Saturday, June 1, 2013

BikemanforU LIVE - Montauk to Manhattan - Get Real


The BikemanforU dream scape opens today with a live feed from the family bike shop filled with beachgoers, cyclists, and the urgency of serving the immediate wants of customers.

For all practical and wonderful purposes, this is a life feed. Food for the spirit, a celebration of the human condition. Ya gotta love it.

There's YouTube's how-to guru of bicycle repair running the show, supported by 16-year-old SonofA in the director's seat, wife Toni Basket, a local politician running for village trustee on the Beach Party ticket, tween-age daughter Baby G, aka Ally, aka Alexandra, who steps in wherever and whenever needed, plus the zen master himself, Mr. Pump, father of the BikemanforU and co-founder with his late wife, Louise, of the family business where this dream was born.

Sebastian, BikemanforU's couldn't-do-without roustabout, assistant bike mechanic BMX Boy, and myself round out the bike shop crew. 

The show uses four surveillance cameras to stream the feed through a switch and DVR into an older Mac desktop, where it's uploaded as a google + hangout and on the BikemanforU YouTube channel. My task is to embed the live feed into the website, an online sales channel for the bike parts, tires, tools, and cycling accessories shown in the BikemanforU video tutorials.

Even though I know and work with everyone, I feel like a voyeur staring into my computer, watching the unrehearsed, spontaneous interactions of a family and strangers, learning about parenting, customer service, communication skills and the hoots of getting real with sound tests, who's got a microphone and who doesn't.

"I do believe we're live. I do believe we're live," says BMFU, and he reminds me of Bert Lahr's over the top portrayal of you-know-who in the Wizard of Oz.

The feed, which lasts for hours, is becoming addictive. There's chit-chat on the YouTube channel and who knows how many viewers on the hangout. Who can keep up?  

You get a full stream of consciousness, not just from the four cameras, but from the dialogue between the cameraman, the shopkeepers, the customers, cyclists passing by and all the emotions that make up the river of life.

Peer into the world of the BikemanforU family in the Bike 'n' Kite shop on Potunk Lane in the tiny shoreline hamlet of Westhampton Beach on eastern Long Island, NY. I don't gotta, I do love it!

-- Pam-a-lou

Friday, May 31, 2013

BikemanforU LIVE Show - Get Real


Well, it's official. The BikemanforU LIVE Show officially debuted on Memorial Day weekend 2013 with a marathon stream. Mr. Pump says it's a dream come true for YouTube's how-to guru of bicycle repair.

If you like to binge watch, here's the full playlist. Get real with us on Saturdays, 10am eastern on the BikemanforU Channel.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gear Shifter De-Gunk & Cable Install - Cut vs Crush


Some homemade tools work so well and should be an integral part of your toolbox. Take that awl with a bent tip that the BikemanforU uses to clean out the gear shifter mechanism in this bike repair video. It's a homemade tool that functions like a watchmaker's tweezer - invaluable.
Park Tool CN-10 Cable Cutter
The second tool BikemanforU uses in this video is another story. Tenspeed The BikeHanger, a loyal viewer, said it so well in his comments: "You must cut the cable and casing and not crush it." 

The cable cutter YouTube's how-to guru of bicycle repair uses is a parrot-nosed configuration. The cutting edges curl around almost to engulf the small cable and casing. 

This cutter cleanly avoids crushing and fraying. A typical diagonal cutter in this situation is a very poor substitute.

Watch the video tutorial below for a close-up instructions on how to use a parrot-nose cable cutter properly.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Use A Pedal Wrench When It Just won't Fit - Bike Repair

I know the feeling. You take that old bike out of the barn and your eye focuses on the decomposed pedals. That should be an easy fix, you think. Your toolbox has a pretty beefy crescent wrench. Should be a snap to get those old pedals off.

Oh, no. It just won’t fit. The jaws are wide enough but there isn’t enough space between the pedal and the crank arm to get a grip.

Even after you obtain a proper pedal wrench for the proper job, you may find pedals on an old bike are so frozen you can't budge the buggers.

Get your buddy to hold the bike firmly on the ground. Fit a piece of pipe over the tool to increase the fulcrum and give it heck.

You’d better have that bicycle on solid ground if you’re going to use a pipe or it'll be too unstable.

-- Mr. Pump

PS Last resort - Use a sledge hammer

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Giant Cypress vs BikemanforU - Mother's Day Contest

The Giant USA hybrid bikes shown in this video would make any mother happy and proud. So would your participation in this year's Mother's Day Contest. Details are in the video, so don't hesitate to watch and enter.

At our brick-and-mortar store hybrid bikes make up approximately 75% of our new bike sales within our leisure-recreation-vacation market.

It wasn’t always that way. In the early ‘80s, our dominant new bike offering, dictated by distributors, was a 10-speed drop handlebar bike.

The industry “handle” was a 10-speed racer.

This was okay for our younger client. However, our middle-agers didn’t want to lean forward and stretch their neck upwards to see where they were going.

Racer. yes. Comfort, no go.

The listener, BikemanforU, claimed ‘I’ll fix that.’

Without changing anything other than the handlebar and brake levers to a three-speed design, he made a modified comfort bike to satisfy those customers.

YouTube's how-to guru of bicycle repair, as usual, was way ahead of his time.
Don't hesitate to nominate your favorite Mom Who Rocks by commenting on this video or posting your own video response.

This year's Mother's Day Contest is sponsored by our own RockHell. Winner gets a $50 Gift Certificate redeemable online at our website.

-- Mr. Pump

Monday, April 22, 2013

Video Surveillance Is What We Make Of It

If you don't want to be seen in what you might define as the wrong time and the wrong place, you may have to confine yourself to a fortress of some sort.

Can you believe Google had a photo of the boat in the driveway where the surviving alleged Boston Marathon bomber was captured -- as the saga unfolded in Watertown, Massachusetts? As well as the untold videos of the two actual suspects as they carried their deadly cargo and left it near the finish line in Boston?

Video surveillance, security or otherwise, is everywhere you go. If you enter the grounds of Bike 'n' Kite in Westhampton Beach, NY, on Saturdays you will automatically be part of the BikemanforU virtual reality show being taped live on our YouTube channel.

So yes, BikemanforU is using a Samsung outdoor surveillance system to show the world our inner workings in a small-town bike shop as they happen  in real time. And that's edutainment!

-- Mr. Pump

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wall-Mount Bike Repair Stand - Park Tool PRS-4W - 1

This BikemanforU video portrays a fairly permanent installation with four-by-four embedded in concrete of one of the best bicycle stands we've found.

Park Tool's Deluxe PRS-4W 1 makes sense for anyone who fixes bicycles and who may  have  a barn, garage, or a shop building. 

This stand can be installed almost anywhere inside or even outdoors, as we did for our bicycle cleaning station. All you need is a substantial post, beam, or stud. Use a solid lag bolt to fasten.

The adjustable linkage clamp, Park's Tool 100-3C, that makes up the business end is the highest professional quality available. The stand itself is affordable, versatile, and doesn't take up a lot of room.

If you don't like where you put it at first - no problem. Try someplace else. Consider attaching it to the end of a heavy duty work bench. Just make sure your choice of installation is substantial.

-- Mr. Pump