It's Public Service Thursday, which is a thing I just made up, and here's State Police Lieutenant Rob Davis to talk to you about bike safety in a lilting Michigan accent!
Now you know.
Meanwhile, a thousand or so miles due south in Louisiana, you've got his polar opposite, Sheriff Clay Higgins:
I realize I've posted this video before, but I feel strongly it's important to re-watch that at least once every few weeks.
You've now fulfilled the public service requirements for this blog.
Now let's move on to language. Here on whatever the hell this blog's called we're constantly discovering new words and adding them to the lexicon of cycling. Indeed, this week alone we've already learned "Velojackr:"
1. Someone who steals bikes;
2. An exhibitionist who exposes himself while riding a bicycle.
And of course "Jack-tard:"
1. One who wears a cycling "smart jacket;"
2. One who experiences inordinate difficulty in completing the task of onanism.
Given the frequency with which new words arise, it's important to refresh our knowledge by occasionally revisiting older words, lest our collective vocabulary get snowed under in a blizzard of syntax. To that end, this week's Refresher Word of the Day is "Budnitz:"
1. To sell overpriced and rebranded design-y bikes to people who own loft apartments;
2. A common malapropism for "business" [e.g. "Taking care of Budnitz and working overtime."]
3. To catch the sleeve of your "smart jacket" in the spokes of your overpriced bicycle [e.g. "That velojacking jack-tard just tried to take his smart jacket off while riding, totally budnitzed it, and went right over the bars!"]
Anyway, astute readers may recall my own experience getting Budnitzed way back in 2012, and I was recently reminded of this because apparently now Old Man Budnitz is doing road bikes:
Paul Budnitz started a ti bike building company five years ago to construct something a bit different. What has developed over time are a series of swoopy, double-toptube frames with belt-drives and internally geared hubs. His newest bike – the Model Ø (or Zero) – takes the lessons he’s learned on city cruisers and mountain bikes and applies it to a fast-moving bike for longer commutes or even more dedicated road riding.
Yeah, they left out a little bit of the backstory, but whatever:
Anyway, the Budnitz O-With-A-Line-Through-It is apparently the culmination of two years of intense and uncompromising Budnitzing:
The new Budnitz Model Ø was two years in the making, as their designers worked to produce the fastest and most advanced bike in their catalog. Budnitz bikes use a twin-toptube design with a small weld connection at the seattube that allows the frame to flex in a unique way (much like Trek’s IsoCoupler) and gives a very smooth feel at the saddle. They received a lot of feedback from customers who wanted a fast bike with that same smooth ride, and so the new Model Ø was born.
I dunno, seems to me if the seat tube is welded to the top tube it's not moving like Trek's IsoCoupler, though I guess the way it looks makes you think it is, and I suppose that's the point:
It's also build for "fast off-road adventure:"
The bike begins with a handmade titanium frame and then builds to suit each customer starting with a carbon fork, a Gates Carbon belt drive, and a Di2 Alfine 11 speed hub. A Rohloff 14 speed option is also available. Tire-wise the Model Ø comes spec’d with 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Racers, but you can even swap in a set of knobby cross tires like Racing Ralphs for a bit more of a fast off-road adventure. The Model Ø get new-for-Budnitz geometry as well, with a shorter wheelbase and more road-oriented handling. It uses a tall tapered headtube and pairs with Enve fork and cockpit for rigid and predictable steering.
Even though no Budnitz customer in the history of Budnitzdom has ever or will ever undertake a "fast off-road adventure" (much less change the tires in order to do so).
Like all of his bikes, the Model Ø comes with a 100-mile no-questions-asked trial, so try and make sure you are happy when you buy. His frames and custom made components are also guaranteed for 100 years (not sure if that is to the original purchaser, or who will be handling claims in a century, whatever…), so we guess that is just a nod to confidence in their product and a willingness to stand behind what they make.
I suspect this 100-year warranty is more a nod to the confidence that no Budnitz customer will ever push their titanium frame to the point of failure, but sure, it sounds impressive to people who don't understand bikes. The fact is you could safely slap the same warranty on a bicycle from BikesDirect--and indeed the warranty on a titanium Motobecane is also 100 years--but then you wouldn't get the pride of ownership that comes with paying $6,750 for a Budnitz:
The Model Zero is available in four stock sizes for $6750 for the complete build. They can also be painted-to-order in a wide range of standard solid colors for a $500 upcharge (nicely leaving the stays exposed ti.) Quantities are said to be limited, so hop on if you are looking for a smooth alternative ride for everything from morning road commutes to weekend gravel adventures.
Or, for that price, if you're looking for a "fast off-road adventure" you could buy two (2) titanium bikes made by the very same people who Budnitz pays to make his bikes for him:
Indeed, when I noticed you can even finance the goddamn things I almost did just that:
That's just dangerous. There really ought to be a law against this sort of Fredatory lending. And they even take trade-ins!
Wonder how much they'd give me for a lightly-used Budnitz.
Still, I suppose you can't put a price on riding the same bike as the Burlington, VT police department:
Who's doing their uniforms, Portlandia?
Meanwhile, in other news, it will no doubt shock you to learn that professional cycling is morally bankrupt:
(Via a reader)
Rumors started popping up in February that Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa (the head of Bahrain’s Olympic committee and the eldest son of the King of Bahrain’s second wife) was planning on adding disgraced former cycling team owner Bjarne Riis to a freshly-announced, mysterious cycling project and try to start up a new WorldTour team for the 2017 season. This week, a report in Italian paper Corriere della Sera linked Italian superstar Vincenzo Nibali to the team, and Lampre officials confirmed to Cycling News that the Italian team was in talks with the Bahrainis regarding a takeover. It appears that Prince will get involved to some degree, bringing much-needed cash to a sport seemingly locked in an existential crisis. Professional cycling is cash-strapped and might very well embrace him. This is a mistake. Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa has been credibly accused of personally torturing pro-democracy dissidents, and he’s not the savior the sport needs.
Not only that, but he's a hands-on torturer too, as opposed to the kinds we have in our government:
Mohammed Hassan Jawad (64 yrs old) was blindfolded and handcuffed when Nasser Bin Hamad asked him “do you know who I am, its Nasser with you” Then the son of the king started interrogating Mr. Jawad about the Safriya protest and accusing him of organizing the protest. To force him to confess, Nasser beat Mr. Jawad with a hose on his head until he fell to the ground. Then Nasser started kicking him mostly on his back, while swearing at shia clerics and imams.
Of course, it's a bit late to be worrying about any of this, since Eddy Merckx has been working with oppressive governments for years:
Though on the plus side, I suppose all these characters make Oleg Tinkov look like Noam Chomsky.
In the meantime, it's good to see the UCI is focussing on important issues, like disc brake boo-boos.
Rubber hoses are one thing, but you wouldn't want the Sheikh beating any dissidents with a disc brake rotor.