Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It was the best of Wednesdays, it was the worst of Wednesdays.

Remember how I said I'd have more details regarding my upcoming appearance at River City Bicycles in Portland?  Well now I do, and they're fantastic:

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:

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.


Jasper said...

Early doors

Anonymous said...

woo hoo hoo

dnk said...

Holy shitballs!

N/A said...

Good morning all.

Synonymous said...

1st alternate. Gotta quit my job.

N/A said...

Of course the comments on all the shitty news sites' stories about the Michigan driver's murder-spree are filled with idiotic BS about how bikes don't belong on the road. Never mind that this man committed premeditated murder.

As long as their fat asses can get to Starbucks and the mall without being inconvenienced, all's well!

N/A said...

I'm not taking it well, today.

Kraig said...

Some days, I really feel like I need a hug.

cdinvb said...

I'm going to watch rain and eat potato chips. And wonder wtf with drivers. WTF.

Bryan said...

I hope that criminal can never again get a drivers license after rotting for a decade or so in jail.

JLRB said...

Death is hardest on the survivors

RIP to the 5 dead, lobspeed healing to the injured, peace to the families and friends, and old testament justice for the pick'mup truck driver

Anonymous said...

I feel like crashing a fatbike into that fucktard's scranus.

dancesonpedals said...

Good to see bicycle guide. I remember the last issue before they folded, and didn't give a shit about pissing off advertisers. (In a sad way).

On the buying guide editor Debra had the following 2 nihilistic suggestions:

Energy bars: "Why bother buying them, when they're so much cheaper to make", and she provided a recipe.

Socks: Don't buy brand names or socks with team logos. Get a 4 pack at K mart for $10.

McFly said...

I bet if you retracted everything on a Stokbike you could throw it like 36 more feet than a less aero bike. Plus you would get a good bounce which is included in your overall distance.

Anonymous said...

Bet that guy doesn't spend a year behind bars because it was an "accident" don't you know. It doesn't feel very good to be a cyclist today.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell needs a license to drive a vehicle anyway. Last I checked, all I needed was my key (or a screwdriver in one old truck). As we move towards the 5g communications future, we should insist upon in vehicle wireless license verification. The card should be the key. This wouldn't prevent all tragedies, but we could prevent many.

CommieCanuck said...

It's always 50-somethings in pickup trucks, driving along angry and muttering, fuckin' ...fuckin' ...fuckin'". These assholes buzz me all the time.

We're supposed to be scared of brown people, but white guys in pickup trucks scare the shit outta me.

I'm sure he'll get a stiff fine, $120X5. The bike club was called, "the Chain Gang", so this will be spun as just gang-related violence.
The driver was reported before the crash to three agencies of police for driving erratically, but nothing was done as they hadn't finished the donuts yet and their fingers were all sticky. It's a white guy in a 3-ton pickup, not some black kid riding a BMX bike, or a brown guy with a bag of fertilizer.

Amazingly, not one article mentions if they were wearing healments or not. The main fact focused on in every article is that the pickup was a a blue Chevrolet Z-71 Silverado. That matters.

Grump said...

I remember that article from BG, back in 96.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:15pm,

I have to authenticate all my TV apps regularly before using, but I don't have to authenticate the status of my license before driving. So many of these stories involve drivers with suspended licenses, revoked licenses, or just no licenses. It's easier for them to drive than to watch "House of Cards."

--Wildcat Rock Machine

N/A said...

Well, I'm a 40-something white guy in a pickup truck, so I'm not too keen to paint everything with the same brush. Soccermoms in their ridiculously large shit-wagons are nasty on the road, too. Same with kids in their shitty little cars with the fart-can exhaust pipes.

I think we can all agree that most motorists are assholes to anything that impedes their path. Lob forbid they have to pay attention to the road and be considerate of others.

crosspalms said...


Very Slim Pickens said...

"Mr. Getting* said a decision about what, if any, charges would be filed

"IF ANY" Seriously, just for starters, isn't hit and run a crime in Michigan? Or if hit and run involves hitting a cyclist, are drivers exempt in Michigan?

* Jeffrey S. Getting, the prosecuting attorney for Kalamazoo County

bad boy of the north said...

that is sad news.i didn't know until just heart goes out to them and their family and friends.
according to the article,the pickup truck was driving erratically,not the driver.

CommieCanuck said...

"Welp, was an accident".

I've had personal experience with getting buzzed by drivers in group rides, and every time it has been greying white angry rural guy in pickup. They blame lycra for the lower prices of soybeans or something.

The fallout of this will be obvious for Michigan: ban group bike rides.

Of course we have technology to make roads safer. We can't listen to any music without being charged in the middle of nowhere...but somehow, stopping texting and reading while driving in a moving car is impossible...but Google can point you to the nearest Sizzler in 0.004 secs from anywhere, at any speed.

trama said...

5 people dead. I didn't know them, but now I'm going to look them up and miss them.

CommieCanuck said...

according to the article,the pickup truck was driving erratically,not the driver.

Obviously too much ethanol in the Obama greenie hippy gas, did you know it was a dark blue Chevrolet Z-71 Silverado?

N/A said...

Coincidentally, my neighbor has a dark blue Chevy Silverado. Don't recall if it's a Z-71, though.

leroy said...

Well this is odd.

I thought Michael's theme song would have been "The Gardening Man".

It's about growing stuff and it is Wednesday.

And the rest of the news is depressing.

Anonymous said...

Be careful out there, folks.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

I am hoping that Prosecuting Attorney Getting's inclusion of the words "If Any" in his statement is a procedural requirement that must be included in all press statements so that the "alleged" murderer's attorney can't later claim the prosecutor was biased from the beginning. So sad for the victims and their families.

Anonymous said...

Who's going be the first up on kick starter with licensed replicas of Birmingham Small Arms WWII paratrooper bicycles? The ultimate in urban street cred. Plus they go flat and are compact.

Wrench Monkey said...

This country needs a fucking good writer to write a serious book about bad driving and its consequences. The easy answer to bad driving is self driving cars, because supposedly driver behavior can't be changed. An argument to this is driver behavior CAN be changed. Whenever there is a visible police car nearby, most people suddenly remember how to be courteous & safe drivers instead of a territorial self-centered assholes with the maturity of toddlers. The same people who would most likely hold the door for you at the grocery store will try to kill you if they feel you made them take their foot off the gas. I could rant about this for a long time & frequently do, but somewhere there is a more eloquent person who could do a much better job.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

What is the difference between spumoni and semifreddo?

Well, Cipo was unable to spumoni his goofy tiller into my lady pocket this morning, but semifreddo filled it fine.

grog said...

I tried to sing it; I blew out my epiglottis.
Pox on the Silverado killer.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at a straight road with wide shoulders running north/south, so the perp ain't going to be able to go for the "sun was in my eyes" gambit since "not seeing" a minimum of 9 people is just too ridiculous even for this country.

And almost exactly at the fatal spot, I see a business named "Racecars Unlimited". There it is right there, the 'merican fixation with driving bloated bodies in bloated vehicles aggressively, and worshipping deceased NASCAR a-holes with nicknames like "The Intimidator".

Things won't change.

Tom Morley said...

A few weeks ago on a group ride a car blind passes me- completely in the oncoming lane, then got to the red light 5 seconds ahead of me, where he proceeded to turn right from the left lane, almost right hooking the bicycles in the right lane.

CommieCanuck said...

5 people dead. I didn't know them, but now I'm going to look them up and miss them.

A nurse, a scientist, could be any of us.

Anonymous said...

Chuckling through my tears today at the decal designer comment snobbie.....

Spokey said...

Wrench Monkey

the large gaping fallacy to your reasoning is that you assume they can (and do) read.

CommieCanuck said...

This country needs a fucking good writer to write a serious book about bad driving and its consequences.

What consequences?

Google already knows it's autonomous cars will run down people, which is why they have a patent for a fly-paper surface that sticks victims onto the car.

This is actually how I plan on getting around in the future.

Joe said...

Good to know I can buy a whole new bike instead of just loosening the pinch bolts on my stem and buying one of the many folding pedals already available. Heaven forbid I only spend $20 and take two seconds to turn a wrench.

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

For a slight diversion ...

Antonio Mondonico is pretty badass. There's a good movie about him called The Fire in the Frame. Some of my club got to see it when it was in NYC and they said it was great.

We gotta be able to carry some kind of weapon as 2 to 3 ton artillery pieces are constantly being pointed at us.
I won't ride when it's wet out for a variety of my crappy bike handling reasons but also I am sure that too many people have no clue how to handle their conveyance when it's slick out.

Good Luck !!!


KevinH said...

After self-driving cars become widespread, "Pickup Crashes into Cyclists" will be a legitimate headline. I'm OK with it now, because I know pickups have drivers. In the future there may need to be a distinction between "pickup" and "man driving pickup". Meanwhile driver crashes into cyclists isn't nearly as informative as "car" or "pickup" or "tractor trailer" or "atv" or "Hyundai" crashes into cyclists.

I pretty much know if a Hyundai crashes into cyclists, BikeSnobNYC will be blamed, since he is the most famous Hyundai driver of all time. And yes, of course there will be a diesel-powered, Hyundai pickup on the market real soon now.

BamaPhred said...

I have given up on humanity.
We haven't reached peak victim blaming, but the trend is definitely upward
Comments from our online fish wrapper thus far:
Michigan, cyclists should know they are going to be killed or injured if they ride on the highways.
Space cowboy kills two children, their fault for no seat belt. Rumor has it he hit them from the rear at over 100 mph.
15 year old killed in a revenge shooting, his fault for being out at 2:45AM. It was a revenge shooting from when he was a 14 year old participant in a shooting, so fuck it.
I can be pretty callous, but it's just the sheer amount of victim blaming comments that blows my mind.

YouKnowWho said...

And did I mention astronaut boy was inebriated? He's gonna walk, I'm sure. I think he refused any sobriety test and bonded out of jail asap. Nobody's talking.

Glory said...

Cue the well-meaning comments: "Ugh! Be safe out there, cycling friends!"

To which my response: WHY?? What the fuck good does it do me to be safe when I'm apparently only following the law so my survivors have something to be smug about? Not to disparage the value of smugness, but Jesus H. Fucking Christ, people.

Jesus H. Fucking Christ said...

Wear your helments!

CommieCanuck said...

After self-driving cars become widespread, "Pickup Crashes into Cyclists" will be a legitimate headline.

After self-driving cars become widespread, "Hundreds Killed after forced Windows 17 Upgrade" will be a legitimate headline.

N/A said...

"Apple cars just work," say the herd. What they don't mention is how easily the windshields crack.

Anonymous said...

Can you do a Cipo memoir for your next book?

Spokey said...

oh commie;

stop being such a pessimist.

first - windows is supposed stop at windows 10 so forget windows 17

i just built a win7 machine about 2 months ago. after installation (which was at the latest service pack), i only had something like 280 or so security fixes to apply. that's less than 1 fix per week.

yeah there were lots of follow on fixes after the first gaggle was installed. but if you can't live with but one security breach per week, i don't know what to say.

BamaPhred said...

If the Windows upgrade goes the way mine usually go, it will require an upgrade upon start up, then blue screen, requiring you to go buy a new self driving car. Sort of like trade the thing in once the ash trays fill up. You gotta be old to remember that one.

BamaPhred said...

You know, I just realized I have driven a pickup almost universally since I learned how to drive. It has never once tried to careen into a pedestrian, or a group of cyclists, or run someone innadeetch, and has served me faithfully hauling all sorts of activity related stuff. Pretty good utility I say. These sumbeeches in these coffee can tailpipe Honda's, Yota's, Hyundai's, Kia's etc now that's another story. Either fishing under the seat for the blunt they dropped, or busy texting their dealer. But the worst are the clueless soccer moms who lecture me about my choice of attire, route, or timing.

Anonymous said...

They'll probably fine the driver $20 and give him a carton of cigarettes. You gotta be old to remember that one also.

Anonymous said...

21 cm = 8.26772 inches. Thin but not THAT thin.

PotbellyJoe said...

I'm from Kalamazoo prior to landing in NJ and have ridden the road where the 9 were hit. As shocking as this may sound to some on here in NYC's armpit of Rutgersland, the drivers out here are significantly more aware of cyclists than they are in the Midwest.

I hate that the perpetual debate becomes our right to the road when the bad actors are the drivers. It's amazing the seemingly unending leniency that has been extended to drivers. If it weren't for drivers killing other drivers for it, cell phones and texting while driving would still be legal. Kill yourself or a non-child or pretty girl while driving, no biggie. Kill another driver, tsk tsk, after a few years we won't stand for that anymore and may even enforce that law a few years after it's been passed.

Anonymous said...

Victim blaming, in 1963:

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Whatever happened to black boxes in motor vehicles?? This is distressing.....we're at the mercy of hoards of metally unstable homicidal maniacs who sneak up on us and wipe us out before we know what the fuck hit us....these guys were ambushed! I just read, earlier this week;

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A pedestrian died Monday evening after being struck on busy Eighth Avenue in Midtown Monday afternoon.
A black sport-utility vehicle struck the woman at Eighth Avenue and 38th Street just after 4:30 p.m., officials told CBS2.
The woman was crossing the street when the driver of the SUV lost control, CBS2’s Emily Smith reported.
The woman — identified as Yuenei Wu, 67, of Brooklyn — was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center in critical condition and was later pronounced dead at the hospital, police said.
An ambulance also came to the scene to take someone from the vehicle to an area hospital, Joe Biermann reported from Chopper 2.
People standing nearby said they heard a loud screech, and did everything they could to rescue the woman.
“I came across the street – like me and three other guys. I got down up underneath the car – like five or six people lifted up the car – and I went up under there and I pulled her out,” said Good Samaritan Adam Smith.
“I heard the noise and commotion. I ran over. They said she was underneath the car. I grabbed the back bumper, and I told everyone to just lift,” said Good Samaritan Gregory Grange.
“When she went into the ambulance, she was alive. So as far as I know, we were just trying to help her save her life,” said Good Samaritan Juan Thompson.
The driver in the accident — Edip Olzemis, 39, of Brooklyn, was arrested, police said. He was hit with a charge of failure to yield to a pedestrian.
Following the accident, Eighth Avenue was closed from 34th Street to about 40th Street. Police were trying to detour traffic onto some side streets, but Eighth Avenue was still at a standstill.
Neighbors said the woman who was struck was well-known in the neighborhood. They said she collected cans, and always greeted everyone.

THE GUY RAN HER THE FUCK OVER!! Cited for failure to yield, that's it!...A 39 year old man 'lost control" of his behemouth death machine ( probably while playing Candy Crunch on his phone).

Be careful out there, Fuck - o's.

Anonymous said...

Sad news in Michigan. Meanwhile, here in NYC the NYPD are doing their best to promote Vision Zero by cracking down on reckless drivers in central park. Just kidding! But they did set up a trap on the west side of the 72nd street transverse yesterday morning for offending cyclists consisting of 2 cop cars and 2 parks department cop cars and at least 8 NYPD and park cops, on the city payroll.

Anonymous said...

Don't be too hard on the guy who killed the five people and ruined the lives of five families, I'm sure he feels just awful about it.

Anonymous said...

No one would of cared about Sandy Hook if Adam Lanza lost control of his car during Kindergarten school drop off.

babble on said...

30,000??! If. Only. Maybe in your wee corner of planet Earth, my dearest snobberdooderdoo. The big picture truth is that 1.3 million souls are lost to motor vehicle crashes each and every single fucking year. It IS mass murder, on a big scale and that we allow it to continue unabated makes us complicit. Well, not you, maybe, sounding out the alarms, a lone voice of truth in a cacophony of propaganda designed to delude the masses. (Heh. Makes sense you have a minor in religious studies... and FYI?Yours is the only religion I would be proud to be the pope of, but don't tell the Vatican, ok?)

We're screwed. Never mind that the per mile cost of traveling by car is over twelve times that of bicycles, and forget that the long term cost of our addiction to petrol has triggered the sixth mass extinction event. Who cares? But heaven forfuckingbid we should insist that driving is not a right, but a privilege, and one that costs all of us. No fucking way people should be forced to pay the actual cost of maintaining roadways for motor vehicles and gas extraction, and even the cost of the land they park on!! Oh no, don't even imagine what would happen if we stopped subsidizing the oil and gas extraction industries (don't get me started on that bullshit so cleverly named NATURAL gas, we'd be here all day) and instead invested in renewable, sustainable energy. Nope. Not a chance. We can't to that. Why, if we were to do that, we might actually have a living, viable planet to leave to our children's children.

What's that you say? Walkable, rideable, livable communities actually make for happy people? No! You mean to say that people don't, in reality, even ENJOY commuting for hours daily in their $80,000 SUV's? Huh. Too bad. It is what it is, and we're all going to drive blindly over the precipice we are fast approaching, reason be damned.

What the actual fuck is wrong with us??! AAAAAARGH!!

K. I'll climb off this high horse now. Take a deeeeep breath, babbles.
Sigh. It just makes me so mad that so many of us are blind to the so blindingly obvious.

I knew the Leap Manifesto had to be powerfully good when the establishment condemned it en masse. Cause you can't fuck with the status quo without striking fear into the hearts of those who stand to lose the most.

Heh. Makes sense that you've a minor in religious studies, snobberdoodums. And ssssssh...don't tell the Vatican, but yours is the only religion I'd proudly be pope of. Seeing you in Vancouver a few years ago was an awakening. I've a long history of environmental activism, but your suggestion that we turn bicycle culture into a religion? Genius. Pure, rock solid golden genius, through and through. And THAT's why I love you. xo

babble on said...

Repeating myself, so just imagine the first pope comment had been deleted, as I'd intended.

And yes, it's true, that brevity is the soul of wit. Please pardon the rant, peeps. :)

bad boy of the north said...

good rant, pardon needed.

Matt said...

Great post Snobby! Stirred up a veritable cornucopia of excellent comments! (and Babble On...that was a GOOD ONE!)

Can't tell from personal experience, but I believe there's something worse (for the rider AND family) than being killed by a vehicle...and that's not quite being killed by a vehicle. My local cycling club had one of our ladies RUN OVER (yep, an aging white guy in a pickup truck) almost 2 years ago now. The truck turned left and didn't see her, and simply ran over her. The truck was still on top of her when the EMS got there. She had several crushed cervical vertebrae, and yes, her spinal cord was totally severed. Yep...this highly active awesome 30 something sweet lady w/ 2 young children and a husband is now a quadriplegic for the REST OF HER LIFE. And her husband is now a caregiver for the rest of her life, and she can never hug her 2 kids again. EVER. And she didn't do anything wrong. And we never even heard if pickup truck guy was charged with anything.

We lost a lot of club members after that till it basically folded. Not sure why, but here in the Calif. Central Coast I've had WAY more 'I was almost killed' incidents than my big bro who lives and rides in So-Cal with it's 6 ga-zillion people. I had 3 could'a-been-death incidents last year alone, and I finally almost completely stopped road riding (cuz I don't want to die, and I REALLY don't want to 'almost die'). But the good news is my Mt bike is REALLY HAPPY now cuz it was quite peeved at being ignored for a bunch of years.

I'd say "stay safe" but it really doesn't have much to do with us on our bikes. It's simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone isn't paying attention, OR is ticked at having to actually take their foot of the gas pedal, or even...GASP...God forbid, hit the brake and slow down some! OMFG, what a FREAKING NIGHTMARE!

Sorry...I got kind'a ranty there too.

Anonymous said...

The force it takes to make nine bikes look like this - to fold all these wheels inwards, towards the hub, one after the other, is beyond imagining. This person kept the gas pedal down all the way up an experienced paceline that, knowing that road, was probably single file.

Murder murder murder murder murder.

John Howard said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
No one would of cared about Sandy Hook if Adam Lanza lost control of his car during Kindergarten school drop off.

June 8, 2016 at 5:12 PM

Nobody really gave a shit about Sandy Hook either.

JLRB said...

As I've said before, scranus

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bad boy of the north said...!and john howard@638a....really?

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