A customer and his wife were by a few weeks ago looking at CLEMs, and the seat tube decal on it reminded her of this, which is now one of my top-five all-time favorite sub-2-foot tall Slovakian statues:
Names like "Cumil the Peeper" get to me right off the bat. Not the peeper part, the CUMIL part. I am now obsessed with this statue. I wish CLEM SMITH JR. was CUMIL the PEEPER JR. Here's more of a head-on shot--
We are officially retiring the 65CLEM H and the 64L. We know there are people out there who want and need them and can't find any other bike-of-that-kind that'll fit. But this well-intended suicide act of providing for the fringes--it's truly fun and satisfying, let me be clear about that---has come to a halt. We can't do it.
Here's what we've got--
65 CLEM H (normal style): 5 dark green frames. (Best for PBH 95+)
64 CLEM L (ez-on/off, formerly female style): (For PBH 91 +, although in the low '90s you can ride a 59, too. But bigger is always better.)
4 silver frames........1 silver bike..........4 delicious mustard bikes
They're $1,600, and we'll include a CLEM saddle. You're still on the hook for pedals, but those aren't so expensive, right? We'll have original CLEM peds for $20 in a month. or you can go upclass with some genuine metal pedals now.
The CLEM H is probably our best-selling bike, but we're going to quit them after the next run, except for maybe in a 52. It's just not easy.
The biggest bike parts maker in the world's stock went down 20 percent about a year ago, and has stabilized there, but no recovery in sight. Our biggest U.S. dealer closed. Bike dealers are dying fast. eMotorbikes are taking over. CUMIL the PEEPER.
Upcoming Sam news, OK:
1. Sam are coming in a week, and this time they have cantilevers and a fork with blades that are 1/10th of 1mm thicker...so it's even rougher-tumbler. Sage with cream details or Black with cream...same sizes as before: 48/650B, 51/650B, 55, 58, and 62/all 700c. News forthcoming but not here. Details later.
If you take the CLEM out of the mix, the Sam's our best-selling bike, and is always the bike we rule out before going on to something else.
It is honestly dreadful to be in a desperation situation again where I am both asked to and self-driven anyway to try to rally some enthusiasm for a bike that shouldn't need the help, but we really need a good January, and it's starting off sucky. Don't buy what you don't need, but also don't wait too long if it's in your cards, anyway.
CUMIL the PEEPER. How can you beat that? As a statue, a concept, a title, and it's SLOVAKIAN! Too little is, these days. I cannot get enough of CUMIL the PEEPER.
------ a few weeks ago I went for the best ride I've had for two years, with Vaughn, who used to work here. Vaughn shoots film toos too, so we did some of that and here are some. The thing about film is--this wasn't always true, but it is now--that even lousy ones look good enough to look at. I took this out-of-focus one of Vaughn riding a Hunqapillar, and what would take an hour to fake with a perfect digital image, took 1/125th of a second on film:
I took it with an Olympus OM-1 with HP5 film. It looks super grainy because I composed it lousily and cropped it tight. I even missed the focus. I don't care! That's the great thing about not having to make a living with photography. This is "impressionistic" photography. This impression is "guy riding a bike around some trees."
CUMIL the PEEPER was sculpted in 1997 by Victor Hulik, proabably a Slovakian, unless he just did it for the gov't of Slovakia. If I were a sculptor (but then again no, or a man...) I can't imagine a higher high point than this.
The biggest bike parts maker in Osaka and the world's stock fell 20 percent about a year ago and hasn't recovered. If you think that doesn't trigger meetings and revolutions, hooboy, yes it does. There are almost only half as many bike shops now as there were in 1988, when 7.5 out of every 10 bikes sold to adults was a mountain bike. It was 3 years before suspension forks, too, and 25 years before the first modern attempts to motorize "bicycles."
Our biggest U.S. dealer closed. We have no truly big U.S. dealers, but all of them are good and special shops, and as we struggle they do, and vice versa. The bike industry is really hard and stuck, like CUMIL the PEEPER: The sewer worker with piano fingers, is what he is. Look at his fingers.
Here's Vaughn doing what is inevitable. Same ride/walk. It was so much fun. I've been wrecked for a long time with my back, but now it's good again, and I am thrilled. Anyway, another photo from that ride that would have looked lousy in 1977, but appeals to me (at least) in 2018:
We're working on a catalogue. Did I say that already? I hope it's not our last. It'll be out by March, is the idea, which may mean late March, but I hope you take it seriously seriously. It will be paper and online. Paper: Is it a waste of money these days? Is it as bad as paying to chop down forests, do people raised mostly without it want to touch it anymore? Even if all the answers are the wrong ones for us, we're going to do a small run of paper catalogues, to be meted out as we can afford to--which means no free mailings, just with orders. That's the plan, not the promise. I'm thinking selling them for $2 to cover printing would be good, or for $10, which would additionally get you a $20 discount off a bike. We'll have to think about that.
Starting Monday Mark and Roman are back--YAY. A lot's going on. Hustle bustle and plans and stress. Are we a real business? It's not like it was at Bstone. It's all huggy, tight, personal, enveloped, bonding, watching with concern, more than it was at Bstone.
If you're in Portland, go to RIVELO. Buy something there for $10. Let me tell you from experience (at our dead BBH store downtown)--there are times and many of them for stores like that--groovy, quirky, personal--where a $10 purchase is worth $25 to the proprietor. I felt that way a lot--like I'd pay somebody that much to spend that little, if it weren't for the weirdness of it all.
- We have a longtime kind of customer who doesn't read this Blagh, so it's OK to tell, and I'm not naming anybody. The point is the story, and the BLAGH has low posting standards. It's 80 percent catharsis, 20 percent plea, all total honest, and anyway:
He comes by a lot always on a bike (good for him!), one of about 20 bikes he has, each with a story about how he got it at a fire sale for a song. We've chatted with him for more than 40 hours, and he bought one $21 item from us, which he returned, saying it didn't work. It worked perfectly. I know he feels like he's one of the team, and in a way he is, but go to Rivelo and don't be that guy.
Good stuff isn't enough. It would be so nice if it were! Our cost on Sackville bags went up starting with shipments due to arrive in March. Bike costs went up even more significantly. Sales are down. If you have a Rivendell in your distant plans, make them slightly less distant?
--I don't feel as whiny as this is sounding, but let me end it on a high note, anyway. For more on CUMIL the Peeper:
I just read the alternate guess as to what he's doing, and I don't buy it. He's not part of the problem, he's just up for some fresh air.