And hey, give yourself a nice raise while you're at it.
Secondly, remember Steve Spell II? He's the intrepid cyclist who attained Walmart Bike "Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo!" speed--which, thanks to his bravery and selflessness, we now know is 83 kilometers per hour, or 51.5738 mph:
I sincerely enjoy this video, because while anxious Freds are penning nerotic screeds to Lennard Zinn about their crabon wonderbike's "speed wobble," Steve Spell II is cruising at highway speed, one-handed, on a Walmart mountain bike with a freaking basket on it.
"Nonlinear bifurcation" my ass.
Well, I was sorry to receive an email from Mr. Spell yesterday informing me that his rear wheel has failed, and here is the dramatic video:
He is now, understandably, quite miffed.
I believe the world is a better place when Steve Spell II's bike is running smoothly, so if you're in the Tickfaw River area and can point him in the direction of a good shop (or maybe even a good used bicycle) please get in touch with him.
Speaking of mechanical issues, Secretary of State John Kerry recently experienced shifting woes while blowing off steam during nuclear talks with Iran:
The State Department has been mum about what caused the trouble, but cutting edge photo enhancement technology reveals Kerry was riding in the ultra-Fredly "big-big combo:"
(That's a pretty big bike. I wonder if Kerry's ever written Zinn about speed wobble.)
So we can probably blame that, or else the baggage handlers at Ryanair.
In any event, naturally Kerry headed right to the LBS, and here's the proprietor's story:
"The Swiss police came in and told me they needed an urgent repair on a gear-change mechanism," Schumann told AFP on Wednesday.
When the Swiss police tell you they need an urgent repair on a gear-change mechanism, you'd better believe they're not fucking around:
("No, he was not cross-chaining! Spare us your lectures and fix it!")
Fortunately, Schumann was able to solve the problem in about nine seconds:
Kerry's bike problem though was quickly fixed and although Schumann refused to take any money, the fit 71-year-old American insisted. "They gave us $20," Schumann said.
So basically all it needed was a half-turn of the barrel adjuster, like 95% of the Serottas that go into the shop for service.
It's simultaneously inspiring and chilling that a Fred this massive is fourth in line to succeed Barack Obama as the President of the United States. Sure, he's just off the Presidential Succession Podium, but like any Fred worth his pro team shorts he has a perfect excuse: his bike wasn't shifting right.
As for me, most of the snow has finally melted around these parts (for now, it's supposed to snow tomorrow), so yesterday afternoon I hopped on the ol' Ritte Rust Bucket to work on my Tai Chi moves:
I'm pleased to report the bike shifted perfectly and was generally a pleasure to ride, but here's some more rust porn for you metallurgists:
Note the petrified perspiration on the top tube because my soigneur had the day off last time I rode it and didn't wipe the bike down for me:
Unpainted stainless steel is a great choice for your next custom bike build, because it's not like cycling makes you sweaty or anything like that.
I may have to get a top tube pad.
Remember top tube pads?
Those were hilarious.
Of course, bikes aren't just for recreation. You can also use them to go places and to carry stuff and people, which the Wall Street Journal recently discovered at the Copenhagen Bike Show:
I learned a lot from this article. For example, did you know that in Denmark you can still be a blacksmith?
Claus Nielsen, a self-employed blacksmith and father of a baby boy, took the new $2,000 Scandinavian Side Bike, which has a motorbike-style sidecar for children, for a test ride.
If Claus Nielsen wasn't also wearing a Viking helment then I'll be extremely disappointed.
I was also intrigued to learn there is such a thing as the "Scandinavian Side Bike:"
"Scandinavian Side Bike" has a great ring to it. In fact, it makes me think of Venezuelan beaver cheese, but that's only because I'm a huge dork.
Sadly, another thing I found out is that bicycles are selling like hot cakes--which sounds good until you consider that the hot cakes market sucks:
Bicycle makers hope their latest innovations will pump up the ailing market for regular bicycles in Europe and the U.S.
Sales of traditional bikes in Europe have been flat or sliding, hitting 19.8 million units in 2013, which is 7% below 2007.
In the U.S., the industry has circled around $6 billion in annual sales for more than a decade, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, with the number of regular bikes sold in 2013 down 13% from 2012.
Wow. I can't believe the gravel and fat bike trends haven't totally turned things around.
The one thing that is growing, however, is ebike sales:
Sales of e-bikes, which have an integrated electric motor to add pedaling power, are growing.
World-wide, annual sales of e-bikes are expected to exceed 40 million units by 2023, overtaking regular bicycles as a portion of the overall bike market, according to Navigant Research, a technology market consulting firm.
Yeah, try telling that to someone who's from a country where they still have blacksmiths:
“I do think that e-bikes are for lazy people,” Ms. Bruun, the mother of two, said. “You need to get more muscles in your thighs and two children on your bike is a good way to get that.”
Amazing. If an American ever says anything like that you'll be riding ice bikes in Hell.
Then again, we're not exactly taking to ebikes either. In fact, last night I learned from Aaron that the NYPD's bomb squad was attempting to defuse one:
Brooklyn: 5023 New Utrecht Ave @NYPD66Pct & ESU on scene with a suspicious bike with wires Bomb Squad requested. pic.twitter.com/3WrgrW6Hyk
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) March 19, 2015
Though eventually they figured it out.
U/D Brooklyn: 5023 New Utrecht Ave @NYPDSpecialops reporting it's just an electronic bike with an extra battery canceling Bomb SquadJust another night in America's Most Bike-Friendly City.
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) March 19, 2015