Tiny people on bikes, Ethiopian shoes, Swan Arcade

Tiny people on bikes, Ethiopian shoes, Swan Arcade

You-all know this, but still...


 Review: the BOSCO BEBE, a bike we may do if there's enough interest: If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to the post before this. A bike designed to carry children. By children, for children. Details (to a limited extent) on the previous post. OK, here's a link to it:



You've been thinking that something's wrong with you because you don't have any article of clothing made in Africa. In Ethiopia, more specifically. I've been thinking the same thing, but recently just about all of you, because I already ordered mine:


If you dig around, you'll see that this is possible the grooviest shoe maker in the world,

I ordered these:


The Surge aby (?) in teal. I like the other colors, too, but as long as the teal isn't too brilliant, they'll be fine.

Both my wife and oldest daughter, independently, said, "They look like baby shoes." I've never seen an uncute baby shoe, so that's not a knock, but I got them because they look like they'll be wide enough for my EEE feet. "aby" short for "baby"?

You can get just about any shoe they list for $85, and boots are a little more. Some parts are made from some of the parts of one of the trees in the region. The soles, I think, are made from car tires. Solerebels seems to be a successful business, an unlikely one, and if you order some you won't be getting in on the ground floor or anything, but if you need another pair of shoes, they're worth a look.

Here's another story on them:



I want to try something. Solerebels doesn't need our help, but let's do this, anyway. If you order a pair of Solerebels shoes and you send us a copy of the invoice and an image of your feet wearing them, we'll issue you a $20 credit on any purchase of $50 or more, thru the end of July.

You have to send it to me, grant@rivbike.com...and it needs the proof attached, and then we'll do that. It may take us a few days to issue it, but the thing is--don't buy the shoes if you don't need them or like them (how could you not like the SURGE aby?). The credit is just a test of some kind. We're not trying to get you to buy shoes you don't want. Just if you do, there's an opportunity to get a deal here, too. I'm not going to repeat the rules--they're up there, read them.

We have ZERO affiliation. They don't know anything about us. But...if there's a place on the form that asks where you heard about them, you can confuse them and delight me by filling in Rivendell Bicycle Works.


 Rich here recommended I watch this:


It was written in 1945. It's a single-shot movie, close to two hours. If you want to spoil it for yourself, read the wiki page on it. It was written by English playwright and novelest, J.B. Priestly, about whom Wikipedia writes--

Priestley was educated at Belle Vue Grammar School, which he left at sixteen to work as a junior clerk at Helm & Co., a wool firm in the Swan Arcade.

Don't bother with those links, but you have to admit or correct me if I'm wrong, but "Swan Arcade" would be a great or just unique name for a bike.


Jeff Lindsay, the Mountain Goat guy came by today. I don't have proof. An early mountain bike builder. He likes our lugs and walked away with an ax-gift...for liking our lugs. We do one of those a year.


An Atlantis-riding customer came by to pick up his bike last week, and in talking to him he revealed that he owned a bike shop (and yet still bought an Atlantis), and has some kind of dump truck for collecting junk and cleaning out houses when somebody dies and the kin and authorities have scoured it, and by the time they give him the keys, all he finds is his to dump or not, depending. He just has to clean it all up. He found this recently:


I don't know what it sold for, be he said he got about $6,500 out of it.


The little kid there btw Lou and Babe is the guy who died in squalor and left the ball. When I was a kid I remember one of my schoolmates thinking Babe Ruth was "Bay Bruce," not that it made an impression on me, not that I was shocked or anything. Bebe Ruth's real name is George Herman Ruth. He grew up in the St. Mary's Orphanage. He started out as a pitcher, and had small ankles and liked the ladies and cigars. His lifetime batting average was .342, which means that in his entire career he averaged 342 hits per 1,000 at-bats. He hit 711 home runs, which was the record until Hank Aaron, who used to squeeze a shot  put to build up his forearms, ended up with 755. All by memory, but the numbers are good, I think.


Another good garbageman find after all heirs and authorities went thru the house.


Japanese RIV-customer Nao makes these. She's a potter. They're 4-5 inches tall. I love this cat! Something about it reminds me of the Surge aby shoe.


This is Dan pushing a 59 Atlantis up Mark's Hill, casually named that for conversation identification because Mark is the only one I know who has made it up it, and he did it the first time he tried it, on his crossy Rivendell. You get a lot of momentum from the downhill leading to it, but the momentum gets lost fast and after a while, all who aren't Mark push--which is a really pleasant way to finish off the hill. Taken with Hassleblad with 150mm lens, HP-5 film.

One of our members coaches a high school mountain bike team. I wonder how many of those kids could make it up. Probably all of them. Dang. It's not far away, they could try it.


Will was riding home and got the best all time photo in the world of an urban coyote. He got it with an Olympus XA with Cinestill iso 250 film pushed to 400, if any of that means anything to anybody.

He develops and prints in the evenings


 I've been riding the Silver2 shifters with the planned mount, which--isn't ideal for this shifter, but is fine in certain positions. We are experimenting like mad. The geometry for the samples was finished long ago; we'll get samples in early September, build them up with some different shifter rigs, and ride them around for a few weeks and see if anything needs changing. The decals look pretty good.The headbadge is coming along.    I wonder how many of you, knowing nothing more than that it's our take on a fully modern mountain bike (threadless, 73mm shell), but no discs) would commit to one now without knowing the price, but guaranteed of a 25 percent discount off whatever the unknown price ends up being.

The thing is, we're going to make that bike no matter what. It's a bike I personally really want to do, and there seems to be tons of internal enthusiasm for it, but I'd still like to know whether our first production (maybe final) should be 75, 100, or 150 frames.


 Another one of Nao's cats, fish pillow, bananas. I like this one a lot, too.


The musa-bikes aren't going away, as it says on p. 4 last paragraph of the catalog. We're shuffling things around a bit.



Here's one of the top trumpeting photos you're likely to see for a long time. John/RIVELO took it a couple of months ago (OM-1, Cinestill film, also self-developed and printed) during some kind of Portland Peace Protest, as you can see also by the flag and the mad lady. The orginal is in RIVELO, which, by the way, go there this weekend and snag up something.


 We are working on the S2 shfiters and three other really neat but even more secret things that, on some level, Shimano and SRAM are heck-bound to make irrelevant. If you love their latest and their promise in 5 years, you'll have zero interest in our refinement of a 1982 shifter and the mountain bike we're coming out with.


 One of the first songs I ever liked, and probably the first one I loved, was this top hit of '63, which has influenced our upcoming mountain bike. Every kid in Lafayette, California knew this song by heart.



 Will delicately customizing a rack:


Here's a story that should have a photo, but may not. It's about wigs.

The woman here talking to Vince is Cathy. She's a local Betty Foy rider and all-purpose, well-traveled bicycle advocate, probably in the top ten most most familiar bicycle people in the Bay Area. She has a friend, an elderly lady who also sometimes stops by with Cathy for air in her schrader tubes or whatever, a nice lady, and two days ago Cathy told me a story about her.

Two months ago Cathy's friend was in Berkeley at a filling station on Ashby, and she was standing outside her car with her purse and payment ready to go into the machine, and a guy came up to her and grabbed at her purse. She pulled back on it, and in the brief tussle the guy grabbed her by the hair to jerk her head around or something. Her wig came off and the guy freaked out and screamed and ran off without the purse.

Viva wigs! Grant











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