Our town's been making the local news lately. Here's a local protest. It's nothing special, photo-wise, but it's related.
Sunday May 31 was the day for shouting out on instagram about the killing of George Floyd, and we missed it and caught minor heck. Unknown to us and John, one of the best 100 non-famous people of the past 100 years, who now "runs" our Instagram, Sunday was the day Instagrammers were supposed to post a BLM-related post. Even my youngest daughter, holed-up COVID-style in Chicago and going nuts, did one. But she's always talking about that.
Our past efforts to speak up and DO up have come in many forms, financial and verbal, public and private, and have been ongoing since decades before Instagram existed; and have been directed at the targets, not at people seeking out violators who missed the internet-imposed deadline for joining the wave. The wave is venting and sometimes part public relations, it's good, uplifting, nice to see people caring, it "lifts us all," but don't underestimate its limitations.
Some of you know where I/and Rivendell stand on the state of everything. I'm more open than I was when RBW started in late '94, because...that's what comes of growing from a 40-year old with no business skills and two daughters, one six years old and one four months old, and an all-consuming fear of the future. I didn't lie, but I didn't see the point in bringing up racial stuff, and I didn't know as much then as I do now. I don't KNOW as much now as a two-year old black kid does, but I've tried my best. I've read the books, studied the history, and been changed by it. I know what white privilege is and that I have it and always will. I don't know what it's like to be avoided on sidewalks and suspected in stores.
I'm mostly Danish (the "-en" in Petersen is a clue, but my great grandfather was Thinggaard until it was changed at Ellis Island). If I lump my ancestors in with the other European ancestors who came over here and wrecked it for the Native Americans, and shortly after that stole Africans to become their slaves, then I'm ashamed no more or less than any of us ought to be ashamed, which is a lot.
Somewhere along the line it all went to hell and the light-skinned people with the highest tech weapons figured the Africans and Native Americans didn't matter because they didn't worship the same god, and sometimes none. I'll get to bike stuff in a few minutes, or just scroll down to the picture of the pencil. It's just a dividing line, and the normal stuff is below it.
It's just such a mess, isn't it? George Floyd's murder trumps COVID. Not in numbers, but there are other ways to measure. Whether you call it a murder or a lynching, it's all the same, and a society that that can develop the technology to photograph stars being born 13 billion years in the past should be beyond that. And what's this have to do with bicycles? More than it should.
I used to wonder why black people preferred inner city basketball over rambling around the roads and trails in beautiful countryside on expensive bicycles. The same reason they prefer basketball to gymnastics, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, synchronized swimming, fly-fishing, rock climbing, and backpacking. The exceptions make the rule, and of course I know about Serena, Simone, Nelson. I even know about the Blackalachian, so there.
I'm going to cut and paste something that's going into a Hillibike catalog that we aren't ready to print yet, but..well, strike while the iron's hot, and all. Everybody who works here feels the same, but this is a personal statement, so if you don't like it, take it out on me if you feel like you have to take it out on anybody. I've posted this in a similar form before. I know that, but it's more timely now. I modified it to fit the occasion. IF U-WANNA SKIP IT, scroll down to...the picture of the pencil I've got right here on the breakfast table. The normal stuff starts below it.
Bicycle riding doesn’t inherently favor white males over other colors or genders, but bicycle politics and culture have. White Americans had been riding bicycles for about thirteen years before the first black person, a twelve-year-old named Marshall, got a bike in 1890 or thereabouts.
His white playmate’s father gave Marshall that bike so his son had a friend he could go ride bikes with. Four years later Marshall was going by “Major Taylor,” and won his first race, an amateur ten-miler, against more experienced riders. Eight years later, he was a world champion, about to be the richest athlete in America of any color.
That didn’t sit well with the white cyclists he was beating. They didn’t like him winning their money, so in the next ten years he suffered racist violence, threats, and oppression from his fellow riders. They liked him in France, though. In the 1890s, a bike in America cost $100 to $160, so only rich people rode, and it for the most part, you couldn’t be black and rich.
But in around 1893, bike technology was changing fast, and white riders were upgrading to the new bikes, and when they sold their old bikes cheap, some black people bought them and started riding. Then white riders and bike manufacturers feared more black people riding would cause cycling to lose its social cachet, so in 1894, the League of American Wheelmen, the most powerful cycling organization back then, banned black people from joining. That ban was rescinded only 105 years later, in 1999.
But in the late 1890s wealthy white adults gave up bikes for cars; and gave up cycling for golf and tennis. Those sports were inaccessible to blacks, because they were generally part of private businesses which could legally discriminate; and black people couldn’t afford the membership fees and equipment cost, anyway. In the early 1900s when motor vehicles were everywhere, the bicycle market shifted to kids and the working class.
Bikes were cheapened so parents could buy them for children, and so working people who couldn’t afford cars could ride. Then, you could get a new bike for $15. At that price, many black people could afford a new bike, but it would have been demeaning for a black adult to ride what had become a child’s toy. And if you were black, riding would have been dangerous, on roads shared by white people in cars.
So why would black adults ride a bike? It wasn’t necessary to get to work, and their jobs were physically hard enough, so there was little incentive to exercise on their own time. Many black people thought enlisting in the military would help them achieve equal status as civilians, but they still suffered from racism in uniform, and got the shit assignments and lowest pay.
Near the end of WWII President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill to reward all veterans with subsidized college educations and low-interest home loans. But many colleges were still segregated, and black people were encouraged to skip college and work lower-paying jobs. Most housing developments were off-limits to black people, so they never bought cheap houses that appreciated over the decades and made their heirs rich.
Racism in hiring was rampant, and with less education, black people didn’t make as much money. The GI Bill made white people rich in homes and jobs, and kept black people poor, in the city, paying rents to landlords, typically white ones. Cycling is one of the most popular recreational activities for white adults, but most black adults who ride are commuters who don’t own cars.
I am not saying “most black adults don’t own cars.” I’m repeating the statistic I’ve read and saying that most black adults who don’t own cars commute by bike. The same must be true for white adults, but statistically, car ownership is much lower among black adults, and it's not because they're green.
Even then, it’s tough, because African Americans often live in parts of towns where it’s crappy to ride their bikes. When they do get a car, they ditch the bike and all of its bad associations. And bikes don't offer you the anonymity and protection of a car. When you're white you don't think about the protection that anonymity provides by hiding your skin color.
When a bike is your best option, you give it up when an easier option presents itself. When a bicycle is your only option, you associate it with poordom and hard times, and you ditch it when you can. During WWII's materials and gasoline rationing, adults were forced to ride bikes, and the gov't encouraged it as a way to help us win the war. (All but four American bike makers—there were more than thirty U.S. mfrs at the time—were forced to make bombs and stuff. Schwinn made bombs, the gov't ordered them to. Where do you think the organization BIKES NOT BOMBS got its name?)
Women have had it better, but not black women—they ride even less than black men, even. They're more vulnerable on a bike than black guys are. They're more vulnerable than men are, and black people are more vulnerable than white people..so you put 'em together and mix in the cities that don't have good places to ride--not in the predominantly black neighborhoods, anyway--and bicycle riding doesn't look too good on the racist spectrum. Cars offer physical protection and anonymity that a bike can't compete with.
"Racist" isn't just the KKK or alt right, etc. If you aren't overtly, actively anti-racist, then you're racist. You're living a cush life that you were born into because you weren't black. (I don't mean to ignore brown people, but I'm trying to stay focused on something related to George Floyd.) Anyway, back to the history...
White French women rode bikes the first two years they were available, from 1867 to 1869. Then Prussia attacked France and England took over bike production and developed the hollow steel-framed high-wheeler, which ruled out women because their constricting corsets and fluffy dresses didn’t allow it, and women weren’t supposed to exercise or move around unescorted, anyway. White women started riding more in the early 1890s, when the safety bike (like we have now) and inflatable tires became widely available.
Susan B. Anthony famously declared that the bicycle did more to emancipate women than anything else, but when you throw black women into the equation, Lincoln beats the bicycle. Lots of things affect how we fill our down time, what sports we play, how or if we exercise, and how we get around town: money, accessibility, role models, health, vulnerability in a land of cars, identifiability as somebody other than a while male, and cultural traditions dating to 1492.
The bike has been called “the freedom machine” for more than a hundred years, but it can’t be that for people who don’t have equal access to bikes, roads and trails, or for whatever reason don’t feel comfortable riding on them.
Reparations (compensation for slavery and economic/educational/ suppression) is a thing that a lot of people would like to happen, and lots more wouldn't. It would cost a lot, and where to start, how to monitor it, what would the repercussions be?--these are the anti-reparations arguments that make reparations unlikely on a national level.
Renni Eddo Lodge wrote a book to me and many of you, with the clever ironic title, Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race, and some of the points she makes are that we get defensive and say we understand things we can't understand. And she talks about positive discrimination, which is kind of like affirmative action, but on a more personal lever an smaller scale. One point she made that made an impression on me is that to not be racist, white people have to actively...act in behalf of black people, even if it makes them (the white people or the black people) uncomfortable, and even if it makes them targets of criticism from both sides.
That idea inspired me to try some "Rivendell-sized, Rivendell-style reparations," knowing that no matter what the details were, so I just dived in (with the support of the whole Rivendell crew, I want to add.)
On a micro/Rivendell level, for the past two years we had a private deal where, if you were African-American, you could get 45 percent off normal price. We don't cover our costs with that, but offered it only to walk-in customers, and we don't have many African Americans walking in.
We didn't go public with it, because (1) It would have driven us out of business, if we sold 100 bikes a year at the discounts we offered, and probably would have made people of all colors mad. A lot of black people might have thought, "You think I need your handout because I'm black?!"
Only one of seven black people who came here who came here specifically to buy a bike and seemed likely to, took advantage of it. The others didn't buy anything at all, although they didn't show umbrage at the offer. But bikes have been bad to black people forever.
WE DON'T HAVE THAT INTERNAL REPARATIONS THING ANYMORE. It wasn't popular, well rec'd...I got the distinct impression that I was insulting people, and ...so it ended, a failed experiment.
One lady bought a bunch of Sackville bags, was there at the register ready to pay the normal prices, and she was thrilled to get a deal. "Hell yes!" she said.
But the low rate of acceptance made me feel even more out of touch than ever. I know I can read books and think I understand, but my overriding view is that of a white guy, which...I don't apologize for something that just happened, but I don't have "white pride," and I've never seen white power used decently.
I think it's impossible to be white and not racist, even if you believe as I do and as all my friends do, that white people have a lot to be ashamed of and black people have tons to be angry about. White people protesting on behalf of black lives, pissed off at the cop who killed George Floyd, I bet, have a lower ratio of rage to self-righteousness than black people do. I'm guessing that black people are bursting at the seams with frustration and rage, and venting in a way that white people can't, because they haven't lived it.
Anybody can say anything, but don't get mad at me. It's wasted energy, seriously.
Sunday I was on my best ride of the year with a good friend, and she (my daughter) called me. I usually ride phone-less, but this time I thought I'd get a phone-photo for this BLAHG, so I had it with me. Here's the photo I got:
This makes the case for a plaid shirt, doesn't it? The ride was amazing, and if you come by and want to do it, we'll give you directions and lend you a bike. It's a hard climb, but you can take rests. Don't sue if you crash. Maybe better to take your own bike and the directions. Whatever, we'll accommodate you.
Currently, you can by former pro racer and 5x Tour de France winner in the drug-addled '90s, Miguel Indurain's 1996 or so model bike...for $59,000. This Roadini makes more sense and, as equipped and brand new, would be about $2,300, or 3.9 percent as much.
I know what you're thinking, again: That's some majorly funky crank-thing going on there; what is it? It's an unattractive chainring guard on a fantastic crank. This is a demo bike, I/Grant ride it around, time myself up hills on it, terrorize the neighborhood dogs on it, and so on. So I put whatever on it. The main thing was to test the bikes, the clearance with 38mm tires, the Silver shifters mounted this groovy way, and that's about it.
Don't look at the good ol' American cloth tape wrap gap. Look at the beauty of the color combined like this. It's good, isn't it?
This is how to set up the most, o man, how do I say this without sounding nuts? Look, about 450 people read this. This image here, would not make sense or even look interesting. Most road bike riders wouldn't recognize that blob as a shifter, and if they were told it was a shifter, they'd wonder how it works. It works wonderfully. Even tho ergonomics are overrated, this is the most ergon/convenient/easy to use shifter possible. More than brifters.
It's easy to switch colors. It happens underneath. The Newbaum's tape is sticky, so it won't unwind, and you could tie twine over it if you're worried. Worried?
I'm pounding in the cork with a wooden mallet made by god and my daughter, but pine-tarred by me. Wooden mallets come in handy. I used them when installing cranks, too. HOW...opens a can of worms, but I do. You can use a rubber mallet or a screwdriver handle, or the Classic American leather-encased rock. To help the crank seat perfectly on the spindle. It's not necessary, i'm sure, but it falls into the category of "psychologically comforting." You don't want to require it, but it's good to know how to do it.
This is easy, and I didn't even do a good job of it.
This is a MicroShift (poor person's Shimano) front derailer. It is better-looking than anything Shimano has, and works 100 percent as well, and is ... perfect for certain chainlines and chainring combos. Like doubles with big rings between maybe 34 and 44, and chainlines up to 48mm. Which results from a SILVER or Sugino XD crank on a 110mm or shorter bottom bracket spindle. If any of that means beans to you.
you can get the dog stickers from weratedogs, a great site for dog lovers. It's an instagram thing. you can find it if you want to and are better at that stuff than I am.
The Bstone models names: RB- 2, MB-3, and CB-1, and so on, were working model placeholders for RoadBikes, Mountain Bikes, and City Bikes, and were never intended to become details on bikes. The Japanese Bridgestone product planners wanted us Americans to make up groovy names, like maybe
Road Rocketeer, Mountain Monster or City Slicker—or whatever, just not RB-1 etc. The task was to come up with names and "test" them on about thirty of our top dealers around the country. I didn't like thinking up generic name and I dreaded the possibility that they'd be voted in, so I colluded with a sales rep and the sales manager to sabotage the presentation and vote by coming up with names we new the dealers would hate, which would buy us another year of RB-etc.
Brad came up the CB substitute: scarab—which i think he said was a kind of sacred Egyptian beetle. The Egyptian part of it added too much glamor for me, and it made me nervous. I could imagine "scarab" becoming a thing.
Chris, who now owns Arundel, maker of slick bike accessories, took on the MB line with Warthog. These days that would be an acceptable name, and even back then...I wasn't sure it wouldn't fly. It's not like humans hate warthogs.
I had the RB- line, and my contribution was Silverfish. I figured the Japanese would like the combination of silver and fish, and didn't know about the classic American silverfish, but I knew the dealers would reject it.
Fortunately, all of the new names lost. The dealers liked the dignity of two letters and a number. The XO-1 was supposed to be X-01, with X standing in for nothing, because it wasn't in any of the categories. But the Japanese team was used to two-letter dash one number, so it became XO-1.
Is Platypus the new Silverfish?
No, a platypus would eat a silverfish. As I mentioned on the Rivendell forum, I've always liked, even had a thing for platypuses. Our 2018 catalog has three of them in it. The platypus is more than 200 million years old. Highly evolved. Always an outlier, in two ways an odd, featherless duck. It's a monotrene, one of two species living. Monotrenes have one (mono) hole for pee, poo, and sex. The platypus hunts in rivers at night, closing its eyes, navigating by sonar. Males have a venomous spur that can kill a dog. They get about eighteen inches long, although earlier gigantic platypuses were more than twice as big, and lived about 450 million years ago. So...it's a combination of features that works in the world.
They're not awkward. You can see one here:
The Platypus bike grew out of the Wilbury, the Glorius, the Betty Foy, and the Cheviot. They're all Rivendell mixtes. If you think of Rivendell as the Genus, those models are the species. When the Wilbury and Glorius (binary versions of the same bike) lost their ultra fancy lugs, they became the Betty Foy. When the Betty Foy changed lugs and a couple of other things, it became the Cheviot. Now that the new bike has some notable changes, it becomes a different species in the same Rivendell genus.
I don't want to be seen as the stubborn scientist, but that is the thinking behind these things. I know Specialized has used Stumpjumper since 1981, and it's been through two dozen major changes. Car companies do the same. We don't do it like that, which is one a million reasons we aren't as successful as Specialized or Ford.
The name Platypus beat out Winthrop-Charlene in the recent vote by about 10 to 2.
John at Rivelo, formerly of Rivelo, forever associated with Rivelo which closed several months ago, was going to run an air BnB. Covid came. He and his wife Darby are now taking care of Rivendell's Instagram, and selling T-shirts of The ReUnited State of America, which seems to threaten some people, but it doesn't threaten the actual flag. It's just a temporary — as in you'll never see it in the Arlington National Cemetary or in the extremely White House. Instead of just red and white stripes, it has stripes of many colors, suggesting that people come in many colors; and yellow for the sun, blue for the sky, and green — not for money, but for plants.
It's been a controversial shirt, which I don't get. Is inclusion in a country that's a melting pot weird?
Our rear derailer is coming along slowly. We have a few other more-likely-to-succeed projects in the works, too.
Speaking of Platypuses, a fellow in Australia is working on a design of a rod front derailer. I don't know what we'll do with this, if anything. I don't know where it'll go. He's kind of doing it for himself, but we have an understanding that it he comes up with something groovy, we might look into having it made. I've sent him the Huret of a few BLAHGs ago.
A friend answering a question I asked, something like "how did you end up like this? Your family must have been interesting." I said it as a compliment.
She answered with a paragraph that struck me as fascinating in its wording, and how once you start reading it, it's impossible to stop. I asked if I could reprint it here and she said yeah well I guess, but why?, or something along those lines:
My family is a mess. I am sure that was passed along to me in myriad forms as you may suspect. It wasn’t that bad or anything tho - I mean who doesn’t have history? My parents were divorced and I became sort of free range with that opportunity. I Unofficially adopted myself into a couple of Mexican families. In my neighborhood where I grew up there were a lot of Oaxacans. I was always over there. They had sooo many kids I helped w/English and homework and all that naturalization paperwork stuff, so they let me live there. My grandma was interesting, very sweet. she had been in a circus. My dad was an engineer/mad scientist/ then became a ghetto attorney. People would trade some crazy shit for his legal representation. There could be a horse one day in the yard, or a bunch of broken VCRs the next. Or he’d be giving his clients haircuts in the kitchen- like as some kind of side hustle. ? Idk It was pretty chaotic.
If you've read the still-fairly-current 2018 Rivendell bikes catalog, you may remember an early appearance of platypuses:
It's proof that I've a thing for them. The illustrator didn't just draw a random platypus. It was a special requ—nay, a requirement, so there you go. The Platypus and Rivendell are inextricably entwined.
I know what you're thinking: That's NOT a platypus!; it's almost The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
But it has a platypus-shaped body. Its feet are webbed and have sharp toenails, like those of the 'pus. It is blind, and the p-pus may not be blind, but when it swims and hunts (as mentioned before), it closes its eyes, so--there's your blind factor. Finally, the nose. Super sensitive and funny shaped in both cases. So...there you have it.
I was in my backyard looking up at the trees when i noticed a crow land on some branches about thirty feet up. It seemed to have a mouse-sized black thing dangling from its beak. This area is not known for its moles, but I'd be lying thru the skin of my teeth if I told you I'd never seen one before. Moles live underground and are nocturnal, as I understand it, so that explains the rare sightings.
Meanwhile, Billie-the-ten-pound terrier was lying down in the backyard, still tired after today's hike. I was thinking, for the love of god, crow, do NOT drop that thing, and for at least fifteen minutes it didn't. But then it did, and I thought for sure Billie would pounce on it, like former dog Scoutie would have, but Billie just started walking over there. I distracted her with a small stuffed monkey on the end of a fishing rod, and led her into the house. Then I went back to the mole/vole to get a look. The lion and Sharpie are for scale, but keep in mind that it's a fat-n-flat chisel-tip sharpie. Same genus, different species.
We got our third batch of these frame quills in. Eleven of them. They're extremely handy for holding frames in work stands. We couldn't live without them. These are made to our specs by Jim Stein, and will last a busy bike shop five hundred years if used ten times a day. You'll pass yours on to baffled heirs,
and in use:
Ben K...that's your Roadeo frame.
We have ten of these quills, and they're $65 each. You can get them HERE.
I'd be lying yet again if I said I wasn't sick and tired of Shimano quitting making some of its best products, most useful ones, as it heads faster and faster toward electric bikes, then drones. The latest cut is the medium-reach sidepull brake, the BR-650, which is the only Shimano sidepull we find useful at all (the others being too short for any useful tire). So... bleep it! The Tektro 539 will prob. work fine, but the Shimano had one advantage. The Tektro 559 should do fine, too.
But still, shoot. Worse than shoot. What would Ruth Langmore say?
Shimano HAS the best bicycle engineers in the world, but they don't have power. Shimano is a publicly traded on the stock market in Japan, so maybe their shareholders look over their books and see the declining sales of their best stuff, and Shimano is forced to stop making it? I don't know or care about why, but I swear, I KNOW that somebody at Shimano hates doing that.
I just lost a long blurb about these banks (photos below). I'll summarize it. There's a Taiwanese guy who live near a jungle in Taiwan and is the world's No. 1 craftsman of anything bamboo. From bikes to library interiors. Chopsticks, bowls, calligraphy pens, tables and chairs, business car holders. If you can shake a stick at it, he can make it out of bamboo, and it always turns out beautiful. He uses no nails. When he has to stick two pieces together, it's pegs, pal, pegs. The simplest thing he makes are these banks:
Do people have and use homey banks like this anymore? Is it all Bitcoin and online money transfers? I have one of these with a bunch of coins and a few dollar bills in it. John, I think, filled up two of them so full they shoke almost silently. It may have been somebody else. The point is, these are the world's most sustainably made banks. You could cut them in half and put soda in one have and peanuts in the other.
We sold these at the ol' Bike Book and Hatchet store we had in the fancy part of downtown years ago, and I bet anything we sold at least three in three years there. People look, hold, smirk, and say, "that's nice...how do you open it?"
The beauty of this bank is: U don't. You fill it with change, or put in wheat pennies, buffalo nickels, walking liberty times, slugs, current coinage...keep it interesting. Pass it on to the next generation. Put a hand-written note in there for one of your great great great grandkids, asking them why they broke it open, way to go, way to break the spell. Or something nice. But several generations down the road, it would probably give them a bigger kick if you came off like a mean son-of-a-bitch, rather than dottering and boringly nice. Just make it clear that you don't hurt people, because that's never good, is it?
Here's Larry's logo:
You could say you made the bank as a school project. This bank has so many possibilities, and it's yours for just $30. We can't give away something so luscious and gorgeous. Larry is the best in the world at bamboo, but all he does with these is cut them, make the slot, and smooth them out.
And we have about twenty of them and will sell them for $30 each. They're beautiful banks, and I don't think you can get them anywhere else. I think one would look nice on your dresser or mantle, and then you can use it, too.
OUR TIRE SELECTION ABOUT TO GET WORSE and BETTER, ON PURPOSE
Too many tires, too much selection, variants and subvariants, a different cut of the tread or tire compound and casing thickness and color for every atmospheric condition, all assuming the soil or pavement cares and can feel it...is too much.
More selection isn't better, it's worse. Choice is good/No it's not/Choice is terror. After a certain point, it is. Different volumes for different body and load weights and bumpiness and comfort makes sense, and we're going to cover you there. Basically smooth treads for pavement and toothy treads for dirt is all you need. Combo treads...yes, we'll include one or two of them.
See how quickly it adds up? The insanity is about to stop. Sorry, much beloved models that have served us and all riders well up to now: We're going to drop some fine worthies as a way to simplify life here at Rivendell and riding in the real world. We'll still do special orders for those of you who've fallen under the spell of whatever and just have to have this or that. But our mainstays are locking in this way:
33mm: Jack Browns
38mm, 42mm, 48mm, 54mm: Panaracer Shikoro, Panaracer Grand Randonneur
42mm: Panaracer Cazadero
47.99mm: Ultradynamico Rose & Cava.
50mm, 54mm, 60mm: Cazadero
Here's a long link that was described to me as having
"...kind of a weird noir/ Andy Griffith/ samurai vibe," which I found to be irresistible at first, and later as I watched it, perfect. It has with a nice filmy visual quality. The description was perfect. It's about 19 minutes long. The description wasn't the thing made by the Canadians; the movie-short is. Check it out here.
You saw this photo and opted to skip the link above. Saving it for later. OK, your loss, but thanks for hanging in this far, anyway.
I don't know how much farther back it'll let you move your saddle compared to whatever you have now. You can tell by looking all you need to know.
It's another Wayback post, for when you want to sit back farther than your current rig-thing allows. Our bikes have shallow seat tube, so you already get a headstart, but like on a steep descent if you want to sit back more, here's your enabler. On non-RIV bikes...it's more helpful. But even on ours, it feels good. It's adjustable, somewhat but not too fiddly. We'll have them in a month or so, maybe in silver, too. Made of Tange Prestige (heat treated) CrMo steel. I didn't weight it before putting a saddle on it, and I don't have time now, but it's reasonable, and we'll list that when we get 'em.
We got some new T-shirts, Will's favorite, genuine Gildan all-cotton pocket T's. These are long-sleeve, to keep your arms shaded from the blistering sun. Anti-arm cancer T-shirts, with the RBW diamond on the pocket and the Flying Man on the back. Olivier did the art, and it's pretty neat, even if it's a little Elon Musk.
We have this many of each size:
You must know your all-cotton T-shirt size by now. These are good shirts that look like the photo and have a "no surprises" fit. If you have any doubts about your size, hold off.
you can't figure out the bag I'm in...
All for now, it got long.