Oct 21: We Got Trouble, my friends. Right Here in Riv-er City

Oct 21: We Got Trouble, my friends. Right Here in Riv-er City

I need a break from the bike-content-heavy BLAHGS. They're my favorite, they're easy, they'll come back, but now and then and especially now, yep, I need that break. Nothing bad. Stuff that's happening makes it hard...but rest either assured or be bothered that we're still stuck on projects with brakes, derailers, bikes, and race. 

We got trouble. <--That's a fantastic five-minute link. Nobody ever clicks on my links. Bummer. This is mental health for me these days. It's so opposite everything I'm forced to think about.  Call me a Music Man fan, sure I'm a Music Man fan, mighty proud to say it. Well, maybe not proud, but there's something here to appreciate.  

first...medicinal wine from a teaspoon....then beer from a bottle! and the next thing you know, your son is playing for money in a pinched-back suit...


This pretty good movie is making the rounds. If you hate it, please tell me.  This is just a trailer. The whole thing is better. 

Four songs from 1969, a year before I got deep and forever into bikes...followed by my favorite song of all time.

The Marmalade       Did they have any other songs? I can google it, I know.  

Sly and the Family Stone   Always a feel-good song, good for us these days.

Three Dog Night   One of the best non-Bob Dylan songs ever.

Jefferson Airplane.   Not a protest-kind of song, but it's still from 1969. I like the line, because I relate it to bikes: When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

And here is my favorite song of all time. Maybe by far.

 We have more Pride-o'-the-'mos shirts. It'll be hard to beat that one. It's a happy shirt. Not our usual angst, frustration, anger, and snickering disgust.



 The men's are as usual. The women's are not as kiddie-cut as the other ones. 

Now that we're on the topic:





BRP is being...modified. We are proceeding with something similar to caution. 


I wish I didn't admire the handwriting so much. Shoot! I really do. Mine is so much worse.  But the word worth dwelling on is "stupidist," which must be a person who practices, or subscribes to the tenets of, stupidity—and yet I have personally never tried to do that. The others here can speak for themselves, but if they do they don't wear it on their sleeves, that's for sure The same day, this other email, a nice one:

Will, (the fellow's name) here, 72 yrs old, long time customer...3 bikes, lots of parts, easily over $10,000...probably quite a bit more! I live in Texas, I am a conservative, I am a Republican, but  I love Rivendell!  
Why are there so many haters out there? I groaned when I first saw your reparations program because I knew you guys would get a lot of grief! However, this brouhaha will not hurt your business because  most of your customers know that you guys are good people...trying to do good things while you scratch out a small profit. I can't say that I think the reparations program is a good idea, but guess what...that doesn't matter, because it's your business not mine. Don't let this get you down....just keep  chugging along! Rivendell has given the bicycling industry much more than it has taken! Thanks for everything! 


That's how it goes, all over the map. Young angries, older nice guys, older angries, young nice people. Ninety nine percent of the mad  people say we're racist, which is like calling a flower-waterer a floodist, and they say this "reverse discrimination" is just as bad as any, which makes me think they're in need of a history lesson. 

Here's another nice disagreer:

Here is what's unacceptable about some of the negative feedback you are receiving.  Disagreement and dissension are fine.  Passion is admirable, and we need it... it gets hard stuff done.  It can convert the apathetic to become the engaged.  Hysteria and hatred are not fine.  Neither are censors and loudmouths and bullies.  I told you that I don't agree with your policy, and although we both seem to agree that there is a A Black Problem in America, we have different ideas about what to do about it.  I understand your idea about BRP, but I don't agree with it.  I don't have to.  I do have to understand you, but I don't have to agree with you.  Isn't that how we all need to interact?  You make cool bikes, but the whole spirit of Rivendell Bike Works shows that you also understand there's a world out there beyond frames and components; the bike is an instrument but its role in our lives creates our personal symphonies, eh?!  So why don't we expect that you nudge your nose into your own little effort to do what you think is best to Save The World?  
Hating Rivendell's BRP just doesn't seem like an occasion to make cortisol and hurl vitriol.  It's becoming such a vapid definition of how we disagree.  Don't hate.  Just don't hate.  Let Rivendell try sending their little two-wheeled lifeboats to someone they think might like and need a two-wheeler and who Rivendell thinks needs a bit of a break right now.  This is how Rivendell can give them that break, and is it really horrible if that happens even if I don't agree with it?  No.  Isn't that a well-intentioned little ray of hope and experimentation?  Sure.  I think it's also problematic, but this is what Rivendell knows they can do.  Let them try it... it'll be ok.
PS: I'm a second-career school teacher here in Maine.
I didn't want to get into this this time, I need a break, but these popped up, and there you go. 
Our BRP is getting a legal makeover so those who interpret the Unruh Act to the letter of it and not by the spirit of it can't sue us. So we don't get sued.  There will be more news soon, but whether that's in a week or a month or two, I don't know.
However, we'd still LOVE to encourage you to add one of these $2 bad boyz to your order. Donations to a fund that we are for now calling, informally a kind of Black Reparations Fund. They $ will go to make our stuff cheaper for Black people, of any income. 
We might get some stickers, T-shirts, patches, hats. They'd look pretty cool, wouldn't they? Proceeds to the fund. 


 This is what they call a snippet from a column by Marc Sani, a staffer for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the only trade magazine for the bike industry. I always like Marc's columns, and this, as I already said, is a snippet.


Snippets can be shorter than that, though. 

Related to that, I don't know what to think about where bikes are going. We have the luxury of not having to care, since we're industry outsiders already. But for the good of the planet and the land and maybe people too, I'd hope that motorbikes don't take over regular bikes. I want them to take over cars, for sure. I want them to take over streets and parking lots. I would personally honestly give up riding if in some bizarro land my giving up riding a bike would replace half the cars in just this country with eBikes for road use.

For years I've wondered about doing this, and I finally did it, with a demo Roadini.


Downtown on crowded streets where parking is scarce, that would be a better test. Would it be mean or thoughtless? Would it be justified? Why shouldn't the peace-and-safety mobile get to use a nice bike parking spot?

Forget for a moment that there's no pole to lock the bike to. Imagine parking lots shrunk to smithereens with bike and electric motorbike and standard motorcycle parking up the wazoo, and maybe half the car parking as they have now. I'd vote for it.   People would cry discrimination against cars. 


My normal commute is about 8 minutes on a bike, and I cruise it. Three or four times a week I'll stretch it to 15 minutes and include a continuous 8-minute climb at 100 percent effort, not 95. One to two evenings a week I'll ride trails for 60 to 90 minutes. At least one weekend day and often two, I'll ride trails for two to four hours. I use every bike we have. I know them soo well, all the difference, and if they work for me, they'll work for you.

For the nine years between 1975 and 1984, my one-way commute was 16 miles one-way with about 1,700 feet of climbing, and I usually rode both ways. During my ten years at Bridgestone, my one-way commute was 25 to 27 miles, some on trails, with about 1,200 to 1,800 feet of climbing, and for half the time (until my oldest daughter was born), I rode both ways, which is not fun when you have to do it. I've been afraid of cars my whole life. I drive when I have to, but it's been two years now. We have a 1991 Prius, and I'll drive it a mile with my wife there just so I can drive it in an emergency. I don't consider that as "breaking my streak," and I don't ask for (or get) rides to places just for streak-maintenance. 
It helps to have a friend who doesn't mind driving to Mt. Tamalpais.

I have never liked riding as much as I do now. My hard rides are optional, my standard pace is slow enough that I get passed by normal people who, based on the bikes they're on, don't seem all that into bikes. 


We're going to get more wool in next month. TONS of it, too much, maybe, but really neat stuff, including mostly made-to-order (for us, not you) garments. 


This is the fourth time I've posted this slingshot video, but it's been a year and a half or so, and it's worth a reviewing, anyway. 


BROOKS quit making the B.68 saddle about ten years ago. I didn't write down the stop date. The B.68 is like the B.67 but without the springs. It's about an inch and a fifth wider than the B.17. 

Let's not be insane pests on this, but let's kindly ask Brooks to bring back the B.68, by September, 2021. That ought to be enough time. 

Here's ye olde form for the note.








Back to blog