Thursday, October 8, 2009

Curation Myths: Some Assembly Required


In yesterday's post, I suggested that an ingenious young man who had fashioned a pedi-sukkah might be the harbinger of a new age of peace and understanding along the Great Hipster Silk Route. In the meantime, though, it seems we have far to go. A reader has forwarded me the following photo, which indicates that the majority of observant Jews still prefer the greater sukkah-hauling capacity and bike lane-blocking ability of the rental truck:

("All You Haters Say My Bruchah")

Few indignities sting more than that of having to circumvent a sukkah (or a "Jewish Gazebo" as the gentiles call them) while cycling, though it's still preferable to being flattened by a Mitzvah Tank.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday a number of readers took issue with one financial analyst's assertion that buying a $250 bicycle can somehow wind up costing you well over half a million dollars. I would also agree that this is rather far-fetched (though admittedly less so if the bicycle in question is a fixed-gear). The truth is that bicycles can be a good investment. Even the most overpriced bicycle will depreciate far less than a car, which will hold its value for about as long as a bowl of egg salad. In fact, there's even opportunity for speculation in cycling. The PistaDex aside, if in the mid-90s you bought an Aerospoke on sale from Nashbar The Secret Website or a Spinergy Rev-X that somehow has not yet shattered or really any mediocre track or road component, you can now sell these items at a profit to fresh-faced hipsters eager to experience the excitement of late 20th century component failure firsthand. Furthermore, the opportunites continue to arise, even ITTET. For example, the shrewd investor could no doubt make a bundle (of something, preferably money) by "flipping" this "vintage" Bottecchia, forwarded to me by a reader:

Vintage 58cm Bottecchia - fixed - $1300 (north)
Date: 2009-10-06, 12:43AM PDT
Reply to: [deleted]

If you’re having a mid-lfe crisis, this bike is for you.

58cm ’89 Bottecchia
Columbus SP tubing – all chrome underneath the classic shitty Italian paint.
Deep V’s laced to Miche hubs (rear panaracer tire is smoothish in the center)
New Ultegra headset
New Nitto noodle bars & tape (44cm)
Technomic stem (110mm)
Sugino cranks & chain ring (48/49- i can’t remember, 18 in back)
Vintage 600 break caliper
Modern 105 lever (whatever)
Fizik Arionne saddle (a year old with a lil wear on the tip)

God this is killing me. But why hold on?

And yeah, they borrowed it:

Yes, it's the actual fixed-gear from the runaway YouTube hit "Performance:"

A bicycle with a pedigree like this is sure to increase in value. Owning the Bottecchia from the "Performance" video is like owning the Masi from "Breaking Away," or the fixed-gear with inexplicable freewheel sound from "Quicksilver," or, more obliquely, a pair of underpants worn by the guy who voiced KITT in the original "Knight Rider" TV show. Only a Cannondale executive could somehow fail to make money from a bike like this.

Actually, betting financially on this Bottecchia is such a sure thing that it should be criminal, and as I also mentioned Tuesday some law enforcement officials consider road components on mountain bike frames to be evidence of criminal activity. If this is indeed true, then this photograph of professional cyclist and crotch cream magnate Dave Zabriskie (forwarded by another reader) could very well land him behind bars:

It would appear from this photo that Zabriskie is a part of the growing "monstercross" movement. If you're unfamiliar with the "monstercross" bike, it's ostensibly a "go-anywhere" cyclocross bike but is essentially a 29er with drop bars, and it's the next bike people with too many bikes realize they absolutely need and then ride exactly four times just after they finish building up their indispensable S&S coupled porteur-style grocery-getters. Even Fat Cyclist has a "monstercross" bike, and his is a "dinglespeed," which is the drivetrain configuration people with too many bikes realize they absolutely need when they already own multiple geared bikes, fixed gears, and singlespeeds.

Inevitably though, once you have a bike for everything yet still want more bikes you simply start convincing yourself you need hybrids of things you already have. That's when the "curating" begins. And speaking of "curating," a commenter yesterday pointed out that even the New York Times is reporting on the "bullshitification" of the simple act of putting a bunch of crap together:

Truly, language is our cultural pressure gauge, and it's clear that the tire of our self-importance is about to blow off the rim. In the meantime, it's an irritatingly jarring ride. If someone who books bands or sells used clothing is a "curator" then I'm a "stand-up philosopher:"

The truth is, even "bullshit artist" is an overstatement.

Speaking of "curating," we are truly living in the heyday of independent bicycle curators. These entrepreneurs inhabit the intriguing grey area between legitimate retailer and scoundrel. Such local curators include The Bike Shrink, 718 Cyclery, and, most recently, Brian Miller Hot Rodding:

Fixed Gear Street Bicycle - $890 (by Bedford / Myrtle )
Date: 2009-10-07, 4:33PM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

This Italian aero aluminum frame is hot! Look at that. From the chrome steel dropout fork rear axle reinforcements with built in chain tensioners to the new external SRAM bottom bracket to the integrated Cane Creek headset – all top shelf.

It is a 6061 aluminum frame, Visp brand, designed in Italy (welded in Taiwan).

This single speed fixie track bike is virtually new; it is actually all new except the crank arms and seatpost came from another bike. All running gear = new.

New Specialized All Condition 700x23 tires, and wheels, all black with deep v rims and high flange sealed bearing hubs.

Hot drivetrain: New Dura Ace cog. Gearing is 34x13, equivalent to a standard 48x16 setup. New style, external bottom bracket with outboard bearings, SRAM Rival crankset, not the old fashioned square-taper type. This thing is dope.

Long Easton carbon fiber seatpost. Sexy Selle Italia Trans Am saddle. Oversize 31.8 stem and handlebars. It is a 58cm (23 inch) frame, medium large; make sure you fit.

This bike is stealth, not attracting thieves. It primarily attracts the attention of connoisseurs.

I guess the parts are okay, though I wouldn't exactly call them "top shelf." Then again, I keep my old crap on the top shelf of my closet and perhaps Brian Miller does the same. I also see what he means about how the bike "primarily attracts the attention of connoisseurs," since I'm sure a true connoisseur would wonder why an expert curator like Brian Miller couldn't be bothered to at least supply the bike with handlebar tape. I guess the bare bars is what makes it a "street bicycle." Anyway, I did want to see more of Brian Miller's work, so I headed to his site, where I learned his backstory:

I was especially impressed to learn that Brian Miller is the "independent inventor" of the mountain bike. I guess if we can now call the act of putting a bunch of crap together "curation," then we can also call the state of being totally unaware that lots of people are already doing something you just figured out "independent invention." By that definition, then when I was a child I "independently invented" masturbation.

In any case, even though Brian Miller sells a "Fixed Gear Street Bicycle," he really advocates the mountain bike as "the best configuration for the street:"

Yes, when building a commuter bike for New York City, it's always a good idea to skip the fenders and racks in favor of a suspension fork and a triple chainring. Also, when building a "Sexy Woman" bike, be sure to "curate" it with wheelchair tires:

Of course, every great "curator" has his own signature touch, and Brian Miller's is the saddle tilt:

He's also got some tips for city riding which range from the sensible to the incomprehensible. Here is an example of the latter, in which he appears to be advising people to ride around in circles at intersections in order to save energy:

He also advises braking, but only if pedestrians' eyes are popping:

As a person who knows a thing or two about Hairy Situations, I'd strongly advise against this technique, especially on sunny days when most people are wearing sunglasses.

Speaking of investments, curation, and Austin (which is where I saw Hairy Situations), a reader who recently visited Mellow Johnny's spotted this copy of Cycle Sport on the magazine rack at the Juan Pelota cafe:

Clearly he made a tremendous mistake by not purchasing it, since the devil job on Condator could very well have been done by Lance Armstrong himself, which means this piece of art is a Lance Armstrong original and thus very valuable. Or, it could also have been done by Sharpie enthusiast Mike Giant. It's certainly derivative enough.


Anonymous said...


Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ant1 said...


ant1 said...

nice job fingerbang

Jeff said...

Found this elegy for cycling culture in the "Point of View" section of Scribner's Magazine, May 1920.


WAS there ever any sport in the world that gave as much enjoyment and brought the open places so near as bicycling? It was a sport for young and old, fat and lean, men, women, and children. All sorts and conditions of the people, rich and poor, pedalled smilingly along city or village streets all over the country, or betook themselves by train and ferry and boat to the roads that lead by green pastures, through new country byways or to the smooth suburban macadam that lured the speed-makers and the aspirants for century runs.

I was one of the many who took to the wheel with some misgivings, with some doubt of the glowing comments about its irresistible fascination once you had mastered the pesky thing. I shall never forget, will you reader? the days of learning to ride. All the bucking broncos that ever bucked or twisted had "nothing on" that first "bike." It simply wouldn't stand still, wouldn't go ahead, wouldn't do anything but fall down and bark your shins with its pedals, or throw you off and then ride over you. I recall spending one intensely hot afternoon trying to master a steel mount in a New York training cellar. I was assisted for a few minutes and then left to work out my own salvation, break a leg or batter down one of the walls, as I saw fit, or as the wheel saw fit. I remember how hot it was, how mad I got, some of the remarks I addressed to the wheel, thc black and blue and skinned places on my anatomy. But toward the end of my session I discovered that I didn't have to keep a tight rein or to be constantly trying to bend the handlebars, and then, all of a sudden, I was going round and round the place, not pushing pedals, but flying! My world took on a new aspect. I was master, or about to become master of the poetry of motion, of what began to seem there and then the most fascinating and exhilarating method of locomotion that man has ever invented. The next day was Sunday and with a companion we dared to try the open road on two hired wheels warranted not to break and weighing, after an hour or two of nervous riding, something a little less than a ten-ton truck. We ventured on Riverside Drive, and how we ever escaped being run down by the hundreds of carriages and wheels that filled the drive in those days only the gods that look after the bold and foolish know. We couldn't mount going up a grade and we couldn't steer straight going down. If a team came straight at me I went straight at the team; if it turned to the right I turned to the left. There was only one way to go and that way was straight toward the object you wished to avoid! The experienced and superior wheelmen saw you first and got out of your way—if he could—making passing remarks that you deserved even though they made you warm under the collar.

Jeff said...

In New York, Fifth and Eighth Avenues were the ways to the park and to Riverside Drive for thousands on holidays and Sundays. Both sides of these thoroughfares coming and going were filled with swiftly moving wheels, men, women, and children, pedalling along on their silent steeds. It was a happy-looking, cheerful crowd, for red blood was coursing through their veins, and the glow of pleasurable exercise was on their faces. Here at night you were in a stream of twinkling moving stars, the lights on the wheels flashing by or coming toward you out of the dark ahead like will-o'-the-wisps. The same crowds were met on the Coney Island cinder path, for thousands crossed the ferries or went over the bridge to Brooklyn, out Bedford Avenue to Prospect Park, and then swiftly along the crackling path to the island.

There was a real democracy in the cult of the wheel, a comradeship born of the road, a readiness to help in times of trouble, a never-failing willingness to discuss the various makes of wheels, gears, tires, bearings, saddles, every detail that concerned the speed, comfort or endurance of your mount.

How many of us discovered new worlds on our first country journey; my first long out-of-town ride took me to Tarrytown, with a stop at Irving's old home and a look at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. And I remember the way along the old viaduct was a lovely country ride, and the road across the river and down the other side from Nyack along the Palisades. And then many New Yorkers will remember the famous Merrick Road and byways on Long Island, the Rumson Road on the Jersey Shore, the run across Staten Island and around its waterside out to Fort Wadsworth and the beaches. And by the way, were you among the venturesome ones who rode down or up Broadway, on the old cable slot that used to make a straight and decidedly narrow smooth pathway between the tracks? It was a way to evade the bumpy cobblestones and to save a lot of time. But it called for a constant high speed and steady guidance, and only the seasoned and skilful rider found it easy going. With most beginners it was "off again, on again, Finnegan." I shall never forget one of my first long rides away from the near-by and familiar ways. We took a train to Paterson to make our start for the Delaware Water Gap. My mount was an early vintage, one with cushion tires, and weighed something under a hundred pounds the second day. It was a regular bone-breaker, a liver-shaker, but I was as proud of it as a boy with a new pony. I remember that ride along the fine Gap roads, the lovely glimpses of the river, the hills, the picturesque old stone houses, the cordial welcome we received at the inns and the sound sleeps that came of physical fatigue, and placid nerves due to exercise in the pure air.

A journey I thoroughly enjoyed took me through the Green and White Mountains. In the latter I found that many mountain roads run mostly uphill, and that some of them were knee-deep in sand that put me behind schedule and overtaxed my strength. But I look back and forget everything but the glorious mountain views; the long hard climbs, and the plugging through the sand were compensated by the long coasts down, the peace of the great hills, the verdure of the high pasturelands, the solemn gloom of the forests, the sparkle of silver lakes, the unspeakable refreshment of the wayside springs.

And what pictures and memories come back as I write of wonderful roads in France and lovely byways of rural England when the May was in bloom.

Jeff said...

Some of us who were not in our early teens may have occasionally forgotten the fact and aspired to follow the ways of youth, victims of the little dials that kept clicking off mileage, and felt a bit seedy on Monday morning, wondering why we were tired, but what pictures we had to hang on the walls of our offices and homes all the week, and how eagerly we cleaned our mounts and looked forward to the next journey. You couldn't help getting near to Nature's heart on your wheel, for even if you had the speed bug in your cap, and the end of your journey was the dominating objective, you couldn't help at least glimpsing passing things. How many were seen at the end of the day carrying home branches of dogwood in the spring, a bunch of daisies, or a bouquet of tiny wild violets, or often some of the less common wild flowers. In t h e ' f a l l the richly-colored autumn leaves took the place of flowers, and something of the spirit and beauty of the big outdoors was brought into many cramped city tenements as well as into the homes of the wellto- do, who had never before realized what beauty lay just beyond their doors. Many little children of the tenements were made happy by kindly wheelmen who were willing to respond generously to "Please, mister, give me a flower."

Every one who would, seemed to be able to buy a wheel, and some days one met so many that there seemed but few left who hadn't bought. I believe the bicycle was a great influence for good in many ways not recorded. It was ever a delightful way to spend a holiday, to get away from routine, and the friendly greetings and exchanges of the open road of all classes were a good antidote for the spirit of discontent that is so hurtful and so destructive in these latter days.

The motor-car has driven the wheelman from the roads, but maybe some day we shall have some old paths restored for their exclusive use, and they will come into their own again. I saw a report only recently that 500,000 bicycles were sold last year. If sales are any indication, maybe the bicycle will come back into something of its old popularity. If this be so, let there be a national law passed restoring the use of the musical little tinkling alarm bells, that shall put away forever from handle-bars, at least, the raucous and nerve-racking honk of the motor horn.

mikeweb said...


Anonymous said...


mikeweb said...

Yeah, ant1!!

nice copy/paste skilzzz Jeff

rezado said...


grog said...

I'm conserving momentum at this moment.

Anonymous said...

34/13 is definitely not equivalent to 48/16...

Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...

I curated this post just for me.

Seanywonton said...


BadBeard said...

Just got home late 1st...

Go Ant1!

BadBeard said...

Just got home late 1st...

Go Ant1!

Strayhorn said...

"Only a Cannondale executive could somehow fail to make money from a bike like this."

Yea, verily, ye TRVTH revealed.

And speaking of Chinese frames:

"It is a 6061 aluminum frame, Visp brand, designed in Italy (welded in Taiwan)."

No matter what you want to call it, that's still a Taiwanese frame made of recycled beer cans.

Much like current C-dales.

Seanywonton said...

I think we need to test Jeff, he is obviously taking some kind of performance enhancing substance. NO HUMAN CAN TYPE THAT FAST!

BadBeard said...

Got my stutter on as well I see.

mikeweb said...

BTW, I've been seeing that sukkah bike all over midtown. 42nd and 5th on my way home yesterday and just now outside my work at 12:30.

I would take pictures, but the non-plussed looks I'd get would hurt my self esteem too much...

mikeweb said...

Seany, that's because Jeff is really Data from Star Trek TNG

kale said...

34:13 is the new 48:16

Test Tickle said...

what's up with the novel-length comments? you honestly think we're going to read a comment that's more than 2 paragraphs? brevity here people, brevity.


mikeweb said...

yeah, 34:13 is great if all you wanna do is wheelies. Not great for actually getting anywhere though...

OBA said...

Clearly you're in prime form as cross season approaches -- first, yesterday's casual summation of hipsterism as an aside, and now this gem today:
"it's the next bike people with too many bikes realize they absolutely need and then ride exactly four times just after they finish building up their indispensable S&S coupled porteur-style grocery-getters."


Anonymous said...

yo momma

kale said...

I think u might be able to break 15 MPH with that gearing.

hillbilly said...

Hey, the gang's (almost) all here!! sigh....if only I could attract the attention of connoisseurs, but alas, I only attract access a rides....

I don't think "equivalent to" means what he thinks it means.

Chris W said...

Everyone, please check out Brian Millers 'learned from the pros' and 'learned from experimentation' PDFs. Dude is the lamest of your worst bike shop customer fears. $300 mountain bikes with huge BMX mud guards, slick tires, BMX pedals, and oversized riserbar/stem combos. Don't forget the reflectors. He should be drug out in the street and dealt with.

jon said...

By that definition, then when I was a child I "independently invented" masturbation.

I wish you the best of luck collecting your hard-earned royalties.

Jeff said...

No typing, but I did dope myself up for this. The article is copy-pasted OCR text from a PDF that's being "curated" for a collection of digitized magazines.

mikeweb said...

I gotta say, that bio on Brian's site is way pretentious. And that's not even taking into account the invention of the Mt. bike part.

"Then after moving to the big city of Chicago, Brian studied all the available literature and taught himself how to ride the streets."

That would be 'the Jungle' by Upton Sinclair?

"Brian currently lives and works in Manhattan, riding the streets every day."

-and circling, and circling...

kale said...

Was Brian Miller in Klunkerz?

Mr Donkey said...

Who earns 10% interest. Perhaps criminals.

Why didn't he just say 10$ a month and 100% interest.

That would be just as useful an example and as believable.

Or, why not just put a piece of coal in Cameron's ass, wait for a diamond and sell it for a profit. 1$ for coal. 99$ for absinthe. By the time you sober up you'll have a diamond worth 100$. Repeat. Maybe even stash the change and save up for a bike, more asses and more coal.

That's my investment advice.

omowo said...


Seanywonton said...

So, Brian Miller "independently invented" the mountain bike? That's cool, but I independently invented the internet. I also independently invented toilet paper one time when I was out in the woods and wiped my ass on a leaf.

hillbilly said...

so many gems, i don't know where to start, I could have cut and pasted the whole thing....

"For beginners: Geez, don’t ride on the sidewalk. For advanced riders: take the sidewalk if your street is blocked;"

wishiwasmerckx said...

Mr. Donkey, I am not sure about the ass-play part, but imbibing heavily of Absenthe is about as good of investment advice as I've received ITTET.

Anonymous said...

I like how Brian listed every city he has ridden in. He must have an entire shelf of "An Idiot's Guide to Riding a Bicycle in ______".

Anonymous said...

Boo - miller is an anti-salmon...

For beginners: Try to ride with the direction of traffic flow. Riding against traffic may increase your view of cars, but will increase your contact with cars exponentially. Almost always safer to ride with traffic.

i wonder if it is a true exponential function, or if he's just full of sh1t

Anonymous said...

yO! Are 26" SPIN wheels worth anything to hipsters these days? ITTET I need to sell some crap that has been collecting dust in my storage unit.

leroy said...

As co-independent inventor Rodney Dangerfield explained:

"The first time I had sex it was scary. It was dark. I was alone."

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GMART said...

"This single speed fixie track bike"

isn't that like saying

"the car with wheels car?"

or when someone says they need to go to the "atm machine"

automated teller machine machine

g said...

I should warn you, don't go anywhere near the George Carlin bit (military intelligence, jumbo shrimp) unless you want an AnnaZed all over your ass.
Just warnin' is all.

Btw, whatever happened to her?

Self-fingerbang said...

By that definition, then when I was a child I "independently invented" masturbation.


CommieCanuck said...

This bike is stealth, not attracting thieves. It primarily attracts the attention of connoisseurs and bitter bloggers. It keeps its integrity.

By that definition, then when I was a child I "independently invented" masturbation.

I actually patented it, and am now richer than Warren and Jimmy Buffet put together.

Unknown said...

"Monstercross"? Whatever. Everything old is new again. If any of you 'tweens can find one of yr dad's old MBA magazines (from the late 1980's and early 1990's) you'll find photos of Jacquie P and Johnny T "slaying it" on mountain bikes with drop bars. Jacquie still rides a Cunningham with drop bars.

Monstercross my foot.

CommieCanuck said...

Don't say "My Bruchah" with a cold. messy.

honkybucket said...

I too was gonna point to the redundancy of the "single speed fixie track bike", but I think it may actually be correct. In the same manner that a triple negative ("I ain't don't got no food" for example) would actually cycle around so as to imply that you've got no food.

And I think the guy may have independently invented his own gear ratio calculation method, by which 34/13 is indeed identical to 48/16. Which would then make him correct in this regard also, and lead me to believe you all need to quiet up and start minding your own business. And maybe suck his balls.

Udder said...


The bike curator said: "A rider cannot be expected to come to a complete stop, with zero momentum, then be expected resume speed (sic)."

The same could be said of a writer. Have you considered this advice about riding around in circles to enhance your writing stamina? When you're in between thoughts, or have- 'gasp'- writer's block, you can simply start writing in spirals on the page. I'm sure Microsoft Word has some template for this. Just ask the Talking Paperclip.

Anonymous said...

all you haters curate my balls!

Anonymous said...

fixies are bad for you. as are all bicycles.

Anonymous said...

try to drive today just a little.

Anonymous said...

if it's chilly you can run the heater, and you can play the radio too.

the world in your windshield is lika a magic television screen.

Unknown said...

FWIW: Visp frames sell on ebay for about 100 bucks and are giant heaps of garbage.

bikesgonewild said...

...beat me to the punch, brian-j...

...& i could just about throw a crusty old pair of used drop bars from my deck & have 'em land in jacquie p's backyard...

...she, charlie c, jonny t & even laurence malone were all drop bar users, (shit) "back in the day"...

Cameron said...

1) ...the state of being totally unaware that lots of people are already doing something you just figured out "independent invention." By that definition, then when I was a child I "independently invented" masturbation.


2) Snob, in your list of notable bikes to own, you forgot the Specialized Allez from American Flyer. My personal fav.

Anonymous said...

and it's clear that the tire of our self-importance is about to blow off the rim.

Out-friggin-standing snob, truly!

Anonymous said...

drop kick me, Jesus!

Anonymous said... is the Bizarro Competitive Cyclist.

cartoongoddess said...

Perhaps Brian Miller's copywriter should offer a course in creative writing or take one in ESL.

Shram said...

I like how he "studied all the available literature" in order to ride his bike in the streets, haha

SteveL said...

I had an MTB with drop bars on back 1995, good for touring over the alps on. But shite for going downhill on technical stuff, and adding 100mm forks ain't going to help that much when you are still in the wrong position for a big DH.

What is impressive about that bike is he's using disk brakes, which means those Avid cable ones that you can hook up to road brake levers. Meaning you've just lost one of the key features of disk brakes -minimal friction hydraulic braking- while retaining some costs: heavy brakes with a rotor that can get easily bashed.

Now, for a mere $300, Zabrinsky could have curated a single wheel on his bike to have a pair of
Eurox Magnesium Cantilever Brakes, designed with aluminum hanger, Ti bolts and brake pads designed for Carbon rims. Given you can spend that much on one pair of cantis, people who are still playing with disk brakes on their CX-MTB are behind with the times.

sufferist said...

Sheldon says:
For 700 X 23 / 23-622 tire with 170 mm cranks, 48 front/16 rear = 78.8 gear inches

For 700 X 23 / 23-622 tire with 170 mm cranks, 34 front/13 rear = 68.7 gear inches

Hmmm.....Mr. Miller I put you on notice!

Seanywonton said...

I can just imagine the rider of that front suspension GT leaning way over on those low handlebars, pumping up and down like a madman while they accelerate. The only time I want to be pumping up and down like a madman is when I'm, you know, pumping up and down like a madman.

Anonymous said... = douchebag

Anonymous said...

This HAS to be a joke, I spent 15 minutes looking at it, and blood came out of my ears and ass.

Kapitan said...

Snob, an excellent post. Jeff, you made me want to cut my stomach open. Brian Miller ... I want to beat you with a floor pump until you go back to your Gundams and stop bothering honest cycling folks.

Anonymous said...

I relax by taking my bicycle apart and putting it back together again.

Michelle Pfeiffer

See, life is suddenly better.

Unknown said...

@Anonymous 2:33-- It is possible that Brian Miller did not take many math courses while he was busy studying automotive design and modification.

The function, assuming generally unvarying auto and bike speeds, is a constant; not linear and most certainly not exponential. One constant for going with traffic, a second, larger constant for salmoning.

If it were exponential (let us assume exponentially increasing; decreasing would have you functionally stopped in traffic), you'd gain speed at such a rate as to burst into flames from byproduct heat associated with your air drag/resistance.

This is a common design issue for spy aircraft. Spy bikes. Hmm.

Unknown said...

Read all the available literature...

About biking.
In the streets.
In Chicago.

That can only mean one book:


Last time I checked, hot rods look cool and all, but haven't been considered "high performance" for the street in the last 50 years.

Pedi-Boy Floyd said...

Many little children of the tenements were made happy by kindly wheelmen who were willing to respond generously to "Please, mister, give me a flower."

Much better than tossing cups of coffee, 7 out of 8 perderists agree.

Pedi-Boy Floyd said...


I'm such a loser.

Anonymous said...

@GMART -- I ain't defending the guy, but "single speed fixie track bike" does not contain any redundancies -- fixed gears can have multiple speeds, single speeds can have freewheels, and track frames are completely optional on either.

PANTS said...

Jeff please curate your comments a bit more.

flaco said...

I had the same thought, but strictly speaking a track bike must be a fixed gear. Yes, I know, they are not strictly used on a velodrome, but as long as we are nitpicking.

Craften said...

I'm riding in circles right now to conserve energy. Thanks for the tip!

red neckerson said...

me and ricky is going off to write some poetry somewhere

whered i put that can of spray paint

Brian W. Ogilvie said...

You know, I saw a bike on the U. of Massachusetts Amherst campus recently that resembled that fixie with the triangular tubes that supposedly "attracts the attention of connoisseurs."

Well, I wouldn't deign to call myself a connoisseur, but that bike definitely attracted my attention. What I said when it did attract my attention was: "What an idiotic bike."

But then, I think a bike should have gears (we do have hills here in western Massachusetts), brakes (ditto about the hills), and room to carry stuff. Maybe even fenders (since we do have precipitation) and lights.

Fred said...

I artistically call bullshit. I independently invented the MTB in 1974 when I put knobbies on my Raleigh folder and circled a dirt lot BMX track continuously for 4.5 hours (I was a compulsive child).

Everyone always cops credit from Freds.

dirtbag said...

i have substantial asset's in titanium.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Brian W.O., what's up with them fixies in Amherst? Hampshire Bicycle exchange got a lot of new single speeds (idk if fixed) last time I was in there. I can't wait to see somebody going over the notch on one of them. 300 feet up, 300 feet down on a fixie.

Anonymous said...

Poor poor Mr. Miller. Will none come to his defense? To modify bicycles is not a crime. Ah, well as long as we do not cross genres. Perhaps his friend who helped him write the copy on his website left him holding the bag, looking the fool, egg on his face. Perhaps he is a clever guy. Perhaps he did invent the mountain bike. Someone must have; drop bars and all.

Anonymous said...

The sentence "designer reared in rural Michigan" does nothing but bring the mental picture of a skinny person getting raped in a barn.

Anonymous said...

"Gearing is 34x13, equivalent to a standard 48x16 setup."

2.61 and 3.0 gear ratios are one and the same. Who would have thunk?

Anonymous said...

Y'know, at first I was really offended that someone at Juan Pelota's defiled that magazine cover. But for some reason, I'm kind of digging 'El Diablo' Alberto. And just in time for Movember.

Colorado said...

Fuck it.

justaprole said...

I was born and still reside in Kalamazoo, the town that Brian Miller "went on to university and to work in a bike shop". Please don't judge us unfairly. Most of us are decent enough. I just didn't want anyone to think that our primary export is douches. Anyway, I don't think that it will help, but I'm sorry.

agent detroit said...

c-record said...

oh no... looks like i'll have to retire my '89 bottecchia to the closet for a few years while this blows over.

Anonymous said...

Brian's update:

Now, I want to clarify – this is a joke. I am not the inventor of the mountain bike. I guess my writing is not as humorous as I thought.

I, like many other kids, at around the same time, and without hearing about the others, experimented with trail riding on bikes that were cruisers with bmx parts. I did not pursue the concept to the extreme like those folks in California did.

This also illustrates the phenomenon of simultaneous inspiration, a common problem in invention.

Thank you, but I am not the inventor of the mountain bike.

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