22 January 2012


What a funny word.

Hi, I'm Bakari Kafele.

You may remember me from such blogs as:

If so, you may have noticed that I have content scattered all over the place, none of which is well organized or easy to find or read.
Well that is all about to change.

For anyone who doesn't know who I am:
I'm Bakari Kafele.  I already said that.
I often use the name Jacob Aziza when I am writing on the internet.  I also sometimes use the name David Craig Hiser.  And Lenard E. Simpleton (or sometimes just Lenard Simp)
We are all the same person, (like Tyler and his best friend, except that I have always been aware of it.)

I'm just a random ordinary guy.
I live in an RV which is partially solar powered, both for the environmental benefit and the major cost savings.
Living with me are girlfriend Jessica and non-human roommate Fushi, who also goes by the name Chairman Meow.

I run a small independantly-certified-green moving, hauling and handyman business BioDiesel Hauling, using my biodiesel powered truck.  I've been doing this for over 5 years, beginning immediately  after I finished 4 (simultaneous) associate degrees.
Before that I held over 30 jobs in my lifetime, including biology lab tech, bicycle messenger, private security officer, armored truck driver, carnie, factory worker, fundraiser, liquor store cashier, bicycle mechanic and gigs as a TV commercial actor, ditch digger, medical test subject, "adult" actor, and election polling place supervisor.

Currently, in addition to BioDiesel Hauling, I am in the Coast Guard Reserve, and I still take occasional shifts with the BikeStation where I used to work.

I am vegetarian, I drive a motorcycle with a very small engine, and I am very opinionated on just about everything.  I also go through phases where I really enjoy writing, although I have been out of that phase for over a year now.

My old blogs have several years of content, some of which (at least in my own narcissistic opinion) is pretty good, so to begin with, I will be reposting old content which most likely no one has ever read (MySpace anyone?) to here where it will be more accessible.

I realize I will probably never get a huge following, since I have no real theme and no motivation to seek publicity, but if you happen to want to subscribe, I've made it easy with the top boxes in the right side bar.


17 January 2012

Buying a good used bike from Craigslist.

For my first post on this new blogger account, I'm going to write a guide to how to select a decent used bicycle.

My VERY first post.
Even before I introduce this new blog website of mine, which is taking the place of my old MySpace blog (remember MySpace?) and the free blog that came with my businesses web domain hosting (with its character limit).  My second post here will introduce it a little more thoroughly than these three sentences, and after that I will start moving old existing content here.
But first I will take a break from my usual political ranting, personal stories, and posting of links I found fascinating, to fulfill a promise I made to a fellow reader of a different blog (one with actual readership, MMM) in the comment section to share some of my knowledge of bikes and of Craigslist for an audience that may not know a good bike from a bad one.  Imagine that, something useful!

First, for anyone who came here via link or Google, and doesn't know me personally, my credentials on the subject:
I began riding regularly for fun and transportation in 1992, when I was 12.  The next year I began riding to school every day, so that I could keep the bus money for other things.  In high school, in addition to daily commuting (to school and internship) and weekend rides of 40-100 miles, I began annual 4 day trips down the CA coast with a group of teachers and friends.  After college I went with the couple that had organized those annual rides from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta Mexico, and went solo from there along the coast to Acapulco and then North to Mexico city (over an 8000ft pass) for a total of 2800 miles over 2 months.  When I returned, I took a job as a bicycle messenger.  I eventually ended up also working as a messenger in New York City.

In 20 years of serious riding, I have had a bmx bike, a steel touring bike, a British internal-hub drop-frame from the late 60s, a carbon fiber racing bike, an aluminum mountain bike, and two folding bikes, all of which together I paid a grand total of $450 for (of which $400 was the carbon fiber road bike).

Eventually I returned to CA where, for the past 6 years, my primary job has been as a hauler (mover, and handyman) which involves picking stuff up that people don't want anymore, and then finding new owners for those things. This involves either selling or giving away anything which is still useable (which is most of what I pick up), frequently on Craigslist.
My second job for the past 5 years has been as a mechanic in a tiny bike-shop of sorts, the Bike Station, whose primary service is FREE secure valet attended bicycle parking, but also offers relatively low-cost repairs.  Because we don't sell new bikes, and because we never turn anyone away for lack of bike quality, I have been able to work on a great variety of bikes, of all types and ages and cost levels, which is rare in any one shop.
(My third job is a reserve for the Coast Guard, but that isn't relevant to this at all)

And now... on to the content!

1)  This is the most important thing of all: