Archive for May 2013

Musical Bear

I just finished a commissioned piece for Ottawa area musician Catriona Sturton. Catriona is multi-talented, but harmonica is one of her favorite instruments. I haven't done any vector illustrations in a while and I had forgotten how much fun it can be.
To learn more about Catriona, hear some clips of her lovely tunes, or purchase a harmonica playing bear t-shirt please visit her website. Thanks for sending such enjoyable work my way Catriona!

Brooks Grips for my Public D8

My Public D8 with the Brooks B67 Saddle, Santana Row, San Jose, CA

I purchased my Public D8 bike new in San Francisco about 2 years ago. I received a 20 percent discount on this bike because I happened to participate in a police investigation which lead to locating and returning a stolen bike which a customer purchased from the same store; a long story in it of itself.
Public Bikes is a company founded by Rob Forbes, who is also the founder of Design Within Reach, known for their high-end modern furniture.  After I purchased the bike, I've been wanting to upgrade the stock saddle and the grips with Brooks England products, a maker of beautifully hand-crafted bicycle accessories, to give it a nice finishing touch. I've always been a fan of Brooks England for their classic understated designs. Today I was pretty excited to receive the package containing a pair of brand new Brooks Slender leather grips which I ordered online a few days ago. Brooks Slender leather grips feature vegetable tanned leather and natural cork tape wrapped around an aluminum shell with one side being 130mm long and other 100mm; designed specifically for handlebars with twister shifter on one side.
These grips typically retails for about $90 dollars but I was able to pick them up for a great sales price of $68.94 including shipping at I know what you are thinking, "still quite expensive for just a pair of bicycle grips". But, what can I say? Just let me indulge a little. Well, in order to justify, if I may; just about 6 months ago, I was able to find two used but like-new condition Brooks saddles for $100 and I put one on my D8 and was able to sell the other one recently for nearly the same price I paid for the two saddles and it was more than enough to help pay for these new grips. Anyway, after I put them on, I took a little test ride around the block. Aside from being extra stylish, the smooth leather felt really nice; a huge difference from the stock rubber grips that came with the bike which had the bumpy texture and would dig into my palms. These grips are definitely a real nice finishing touch on a classic city bike. You can also purchase my "Brooks Saddle" print at my Etsy shop.

Vintage Raleigh RSW 16 and Graziella

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I bought these bikes; vintage '60s Raleigh RSW 16 (16 for the 16 inch wheels that are on the bike) and Graziella from a local Craigslist seller and is thinking of restoring them. The RSW is in pretty decent shape but Graziella is too rough to even consider restoring but it folds and has some cool parts that could be salvaged. Both bikes have some interesting history and they just have a real cool look to them. A friend of mine who's a bit of a bike aficionado thinks these bikes are the ugliest thing. I happened to disagree! I paid $40 dollars for both bikes which isn't much but how much money and time it's going to take to restore these bikes to a rideable condition is not yet determined. . . Not sure if it's even worth it. Anyway, both bikes have tires that need to be replaced among other things and I've been browsing  Ebay to see if I can find a nice pair of white, 16 inch tires that would go well with the RSW.  So far I only found new tires and none are white and they don't seem to fit the period of the bike very well.  I'm actually even considering buying a cheap, used 16 inch children's bike and just take the wheels off them and use it for these bikes.

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