Incidentally, the day before the Bicycling Fall Classic is the "VeloFest" at the Velodrome:
Which I won't be attending since my religion forbids me from spending more than 24 hours in the state of Pennsylvania. (It's sad that I need a religion to force me to do something that's basically just good common sense, but I've never been very good at making the thinking for myself.)
And if you're wondering which bike I'll be riding, I'll be going with my racing bakfiets:
Or, if it's raining, my Surly Big Dummy with pontoons and motor assist:
Now that's a smugness flotilla.
Speaking of competition and religion, did you watch that presidential debate? Me neither. That's because I already know who I'm voting for:
We Lobsterites always field a presidential candidate, who is chosen by the almighty Lob himself via his messenger to Earth, the Angel of Choice. This process is a necessity, since until this country finally ratifies a Constitutional amendment allowing lobsters to hold office we are forced to make do with human nominees. The photo above is of the anointed nominee celebrating with the Angel of Choice, and I bid you vote for this man lest your heathen civilization be cast to the bottom of the sea along with the lobster traps.
Anyway, I understand one of the guys in last night's debate is a "Mor-man" (which is like a male mermaid), and as it happens a reader has forwarded me a dedicated Mor-man bike, with actual Mor-man-specific features:
Liahona Mission Disc Mountain Bike (Cool Back Story) - $150 (Burlington)
Date: 2012-10-01, 2:14PM EDT]
The Liahona Mission is a 21-speed mountain bike, well equipped with mechanical disc brakes, a lightweight aluminum frame (21 inch size), Shimano components, and an intriguing back story. The name Liahona, of course, is a Book of Mormon reference. Why a bike with a name that references the Book of Mormon? The story (according to a missionary source) goes like this:
"We have a gentleman from Taiwan who was a convert to the church, and he wanted to be more helpful to missionaries," says [Michael] Spence, a lifelong Mormon who rode a 10-speed Schwinn on his mission 30 years ago, "and he said, 'You know, these bikes are really bad.' " So Spence and the grateful convert created the Liahona Mission Bike, a 21speed mountain bike sold exclusively to Mormon missionaries, also known as elders. Spence assembles the bicycles himself-the frames come from Taiwan, the Shimano parts from Japan. . . Named after a compass in the Book of Mormon, the Liahona's design is based in part on recommendations from elders. Its most Mormon-specific feature is a plastic sprocket guard to keep trouser cuffs oil-free."
It's sort of like FUBU for mormons, a bicycle marketed only to Mormon Missionaries. I am no missionary, but after researching it a bit, I realized what an interesting bike I had. It just had a tune-up, including a full drivetrain overhaul. It is now dialed and ready for your next mission, this neat mountain bike with a cool back story will get you there. You could even ride it over to the polls on November 2nd and tell the Romney supporters all about it. You know, this bike is so reliable you can ride to the polls again in four years when Mitt tries again. Now I am asking $150, but am open to reasonable offers. Please don't hesitate to email me and put "Mission" in the header, or text me at (Five Zero Eight) 801-[deleted]. Thanks!
tags: mountain, bike, bicycle, front suspension, fork, shock, freeride, xc, cross country, all mountain, trail, singletrack, all terrain, hardtail, disc, mormon, Romney, interesting
I had no idea the need for clean pant cuffs was specific to the Mor-man, and I wonder if they're intrigued by belt drives, as featured on bikes like The Budnitz. By the way, if you were intrigued by The Budnitz and its modest $5,600 price tag, yet you found it too be just a little bit too "titanium-y," then perhaps you'd be intrigued by this similarly swoopy bent beech wood thing, forwarded to me by numerous readers:
This "beautiful bike" is, as the headline says, indeed made from bent beech wood. It is also completely stupid. Consider this passage:
One of the nicest aspects of the design is just how much of the bike is made from wood—even the saddle is hand-crafted from a lump of beech. To keep things simple it doesn't come with brakes, just a pair of carbon fiber wheels and a single-speed drive train.
I assume it lacks brakes since they couldn't figure out how to make them from wood, though it seems fairly easy to me to fabricate a set of V-brakes out of rubber bands and chopsticks. As for the wooden seat, I'd hardly call that good design, though fortunately you can always use a bathmat to keep the splinters out of your ass:
(Seen by a reader in Washington, DC.)
Bath. Mat. Duct. Tape. Good design and good spondee.
Best of all, this wooden piece of crap costs $70,000, which is the equivalent of 12.5 Budnitzes. (Or "Budnii," which is technically the plural of Budnitz.)
Of course, if you prefer something more practical, you can always opt for this bike, also forwarded by a reader:
It features "collision avoidance" via "haptic feedback," and as well as smartphone braking:
First, there’s collision avoidance that offers haptic feedback when you’re about to slam into something. The bike also works with your smartphone for built-in mapping and “drive by wire” control of your brakes and transmission. The creators hope to offer ubiquitous computing built-in for “data sensing, real-time intelligent tracking systems, dynamic routing, and social integration.”
I don't know what "haptic feedback" is, but I wonder if it's as effective as "looking out for shit." Also, half the time my "smartphone" won't even send out a Tweet when I want it to, so I'm not sure I want it in charge of my brakes. Then again, I do hope they make this, if only to hear people say things like, "My smartphone dropped my braking and I flew right over the guardrail. Good thing I was wearing my helment." In any case, I urge you to vote Lobster this year, so we can finally form a cycling equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration that bans electronics geeks and design douches from any projects that are remotely bicycle-related.
This amendment would also ban smug cycling infographics.
Lastly, rest assured I'll get around to judging the Second Biennial Cock-Off just as soon as I can extract myself from beguiling submissions such as this one:
As the entrant points out, this one is unique in that the quill stem is actually longer than the handlebars are wide. Also, I would point out that looks like one of those distance measuring wheels:
(The world's first Spingergy.)
Could be a dedicated surveying bike.