Last week I mentioned the OTTO Tuning System, and by golly look what I just got:
(Or you could just turn the barrel adjuster.)
I'll let you know when I've gotten a chance to try it, but I'm telling you right now it's the first day of school here and I'm very busy hand-curating my child a propeller beanie as well as an artisanal slingshot from a piece of reclaimed wood so he can get into some old-timey "Our Gang"-type mischief:
Incredibly this show was still on TV and in regular rotation even when I was a kid (in reruns obviously, or else it would have been a bunch of people in their 60s) and we'd just watch it as though it wasn't a million years old. Ah, those were the days...they'd feed you a few scraps of children's programming in the morning and the afternoon and you'd gobble it up, even if it was in black and white and the children were dressed like Zelda Fitzgerald. These Kids Today with their Netting Flicks and their Skating Boards and their EDM will never understand.
Speaking of being old and crotchety, this road bike suspension stem on the Kicking Starter makes me angry Just Because:
Firstly, if you want a smoother ride, here's your answer:
Secondly, I object deeply to the following idea:
"At Redshift Sports, we want every road to feel like the perfect road.
Nonsense! Every road isn't perfect, so deal with it! Suspension stems, dropper posts, "decouplers"...you know, not everything needs to move--especially on a road bike. And what about technique?!? Loosen up your arms for chrissakes! This notion that you should be completely comfortable all the time and that you can buy a bunch of crap to make that happen is the product of a spoiled generation that didn't grow up watching "Our Gang" reruns. Just ask Spanky:
Note the wide tires--and no goddamn helme(n)t either. Just a good old-fashioned beanie. (Sans propeller, though.)
Speaking of beanies, the Times reports that cycling caps are fashionable again:
For a growing swath of hip men, cycling caps have become the headwear of choice, whether or not they own a bike (to the consternation of many of the sport’s practitioners). That they’ve caught on at all beyond the roadway is surprising. Their beauty lies in their ugliness, the bulldog axiom. Usually made in clashing primary colors with logos splashed across them, they go with nothing and therefore everything.
Really, cycling caps are ugly? What about that beard? I can smell it from here. The writer should watch that guy eat a bowl of soup and then get back to us.
But you don't need a beard to wear a cycling cap, and they also complement the clean-shaven look:
(Laugh if you will, but there's no sport he's not ready to play.)
I suspect it's only a matter of time before cycling jerseys catch on as casual wear as well. In fact, just yesterday on the subway I saw someone wearing a cycling jersey as a shirt, though I didn't take a photo because you never know when people are going to get stabby on mass transit.
Anyway, for the cyclist's perspective on this phenomenon, the reporter consults Bill Strickland of "Bicycling:"
Mr. Strickland’s views on the cycling cap diverge. One moment he deems it part of the sport’s “classic elegance,” and then he says: “With no question it’s goofy. The brim is small, and it fits funny, but it’s emblematic of being a cyclist. Shaving your legs is a weird thing to do, and it doesn’t give that much benefit. But you take pride in it. ‘I’m a cyclist. This is who I am.’ The cap is the same way.”
It's novel and oddly jarring to read the words of Bill "Run-On" Strickland separated by periods.
And lastly, the writer closes with a caveat:
A word of caution for new wearers: If viewed from the side, the flipped-up brim becomes hard to see, and your bicycle cap can look like a garish yarmulke sponsored by 7-Eleven.
Very true--though garish yarmulkes are themselves very much in fashion:
Graven images? That shit ain't kosher.
Maybe just as cycling caps are trendy among non-cyclists, yarmulkes are becoming fashionable among gentiles.
Now there's your next Times trend piece:
(Wait, Spanky was Jewish?!?)
Speaking of millennial fashions, a reader tells me a mustachioed "hipster" smashed a car window with his bike lock:
A cycling hipster accused of smashing a car window with a metal bike lock has been arrested after authorities recognized him by the sight of his distinctive moustache.
Ian Hespelt, 39, was caught after bicycle police spotted him riding his bike near McCovey Cove, San Francisco, and his uniquely curled moustache matched that seen in a video of the incident.
"Uniquely curled?" Really? There's nothing unique about that mustache. He looks like every single male in San Francisco--and Brooklyn, and Portland, and Austin, and for that matter any city with more than one bike lane and a Whole Foods.
And lastly, while we're on the subject of violent acts, you've no doubt seen this article about drivers in China who deliberately kill people:
“Double-hit cases” have been around for decades. I first heard of the “hit-to-kill” phenomenon in Taiwan in the mid-1990s when I was working there as an English teacher. A fellow teacher would drive us to classes. After one near-miss of a motorcyclist, he said, “If I hit someone, I’ll hit him again and make sure he’s dead.” Enjoying my shock, he explained that in Taiwan, if you cripple a man, you pay for the injured person’s care for a lifetime. But if you kill the person, you “only have to pay once, like a burial fee.” He insisted he was serious—and that this was common.
It's easy to read something like this and feel better about living here in Canada's perineum, but the truth is that we aren't really that much better. Sure, in China after a driver hits someone they'll back up and finish the job, but in America they just sit there with a befuddled expression and then explain to the police that they simply confused the gas for the brake, which is still fairly cold-blooded. Plus, it sounds like in China the drivers still get in some kind of trouble, whereas here the driver gets to go right home and then gets a loaner car from the insurance company.
Most of all, what the article neglects to mention is whether or not the victims were wearing helme(n)ts.
Let's not lose sight of what's really important.