One of the worst blahgs, but give it a shot, skip around, the links are good, and my assessment of it is directed at me, my writing, the scope and general content, NOT the people shown.
The lugs above are the same lugs on Ana Candela's bike. We don't have them in all angles, they aren't suitable for this and that, but they were perfect for hers. You'll see pix of it below.
Here's a story from The Atlantic that most people who buy things don't need to read, but maybe it would be good if the other 49 percent did.
It's a concern here going into ye olde Holiday season and selling more clothing.
We're going to have to figure some things out. To figure out somethings. We DO NOT send returned clothing overseas. We don't sell it as new, either. We don't have a used clothing section, but I wouldn't mind that. Or, maybe we'll have a price for No Returns and price for Returnable. Sometimes a staffer or me gets it, but it's not a sustainable thing that way.
Does that put up an unnecessary weird barrier btw us and you? Maybe it does, so maybe we won't. The thing is, I like the idea of selling stuff that didn't fit the first buyer. We can't do it with underwear...and we don't accept returns on them.
This is @purpleriv, I don't know if I did that right, but it's Anacampela, Anadela, Ana Candela at her camp halfway up Mt. Diablo with a load more the likes of which you'd expect out of Paul Bunyan, than on a bike fancy enough for the Queen of England.
Katie Benner is one of my favorite reporters. I don't have a list going, but if I did she'd be on it. She got some new glasses.
But I privately harped on her sweater. It looks like something we've had, but tanner. I bet it's all wool. Here's part of her wiki page:
I think every job applicant should say at least two of those things, as long as they're true. Three, if "broke" applies, too.
Gary who? Joe who?
Last week two friends and I were riding in Shell Ridge on two different days and and two different but similar experiences. We were sitting around resting one time, with two CLEMs and a Gus and wearing normal "mall-shopping clothes," and some decked out riders on more predictable mountain bikes rode by and said,
"Cool, the old Gary Fisher crowd!" It wasn't meant badly, but still--that's what it's come to.
Last evening, similar thing, but this time another guy asked "Are those Breezers?"
Last night as I write this, and Oct 13, I climbed up a pretty hard hill and at the top were a group of three with full-suspension downhillish bikes, ready to go down but waiting for me to get up first. When I did, one of them said partly to the other two, "See? It's obviously not the bike..."
These are the comments one gets on a CLEM, and a lot of other bikes we have. You get used to the backhanded compliments.
This is one of the best-written or most unusual, kind of refreshing-approached bike story I've read. It's about Greg LeMond's carbon eBike company. There are some hilarious sentences and fantastic paragraphs. It's in Wired magazine.
Flip-Whack news from readers:
1. It's been going on in Asian cultures for more than 100 years.
2. It's been going on in Schnitzelburg, KY for about 50 years, and is called "Dainty." There's a contest every year with strict rules, including: Must be 45 years old or older, no practicing allowed, and the lunch of the day is a baloney and pickle sandwich on white bread.
Meanwhile, here's my growing collection of stuff:
Lion for scale. I hit 45 to 50 a day in downtime, to relax, unwind. I think that would be called "practice," but I wouldn't spoil it with competition. What am I supposed to do, compete against my friends? I should bring them to work, but then I'd have to get my launching stump there, which means I wouldn't have it here. This is the opposite of what I do the rest of my time. I have too much biting at me, nipping at me, loose ends taunting and whipping at me. Responsibilities, obligations, worries on top.
Rivendell Rider Guido Imbens (recent custom) just won ye olde Nobel Prize for Economics, along with two other guys, David Card, and Joshua Angrist. He always seemed smart to me. He's at Stanford, not all that far from here, so he's come by a lot. That's his son's bike. His is purple, but it IS a Rivendell custom. Smart economists buy Rivendells?
This is the age of miracles and wonder, sang ye olde Paul Simon, and one way it is manifested in bicycles is replacing visible mechanical movements with hidden electronical magic.
Bicycles are becoming more and more computer-like, which true, may appeal to some people, but have the effect of making bicycles less bicycley, and when you do that, my friend, you're bowing down to ye olde Beelzebub himself.
Stock up on front derailers. I've always loved the simple obvious crudeness and visible effectiveness of them, the way they shove the chain off the big ring and plop it onto a smaller one, and then the way they kind of grunt and lift it back to the big one. A front derailer is always automatically RapidRise in how it works. It makes it easier to get the small gear, and when you need the big ring--well, you're never desperate to shift to a bigger ring, it's more like a wish at the time--but when it happens, the chain is always slack and wiggly, so it's easy to shift. You've clumb to the top of a hill and are about to coast down, and you obviously don't need the small ring, and at that point you can't possibly tension the chain enough to stiffen it and make it hard to shift, and you've got all the livelong day to get it up the the big ring, and you the full, are you following this? 360-degrees of your pedal stroke is the huge accommodating window for it (unlike the rear shift to a smaller gear), and it's just not too much to ask.
Yesterday a friend-customer with an Atlantis came by to leave his bike for a switcheroo of some sort, shifters and rear derailer and maybe something else, and he was in tech, he used plenty of techmagic in his life like we all do, like I'm doing now, like I will do all day and every day...and said without prompting or sucking up, that he used his bicycle kind of as an antidote to it. He was fascinated by how the rear derailer worked (he's swapping his modern one out for a Nexave RapidRise), and he was ten times more eloquent than I am with his explanation of the joys of simplicity and the importance, to him, of manual control. When I write about that, it tends to sound maudlin, but he spoke about it better than I write about it, and I came away thrilled and rejuvenated and with more resolve and hope than you can shake a stick at. It was an interaction that was good for me, put me in a better mood. I don't want to be in a bad mood about all this neat stuff, but when I see the directions, hoo-boy, I make an automatic bee-line for bad-moodland.
KNICKERS and SHORTS NEWS
I swear to Zeus these are a pain in the rear to develop, refine, GET, just beyond your imagination, but we're homing in on them. Brown and Sage, the two colors. We'll get browns first. They're not full of features, but yes they have pockets, just no zippered phone pocket. They're baggy and frumpy, same as before. We're keeping the waist the same cut, but are relaxing the elastic in it, so if you've worn a L before, you can probably safely go to a M. The legs will be slightly skinnier and shorter if you go down a size, but still generous is those ways. If you are super particular about fit and cut and fashion, that's cool but you won't like these. They are the ONLY things I ride in and I wear them 363 days a year, and the 2.25 days I don't wear them I stay in my pajamas all day, so don't go telling me or the online world they suck and don't work. If they weren't my favorite lower-half garments, we wouldn't suffer thru the manufacturing hassles and costs. I honestly would like to quit making them, and I'm going to hog like four pair of each, which I figure at this point will hold me till death do us part, maybe 20 more years. That is a sad way to think and write about how great the knickers are. We hope to have them by early December, but the local manufacturer is understaffed and swamped and we are massively small potatoes to them. Ball is in their court, all details are settled, all materials supplied, and the orders are in.
I am not at the end of my rope, emotionally, for lots of reasons. It's not dark yet, but it's getting there. (Bob Dylan) Calls, emails, responses, stuff. Any day now, any day now, I shall be released. (Bob Dylan). It's just that there's only so much I can do and take.
I get a lot of Men's Journal emails, I have no idea why. I responded to one today:
Here's a Bstone ad I had everything to do with, from 1987. I didn't have everything to do with the bike. It had a U-brake, which I didn't want. I didn't want that. color. Everything else sort of fell into place. I thought differently about geometry then than now. I would write it differently. The layout is perfect. The cross heads should be benefits, not features (in contemporary language, they should "sell the brownie, not the recipe." My current critique follows.
As much as I KNOW helmets don't work all that well, and as much as I BELIEVE IN "risk compensation," the tendency for one to take more risks when they feel protected--jumping out of an airplane with a well-packed parachute on your back is the example I used in Just Ride--I still encourage my daughters to be visible and what the heck, I told her to pick out any helmet. She sent me this photo. She rides her Glorious every day to school. I suspect it'll get stolen, but I'd rather it get a few years of daily use and then get stolen, than sit inside while she rides a whatever. She sent me this photo of her rig.
I've had, no exagerration, fourth thoughts about including this next segment, because it's more of an insider mechanical thing than general interest. If you're not a bike mechanic, skip it.
A normal steer tube (our style) is 1-inch/25.4mm in diameter and accepts a 22.2mm quill. The oversized 1 1/8-inch/28.6mm diameter quills need a rare 1-inch quill stem, which are as rare as ye olde hen's teeth. I think J&B has one, and NITTO lists the MT-11, but they don't stock them, minimum orders are about 30, so nobody WILL stock them, and so on.
Mark's friend got an old Stumpjumper frame, hoping to build it (have Mark build it) into a rideable bike, and he didn't want to use the orginal rare fat quill stem because the quill was too short. They made 'em short back then to save an ounce, and it was not a good way to do that, but it was common.
He wanted to use a DirtDrop stem, but the diameter was too skinny. Then he found lying around here, a 1-inch threadless steer tube, cut a section off of it, and slid 'er o'er the skinny quill. It filled in the gap, so the stem won't rock in the fat steerer, and he kept it above the expanding quill.
We aren't recommending this. It seems snug. We don't condone, etc. We'd never do this on one of our bikes, but there's never be a need. It's just an interesting solution, more obvious after the fact than before, is all.
The BackaBike bags, our rear pan-wahs, are in stock again, sold one at a time. They mount so perfectly on the new Shiny Rack, which we're going to be in and out of a lot until we get our big shipment in...two weeks?
Here's a neat, interesting tripxperiment, Scotland to Denmark:
My wife read me this, from the book she's reading now (Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney). These pages are a character in her book talking, not Sally Rooney herself. It is part of a letter she's writing to her friend. My including it here is, for the love of Zeus, not autobiographical, I'm just doing it because it's interesting, maybe:
Will and I have been foolishly working on some new lugs for some bike sometime in mid 2023 probably, but maybe as early as late 2022.
The rear derailer continues to millimeter forward. We might have a metal sample by November 23. I can't wait to hear how stupid we are / I am for pursuing this. I know it won't come from anybody reading this now, but at some point, if it keeps on going, the greater bike-o-sphere will find out about it and the armchair designers and Monday morning quarterbacks will be out in force. It'll be OK!
----- here's something I thiny anybody can get behind:
Walking dog and the wind blew down an oak tree, so I got home and rode back with assorted tools to harvest it. I can't look at a tree, sorryIknowthissoundsbad, without seeing slingshot forks, hiking stick, hammers, and thwack-sticks taunting me, but usually you can't just go after publick trees with your tools. This was a generous tree. We have two tree-hammers at Rivendell already, but this one is now the most stout. Front view:
It's not for hitting hard small or sharp metal things. So far, after a day, anybody who picks it up just gently whacks their palm. It feels great. A thera-hammer.
Platypus and Climate Change. Story about four special animals, not just the platypus.
It is a gross exagerration to say I don't ever read or appreciate non-rhyming poetry, but it's not exaggeration to say I'm automatically suspicious of it. And I'm doubly suspicious of any poem published in the NYT, because most of the time, it seems to me in my most closed-mindedness, the poems in it are too hard for me to get ahold of. But I like Wendell Berry even if I haven't read his books. I've read some essays, I have some books and I've read parts of them and they seem good (meaning I like them); but I like this bad boy:
Although, you know, it's no Man of Peace (bob dylan):
The band is playing "Dixie", a man got his hand outstretched
Could be the Fuhrer
Could be the local priest
You know sometimes Satan, you know he comes as a man of peace
He knows every song of love that ever has been sung
Good intentions can be evil
Both hands can be full of grease
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace
Both eyes are looking like they're on a rabbit hunt
Nobody can see through him
No, not even the Chief of Police
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace
Catch you when your troubles feel like they weigh a ton
He could be standing next to you
The person that you'd notice least
I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace
He can ride down Niagara Falls in the barrels of your skull
I can smell something cooking
I can tell there's going to be a feast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace
He knows just where to touch you honey, and how you like to be kissed
He'll put both his arms around you
You can feel the tender touch of the beast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace
Trees that've stood for a thousand years suddenly will fall
Want to get married? Do it now
Tomorrow all activity will cease
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace
She's holding them little white shoes and that little broken toy
And he's following a star
The same one them three men followed from the East
I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace
This Blagh is dragging on, but most people skip over poetry anyway, so the last two don't count.
This is an interview from the NYT. By David Marchese, of David Sedaris, a comedian. It's starts with a bike comment.
“When I was riding my bike or walking,” says David Sedaris, sitting on the terrace of his apartment high above Manhattan on a gentle autumn evening, looking back on his younger days, “I used to fantasize about having the life that I have now.” No wonder. The essayist’s books, the latest of which is “A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020),” are reliable best sellers, and he’s the rare author whose readings, reliably, fill theaters. Such professional constancies have afforded Sedaris, who is 64, and his longtime partner and frequent literary foil, Hugh Hamrick, personal luxuries like homes in New York, Paris, the English countryside and on the beach in his native North Carolina, as well as the means to indulge his passion for Comme des Garçons clothing. More fortunate still, his success — Sedaris was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019 — hasn’t softened the mordant snap that is so much its source. “Now when I walk around, I don’t dream about the future. Because in the future, I’m just older,” Sedaris said. “I mean, if life is like a roller coaster, right over this little hump I’m at now is terminal cancer.”
There’s always a sense in your books that you’re an empathetic guy at heart, but some of the funniest parts are when you’re expressing condescension or disdain. So I’m curious: How do you see empathy as fitting into what you do? I’m not a monster, I suppose. In the new book, I said there’s a look that you perfect in first class, like, Just do your little job. Writing it makes me laugh because it’s so snobby. But it’s thought snobby. It’s not action snobby. There’s a huge difference. I refuse to believe that everybody’s not an asshole in their brain. Who doesn’t walk through the airport and think, Oh, my God, that person looks awful; look at her legs; what made her think it was a good idea to get a tattoo there? I would never say it. If you go to Starbucks, and you’re like: “I’ll pay with cash. No, you know what? I’m going to pay with a card. No, you know what — ” If you think the people behind you aren’t imagining you in the electric chair, you’re wrong. And they should be imagining you in the electric chair.
In the last entry of the new diaries — it’s from Dec. 31, 2020 — you write that you had finally turned old, and your realization had to do with finding certain ideas hard to understand. What are some ideas where you disagree with what you see as younger people’s consensus? That has been interesting signing books: When gay men and lesbians come up, I say, “Where do you stand on the word ‘queer’?” The young people are like, “I love it.” It’s their word. I hate it. I read an interview with this woman, and she identifies as queer because she’s tall. People who identify as queer because they feel “other”? Everybody does at some point in their life. It’s just the rebranding. No one asked me about it. There was not a vote. So now I identify as a straight man. Whatever you identify as, people have to respect that, right? I identify as a straight man because the word “straight” doesn’t change. I just want some stability.
But isn’t the rebranding you mentioned more about other people wanting to be described a certain way? What’s the tension there for you? I’d rather say I’m homosexual than queer. It’s completely strictly generational. That’s what people my age were called, you know? But that’s not the part of it that bothers me. It’s just the rebranding. That’s why now I’m a straight man. And you know what?
What? I’m going to be a really good spokesperson for straight men too. We’ve been maligned for too long, and we’ve had it. We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.
It’s about time straight men got a chance. It really is.
I don’t know. Is there really some problematic movement of people who used to identify as straight now identifying as queer? Well, it’s a lot of people who are genderqueer or metasexual.
What’s metasexual? You only have sex with someone who you feel a deep emotional commitment with. It used to be called “Christian.”
Are there ideas younger people hold that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable with but that you also suspect might be an improvement on your own? In some literary offices I’ve heard that people are no longer allowed to say, “May I have a word with you?” because it triggers people into thinking they’re going to be fired. Are they supposed to just say, “Hey, David, you’re [expletive] fired”? Or Brandeis University
of words and phrases: You can’t say you “killed” that exam or take another “stab” at it. But you can order the battered chicken?
So I guess your answer is no? If somebody treats me poorly, it’s like they handed me money. I write about it, and I’m like, I’m so glad I was there at that moment. I don’t want anybody to throw acid on me, but there’s a lot of stuff that’s shy of that. I was out a couple of weeks ago. Usually I go out after midnight, and I take
I’m on Park Avenue; I take a right onto East 72nd Street. This woman says, “My name’s Andrea. I’m from Queens. I’m the queen of Queens. You need a date?” She grabs my penis, and I said, “Look, I’m gay.” But she will not get off of me. So I went to a doorman building. It wasn’t my building. Anyway, she was so annoying. I wrote about it in my diary. I made it funny, but I said, “Can a woman sexually assault a man?” Because the threat of penetration wasn’t there. I was afraid because she was so unpredictable, and she had the craziness in her eyes, but I don’t believe I was afraid the way a woman would be afraid if a man did the same thing.
That answer went in an unexpected direction. Oh, I wrote about it in my diary, and I thought, This could be an essay. But there has to be some depth to it. One of the things I realized was that if I was Black, I couldn’t have gone to a doorman building on the Upper East Side and had them let me in — probably wouldn’t. That maybe isn’t an aspect I would have considered two years ago, you know? You don’t want to make somebody feel bad. You don’t want to belittle somebody. You don’t want to heap stuff on them. But there’s something to be said about developing a thick skin. Like, I wrote an angry email recently to
because they were doing a New Yorker story about the making of “Midnight Cowboy.” They quoted John Wayne, who said it was a movie about a couple of bleep. So I wrote to Audm, and I said why did you bleep out the word “fag”? You’re quoting John Wayne in 1969. Of course John Wayne said that. Bleeping out the word is treating me like I’m some sensitive flower.
What was the last thing that you were offended by? I get angry about things, but I don’t know that I get “offended.” It’s not really a word that I would use. I don’t like it when someone says, “I love to read about your dysfunctional family,” because I don’t like the word “dysfunctional.” I don’t think it means anything. There’s a certain kind of person who thinks that’s a fun word to say. If I hang out with
and I talk to them all the time, I don’t see how that’s dysfunctional. But I don’t think I get offended.
there’s not much self-doubt or anxiety in the new one. I’m a happy person.
How much of that is an outcome of achieving success? Because often people think success will make them happy, and then it doesn’t. It’s hard to say, because I don’t know what it would be like to not have done that. I remember what it was like not to have any money, and to be sick and not have health insurance and not be able to go to the doctor. I have friends who are my age who have all those fears and anxieties, and they’re near retirement age. They can’t retire, and they all say the same thing: I’m just going to work until I drop. But my job is to take whatever [expletive] thing is in front of me and make it laughable. You have to be in a certain state to make that happen, and I’m always in that state. My boyfriend, Hugh — you can leave the room, and there’s no telling what’s going to be there when you come back five minutes later. You can’t have two people like that in a relationship. I’m the sunny one. Somebody has to be.
There’s also a degree of affluence in the new set of diaries that contrasts with the poverty that you lived in for a lot of the period covered by the earlier set. Some people feel guilt or embarrassment over having a lot of money. Do you have any ambivalence about it? I think I am pretty good at it. I was thinking about
because his house just sold and Amy sent me a picture of the chaos that was his house. There was something he had on his dresser about “The Art of Giving.” My father was the cheapest person. One year I donated money to the church for him for Christmas, and he called and asked if he could have the write-off. There’s a responsibility to having money, and my dad didn’t honor that. No one taught me about that responsibility, but you look around and there’s just [expletive] you’re supposed to do if you have money. Give it away. Be generous. Find your younger self and make a difference in that person’s life. And you’re supposed to spend money if you have it. You’re not supposed to just keep it all. It’s one thing if you’re poor, but if you have it, you’re supposed to buy [expletive]. It’s different for you, because you have kids, right? So you have to think, If I buy that painting, that’s the college education for both of my kids. But I don’t have to worry about that.
How much do you spend on Comme des Garçons in a year? I wonder if I spend $50,000. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was that much. But the way I look at it — when I first started reading out loud, I would wear a tie. I always dressed up. My ideas of dressing up have just gotten different. My audience, they don’t understand it. They think I’m crazy. But if you’re going to be in front of people, you should give ’em something to look at.
Do you think much about what you can and can’t get away with? People say, “I can’t believe what you say onstage,” because you can’t say anything anymore. I mean, I love an old-fashioned vulgar joke. There is a joke that I’ve been reading onstage: A woman wakes up on her 40th birthday, and she goes to the drugstore and says: “Today’s my birthday. Can you guess how old I am?” The druggist says, “36?” She says, “I’m 40.” Next she goes to the butcher shop and goes: “Today’s my birthday. Can you guess how old I am?” The butcher says, “32.” She goes, “No, I’m 40.” She goes up and down Main Street. Nobody comes close to guessing her age. She gets in her car and goes to the gas station. Says to the guy, “Can you guess how old I am?” He says, “I can guess your age and your birthday. But first you have to let me fondle your breasts for a while.” She says, “OK.” Then after about five minutes, he says, “You are 40 years old, and your birthday’s today.” “How did you do that?” He goes, “I was in line behind you at the butcher shop.” The audience gives the biggest laugh from that line. But first the audience makes a noise when the gas station attendant says, “You have to allow me to fondle your breasts for a while,” and she says, “OK.” Whereas 20 years ago, her agreeing to it would have just been accepted as part of the joke.
Are you finding that the gap between what people will laugh at and what they would admit to finding funny is getting more pronounced? You know what was interesting? I did a bookstore event the other day, and I read the funniest bits from
I got nothing. Nothing. Then people said afterward, “My face hurt from laughing.” I said: “You weren’t laughing. I was here, you know.” But you turn the lights off? In a theater, the lights are all the way down, and people will laugh.
Because people behave differently when they’re not worried about any social consequences or judgments? Yeah. Especially if you’re in America and race comes up in any way, the audience freaks out. So Andrea, the woman who assaulted me, was Black. When I shape that into an essay, I think it’s important. I was let into the foyer of a building I don’t live in; that had everything to do with me being white. If you have a character who’s Black and is not a virtuous character, the audience freaks out, because they think: If I laugh, does that make me a racist? If I don’t like this person, does that make me a racist? It’s something I’ve noticed for years. The audience freaks out, and it’s by and large a white audience freaking out, and it gets worse with every passing day.
PENCIL (watch the video)
I think we can expect special helmets now for "leaning" trainer riders. There will be online review of the helmets. The helmets will lead to "risk compensation" and wilder leans. Somebody will make a trainer that allows you to lean twice as much, so there will be warnings about what not to put the bike next to. This will lead to foam-padded bonk zones, as modular optional accessores, going together like leggos and available in all colors, block by block, for true individualization. There will be online competitions where you're judged on how many degrees of lean and cadence in fifteen minutes. There will be eBike trainers to make the transition from outdoor to indoor riding less jarring. There will be indoor leaning ebike trainers with everything beefed up. The viewing screens will be syncronized with your leans, so you don't have to crane your neck to see the simulated outdoor course you're riding.
What if you do that so much in practice that it carries over to the road? It seems like it might encourage pedaling around corners, doesn't it?
I know your own junk-spam-offers emails are a drag enough. I feel horrible showing you one of mine, but here she goes (apologies to women):
Are you really the best of the best pursuing and pushing the limits of your passion in the sport which is awesome to see? Is that what we've got here? I have clearly underestimated you-all. I kind of thought you were merely humbly normal people going about your lives and sneaking in some bike riding when it all makes sense to. Please quit pushing the limits of your passion. I don't know what that means, but it sounds like "riding until you're at the brink of hating it."
We have NO goals to grow. Our goals are to keep employed, stick to steel, get that derailer going, become less dependent on parts makers who are going electronic and stopping making things we like, and to give money to certain lefty causes. That is IT.
Here's a map of nearby trails. Fifteen minutes easy bike ride from here, pretty good:
Lately, like yesterday the 26th and today the 27th, old friends moving have brought me bags or boxes of old bike propaganda, some of it stuff I wrote at Bstone and here. They don't have room for it anymore, so we can keep it here.
This came out seven months before our first sold thing, a tub of beeswax for $3.
We might be making new lugs for something, and these might be 3-D printed samples. Images heavily photoshopped: