She isn’t Brooks-compatible yet, so she’s riding a new cheapy that we don’t sell, but have on a few demo bikes, and it’s fine. The Betty is our second most popular bike—-to the shock of most of us here, who love the bike (and many boys here have one), but seem to have underestimated the bike’s allure in the outside world.
The new MUSA SS T-shirts are winning over everybody. I think they’re almost too slick. They’re tailored, soft, feel like nothing….but I have one on now, and wore one yesterday (same one) and three days ago, so something must be OK with them.
The Special bikes—-nameless still—-the ones that were sold without any information other than that they wouldn’t severely overlap any of our other models, and would be made by Mark N., our custom builder—-are trickling in now. Here’s a 61.7cm, nearly, but with a Bosco bar and a front brake on it:
And these close-ups, too:
Head tube is so long it needs the diagatube, clearly.
This is always the dreamy, flamey look that…well, we’ll paint over it.
Same mid-lug as most Betty Foy frames.
If these work out and we’re confident enough to think we can sell a few, we’ll turn them into way more affordable production models. They’re commuters and flattish-road bikes, only in the sense that despite the two chainrings you could put on them, they’ll have only one shifter. We’ve been experimenting with a stick shifter lately and literally, and yes, it works, although it is not fully commercializable. The buyers of the first ten “special bikes” shown above will be provided with a free front stick-shifter.
It’s not a joke or a luxurious quicky project to show how cool we are. It was a lunchtime experiment gone nuts, at least to the extent that we considered whether or not we could make one or get one made with some refinements and consistency that would make it worth paying $10 for. It’s tricky, and that rules out people who insist on near-instant mastery. BUT, I have no doubt that anybody could get pretty good if that were the requirement for getting out of the dungeon. Brian and I got it down OK in about ten minutes.
Our Costly Riding Jacket is still in the works. Probably will be Ventile cotton from England at $38 per yard FOB England. MAY have bamboo toggle buttons made by this guy in Taiwan who makes the super costly boxes and rules that, due to a mixup, we ended up selling at less than cost. Same guy. We’re working on the patterns. We may have a cheaper version, too. Ventile is neat fabric, but we want to get it OUT there, too. Here’s a photo of the first sample, on our own Blind John Bennett:
We’re also working on a nylon-cheaper version. Have to find some good cheap fabric.
We’re no longer selling the Swiss Army knife we sold for so many years. Our cost went up on it, and yet there are knife companies online that sell it for like, five bucks over what we can buy it for….so we’ll shed no tears over that one. Are working on another, same style. Maybe more expensive….but this knife is one of several things we offer not because it affects the bottom line, but only because…well…I/Grant personally like them a lot, and if we didn’t stock ‘em, you might not even know about ‘em.
Starting April 29, I believe, I go on a ten-stop book tour, arranged by the publisher to help promote JUST RIDE. Self-promotion is not “right down my aisle,” as my then 4-year old daughter used to say, but it is my responsibility to help as I can, and announcing it here is part of that. Scroll down fast or click off if you have no interest in the schedule, which is:
Sun April 29
NYC, The New Amsterdam Bike Show. There’s a room for speakers, and BSNYC will talk about his book, The Enlightened Cyclist, too. I hope not at the same time, because he’s the Sandy Koufax of this stuff.
I’ll remain in NYC a few days, and then I’m off to Alabama.
Then I come home for a couple of weeks, before heading out to Minneapolis, where I hope to embarrass my oldest daughter Katie, the one who famously had her fancy bike stolen and never recovered there. I’ll update the tour again before that.
What may seem or sound like self-promotion…is not. The publisher gave me this neat chance to write a book, and I did, and eventually my end of the deal will be over, but in these initial stages, it is my job to help out as I can, and I am happy to do it….but it is slightly out of my comfort zone. Still, here are some entry headings:
Originally about 2,500 words, but chopped down to maybe four sections, all smaller. The headline here is a rabble-rouser, I know….but it’s kind of true, too. You have to read it.
Women have different problem than men do. No doubt some women will think, “who’s he to write about us?”, but I don’t say I can feel what women feel…
Doesn’t mean don’t do it. Just don’t do it too much.
IN this one, I say what I THINK about frame design. At least, the way we here at Rivendell do it.
And here’s the bookmark.
The title variants are all anagrams, and I had to use one French word. Dr. J was a basketball player: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Erving and no doubt stayed in some suites. I’m sure there are many Jesuit doctors.
The best way to get a book—-only in the sense that it’s fastest and cheapest—is thru Amazon. Local bike shops and book stores, and there’s always us. We’ll have them….shortly after Amazon does, I think. If you’re going to a signing, get one there.
Our Canadian Blue Sock are selling pretty well. Cheap—-as non-Walmart socks go—-and I believe we’ve had only one return, from a guy who was quite sensitive to the seam. If you are, wear your socks inside out. This trick is as old as the hills:
This is also a good thing to do if you wear your socks two days in a row. I’m super clean—-hygienically and all—but now and then I do this. Shown here both ways.
While shuffling around the other day, we came upon some out-takes from the 1994 Bstone catalogue cover photos, including this one:
Robert, on the left, has been here at RIV about 12 years. Kim’s still in Arizona, I think. Note the beeswax, baseball glove and ball and bat. This was shot in the old Wheelsmith Bike Shop in Palo Alto, CA. Not that it matters, but some of you might wonder: I didn’t shoot it, a guy named Bob Shenker did, using a Pentax 6x7 camera. So…there.
In the last BLUGpost I showed a photo of a spot in Marin Country, where Keven and Dustin did an S24O (sub-24-hour overnight), and said I wanted to go there, which—-last night I did, with Keven, Daniel, Jenny (her first S240), Elizabeth, and that’s all.
Keven was retrieving food this morning from the anti-raccoon food locker, and noticed a Homer and a Hunqapillar. Hm. I think it’s hard to write about one’s trips without boring people, although Daniel does it well, and so I’ll just show some pix and quick comment.
Dang, it looks like an REI ad. No. My camp there on a high bluff overlooking SF Bay, which is about half a mile away and five hundred feet below.
Keven and Daniel’s tents, a bit below mine. Keven in orange, and the bike on the left is his new 60cm Betty Foy.
Kind of a cliche when you see a sunrisey pic of the bay and the Golden Gate bridge, but there’s a boat in the bay, and when you’re there…not a cliche. Nearby were some other bike campers. One had a Hilsen, the other, a Hunqapillar.
Jenny-the-Shipper’s Hilsen is not built up yet (she got a 59, with 2tt), so she rides this Torelli with Moustache H’bars, and a sleeping bag lashed directly to the saddle’s bag loops.
Elizabeth and Jenny descending the…road back.
Left work at 6pm, were back by 9:20—-less than 15 hours. All easy riding, within reach of many hundreds of thousands of bicycle riders. Saw many racoons—-in fact, fought them off with rocks—-and a coyote. Raccoons aren’t that nice, by the way. None got hurt…just scared.