Wednesday, September 11, 2019

I Ride Bikes On Weekdays So You Don't Have To

So the Tresca I was expecting yesterday...

...didn't come.  Not sure what happened but I think it has something to do with customs or something like that (it's coming from the UK), so I'm just going to go ahead and blame Donald Trump and Boris Johnson for it all.  Anyway, Tresca have been very attentive throughout the process, and I'm confident it will arrive soon.  Rest assure I'll let you know the moment I've thrown a leg over it.

Meanwhile, yesterday I mentioned I'm going to miss the Jones SWB once I've given it away, but having spent this morning aboard the Jones LWB I'm feeling much better about it:

Today's ride was a plainclothes ramble featuring mostly dirt and some token singletrack, and it was so pleasant I'd probably have gone even further if only I hadn't spent the first part of the morning finally converting the wheels to tubeless, which is something I should have done as soon as I took the bike out of the box, but which I didn't, because I'm lazy.  The tube-ectomy was a fairly straightforward affair--the bike comes with tubeless-rated tires and taped rims so all you've got to do is supply the valves and the sealant and that's it--but one of the tires was a bit more snug than the other so getting it seated properly took a little bit of doing.  However, you should bear in mind I was using just a regular old-fashioned floor pump, and I'm sure if I had been using one of those tubeless-compatible pumps I'd have shaved a good 15 minutes off the process.  (I really should get one of those already, I don't know why I create the extra work for myself.)

Anyway, theoretically a tubeless setup has less rolling resistance, and there's no doubt that dispensing with two massive 29+ inner tubes nets you some weight savings (can you net an absence of something?), so between that and the smugness that comes with completing a tubeless setup with an old-fashioned floor pump I was feeling positively buoyant--until I rolled through a great big pile of crap roughly 10 minutes into my ride:

This was a tremendous distraction and it mocked me with every wheel revolution, so I stopped at the first available water source in order to wash it off:

This may look bucolic, but it's basically a litter-strewn stream in Yonkers that comes out of a pipe:

First I gave it a little soaking, then I placed the wheel between two rocks where a little eddy was forming.  This sort of served as a spin cycle, and after a few moments of agitation aided by my judicious application of a stick my tire was clean again.

The rest of the ride was blissfully feces-free:

Though I did, despite giving plenty of auditory warning as I approached, scare the absolute crap out of someone walking on the trail.  I'm talking actual terror.  Like the memory of her screams will probably keep me awake tonight.

I think I just need to wear a cowbell from now on.


dancesonpedals said...

More Scranus!

I mean more cowbell

NYCHighwheeler said...

"I'm talking actual terror."
What did I tell you about riding around in a soiled clown costume? That may be OK within the 5 boros, but people aren't expecting it in Westchester. We expect clean clown costumes up here!

Dooth said...

Why I’m I thirsty for a Fresca?!

Commiseratee said...

Cowbell sounds good and sorry about your tire's encounter with what I am sure was not a cow pie.

pbateman wants something for free because its cheaper that way and all his money is tied up in vintage dura ace parts said...

i've eaten like 400 of this fucking choclate bars and still no winning ticket. this contest is exhausting and quite certain i now have the diabetes.

in fact, the only ticket i've received recently is for doing 107mph on I95 which apparently in FL gets you a surprisingly "meh" response from the state troopers.

we'll see what my lawyer can do, but if they suspend my license i may need a black bike with big tires.

especially since nearly all my bikes are in various states of not-put-together-ness (even the gosh darn RB1 which i've still not finished...)

so...there you have it Snob. Obviously I deserve it.

James in Portland (the one on the left) said...

You should get yourself one of these babies: Adjustable and passive, so you don't have to think about it.

Chazu said...

"I'm talking actual terror."

In spite of the fact that you were on a trail, she may have been much more comfortable if you were behind the wheel of an automobile, rather than riding a bike cycle.

HDEB said...

Poop smells bad!

Beck the biker said...

Every ride needs more cowbell! Can't really tell from the pics if the LWB has a regular-type bell on there..I've got one on all the rigs, these days rung far more as a cougar deterrent than at actual peds. Not that i feel it needs be said, but New York State has required bells on bikes for the last 120 years or so, first required as part of a 19th century uniform statewide traffic law intended to require the velocipedists alert the pedestrian and liverymen a bicycle approaches. Get with the PROGRAM. I do find it bizzare that while there seems to be hundreds of bike bells on the market, only about three are sized for 31.8, and two of those use rubber strap kluges to attach.(The Knog bells are sweet) I have no idea what the heck Mirrycycle is doing. With no bell on your whip though, you're going to give scorchers a bad name....wait, I guess i's too late for that -FAR too late, judging by the callers into WBAI - sheesh, you're up against the bike haters of New York City. Week after week. It's a borough-focused snapshot of the sordid motordom syndrome that afflicts the nation. Kudos to you for you keeping your humor amid such thinly veiled bike scorn.

sree said...

sorry about your tire's encounter with pie, while cleaning be careful it smells bad

john said...

I want a bell review!

Matt said...

So you DID put sealant in those tires, right? (tubeless without sealant wouldn't work very well...just sayin). I run 4oz in each of my 29'er 2.6'es...and you then need to check/add sealant every now and then as it does evaporate in in just a few months. I have it on my outlook calendar to check every 3 months. Let the air out, pull the valve core and put a small piece of wire down to the tire like an oil dipstick to see how much sealant is left...(valve stem down for this test obviously)...if you do a dipstick test right after you add your first sealant you know how high it should be.

And as to scaring the crap out of the hiker, was she wearing earphones? I've found that sometimes hikers will have them on so loud that they don't even hear my bell and I still scare the crap out of them (I have a "Timber Bell" which is a fantastic invention...not too large or heavy, get the one that has an actual clamp and not the O ring. It has like 4 click settings that range from totally silent to ringing like mad...pure genius invention!

Anonymous said...

In my work as a commercial electrician I once demoed some old fire alarm equipment. If you've ever noticed one of those pull stations with a large clear plastic shield over it, that shield contains a small siren, louder than the hammers of hell, that is activated when the cover is lifted.

The old devices were to be trashed, so I took one of the sirens and zip tied it to my handlebar. It blasts right through a pair of headphones, I'll tell you what. Not that I use it willy-nilly, no. More of an "On your left." No response. "Ding, ding." Nada. "WEE-WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO!!!!!!!!!" Ah, that did the trick, sort of thing.

Actually I'd mount an air horn from a locomotive and an air tank at 120 p.s.i., but the weight penalty would just be heinous.

My Kitteh Mister Grouchypants* says "hi".


*two pair just in case

huskerdont said...

They's missing the apostrophe in the "let's" of "Let's Build Your Ride."

I'd wanna free bike, but having broken two aluminum frames, I'm not going back.

purpleano said...

And how many bells fit a 35mm bar?

JLRB said...


BikeSnobNYC said...


The dipstick think is wild overkill but I applaud your extreme anal-retentiveness. I just squirt some more in there every few months. On my 29er with "narrow" tires you can year when you need a top-off, though that doesn't seem to work with the plus tires.

--Tan Tenovo

Hee Haw the barista said...


Vlad Stroescu said...

Ok, I read this blog from the very beginning and I'm a fervent admirer of Snob's common sense and cold appraisal of all the gimmicks capitalism throws at us to distract us from the utter meaninglessness of it all, but after a break (they blocked blogspot at work) what do I find? Tubeless? Dick brakes? Strava? What, pray, is happening here? Snob, blink twice if you need help!

hellbelly said...

Spurcycle FTW! Yeah, they’re expensive and artisanal, but they rule.

STG said...

I've completely stopped saying anything to other riders or trail users. No one listens, or worse they turn and look and move toward me in the process. I just slow down and wait for safe space to pass. I have loud freehubs so I find that just coasting for a bit alerts people well enough. If they can't hear that then I assume they aren't paying attention enough to hear anything else.

Skidmark said...

@Tenova, Tan- knowing your brakes are reversed only works if you have time to think about it, reflex action override.

BikeSnobNYC said...


I used to set up my cyclocross bikes right/front so it's fairly familiar.

--Tan Tenovo

FECL MTTR said...

Thanks for introducing fecal matter into local streams.

Pick it out with a stick, or wash out with stream of Holy Water from your water bottle away a-ways from a stream next time maybe?

You make also make some feces-coated punji sticks if you like to whittle.

Can you net an absence of something?

Liquefy or pulverize part of your something (the part you don't want to keep),
then net it. In this case, pulverize the tubes, and place the tires and tubes in your net (you need the right net, btw) and shake gently.
The presence of the absence will be beneath the net.
The absence part will be in the net.

Enjoy the full moon!