Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Blockbuster

I wish all online discussions went as smoothly and informatively as the one I just experienced on The Radavist.


Radavist Man: Unhelpful, non-quantifiable words and conclusion about my angry comment.


Manufacturer of Bicycle in Article: Here are some actual dimensions out to three significant digits and my thought process behind the fabrication of these parts.

Angry Internet Man: Okay...well, I can't argue with numbers very easily. You have alleviated my anger and quelled the internet beast within. For now, the city is safe.

*Credits roll......*

*Post-credit secret scene appears!*

Manufacturer of Bicycle in Article: Here is a self-deprecating comment about people's eyes glazing over because of my ENGINEERING-TALK.

Angry Internet Man: What the fuck!? Don't bring yourself down to that level. Take pride in being able to slap people in the face with information like that. You're obviously not just a dingus putting bikes together, but rather one who at the very least takes into consideration how something should be fabricated, the necessary circularity of mating components, tolerances, etc.

Granted, someone's eyes might glaze over the actual numbers, but at the very least they should realize the importance of such a paragraph's mere existence. This paragraph should represent to your customers that you know what the fuck you're doing and that the ENVE carbon bars won't blow up because you could just have easily fabricated a stupid shitty stem to slap on that fancy powdercoated bike.

*Screen goes dark. Theater lighting illuminates.*

Thursday, May 14, 2015

#biketoworkday2015 cancelled

San Diego's Bike to Work Day is cancelled. Yes, you can still bike to work on that day, but the pit stops won't be around. For the full #biketoworkSD experience, you'll have to wait until next Friday, May 29th. At which point many of the volunteers won't be able to volunteer so we'll have a partial turnout.

I won't call on the volunteers to harden the fuck up. No, it's not their job to pander to wannabe commuter cyclists like me. Instead, I will call on all San Diego cyclists to harden the fuck up. Here's a good photo illustrating why you should opt to make the ride on Friday regardless of conditions:

This photo illustrates several things. First, the paved road actually represents San Diego's freeways. The businessperson in suit is you, the rider. The splashing water is not actually rain (because in actuality it will hardly rain, given that it's San Diego). The splashing water is actually the tears shed by those who choose to drive their car on Friday, because traffic will be absolute shit.

Yes, you, the bicycle-commuting businessperson, are have an opportunity to stomp on the sad tears of drivers all over San Diego. You are getting a bit wet, but look at your face. A huge, shit-eating grin as you crush the dreams of a driver hoping to get to work in less than an hour.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Stupid Car for Babies

The face of a literal man-child
There is literally no reason to portray a vehicular macho image in this day and age. Doing so is an act of willful ignorance, unless you are literally ignorant. For a brand so prominent in the cycling community as Speedvagen, I am totally in favor of shaming them over the choice of an armored vehicle for transporting fucking bicycles.


1. There are many other vehicular options which yield more storage space, more passenger space, and better fuel mileage compared to a tarted up armored car.

2. You can make a normal cargo van secure by adding certain security features. Omitting windows into the cargo area help with this, too. How do you think every other company on the earth accomplishes this? By buying an armored car? No, dipshit!

3. A bicycle brand doesn't need to macho its image up unless it's awful and needs more attention. I don't think Speedvagen needs more attention. Their bikes are plenty good, and the price for a frame garners enough attention without being shoved into an armored car.

4. Running around in a tarted-up armored car is effectively throwing shit into the face of whatever climate-friendly image Speedvagen might have harbored. Don't talk back to me. Human-caused climate change is a thing and you are a dumb, ignorant baby if you disagree.


Terrible Idea

Here's an idea for securing bar tape:

30mm heat shrink tubing
Run a short ring of that shit over your bars, wrap 'em up, and then position the tubing over the end and apply heat. Easy! Electrical tape sucks. The finishing tape that comes with bar tape sucks.

Oh, you'll have to remove your brifters when you want to rewrap? Don't cry, little one. Just add an extra section of tubing and let it hang out near your stem or something. Don't accidentally apply heat to that piece though! Done correctly, you've got a trashy handlebar bangle bracelet.

Conversely, come to terms with the fact that you screw with your bike so often you'll have the brifters off around the time you need new bar tape, at which point you can slide a new piece of heat shrink on and re-wrap those sweet drops.

Innovation score: 6/10

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bike to Work Week

It's May in San Diego. More specifically, it's the week of the 11th of May. Which means Bike to Work Week! Time to dust off the ol'....wait, you've been riding your bike almost every day? There's no rain or inclement weather to keep you off your bike?

Thank heavens San Diego is literally classified as a coastal desert, or we'd be kept off our bikes due to rain and snow. Forget droughts. I'm just happy the sun is always shining and my faucet is directly connected to the Colorado River's ever dwindling supply. Fuck you, got mine!

Despite your mentality about San Diego's disturbingly sunny weather, it's still bike to work week. Lots of hashtags regarding this even permeate my Twitter feed. More attention-grabbing opportunities for me, I guess. Take this photo, for instance:

Got some Mountain Bike Radio action right there! Heck yeah! Looks like I'm just parking my bike in a fiberglass box. But no, it's also #biketoworkweek. Exciting, no?

Yeah, it's really not, unless you're the person who just rode in. And I didn't even ride in all the way! I actually parked my vehicle at a Park & Ride just outside the engineer's sphere of influence (Qualcomm et al) and rode my bike in. Saved me a lot of stop & go hastle hassle. Yeah, I had to look that word up for some reason.

My work is kind enough to have installed some bike lockers. They're pretty roomy, actually. I could fit two bikes in each one. They're also full of itchy fiberglass which is terrible. So I won't be setting up a satellite office/hideout in mine, even though I like to escape from work now and then.

Right, so, tomorrow's plans: Drive to work. Because I want to go climbing afterwards and avoid traffic. Wednesday? Drive to work, because I have a meeting at 7:30AM. Thursday? Drive to work, probably...

But Friday? You're goddamn right I'm biking to work! Check this shit out:

Yep, each one of those little blue bicyle persons is a pit stop unto which an actual human will be standing around waiting for your lyrca-clad behind to show up. Added bonus: Many of them will have free things to give you, including an ill-fitting "Bike to Work 2016" t-shirt that office dwellers so hotly covet for their casual Friday ensemblé. Bonus is being able to wear the shirt on the day of acquirement, such that you can wander around the office with baited breath hoping an unobservant coworker will comment "SO DID YOU RIDE YOUR BIKE TO WORK TODAY!?"

And you'll say "yes" and feel pretty darn good.

And at 5:30 you'll drive home because you parked your car at the office so you wouldn't have to ride 20 miles back home through angry San Diegan traffic. Because 90% of San Diego cycling is shit.

That's my usual experience, at least. And maybe this time will be different. But the takeaway is that even though I don't foresee accomplishing a fully-fledged #biketoworkweek, if I can replicate this pitiful attempt for the other 51 weeks of the year, perhaps there will be a net-positive impact.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sit down time

Giro d'Italia is about to begin. I've actually never sat down to watch this event. Bicycle racing is hard to find on television in the US. Especially when it's not the Tour de France. But that's no excuse if one is a true cycling aficionado. But I'm not. No, I'm pretty much scrub-tier when it comes to competitive cycling enthusiasm.

Q: If I don't follow the teams, athletes and drama, then why watch it?

A: It's therapeutic.

The drone of the announcers. The wonderful scenery. The fancy bikes. All in motion. Like watching a gentle river flowing through a broad valley. Am I some new-age target market for the event organizers? One that will aggravate the purists? Maybe and definitely. But don't worry, I'm not demanding much from any of you. I just want to zone out for 2-3 hours at a time. It's almost like watching public radio. You can tune it out, tune back in, and occasionally exciting things will happen.

Heaven forbid the organizers dress up the sport in an attempt to draw the attention of other yokels like me. Sure, they throw some stats and maps in every now and then, but it's nowhere near the level of pointing arrows, picture in picture, invisible-hand-circling-things, and leaderboard graphics that NASCAR has. And yet, cycling fans are just about as bad as NASCAR fans.

Observe the similarities:

Both like to park RVs along the course, be it in the infield of the oval circuit or along the route.

Both are harboring high blood-alcohol content.

Both have televisions tuned to the event's TV broadcast so as to remain entertained when the racers are not passing by.

Both have fat spectators (though we might assume NASCAR carries this turkey-leg torch).

Of course, there are a few differences:

Spectators can't get in the way of NASCAR drivers, so long as they're in a car on the race course, unless one hurls an empty big gulp container all the way to turn 3.

NASCAR spectators don't pee in the bushes. Not that they wouldn't if they could. But stadiums typically have designated restrooms.

NASCAR spectators spend most of their time seated (unless getting up to refill their big gulp or go pee).

NASCAR spectators get to see the racers whiz by approximately 200 times. A cycling spectator might get to see them twice if they run to the uphill side of a switchback.

I'll stop there.

So maybe dressing up the sport would work really well? With such similarities between their respective fans, I could see it happening. At the very least, this sort of mentality has pushed NASCAR to its current level of popularity.

Granted, I will take a cycling event over a NASCAR event any day of the year. I can safely say I hate NASCAR without feeling guilty (I'm a bit of a redneck) or dishonest. A cycling event, if attended in person, offers a much more wholesome experience. You're not necessarily sitting on your ass the entire time. The air is cleaner by comparison, save for a few clean-diesel emissions from team cars. And you get to feel smug as hell because it's a prestigious cycling event.

But for me? I'm sitting in front of my computer screen, being fat and lazy. I'm just as bad as someone watching NASCAR on television.