Feb 20 Rainy Dayer

Posted on February 20 2017

Here's an interesting article you may have missed, as I did.


There's a lot out there to miss, you can't hit everything, and so when something comes up and there's a good chance a lot of people missed it, I'll throw it out there. All I ask is that if this article saves your life, please buy a pair of gloves here, or something. Also--certainly pass it on to somebody whose life it might save. This is what the internet is for, right?


There isn't another RIVEOPARDY this time. Only two players on the last one, which I THOUGHT would be popular, but what do I know about that? Thirty-two played the first one. There may be one next week.


If you hate most TV and don't have time or money for movies, or you have a germ-thing, then try Foyle's War. Google it and track it down and figure out how to drag it onto your computer screen or TV set. Each episode is about 90 minutes long. And if all you have time for is half that, try Doc Martin.


This is the cheapest house in town. Nobody lives there anymore, and it's off of a multi-use trail and has a private driveway. 

It's ramshackle now, but I wish I knew the story. I could live in it once it was spiffed up some. It's about 1,000 square feet.


Here's the best dog in the world:

I think each post will include a picture of Scoutie.


Then HHH tandem is inching along. Forks are made:

It's a new kind of crown for us, to match the frame. Soon, a close-up.


 I like stationery and have lots of cards, and I buy locally etc, but this time I bought from Wales:


They're cheap and good.  I'm going to send out a card a day.


Some of you know this story already. A woman ordered a custom. One non-fuctional thing was out of spec. It had no effect on anything (practically), but it was wrong. Still good for a lifetime or more of riding, still good-looking, but out of spec, so we got her a freshperfectlyto spec one, and all's well...and we had the other frame here. We picked a color, sold it for some kind of deal, and here are some pictures of it.

There must be a way to format this so I can use the blank space up there, but...I'll ask Dave later. This is our custom head badge--one version of it, anyway.

Here's how it got built up. Paul centerpulls, otherwise pretty standard.


It's our demo seat post--that's why it looks so scarred and greasy. We actually changed one detail on this lug, and it's on the current Cheviots, too. Will be on the future CLEM 45, 52.


It's becoming harder and harder to do this to a front dropout, because of...well, it has to be the right diameter fork tip, so we have to use our own design. You can't buy off the shelf like this; and the dropout should be wide there, but the maker doesn't make them anymore. It can be finagled and semi-fudged, but the right metal beginnings make it easier...not that it's EASY easy.


We have a fancier mid-stay lug than this, but the customer wanted this one, and it's fancy enough, isn't it?


You'll miss the hard part if I don't point it out. Joe Bell (the painter) says the cream detailing shouldideallynot be on the edge btw the top of the crown and the wing; it should be only on the wing, as it is here.

Well, that's it for that bike. This post has photos taken with a med-format film camera AND an iPhone. That's a good mix, isn't it?


We've been getting a few orders for customs. The delivery is now about 9 months, but that's not guaranteed. We're doing an unusual special one for a super cool semifamous guy who already has a Chev and a Hunqa that he rides several times a week, and sometimes every day. Customs start at $3,500/frame fork, and then options add to that, but ... no apologies there, because they're as good as bikes get.


I'm not a "watch guy." I have a Mondaine, a $225 Swiss quartz watch, nothing a watch guy would care about...but if I had $10 million and not a penny less, I'd get one of these, for $6,000 to $9,000---because I like the approach to watches and what I know of the company, and I know a guy who has one, and he showed it to me. Lots of options. Too many, maybe. Read the story of the watches, and you'll likem, too. You'll be here for 15 minutes, probably:



We're getting  in some BLUE Sackville bags. It's not nearly as bright as the image we showed of it a few weeks ago. That made it look royal, and it's just a bluish navy (as opposed to midnight). First we'll get MED SaddleSacks. Then later on, BackaBike sacks, then maybe XS and S Saddlesacks. Depends.


Man, I hate to do this to you, but there's an interesting bike comment here that I think is 10000000 percent BS and  it's vile of them to blame anything on the only solution. But don't harp on that; it's an interesting story otherwise, and will make you glad you don't live in London.









  • Obijohn: March 14, 2017

    I’ve ridden in London and in Cambridge (my Brompton, not my Sam Hillborne), and used a bike and their train network to travel on business all over England after flying into LHR. The advantage of the Brompton over the Hillborne is that I can take it as carry-on luggage and put it in the overhead. It also is a breeze to fold up and take on the tube, and on trains. The disadvantage is that the Hillborne is much better for general riding. Riding in London can be challenging on weekdays… I generally use the Brompton for the ‘last mile’ and not the full trip. Most of the pollution is from large trucks, not passenger vehicles. Kenworth uses the same technology as my Ram diesel, and when a new truck so equipped drives through the L.A. basis its exhaust is cleaner than the air entering the engine. Yes, it really does purify the air!

    I’ve never had a problem with smog in England (and have ridden there in both summer and winter). And, I think diesels and electric cars are the future. My diesel Ram pickup gets better than 26 MPG on the highway, around 20 MPG around town, and the exhaust is water vapor (it uses DEF).

  • Jason Williams: February 25, 2017

    Thanks for sharing the New Yorker article. In kind, I’ve shared it a bunch myself.

  • Piskian: February 24, 2017

    Mate,you Amurrcans are floating further from sanity.Doc Martin,s awful ,a Cornish pastiche of my Celtic culture.Meanwhile,that beautiful property in pic would be a dream place for me and mine.Search Proper Poldark on Youtube for real rep of my homelabd,Kernow.Cheers Grant,and keep it up,pard.

  • DDD: February 23, 2017

    Love my seiko 007k. Haven’t babied it but very little beausage after ~7 years. Quartz for $225?!

  • Roly: February 23, 2017

    “Man, I hate to do this to you, but there’s an interesting bike comment here that I think is 10000000 percent BS and it’s vile of them to blame anything on the only solution. But don’t harp on that; it’s an interesting story otherwise, and will make you glad you don’t live in London.”

    I do though, in fact I live in Brixton. Unfortunately the idea that bicycle lanes are actually making the situation worse is gaining traction here it seems, combined with a transport minister who thinks that cyclists are not road users (and recently ‘doored’ a cyclist and then left the scene, hey ho), it’s not looking great. My current commute avoids the worst bits, but I have spent a number of years riding 12-25 miles per day through the city, which is deeply unpleasant.

  • Paul: February 22, 2017

    Umm, I mean in 2001. 1991 would have been quite a feat!

  • Paul: February 22, 2017

    On the subject of watches, I am now a big fan of the cheaper Seiko automatics. I loved the old timex windup watches, and then, one day they weren’t around. I’ve gone through a few windable watches since that time, but none of them were great. The last watch I bought was a Seiko 5 automatic, which I think I paid around $79 for. For God knows what reason, I like manual, kinetic things – bicycles, rotary phones, time pieces that have actual machinery inside. This Seiko has been running perfectly for about three years. The face is somewhat scratched up, but it’s more because I’m hard on things rather than a fault of the watch. I was never tempted by the Mondaine because I’m not that keen on the battery. The Rivendell bicycle is doing beautifully. I received it, if I remember correctly, in 1991, and it must have been among the last that Joe built. It’s developing beausage from daily use, but it serves me very well.

  • Richard Shannon: February 21, 2017

    Hello Grant:

    Thank you for your informative Blahg. Always enjoy them!
    #1. I read the excellent NYer piece on incremental care. What our health care system could be.

    #2. Thumbs up to “Foyle’s War”.

    #3. That “flawed” mixte you guys built up! Exquisite.

    Thanks for everything!

  • Bicycle Dave: February 20, 2017

    Good Evening Grant,

    We too have a Westie, Chaos, also one of the best dogs in the world. I think it has to do with the breed.

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