You can find out more on a popular social network called Facebook, and I hope to see you there. It's been a few years since I've been to Portland, and I'm looking forward to returning since the more time that passes the more I'm convinced Portland doesn't really exist and that I simply dreamt it.
And don't forget University Bookstore in Seattle on June 17th and Rivendell (or, more accurately, the Marriott) in Walnut Creek, CA on June 18th.
As you can see, I'm taking the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest by storm, or at the very least by light rain.
Moving on, yesterday we took a look at an article about the quasi-ineffable notion of "ride quality," and in the comments section of that article someone shared a link to this story from a 1996 issue of Bicycle Guide:
Basically, Antonio Mondonico made seven otherwise identical bikes from different tubing to see if riders could tell the difference, and here's the upshot:
If the numbers on the bikes were switched around and I were to test each bike again, my guess is that I'd come up with different tubing preferences. I think my ride impressions were essentially random.
Though obviously the bike media prefers to pretend this isn't the case because otherwise the glossy magazines would look like this:
I should point out I'd happily subscribe to that magazine, but I'm probably in the minority, and I suspect manufacturers (or, more accurately, decal designers) of plastic bicycles would be loath to advertise in it.
This is not to say there are no differences between bicycles, because of course there are. It's just that these differences are largely matters of components and geometry. Consider Stokbikes, for example, which is the fixie that works like a flounder:
Stokbikes is the branchild of Michael, a.k.a. "Michael the Bicycle Man:"
"I'm Michael, and I love bicycles. They call me Michael the Bicycle Man."
I bet they do.
Cue his theme, sung to the tune of "Popeye the Sailor Man:"
I'm Michael the Bicycle Man
I'm living in Amsterdam
My smugness unblemished
'Cause I'm speaking Flemish
I'm Michael the Bicycle Man!
Yeah, I know he lives in Utrecht and not Amsterdam, and that Utrecht is not in Flanders, but whatever. I'm American, and therefore stupid. Plus, I was afraid if I made it too guttural I might blow out my epiglottis while trying to sing it.
Anyway, apparently thin bikes are the new fat bike:
How thin? Twenty-one euro-inches to be exact:
Now that's thin:
("Only 21 centimetri wide? Ha! How you say, 'Eees it eeen yet?'")
Thanks to Stokbikes, you can now keep your fixie behind the sofa, in the coat closet, or even inside your in-wall ironing board hideaway. The secret is the folding pedals, which are made from recycled Motorola Star Tacs:
And which are also magnetic for some reason:
As well as the rotating stem:
Which of course has already been done, because everything in the world has already been done.
Anyway, now you can store your flat bike flush against the wall of your airy, fashionable office or storefront:
And don't forget to add a wall peg to hang your collapsible helmet from, Flat Stanley.
Finally, in far more depressing news, you've probably heard about this by now:
Five bicyclists were pronounced dead at the scene, and the others were hospitalized with serious injuries, Mr. Getting said. All of the victims were adults, he said.
Three law enforcement agencies received calls about a pickup truck driving erratically about 30 minutes before the crash, Mr. Getting said.
Note the headline says "Pickup Truck Crashes Into Them," perpetuating the notion that motor vehicles are naturally occurring free-roaming organisms that occasionally run into people of their own volition--though this is not even remotely as bad as calling the incident a "biking accident:"
Wow, what a bunck of fucking morons. Not just "accident," but "biking accident." These are the same morons, I might add, who thought Bicycle Day was a cycling holiday:.@TODAYshow and @NBCNews enter the #crashnotaccident Hall of Infamy for the Kalamazoo bike deaths pic.twitter.com/2NXdRZL8Rv— Darren B (@bikepedantic) June 8, 2016
Anyway, drivers are mowing people down constantly, and it's worth noting that it takes what is essentially a mass murder to get the national media to notice--and even then, it's a "biking accident." Meanwhile, American drivers are killing over 30,000 people a year (themselves included of course), yet there are more security measures in place for watching HBO GO than there are for getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. At this point you should have to file your driving plans beforehand and enter an access code in order to start your car, but instead we get Chevy ads in articles about someone killing five cyclists with a Chevy:
Fuck it, I'm leasing a...nevermind.