[Please note that tomorrow, Wednesday, November 11th, is Veterans Day. As such I will not be posting that day. While of course I have the utmost respect for all who have served, the real reason for my absence is that the schools will be closed, and if I don't spend the day actively parenting then my seventeen (17) children are liable to turn to crime and delinquency. So after today I'll see you back here on Thursday, November 12th. Deal with it.]
People, it hardly needs to be said, are the absolute worst:
Though at least we can take some tiny measure of solace in the fact it was always thus, and that our forbears would have commiserated with us, assuming they survived the tramplings:Via Outside is Fred. People are super angry about a guy trying to not get killed on his way to wherever. pic.twitter.com/UpD2KfQP0z— Stevil Kinevil (@StevilKinevil) November 9, 2015
(What, no helme(n)t?!?)
The above image was forwarded to me by a reader named Brendon, and it may or may not come from this book, which he also forwarded:
Either way, evolutionarily speaking, it would appear that we're stuck in something of a rut when it comes to our lowly position in the hierarchy of road users:
(See that? He's LITERALLY IN A RUT!!!)
Though while we may be getting nowhere in that respect, you can't say we're not doing our best to compensate for our meager status by constantly inventing new and increasingly more futuristic gadgetry for our bicycles. To that end, behold, the ultimate Fred stem!
SpeedForce - the first fully integrated cycling computer launch on Indiegogo from Yumeng Zhang on Vimeo.
(Via Steve the reader.)
Here's the pitch:
In cycling, we use so much assistive equipment. Whether it be a GPS powered cyclometer, cadence sensor, heart rate monitor, headlight, or a smartphone for navigation.
(All that stuff on his bars YET NO HELME(N)T??!)
Hey, speak for yourself! You may use all that crap, but I don't. See, when you get to my level of cycling enlightenment you don't need things like cadence sensors, since you're tuned into the universal metronome, and Jesus himself is your rhythm section.
Nevertheless, for all the rest of you schlubs out there they've created "Speedforce:"
Clearly we've reached "peak data" when it comes to cycling, so the only way to innovate now is to come up with different ways to get that same stupid information inside you. For example, some companies like to put it on your face. Remember those stupid glasses?
("OK glass, how big a Fred am I?")
You know, the ones that take you out of the beauty of your surroundings to confirm how badly you suck?
Well between those glasses and this stem, it's clearly only a matter of time before some new startup comes along and promises to communicate all this information to you anally for better aerodynamics.
Actually, the Speedforce does sort of look like maybe that's how you're supposed to use it:
Here's what the future will look like when we're all riding around with butt computers:
Note the look of concentration as he analyzes the series of vibrations, pulses and whirrs emitted by the Speedforce:
So how does it work?
Well, all you do is insert Speedforce into the host rectum:
Then simply launch the app and ride!
Troubleshooting tip: you may lose the connection occasionally.
If so simply stop and adjust:
See, it's even great for fixie riders:
While it can't send them back to 2007 where they belong, it does has a fixed-gear "safety mode," and when it detects that the host is riding a fixie it simply commands them to ride around and around in circles so that they stay in one place and don't annoy the general public:
Think of what a jet ski does when you fall off of it and you've got the idea.
Speaking of fixies, the Speedforce has a headlight that "ensures your safety in the darkest nights:"
And safety is especially important when you're riding a brakeless bike in a dark tunnel with your feet completely out of the clips.
Best of all, you'll have "unlimited motivation:"
The kind that comes from having everyone you know virtually up your butt.
Speaking of endless refinement, Outside magazine has come up with this convenient list of special stuff you'll need to ride a bike with drop bars on a slightly irregular surface:
And before you ask, don't be stupid, of course you'll need a brand new bike:
Ridley’s new carbon X-Trail isn’t a gravel bike, a cross bike, or a road bike. Rather, it falls somewhere in between. The bottom bracket is lower than that of a typical cross bike for added stability, but the chainstays are shorter than what you’d find on a gravel-only bike, making it more responsive. The geometry is aggressive like a road bike, but there’s plenty of tire clearance for big tires, like the 38c’s I rode. There are also thru-axles on the front and back. This combination was perfect for the variable terrain, which included everything from stretches of smooth pavement to techy climbs that would have been easier on a mountain bike. I also added Reynolds ATR wheels, which cut weight, took some of the bounce out of the nasty washboard, and tracked like lasers on the loose gravel.
Come on. How can they still be trying to shine light through the already nonexistent gaps between gravel, cross, and road? Really, it's not any of those things?
So basically it's the Taco Bell Quesarito of bikes:
Just like this is the Quesarito of tool carriers:
In all seriousness the Behold is just like the flat tire kit in your car but it’s for your bike. Pack the Kargo bag with your tools, CO2 and a tube (up to 29-inch). Snap the bag in place and you’re set. You’ll be ready when you get a flat. Unlike a clanking bloated seat bag it’s completely out of your way on the frame. Attach any water bottle cage if you like.
What does everyone have against saddlebags all of a sudden? And what's with the "clanking?" It's a saddlebag, not a silverware drawer. If you stuff a couple tubes in there it's as quiet as can be.
I do find this mesmerizing though:
Now I'm oddly hungry for a Quesarito.
Lastly, winter is officially on its way, because here's the first mainstream periodical article about fat bikes of the 2015/2016 season:
Cycling through beautiful valleys past greedily grazing elk, dwarfed by mountains — sounds like a sylvan summer scene. But with wider frames and new fat tires, mountain biking has become a year-round sport.
Sylvan indeed--until your clanking saddlebag causes those greedily grazing elk to stampede and you wind up trampled like a 19th century velocipedist.
Don't think it can't happen to you.