What, I can't like something I wrote? Well screw you then!
Just kidding, I love you.
Let's never fight again.
Secondly, I believe more than anything that children are our future, and that we should teach them well and let them lead the way. (I can't take credit for that last sentence, that's all Randy Watson.) This is especially true with regard to bicycles, and if one particular Kickstarter is successful then soon parents will finally be able to teach their kids to ride on that smuggest of all materials--bamboo:
Yes, what better way to get your child started out on the Wretched Gran Fondo of Life than astride a balance bike made from a material that makes you feel good about yourself? After all, as the video says, "Riding a bike is a skill children learn and never forget."
Uh, really? Obviously they don't do much commuting by bicycle:
I figure that roughly 65% of the bicycle commuters I see have, somewhere between childhood and their move to the Big City, forgotten how to ride--assuming they even knew how to do it in the first place.
But maybe these rolling hobby horses will give the next generation the solid cycling foundation they need, because "GreenChamp bikes are the brainchild of Daniel and Sunny."
(That helment is huge. Is the brainchild still inside of it?)
It's extremely important to wear a helment when working with, touching, or even standing close to bamboo--not because it's possible a stalk could fall on your head, but because you might get attacked by a hungry panda, and everyone knows those adorably furry bastards love to come at you with the piledriver.
As for the other guy, "Sunny went on a 6,123km journey around the world on his first handmade bamboo bicycle."
Incidentally, this was the longest journey ever undertaken on a bicycle with perfectly vertical bar ends, and if the whole balance bike thing doesn't pan out then I think Sunny should ditch the Great Gazoo up there and do a Kickstarter for that sweet bamboo bike cane:
The advantage of the bike cane is that it not only holds your bicycle up, but if you snap a chainstay you simply use it as a spare.
Then, flush with success, Sunny should branch out (get it?) and introduce a full line of bamboo cycling accessories, including a bamboo u-lock:
It's only vulnerable to every type of cutting tool, as well as bamboo mites:
Craig Calfee has nightmares about these little fuckers, I can assure you. 100 of them can eat an entire 56cm road frame in under 36 hours. I saw it on the National Geographic Channel, or else I read it in Leonard Zinn's column. I forget which.
Still, as long as you avoid hungry fauna when you're out on your bamboo bike, you're good:
"So through that journey I discovered that bamboo is a very strong alternative material for products."
So he didn't know that before he left? He just lashed some bamboo together, figured "What the fuck?," and rolled out on a journey around the world? Wow. Sunny's got a pair of nads the size of Daniel's bamboo-handling helment!
But most kids aren't circumnavigating the globe on balance bikes, so strength isn't really a concern here. Rather, it's mostly about making mommy and/or daddy feel like they're saving the world, so the most important thing is that "The GreenChamp bike is made from bamboo, one of nature's most-renewable materials."
(He's touching bamboo without a helment he's going to die!)
Which is why I'm pretty sure they're going to get funded and sell a fuckload of these, even though there's another competing bamboo bike also in the blowgun--and it costs $449:
Few things are more annoying than parents who judge other parents, but if you spend almost $500 on a pair of crotch casters for your kid then you are out of your fucking mind.
Meanwhile, in exciting news for the post-post-pubescent-and-beginning-to-bald set, some other would-be entrepreneurs are raising money to build fat bikes:
All right, it's enough with the fat bikes already. Yes, I'm sure they're fun in the snow, but sometimes snowstorms are nature saying that you should take a few days off from riding and get a life. And riding on the beach? Really? Few things are more annoying than cyclists who judge other cyclists (parents judging other parents being one of them), but if you can't enjoy a day at the beach without riding your stupid bike on it then you're an idiot:
Here's how it works: you ride your bike to the beach. Then, you get off the damn bike, pull up a towel, and drink or surf or play Kadima or something. If this guy rode past me doing a wheelie while I was attempting to relax in the sun I'd take him out with an off-brand dollar store "Frisbee" to the front wheel faster than you can say, "Eat sand, Beach Fred!"
Of course, if you do have a dedicated beach wheelie bike, be sure that your saddle is properly waterproofed:
Or else you could get something they call "bike butt:"
Yikes. That guy has bigger problems than a damp saddle, and if he really wants to get rid of those wet spots he may want to go right to the source and take some Imodium.
I'm also 95% sure these are the puffins at the Central Park Zoo:
If you're wondering how I know, it's because I never forget a puffin crotch.
Nevertheless, I don't think a saddle waterproofing spray is a bad idea, though I was not convinced by this particular demonstration:
There's no way you need to bother waterproofing that saddle. It's not even porous! That's a single Starbucks napkin to dry off, tops. What I want to know is if it works on an ass sponge like a Brooks, or if after you spray it down you'll come back to find only this:
If a wet saddle give you "bike butt," what does a pair of naked saddle rails give you? "Scranal impalement?"
The most audacious Kickstarter I've seen in a long time though is this one, which isn't even for a product. Rather, it's for an idea called the "Lift Propulsive Pedaling" technique:
Here's a chart, so you know it works:
(What the hell kind of half-assed cycling chart doesn't feature Bret as the model???)
Anyway, from what I can tell, the idea behind "Lift Propulsive Pedaling" is that you should pull up on the pedals to maximize efficiency. This is hardly revolutionary, and indeed it's been Fred 101 since the very first Fred lashed his feet to the pedals of his safety bicycle (not to mention pretty convincingly debunked by America's Foremost Retrogrouch and Flat Pedal Advocate in his book, "Just Ride"). It's also the basis behind every annoying pedaling-through-the-dead-spot tip you've ever heard, like "Pretend you're scraping gum off your shoe!," thousands of Bicycling articles, and all those lopsided aftermarket chainrings:
Yet somehow the Fred behind Lift Propulsive Pedaling thinks he's the first person to come up with this, and he's got a demonstration to prove that it works. Here's "Fred A" using the default Fred pedaling technique, or what's commonly known to the rest of the cycling universe as "pedaling squares:"
Now here's "Fred B" using the revolutionary new Lift Propulsive Pedaling technique, or what everyone else knows as "pedaling smoothly:"
Unfortunately, this is as far as the demonstration gets.
So what's the target market for a garden variety cycling tip a single isolated Fred thinks he invented, and which he intends to sell to people who don't know how to ride bicycles? You guessed it: Triathletes!
And how much money does he need to tap this market? Only eighty thousand dollars:
Hey, scoff if you will, but check out these testimonials:
"The biggest advantage I've seen using Lift Propulsive Pedaling is the substantial increase in my overall average speed. I have two routes I ride consistently, each one 25 miles in length with considerable climbing. My average speed on those routes has hovered around 14.5 mph. Once I started using this technique I began to see a substantial increase in overall speed going from 14.5 to 15.7 mph over the same course with my weight, road bike and fitness level being the same. I can only attribute this improvement to one thing…Lift Propulsive Pedaling!" - Chip Fox, San Diego, CA.
Yeah, right. I attribute any performance gains to that red bicycle trying to escape from that green and blue Liquigas kit.
Here's another one:
I'm the founder of Fixed Nation, an entity dedicated to promoting fixed gear cycling globally. Last spring, I asked Joe to train me to ride in the Rosarito-Ensenada Bike Ride a scant 12 weeks before the event. The challenge - I had done it two times in a ten speed bike and barely made it! This time I wanted to do it with my fixed gear bike and pull off an awesome performance on behalf of all of us that love to do single gear pedaling. After a quite intense training with Joe, including a full immersion into his Lift Propulsive Pedaling performed at tougher gear ratios than that of my fixie, at above average speeds and with close to three thousand feet of climbing per road session, I was ready. The results - I came over two minutes ahead of the nearest fixed gear rider and passed a large amount of ten speed cyclists too!!! Truly amazing thanks to Joe and his Lift Propulsive Pedaling technique! Robbie Anderson, Fixed Nation, San Diego, CA
How is it possible that Robbie Anderson, the founder of "an entity dedicated to promoting fixed gear cycling globally," has no idea that fixed gear cycling has not only already swept the entire world, but it's also gone completely out of style again?
That's even more unlikely than a Fred who thinks he's discovered the "dead spot."
By the way, if you're wondering how Fixed Nation is promoting fixed gear cycling globally, they're doing it by selling hoodies on the Internet:
("Dad, stop messing with my turntables!")I felt like I was watching Mr. Rogers dropping the "F bomb."
These are some seriously out-of-touch dudes.
Lastly, here's yet another Kickstarter which proves that Canadians shouldn't curse:
He's also as out-of-touch as Propulsive Pedaling guy and his fixie friend:
How does he not know that there are tons of companies that have been making similarly bland and Banana Republic-like cycling-specific clothing for years, and that it's such an established niche that Levi's has already taken it over?
I have absolutely no idea.