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Saturday morning assorted, and major shout-out for the Ivory Billed Woodpecker

Grant Petersen

testing, testing...

Here's the current bar-rig on my new joeAppa. I have paddle grips on both sides, but chopped both down in length and made a hole in one for a bar-end shifter--and also cut a cable groove in it. It's a highly functional mess.

On the BES (bar-end shifter!!) side I cut down the bar to part-compensate for the sticking out of the shifter and part to experiment. What it means is--the left grip is more forward than the right one, which for an asymmetry fan like me is not only no big deal, but is an ultra-boon. When I sprint up hills off the saddle, I don't grip both sides the same, but it all works out.

See the ballcock washers? Maybe they're a phase, but I'm liking them. It's hard to make a case for them in print, but on the bike they feel good. When I'm grabbing forward the heel of my hand rests against the rear one, and then the other one's for my thumb. I don't want to talk about this anymore for now. It'll come up again, though.

Helmet thing:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/21/bike-helmet-cyclists-safe-urban-warfare-wheels

 I'm not just throwing this out as a massive ongoing anti-helmet campaign. I'm not anti-helmet; I just think it's bad when they're trusted so much. Pro football players get bonked and go bonkers despite their super-helmets. Read this, anyway--and just see if any of it makes sense.

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The 55 joe Appaloosa silver that was shown in a recent BSNYC blog, resting on his book and mine to protect the glass, is now in Brian's stand being built up according to my whim and quirks. It'll have cantilevers on it even though I prefer V-brakes...because cantilevers are no-problem fine for it. I'm using a slightly off-angle Bosco bar that feels really great. No better or worse than the standard, but a little different and just super. It'll have the ballcock washers here and there, and I'm personally going to goof up the grips deliciously, but I haven't figured out how yet. It's just grips, changeable, but there will be no reason to hate them.

Brian's picking some parts, too. We're down to a few--like three--whole Appaloosas, and maybe this one will be the last to go, but it'll be a killer one, one-of-a-kind. A guy came by today, test rode it, and confirmed that it's indeed a Lord God bike.

The Lord God bird, aka, the Ivory Billed Woodpecker of debatable existence in the swamps of Georgia. I you can get a photograph of one that looks like this, the Bird Society of America will give you $5 million so fast it'll make your head spin. I get half.

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 Too late to fix the "heaventy," but maybe that should be a word, anyway.

It is so nice to be able to annotate PDFs. It's changed my life. I'm not a PDF-annotating fool. Have PDF, will annotate, etc. Bigger view of bar here:

My overuse of the BC washers might seem to amount to indexing a handlebar, but no. The hand-spots are the hand-spots, and it's not like the BC washers are robbing you of sliding room. Each of the Happy Hand Zones is hand-sized with or without the ballcocks, so all the ballcocks do is give you gentle rubbery ramps to nestle against. On my own bike I have a few, but not this many. Once you tape-twine-etc, there's no adding. I wish I had this many, but the bar doesn't require them. Works fine without any, though.

I'm not a handlebar tape/twine artist. I'm sort of a creative slob. I tried harder on this one. Still, there are things that'll bother the OCD Symmetricist. The tape looks the same on both sides at first glance, but on second glance you see it's not.     I'm a huge fan of texturey grips, but not everybody is. This grip has great texture, and to my hands it feels great. In any case, you could strip it all off, no shame in that, and start fresh.

The grips are wool felt wrapped with cloth. I personally prefer the shifter cable housing outside the tape/grip, because it doesn't flop either way, and it's easier to change. It totally does NOT bother the hand, to feel the cable housing. I like it. But on this one I may keep them outside except for a single wrap--so you don't have to wreck everything to re-expose the cable, like if you want to switch grips or whatever it may be.

And here's the

...derailer:

A normal rear derailer works great, but the deal with these is, the motion that ordinarily shifts up now shifts down, and what that means practically is that you move both left and right levers UP to go HARD and DOWN to go EASY. The rear shift to lower gears is improved, but in most cases it's not a boon, because  it's easy enough. But let's say you're riding across a muddy creek and forget to downshift ahead of time for the immediate climb out of it. Well, then, my friend and follow fox-hole denizen, you are screwed, or at least you'll end up walking up out of it, because the normal shift probably won't take, at least not more than 70 percent of the time----but the Reverso shift magically works 100 percent of the time.

I don't religiously praise idiotproofness over skill, but you can still make that shift in friction mode, because the shifters are Shimano flippables.

If you're thinking, "I don't want to  have a reverso on one bike and a normal on my others," then  BE scared off, but if that hadn't occurred to you AND you want this bike anyway, don't let it dissuade you. You'll ride this bike all the time, and even if you get sometimes confused between bikes, the corrections come so fast that it really doesn't matter. In time you'll wish all your bikes had this derailer, but they're no longer being made, so you'll just have to be happy and frustrated.

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 We're selling this bike. It's brand new, has been test-ridden, and you can add accessories if you like, but it's a bare good bike as it is. I should have a NITTO R14 light rear rack or full one, and an R-14 or Nitto MINI-FRONT up front would be useful for a Basket and net...and fenders...but they can some later and you can do them yourself. And if you want skinnier tires than the Continental DoubleFighter 2.0s on it, do those yourself, too or just start with a fresh one. We have those in stock, too, and they're all

bikes.

This bike is ideal for PBH 84.5 to 88.

We'll have a price by Monday the 3rd, 3pm California time.

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The HHH (tandems) will be here end of April. If you got your order in late, it'll be closer to July--and we're all lucky even for that, because we'd used up all the materials and had to start from scratch. We're not going to do tandems again--at least, that's the plan. It's been more than a ton of work, but the bikes are really good, and you'll be glad you got one.

The colors are all ballpark. We did our best, but there were unforseeable challenges with that, beginning with the normal painter not being able to fit them into his booth, so we had to go to powder...which severely limited out color selection. But in the end, good.

 

Blue and orange

Silver and sage, with the decal applier wearing a gray/blue combo.

 

The HHH SILVER tandem crank--which will be

....with ring guards on the timing rings, and 44 34 24 gearing.

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PONCHO NEWS

Here's the whole deal-deal: About 4 years ago we begged Grundens, the Swedish/Portuguese rainwear maker--they make

rainwear...we asked them to make a poncho for us. Send them a sample and some modification requests, and we got back the LordGod of ponchos. We've been selling them for $120 or so, and they trickle out regularly, even though 80 percent of the riding population can't get over the poncho hump. To my way of thinking, they are the best garment to wear for a pouring rain-ride across town for up to several miles. Would I want one on a rainy century? No, but you won't see me on the Rainy Century.

Still, they're super good (if you can get over the fact that they aren't slick and lack sleeves). Bike ponchos have been around for more than 100 years and I've seen photos that lead me to believe that 90 percent of the bike riders in China wear them.

So here, actually, is the deal: Grundens recently notified us that they're going to discontinue the poncho. There are other bike ponchos, possible apologetic ones with slick features, but this one has all the features you need in a bike rain poncho, and beyond those, is gorgeous in its minimalism.

Grundens lowered our price on the remaining stock, and we're lowering your price on them, too. And we'll never get them again--so if you think you have a life of rain riding ahead of you, then even if you're too jazzy for a poncho now, consider one for later on.

If you're 5-8 or under, get a medium. If you're 5-8 or taller, get a large. Ponchos fit loose in front and are designed to hug the back a bit so they don 't fly all over the place. There's no such thing as a bespoke poncho--take a wild guess on your size and pass it onto somebody else if you can't live with it.

Price thru April 16: $75 or as long as supply lasts

Price after April 16: $80, etc.

Grundens won't make ponchos again, and we're not interested in others. When these Grundens are gone—to paraphrase Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe, the main original breeders and fans of the Appaloosa horse, "We will sell no more ponchos forever."

Here's a LINK, and since there is such a tight connection between Appaloosa horses and ponchos, if you buy the Appaloosa Special shown here, we'll throw in a poncho (if still available).

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Somebody sent me an Italian custom frame instruction sheet for taking body measurements to make sure they get it perfect. The two images below go together:

The way we've used for 20+ years is way simpler and better and not at all misleading. You need to get the saddle height right. What's right depends on what country you live in and how you ride. If you ride in Denmark and commute in dress clothes at bike-traffic casual pace  and stop at ten lights from A to B, you ride a low saddle so you can reach the ground easier. If you ride In America or Latvia and want more efficiency and care more about your knee health, you ride really darndamn close to PBH minus 11cm.

Then you shove the saddle all the way back, regardless. Almost regardless. The Knee-Over-Pedal rule is a sick hoax. The complicated measurements don't help with that.

Then you get the bar where you want it, where you can comfortably reach all parts of it that you might want to use, whether you're pedaling sitting or standing. Those measurements also don't help with that.

If you race you know the importance of tucking low to cut wind and to catch the rider-ahead-of-you'd draft. If you don't race, that's a bad position. It doesn't matter if you're 80 years old and have been at it for 65 years and now can't stand upright; it's still not a good way to go. Next time around, go Bosco.

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The NEW handlebar mentioned here a few months back is now unofficially the CROW BAR, suggested by Vince and liked by Will, and when V and W endorse something, I'm all on board. It reminds me of a Bob Dylan lyric, which is just icing on the cake:

Black crows in the meadow, across a broad highway / Black crows in the meadow, sleepin' across a broad highway / Though it's funny, honey / I just don't feel much / Like a scarecrow today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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  • David Bell on

    Grant, no worries. Just left me abit befuddled. An ongoing condition, actually.

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • Borntoolate on

    Gauthier, Welcome to London ,and no you’re not the only one! Either a Dutch ‘Opafiets’ or a 1980s 531 mountain bike with Big Apples! I don’t wear a plastic hat, or high-viz, but then I don’t own a Brompton either, so I’m ovbiously not in the Club!

  • Gauthier on

    Thank you, among other things, for The Guardian’s link ,
    we moved from South Florida to London temporarily starting last August , never wore a helmet in the US in 17 years , oops.
    In London I am moving around exclusively on a bike , it’s fun , there are traffic jams of commuting cyclists , they are rather un-unracers tho , 99.9% are wearing a racy/roady helmet , so I do too, a super basic city kind. Easy.
    I ride 26×2.15 Big Ben’s and I might be the only one in town , I am surrounded by super skinny racy tires, but even on my balloon tires it is faster than Tube or bus by far. Overall completely different experience from riding in Amsterdam or Utrecht however. Motor traffic is much more demanding.
    The un-chatty London cyclists are moving as fast they can, often dressed in hi-vis/stretchy materials , it feels mostly great to be surrounded by swarms of them .
    Beyond the helmet debate , given that here cars , trucks and buses, all are nasty PM 2.5 producing diesel engines, the next thing to debate about might be the cyclist thin particle filter mask.
    Anyway, many thousands of helmeted cyclists racing in the streets every day : all good , surreal .
    The Guardian and The independant are awesome news outlets btw.
    Yesterday I just stumbled upon this website that ranks tires according to rolling resistance, pretty cool.
    http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/
    Cheers

  • Bruce J. Palmer on

    Thank you for the link to The Guardian article on bicycle helmet controversy. It is by far the best thing I have read on the topic.

    The article caused me to reflect on this: Probably every organized cycling event in the United States, whether race, charity ride, or brewery tour, requires a release of liability form with boilerplate text that reads: “I acknowledge that cycling is an inherently dangerous activity . . .”. When and how did we start to believe that cycling is inherently dangerous? There is no such suggestion in the colorful Schwinn catalogues of the sixties and early seventies, for example.

  • AlEx wIrTh on

    I don’t know man, the Lord God bird looks headbadge-worthy. I’ve never had the urge to look through a pair of binoculars at a bird, but 5 mil is rather enticing. For the record, I’m with Joe. Pro bird.



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