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This Just In: New Outside Column!

Remember how I said I'd pop back in if there's a new Outside column?  There's a new outside column:

It's all a part of my mission to normalize cycling, or my blithe disregard for bicycle safety, whichever you prefer.

(And in case you missed it you should read my motördoping column too.)

Okay, now time to lube up the ol' blunderbuss and bag me a turkey.  See you on Monday (unless there's some more extracurricular prose to share before then), and if you need me in the meantime I'm over at the Bike Forecast.

Warmrest Regrads,

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BSNYC Invisible Friday Fun Quiz and Thanksgiving Announcement


Hey, look at that, it's the latest Outside column!

Now back to our regularly scheduled post about scheduling.

Okay, let's get right down to business: American Thanksgiving!

Apologies for the graphic, I had to repurpose one because American Thanksgiving is so obscure.

So yeah, next Thursday is American Thanksgiving, which means two things:

1) Our president will pardon a turkey, even though technically he already did;
2) I'll be taking my leave of this blog until Monday, November 27th, at which point I will resume regular updates.  (Though of course if an Outside column should appear before that I'll pop in here to let you know.)

As for the Bike Forecast, I'll continue to update that through Wednesday November 22nd for the poor commuter schmucks.


Speaking of being absent, I'd like to address a comment I received yesterday because it raises an important point:

Anonymous said...

How many of these lately start with you apologizing for being late, forgetting the day, or some other excuse... followed by a plug for something else you’re doing that’s obviously more important? Why not just stick a fork in it and move on?

November 16, 2017 at 11:18 PM

Firstly, in regard to the second question, the answer to that is obviously "Go fuck yourself."  And I don't mean that in a nasty way, I mean it in a totally matter-of-fact that's-a-stupid-question-so-go-right-ahead-and-fuck-yourself way.  No offense intended.  By the way, blogging is a compulsion for me at this point, so like it or not I'll probably be blogging until the moment I die--in fact, I'll probably die blogging once I set up my dedicated blogging bike:

Secondly, yes, being a one-person operation who manages to do the work of at least .75 people there are times when I must type fewer words into this blog than I'd like.  And while I'm honored that my absence bothers you, I'd argue that on balance it's a good thing, since there's too goddamn much of of me as it is.  Indeed, if I'm not typing words into this blog I'm probably typing them someplace else.  Seriously, I have what, like fourteen blogs already?  Also, I'm my own tech department, which means I have to prepare and ride wooden bicycles and Jones bars and Brooks Cambium All Weather Saddles and all the rest of it.  Do you think I like receiving all this exotica and then on top of everything having to take mid-week rides on them while the rest of you are working?  Of course not!

It's a hard life is all I'm saying, and hardly a day goes by where you can't find some fresh bullshit from me somewhere online, so cut me some slack.

Speaking of the indignities of product testing, I've got the Jones bars and the Cambium All Weather saddle on Ol' Piney now:

And this morning I finally managed to take the whole package out for a decent ride, i.e. my usual all-terrain loop:

And yes, I do feel like a gigantic douchebag for embedding my Strava data in this blog, but I'm way too old and over it to care.

Anyway, rest assured a thorough accounting of these bars will follow in the not-too-distant future, but for now I'll just say that so far I really like them and I think they'll succeed in turning Ol' Piney into the all-day bike it really wants to be.

And with that I bid you a-duh.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving if applicable, ride safe, and I'll see you back here on Monday, November 27th if not almost certainly before.

I Love You,

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Honestly I Don't Even Know What Day It Is Anymore

Please forgive my tardiness, brevity, and so forth, but you know those weeks were everything goes wrong and life in general just seems like an unmitigated disaster?

Well thank goodness it hasn't been that kind of a week at all.

Nevertheless, I've been rather busy, so once again I'm compelled to keep it short.  I do, however, urge you to contemplate this image:

I've posted a photo of this vehicle before (I can't be bothered to look up when) but yesterday I happened upon it again and took a clearer picture while looking frequently over my shoulder as you can probably imagine.  This car conveys a bewildering--and I daresay uniquely American--set of messages.  Specifically, the license plate informs fellow road users that he (I'm going to go out on a limb and say the owner is a man) is a veteran of the "War on Terror" and has ostensibly put his life on the line to keep us all safe, yet the decal informs me that he wants to rain death and destruction upon me and my family.  Frankly, it's hard to know what to make of any of this, so, uh...thank you for your service?  Oh, and also please don't kill me.

In other news, a commenter yesterday shared this:

Descending a steep Hobart backroad behind friend and pro-rider Nathan Earle, Gee got lost in the joy of the ride only to pay for a brief lapse in concentration.

"I've been down this road lots of times and I know how steep it is," he said.

"And it's rough, so I usually take it very gingerly.

"But we'd had such a fantastic ride. Nathan was ahead of me. I was admiring how well he was descending and not concentrating."

Before he realised, Gee had entered a tight corner too fast but still thought he could wrest back control.

But the brakes locked up, the corner tightened even more and he shot off the verge and over the handlebars.

He may owe his life to that helmet or he may not, but sure, if you're prone to lapses in concentration while engaging in technical descents, by all means throw on some safety gear.  In fact I'd go with full leathers and a motorcycle helmet while you're at it.  Nevertheless, I maintain that Australia's mandatory helmet laws are a load of shit.

Finally, besides putting new bars on Ol' Piney there was one more upgrade I've been meaning to make to my portly bike, and now that this has arrived I can finally proceed:

Nothing left to do now but ride the damn thing.

Wednesday: It's What's For Dinner

Today's post must needs be brief again as I am headed down to this thing:
I look forward to fielding many questions about why those damn bikers think the laws don't apply to them.

Rest assured however that I have not been idle.  Indeed, when I left you yesterday we were here:

And by the afternoon I had Ol' Piney officially Jones-ified:

Sadly by the time I was finished all I had time for was a brief shakedown ride, but my first impressions were very positive indeed, and I would have disappeared deep into the woods of suburbia if only I'd been at liberty to do so:

I'm looking forward to doing a proper ride soon, and in the coming days I'll experiment with positioning, probably put more tape on the bars, cut myself some new jorts (it's really evolving into that kind of bike) and so forth.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the trouble I encountered whilst switching over to cabal-activated dick breaks, it was that the rear Avid BB7 brake caliper did not fit under the seatstay.  Upon hearing I was having this problem Jones were kind enough to offer some possible solutions.  However, given how insufficient the clearance was I had my doubts, which is probably silly of me since they're easily a thousand times smarter about bikes than I am.  More importantly though, these solutions also required items I did not have on hand, and the bottom line was that if I didn't finish the bike right then there was no telling when I'd be able to get back to it.  (The life of a semi-professional bike blogger and one-person media empire is quite hectic, as you can no doubt imagine.)  It was either get it done or let it sit until Thanksgiving.  So I dug out this Forté-branded Tektro caliper I happened to have (the brake set was on sale years ago for like nineteen cents) and whadya know, it fit perfectly:

Indeed, as I put it on it remembered I actually like these brakes better than the Avids, so I was looking forward to installing the front one as well and calling the whole debacle a happy accident--until it turned out that the long brake pad tabs on the Tektro/Forté interfered with the brake adapter.  And since that was the only 180mm adapter I had, it was on with the Avid:

So now I'm palping a pretty sweet Forté/Avid mechanical disc brake mullet, which will no doubt inspire disgust in all the mountain Freds but which I find oddly satisfying.

And once that all-weather Cambium comes in I'll really be in business--well, business in the front, anyway, because the party's in the back.

Update From The BSNYC Tech Department

This post will be short, because things are happening.  In fact, as I type this the Jones-ification of Ol' Piney is well underway:

Actually, that's a bit of an oversimplification, since I had to temporarily cease my Jones-ifying endeavors in order to type this.  But you know what I mean.

If you're just tuning in, basically what happened was that I went to install these bars last week, but the radically different shape necessitated longer brake cables, so rather than deal with fluid and hoses and all the rest of it I figured I'd install mechanical brakes as a temporary measure.  Then after some saddle time and experimentation with position I'd fit the hydrolic dick breaks again.

Well guess what?  It turns out dealing with the hydraulics right away would have been way easier, since I'm running into clearance issues with the mechanicals I'd never have imagined.  (This is no fault of the Jones bars, rather it is the arbitrary and fickle nature of mountain bikes and there eleventy billion axle and wheel size "standards," not to mention brake brands and caliper shapes.)  Rest assured however my determination is only increasing in the face of adversity, and while the end result certainly won't be pretty (I currently see some sort of "mullet" as the most likely workaround) it will hopefully be rideable.

Anyway, I'll report back once everything's in place and the bike has undergone a shakedown ride, though it's hard to say for certain when that will be.  I guess I'll just have to keep you in suspense.  Oh well, such is the nature of bike blogging and rigorous product testing.

In the meantime, I'm going to be on the Lifehacker podcast, The Upgrade, so you can spend your idle time formulating questions for me:

And no, I refuse to disclose #whatpressureyourunning.

See you when I see you!


--Wildcat Rock Machine