Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

If you give a man a fish (and he lives in Wisconsin) he will batter it, deep fry it, make a dozen or so brandy old fashioneds, and eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he'll hang out in the john reading Cabela's catalogs until his legs go to sleep.

Lots of people look at the lavish lives we lead here at Surly and wonder aloud,"How do you suppose I could garner a titch of that awesomeness in my own existence?" They think (and this is all, of course, hopeful conjecture), "Is the kind of fun they have up there in the Twin Cities something I can buy?" "Is there an app I can download?"

The answer, friends, is that you can have it, and it's free - or at least really cheap. Today I am going to divulge two of my secrets to cycling happiness - and I'm giving it away for nothing. No catch.

The first is an idea we had for an official Surly product, oh, about seven years ago give or take. We thought we'd package up the Surly Event Kit and sell it for, like, $1.38. Our follow-through kind of blows though, so I'll just tell you what was going to be in it because it never happened.

Say you'd like to put on some sort of bicycle event - maybe even a competition - with your friends and some of their friends? How do you do that? Our Surly Event Kit was going to look something like this:

Paper plates for number plates, zip ties to fasten the plates to handlebars, a Sharpie to write something hilarious on the number plate - like a number or a crude sketch of genetalia, and a notebook. That's it. People sign in, you give them a number plate, they put it on their bike, and you're on your way to event management stardom. This was all going to come in the obligatory Surly brown paper bag packaging, but, like I said, that would have required work. With this, all you have to do is convince people that your ideas are fun. That's not hard at all.

"But don't I need insurance?" "Don't I need barricades and a police presence?" Goodness no. Just remember rule number 3:

Rule number 5 is also a very good rule.

Any questions? Good.

The next freebie you get today is all about the aesthetics. We don't do custom work here at Surly. Whatever ugly color we've dreamed up is the one we put in the box and the one that gets to you. From there, though, you get to do whatever you want with it. Make it yours. Put that ugly orange anodized shit all over it if you like. Nobody's taste matters but yours.

But, there's something that a lot of people forget when it comes to post-transactional visual modifications - the headbadge. I mean for real, it's the front of your bike, man! It's the last thing your derby victim sees. It's your duty to make it memorable. Now, you could go out and spend some dough on something truly awesome, or you could DIY that shit and be done. If the latter is your game, then I've got another kit for you:

That's a nice Land's End catalog I yoinked from the recycling and a National Geographic with a kickass bear on it, a pair of scissors, and some packing tape. Magazines and catalogs, as you may know, are full of pictures because Americans hate to read. That anti-intellectual pea-soup we call a culture just did you a big favor, bro. It got you a new headbadge. Leaf through those glossy images and pick the one that really tells it like it is, cut 'er out, and do a full-coverage tape job on your headtube. Bam.

And that was there waaaaay before any interview with Mr. "I'm not sorry I did it, I'm just sorry I got caught" thank you very much.

So, there it is. Two ways to get amazing for only a few dollars. Don't say I never did anything for you.