July 2 Blahg. A lock, banana riders, Kozo Shimano interview from 2008 or so...


  • I'm about 50 percent sure that I won't get an email scolding me for using a peace sign in a bicycle wheel. The proportions are correct, for the peace sign. Bicycles are peaceful vehicles. Quiet, non-polluting, in use they don't contribute to global warming, they help keep you heathy, they kill few people in accidents, they free up space on roads. It is the vehicle of peace and everything good.

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I've shown this before, but I'm a sucker for hawks and telephone poles, serious. I know it's easy to believe the hawks part of that, but I really have always like telephone poles. I've wondered how they're made. It's not a deep mystery, but the whole idea. Where to they get the trees? Is there a youtube video of telephone poles being made? I'll check. Of course:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R7HckUilVA

Well...it's a bummer story, starting with the tree-cutting. They should have telephone pole tree farms. I still think this photo of a hawk on a telephone pole beats a photo of a hawk in a tree. The telephone pole itself doesn't beat the tree.

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Here's a big bunch of statistics that are interesting and seem important and I'm glad somebody compiled them, but I don't know what to DO with them, so I'll put the link HERE. IT's bike death statistics by state, age, gender.

I'll continue to minimize the time I spend riding in car traffic. I'll continue to use sidewalks, legal or not, whenever I can, and I won't hit or scare anybody. I'll keep on riding upright so I can see better and can slam on ye olde brakes without risking pitching forward. I'll ride tires that give up some zippiness for puncture resistance, which seems like it must be safer. In traffic I'll keep wearing clothes or a vest or a triangle so I stand out. I'll keep assuming half the drivers are texting and those that see me are automatically mad at me for having to think about not hitting me. On trail rides I won't ride down stuff that's scary, even if Jeff and Dan do. I'll keep riding, no surprises here, steel bikes, because carbon is dangerous. aluminum is too fat, and titanium is cool but ghostly bland. 

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If Dick Fosbury doesn't ring a bell, you need to click on this link. If he does, you'll be glad you saw it. Kind of neat. It's about high-jumping.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZsH46Ek2ao

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The catalog illustrator took this photo of me on a ride. I don't remember this part of the ride. 

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 Canadian Indian School. Sad thing, but we need to know about this stuff. Critical Race Theory? There's no "theory" about it. They got the bones, folks.

 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/world/canada/indigenous-children-graves-saskatchewan-canada.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepag

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In case you haven't seen why cardboard signs should be banned at bike races.

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I think we all see the same thing in the trunk of this tree. I'm glad I don't have to see it every day.

He's being obnoxious at a backyard barbecue-party thing, holding a red-cup beer (out of the frame), and laughing way too loudly at an unfunny comment he made at somebody else's expense. Nobody wants to be around him, but he's oblivious. How does nature come up with these things?

We are not going to have a "send us your tree trunk images" contest. 

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Pencil

I am NOT a Jeopardy ultra-fan. I also don't believe, as some do, that it teaches you ANYTHING. What percentage of the answers do you remember? That's the point.

I liked it, it's fun to know the answer and see a contestant get it wrong--we all like that stuff-- but never had a whole half hour to watch it unless I was doing something else at the same time. 

But I am definitely a Levar Burton fan. I didn't watch either Roots or the Star Treks he was in...but I've read a few interviews with him and he always seemed to be comfortable with himself and smart on top. 

He did Roots when he was 19. Imagine how most 19-year olds might have handled that, their post-Roots lives and careers. I like the way he did it. Really, yugotta read this.

Pencil

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The Ultradynamico tire company makes these, the only tire pressure charts that address front and rear tires as the separate entities that they are. I imagine there's a Patent Pending. I am super pro-everything and everybody at Ultradynamico. I wouldn't've had the idea, the cleverness, or the nerve to make this chart, but it makes me happy to see it.

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I was looking up/googling Kozo Shimano, grandson of Shozaburo, Shimano's founder in 1921, and to my amazement a few sources down was a link to an interview I'd done with him for Rivendell Reader No. 34, in 2005. He was  President of Shimano-American back then, and I don't know why he consented to an interview, but he did, and I flew down to Irvine, about 300 miles, to talk to him. The interview must be 4,000 words long and detailed, and in rereading it I'm sad and slightly shamed to see that I was kind of a jerk. Not to him, but to Shimano in general, questioning their direction, suggesting other routes, pressing him on his answers. He was totally cool, gentleman and all, and I'd like a do-over, please.

To prove that I'm not making this up, here's two screenshots of a small part of the interview. 

 

I should have been asking whether we could buy their leftover Rapid Rise derailers, last made the year before, and they must have had ten thousand of them, at least.

Later in the issue...we used to have a section called Bicycle Makeover, in which we'd find somebody's bike that needed help, a random person's, and we'd fix it up. Back when we were nice. Here's that one, with a mother/son photo to beat the band, her eyes beaming love and care and concern straight at him and into his head through his ear, and all of it turning a sharp left and forcing that fantastic smile. I don't know where they are, have not seen 'em since:

 

PENCIL

This was one of two bikes & experiences that got me thinking about CLEM Ls.

PENCIL

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I was looking up water bottles and came upon this. To me it looks more like a bevy o' bottles.

NOW that we're all talking about water bottles, we've looked on and off many times over the last eight years for stainless steel bottles that aren't made in China...where our derailer might well be made, but we'll draw the line on water bottles. Spencer our buyer found some Snow Peak stainless and titanium Japan-made bottles, and we'll get samples of those, but if we stock them we'll insist on seeing your financial statement before ordering one, and we'll let you know whether it's a good idea. 

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Here's another story from RR #34. Sorry of the space btw sections is disturbing. This was the easiest way for me to do it, and this is the KIND of thing I tend to take the easiest way on. 

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I'm going to shorten these BLAHGS. Last of the long ones is this one. It feels like I'm just grabbing at stuff, but I am trying to make them something I'd want to read if I wasn't the guy making them.

Homesteaders and their two main pets. by Betsy Streeter. 

The Homestead Act of 1862 gave qualified people 160 acres they could keep if they built a home on it and farmed the land for five years. The land they were given was generally already occupied by the original inhabitants of the continent, and buffalos too. That led to conflicts, problems, wars, and stuff like that. I like the highlights on the horse's bridle. It was drawn from a photo, I think. Maybe the photo served as proof that they were complying with the rules.

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PENCIL

I know I include a lot of links, and if its any consolation, I often feel bad about them, but not this time for the one below. Frankly, I insist that you give this one a whack. It's a 45 min video about racing cyclists and Burundian banana beer. I feel it's only fair to warn you: There is some misleading nutritional advice at 27:00.   Will linked to this in the July 2 email update, so it's here only in case you haven't see it there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_gQiOoUwfk

PENCIL

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 Here's ye olde clippe from an English bike factory in 1952. The bikes held up because they were made of thick, low-grade, tolerant steel, and the workmanship was sufficient. 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=321957735824153&extid=NS-UNK-UNK-UNK-IOS_GK0T-GK1C

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A customer sent me this, and boy am I glad. It's Israelian sheep shot (video, not rifle) from a drone. Tragically, it's only 1:14.

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The Topic: G.O.A.T. GOAT Bike Riding Gloves

Goat is the best leather for thin, hard-wearing gloves—ask anybody who lassos cattle, digs out elm roots, collects palm fronds, builds fire breaks with a pulaski, and repairs barbed-wire fences for a living. It's the thinnest tough leather in the world. Goat is the most-eaten meat. Goats in my area are used every year to chew down the grasses near homes so they don't catch fire. 

We have regular cowsking gloves with padded palms, and they're fine. But the goat-skinners are thinner and feel so natural you'll never want to take them off. 

We're going to get some 

7 3/4-inches to 9-inches   XS or S

8 5/8-inches to 9 3/8-inchs S or M

9 1/2-inches to 10 3/16-inches    L

10 3/16- 11 inches XL

11-inches to 11 5/16-inches   2X

If you're more than halfway in between, either go small or big. If you're from overseas, please convert to metric. Choose with utmost care, as due to Covid's new Delta variant, we cannot accept returns on gloves you've tried on. Thanks for understanding.

Will'll let you know when we have them.  I expect Sept 15. They're not exactly as pictured, below, but close. They won't be as dark. We're shooting for "undeyed but vegetable tanned", which means exceedingly light greay. They won't get dirty faster, they'll just show dirt sooner and more. You need to know when your gloves are dirty:

 

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This is version 2, 1973, Kryptonite lock.

 

A customer, Louis---as you know if you read Will's email update--came by and gave us this. Here it is in action. I think a keyed lock would be bettter. It's not as easy to use, but it's stunningly simple, and I wouldn't sell it for $300. 

VIDEO HERE

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Louis also gave us:

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Grocery Guy

 Here's something I'm wondering about and I don't know what to do. It's "semi-pencil," but I don't want it to fall into that category, although it actually does.

There's a cashier at a grocery store I shop at. He has mobiity problems, I've never seen him stand up or walk. He works 60 hour weeks at two jobs, minimal benefits, and is trying to buy a house in a far-away town with fairly low housing costs for a good reason. I know this because over the years we say hi and chat, and what used to be hey man howya doing? grew into more specifics. A person can't always be going "not bad"..

A few months ago he mentioned that his hours were cut at the other job, might have been Covid, and he was sick of his commute..Like, 3 hours a day. 

This is not happening now, it's just an idea. 

But he wants to buy a house because he has a family and extended family, and he's the only shot at a house. So, what I'm thinking is, what if, for the next CLEMS or HOMER frames, we tack on $30 per frame for THIS GUY, and then RIV will match what you guys do, and then between now and Christmas we see how much we can get him.

This goes along with our normal giving-ish approach of making sure what little we can do will have a big impact. YES, we could dontate to BLM or whatever, and that's a good cause or whatever, but it's like spitting at a fire thru a screen door. THIS GUY charity, on the other hand, would be huge to him, like pouring a nalgene bottle full of water on a tire. 

This is not happening now, it's just an idea. 

I don't know how much he has or needs toward his house, but there's reason to believe he didn't inherit much from his parents or grand- or great-grand parents, and while he wasn't inheriting, many of us were (I got $50K in 1997 when my dad died, and used it to pay back my sister for my house down-payment). 

I have "put my money where my mouth is," but it was only $1,000. I wonder if we can all together and with RIV matching, get him $10K by Christmas.

We'd give you half your donation in RIV credit, and we'll match your credit.

This is not happening now, it's just an idea. 

So, you give him $20. You'd get $10 Riv credit, and we match your $20, so he gets $40 and you get that Riv credit.

We'd issue them to you once a month, on or around the first of every month. We'll cut him a check for what's coming to him. 

This doesn't make him "ours" and he doesn't have to be named or shown. I could ask him how he'd feel about that, but I promise he is real. Is this something we should do?

This is not happening now, it's just an idea. We are not looking for people or organizations to give money to. We do what we can in that way. This is about Grocery Guy only. 

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Will just sent me this, another one of those rube goldbergian things. Four minutes. It'll make you swear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ9gs-5lRKc