No hands? No helmet? On an old mountain bike with cantis and thumb shifters?My hands are for one thing only: playing sax pic.twitter.com/ncuJJUBBAg— Kenny G (@kennyg) November 26, 2016
Not only is Kenny okay in my book, but he's about a thousand times cooler than Russell Crowe:
I guess when you're from the Antipodes it's hard to shake off the shackles of bike-dorkdom.
Moving on, after two days of heavy rain the sun is shining upon us once again:
Though as I headed out this morning I was dismayed to discover that my chain was a bit noisy. Oh sure, I'd lubed it after my rainy ride on Tuesday, but evidently it could have used another slathering.
Clearly I need one of these:
Yes, it's the automatic chain lubricator of your wettest, most Fredliest dreams:Paging @bikesnobnyc this goes in the top 10 Fred Xmas list a long with those wheel weights. https://t.co/eA2mQ4ZzK7— Ned James (@NedleyJames) December 1, 2016
Always forgetting to oil your chain before or after a ride? Take away the hassle with the Flaer Revo Via, an automatic lube dispensing system that oils your chain as you’re riding along and is claimed by the company to “significantly increase the power transmitted through the drivetrain to the rear wheel” by a heady 12 watts.
Heady indeed--assuming "heady" means "fictional," since a study revealed that chain lube has little effect on bicycle drivetrain efficiency. (The study is even cited in the story about the chain lube device.)
So really, the worst thing about forgetting to lube your chain is that you might have to hear sounds from it until you can scrounge some White Lightning from a bike shop (they love when you do that I'm sure) or surreptitiously rub your chain on Mario Cipollini's unctuous limbs:
Yes, by rolling your bike past Cipo and allowing your drivetrain to graze his glistening calves you can keep your chain noise-free for up to a year--for free!
Nevertheless, according to the company that makes the auto-squirt, they know it works because they've conducted "extensive testing:"
The company tells us it purchased a Chain Efficiency Tester that is apparently one of only three in the world and with this, it conducted its own extensive testing.
“It is impossible to achieve a 100% efficiency through a drive train, there will always be a discrepancy between what you put in at the cranks and what you get out at the rear hub,” says Flaer’s Andy Parker. “However, what we are able to do is keep these losses to a bare minimum, approx. 5 watts. This is where any chain that has been appropriately lubricated would be at the beginning of a ride. Where the Revo Via provides a performance advantage is, it can keep you at this 5 watt level for the duration of your ride.”
Hmmm, let's see: a special device that totally and conveniently validates their absurd claims? Isn't that basically the idea behind an E-meter?
Indeed, the gap between Fred-dom and Scientology is rapidly closing, and at this point I'm not sure there's much difference between a custom-tailored training program and an auditing course.
And if special rare devices aren't enough to convince you that you need a chain lubing device on your bike, there's also this chart:
You're probably one of those poor schmucks using "other lubricants," and applying them at home instead of while in motion. Silly you. See how low you are on the chart? Don't you want to be all the way up at the red line where the Revo Auto-Sploodge 2000 is? Come on, get with the program already! Plus, it doesn't sound like something that would be a pain in the ass at all:
The Revo Via comprises a small control module and fluid reservoir that can be attached to the down tube of the bike, and a short hose then runs along the chainstay to the dispensing unit which is attached to the rear mech. The whole setup adds 121g before you add any fluid, with a maximum of 27ml of fluid in the system. Refill intervals range from 7.5 to 37.5-hours depending on the frequency, and this will depend on the riding conditions. The system is powered by a battery and run time is 150 hours.
Best of all, it only costs a mere £250 to catheterize your bicycle, though I suppose now's the time to buy one given the favorable post-Brexit vote exchange rate.
Though I'll probably wait for the gravel version:
In other news, if you've got any money left over after purchasing your Ejac-U-Tron 9000 make sure to help fund the USA Grand Tour, since they've only got another month to raise $1.3 million:
The USA Grand Tour will be a race like the Tour De France, The Giro D'Italia and the Vuelta Espagna. Each of these 21 day stage races, or Grand Tours, is designed to showcase the country in which they are held, the products which sponsor the race, and to push the 198 or so riders to their very limits. The enormity of the race logistics and the secondary nature of bicycle racing here in America has made such an undertaking unthinkable. ..until now.
We've entered a new era where the growth of cycling participation and spectating in America is exploding! As a result of that growth it's time America stands up on the world stage and demonstrates how WE do a Grand Tour!
No it isn't.
And the video's not helping:
"Professional bicycle racing means many things to many people: Incredible speed that you can reach out and touch..."
Yeah, please don't reach out and touch the speed, it makes them crash.
"...and sensational triumphs:"
I'm not sure that's the photo I'd use to accompany the phrase "sensational triumphs." Chris Horner's biological passport smells fishier than the Dumpster behind a Long John Silver's.
Bike fighting, on the other hand, could very well be the sport America needs NOW, and a commenter on yesterday's post was kind enough to share this article about on-the-bike self-defense:
Yes, your bicycle can be a weapon, as many triathletes know all too well:
In most situations, the bike is your friend, you should not leave that friend behind unless absolutely necessary (more on that below). In addition to being a partial shield when you’re off the bike and a trusty escape vehicle, it can also be a weapon.
If your attacker(s) is (are) in front of you, you can pull the bike onto the rear wheel so that your front wheel is in the air with your hands still on the handlebars. Engage the rear brake (right hand), to keep the bike firmly planted. Thrust your arms out, using the front wheel to jab at your assailants.
With the rear wheel planted, you can swivel the bike, keeping it between you and the attackers. As soon as you have an opening, drop the front wheel, run forward and re-mount the bike.
Question: when you're pummeling your opponent in the face with your front wheel, what pressure should you be running?
Also, you may be forced to throw your bike to the wolves, turn tail, and flee for your life:
When To Ditch The Bike
In almost every scenario when you are confronted by a single attacker, keep your bike. But if there are multiple assailants from coming from different angles, let go of the bike and focus on protecting yourself. The bike may be the most valuable item on your person, so surrendering it may “buy” you a way out. Nothing is more precious than your life.
Nothing is more precious than your life? Really? Clearly the author has never ridden a CUSTOM RODE BIEK:
As far as I'm concerned Larry Olmsted remains the greatest cycling writer of all time.
Anyway, I enjoyed the bike-fighting article, but I could have done with an in-depth analysis of what the best frame material is for a weaponized bike. Do you want the lateral stiffness and vertical compliance of crabon? The supple reliability of steel? Or the pleasant springiness of titanium?
Though in the right hands even high-tensile steel can yield high performance:
Lastly, here's a tragic instance of life imitating Super Mario Bros.:
Investigators found no evidence that another vehicle was involved. An autopsy showed that Kervin's head trauma was consistent with falling off his bicycle.
The turtle survived the crash with a small crack in the bottom of its shell. It crawled away with minor injuries.
No mention of whether the victim was wearing a helmet, but they do point out the turtle was wearing a shell.