Friday, August 27, 2010

Sunny Folding Bike on the West Side Hwy

Rode past this guy on a retrofuturistic folding bike and ran into him again later for a photo op.

The brand is If Mode. The wheels caught my eye first, but my friend summed it up best. It looks like a Storm Trooper.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Way to go Toby!

Congratulations to Race Winner and Ninth Street Cycles rider Toby Smith. Toby won the Cat 5 race in prospect park this morning. The race was 8 laps instead of the usual 5 allowing Toby and a few other riders to make a successful break from the peleton. The race finished in a two man sprint with Toby enjoying a 60 foot gap on his nearest competitor. This is Toby's first race win and the first win for the shop.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Suburbs Photo Day

A bit of a Cliff's Notes of a day out shooting in the suburbs. Figured out that taking the commuter train out there saved some serious energy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chocolate Bar w Pistachios

Turkey is one of those countries where pistachios are so plentiful that they have to send them away to other countries. They often hide them in snacks. Very sneaky. Very appreciated.

Also picked up a half kilo of Turkish coffee. Good day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Busted Nipple and Bent Sidewall

I didn't mention this earlier, but on my first big ride out of town on the oceanside road, my bike sustained two minor injuries.

One of the 32 nipples that screw into the 32 spokes of my front wheel sheared in two. Presumably this happened because I have a 20ish pound camera bag on the front of my bike and I've found that the nipples of my front wheel like to break when I fly a lot with the bike.  (Wheelbuilding classes are either hilarious or horrifyingly awkward with all the talk of adjusting, tweaking, and twisting nipples in order to achieve the optimal tension in each spoke)

While replacing the suspect spoke and nipple with one of the spare sets that I have learned to fly with, I checked the status of my rear wheel. On my previous ride I had felt a curious slight rhythmic tugging related to my rear wheel . 

Turns out there was a small dent or bend in my rear rim. Not the traditional love-mark of a sudden curb or pothole, but definitely a relative. About a two inch section of the right sidewall of the rim was slightly bent outward by a few milimeters; the left sidewall was not noticeably bent in any way. The bend in the rim was small enough to ignore for a week and loosen my brake adjustment, especially given the fact that I don't have a lot of confidence in the strength of aluminum that has been bent back into shape. Steel, sure, Aluminum, not so much.

In the end, I decided 'what the heck' I might as well fix it now. Fortunately the wonderful apartment I have been renting for the last couple of weeks supplied me with sturdy pliers from under the kitchen sink. After some slow, slight bends to the rim with as much care as a clunky pair of pliers affords, I was satisfied with the shape and pulled out a small metal file and evened out the rim's surface that I had scratched up with the pliers. I don't remember why the metal file made its way into my travel tool bag, but it definitely earned its keep.

The bend in the rear wheel wore away at my right rear brake pad extra fast, so I used the extended pit stop to put on some new pads I picked up from Henry and Tony at the shop. Cobblestones, hills, loaded bike, and maybe some hills: Kool Stop Supra 2's is what they handed over. We'll see how they work out.

All in all, riding along a semi highway, you can't always swerve to avoid potholes or drainage grates, so your tires and wheels have to absorb what they can. I wouldn't want to imagine riding somewhat loaded down on tires any smaller than the 700x35's that I have. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Konya - The Bikble Belt of Turkey

Traveled through Konya briefly last week when I was on the road, and as soon as I bussed into town my bike radar perked up and took notice of all the sweet bikes being put to use. 
One of the most common styles is the dutch style bike with all sorts of kickstands, racks, baskets, and other doodads (double top tubes included!)

As my post title tried to emphasize, Konya is a major city in Turkey's equivalent of the Bible Belt. A much higher percentage of practicing and somewhat more conservative Muslims relative to Istanbul's mix of non-practicing, somewhat-practicing, and very-practicing Muslims.

Not to be impolite, but for example: in Konya it is much harder to find someone who knows where the nearest corner-store is that sells beer or rakı. Rakı, pronounced [raˈkɯ] is Turkey's wonderfully flavorful version of ouzo or pastis. Add ice and up to half water, and the clear licorice flavored alcohol turns a milk white and maintains a pleasantly strong flavor. 

On a related note, I had some friends walk around to try to have a night on the town (beer included), and they found several bars full of Turkish men hanging out drinking and having popcorn. Upon sitting down the group was served four ice cold mugs of apple juice. It wasn't exactly what they had in mind, but they politely had some apple juice and and popcorn before continuing their search.
I just enjoyed the image of a bunch of Turkish dudes having a great time, hanging out, and getting rowdy without the necessity of beer. You can't keep people from wanting to hang out with friends and have a good time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Had a great lunch with my mom the other day in the old city. We cobbled our way downhill past the hotelly area and found a nice spot that was recommended to us. "Where the workers go" we were told.

Rice with butter, smoky greens with a side of yogurt, and a half portion of sliced döner kebap. Plus a sugary cherry fruit soda mixed with plain soda. All followed up by a nice afterlunch turkish tea to stave off a nap. A nice ten dollar lunch for two.

My mother lived in Istanbul for two years working at a Turkish university back around 2007-2008. I was able to schedule a nice month long visit back in 2008, which was when I was first inspired with the idea to come back with my 4x5 camera and explore a project.

This time around, my mother created a summer study abroad program for an American university and brought an excellent group of students and faculty to make a go of the first summer in Istanbul.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Miniature Turkey!

A photographer buddy of mine who lives here in Istanbul ventured out with me yesterday to go see MINIATURK!  I can't make those letters any more capslock, but  i would if I could.

This place was awesome, so many turks and other tourists walking around as giants and children occasionally Gozilla-ing into the minature worlds. We took loads of photos. 
Well, I took 5 photos, but they're really big, so it still counts as a lot.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fwd: New Yorkli Fotorafci Istanbulda

here is a fine example of the turkish i can or cant put together given time and spellcheck.

the translation is humoroous, but not an accurate representation of how literate i sound.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Blaine
Date: 2010/7/31
Subject: New Yorkli Fotorafci Istanbulda
To: redacted

Merhaba Bora Burak ve Halil.

İki Yıl gecen size Beşiktaşda  buluştum, ve fotoğraflar çektim. 
Simdi İstanbul'dayım bir hafta, ve başka  buluşmak istiyorum. Bisikletim var burada.


0531 206 XX XX

dikkat: türkçeyim telefondan iyi değil

--------------------google translation----------------

Hi and Halil Burak Bora.

The night I met you Beşiktaşda two years, and the photos I took.
'm In Istanbul a month now, and I want to meet other. I have a bicycle here.


0531 206 XX XX

Note: I am Turkish from the phone is not good