Monday, November 14, 2011

Now in Print!

It's finally finished! Behold the Sekine zine:

Sekine zine cover pages

After months of editing and revisions, the zine is finally printed and ready to go. An large envelope stuffed full of Sekine zines accompanied me yesterday to Canzine West. Quietly put onto the table and launched without fanfare, the zine sold well and received some very positive initial reviews.

The Sekine zine is a black-and-white, 36-page photocopied booklet that details the history of Sekine Canada Ltd. It contains more information about Sekine than you'd ever want to know, and includes photos and tidbits you won't find anywhere online. If you've ever wondered about Sekine bicycles, where or how they were made, this zine has all that information- and more.

Sekine zine inside pages

Sekine zine exclusive photos

It's not a detailed guide to specific bicycle models, as a vintage catalog accompanied by a learned eye is more accurate. The zine does, however, contain general identification pointers, a serial number guide, and an extensive reference list for further reading. Given time and a budget I would have written a book; but this zine is quite good and a lot cheaper!

Sekine zine, more inside spread

Sekine zine, more photos
The zine is available to order directly from me. Paypal is easiest, but I'd still accept old-school cash through the mail. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me (rodoftheflies AT yahoo DOT ca). Buy yours today!

Sekine Zine + Postage

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Crash

A beautiful sunny morning, clear blue skies and dry roads. We both had the day off, and it took a while to get out of the house. With fun and frivolous diversions in mind, we set off on our bikes. I was riding my fixed gear, my girlfriend was on her single speed Sekine mixte.
A block from our house, approaching a familiar four-way intersection on a stale green light, I was in the lead. Anticipating the traffic lights, I figured the girlfriend was a good distance behind me. As the light changed from green to yellow, I was nearing the crosswalk and suddenly decided to stop, rather than go through the intersection, and slammed on my front brake, skidding the rear wheel a bit.
Just coming to a stop, I had about a second's warning as I heard a noise from behind me, an "Oh shi-" WHAM! The impact pushed me and bike through the crosswalk, where I fell onto the ground. "Ahh, what the F*CK!" My girlfriend had been following more closely than I'd thought, and had just enough time to slam on the brakes before plowing into my bike's rear end.
"Owww. Dammit. Are you okay?" Four lanes of motorists looked on as we dragged our bikes off to the sidewalk. Somehow the Sekine's brake lever was snagged in my bike's rear fender, and I picked pieces of my shattered tail light off the pavement. We examined the damage.
Some fender stays got bent, but my wheels and the rest of the bike seemed fine. Let's have a look at your Sekine- uh oh.

Twin top tubes bent upward, flaking the paint. Not shown, but the fork was bent back as well.

Lower lug broken away from head tube. The lower spoon on the lug dug into the tubing, buckling it nicely.

Obviously, the Sekine is toast. Had we crashed further away, she could actually have ridden this bike home (slowly, as the fork bent far back the steering is quite wonky). Steel, as they say, is real. The material fails in a way that, to me, seems nicely predictable, obvious, and relatively safe. Fixing this frame, although technically possible, would require so much labour and new tubing that it's not a realistic option. This is actually the third crash this 30-year old frame has been through (with just its current owner) and it's time for a replacement.

So, hours later we both have some bruises and pains. The hospital x-rayed her arm, and luckily declared it unbroken. The nose of my Brooks saddle kicked me in the backside like a hammer blow. We'll heal and be a little wiser (I hope) for the experience, but this Sekine is done.