I’ve searched the web, maybe did a lousy job of it because I didn’t find anything helpful, but came away confused. A good friend is in a lousy wheelchair. At least, it’s falling apart, and the wheels are skinny and hard, and he can’t go over any sort of bump. He’s diabetic and going numb. Has some strength, but little. Still, not none. He knows nothing about wheelchairs (has two custom bikes, though), and I’m helping him shop for a new one. I don’t know if there’s as much nonsense in wheelchairs as there is in bikes, but if there is, I want to avoid it.
He needs the equivalent of … maybe a Sam Hillborne with 38 to 40mm tires. Lots of value, good for almost anything. Specific tips, links, models appreciated. I’ll look into all of them but won’t acknowledge the tips (most likely)—-but all help is appreciated. Thanks.
Here’s a pic of his current wheelchair. We ate lunch on a nearby trail today. That’s a former co-worker of his, on the left.
April is National Poetry Month, as I just found out, and we’re getting a late start, so we’d better stick to haiku. Submit your Sam-ku, Homer-ku, and Betty-ku to the email address at the end of this message.
Your efforts will be judged by an outsider who hasn’t been picked yet and who will never be identified, but it won’t be one of us. It may be one of you, or it may be somebody picked at random—-a friendly face found in the poetry section of a local bookstore, who wasn’t put off by the proposition—-didn’t think it was a weird thing or a pickup line—and said sure, what the heck. If he or she is found actually reading a haiku book, that would be ideal. But it may be one of you, too. It won’t be one of us or a relative.
No5 haiku7 instructions5 will be provided. Poem mood can be anything from genuflective to slapstick. You’re not limited in the number of entries. Entries will be accepted until the end of the month.
An old friend sent me this:
As usual, I’m a D+ at making that a link. Cut and paste, and be amazed at the miraculousness of being able to do that and see this.
It’s easily misinterpreted story. But…there it is.
A guy named Richard Klein—retired mech engineering prof at Univ of Chicago at Champaign or however you spell it—-made bikes with no gyroscopic precession, and they were rideable. He sent me a video maybe 20 years ago, showing some wacky, interesting bikes and stability experiments—riderless bikes coasting downhills and getting bumped and recovering or crashing, depending on particulars. Some of these things seeeem to favor a little more trail than a little less, but the danger is extrapolating too much from the wackymobile to the bike, and ignoring things like, in this story—-the comment that other factors contribute, anyway. Even tho the story is about other things, which can make you forget that.
It’s never purely a matter of numbers, anyway. It may be physics, but how does putting a rider on the bike affect that? A lot, I’d think. The riderless bike stuff is interesting because some things are best studied without a human’s interference, but when the thing being studied is a vehicle commanded by a human, the human guy becomes an unignorable variable.
Anyway..cut, paste, and go to town.
Don’t forget the baikus, either. Or the categories. OK, we’ll add a “GENERAL” category, but there are cats for Samku, Homerku, and Bettyku. You know….let’s have them for every one of our models, past and present. Hunqaku, Rambouku, Atlantiku, and so on.
Some of the early entries are phenomenal. But I am NOT the judge. Good work, though. Man, really good.
Flash: A nice and polite guy, Michael Mann, has notified us that he has a site called baiku. Here’s a link to it. It’s a neat site. We didn’t know that when the name came up here (Dave thought of it, and I liked it), but the story here is that Michael was normal, sent a nice note—-not a “nice note kindly asking us to please not use the name,” but a 100 percent nice note with nothing of that sort in it——just sort of a “hey, me too” kind of thing. But—-wanting to be respectful and all when we recognize an opportunity, we’ll change our thing to bikoo (keep the long “i”), and we’re not going to run with this anywhere anyway—-it’s just a poetry challenge, with haiku-sized prizes for the winners (short “i”).
Michael Mann’s site is:
The tweedy bags should’ve been sent last week but weren’t, and Spenser is tracking down why and when they will be. Worst case scenario is they never get here, but less pessimistically, they’ll be here in a month. Most are pre-sold, but some are left, and if you want one, pre-order it. We don’t charge until we ship, but the main thing is: We have a few of every model left, but only a few, and this may be the last of them for this year. (SInce they took more than a year and a half to get, we’re not eager to order more right away.)
The SOMA/AMOS bike—-a reminder: We designed the frame for Soma Fabrications. It’s basically a roady frame, not a country bike, not a touring bike, just a really nice and versatile road frame kind of the way the Rambouillet was, and the Roadeo would be if it were a hair heavier and had rack mounts. A ROAD bike with clearance for tires up to 33mm with fenders, or 35mm without. The kind of bike you’d get for road riding, club rides, charitable centuries, and occasional careful smooth fire roading. The kind of bike guys who buy $6,000 carbon frames should’ve gotten instead, but they don’t think so.
A good frame, made of Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo steel, joined with our lugs and crown. Light blue.
It is an “expanded” frame, meaning the top tube slopes up 6-degrees to assure good comfy highish handlebars even if you buy a bit too small. The first three sizes coming—-by late May, we’re told, but we are out of that loop—-will be 54, 59, and 63. The two bigger have an undertube (second top tube), and the 54 won’t. The other sizes are 47 and 51, and they’ll come later and will fit 650B wheels.
We are getting five of each. Merry Sales, the distributor, is getting 15 of each—-so, only ten of each size left over for the entire country, which sounds shocking to me, but that’s what I hear. We have no involvement other than that I designed the geometry and they use our lugs, and we’ll sell them.
Tweed sweaters are coming in about three weeks. Many are presold, but plenty are available.
I went to a family reunion last weekend, and met a bunch of people I didn’t know I was related to. I found out some truths and undid some lies about old family dark secrets, with mysterious relatives who nobody ever talked about. It was pretty fun, kind of relieving, and overall good. Now I’m back and settling in again.
Here are some photos of….other things. Sorry this is so jangled up. I wrote the entire thing while talking to a friend on the phone. I was trying to pay attention to both, not sure how it came out.
Clothing coming up:
Cowboy seersuckers. Even baggier knickers. Some fancy grid bottoms with super expensive Japanese fabric. We’re working on a ventile top, but holy moses, that’s expensive fabric.
It was terrific. If you’re new here—-it’s OK. We arranged for Gary Taubes
to talk for an hour or so at the local library. About 150 signed up, and 99 to 100 showed (it was free, so nobody wasted a costly ticket). The house looked fullish, I gave a short, awkward introduction, then Gary had the room gripped for about 1:15—then took questions and signed a few books.
I hope people enjoyed it and came away smarter ‘bout stuff, and I think that happened.
New post in a day or so.
Thanks to all who came!