Monday, October 15, 2018

Let's Get Aero!!!

Hey everybody!  Here's a new Outside column about banning aerobars that you should of course take 100% literally:

Sick posish, bro.

Also, this weekend I found this awesome new bike shop:

They had awesome accessories like this valve-mounted lighting system:

This fantastic iPhone mounting system for recumbents:

And this toolkit that's perfect for the tiny fasteners on today's lightweight components and that fits easily in your saddlebag or tool roll:

They even had tubeless sealant!

I'm pleased to report that I left with all of the above items, as well as several pillows and novelty mugs with flatulence-themed slogans printed on them.

Anyway, be sure to check it out if there's one near you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Outside Column!

This week's Outside column is all about "avid" cyclists:

Though avid cyclists may take issue with it:

Also, Bicycling says the Number One Cycling City In Canada's Coccyx is...Seattle!

Right now, things are going the way they should in every city: There are currently 60 miles of low-stress neighborhood greenways in the works, and connecting existing protected bikeways is a major priority, says Dongho Chang, a traffic engineer for the city. The Vision Zero initiative has also been taken seriously. “We timed all 300 traffic signals for 23 miles per hour,” says Chang. That’s significantly slowed traffic, which is a major tenet of reducing bike and pedestrian deaths. The city has also narrowed lanes and inserted speed tables and traffic islands—all of which calm vehicular traffic. Fucoloro even says that the will to reduce speeds was surprisingly universal.

Congratulations Seattle on receiving the Bicycling Kiss Of Death--after all, a #1 ranking from Bicycling is like a positive review from me.  (New York City was #1 a few years back so what does that tell you?)  That notwithstanding, precipitation and helmet law notwithstanding, Seattle has certainly impressed me with its bicycleness on previous visits so I'm sure the designation is warranted.

Also it's a short, scenic ferry ride from Classic Cycle, so there you go.

That was an enjoyable trip.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Bike Snob Who???

Wait a minute, so there's a Bike Snob Australia now???

There’s no denying that some drillium efforts can be beautiful, but this distinctly DIY effort as spotted by Bike Snob AUS — the Facebook account of Brisbane based shop Cranks Bicycle Garage — hasn’t quite hit the mark.

I was unable to find the original Facebook post (probably because I'm not on the Facebook) but if Bike Snob AUS did not point out the delightful irony that the drillium derailleur is an Ultegra then he/she/they should cease and desist using the moniker forthwith:

If weight is such a concern why not just buy the Dura Ace in the first place? 

Anyway I'm currently running Sora derailleurs with both pulleys removed in order to save weight, so maybe I shouldn't talk.

(Runs a little rough with no pulleys and the shifting does suffer a bit--well, it suffers tremendously--but it's worth it for the weight savings.)

In other tech news, while searching to see if anybody has covered the Jones SWB Complete nearly as comprehensively as I have, I happened upon this review:

I agree with most of it, I thought he did an excellent job, and I'm sure he has his reasons for not removing the reflectors.  (Maybe Bike Snob AUS wants to weigh in there.)  I was also intrigued by these nubbins:

Here is the source of the intriguing nubbins in question:

I think having a place to hang the ol' thumbs when using the forward hand position in conjunction with the Jones handlebar purse would be just the ticket, and I may have to order a set of these things just as soon as I get around to it, which knowing me will probably be somewhere around 2020.

In the meantime I'm still getting plenty of use out of the bike:

And it's pretty much become my default choice for fall, except when it's been raining and the ground is all muddy, in which case I revert to a state of Fredness by riding a road bicycle.

Speaking of road bikes, VeloNews goes uncharacteristically advocacy-ish by way of explaining why the road bike will once again have its day:

Couple that with the woeful state of cycling infrastructure on and around American roads and you’ve got a hurricane of doom for road bikes. Let’s be honest: People who don’t feel safe riding on the roads won’t ride on the roads. And since there’s almost no accountability for drivers who injure or kill cyclists, the problem persists. Compare that to many European countries in which drivers are always on the hook if they strike a cyclist. (Go ahead and Google “Stop de Kindermoord.”)

The industry response to this problem has been inadequate at best, lazy at worst. Hi-viz clothing and flashing lights are nice and all — and boy were they everywhere at Interbike —  but they won’t stop a texting driver from mowing a cyclist down. The best way to increase the road cycling population in the United States is to protect riders from drivers. That means infrastructure, not bright, goofy-looking clothing with embedded crystals and wiring for flashing red LEDs. It’s going to take some real, coordinated effort and a lot of heavy lifting to make real headway here.

Nice.  At this rate they'll be admitting bicycle helmets are mostly BS in no time.

As for road bikes, it's their "long and storied" heritage that will save them:

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Road bikes are not dead. Not even close. While they’re certainly not as profitable as they used to be during the halcyon-yellow days of Lance Armstrong’s dominance, group rides still roll out on Saturday mornings. Lunch riders abound around noon. A culture as long and storied as the roadie culture isn’t likely to die a swift death.

So are road bikes cool anymore? Who cares? If it’s fun, ride it. It’s clear we’re in a downtrend heading toward a trough, and road bikes could even be considered a small niche. But the bounce will come. If you’re not convinced, take a look at the data.

I'll buy that.  Every now and then you've got to run a razor over the leg stubble, swaddle yourself in Lycra, and hunch over the drops.  I suspect it's the same sense of familiarity and obligation that compels mostly secular people to go to their respective places of worship on the major holidays.

Every so often you've got to supplicate yourself before the Altar of Fredness.

Friday, October 5, 2018

What Are You Still Doing At Your Desk? Go Take A Ride For Chrissakes!

Yesterday I mentioned Renovo's closure, and now BikePortland has the whole story:

Hey, I've been out of cash and employees for over 11 years now, yet here I still am, go figure.

Anyway, Renovo's story is a dramatic one, featuring no less than two (2) heart attacks, one of them fatal.  It also turns out making bikes out of wood takes a long time and isn't easy, who'da thunk it?

Tyler Robertson, a former employee in charge of marketing who worked for the company in the summer of 2014, recalled in an interview today that they faced, “massive delays in production.” While the CNC construction method sounds quick and easy (Wheeler told me back in 2008 that his CNC process, “Lends itself to high volume production”), the truth was much more complicated. “It was a really hands-on, meticulous process,” Robertson said. Adding to the problem were customers frustrated by longer than expected delays. Robertson says they were promised a bike in six-to-eight weeks; but some people on the list had been waiting as much as two years. As word spread of the delay (there are several very negative Yelp reviews during this period), many customers cancelled their orders.

Let's all just go ahead and blame millennials with their apps and their smartphones and their need for instant gratification and their completely unreasonable expectation that bicycles should be reasonably priced and available for immediate purpose.

And of course let's also blame me:

(Thanks Chris DiStefano for alerting me to this.)

I'd argue if I could.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Kiss Of Death, Helmet Of Dorkitude

As a cycling blogger whose elder human child is engaged in the long-term review of an Islabikes Luath 24, I was dismayed to learn they'll be closing their US headquarters:

Islabikes has decided to close the US office in Portland, Oregon to focus energy on the UK and EU markets. During this voluntary liquidation we will sell all remaining stock of bikes, accessories and parts in the US. It’s bittersweet, but there are great discounts to be had before closing this fall. At this time we have not set a closing date.

If you are considering ordering for the Holidays, order now, as once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Hey, frankly I can't blame them for giving up on America, one of the most bike-challenged countries on earth (after Australia, of course), but it's a shame nonetheless.

Anyway, I guess the silver lining in all of this is cheap bikes.

Not only that, but I've also been reviewing the Renovo Aerowood, and if you've been to their website recently you may have's not there anymore:

While there's been no formal announcement that I've been aware of, I think it's probably safe for me to say at this point that they've made like a tree, which is a huge bummer for anyone with a lot of money who wants a wood-hewn dream bike.

I guess what I'm saying is, since apparently a review from me is the kiss of death, perhaps I should review a Specialized next.

Moving on, Jason Gay reports that Floyd Landis is using his whistleblower windfall to start a cycling team:

In April, the Justice Department announced that Armstrong would pay $5 million to settle a government lawsuit alleging he defrauded the U.S. Postal Service by accepting millions in sponsorship money despite doping. Since the government’s case began with Landis’s whistleblower complaint, Landis was awarded a portion of the settlement.

Now Landis has decided what to do with the money. After paying off his legal fees, he’s taking what’s left—roughly $750,000, he told me—and putting all of it into a new professional, North American-based developmental cycling team set to begin racing next year.

In other words:

What a great movie.

And what kind of bike dork would I be if I didn't make the obligatory "He should buy himself some pedals first" quip?

The correct answer is "No kind.  I'd be no kind of bike dork at all."

Finally, meet a bunch of bros who want in on some of that sweet, sweet helmet action:

Yeah, no they won't.

Nevertheless, here's the story behind their "inspiration."

Three years ago David Hall's life was turned upside down. The engineering student's sister was hit by a car when riding her bike in Philadelphia. While his sister lay in a coma, Hall and his family were asked the same question over and over again: "Was she wearing a helmet?"

She wasn't.

This led Hall and his classmate Jordan Klein to ask, "Why wasn't she wearing a helmet?"  

Really, that was your fucking question?  Not "Why the hell did this asshole run down my sister and how do we stop this from happening to more people?"  Jesus Freaking Christ.

Their Brooklyn-based startup, named Park and Diamond for the Philadelphia intersection where the crash occurred, is launching the helmet on Indiegogo, where it already has surpassed its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 and raised more than $450,000 since mid-September.

Well, I should have worn a helmet while watching the video because it pulverized my brain with a hammer of stupidity:

I knew I was in trouble when I heard the words "former SpaceX engineers," and sure enough these MuskDouches think that people won't carry a regular helmet, but they will carry a whiskey bottle container:

With the world's corniest ball cap inside:

We've had helmet hats for years, they look no stupider today than they did when they first came out, and it should be clear by now to anybody with eyes that the real aesthetic problem with them is the straps.  Therefore, since we're now a helmet-at-all-times-or-else society, why not just encourage mandatory skull implants and interlocking helmets for all?  There's already a model for this, as anyone who's put headgear on a Lego figure knows:

Simply implement this and we can finally have helmets that look like hair:

Of course it could be years before we make this happen, so in the meantime let's just lie about shit:

Holy shit, they pulled that "statistic" out of their ass like SpaceX bro pulled that helmet hat out of his whiskey cylinder.

Somebody should give these guys positions in the Trump administration.

But wait, there's more!

And also:

I can't even.  Seriously, I really can't.

You know, 90% of pedestrians don't wear moon boots, and 97% of pedestrian fatalities occur when pedestrians aren't wearing moon boots, so you do the math.

But brace yourself for the biggest lie of all:

Yeah, right.

"Attractive" my ass.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Wait, *Another* Outside Column? Well I'll Be!

Well, when it rains it rains heavily, because I've got another column up on Outside's website already!

It's weird because whenever a new one pops up I usually see it on Twitter, find myself wondering, "Wait, did I write that?," and then after a paragraph or two I'm like, "Oh yeah, I guess I did."

There's a fine line between being prolific and projectile-vomiting prose, and I crossed that line long ago.

Of course that's not to say I don't stand behind the quality of my columns, because I totally do--though the illustrations are obviously the best part, and I basically just write really long captions for them.

Hey, beats working!

Monday, October 1, 2018

New Outside Column!

Good morning!  Here's my new Outside column:

I'd apologize for my reticence last week but having officially reached the point in my bloviating career where I can do whatever the hell I want the truth is I owe you nothing.


You're welcome,

--Tan Tenovo