That's Scott, our next door neighbor, with a recent sea turtle he made of car parts.
He has 24 or so huge BMX trophies and still rides. He built himself a lugged BMX frame and a lugged road frame, although he rides mostly BMX. He's going to borrow a bike and come riding with me and Dan.
Dan and I went riding on Mt. Tamalpais today, Sept 30. He rode the Boots, and when we got back, even after having the bikes on a car rack for a 45 minute drive, found this. If spikes can hold a Bay leaf, they can grip a rubber sole. Jenny showed this on Instagram, too.
I know what's eating you. You're wondering what the flip side looks like. Jenny didn't show that, so OK--
now, the meat of the BLUG. OCT 2
We’re closing in on our 25th year, thank you so much, but we haven’t made much of an impact for having been around that long. If we’ve mattered to or helped YOU, that is fantastic. Every now and then we get a booster note, and it always means a lot.
Those who know Rivendell at all or who work here or are me have always considered it, or explained it, as a niche company. “Niche” is a way of justifying small without the shame of commercial failure. It seems intentional if its a niche company. What I don’t get is..what’s “niche-y” about these bikes? Why aren’t carbon road bikes with electronic shifting “niche-y”? Is a CLEM nichey? It’s good for everything fun useful and practical. It’s not for fast club-rides, but aren’t we all past those? They’re like training for races you’re not going to enter. Grueling through intensity and attention so you don’t crash or cause your clubmates to. I did that for 8 years, constantly, forget it.
Not all road rides or club rides are like that, but group rides in general tend to get a little racey, and when on those rides some are feeling slightly like winners, others feel slightly like losers.
About 32 years ago when I was at Bstone, I was - back in Boston in the offices of Bicycle Guide magazine on Boylston, and we were talking about .. well, there’s no name for these rides, but they’re basically businessy rides with clients or customers, rides that at the core are still bicycle rides and so have that going for them, and they’re with people you like, so that too, but the fellow said something along the lines, pretty close to this: “Yeah, they know who you are from seeing your name in print, and they’re friendly, but they want to hammer you. It’s never casual.”
That’s what happens when people ride together. I still like them (the rides and the people), but it really does happen.
All of our bikes are special to me, and I think to everybody here. It’s not like we have tons of models—just seven or eight. I always have to count: CLEM, Homer, Sam, Atlantis, Cheviot, Appa, Roadini…Gus Boots-Willsen is coming up. Legolas is now not quite illegal for us to make, but that law firm that sued John Fogarty for sounding too much like Creedence has also strong-armed us to not use Middle Earth names, and boil our blood though it does, the last thing we need is a lawsuit. J.R.R. Tolkien sold them the rights to the names in 1981, I heard. Son Christopher Tolkien is trying to stop them from bad use of them. Why’d they buy them? To make a Middle Earth theme park? Lord of the Rings casinos?
The Roadeo is still available, but is in transition. The HubbuHubbuH tandem is over, athough we are down to three larges, and Vince just found one available small.
If you’re the guy who called two days ago asking for it and I said no, call up and we’ll get you going. The rest of you—give this fellow a day. Maybe he checks email only on Saturdays.
At the trade show, as part of the 6-page packet we handed out to possible dealers, of which we aren’t really looking for any, but if they like the bikes a lot, sure, let’s go.
The price on both is going up the next time we get them in. The Atlantis is already $1100 less than it was two years ago, so there’s room to jack it up some, and it’s clear we need to do that. The current Atlantis is our latest design, with some nice details heretofore unseen on Atlantis frames.
CLEMS..well, the current batch of H-style (with a top tube) may be the last of these. We sell about 50-50 H’s and L’s. They’re only $1650 because they come assembled to us, but cash flow won’t allow that anymore—or greatly reduced, anyway—so they’ll likely get up to about $1,800 next. Plus, it turns out they cost us $100 more than we thought. It’s not a tariff thing, it’s an import duty thing. There was a change in the rate that may have come when we changed importer, but in any case they say we’re paying the right amount.
Although the plan is for no more CLEM H anythings, I can see us getting some 52’s again in a few years. I can’t see any more 59s or 65s.
Apparently in Nov 2014 we had an anagram contest for SAM HILLBORNE, and a crackerjack pair of anagram hotshots from Portland came up with these. I kept the postcard and had forgotten where I’d put it, but then I found it.
This Portland duo is pretty up-there, anagram-wise.
Hello, Ribs Man—well, that may be your public persona, but underneath that facade we both know you're “Hell-man Boris." Herb moans ill, and I’m sorry about that, but he and Bill Shoreman are destined to be bros in hell, Ma. And why? Well, blame it on … O, man’s ill herb, I suppose, and that ill-borne sham. I want no part of this. I’m outa here, this place—over time it has become, to me, just another Mo’s Brain Hell. I may smell like Herman’s ill B.O., but with my life-skills, I can still get a job. Tell you what: I’ll be a shoreman!
Here’s an honesty test. No, it’s an integrity test…no, a poetry/song/literature test. It’s three tests in one! And although the test itself isn’t analog, your answer must be..meaning no electronic help, but you may ask your local librarian, but then if he or she consults the computer, that’s a violation. Don’t look for loopholes. Ask people. Ask poetry professors, anybody. Maybe you know one or more of these. They’re neither hard nor easy, and you can feel like a genius if you get all without consulting, but not like a dummy if you get none, because they’re way harder than they are easy. You may use the telephone, even if it’s an iPhone. To call people, not to look it up. Does honesty still thrive? I think here and in you it does.
You’re to name the source: the artist or writer or song or book or poem name. Any one of those counts as much as all of them. First one wins, and after that, a random drawing among the other winners gets the same, but one prize per household.
The purpose of this contest is to help our cash flow between now and next Tuesday, October 9, 3:00 pm California time. And to kind of have fun. I’m sorry if it’s not fun for you. The first one is the hardest, and really ought to be worth more than the others, but it’s not.
20 percent discount on a complete bike, must be in stock, no “futures” and must be ordered by October 9 and paid for in full by Friday Oct 15, even if we can’t deliver it until like a couple of weeks later, which is unlikely. Because the intent here is to raise cash quick.
One per household. In any category (let’s call them “category” 1 thru 8), the first winner wins, and then, if there are other winners in that category, there will be a drawing to see who gitsit the same thing as the first person.
How to Disqualify yourself: Cheat, use the internet to look it up, or have a friend use it. Here we go:
- (a poem)
Four windmills, acquaintanceships.
were spied one morning eating tulips.
and the entire city flips
screaming: Apocalypse! Apocalypse!
O people! my people!
something weirdly architectural
like a rackety cannibal
came to Haarlem last night
and ate up a canal!
- (a poem)
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas
- (a song)
You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discovered that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything thing he could steal.
- (a song)
The old man walks in Echo Park
From bench to bench he moves from morning ‘til dark
For the ducks some bread he brings
Wonder if he'll feed them this time next spring
- (a passage from a book)
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very nearly and simply arranged: the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea how to set it about; and while she was peering about anxiously among the trees, a little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a great hurry.
a riddle from a famous book (no need to name the book; just solve the riddle):
a box without hinges, key or lid
yet golden treasure inside is hid
- (sentence from a book)
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
- (from a book)
First of all he said to himself: “That buzzing-noise means something. You don’t get a buzzing-noise like that, just buzzing and buzzing, without its meaning something. If there’s a buzzing-noise, somebody’s making a buzzing-noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee.”
Call me Ishmael.
Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title "Blahg Bike Contest". Put the example number and your answer in the copy.
Here's a neat little article:
Remember the African shoes? Specifically, the Ethiopian ones? The killer deals, groovy company shoes? They claimed 15 day delivery. Mine arrived today, about 3,5 months later, but they are hand-made and custom and only $85, and I totally love them and would order another pair again in a second even if they took a year, and I might (but they won't take that long). Are you ready to suffer shoe envy?
I know what you're thinking: "Grant, if they're size 10 and for a wide foot, please sell them to ME!"
I can't believe Mark here thinks they look like clown shoes.
Yes I can, but I seriously love them. This is the SURGE aby. aby is short for Abyssinian, I think, since Ethiopia used to be called that. I want some gray ones, too. I wouldn't get red even if they offered it. Those would be clown shoes.
Friend Dan and I were riding on Mt. Tam over the weekend, really nice ride, and I got a video of him riding the Boots. It's the first ever video of it. He's just cruising along, well aware that I'm phoning him, and here it is: