may 16, flaps, bikes, camera, bats

I got a fleeting glimpse (the only kind!) of a guy on a street in I think L.A. wearing a gray T-shirt that on the back had "Work Hard / Be Nice," and it's probably a .com thing--I haven't googled it yet. but I liked it and had these stickers made. If you want stickers or bumper stickers customized to anything you like, even "All We Are Saying / Is Give Donald a Chance," go to

It's it's cheap and easy. So I had these made. But the main thing is, SKS's fattest fenders don't come with mud flaps and our existing Sackville flaps, while they work on them (and they do, totally) look too skinny, so we had this sample made. Corey drew it up, and here it is.



This is a page from a spring 1885 bicycle newspaper thing, and I don't understand it at all, but--is that an Indian/Native American guy in the middle? And that runner in the background, and the donkey and the dog and bird.

The paragraph says:


Less than a year later, the safety bike happened and all those high-wheeler VICTOR bicycles were tanking, and maybe Victor changed.


Here's a bit from the current bike industry trade magazine, Bike Retailer & Industry News. It's a good magazine, well-written, full-coverage, keeps me abreast of the real world. The topic is eMountain Bikes...

That doesn't make it a fact, but holy cow. If we were a big manufacturer looking for growth opportunities so we could get even bigger, we'd have to get into that. Our mini-'numdrum here is whether or not to take the Hunqapillar to 650B+..meaning to about a 2.6-inch wheel. We'd be the only 650B+ bike with rim brakes, I think. It wouldn't need rims any bigger than CLEM's. We don't call meetings to discuss it--it comes up every two weeks or month and a half or so while we're doing other things.  I don't want to do a real fat bike. Not against, just not for us.

If we are the last nonEbike brand, that will be kind of neat. If it kills us to not do it...well, I'll feel crappy for the lost jobs, but even if I were emotionally into it, I don't think it would work for us.


I dropped a Hasselblad 120mm Makro-Planar lens onto the cement floor yesterday. It seems OK, and if it's not, I'll get another. It was only $400--a lot, for sure, but what am I supposed to do? I won't beat myself up. I was mounting it onto a tube, and the tube shutter thing wasn't cocked, so it didn't engage, and I though it had. Nobody died, it's only glass and metal, and it may be fine. But that WAS the big event of the day for me. It dented the filter ring, which protected the lens.

Let that be a lesson to you. Don't let me handle your camera gear.

FLASH! Today I called up Yakov at Advance Camera in SF. He's Russian and seems to be getting on, and his English is better than my Russian, but is not by native English speaker standards good. I was going to mail the lens in, and he coached me through something over the phone, and it seems to be fixed now, and -- well, I'll send him some money for that, but the main thing is, what great super fantastic service. He could have NOT talked, said SEND IT IN, and fixed it himself in 3 minutes and kept it a month and charged me whatever and I'd have thought he was a magician, but that's not the way he does stuff. I am Yakov Fan No. 1, or maybe No. 1,000,000 for all I know, but it's such a good feeling. I'd come to grips with having wrecked it, but it must have fallen just right, because Yakov got it working.'s a good day.


My youngest graduated from Macalester on Saturday, and I was milling about afterward with a camera around my neck, and the strap was made of a John's Irishi Strap (see photo below)



And I heard a fellow say, "Are you Grant?" I said yes, and he said he figured, because he knew I had a daughter at Macalester, and he saw the strap. He (Adam) has a Sam.


The HHH (tandems) are going together really well. Mark has the timing ring challenge fully under control. I am so glad they're coming out in steel and paint and rubber as well as they promised they would on paper. This is going to be a ridden bicycle in a century. It never won't be a good one.


I'm going thru old S24O photos. Maybe Roman can help me put them up full-screen in a new window. They're from 2007 to 2013, about. Old ones. It doesn't matter, but they were shot on film:

Friend Sean on Bleriot on a hill in Hunsaker Canyon, about 2 hours from here by bike.

Here's Jay, who used to work here and made that neat Hunqapillar video. Riding in Shell Ridge, about 50 minutes by bike from here.


L to R: Vaughn, Mark, Dave, Jay, and Daniel in Shell Ridge, 2008.

John (now of RIVELO) in Briones  (60 minutes from here) on a windy morning.


 There's a lot of sandstone around here, and the rumor is that wind whirls pebbles around in depressions and it keeps on going like that for thousands of years until you can fit a Vaughn in one of the pockets. It sounds farfetched, but isn't everything farfetched? What else could explain it?

This is Vaughn again, riding the road up Mt. Diablo. This picture is a good example of how a technically bad photo can still do the job. It would look worse if everything was in perfect focus.


This is Jay again in Shell Ridge using a sample Nigel Smythe bag we never got made because it was kind of weird and didn't fit a lot of places.

Sean and I used to camp a lot on the far east side of Mt. Diablo. My bike on the left--back in the drop-bar days of 2009, and also back in the color film days. But you know, when it's green out, nothing's wrong with that.

Mark and Jay in Shell Ridge coming back from an S24O.

 Jay, self portrait in the "High Rocky Spot" on Mt. Diablo. There's almost always the morning clouds like that. This was a solo trip, he used a self-timer.


This is my favorite spot to camp on Mt. Diablo. It's about 700ft above Juniper. That's Steve Leach there, with his Atlantis.

I've shown this spot before, but there's Vaughn in the lead. Vaughn lives in Colorado now and take pictures of birds on his rides.

Sean and I had a big tent and it was staked at the corners, but not up high, and this is how we tried to sleep all night long, tent flapping like mad and pressing down close. This was taken with Voigtlander Bessa L, 25mm lens, bracket flash.

Here's a bigger image of a grainy fork crown. I didn't know how to make pictures bigger before, but Roman showed me.

Late next week we're getting some of Will's favorite T-shirts, with a RIV-logo on the front and a line drawing of this crown in back. I hope it's not too scary looking, but we'll give it a try. It's starting to get hot here.


The next four pictures are of bats and Daniel's in one of them. In Shell Ridge. Here's how you shoot bats:

Have a headlight on at night and don't pay attention, and the light will attrack flying bugs of some kind, and the bats will go for them.

You can guide the bats with the light and insects. You can predict where they'll go, and when you know that, just aim your camera there (I used a Voigtlander Bessa L with a 25mm f4 lens and a bracket-mounted flash). Out of the corner of your eye you'll see the bat coming into the lit zone (it's not bright, just has a bit of a beam in it), and then you fire the camera instantly and hope for the best. I shot about 16 frames and got these four shots.

 there's a wheel there, this is our camping spot.

 That's my bike--a prototype Bombadil.

 Daniel was oblivious, but apparrently the bats fly close.

This is kind of a technically bad but who cares? shot. The Sky King shot, the see-you-later/I'm outa here shot. Bats have highly reflective underwings, don't they?





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