Since tire pressure curation is more important than ever in these gravel-centric times, I've gone through my tire pressure journal and made a special proprietary cap for each of my bicycles with the appropriate PSI embroidered on it so I never forget:
Also, don't forget that a custom-embroidered Walz cap is a great holiday gift for your friend who thinks they're hot shit on Strava:
Remember: discount code WLZBSNYC16 is still good until this Wednesday, December 14th, so order now! Or at least before then! Exclamation points!!!
Also, according to the banner over there in the BSNYC Right-Hand Margin Shopping Mall they're offering another discount code good for items from their Velo/City collection.
So basically it's safe to say at this point that if you go to the Walz site and enter a bunch of random letters and numbers you'll probably get a nice discount on something.
In other news, it's always a shame when someone quits cycling:
Though, to be honest, anyone who calls it "biking" and spells pedaled as "peddled" is already a high flight risk:
I love biking. I bought my wife a bike and was happy when my two sons started biking. One peddled from San Francisco to Beaufort, North Carolina. The other biked in Philadelphia as part of his employment.
I certainly don't mean to make light of the infuriating tragedies that informed this person's decision, but I'm not sure how you reconcile telling people to "continue to work for bike-safe roads" while simultaneously announcing that you're quitting bikes:
We all respect and honor ghost bikes and memorial rides that follow the tragic deaths of fallen bikers around the world. But after Ashley, I’m siding with my parent’s common sense about Pee Wee Football and risk. I’ve hung my bike from the ceiling in my garage, to be ridden only on special occasions, out of respect for all the Ashleys, Rafes, Kentaros, Daniels, Neds, and the many others both in the past and are yet to come. Too many car drivers are using cell phones, alcohol, and drugs. Let us continue to work for bike-safe roads, but in the meantime, my bike hangs in the garage.
I'm also not sure this is the best way to honor the victims' memories. If I should meet my end at the texting hands and lead foot of a motorist, I don't want anybody hanging up their bike on account of me. Quite the opposite. I want a mass-salmoning up 5th Avenue with thousands of helmetless riders flouting the law and flipping off every driver they see. There's no way I could rest comfortably knowing people weren't riding because of me. If anything I want them to hold trackstanding competitions on my grave:
Anyway, the above op-ed came to my attention because someone wrote a letter to the editor about it which someone tweeted at me:
Here it is:
My thanks to Daniel deB. Richter for hanging up his bike (“Fearful of drivers, I’m off my bike,” Nov. 27 Point of View).
Perhaps those of us who endure packs of rude, self-absorbed, oblivious cyclists threatening traffic on roads not designed for bicycles will drive with a bit less fear. Many of the roads on which these cyclists ride have two lanes with double yellow lines, curves and hills.
Yes, the roads have been terrorized by weight-weenies on sub-18lb bicycles for far too long. Will Americans ever feel safe in their 5,000lb SUVs again? Hopefully President Trump can restore some semblance of sanity and order.
My wife is often reluctant to drive in our part of Raleigh on the weekends for fear of these posturing pelotons.
Yeah? Well your wife's an idiot and so are you.
My tax dollars help pay for biking trails suitable for Richter to indulge his passion for latex shorts and expensive bicycles while not endangering me or others who merely want to use the roads for the intended purpose of vehicular traffic.
Uh, latex shorts? Really? If your wife regularly finds herself among people in latex shorts during her weekend visits to Raleigh you two might want to have an honest discussion about your sex life.
By the way, if you do a search for Stuart Byham in Raleigh you find someone who over the years has been guilty of the following violations:
--STOP SIGN VIOLATION
--HANDICAPPED PARKING VIOLATION
--SPEEDING IN SCHOOL ZONE
--EXPIRED REGISTRATION CARD/TAG
--NO OPERATORS LICENSE
Now I have absolutely no idea whether or not this is the same Stuart Byham, and of course I'm not asserting that it is, but either way it's pretty safe to say the guy's a putz.
Speaking of interesting search results, you don't want to know what happens if you search for "passion for latex shorts"--or maybe you do, which is totally cool, I didn't mean to be judgmental. (And that goes for you too, Ms. Byham. I'm sure after that honest discussion you and your husband will be catheterizing each other in no time, and I wish you nothing but happiness.)
Anyway, if the Byhams are this frightened of run-of-the-mill Freds then there's no telling how horrified they'd be if they encountered an alleycat, and Stephane in Munich has informed me that L'Equipe is now documenting the phenomenon:
Each week, cyclists participate in clandestine competitions, called alleycats. Cities are their territory, the streets are their playground. In New York, Berlin or for the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Paris, we met world champions, recognized winners and experienced witnesses. Watch this film on the messenger culture, their history, their competitions and their claim for liberty.
"In this society, we're taught not to do so many of the things that we do in our film."
I think you're confusing being afraid to break the shackles of conformity with simple common sense. Is riding into traffic while wearing designer streetwear really striking a blow against society, or is it merely the sort of thing people with common sense don't bother doing?
Seems to me the bike advocacy smugerati types are doing much more to undermine "society" than the Lucas Brunelle movie extras, but watching someone pedal a bakfiets to the food co-op doesn't make for a very sexy video. (Unless you think Birkenstocks and bunions are sexy--and I'm talking to you, Ms. Byham.)
Though this rider is definitely striking a blow against society by wearing his helmet cocked way back on his head with Euro-style insouciance:
Seriously, if he pushes that helmet back any further he'll be wearing it around his neck.
Nevertheless, it was interesting to see the whole alleycat thing covered from a mainstream European media perspective. For example, apparently in Paris the number of bike messengers has increased over the past ten years from a dozen:
Wait a minute.
[Cue record scratch sound.]
It's increasing? Don't they have email in France? Here in New York there used to be tons of messengers, but now I think there are like four actual messengers left and everyone else just wears fancy clothes and makes a weekly delivery for Uber to maintain some semblance of street cred.
Next we meet the competitors at the Cycle Messenger World Championships, and I'm pleased to report that America wins for most voluminous hair and beard:
I mean he's no Dogpaw, but then again who is?
Every time I watch the Dogpaw video I notice something new. For example, of course he locks his bike with handcuffs, because he's fucking Dogpaw:
In any case, while the USA totally has the best hair situation, Bern takes the prize for most resembling a villain from a Cold War action film:
Anyway, the video eventually makes its way to New York City and Monster Track, and in the end I concluded that France must be at least 10 years behind the cycling trends, which means I should totally move there and travel back in time to when my blog was still relevant.
It's also worth noting that, as irritating as it can be to watch riders blasting through intersections and buzzing pedestrians, even the worst outlaw cyclist is still more endearing than the Hells Angels:
"Nobody fucks with our tree, man!"
If a squirrel dreams about stealing an acorn off that tree it better wake up and apologize.
I mean they're no Satan's Helpers, but still:
Anyway, time to grab those latex bibs and head out for a ride.