Monthly Archives: May 2011
You know we’re committed to sustainability. We use a trailer to bike deliver our boxes to Fed Ex and we partner with vendors who choose sustainability: Rendered Clothing, Dharma Merchant Services, and Chris King (to name a few). But, did you know we have an official “Sustainability Box Plan” to help us REDUCE, RE-USE and then RECYCLE shipping boxes and packaging? We do. We thought we’d share the official top-secret plan with you here:
So let’s summarize the plan: We get boxes (and plastic shipping materials) because we get things in the mail. The boxes we can’t re-use we recycle or give to another small company, PLYWERK, that ships out their product to customers all over the world!!
Here’s what the owner of PLYWERK, Kjell Van Zoen, had to say about our partnership: ”We are always extremely grateful when any business is willing to take time out of their busy schedule to help conserve and reuse materials. Our ability to reuse packing materials is entirely dependent on businesses like Sugar Wheel Works. It’s awesome to think that we have built a mini symbiotic relationship to reduce waste and prevent unnecessary overproduction. Hopefully our relationship will be an example for other businesses to follow.”
While we won’t always be perfect, we come in every day with a creative and willing attitude towards sustainability. Ideas and suggestions are always welcomed! Check out our partner, PLYWERK, here.
When one begins to specialize in a specific area, say wheel building for example, one gets very specific about the tools with which one works with. I am no exception. I have tools I like and though they seem somewhat outdated my loyalty has not shifted. I use the same tools my wheel building “Sensai” used and find it very difficult, at times, to switch into less cumbersome methods.
Today’s tool that I’d like to pay homage to isn’t directly related to wheel building but it has been with me from the very first thought about building, business, and has been with me on countless miles of open road. I have replaced parts of this tool over and over and through the years have not managed to lose it. It is my pen. My Fisher Space pen.
The fact that I haven’t lost this pen like I lose keys, wallets, pendants, gloves, shoe laces, dinner plates and countless other ordinary, everyday items dates back to when I was a child and my dad gave me my first “Pen of value”. This pen is sitting at home on a shelf and is well used. It bears a nursing insignia on the top and is a teal green on the bottom. My dad gave it to me while he was clearing out his desk on one of his “De clutter” missions. As an anecdote, my dad’s desk, work bench, and top dresser drawer were always a treasure chest of old, shiny items from compasses to pens to toys he had since he was a child–all played with while he was at work by me and occasionally my sisters. The pen my dad gave me, in addition to two others, remain small treasures to me.
Anyhow, this Fisher Space Pen that I am currently feeling deep gratitude towards first traveled to Patagonia with me and later did several other bicycle trips. It’s the pen with which I first wrote the ideas for this shop and it’s the pen with which I embark on all existential ponderings. It’s also the pen with which I write prescriptions for new wheels. It lives here in the shop, in my apron.
There isn’t much to say about the characteristics of the pen. It feels nice in my hand, I can write upside down with it, on a wall, under water, and should my adventures take me to space, I could even use it there.
And that’s really the end of this thought. A short love letter to my pen. The catalyst of my crazed ideas, the joy of my inked adventures.
Me with my Fisher Space Pen
To say we’ve “Been busy” doesn’t seem to justify not posting some of the great things that have happened in our shop since January. I am making a list and adding some photos just to prove that some things have *Sweetened up* around these parts.
Here’s our list:
1. Went to visit Mellow Johnny’s in Austin, Texas to see some of the wheels we’ve built on Beloved bicycles.
2. Changed our name in favor of something a little sweeter
Our old logo
Our new name
3. Volunteered with a great program in Gresham, OR called “Wheelz”. This program was started by two dedicated teachers who were also cyclists. The program meets twice a week after school and its mission is to help middle school kids ride safely with traffic and pedestrians, learn to maintain their bikes and have fun through fitness. We showed up and showed them how to true wheels…and they did great!
4. Moved our shop. We octupled in size. Literally. We moved from our 64 square foot studio in SE Portland to our new space in N Portland on Williams. In addition to the extra square footage and showroom we are sharing our space with Sweetpea Bicycles.
5. We taught our first Wheel Building and Wheel Truing classes with great success. No tears being shed in the process=great success.
6. We were featured in PELOTON MAGAZINE (Feb-Mar 2011 pg. 114). We are less than 100 pages from Eddie Merckx!
And whilest we have been busy, we’ve maintained our love for helping you find the perfect ride, our curiosity about hand-built wheels, and our insatiable love for the open road. We hope you’ve been well. Stop in and see us at our new location!!