no. 8 late march. Gretagrams, corona, wallabies, stem quills, racing basksets, other

no. 8 late march. Gretagrams, corona, wallabies, stem quills, racing basksets, other


We're virus-changed--Reduced hours, lost at least one employee, no more Saturdays, flexible schedules, more working from home as the job allows. Some will be here every weekday, but we may be slow on the phones. We don't check messages--I don't even know if you can leave a message--so keep calling or send emails to  --for builds and technical --general pupose (he is G.M.)  --general purpose (he knows EVERYTHING)  --technical, general, but not order-lookups or changes  --in stock stuff, when  it's coming  --wheel builds


We are cutting back hours starting March 30, but aren't completely shut down, because 90 percent of our business is by mail,  and the other ten percent we've cut off (no walkins). The pandemic, at some level, makes blogs and blugs and blahgs seem inappropriate. No disrespect intended. Our deepest sympathies to everybody affected personally or workwise. 


It's been a while, but here are the Greta Thunberg anagrams. Greta and her dad suspect they have COVID-19, by the way.

Our international panel of judges picked some winners, listed at the end of these, way below. Submitted by Bill Flanders, Carl Baker, Eric Hutchens, Kevin Smith, EPOLOGBTI, Alex G. of Green Bay, another Alex--this one, Applegate from parts unknown, Chris Monteiro, Laura D. (Italian-sounding), Ana Candela, Ray Coffee, Trisha the world's smartest seven year old who will be famous someday I know it, but no pressure, Brian Reeves, my daughter Anna, and I put in a few that I feel went tragically underappreciated during the last hurrah of our international panel of judges.





The winners:


Judge 1.
Burnt Egg, Earth
Bent Thug Rager
The Gnat Burger
Grant B. Treehug
Gather Bug Rent
Earth Grub Gent
Bat Hugger Rent
Bea G. Truntherg
The Nut Bragger
That Green Grub
The Grunt Barge
Grant Greet Hub
Green Brat Thug
Great Hug, Brent


Judge 2, and explanations
Others in the top (slightly more than) 10
GRANT HUB EGRET The smoothest and most elegant hubset you've ever used
GGRR, EAT THE BUN! Bread is not the enemy.
BE THE GRUNT RAG An affirmation that needs a bit more work
BEER TRUTH GANG They've met every Friday after work for 23 years. A combination of programmers and mechanics, managers and magicians. Band of Brothers/Sisters for our current age.
BERT NAGGERHUT breath smells of coffee and cigerettes and you don't want him to trap you in the copy room.
REGRET GNU BATH Bathing a gnu is always a bad idea. Clogs the pipes. Leaves a ring.
BRUNTA REGGETH Of all the names, this one caught my eye. I see a powerful viking princess.
BURN THE EGG, RAT! Heard from a waitress in that diner you may never eat at again.
GG, THE RUNG BEAR This just makes me smile. Have no idea why.
Notable offerings, sorted alphabetically  
ABNER GET HURT Way down in dogbpatch on that fatal day
B. GREEN RAT THUG Leader of the waterfront ruffians
BARTER EGG HUNT Alliances on the field of eggs on the easter event
BAT HUGGER RENT The tennant pays on time, but no one wants to go into his apartment
BENT THUG RAGER Avoid eye contact. Always.
BETTER HANG RUG It's a wee bit stale.
BURNT EGG HATER Aren't we all?
BURT! GET HANGER! They've owned this Cleaner's. It has led to an economy of language
GATHER BUG RENT They may have taken over the Roach Motel, but they still gotta pay rent
GRANT BERET HUG Francophile Grant kindly greets Greta
GRANT HUB GREET Say hello to my little hub!
GRANTA BUGET We all need a little extra budget, sometimes...
GREEN BRAT THUG Sidekick of Bent Thug Rager
GREEN THAT GRUB Seriously. Plant-based diets.
GUN BATH REGRET Better than bathing with the toaster, but still not a good idea
GUNTHE RATBERG Hans Gruber's cousin's cousin, or an evil animated rodent
HER BUTTER GANG Committed to dairy, they rode the range in search of acolytes
HER TAN BUG, GERT Post-apocalyptic film pitch
NUT BREATH GREG Nice guy, but needs to see the dentist.
RANT THE BUGGER The toast at that one pub. No one remembers why.
REGBAGGEN TRUTH Bilbo's altruistic cousin.
THAT GREEN BURG Name for a sitcom I'd definitely avoid
THAT GREEN GRUB The great unfinished Suessian title
THE NUT BRAGGER Gets a lot of protein, but we all know he's kind of gassy
THE TANG BURGER Mashup of the Impossible Burger and what the astronauts drink.
U GRAB HER ATENT Kind of spotty text abbreviation


Judge 3 and explanations
ARGH, GREEN BUTT! Not AGAIN?? I hate these stupid picnics.
BEER THUG GRANT Beer Thug Grant formed the Beer Truth Gang together with Nut Breath Greg and Bert Raggenhut
THE NUT BRAGGER Walnuts? Let me tell you about walnuts ...
BEER TRUTH GANG Hops. You gotta have HOPS, man. 's th' truth! Burp.
BERT RAGGENHUT Wisconsin frame builder of German descent
BURNT EGG HATER I just hate it. The smell, the taste ... all of it.
BURT! GET HANGER! Tom Ritchey, begging Burt the Mechanic for help after a derailer incident on Repack
EGG HUNTER BRAT The most annoying kid at any Easter party
GREAT BT HUNGER Hate lettuce. Can't stand it. Just give me the rest, OK?
GREAT HUG, BRENT ... Not so much, "Octopus Arms" Brent.
GREG BATHUNTER Still haven't caught a single one, the night being so frickin' dark and everything.
GUN BATH REGRET Noo... Not again! Swimming with my six shooter!
NUT BREATH GREG Geez, Greg, go easy on the walnuts, will'ya?
THAT GREEN BURG That would be Stockholm, perhaps.
THETRA GNUBERG Just a very good name.



box openers


Opening a box is  a particular thing and we all do it and feel the same way about it. A sealed box any time of the year is like a Christmas present (apologies to....). You want to see the contents and the box is in the way.

Boxes from your past make you wonder whether the packer put a shield between the contents and the top of the box that you're cutting. If there's no shield and there's clothing or tires not well-packed on top, you could cut it if you use a standard box-cutter.

When you cut open boxes you always cut toward yourself, even if you know it's wrong. When you cut toward yourself hastily with box cutter, you'll eventually cut yourself or your clothing, and it's nuts, because the blade is way overkill.

You're better off with a stone tool. It's sharp enough for the meager job of cutting slim tape, even the fibrousy stuff. If it's not a clean cut, you can easily rip through what's left, and the big deal of it is that there's no risk to anything. You can slash like a fool thug without risking anything. You can put your hips into it, like Ted Williams.

Less interesting but still good alternatives to stone tools: Keys, allen wrenchs, screwdrivers, the tips of needle-nose pliers. The tines of forks. Fork tines!

In Rivendell Reader No. 1 there was a story about stone tools. It's hard to make an arrowhead, but what are you going to do with one of those, anyway? Smug-shoot a rabbit or bale of hay? Hang it on the wall? It's better to make a box opener you'll use, and it's pretty easy. You start with chert, obsidian, or flint. You can get them the new-fashioned way, online, if you can't find them. I've made lots of box openers, but I've been out of the habit of using them because I lose them a lot. I found this one on my desk under some stuff, and I can tell it's made by somebody who had an animal hide in mind. It's scraper-ish.You can grab it anwhere, it has 360 degrees of usefulness.


Plastic bags in trees:


Our Sackville bagmakers in Sackville, CT are closed like everybody else. They have about 12 sewers in about a 1,500 sq foot space, and when I went there six years ago, it was spacious and well-lit and quiet, like it was staged for an ideal movie or something. But to be safe, yes, they're temporariy shut. We recently got some bags in, and others we're waiting on will be late. How to present these facts without coming off as using the pandemic to boost sales? I don't know. If you want a Sackville something, we  might have it. And getting low on BananaSax. No more than one bag of any type per customer, but other than that, come on down.


Sardine can soap dish life hack for times when the soap dish stores are closed due to Covid-19

Everybody at Rivendell will swear by this. We've used it through thick and thin, and it works like a charm:

That looks gross. Try again:

More better. I had no idea. We'll keep it this way from now on.


Former Emp Vaughn has a Clem L and carries his pump thusly:

and here's how you keep it from getting mucky:

Section of road inner tube over the head and handle.



 Only baseball and art fans need to click on this:

 Jackie Jensen, sitting down there in the middle, was my cousin. He was the American League MVP in 1958, when I was four. In 1959, teams gave up the bus for long trips and started flying. He had a major fear of flying, so he kind of stressed out and quit a year or so later. I met him once, in our front yard, when I was eight (and he'd been retired for a few years). I was a good little baseball player, batted .538 in Lafayette (CA) Little League in 1966. I had a good arm at eight, and he and I were playing catch, about 20 feet apart, and he told me to throw it as hard as I could. I was sure I'd hurt him when he didn't catch it, so I said I didn't want to, but he kept saying no, really, so I did it (I held back some), and he caught it. I didn't tell him I didn't throw it as hard as I could, but it was still fast, and he did catch it. 


 Bike mechanic frame quills

 About nineteen years ago Joe Bell, world’s best bike painter, sent us a home-made version of these, which he uses to hold frames when he painted them, and his in-house builder (and then Rivendell custom frame builder) Joe S. used to hold frames as he brazed them. Joes figured we could use them for assembly.

They were right, and EVERY Rivendell bike we’ve assembled since have been held in place by one of these, see the photo.


 I asked Jim Stein, super American bike tool maker, to make some so we could sell a few. It’s not a money-making smart deal. They cost us $35 each, and we’re selling them for $50. It’s just not worth it, but we got 20 of them and have to pay the $700 bill, and the thing is—if you work on your bike and don’t want to risk the paint or decals by clamping the seat tube; and maybe you have stuff on your seat post that gets in the way of a clamp OR you don’t have enough post showing to clamp—I mean, those are all good and common reasons for wanting one of these—and you want a single purpose tool that’ll last forever and baffle your heirs who don’t see it in use, then we’re your people.

 SOLD OUT IN TEN MINUTES. THat is not a happy thing. Jim says another bunch will take a month.  THey'll be $56 next time. Jim may offer them on his site

 but he’ll sell them for at least $65, I’m sure. There’s a lot of work into them, which is moot unless you work on bikes a lot and need one. Once Jim sells these on his site, other bike tool makers will copy them, as they always do.


On a bike tool note: In a few months we'll be stocking the Hartmann-Zingo line—"For the professionale bicycle wrencheur on a budget!" is their catch-phrase.


CVD update

As many of you know, we are "an essential business" that sells directly by mail, so we're allowed to continue. (If we couldn't, then it wouldn't be fair to let Amazon, right?)

None of us have symptons, we're all careful in the recommended ways, and still, we've lost (not in the dead sense) our bikepacker, so are hoping to replace him soon, and have a good lead on somebody. Some are working reduced ours, a few are working from home a few days a week. There will be some delays. Our western-states delivery service didn't pick up at all last week, but is coming by today, and assures us they'll be regular from now on. It's GLS, and they're cheaper than UPS, saving us $500 per month, and without the strong-arm.

We have had a few meetings, way more than usual, and we talk about how lucky we are not just because we can legally continue, not even only because none of us is sick, but also because we feel supported by so many of you. 

One of the bigger stressors here is how we deal with, what we do about frame orders for fall delivery. We  have to order frames about 8-9 months in advance, and nobody exactly knows what life will be like that far away. If it's fine and we cancel orders, we'll be out of bikes, and if we keep the orders, we're obligated to pay for them but might not have the money.

This is a small problem of the CVD episode, but it could screw us badly.  We all know, as you all know, so many people who are out of work because of this, and that's immediately tragic. I don't personally care about the Olympics or pro sports or entertainment stuff, but the jobs lost are a big thing. People have to work. I really, really believe in work, in contributing as we can, as anybody can, and I believe in employing people. We don't hold back on the bikes (or the tools!), but the thing that matters most to me is employing good people. It's already hard here, with the cost of living higher than it is in NYC. I want to increase wages, I don't want to pay less or lay people off. I'm 65, I've got a house, I can get social security if I need it. Whatever stocks I have are tanking, but I don't care, it's all like fake money to me and I don't see it. 

The handful of far-out bike projects we have seems both stupid and super exciting. They seem like heavenly insane distractions. Sometimes tunnel vision is a respite. Good luck to us, and thanks for getting this far into this.


Corona, corona, where you been so long? All you need to know about it, unless you're a doctor.


We now have factory-cut-down Waldo baskets, racer-style (rumor is, they're better with drop bars, altho they'll work with any style bar). EX-RIvver Sean did this to a normal Wald, and Jenny followed. Then onliners copied, and you know how that takes off. But the home-made cut-down baskets lacked the thick top rib-rim like the full-sizers. THese don't lack anything, because Wald did 'em. Up to now the've been available only in Japan—odd for a product made in Kentucky.

Don't be distracted by the fantastic shoes.


are "lighter notes" possible in times like this? I've never believed that laughter is the best medicine. I remember thinking that was dumb when I was five, and my stance hasn't changed, seriously. It's what comedians want you to think. Remember "comediennes"? What happened to that? It's like "aviatrix." Anyway, I doubt any of you will laugh at this thirteen-second, coronavirus-related video. And no, this is not "race content." --


Here's a good story out of Australia. Through my twenties at least, I thought it was Austrailia. That's how we say it, right?

-- Grant

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