies abode.  Ya wake up late and your day is getting off on a good foot.  Then there is a commotion at the back door.  The dogs are stuck in bat shit crazy mode, the alarm is screaming 'Back Door Open Back Door Open' and you hear someone talking in an excited voice.  All the while you're stuck on the crapper having your morning Deuce.  So, what are your options in this rather compromising position?  Well, as we here at Drum have spent the day discussing and concluded that you have only two courses of action:

  1. Cut bait, disregard wiping, hustle your ass out there and see WTF is going on. (Pants optional)

  2. Finish what you started, tidy up and calmly leave the lavatory to see WTF is going on.

Either way your morning has just been screwed, the "you" time of the day has now become the "oh shit those dogs are losing their mind what is going on" time.  Heck, if you were backed up this may have even be of some help.
Well Mr. Mister did finally come strolling out, wearing pants thank god, and much to the surprise of team Drum.  We don't usually check the crappers upon entering the locations one of our dog wrangling jobs...but we might have to start.  Only thing that came to mind to say in greeting was, "Here to walk the dogs, Happy Halloween!"  Might not have been our best line but what do you say on such occasions?  

On other notes Halloween was day two of testing for the Nonetheless Compound Neoshell Weatherproof Jean and lucky for us the weather man called for 47 and windy.  Thus we tossed on our soft shell, wind stopper gloves, ear muffs, and off we went to herd dogs.  Well, after all our preparation we sure felt like wusses when we encountered a fellow bicyclist out for a ride in jeans pegged at the knee, thin stockings, a cardigan, and some plumbers crack.  Chilly...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Odd it is.

This nifty little sign was posted upon one of the local Chicago public school football stadiums. From what we can gather they are worried that your pup may get some nasty nasty from the stuff they spray on the field's grass to make it nice and green. What's confusing is that they seemingly have no concern with local kids being squished into this same grass during games. We love our pups here at Drum, like little furry kids to us they are, but wouldn't be in the best interest of the public school system to protect the creatures they are trying to integrate into our society?

Just something to ponder on.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bicycles and sewing go together like Peanut butter and Jelly?

The other evening Mrs. Drum was nice enough to show us here at Drum the basics of sewing machine usage.  Now we wouldn't say we KNOW how to sew after a few days of piddling around with the sew machine,  but this new skill opens a world of making our own bicycle and life accessories!  Or possibly our own line of Drum bicycle apparel.  No more depending on others, we're going DIY!   Unfortunately it is all too easy to believe that perhaps there will be a few set backs on the road to world domination. For instance, the card wallet/pocket we made this morn' was a bit... ill conceived.  It worked, but bound for years of use it was not.  So perhaps we'll take it slow and see how it goes before we start thinking were the next Vaya or Gucci.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Live from Heritage: Bicycle Film Fest Brunch

Come on down to Heritage General Store for some free food, music and great coffee! Located at 2959 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Brunch tomorrow!

Just a reminder the Bicycle Film Festival is still going on tonight and tomorrow here in Chicago.
Tomorrow there will be a brunch at our favorite bike/coffee shop Heritage General store located at 2959 N. Lincoln Ave(9am-1pm).  So get your asses up and bike on over.
Here's a little article from the NY Times about getting around in the aftermath of Sandy by bicycle.  Be sure to give it a read if you haven't hit your 10 artical limit.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On the roll: post from the streets of Chicago

Hate when the kids swipe only the left side, just kills the aesthetics of a car... so unbalanced.

Communists Utilitarian Bikers of America

There is a certain slice of American biking soicety that seems to see the bicycle as a truely utilitarian method of transportation, similar perhaps to the communist thought that making a car cheaply would make it reliable.  From our diligent observations here at Drum Chicago, this sub sect of the biking community has little to no regard for the aesthetics of the rig which they pedal on a daily basis or, for that matter, the basic maintenance on said rig.  To wax poetic, perhaps these are the true "bicyclists", with no worry about whats cool or how fast it goes, just that it take them from point A to point B and perhaps even on the correct side of the road.  Because to them it doesn't matter if that rickety piece of crap is taking them to the grociery store, a socialist meeting (yeah we know that socialists and communists ain't the same, did you?) or the crack house, as long as the chain don't break its all good.
So today we salute the communist utilitarian bikers of America and declare that  hence forth November 1st will be know as Communist Utilitarian Bikers of America Day.    So Ride your bike that's too small, with your crusty derailers, one knoby and one smooth tire all over this fine country, and ride it proud!  And when some snot nosed kid on her/his super slick bike purchased with mommies money gives you guff... Tell 'em to piss off and that the gals/guys at Drums said this was their second favorite holiday of the year... just behind talk like a pirate day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What's in a name.

The other evening we were asked why we chose Drum as the name for this here blog.  After a moment to gather our thoughts we decided that it was a mulitifacited answer and that putting it down on paper was the best decision.  So, reasons for the name Drum:

  1. We have a background in old, nasty, rusty automobiles, and in that subsect of society drum brakes are considered obsolete.  And, for good reason, should be disposed of for the much superior disc brake pronto.  In our time at the Old Speed Shack we experienced the difference between the two first hand and, man, is a fast car SO much more fun when you can stop it before it plunges you head long into a tree.  But for bikes that will see lots of weather conditions and won't be going mach 2 they work just swimmingly.  Oh, and adjusting a drum on a bike is CAKE compared to the rigmarole of adjusting the ones on the shop truck... guess we should upgrade that thing to discs. 
  2. "Drum" will look super snazzy on a T-shirts.
  3. They are considered by most bikers to be antiquated, if they even know what they are.  Can you see a theme?
  4. Some would say we're ornery and like doing things a bit differently.  They'd probably be right... shit are we hipsters? 
  5. Lastly it just sounded cool, we could have gone with Coaster but that just didn't have that hard D that'll get your attention when we yell it in the streets. 
Well, 'till next time - thanks for stoping by Drum!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Goings on around Chicago (Nov 2-4)

Going on all weekend, (2-4) the bicycle film festival will be invading Chicago.  And kicking off the festivities is a group ride at 5:30 down to the McDonald Cycle Center (239 East Randolph Street which is across from the movie site at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 East Washington).  There are three meeting points for the group ride, and Drum will be in the "Northern" group that's meeting over at the Heritage General Store.   

For more information check the BFF web page.  

Also this upcoming weekend is Renee Robbins' opening at Adventure Land Gallery.  ALG is located in Logan Square at 1513 N. Western Ave.  The new works are titled Amusements and are sure to rock your socks off and even brighten up your gray fall day.  We here at Drum will be splitting off after the BFF group ride to go check it out. 

For more information check out Renee's website.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chicago or bust

On June 30th 2012 what had been known as "The Old Speed Shack" packed up its tools and started a 900+ mile journey from snowy Vermont to urban Chicago.   The particulars of said Uber Adventure can be found here, but the long and short of it is this:

  •  Vehicle: 
    • 1974 Toyota Pickup
  • Contents: 
    • 200lbs of house plants
    • Our best friend Steve(He is a 90lb mystery dog by the way) 
    • Our collection of records
    • Tools  
  • Route chosen for trip
    • US 20
  • Break downs
    • 1
  • Days on the Road
    • 5
  • Average temp
    • 95+
So there ya go, long trip in an old truck with no AC.  Fun?  Yes, but by the end it was time for a change of pace.  Once we reached the promise land of Chicago we had a two step program to ween us off petrol powered locomotion. Step one, figure out the CTA. Step two, find a bike. 

Step one was pretty straight forward; look at CTA map to see where nearest stop was to point A, deduce if a bus or train would be the easiest/fastest/most enjoyable way to reach point B, and repeat.

Step two was a bit more complicated. See, bikes in Chicago are hoarded like your great aunt hoarded old new papers. People like to own multiple bikes. I'm not sure if we should blame this phenomenon on the poor poor hipsters, but might as well, they are leaders in bike hoarding. And there is nothing wrong with this if it is kept within reason, but this is often not the case.

There are a few different types of bike each true Chicago bike kid needs in her/his arsenal.  First we have your classic Fixie, and there is your band bike, oh and the bike you got so you could pressure your girlfriend(s)/boyfriend into riding whether they want to or not. And parts bikes out the wazoo, as you never know when you'll need that 1972 Shimano derailleur!!!  OK, perhaps we're being hard on the often oppressed hipsters, but in the not so distant past we were able to purchase a decent 1970/80s bicycle for a twenty spot!  Not no more, at least not in Chicago-land.  Any who, back to the subject at hand, lookin' for a good bike.

The main places used in this search were craigslist and garage sales.  Both can be fun, one just needs to keep in mind that they will be dealing with some scammers here and there, and that you will need to be patient to find the perfect rig.   And within a few weeks you to will have your new rig, just like team Drum.

Oh yeah! It was set up as a board track racer!  Neat but not really useful for commuting.