This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Winning the race & Retro Grouchery on parade

  Friday was a cool day, I was running some errands around town on Byron and had to go downtown.
It's only about a 5 mile trip, but I took Portage Rd/St or whatever they call it which is a narrow 4 lane between I-94 and the downtown mall area.  I was riding as far to the right as reasonable considering all the junk in the gutter and broken asphalt on the edges.  Traffic was heavy and there was nothing to do but hold my line and keep an eye out behind.  You know the situation.  Well, a semi-truck-trailer (who should have used the Business Hub from the interstate) came up behind me and laid on the horn.  I thought, "Ok, thanks, I see you!"  A half  block later he lays on the horn a couple of times.  Then it sank in.  He actually thought I was slowing him down.  Traffic was a solid snake all the way down the road, but I thought I would have a little fun with this guy.  I cut over to the sidewalk, let him pass and cut back to the road at the next driveway.  He pulled on ahead, until the next stoplight where I passed him again.   He and the line of traffic passed me slowly leaving the light, until the next light where I passed him again, he and everybody else passed me again as we left the light.  I got a lot of satisfaction at the next light when I pulled up beside him, taking over the left turn lane while he waited at the light.  I looked over smiled and waved at a grumpy
 Jaba The Hut, slumped over the wheel.

That was a lot of fun, but so was the catalog I received in the mail a few days ago.
Rivendell has released a paper catalog of their products.  Why?  I don't know.
Their business has developed as a internet company and has grown to become a cycling cult since it started in 1994.   Apparently they felt a paper catalog fit their niche so they took it to the next level of Retro-cool and produced it in black and white.
(The little yellow spot is my own "beausage" from the hot dog I was eating when I looked at it.  I think it should increase it's collectible value making it immediately "near mint.")
It's a curious catalog in which the products sold and/or designed by them are portrayed with a combination of drawings, photographs and handwritten explanations clarifying the finer points to help with decisions.
There are very detailed explanations and imaginative photo comparisons of many items.
Along with the photos and explanations are some very helpful tips as well as an exposition of their cycling philosophy, Unracing.  
They are bent on producing beautiful, comfortable bikes and accessories which are also useful.
The catalog is full of information, not only of the products themselves, but proper installation and use.
Just leafing through it I learned to grease the end of a brake or shifter cable to prevent unnecessary friction when it seats in the lever.  40 years and I hadn't ever thought of greasing that joint.  Nice.
One thing noticeably absent from the catalog is prices.  I guess they don't intend to revise this on a regular basis.   The catalog succeeds as a supplement to the internet sales and a primer to Grant's book Just Ride.    
I was one of the lucky 5000 to receive one immediately,they'll be included with any order over the next few weeks,after that, they will be available on request. Get one, it's free, has lots of entertaining information about cycling in general and is a nice coffee table book for a bike geek.

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