Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Two-Wheel Tuesday: 13


During the Spring time, I always find myself working on bikes way more than any other time of the year. I typically tend to catch up on routine maintenance on my own bike(s), clean, detail, and tune-up bikes for friends, and sometimes even build them from the frame up. 

I love working with older, vintage bikes, and restoring them back into working shape. I often hear people saying that they'd love to get a bicycle to ride, but that they "can't afford one." You can easily find a used road bike and return it to a perfectly-safe riding condition for under $100.

With having sold a few bikes last year, and having a few others in the shop for service jobs, I began to call this little business of mine "St. Clair Cycle Shop," and it stuck.

Here are some of the bicycles I have built and/or maintenanced within the last year:

  BEFORE: A 1975 Hercules that I purchased from a garage sale.

AFTER: Stripped and converted to fixed-gear simply by swapping out the rear wheel and chain.

 A full tune-up and detail was done on this old-school Schwinn, just in time for the warm weather.

Once my main source of transportation, this vintage Huffy was cleaned up and eventually sold.

BEFORE: A gorgeous, neutral-toned fixed-gear with an uncomfortable riding position and an overlapping "track style" front wheel.

AFTER: A better angle on the stem, different bars, and a change of saddles delivered the comfort, while a splash of color and a swapped front-fork with a steeper angle delivered the looks and non-toe-rubbing rideability.

Another garage sale find equipped with new brakes, new tires, and new, snazzy blue bar tape.

 A Royal Enfield frame from 1958 that was found in the trash was rebuilt with a new headset, stem, chain, and bottom bracket. Cranks, saddle, bars, and wheels were easily sourced from other spare bicycles.

I am located on Cleveland's near-east side and would love to take a look at your bicycle if something needs cleaned or repaired. If you're looking for a custom, vintage build, or a fixed-gear conversion, let's chat! Alternatively, if you already have a bike, let's ride. The more the merrier! Xx

- Jason Unoriginal

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rockefeller Park Greenhouse

One of my favorite things about Cleveland is the amount of "hidden gems" that we have throughout the city. I had heard plenty of positive reviews on the beauty of the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, yet I had never been there. The greenhouse is open all year long, 7-days a week, FREE, and is less than five minutes away from me. 

During one of the coldest weeks that I can ever remember living on this earth, Jillian twisted my arm by asking me to join her at the greenhouse. Why did it take me so long to check this out?

The greenhouse is small enough to not feel overwhelming, yet large enough to easily kill a couple of hours. Most of the structure is original, and the old, steel beams contrast unbelievably well with the greenery. The foot traffic throughout is typically pretty quiet, and the employees and other guests are very eager to help spread their knowledge. It's absolutely worth a visit.
- Jason Unoriginal

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Two-Wheel Tuesday: 12


This post is dedicated to bicycle awareness.

Last week I had a minor incident in which an individual failed to check his mirrors for traffic prior to swinging open his car door. I thankfully had time to maneuver my bicycle's front end away from the vehicle, but the up-rotation of my drive-side pedal made direct contact with the edge of the driver's door. This caused my rear end to swing left and my handlebars to fold inwards, projecting me over the left side of my bicycle. My landing was thankfully spread out between the entire left side of my body resulting only in some minor bumps and bruises. I was lucky.

Days later, I finally met up with a long-time acquaintance, Ricky. Him and I chopped it up for a while, grabbed a late brunch, and road throughout many parts of the city grabbing some photos along the way. Later that night as Ricky was on his way home from work, he was hit by a car and thrown through the air. His shoulder took the weight of the fall and was severely separated, resulting in a 4 or 6-week recovery period.
The worse news: The driver fled.

This should go for all months of the year, but especially as it begins to warm up, I ask that you please pay attention to your surroundings. Triple-check before stepping out of your car, be more attentive at intersections, and pay attention to oncoming traffic before making turns. Bicyclists, baby strollers, motorcyclists, joggers, pedestrians, and even the drivers of other motor vehicles will all benefit from just a few extra seconds of care.

To Ricky and anyone else who has recently been affected, here's to a quick recovery:

"Positive vibes. Positive rides. Positive lives."

- Jason Unoriginal

Monday, March 23, 2015

Inn The Middle of Nowhere

There's unfortunately no intricate back-story to this place, and I also know very little about it's history. Somewhere along our way looking for the abandoned lake-front trailer park, Jeff, Kaylah, and I stumbled across this gem of a building, which claimed to have been an old inn. 

(I am absolutely obsessed with the textures and colors of this wall/door combo.)

Located behind the inn was an enormous, dilapidated garage that offered much more to look at inside than I predicted. Included was a ton of old furniture, gorgeous, old, gasoline pumps, and this Dodge Aspen that hasn't been registered since 1993:

Sometimes making a wrong turn isn't a bad thing after all. Xx

- Jason Unoriginal

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lake-Front Getaway

"Hey guys, do you want to sneak away to the lake for the weekend? My parents said we can stay in their trailer!"

"Wait, you mean the one that looks right out over the water!?"

"Yeah, the one they named 'Serenity' or whatever, haha."

"If your little sister wants to come too, she can stay in the kid's room!"

"Awesome! Hey... maybe we should invite the rest of the gang too, and they can rent one of those other smaller trailers or cabins across the road from us. What do you think?"

"Of course! It will be way easier to get the boat in the water with all of them helping anyways!"

"Ah, perfect. I can't wait!"

- Jason Unoriginal

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Two-Wheel Tuesday: 11


Friday: 10 miles. / Saturday: 28 miles. / Sunday: 16 miles. / Monday: 18 miles.

With temperatures reaching into the 50's, it was such an incredible weekend for riding.
It began Friday afternoon when Jeff and Kaylah joined me for a quick ride after work before the rain started.

On Saturday, the three of us were joined by Brandon for a pretty extensive 28-mile-ride throughout many different parts of the city. 

(Photo: Kaylah Doolan)

Sunday morning brought a pretty hefty road trip for myself, Jeff, and Kaylah, followed by another 16-mile-ride once returning to the Cleveland area.

Monday as I was leaving work, I was surprised by Jillian, Kalie, and Michael, who had all brought their bicycles out for the first time this year. Including my ride to-and-from work, I added another 18 miles to the clock.

What an amazing weekend it was, and here's to many more of the same!

Be sure to check out Kaylah's full write-up about her own bicycle adventures this weekend, with a ton of gorgeous shots from her vintage Polaroid Land Camera here.

Ride on. Ride safe. Xx

- Jason Unoriginal

Monday, March 16, 2015

On The Roofs

Last week's warmer temperatures finally gave Jake and I an opportunity to thoroughly shoot together, and test out what his new camera is capable of. Over the winter, we made plenty of good attempts, but the freezing air always seemed to cut our adventures short.

With cameras in hand and warmth not being an issue, we decided to take our time and find somewhere new. After a brief game of rooftop-puzzle-pieces, the Euclid Avenue horizon emerged from around a corner. This is what we saw:

(Jake can be seen crouching , left, near the roof's edge.)


Although I spent a ton of time outdoors throughout the winter, it always felt so rushed due to the dangers that cold weather can bring. This rooftop was one of the most relaxing locations I've shot from in months, and I didn't want to leave (you can ask Jake).
Be sure to check out some of his photos from the evening over on his Flickr.

- Jason Unoriginal

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nostalgia Below The Streets

Although over twelve years have separated my visits, this place still rings of familiarities.

I first stepped into these tunnels way back in 2003 with a friend who's father had owned a business in the neighborhood.

Although nothing special, there was a sudden sense of calmness that greeted you upon entrance. Perhaps it had to do with the quick transition from commercially-zoned property into the serenity of mother nature.

The winter snows made for incredible scenery, but definitely made the tubes a bit more challenging to navigate than with the dryness of summer.

(Rapidly-flowing waters paired with shallow, icy edges.)

Hundreds, if not thousands of individuals drive across this stream on a daily basis, yet very few will ever stop to embrace it's purity hidden within the urban landscape.

- Jason Unoriginal