2019 No. 6, Early March, muck, lugs & slugs


We received the second round of Gus Boots-Willsen samples in. They're closer to final, but not there yet. Good for photo and ride samples. 

Here are chain stays, with some musical instruments:

 and a new seat tube decal, that will probably get moved. Friend Olivier Chetelat did it:

If you too want some custom made shoes like that from Ethiopia. go HERE. They're less than $100 delivered. This particular model is the Surge Aby. They're made from leather, recycled car tires. These are super light, I ride in them all the time. All's well.

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We had a short scare from our lugmaker. Most of the employees are near retirement, and they-the-owners aren't going to keep on making lugs for multitudinous more years; but the scare was that -- for a while there -- it looked like we wouldn't be able to get any more lugs, period. We were living with that for three days, and came up with plan to deal with it. Now we're set thru this year at least, and have the opportunity to buy tons for the future. Lugs are expensive, so our capacity to buy is limited, but at least we can get them.

HERE are some shots from the process:

Have you seen our lugmaking video? It's HERE.

Lugs aren't necessary, but they add some non-genericness, and they add excitement to the bicycle archaeological finds of the future. That is the worst reason for building with them, but it's also undeniable.

A recent custom frame required lugs we didn't have, so our custom builder (Mark Nobilette) did this:

 front view of top head lug

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 other view, same.

 bottom head lug with shoe. Joe Bell does super-fine difficult work painting this. It costs a lot, but is always worth it. He cares so much.

We didn't specify that nice line, but Joe did it, anyway.

Here's the head tube. One of the more unusual customs.

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Last weekend Dan and I rode on Mt. Tam again, because  it's too muck around here. Mt. Tam gets more rain than Mt. Diablo (our area), but it's a different kind of mud--all sandy and grainy and reddish. We have clay, here. There are some shots of muck, but Mt. Tamalpais muck is not the kind that stops you or makes you wish you'd stayed home. For the record, I don't like any muck, but in small doses it's fine, as long as it doesn't stick to everything.

EVERY time we ride ANYWHERE we ride, there are well-meant comments like (these are verbatim, from the last ride):

"I never expected to see those bikes up here."

"Cruisers! Cool! How do you do it without gears?"

"On inner tubes...impressive!"

Those comments are especially ironic on Mt. Tamalpais, where the mountain bike emerged from 1940s paperboy bikes, and Gary Fisher still holds the downhill record on Repack Road, on an ancient Schwinn with a drum brake. Nobody has beaten it yet, on any bike. So for just hillybiking, which is riding, walking, general traveling on trails, nothing's hard, everything is easy. Here's exactly what Mt. Tamalpais is like during a wet winter in a steady drizzle:

I look stopped here. Maybe it got too hard.

 Here's a little fellow or lady or whatever enjoying a feast:

If nature can be gross, this is it. This banana slug is a garden-variety one, maybe 3 1/4in. from mouth to anus (that's how you measure banana slugs). It's living large, happy as a clam, eating what appears to be a dog or coyote's leftovers. Probably a coyote's, sincere there's some leafy thing in there, which may have been eaten by the thing the coyote ate, but probably wouldn't have been any part of any dog chow. There's a lot going on here, friends, and this particular thing that's going on has been going on for —count 'em— 50 million years. Are banana slugs edible, kind of like snails? I bet they're poisonous. They're so unprotected and slow--they've got to have something going for them in the protection department, wouldn't you think? Maybe it's just the ewwww factor. Will says they're not too poisonous, but sometimes eat poisonous mushrooms, and it's recommended that you let them flush out a bit after one of those.

Look closely and you'll see what appear to be, but probably aren't, a squinty eye and a tooth.

 -G

 

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