Monday, November 14, 2016

Where have you been all morning?!?

Happy Beaver Moon!


(Via BKJimmy)

Do you know the Moon has not been this close to the Earth in 69 years?

(Do not click this link unless you want to visit Auto-Play Hell.)

Hey, don't look at me, it's just science.

Speaking of not looking at me, at least one commenter mocked my "middle-aged white guy shoes" not too long ago:


Alas, I wish I could return to those simpler days, because apparently now I'm supposed to burn them:


Hey, naturally as a member of the cultural elite (I am the world's greatest bike blogger after all), I'm profoundly disappointed in the election results.  I'm also a veteran of the sanctimonious shoe wars, having worked for a certain documentary filmmaker during his promotion of a film about Nike's shitty labor practices.  Nevertheless, I'm not burning up my goddamn shoes to spite my feet--especially when my alternatives are sneakers made by children or small-batch artisanal footwear made from chia and hemp.  (And it's not like my sneakers are even made here, I think New Balance makes like three pairs a year in Maine and they cost like $800.)

The point is that keeping lazy Americans in athletic shoes is a sordid affair no matter which brand you're buying, so I'll burn mine only when the foot funk gets so overpowering I can smell them from the closet, thankyouverymuch.

And while we're talking about politics (however tangentially), third-party candidate Gary Johnson's post-election plans are to ride the Continental Divide:



Gary Johnson has run for governor of New Mexico twice and won both times, and he has run for president of the United States twice and lost both times.

He’s already talking about his next challenge, but it won’t be a try for public office. It will be on a bike, riding nearly 3,000 miles along the Continental Divide from Canada down into New Mexico.

“It’s sometime in early June,” he said.

And it will be a challenge too, because he's not even a cyclist--he's a triathlete:


Johnson, 63, a Taos resident and an ardent triathlete, is referring to the 2,768-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Banff in Alberta, Canada, to Antelope Wells in New Mexico’s Hidalgo County. He said he is done with political races. At least done with running in them himself.

In retrospect it makes total sense he's a triathlete, since running as a third-party candidate is basically the political equivalent of screwing the race up for everyone else just so you can go for your personal best.

As for the other candidates and their respective connections to cycling, Hillary Clinton had a PR opportunity at a bike shop in the early days of her campaign:


And was also a "charity ride chic" fashion plate back in the '90s:


(Bill's like "Fuck helmets.")

Whereas our President-elect (I wash my hands every time I type that) will be the only President to have had his name on a stage race, assuming he doesn't vanish in a puff of sulfur before taking office:


That's excluding Grover Cleveland's "Tour de Cleve" back in 1887, which was terribly unpopular as he grossly underestimated the popularity of the safety bicycle:


By the way, now's probably the time to cash in on that Tour de Trump memorabilia by putting it on eBay (assuming you haven't burned it along with your New Balances):


Check out this handsome garment:


They just don't make promotional windbreakers like that anymore:


It's the perfect ultra-ironic costume for the upcoming SSCXWC in Portland:


Though even in in the best of times Portlanders are somewhat humor-challenged, and even at an ostensibly irreverent event like this one odds are you'd get egged--and severely too, given how many people out there must have chicken coops.

And let's not forget Jill Stein, who (as you've no doubt seen on John Oliver's show) made a cringeworthy song about cycling:


She’s out there in the sun and underneath the stars
On a roll, she’ll try to go, don’t get there in their cars
Bikers of the nation are the future generation
[???] 
But to her, it’s a salvation
Ridin’ through the streeeeeet and a sensation
Driven by the vision of a common liberation
Silver wheels are shining you can see her from afar
Hold on to your hat, here comes one less car

Plenty of people laugh at this (and rightfully so), though to her credit she was ahead of her time in terms of sheer bicycle-related smugness--though had she recorded the song today she'd no doubt have made obligatory mention of her Nutcase helmet.

Anyway, inasmuch as basically every candidate this year had at least some relationship with bikes at some point, it's clear to me that it's only a matter of time before bicycles break back into the political mainstream, just like racism has.

I mean it's no Bush vs. Kerry, but still:


That election was like the Apocalypse of Fredness, and I'm surprised the world didn't end...

...though given the results of this election maybe it has.

In other news, if you're wondering what happens to all those Kickstarters that get funded immediately and then you never hear about them again, consider the story of the Brim Brothers shoe-mounted power meter:

Zone DPMX is the world’s first wearable power meter. It’s affordable, portable, and provides dual left and right power measurement. Attached to your shoes, not your bike, so you can move between bikes and measure power on all of them. Compatible with Speedplay® Zero pedal and cleat systems, and works with ANT+® bike computers and smartphones. From best bike to winter bike to trainer to loaner, just change bikes and go – and your power meter goes with you.

It was funded immediately, because Freds are idiots who get excited about stuff like this:




Everything is on your shoes, and installation is as easy as fitting new cleats. There’s nothing on the bike, not even a magnet, so you have your own power meter whatever bike you choose to ride. That means you get consistent power measurement and recording every time you ride. No more frustration because your power meter is on your other bike. No more wondering whether different power meters are calibrated the same.

Hey, I'd rather have dog shit on my shoe than a stupid power meter, but the market wants what it wants.

Anyway, apparently after getting funded and then sume, Brim Brothers fell apart like a crabon frame, as James Huang recently chronicled:


Apparently they failed to adequately account for two things: 1) The product needs to be tested; and 2) shoes flex:

This was the first time we had had more than a handful of these units to test at the same time and noticed that there were differences between them,” Redmond said. “After a lot of investigation over the last month and a half, it turned out that the force sensor is affected by the flexing of a cycling shoe. A lot of the time, the system is accurate. You think a cycling shoe is rigid, but it’s not; it will flex just a fraction. And what we found was that this was affecting the sensor plates more than we thought it would. And in some circumstances, it could contribute to quite a serious accuracy problem.

Oops.

The upshot is that the donor Freds lost their money, and so did the inventor:

“I am one of the people who lent the company money, and we’re not going to be repaid. I was unpaid for the last eight years. I got no salary. I just lived off of my family for the last eight years, plus put quite a lot of cash into the company. It’s certainly not as simple as some people think it is — far, far from that.”

So there it is.

And to his credit, at least he isn't throwing a Tantrum:



I dunno, maybe it's good and maybe it isn't, but at a certain point I strongly believe that it's enough with the mountain bike technology and at a certain point people just shouldn't be able to ride in certain places.

I know it's human nature to want to go boldly where no person has ever gone before, but if we don't stop the madness soon there's no place on earth you'll be able to be alone and the same idiot Mountain Bros you see riding around the park with baggy shorts and using speaker systems on their handlebars are going to be crossing Antarctica and summiting Everest.

In 10 years base camp in Nepal is going to be a parking lot filled with pickup trucks and empty hitch racks.

Lastly, here's your robot-welding porn of the day:



Here's more on this factory from an article I found:

The Tianjin-based manufacturer, which claims to account for 12-15% of China’s total annual bicycle production, counts Avanti, Bianchi, Cannondale, Scott and Walmart amongst its long list of international clients.

It's infusing the bike with Italian passion.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

First?

wle said...

NO COMMENTS: PODIUM

Freddy Murcks said...

Did somebody say beaver?

Samuel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wle said...

where's my podium LADIES!?

Freddy Murcks said...

I really enjoyed the soundtrack on that welding video. Was that industrial, post-industrial, or industrial techno?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

7th Super Scranus!

N/A said...

Ewww, that Italian passion is slippery.

Anonymous said...

Top 'leven.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Oh, wait,
I thought this was PolitiSnobNYC...


vsk

Fred said...

"infusing the bike with Italian passion" Expect Cipo to be a multiple choice answer on Friday's quiz.

leroy said...

Wait, what?

You mean there's a Kickstarter market for repurposing Pumas with dog poop power meters?

Oh great.

My dog informs me he's going to put the "lab" in test lab.

There goes the living room rug.

Sax Huret said...

There's a Cycling Tips podcast that goes with that article where they talk about the "challenges" faced by Kickstarted bicycle products and one of the guests was talking about how they didn't understand that the quoted price from their manufacturer was per piece and not per unit and accordingly the product cost was double what had been expected. (One unit consisted of two pieces.)

Sure am glad nativist economics and not merit economics are on the rise...

dick peter said...

I'm waiting for kickstarter fully funded TRON bicycle with hubless wheels and airless tires to make it into production...anytime, ever, in any universe.

Buffalo Bill said...

'Workers in Fushida are creating miracles one after another
because they are supported by spirit of hard struggle and forge ahead
elites of group by group in fields of technology skill management
and marketing sale grow and improve here
No matter past now or the future
everyone in Fushida is going to create his own value here!'

Words to live by.

dem_bieks! said...

Great Caesar's ghost!

Trump voters, explain how preventing trade improves the employment situation with this example?

How can an American plant using robots, 1/100th the workers of manual labor with no employment benefits compete? More importantly, WHY would they want to compete? If there's a robot technician on site, it's an H1B contractor anyway.

Loving my Chinese eye-talian biek!

dem_bieks! said...

BTW, Giant and Merida both started out just like Fushida many years ago.

None said...

I wrote: "That pair of New Balance took me by surprise. They're the sneaker of choice for middle-aged white guys. No wonder you got kicked out of the photo-thingy.

You asked why I was surprised, and I started to respond when I was interrupted by the distractions I face as a cubicle dweller.

I was surprised because we're both middle-aged white guys, and you have decidedly more children. (I have two) Also, you're an urban sophisticate while I'm a mouth-breather in fly-over country. (by choice, I moved here on purpose after decades in the east coast megalopolis zone of BosNewPhiliBaltoWash. {I voted due to a sense of duty, but it was like spitting into the solar wind given the local demographics})

I have the sinking feeling that I've lost whatever fashion sense I once had. While I'm resigned to "dad pants" and running in my New Balance 1080s (I wear Lems for walking around), I look to you to lead the way, both sartorially and satire-torially.

Shoe burners are pretentious morons said...

I wear saucony shoes, which makes me a real airhead, and they have no political vibe at all. Kind of unfair to NB who are opposed to the TPP, like Hillary and Bernie. TPP supporter Obama wears Nike, which were the original "slave labor" shoe, probably not so much now, the Chinese Nike factories put up ironic "No Slavery Allowed" signs.

CommieCanuck said...


How can an American plant using robots, 1/100th the workers of manual labor with no employment benefits compete?


Trumponomics: order more US-built robots and just don't pay for them. Just say you weren't happy with the color. Get in line after #75 for lawsuits.

If you talk to any welder, they will tell you the secret to skilled welding is being consistent and machine-like.

I'm thinking a future career is in replacing bomb-disposal robots, always seems to be room for advancement.

CommieCanuck said...


I have the sinking feeling that I've lost whatever fashion sense I once had. While I'm resigned to "dad pants"


It's called not giving a fuck, and I quite enjoy it. No man-bun, man-tights or Smith Brothers beard, thank you. Just a little peroxide and burnt orange tuba-tan and you're 2016ing.

Drock said...

Well now that I'm fixed chain slap is no more, but needing someone to kickstart how to make my bio pace rings square, I mean round again.

P.s. Power meter I use is basic but effective; I see someone in front of me I apply more power, if I want to see someone in front of me I apply less.

The Candid Cyclist said...

Of all the ways to protest Trump, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Burning one of the few American made products around is probably one of the stupidest. Yeah, there are still a shit-ton of them made in Maine. I buy mine at the factory store for like $40 for 2 pair. After this boycott tantrum that might go down to 20 bucks when they have more shoes than they can sell.

Fashion sense? They're sneakers for Chrisake!

CommieCanuck said...

I don't get Trump protestors, what are they protesting, democracy?
"I'm not going to vote, then whine about the results of the vote".

We tried nothing, and we're all out of ideas.

Frank Drebin said...

Nice Beaver.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Sure, you can flirt with fresh Foams, but the ONLY truly acceptable shoe is the NB 990.

I just wish the company would stick to making sneakers and leave the politicking to more appropriate messengers.

None said...

"Fashion sense? They're sneakers for Chrisake!"

I run on a regular basis, and I need EEEE width running shoes. That's why I wear NB. Others, like Steve Jobs and RTMS, wore/wear them for other reasons.

JLRB said...

That's clearly a Pussy Moon, not a Beaver Moon - nobody grabs a Beaver, except maybe Mrs. Cleaver

Fourhourerection said...

Commie cannuck- they're protesting the first loss of their lives. Hopefully they will learn to brush it off and get back in the game.

JLRB said...

Commie C - They are protesting to protest, or because the man said rude shit to get elected and it worked, or in some cases because they protest because it's better than sitting through geometry class

JLRB said...

The obvious put into order: "By now we should understand that while Trump is an ignorant buffoon in some ways and an outright moron in others, he’s also a savant of hatred and resentment. He not only identifies the ugliest feelings that portions of the electorate have — that’s the easy part, and all of his primary opponents knew equally well what those feelings were — he finds just the right way to reach in and goose them."

Fourhourerection said...

Too bad Gary didn't even place. Things would have been mellow.

Fred Mercury said...

I think most of the new full-squish bikes are ugly. Tri-bikes look ridiculous too.

Steely Danzig said...

That guy who made the new suspension design seems to have legitimate qualifications. He also has the facial hair required to get a reality TV show. Too bad Specialized is going to steal his design.

Bluezurich said...

Thirty Fifth! I'm curious, did we have super tides today as well?

bieks said...

Aw sweet, Gary Johnson's doing the Tour Divide? I'm totes gonna follow his dot/Spot/GPS trace! Assuming I still remember his name next June.

Anonymous said...

So eh Clintons are a cycling family. Bill has not helment (good for him), Hillary's is waaaay too far back, and Chealsey's is on backward. I bet they get out a lot.

A Vancouver Beaver Moon if ever there was one said...

That moon must have been over Vancouver.

Get Yours Before the Trump Tax Cut Raises Your Taxes said...

The new Trump hats are flying off the shelf faster than limited edition Snob hats and underwear.

"White, Male, Uneducated
and Electing Presidents
since 2016"

Git yours at sueepigpig.com

Fatuous Smugwort said...

Jill Stein biked ALONG the Jamaicaway. On the bike path.
There's no way she'd regularly ride the roadway portion.

It should be a parkway road with a single lane and a 25mph speed limit but it is two narrow lanes in each direction and it sucks to drive on never mind cycle on.

And I have ridden it. And Storrow Drive from time to time.
There is one section that is a great short-cut which is uncomfortable but safe, and it is completely legal (despite ignorant DCR (ex M.D.C.) cops' belief in the contrary) and drivers HATE you for it, so I really enjoyed it.

Jamaicaway, not so much.

Anonymous said...

I was watching the robot porn, but then I moved on to the wonderful Fushida entirety video, and noticed that they use Fread paints on the frames.
That sort of sounds close to Fred paint.

Electro Forged said...

"Lastly, here's your robot-welding porn of the day:"

1. Those robot be arc welding, not TIG welding. I'm thinking Walmart bike not Cannondale.
B. You don't want to be anywhere near them when they swing around.
III. Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano"

Bernie the Burn said...

What do we do now?

Get heavily involved in the political process and stay involved and stand up for your rights gudamnit

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the robot welding porn ! I really needed that! I get to weld tomorrow hopefully for a few hours before my class starts. I have to put in more hours welding to get my mind off things...

Anonymous said...

Nope it's MIG ( metal inert gas ) There are no electrodes therefor it's not SMAW (shielded metal arc welding). I do not know what you meant but when people usually reference Arc welding they are talking about SMAW.

bad boy heading south said...

A beaver moon..a foretelling of bikey stuff to come.

McFly said...

They have to pulse weld or it will just blow holes in the frame. The synchronized timing is beautiful and poetic.

That's a BIG MIG.

Lunatic said...

Blame the election on the moon

Everbody said...

Pro tip: Take a selfie with the moon, you'll never look smaller.

bieks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Brontodon said...

I, for one, welcome our new Trumpian overlord.

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