Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Two-Wheel Tuesday: Introduction

Let's get caught up.

When I moved to Cleveland about a year and a half ago, as the owner of four cars, driving was the main way that I traveled about the city. One morning when I simply needed to run to the corner store for milk, I asked my roommate-at-the-time if I could borrow her bicycle for the quick errand. 

After that incredibly short, yet effective journey, I realized that I wanted to obtain a bicycle of my own to use on similar journeys in the future. My search ended quickly when my friend Garrett hooked me up with an old Huffy Carrera that he had sitting in his garage. After a quick tune-up, a new set of brakes, and the addition of some red cork tape, I was ready to roll.

The Huffy carried me hundreds of miles in the matter of five months and never gave me a single issue. It's career ended quickly, however, when I purchased my first fixed-gear bike from State Bicycles in November of 2013.

The passion I found while on State's Matte Black 4 lead me to continue commuting throughout the duration of the Cleveland winter, something I never imagined that I would do.

In the Spring of 2014, I converted a classic 1975 Hercules into a fixed-gear bike and often found myself giving the State a rest and taking the English-made bike for a spin instead. I will eventually do a full write-up on the build, and I will be sure to link to it.

The end of 2014 brought a few changes to my State, with the most noticeable being a front rack from Origin8

Two-Wheel Tuesday will be updated weekly and will document my experiences as a bicycle commuter in and around Cleveland, Ohio. Mileage updates, breakdowns, bicycle maintenance, photo shoots, product reviews, and stories from along the road will all be included in the weekly posts. Stay tuned for more.

- Jason Unoriginal

Sunday, December 28, 2014


To begin, I hope everyone had an outstanding Christmas and was able to spend time with the ones they love. I have a semi-large family that is spread out between Chicago and NYC, and it was a blessing this year to be able to see everyone (even if some of the faces were via Skype) over the two-day holiday.

For the last five years on the day after Christmas, I have had the pleasure in joining one of my greatest friends Jon on his annual escape to Florida. Yesterday was day one, and below are a few photographs from our journey.

The adventures are always crazy, the food is always abundant, and the laughs never seem to cease. Stay tuned.

- Jason Unoriginal

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Not-So-Greenhouse

With urban exploration, you often find yourself within a structure that was once booming with activity. Warehouses, office buildings, or factories that, in the past, housed hundreds of employees. At one point, life existed within the brick and concrete quarters in which you stand.

It's sometimes hard to connect with those lives, due to the vast emptiness that surrounds you. Barren fields of lonesome, gray cement, containing no signage, no trash, and no time. Did humans genuinely occupy this premises?

Last week I was lucky enough to have a different encounter:

There was life here. Although primarily colorless due it's winter slumber, it was trying, and it was very apparent that in this case, nature had won.

To explain the expansiveness of this "green" house is difficult to do. Although small in appearance from the outside, the corridors of the vaulted, glass ceilings never seemed to stop. The sprinkler systems, prep tables, and hundreds of rows of flower benches were all still intact, many with successions of planters lined up further than I could see. Each office, closet, and even the copy room were practically untouched, with only trace amounts of your expected, bored-suburban-kid graffiti.



"He took the remaining bouquet of flowers from the cooler and hung his yellow freezer coat on it's hook. The bouquet, for his wife. He grabbed his last, few, desktop belongings, and with that, Jim Norris turned off the lights, headed for the door, and punched the clock for the final time.
Later that week, shortly after ten in the morning, the greenhouse, to which Jim had dedicated his life, took it's final, heaving breath of electricity and sat quiet, lifeless once and for all." - Jason Unoriginal

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Let's Start From The Bottom

Whether cities are purposely built to have an aesthetic appeal to them, or whether our sense of beauty has simply become accustomed to it, there is a sense of magic in the view of a city's skyline.
All of the roads and bridges that lead towards the epicenter always seem to paint an unforgettable image for me. And thankfully, due to modern camera technology and a little bit of light pollution, these images are typically relatively easy to capture.

What about the arteries that we don't see? What about the veins that help keep the city flowing?

Below the streets of every major metropolitan lie pitch-black webs of tunnels designed to handle the city's waterways. Sometimes for rain water, sometimes to reroute a natural stream, sometimes to carry sewer water, and often a combination of it all.

Take a good look at the brickwork, think about the size of these and the fact that you've probably walked over them before without even knowing, and keep in mind that the only light you see in these photographs was provided by our flashlights.

Check out Jeff's photos, Brandon's Instagram, and be sure to say thank you to Kaylah for always accompanying us with pocket-chocolate.

- Jason Unoriginal

Friday, December 19, 2014

Who Am I?

Where shall we begin?

I go by Jason Unoriginal, and I am a 26-year-old individual who resides in Cleveland, Ohio. My time is spread between riding bicycles, exploring the city's vast environment, urban climbing, stuffing my face at one of my favorite, local restaurants, and photographing my journey along the way.

A good majority of what I do is not legal, not safe, nor does it benefit me financially. But it makes me happy, and in that, I find it's worth.

This blog will be used as a visual diary, both for your eyes as well as my own. Let the games begin.

- Jason Unoriginal