2019 No. 4: The unusual grab bag, including rare footage

2019 No. 4: The unusual grab bag, including rare footage

Customer Daniel Falcon sent me this. Some people have all the surname luck.


Don't forget about this soap,  possibly the world's best, especially if you like licorice:


We have it in again. If you got some the first time around, you may not have used it up yet. Maybe your spouse hid it. Either way, we have it back, as good as ever.

It is HERE if you want it. Eight dollars, but it's a five ounce bar of the best soap ever...if you like licorice.


The baby bike...looks like it's not going to happen. We need fifteen more deposits. Will's earlier surveys had eighteen nearly–for–sures, but when it came time to plunk, fifteen of them scattered like leaves in a tempest. We're giving it another two weeks. No shame, no whine, just reporting the numbers and reminding you if you still think your baby or future baby warrants the world's best baby bike for behind–the–bars carrying (several baby carries are made for that).

Will's putting together a parts group for this bike, something that makes sense and isn't too indulgent for the purpose. We'll try to get you out of here cheap.

You can put a $400 deposit down HERE...

And talk to me or Will about them anytime. Or Vince, Roman...


The barely ballyhooed 25th Anniversary model I mentioned a month ago will be, if anything, more like a 26th Anniversary model. No time for development this year, and 26 is just as good and less fashion-conscious than a 25th Anniv.


General Motors has a new electrical motor bicycle:


It's not going to be just GM.  BMW and Honda have theirs already--at least I've seen images of prototypes. I predict car makers, especially SUV makes, will start offering eMotorbikes with vehicles, and they'll make them all foldable, so you can get a parking spot farrish away, then two-wheel it the rest of the way. 

Specialized and TREK and Giant will have theirs, and it'll turn into another camera market, with only bigshots..which is how things always end up, anyway.

Here's an excerpt from that link you probably didn't click on:

...connect to an app that provides riding metrics such as speed, distance, remaining battery level, motor assist level, and distance traveled. GM says additional features are planned for the app, including a mode that will use a “proprietary algorithm to help riders arrive at their destination sweat-free.” Both Merge and Meld e-bikes come equipped with a Quad Lock mount to securely attach a smartphone to the handlebars.


In the racing end of things, there's an Italian company that's making a battery about the size of a mini-pump and and fits into the bottom of the seat tube. It'll come out of that seat tube closet once there's no stigma to it and the maker understands they won't be making money from cheatin' pros, anyway, and then it'll be a must-have on road bikes.

But are they bicycles? Is this Audi electrical mtn bike a bicycle? --


I'm not much of a boozer, but I saw a report on this high-tech whiskey made in Silicon Valley. There are two links below. The blackswells link for this techbooze is the main home site for it--but I couldn't get it to work for me. It goes to a health care site after a few seconds. The second link is to a story in Forbes. Try that one first.



Assuming again no clicking, I'll tell you: A Bay Area start-up  has developed a scientific way to make whiskey fast, instead of decades. The tech-'skey seems to be right in there tastewise with other whiskeys, and carries a moderate $40-$50 per bottle price.

They can probably make it for a teensy fraction of the cost of trad-whiskey, and thousands of times as fast, but if it cost $10 a bottle, would that, in the big picture, be a good thing? Would it get more peope drinking it? It could be argued both ways. I expect somebody to buy them out, which might be the plan, anyway.

I follow stuff like this because even though I am 99 percent a non-drinker, I love how people have figured out how to make beverages out of grains and beans, all of that. I think it's neat. The lab-'skey isn't as fascinating. I kind of wish I did drink, because I like the colors of alcohol. I just can't stand the taste.


This nice postcard came in a couple of weeks ago:

 I don't remember writing that sentence, but as soon as I read it and before I read the accolade at the end there, I thought, "That's a good question. Is it?" But now I vaguely remember it. I think it was referring to electrical bikes.


This next link, as many things in life, goes back to the corn dog or lollipop question:




We're out of these hats but are going to get something similar from the same St. Louis hatmaker. Four months, I think. That's Will.


 We have six 64 Homers left, and that'll be it for 64s for a year and a half at least. If your PBH is 97+, you know your road bike doesn't fit you...you know you don't have a practical roadish bike. The 64 Homer is good. It's slender and stiff because it's well-triangulated. Long chainstay...all good. Call Will or Roman or Vince. They'll make sure you get all good smart parts good for however you're going to use it.


A few BLAHGs ago I included a link to a story about stone-stacking that basically said don't do it, the rocks on the ground are wherever your supreme being or nature put them, and are doing more good there--erosion control and whatnot--than they are stacked up NOT as trail markers (the original purpose). They aren't good as personal spiritual enlightenments and selfie opportunities and art projects. The internet has made stone-stacking a thing, and in some places it's becoming a problem; especially when people sign the undersides of the rocks with their hashtags. Well...there are bigger environmental fish to fry, but it was still and interesting article, and when Dan and I were on a ride last weekend on Mt. Tamalpais, I saw this and did this:

(A "cairn" is the normal word for a stone-stack, but I thing maybe only in a trail-marking contextP

I think cairn is French for "duck," and I've never heard them called ducks. In this case, no need for a cairn. The trail is 15 feet wide and obvious.

I know it's a small thing, but I couldn't resist. I don't consider this a good or a bad thing.

 This movie is a reinactment. You'll notice in this one, I knocked off the top stone only, which I consider a feat of deftness.


Later that day:

That's me on Saturday, around 4:50 in the afternoon, about a mile and a half south of the top of Repack Road (Cascade Canyon Fire Road) on Mount Tamalpais, and  I know you're thinking—"but he's anti-helmet, I thought." Dan calls this my "mocking helmet," and that's not a complete lie. Pro-Tec says it's for skateboarding and BMX, but what Jim Thorpe wouldn't have given for one of these bad boys..or Moe Howard, or your grampa.

Anyway, I am not as much anti-helmet as I am anti-lying about the protective properties of bicycle helmets, which work about as well as football helmets, and have the same effect (they encourage risk taking but aren't all that protective. In the case of helmets, "better than nothing" may not apply).

So I rarely wear helmets, but I do like this bad-boy from Pro-Tec, with full ear flaps and no need to snug-the-buckle (not what Pro-Tec says, I'm speaking just for me here).  Shown beneath the shoes is one of only a few gloppy places on wonderfully well-drained mountain. Dan took the picture with his phone. I try to avoid me-photos, but in this case, harp on the helmet--$25 on sale on the ProTec site.

Helmets are an issue here now with me because we're going to shoot some pictures for the catalog, and I want at least one to have a helmet in. Some of the riders MIGHT be under 18, which requires a helmet, anyway.

This was tonite, which is Monday nite, at about 5:40, on the colder north side of Mt. Diablo, and it was getting dark.

I am big into walking up hills, as you can see, this time in more-normal mode.

I bet it was rideable at noon, but it was about 30°F by the time we were there, so it was icy. Another iPhone picture by Dan. You won't see another photo of me here for years.


I am ultra-conscious of punctuation, after reading — I'm not finished yet — this book:

II recommend it to anybody (or is it, "I recommend it for anybody..."?) who writes a lot. Here's a thing he says about commas; examples —

"Please fetch me the Bible that's on the table."

"Please fetch me the Bible, which is on the table."

The first one implies there are more than one Bible to pick from, but the speaker has his or her or their heart set on the one that's on the table. The second implies the only Bible in sight happens to be on the table.

This isn't exactly a that/which thing, but I may get to a section like that. It's in the commas section.


Here's a photo I think Corey took or maybe Roman, a trial shot for a new brochure. It's one of my favorite pictures of all time, and that's a blurry Will you see. Whoever took it took it with Will's Nikon, probably 50mm lense and Tri-X film, probably on f2.8 or 1.4, since the sole is in focus but the cuff starts to get blurry.





Here's a gear-related obituary about Don Bragg, a pole vaulter. It's from today's paper. He died not far from here, maybe 65 miles or so. Whenever I read obits (not hooked on them, by the way), I always wonder what wonderful or interesting person is dying nearby, and I wonder if they have family visiting, or -- is there anything I could do? It seems presumptuous to think yes, but I don't know. I spent a lot of time in nursing homes from 2012 to 2016, when my old buddy was in them, and people seemed so lonely.



Here's another "race thing." It's not enough to read it and care, but that's about all we can do, right? But it affects how I want to be in the small world that I operate in, but I don't know how and am really afraid to try, which makes me feel shame for sure. I need a spiritual advisor or something.



I like the cleanliness and curves and overall geometry of this, and the colors, but I still wonder what the story is. It's at the local BART (local light rail) station:


Does anybody out there remember the MUSA winter riding gloves we had from about nine years ago? I need a right. If you have one you don't use, or a whole pair, send them to me with your contact info and I'll do something nice but not extravagant for you. Probably a $30 store credit, something like that. Here's a photo:


 My favorite gloves for temps btw 37 and 57 are these $12 jobs:


They're made in one of the Carolinas and are 85 percent wool with grippy rubbery dots on the palm side. One size fits most American male hands, and they don't make them for women. You can lop of the fingertips and make fingerless gloves, and wash them, and they won't fray. They improve with age and last for years, and as long as you aren't  Slick Willie who always needs the sleekest, they'll be the only glove you need from 37 to 57 degrees. Combine them with our discontinued Half Mitts, and you're good down to 20-degees, says the guy who lives and rides where it never gets that cold.

We  have twelve pair in stock, but more are coming in a week and a half. To get some now, click HERE.


Mark joins a chain. With 3200 speed film and a medium format camera, it always looks good.

Baby bike? It's a unique bike, it'll be really good. It's not FOR anything else, but it'll get you around just fine when the baby's outgrown it, and what a nice bike to pass on. Contact will@rivbike.com

Licorice soap? Really, try it. If you like licorice, you'll love it and keep coming back.

Gloves? They're so good and so cheap. Seriously.







Back to blog