Flip-Thwack Update and Other Essentials to a Balanced Life

Flip-Thwack Update and Other Essentials to a Balanced Life

I wasn't googling "celebrity children," I was reading a story, and this was on the side, calling out to me because of one word. 

It's not "spitting image." What's that even mean? The original expression is "spit and image," which refers to unseen and seen similarities, kind of like you can test DNA with spit, and then physical features can be passed on, too. This isn't the kind of thing to be mad about. The caption missed two apostrophes, too, but still. Your life is no worse for knowing "spit and image."


In the last BLAHG I talked a little about "FLIP-THWACK", the thing I did when I was 8-9 years old. I found a flipper-thing in an old box and it all came back. I wanted to do it again, and so:


That was one take, and I'm not as fat as I look there.

Here's how to make them:

After 0:45 it's just chipping off 45-degree angles so the flipper doesn't split if I hit it on the edge. More photos below this, and one of them shows the crude angles. I could do better. The trick is to put the ax on the wood at the right angle, then lift-and-bonk them both. It's too hard to be accurate just swinging the ax, and it's safer this way, too. Excuse the lack of goatskin gloves for safety.


 I have no doubt that tons of you out there could take all of this to new ultra-levels. You might go too far, but on the way you'd do some good stuff. It's a great game, fun for kids and anybody. The old way flipped them up from the ground and used a longer bat, handy when you don't have a stump. As much as I hate competition, I think this would be a good Olympic event. You'd have to make your own on the spot, then thwack them into distant garbage cans (clean, new) laid on their sides. If I were in charge of the Olympics, that's what I'd do.

Sharpie-length is about right. 



It helps to have a saw.


 Here are the angles that prevent splitting. I'm numbering my flippers, so I can keep track.


 You need more than one, or you need to like to chase.


This next part is about a steer tube that broke, and why, and why wedge-stems are really good. 

Here is the stem and an explanation.





Here's a video showing how secure it is. 

I'm not saying RIDE WITH YOUR STEER TUBE BROKEN. THe whole damn point, please understand, is that the stem-wedge/quill stem system is inherently so save and groovy that it is safe when you do everything wrong and it breaks. That's all.  If I get one email from somebody who misunderstand this and turns it against me, I'll quit being so ... bold, or whatever. I'll stick to Flip-Thwacking and lightweight bike stuff and tv show recommendations. You wouldn't want that, would you?


Here's Eben W.'s OUTSIDE COLUMN.

I really really wish I could write that well. I'm OK in a certain style, but I can't do this. It's a really good column on a topic I wish I could write that well on.



Here's a page from the Rivendell Reader #42, from mid-to-late 2010. 

My opinion seems stagnant.



 One last mention of my favorite serious, my ONLY downtime of my life. ASTRID



 And here's another good one. Make it past the first two episodes (there are eight 30-minute episodes), and it'll get to you. All indigenous/Native cast and crew and everything else, but there's no charity-loving going on. They'll earn it all. Some great bike-riding scenes, too. Trailer here"




MANYTIMESAYEAR we're asked "can I mount a Silver Shifter onto a Shimano Bar-End Pod? Yes, with elbow grease:









Antonio bought this Gilles Berthoud "Aubisque" saddle from Rene Herse Cycles, Jan Heine's business up there in Seattle-or-so. It's a really well-designed saddle. I didn't know it existed. Good rear width, good shape, has saddlebag loops, and is top-notch all around, as you'd expect. I tried this one on Antonio's bike even before he did, and yes, felt good to me, so I'm ordering one. At some point we'll have Brooks B.68 saddles in. That's a good saddle, too. It's not a contest; both good. But this one is available now. It's 10mm, a little more than 1/3-inch wider than a B.17. It costs more, but it is made in France, super duper...still a bargain. HERE.

If you get one and send a copy of the receipt to


we'll send you a $10 credit here. Thru Halloween. Not our fault if they're out, let's not do down that ol' road...but if you buy an Aubisque and show us that you did, it's like finding a $10 bill, sort of.


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