(He’s since moved on to riding gravel.)Surprise! Betcha didn’t expect a quiz! Well, you know what to do. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right then great, and if you’re wrong you’ll see a ne… Continue reading
If you’re anything like me, every time you go for a ride you think to yourself, “I sure wish some Silicon Valley start-up would rethink the bicycle!” Well good news! Here comes the Volata, which is the combination TV/VCR of road bikes:So ho… Continue reading
It’s hot today.
Fortunately, as a layabout bike blogger I’m able to “curate” my commute. For example, sometimes I commute into the city, sometimes I commute away from it, and sometimes I just say “fuck it” and stay wherever the hell I am.
Today I picked the second option, and I encountered some deer:
One of them totally Cat 6-ed me:
As you can imagine, sprinting against a deer in the heat is quite exhausting, and so I picked a pleasant spot to rest:
If you can tear your eyes away from my shameful pink-and-green spacer stack you will notice that beneath my saddle is a tool roll from EH Works, whose ad you may have noticed over there in the right-hand margin. Here’s what it looks like unfurled:
And here’s a quick inventory of its contents:
–Two (2) inner tubes;
–Combination S&S coupler/pedal wrench
Basically it’s everything I need to disassemble and reassemble my travel bike on the road–except for a pump (I’ve got to deflate the tires to fit everything in the travel case), but I’m sure I could easily fit a mini-pump in there too. Indeed, there’s plenty of room left, so perhaps I’ll even add a chain tool and some spare links so I’m really covered. Or perhaps I won’t bother, because really, how often do you break a chain?
Either way, it all fits snugly and discreetly under Eric the Chamferer’s handiwork:
So there you go.
Speaking of giant toolbags, a friend forwarded me this article, which apparently requires a subscription to read in its entirety–though I’m not sure that matters because if you’re anything like me you couldn’t bear to do so anyway:
Dave Morin, a tech executive and venture capitalist, posted his time for a recent mountain bike ride to the social networking app Strava and thought little about it. Until, that is, he bumped into a friend, Colin Brumelle, a former Twitter engineering manager and amateur racer who’d seen the Strava posting. “You’re cheating!” cried Mr. Brumelle.
Mr. Morin had beaten Mr. Brumelle’s time up the slopes of nearby Mt. Tamalpais. But to anyone on Strava, it was obvious how Mr. Morin had done it. His bike, as noted in Strava, was a Turbo Levo, a new, $7,500 offering from California-based Specialized. It is equipped with a computerized, electronic motor, which offers a subtle assist with each pedal stroke.
Yeah, it’s not really innovation or cheating, it’s basically just being a douche.
And now, I’m pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right you’ll rejoice, and if you’re wrong you’ll see a Pokéfred.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and ride safely.
–Wildcat Rock Machine
1) Pokémon reference Pokémon reference something something something Pokémon reference.
2) The NYPD recently cracked down on ElliptiGO riders for violating the following New York State traffic law:
§ 1232. Riding on bicycles. (a) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto, nor shall he ride with his feet removed from the pedals.
(b) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
3) Finally! Gravel-specific _____:
4) What kind of knot is this?
5) Holy shit, the Boston Globe printed something nice about bikes!
6) The Lios Nano is:
7) This bakfiets conversion kit is called:
The tech companies are gonna disrupt everyone right into the poorhouse.
Sorry about that, I scampered off for a little ride:It’s easy to come back to New York City from, say, this place and feel sorry for yourself:The fact is though I’ve got it pretty good, all things considered. I’ve got a subway station right aroun… Continue reading
As well as for all the concomitant debates about inclusive language:
I’m hoping that by the time I leave town we can agree on a gender-neutral version of the word “bro.” Seems to me you’ve got to go with “bre” since it goes so well with “ze,” but I suppose then you run into the problem of people hearing it and thinking you’re talking about the cheese:
By the way, assuming I make it out of Portland alive, I’ll then be at University Bookstore in Seattle on June 17th and Rivendell in Walnut Creek, CA on Saturday June 18th.
You’re welcome for the incessant reminders.
In other news, I threw a pallid, stubbly leg over the ol’ Ritte yesterday:
And pointed it over the George Washington Bridge, where I was promptly admonished by a sign:
“CYCLISTS,” it bellowed in all caps:
“Yes?,” I replied tentatively.
“SLOW DOWN,” it demanded:
“Uh, I was going pretty slow to begin with, but whatever.”
I clipped back in and was about to be on my way, but the sign was not done with me.
“HELMET REQUIRED,” it ordered:
“Yeah, I’m wearing one,” I assured it, giving the accessory in question a little rap with my knuckle.
Hey, if I’m wearing the stretchy clothes I generally top off the ensemble with a foam hat. It’s mostly a sartorial choice. If I’m going to look like a doofus I might as well go all the way.
The sign was still not satisfied.
“MUST RIDE SINGLE FILE” it boomed:
I was starting to get angry now.
“Look, I’m riding by myself, you stupid piece of shit.”
“KEEP RIGHT,” it fired back:
Okay, what the fuck. I’m in a park that was created by Teddy Roosevelt so that assholes wouldn’t blast the Hudson River Palisades into rubble for their goddamn quarries. It’s a beautiful day, and I’m savoring my surroundings while riding a machine that produces no noise beyond that of my admittedly loud artisanal hub, and no emissions beyond my own flatulence.
Yet here’s this goddamn sign, YELLING AT ME IN ALL CAPS while I’m trying to enjoy nature. Meanwhile, they let people drive cars through this park for some reason (which is just stupid because there’s both a parkway and a US highway Highway right next to it), but I don’t see any signs telling them to slow down or stop texting or look out for hikers and cyclists. It’s sublimely stupid if you really think about it. Basically they decided, “Hey, let’s put a giant flashing landscape-ruining sign in the park and tell everybody to make way for the cars.”
All they forgot was to add this:
And of course this:
And rest assured they’re prepared in the event that the sign loses power, or if a cyclist naively assumes another sign somewhere is merely decorative:
You have to be a real prick to come up with a sign like that.
Anyway, apart from being harangued by signage it was a lovely ride, and I even passed the Bore Hole:
I contemplated it for awhile wondering what it was, and then I finally realized the bore in the hole was me:
Rest assured I’ll be changing the name of the blog in due course.
And now, I’m pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right you’ll feel elated, and if you’re wrong you’ll see recumbents.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and obey all signs.
–Wildcat Rock Machine
1) What are the symptoms of late-onset Fred disease?
2) From the company that brought you the inflatable helmet, it’s:
3) Michael the Bicycle Man wants to:
4) What are they doing?
–Trying to figure out what determines a bike’s “ride quality”
–Trying to figure out how elevation changes affect tire pressure
–Trying to defuse an exploding Fred-bot planted by operatives from a rival group ride
–Testing the new electronic shifting system from Rivendell
5) Why is Chris Horner so upset?
6) Curling broom technology is now evolving faster than road bike technology.
7) What is Procore?
–A new bladder system Specialized claims will enhance the stiffness, vibration damping characteristics, and overall ride quality of their S-Works frames
–A tire system that involves mounting two tires on one rim and then inflating them independently with a dual-position valve
–A common misspelling of “procure”
–An extremely aggressive and unsettlingly nationalistic genre of punk music
Well okay then.
The Memorial Day weekend is upon us! This means it’s time to break out the white shoes, linen, and seersucker. It also means I won’t be posting on Monday, May 30th, but I’ll be back on Tuesday with regular updates.Let’s hear it for America,… Continue reading
On Wednesday I went for a bicycle ride, and I was so pleased with myself that I did it again yesterday:
And guess what? This ride was even better–partially because I’d cleared out some of the metaphorical cobwebs from my legs, but also because I finally “donged out” the cockpit on the Marin Pine Mountain 1 by putting on a longer stem, which improved the climbing significantly:
Not only is the front wheel much less inclined to pop up now, but I can also get my considerable weight right where I want it when I get out of the saddle and unleash the full power of my formidable climbing prowess.
Then, after the ride, instead of eating a disgusting gluten-free sandwich I swung by the taco truck:
Weekday rides and taco truck stops.
Now that’s just smart cycling.
Indeed, Westchester County could be a recreational cycling paradise–if only they gave a shit about cyclists, and if only the roads weren’t filled with SUVs driven by people who moved there for the lovely villages with “walkable downtowns” and then never set foot on the pavement again.
Speaking of giving a shit about cyclists, Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal wrote a nice column about them:
But it’s exasperating to see how Bad Cyclist anecdotes receive equal treatment to voluminous statistical evidence that cycling makes communities better. It’s maddening to watch public meetings where bike lanes are raged over like they’re landing pads for Martian armies. The transportation data is incontrovertible: Streets that accommodate for cycling get safer. Fewer people get hurt. Fewer people get killed. People on bikes and people walking on the street. Everybody. Even people in automobiles.
I grow increasingly less tolerant of motorists as time goes on so I admit to cringing a bit at some of the lovey-dovey stuff, but on balance I think he did a very good job, and by any standard this is roughly a million times better than most of the drivel you’ll read in the mainstream media during “Bike Month.”
(And lest you forget, I was on his podcast the other day, so if you haven’t listened yet please do.)
Penultimately, this is a thing that will happen:
And rest assured details will follow next week.
Lastly, tomorrow is David Byrne’s birthday:
And I’m pleased to report I’ve crowd-sourced him a little present:
This is going to be his best birthday ever.
And now, I’m pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right that’s fan-freaking tastic, and if you’re wrong you’ll see fietsacrobatiek.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and watch out for David Byrne because he hasn’t been on the road for awhile.
–Wildcat Rock Machine
1) What is this?
2) According to a recent piece in the Washington Post, commuting by bicycle is not safe because:
3) The most prestigious cycling-related accolade in Delaware is the:
4) The “Bike Mine” security system is a great way to:
5) Which is not one of the “Worst things about bicyclists in New York City” according to a newspaper given away free at subway stations?
–They don’t wear helmets
–Their bike races cause “traffic nightmares,” despite the fact that there are precisely zero (0) bike races in New York City that involve street closures
–They ride in varying weather conditions
–They don’t honor the Sabbath
6) Pro cycling saw its second-ever mechanical doping case when a rider’s bottom bracket motor caused his crankarm binder bolts to fail during the Tour of the Gila.
7) This fixie comes free with purchase of:
She should shove that bullshit “85%” statistic back up her ass from whence she pulled it.
It’s been awhile since I’ve reminded you that my new book comes out on May 3rd, so here’s a reminder that my new book comes out on May 3rd:
By way of giving you plenty of advance notice, you should mark in your calendar, smartphone, or Palm Pilot that we’ll be having a Book-Related Appearance (or “BRA”) at Little City Books in Hoboken, NJ on Saturday, May 7th:
Which will be brought to you in part by Vonhof Cycles:
Located in Hoboken, New Jersey, VonHof Cycles understands the value of American handmade, small batch bicycles. Small batch represents a level of craftsmanship and demand for perfection that cannot be found just anywhere. It’s for those discerning few who understand the value of an object crafted with pleasure, not reward.
Handmade bikes in Hoboken, who knew?
Suck on that, Portland!
Anyway, the BRA will include a ride through Hoboken and Jersey City to Liberty State Park, and I’m very much looking forward to it because I’m woefully underfamiliar with our neighbors to the immediate west and badly in need of a guided tour.
As for those of you who either don’t live in Jersey or have an irrational fear of the PATH train, I’ll also be involved in some kind of BRA-type thing at Bike Expo New York in Manhattan next week:
I don’t have all the details yet but as soon as I do you’ll be the first to know.
Anyway, you’ll definitely want to get yourself to one or both of these BRAs, if for no other reason than your attendance could earn you a first-row starting position at the BSNYC Gran Fondon’t next month.
And now, I’m pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right you’ll know it, and if you’re wrong you’ll see Кличко упал с велосипеда за 4500$!
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and wipe off those reading glasses.
–Wildcat Rock Machine
1) Which possible explanation did the NYPD not give after a trucker killed a cyclist with the 18-wheeler he was operating on a residential street where such trucks are not allowed?
–The rider was “skitching”
–The truck somehow created “something like a wind force”
–The rider rode into the rear wheel for some reason
–The driver was operating an 18-wheeler on a residential street where such trucks are not allowed
2) What is the “MOKUMONO?”
3) What is special about the HEL helmet?
–It whispers the location of the nearest coffee shop into your ear
–It changes color with the temperature
–It is specially designed to accommodate the oblong heads of Scandinavians
–When you leave a group of them unattended they amble away together like a multi-hued bale of turtles
5) What is Alberto Contador’s mechanic doing?
–Using a Bluetooth watch to turn off Contador’s special motorized wheel before the UCI bike inspection
–Checking his heart rate
–Consulting the tire pressure app on his Apple Watch
–Trying to set his vintage 1980s digital watch but GODDAMN THOSE TINY RECESSED BUTTONS!
6) Al Roker is more of a badass than Lucas Brunelle.
7) Willie Jones is about to:
Apparently mötödöping doesn’t work for mountain biking, go figure.
(“Is there a problem?”)Owing to my absence last week I fear some of you may be growing complacent, and by way of obviating this let’s get right into the quiz. As always, study the question, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right y… Continue reading
Important news regarding next week:
I won’t be here.
That’s right, I’ll be letting this blog lie fallow until Monday, April 4th, at which point I will return with regular updates.
As for why I won’t be here, I have my reasons, and one of them is that I can’t handle yet another year of forced April Fools posts from the cycling media.
Yes, it’s a fake press release for a product that’s only slightly sillier than the stuff we read about the rest of the year, we get it.
Speaking of silly products, here’s your 50 millionth reminder to pre-order my new book while I’m gone:
SPOILER ALERT: Humanity is destroyed by our dependence on fossil fuels and a mutated race of hyper-intelligent lizards reigns supreme.
And now, I’m pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right you’ll win a million dollars (though it will be taxed at a rate of 100% so you will receive a check for $0.00), and if you’re wrong you’ll see crossing wheels.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and see you back here on April 4th!
–Wildcat Rock Machine
1) What kind of bird is this?
Plantiff(s) voluntarily performed and engaged in the alleged activity and assumed the risk of the injuries and/or damages claimed. Plaintiff(s) failed to use all required, proper, appropriate and reasonable safety devices and/or equipment and failed to take all proper, appropriate and reasonable steps to assure his/her/their safety … Plaintiff(s)’ implied assumption of risk caused or contributed, in whole or in part [sic] to his/her/their injuries.
4) What is “Bimp’Air?”
5) It helps to know your rights.
6) Just kidding, you have no rights.
7) Why is Femke crying?
–Her ban extends to artistic cycling, the discipline to which she had intended to transition
–She’s not; the tears belong to her friend who was crying and they accidentally fell on her face
–The food she’s eating is spicy
–Even though she was the obvious choice, Specialized did not hire her to help promote their new Playboy e-bike with Sexism Drive™ technology
Oh, go stick it in your ear.