2019 No. 5 FEB 28--comic, shifters, bob dylan, da vinci & bike fitting

2019 No. 5 FEB 28--comic, shifters, bob dylan, da vinci & bike fitting


 This is nothing against indexed shifting—except on the front derailer— OR dogs, except those who index on the front. The point it makes is that modern bikes, like modern most everything else, are sold largely on the basis of instant, skill-free success. You can buy that in electronics, and it's coming to cars, too--which can be good or bad and I don't have any opinion on those things, as a matter of fact. 

Some tech is designed to get ride of tedium and increase accuracy and efficiency, but a lot of it is designed to make you dependent on it.

But shifters (for one example) that don't guarantee success have their own plusses. As you know, certainly if you read the email update that just went out, we offer both.

Here's the current state of our Silver2 shifter. The yellow part is a 3D Digitally printed mount for it. The 2D version wasn't working.


This is taking a long time, and it's not because I'm not eager as all get-out for it. There was a slight unexpectedness in the lever, for which the die has been made, and we're working around it to make the lever work perfectly. The earlier one--I rode it a lot, seemingly thoroughly testing it, and found a few changes I wanted to make. But the thing I didn't notice, the mount-maker did, and as the British might say, it's all rather embarrassing. (Is bare-assing where "embarassing" came from?)

Meanwhile, we have the wonderful Microshift power-ratchet thumby, which works 98 percent as well, and if I'd realized it was out there and was going to work so well, I'd have not spent $9K+ on this one, but oh well.


Bob Dylan fan in Minneapolis. J.S. Ondara



Here's an interesting topic: Trans people who also happen to be bike people. Bike people who also happen to be trans people. Bike people bike people, people people. This is a book of short bio-essays by some of them. I'm not comfortable reviewing this book, because it wasn't written specifically for straight white guys, and the more I say about the book or the topic, the more likely I'll screw up.

The right foot nowhere near the right pedal threw me for a bit, but the cat-rider there on the cover is just getting on the bike, not mid-ride.

 We're selling this book, though. We got in eleven of them, and it's possible we'll have eleven of them in eleven months, but I hope not. I think it'll help anybody understand and sympathize, and if the underlying bike theme helps that happen, way to go, bikes.

Edited by Lydia Rogue with Elly Blue.

Published by Microcosm Publishing: www.microcosm.pub, which has a broad, unique selection of excellent books, many of which a NYC publisher wouldn't likely take on, so--good for Microcosm.


In late 1961 when he was almost 21, Bob Dylan wrote a song about an event that played a major role in the civil rights movement. Here's a radio interview spot from then, with him singing it.

And here's a super recent kind of followup, if you're still hanging in there:

NYT update thing on EMMETT TILL


 Do you know what phubbing is? Maybe I'm the last to know. Here's a story on more than that. It's about phonadiction:



This "easy pedaling" kind of bike interests me. It might be a gimmick, but maybe not. It's for old or weak people. The bike part starts at 19;00 or so, goes for ten minutes. Just have a quick look. I can argue against it, but I haven't tried it. I like that really old people in Japan still pedal.



All the links don't mean I'm getting lazy.


CLEM L's are due in June? We're told. It seems so long. They'll be a good green and a good blue.

We should have the second round of prototype Bootses in a week. We'll build them up assorted ways and ride them and make some pictures of them for places like here and a brochure. They're closer to final, but not final.


Another book for your growing "race book" library:


It's so good and goes into so much detail that I can't even talk about it, because I'm afraid I'll say something the wrong way. But I seriously recommend it.

If you don't read this, you will accidentally, inadvertently, tragically offend some people of color, even your close friends, at least ten times this year. Given the opportunity, even while being careful.



This is somewhere up on Mt. Tamalpais after a heavy rain. The soil is grainy, drains well, mud never sticks, it's pretty good. Dan, who will ride an XL Boots, rides a M here, and it works fine.

It's kind of a grainy, dark phot, but it looks OK. Dan failing on a climb that might be unclimbable.

The thing about this one is...it was dark. Maybe ten minutes after sundown, or fifteen. He got a flat, and I shot these photos with 50mm lens, f1.4, 1/2 second. Olympus OM-1 with HP-5 film. The light dots are specs of dust caught in the scans. The more the merrier!

The last time I got my own flat--about a week ago--I was pumping up the fatty and a hiker came by and said, "You're that Rivendell guy, aren't you? You really should be riding tubeless tires, you know."

No, I don't know that. They're good around thorns, but tubeless with auto-fill liquids have problems of their own, and a tube is easy enough and always works....and I think, anyway, that in 30 years, nobody under the age of 60 will know how to patch an inner tube. Dan put in a new one here. It was night.

------- (Bike stuff below this music section, so feel free to skip this part)

 MUSIC: Two obscure songs, at least one and maybe both are Irish, but I like them both and wonder which one influenced the other.

The Water is Wide (recorded in the town where Sackville sacks are made)

 Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in a duet here, in 1975. Bob didn't write it, but I've heard a dozen different versions, and naturally, his is the best.


Carrickfergus, the for-sure Irish song, sung by Joan Baez in a country that sounds like it's one of those Eastern Blockers.


I would like somebody to write and tell me something I don't know about either of these songs, because all I know is what I hear. This is asking.


Joan Baez long ago in Norway singing a song about Bob.


It's been "digitally manipulated." Olivier did it, but it illustrates the effect of converging seat- and head tube angles AND handlebar height on "reach to the bars"...and as it's doing that, also shows, if you know how to read it, why top tube length isn't the key that unlox the secret of the universe, as some people still think it is. You can see that if you "raised" the stem, it would retreat toward you a massive bunch, and at the same time, your arms, as they exit your shoulders and reach the bars, become effectively longer (reaching their effective longest at shoulder height—as nobody understands better than the Vitruvian man (porn alert):


We're working on a way to explain this that, in a world as obsessed with bikes as it should be and as we are, would go viral.

That's all, sorry it's so long.  Grant




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