Check out this awesome nighttime video of Dekochari – Japanese art bikes (Deko = decorated, chari = slang for bicycle). The bikes are ‘dressed up’ to resemble Dekotora, highly stylized trucks popular in Japan in the mid 1970s. Loaded down with flashing lights, boxes, mirrors, cup holders, hi-fi systems, everything – these bikes (and their bigger truckier cousins) are particularly impressive at night. There are several active dekochari fleets in Japan to this day.
So I just finished up with assembling the Kappa frame for my girlfriend. If she likes it, I’m gonna have the braze-ons for the sissy bar added to the stays and then have the frame re-powdercoated. Also, tomorrow the Redline straight seatpost will come in to replace the current layback post. Eventually, I’ll get a different banana seat and new wheels too.
How does it ride? AWESOME!!!!
Messrs. Hiller and McGrath (two of Cascade’s Bike Advocacy staff) will be at Tangletown pub Thursday Dec 20 starting a 7. They’ll be talking advocacy with you and anybody else who can make it. Please RSVP to Patrick if you’re planning on attending. I don’t think this’ll be your last chance, so if you’ve got another engagement (like the .83 Race of Champions ride/race) maybe you can catch them next time. Or, head down hill to Greenlake to watch the races!
I stopped over at Byron’s place Sunday and got a chance to ogle his stable of bikes. Of course the one I went to see was the Kona Ute. I’ve long been interested in the longtail concept - mostly for a short-haul option and trips to the store. I live on pretty serious hill, so for me the idea of a 50lb bike is p”robably a little foolish, but there is a local grocery that I’d love to have a quality longtail for (today I schlep messenger bags or tow the trailer).
Anyway it was raining so I didn’t get an extended test ride, but the Ute was awesome. It’s far more sturdy than the Bettie which has a decent amount of whip to it. The Ute just makes more gradual turns than a regular mountain bike, but it doesn’t have that unstable feel that you get on some xtracycles. The deck and the footpegs (standard? not sure) looked great and added a nice 2nd-passenger option. One of the nice points on the trim was the Hayes mechanical discs. I’m a big disc fan, but I’m easily disappointed by manufacturers cutting corners to save money. In a lot of lower-range bikes they use the Tektro disc setup. I love Tektro parts just not their disc brakes. The rotors warp too easily and adjustable they are not good choice by Kona for taking the high road there. The rest of the drivetrain was predictably predictable Shimano. The Cork grips were a nice touch too.
What would I change? I’d go with a Brooks saddle for that nice up-right position. I’d probably go with a slightly wider mustache bar and add some campus pedals - having that upstroke can be a good thing when hauling a load. Other than that it’s built pretty nicely. When I can convince the wife that I need one more bike…this one might be it.
We’re packed and leaving for Maui on a day of pouring rain. At least, it’s not the windstorm from last year!
Check the Timbuk2 bag snugly fit in the S&S case, next to the Modal. I designed that a couple of weeks ago with the BYOB feature and it matches the hugga colors. Like the Crumpler I took to London, but more compact to fit into the smaller S&S travel case. I’ll use that for errands and a few shorter rides. Inside of it are tools, pedals, HRM, etc. Also notice on the bottom left, the green Knog Frog light.