mid august assorted, last chance for Grocery Guy

mid august assorted, last chance for Grocery Guy

 We got a button maker, and here's a practice button.


This is the last long downer Blagh. It was more of a downer until I deleted stuff. This is my therapy, I get to do it. 



Do any of you recognize this recumbent trike?

I may get zero or thirty responses. I can't respond to them, forgive me. So if you know just PM me with the brand/or model in the subject. No prizes, this is a favor for somebody. Thanks.  --G


More Olympix thoughts. I know: Yu see linx and treat them like puddles to step over. These are good ones. All the linx here are. I don't do the links willy-nilly.


And here.

and here. No, really, a short column.


Friend sent me this, by Colin Jost, Saturday Night Live guy & Scarlett Johannson's hubby...


....on competition and being a kid:

“Even though I loved being in water, I never enjoyed swim meets. It
always seemed like they were imposing structure and stress on
something that should have been freeing and fun. For example, going
down a slide is awesome. But if you had to show up every day for slide
practice at 7 A.M. and then compete against your best friend in slide
competitions, while grown-ups screamed at you to slide better, until
your friend won and you cried, slides would seem a lot less awesome.”



This is how I feel about bike riding. It's probably best when it's not competitive. And it's hard for it not to be, but if you can get there, it's great. If you can get to a place where you can ride with friends and not secretly want to beat them up a hill, or climb a hill that they can't, or something like that. I think a lot of people would like to be UnRaced, to get it out of their system, but everywhere you look you're encouraged to lust for clothes and shoes, and shoe-pedal systems and handlebars and whole bikes that make you go fast, like this 'un:

Or geared variants of it.

Sometimes good stuff emerges from the racing world, but the big gifts are already gotten. The quick-release (from 1927, but now on the chopping block)..butted tubng? -- that's overrated, but I'll give it half a point if I can also say sometimes unbutted tubing makes as much or more sense, and not just economically. Aero road brake lever came out of the 1980-1 aero fanaticism, and I prefer them over exposed road brake cables, but they have small disadvantages, too. I can't think of anything else. 

TOURING has contributed more than racing. Touring becomes racing in brevets. If the event is timed and the times recorded and there's a penalty for not making the time cut-off, then it's a sneaky kind of racing. It's the KIND of racing that splits road racing with lollygag touring, and the stuff that's come of it is helpful to riders who don't do those events at all. Good racks, some bags, lights, light-n-chubby tires. 

Some would have popped up anyway, but brevets hurried them along and refined them more fancily than would have happened otherwise, I THINK, I'm not sure.


And this is the new default bicycle:

The brand doesn't matter, it's the material.


Somebody dropped this in my home mailbox:

Ordinarily, I—like all of you, no doubt—would think, "Isn't it illegal to put something in a mailbox like this, no stamp?" Don't joke around with mailboxes. It occurs to me just right this second that I am getting "mailboxes" back here in the BLAHG. But it did happen in a mailbox. My wife brought the envelope to me here at work and I opened it up, expecting to get a poof of white powder in my face, but:



It's $1,000, no signature or sign o' who. There are maybe three locals who it may have come from. Maybe four. The first two I asked said NO, and I believe them. I'm reluctant to ask the other two. It's like asking, "Did you do a super fantastic good thing?" and then when they say No, it's kind of an awkward moment. 

And then there was this, received the same day, holy moly...

We looked in our database and there was one woman in it in the area where the letter was sent from who bought a mirror in 2016. Nothing else, no wool, no pedals. Will called to check up on her. She hasn't crashed and loves the mirror. He didn't ask if she knew Clarence, or about the pedals.

Some things are fishy. It's a handlebar mirror and shouldn't be put onto a tapered fork blade. The clamp won't be as secure on a taper. See photo:


It would be hard to not notice a moving mirror, but--it didn't happen, anyway. The pedals are grippy enough with rubber soled shoes, and everybody who rides platform pedals is aware of how well shoes grip it. Be aware of where the pedal is below your foot.  I dig that this harshly bad stuff never happened, but it's an opportunity to point out that riding a bike is most dangerous when you are not aware of, aren't paying attention to what's going on at the body and bike connection points. This isn't a scold--there's nobody to scold! Just be aware of your hands on the bar, how tight or loose your grip is; where your crotch is relative to Mr. Saddle, and where your feet are on the pedals, and what it takes to move them. Enough, sorry!


 Apparently NOT enough. Here are three shins with scars:

The long scar is more visible in real life; just circled here.

Mild but there.


Skateboarding scars.


 Beeswax for two of the bolts. For now. Another photo of the state of our new derailer that will probably not materialize, even tho we have some really super duper people working on it.


WE ARE ALWAYS trying to mess with plenty good enough, possibly the best. And so:

This is an ideal DIY project, but we may provide the cut blocks and longer bolts. No doubt you could get less or more extreme. There are tons of variants. This wood is bamboo. Don't try this at home IF you're prone to sue and/or are not fluent in ye olde use of tools. Related: the reflectors are easy to pry out with a small flathead screwdriver, and they pop right back in like nobody's business. You'll need longer M5 socket head cap screws (allen bolts in normal speak), depending on how thick the blocks are. These were about 16mm, or close. Get ye olde assortemente.


I know what you're thinking: "Doesn't the container store have a bamboo solution? 

Yes, the container store does:

The bamboo is about the right height and there's more than you need--for pedals or shelving. Sacrifice one slat. It's all braced there for easy drilling. Buy it, go for it. We are not officially recommending anything, but holygoodgod, it's a relatively simple thing, says the guy who had his friend Craig do it.


Story in NYT

remember,the links are good. This one is about Black people owning homes, some of the challenges. It'll make you want to buy a T-shirt or Grocery Guy Fund $10 unit, here:

Grocery Guy Fund

We have till the end of the month. Buy a T-shirt, buy a fund-unit, we'll add to that. Trying for about another $4,000. Can we do this? 



Have you noticed that in the past about 10 years hubs have gotten noisier? Rear ones. Most to all high-end hubs are super noisy, and I suspect that normal hub makers are trying to copy it. The quietest hubs are ONYX. They're totally silent but $470 for a rear. The next quietest are Shimano Deore, about $45, which are quiet enough. I bet they get noisier in the next year or so.  I wish there were an anti-loud-hub movement, so nobody'd make them anymore.

I know there are more important things to be bugged about these days.  They all bug me, too.  I know that in the big picture, noisy rear hubs are not worth hating. Since we sell one of every 20,000 bicycles sold every year, our world is much smaller, and in that tiny world, nitty-gritty stuff matters, I find noisy hubs irritating, since hub can be made quieter. Copy a Deore. 




It's just goofing around. I hope it doesn't look serious.


I don't get migraines, but some of my good friends do, and I bet some of you do, too, and maybe this is useful and maybe it isn't, but here goes--a letter to the edit in the NYT, in response to a headache article I didn't read, and it falls into ye olde if it helps only one person...category of BLAHG entries:


Here's that super irritating tree again, with a laugh nobody wants to hear. I want to chop it down.


This is a DIY alternative to a net. Now, I love a good net as much as anybody I know, but I love just as much to make stuff within my sphere-o'-abilities, and this is definitely that. 

U can do it without the buckle, just use a mini-biner. You can do it without the plastic sliders holding the webbing to the basket (below). Just use knots.

This takes five feet of webbing. That'll do it for either size basket.

We're about out of Basket Nets. Our minimum order is 2,000. I'm not sure we want to do that--maybe, They work great and all.

Related: Years ago in my early years at Bridgestone, late 1980s, I remember reading something that seems to make sense but didn't sit well at the time and still doesn't, never has, but it has been a kind or sporadic ear-worm ever since:

Unsuccessful business look for ways to sell stuff for less. Successful businesses look for ways to sell stuff for more.

I get it, makes sense, and it's all around, but it's just too fishy (apologies to fish). That's technology's profit-plan. You figure out a way to make stuff inexpensively but with features people are willing to pay a lot for. This computer cost about $700 seven years ago, a bargain, and I don't know how much it cost Apple to make, but holygod, I'd pay $5,000 for it if I had to. 

The BEST (for me) writing software, not one I use for this, is Dropbox Paper. If you're writing a thing like a book or a paper or something with lots of subdivisions, chapters or something, just get it. I hear they are barely making it. 

We're never going to make money on nets or net-alternatives, but it's still worth getting them out there. 


 Here's another variation, using no plastic harware and only four overhand knots. Obviously any kind of carabiner will do. This is one I got off of a bottle of water in a convenience store on the coast/HWY1 about fourteen years ago. It said TREK on it, and we use it to hold our rollup door open or closed, just borrowed for this photo..to illustrate how flexible this galactically superb non-system is:


Hear ye, etc! All you RapidRise derailer crackpot supergeniuses who also have one of our frames in your future:

Some of these are used but 100 percent functional. Maybe not what you'd pick for a spanking new bike, but still worthy. We have more than 140 new ones, mostly NEXAVE rear derailers that we aren't selling aftermarket, only to complete bike buyers. Like if we're gonna build your Appaloosa or Clem or Sam, etc. If you are getting friction shifting and want one, they're $90/NEXAVE and $130/LX and UP brand new. We have some used ones, too, for $60. Until (and that's a big IF) we get out own, these are the last we can get our hands on.

If you shift friction and want the best derailers for it, these are them. They're not night-and-day better, just night better. I have four bikes. Two with normal, two with RapidRise. I ride them about equally. I'm not going to swap-out a normal (Acera, Altus) for a RR just because I can. Using both kinds does wonders for my neuroplasticity. <--That alone is not a bad reason to have mix up your bikes with both kinds.


Two out-takes from a recent bike pickup-shoot. L.M, and her new Platypus.

That's me showing her how to pose, and her dog.

I think the correct or std pose went on IG. Her hub took this other:

Losco bars, 42mm tires, a speedster-style build.

And a headshot on a ride at or near Gingerbread Court:


My favorite actor is Nicola Walker. My favorite-end-of-the-day wind-down show is Astrid, which she is not in.

There is one scene in season 1 episode 6 that is worth about $100.


Anyway, it's NOT BAD. French, with subtitles.  It's called Astrid. Do your own thing, doesn't matter to me, but if you sometimes find yourself looking for a show to watch as you wind down for ye olde night, you could easy to way worse. 


 We have a little way to go if we're going to reach the $10,000 Grocery Guy goal. You can help by buying T-shirts or Grocery Guy Fund tickets. Either way, we'll add to it--. Let's try to do it by...August 31? We have to cut it off sometime. OK!



I don't know WHAT the future is for lugged steel bikes. We're trying to make them beautiful, comfy, practical, AND affordable. They should be within reach, not just for collecteurs of independent means. The challenge increases every year, so many forces are against it. We appreciate all the wonderful support. Oddly, we have more plans along these dinosaurs-before-the meterorite times. Hang in there, and we will, too, OK.


Lots of stuff going on here. Too much to write about. Some good, some a drag, some exciting. It's been an emotionally crappy week, looking fwd to next week and the weekend. The internet exposes so much, good and bad. Makes me want to vanish. For now, for sure. It's all fine.

As you may have heard, California is burning up. 


We'll have more knickers, pants, and shorts this winter, in assorted colors. Maybe gray, for sure Burnt Ancient Walnut, and, it looks like, a color that can best be describe, in words, as Mellow-Cult Green:


 That's it for now. 



















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