Friday, March 11, 2011

old photos

going through some old photos and this bunch really made me wish it was the start of the cross season..... All from Northampton Day One 2009

miss this dude

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

multi tools part three. the random grand finale

Over the years there are a lot of things that end up in the tool box. Here are a few. Some normal.Some not so much
The leatherman is pretty much the default multi tool for life. This one still had dried fish guts on it when I took it out for a picture. For 99% of humanity, just like a cell phone, this should never be attached to your belt in public.

Noting says practical like the old tri spoke tool. Nut driver in this case, but works just as well with allen wrenches

Swiss army "card" not sure what costanza wallet this was supposed to fit in. Xmas gift gone wrong

One of a couple mystery multi tools I have bought at yard sales? Worth a buck for sure.

The Exhumer gets multiple photos because of it's name and cause you can open a beer with it(cause nothing goes better with demolition than drinking????)

All good things come to an end and thankfully even things like this as well. This will be the final installment on my multi tool obsession.... for now

multi tools part two. the bike years and beyond

So once cycling started playing a bigger role in my life, it opened up a gigantic new product group for me to test out. Cycling multi tools. "be prepared" is the mantra repeated to all beginning cyclists. From tubes to patch kit to tools, there are endless checklists of what you need to survive a ride. It is one easy thing to have covered when you are struggling with some of the other more complicated issues on a bike-like not getting dropped....
I think I only have half of my first cycling multi tool a gigantic 2 section everything but the kitchen sink type model. Overkill seemed like the best idea as a rookie. Why not have a tool that could provide tools for road side repairs that I wasn't qualified to do? Why not haul around a half pound security blanket? Thankfully when your extended family realizes you are a cyclist, you can count on a steady stream of new gigantor multi tools like this on most birthdays and holidays.

Thankfully with experience comes some knowledge of what goes wrong on a ride and what you can actually repair. This brings the turn towards minimalism. Until it rusted into modern art, this was the only tool in my seat bag besides a tire lever. If it couldn't fix with that and limp home it was time to break out that phone and beg for help.

Oh and there is no reason a tire lever can't serve double duty. Thanks Ritchey!

Lately I just carry the bare minimum. Though those nice Soulrun tool rolls beg to be filled with some sort of demented multi tool....
Besides the practical aspect of bike tools, there are also the lifestyle aspects of bike tools. Is it really a multi-tool if it can't open a beer? Why should a tool perform only it's primary function if it could additionally open a beer? Take for example the Campy 15mm peanut butter wrench. Worked for track nuts. Fit in your bag. Classic Italian craftsmanship. Pretty much all you need, but you couldn't open a beer with it. This opened the door for the Surly Jethro Tule to enter my life. Pretty much a must have item when it appeared on the internet. Sadly no picture. It was in my tool box at the start of cross season and it wasn't there yesterday when I went to take pictures? A tool thief at a cross race? Sacrilege. Even though I mourn it's disappearance, I don;t miss it's shark like tendency to rip the entire top of the bottle. Fear not, the need for a 15mm wrench that could also open a beer is a niche that only one multi tool can't handle. Enter Swobo and Park's "collabo"

But suppose you don't have a bag with you and you are out on your bike and need a beer after changing a flat? No wrench combo is fitting in the back of those tight ass jeans. Don't fret, Pedro's is here for you!

Hey cross racer? You know, maybe you don't need a 15mm wrench, but you do need to keep the UCI off your back before hoisting a cold one? Well Stu Thorne has you covered.

So there you go. Laid out together that is a ridiculous amount of tools that do the same couple things. Especially when they all have companions on the peg board that performs only one single function in their quiver.
The only thing less explicable is the plethora?,abundance?,massive volume of random allen wrenches floating around. Where do they all come from and why can't they stay together?

me and multi-tools volume one. the early years.

Looking at my workbench and tool boxes, one thing is clear, I am obsessed with multi-tools. Not sure why or how it happened, but the evidence is irrefutable.
Probably started with a jack knife or swiss army knife. I know I have had several. But it really blossomed in my teens thanks to skateboarding.
This is most likely the first dedicated one sport multi tool I owned (true for a lot of old timers I'll bet)

This is probably my first "skate key". It got the job done, but left a lot to be desired. Thankfully as skateboarding blew up in the 80s so did the tool selection.
Which brings me to the Fix Stix

This thing was light years better than what I was working with. I loved this tool and still have 2 of them despite not having set up a board in 5 years.
Come on this thing had a bearing press!! Genius.

I found this is the random parts bin. Gullwing six pak? Here are 3. What were the other 3 parts of the pak? Someone chime in and remind me.

Skate tool innovation has continued, but I was starting to focus more on bikes than boards. Luckily for me the bike life is full of more multi tools than you could imnagine and this would further fuel my addiction.
At the end of the day, the most confusing part of my obsession with multi tools is that they are at best a pale imitation of the individual tools they collect(think the saw blade on a swiss army knife...). It would always be better to have a well stocked tool box at hand, but that isn't always possible. So I am always searching(like a desperate boy scout) for the next multi tool.

part 2 on the way