It’s a neat site, one you may go back to regularly. Who knows?
Book Tour notes:
Went to Boise and spoke at the Boise Bicycle Project. Great audience, and saw an old friend there, John Derven, formerly of Bicycle Guide, then Burley, and now a pharmaceuticals rep based in Eugene, who happened to be in Boise. Went on a fun ride with all kinds of people, bikes, riders, on trails where I think I may have been the only one who almost crashed, but didn’t.
Then to Seattle, where I spend $100 on Theo chocolate to bring back here for the group…and spoke at Kathleen’s shop (FreeRange). There, I had a “literary escort" to makes sure I made it around town and showed up on time, and got to the airport just fine later that day, since I didn’t even stay overnight. On to…
Portland, where I rode with Buck and Jesse, frame builders at Chris King/Cielo; and Chris, formerly of Shimano-then-Chris King/Cielo-and now Rapha; and Carl, of the Transportation Alliance. We rode on a wide unpaved road in the foresty area, and it was as nice a ride as I’ve been on, as nice a “road” as there could be, with great company. I’d have photos, but I screwed up with the batteries, lost one, so no photos.
Customer Erik Jensen, who at one time almost worked here, and is, I believe, a grad student, takes remarkable photos of his bike rides, and if you haven’t seen them, please have a gander here.
BSNYC Eben Weiss mentioned to me that bike shops don’t sell many books. I see his in bike shops—-as it ought to be. My publisher sent out notice to 3,000 of the country’s 4,500 dealers, and response is…ehhhhhhhh…we don’t do books, much. I mean, for the most part. Book stores buy books. I wish bike shops would. It’s OK.
Eben is touring in Europe now. If you haven’t seen his blog, take a look. There’s always something good on it. When I was recently in NYC on my book tour, my host—an old friend—had just discovered it, and spent most of our talking time reading the back-blogs. I’m sure most of you know of it, but in case you don’t, here.
Our chambray shirt is coming along. I’ve got two samples. I like a big neck, John likes normal necks, and so we’re splitting the diff. The cut is nice, details right, and we should have them by late June. MUSA and so: Low profit margin, high price, nice shirts.
Wednesday the 16th I taped a radio interview thing for NPR’s Morning Edition. It aired today, Friday the 18th, and if you missed it you can hear it here. I was asked about commuting to work, how to, bikes for it, and so on. Workman (publisher) arranged it. It won’t be full-o-gems-o-wisdom, but I hope I don’t sound too foolish or grumpy. I wish I could do it over, but it came out fine.
Related to all this booky-toury stuff: It’s not right up my alley. I am grateful to have written a book that Workman published, and it is only right and expected that I do a little more to help it along. Not all authors go on tours, and some of those who do pay their own way. Workman covers my expenses, and I do my best to make it smarter than throwing money down a rat hole. The audiences have been wonderful so far, but the pessimist in me expects that not to last.
Workman also arranged the NPR spot.
We are nearly out of the 56 Sams that we just got in, and are trying to get a few more. But, well…..they want orders of 100, and we can’t do that. The new ones are super. I mean, the Sam has always been a fav here, solid and forever, comfy and smart, nice details and nothing dumb. These are pushing the limits of prettiness for a bike of that price, and I don’t mean that in the way you might think, if you think of that at all. Basically, I think they look kind of prissily pretty, but then I look at them and think wow, that looks great. The thing to do is build them up and ride them a lot and don’t wash them often or ever. These bikes will age great. I will love to see one on the streets in 25 years. I don’t think anybody will ever repaint one. The paint will cost too much, it wont’ be duplicable, and nobody’s ever going to get sick of the color. I mean, I can’t imagine.
Miesha here has been riding her Betty Foy in several times a week. She’s already fancifying it with bronze V-rims on fancy Rich-built wheels.
Judgmental interlude here: Young country singer Taylor Swift has just donated $4 million to the Country Western Museum, or something like that. She is young. She is talented (my daughter listens, I sometimes hear, and I hear from my daughter that she writes her own songs, at least). Still. If you’re going to give away four million…really? The Country-Western people? Taylor: read the papers. I know, it’s your money. None of my business. Not a good use of a blug.
Yesterday Dave and I were arguing about the right way to write money amounts. It came up in an upcoming ad. I wrote $20 thousand. He said, “that reads like ‘twenty dollars thousand.” I said no it doesn’t, it’s normal…but let’s look it up. On the internet you can find examples of “$20 thousand…” but better references than internet examples are the Associate Press style guide and the Chicago Manual of Style. I have two copies of the latter, but none were here and I think my oldest daughter may have both of them, and so I signed up for a free 30-day subscription to the Chicago Manual of Style, and I found out Dave was right, I was wrong. BUT when the thousands turn to millions, you spell it out. So both of these are right:
and both of these are wrong (according to Chicago Manual of Style:
Whenever I see fallen or cut-down trees, I look for branches to cut off and take home. Sometimes they’re slingshotters, sometimes they’re like hiking sticks or wading staffs. I often don’t use them. Once you have a few slingshots, and I do, then how many more are helpful? And I don’t often use a hiking stick or a wading staff. Sometimes. It just seems such a shame to let the wood stay there and maybe get ground up for yard-fill somewhere. The other night I got seven nice straight sticks of olive, from 1 to 1.5-inches in diameter (eyeballed), and four to seven feet long.
JUST RIDE is selling OK. I don’t know the figures. I know that I got a $25,000 advance, which went right to tuition, and I don’t expect to earn that back for a year or more. Some of you may know the publishing biz, others may be curious, but for the record, I get ten percent of the cover price (so, $1.395) for every bike a bookstore or bikeshop buys one. The publisher—Workman—sent noticias out to 3,000 of the roughly 4,400 bike shops in the country, but bike shops are notoriously underbuyers of books.
I wonder if your local shop sells books. Ours don’t.
Yesterday a fellow came by, and skip-to-the-chase—we bought an older tigged (so, Toyo-built) Ritchey MTB from him. It is here:
and some details below:
Half-lug, half-tig seat collar.
Three-finger brake levers and Deore XT thumbies. Non-indexed, so probably from 1984.
Takagi (brand) Tourney XT—-a crank I don’t even remember. “Tourney” is a low-end Shimano group, has been for decades. And XT is high end. Friend and industry guy Jim says he suspects this crank birthed both the Tourney and XT names for Shimano. Maybe Shimano bought the rights, maybe the rights became auto-available after Takagi crashed, maybe whatever. This one says “Tourney XT” on it, and is clearly a highish quality crank. SunTour roundy bear-trap pedals, excellent pedals.
There are thousands just like this out there. I doubt it’s tens of thousands, but it’s thousands at least. These were, are, rock-solid mountain bikes, no-BS mountain bikes. And they convert to super commute and general purp bikes, and that’s what we’ll do with it. Albatross bars, new stem and shifters and grips, move the saddle back, add fenders, and that’s it. The wheels are true, the older XT parts are in excellent condition, all’s well, and the bike cost just $325. I told him he could get way over twice that on CraigsList, but he didn’t want to deal with CraigsList, and so…he was ready to sell it for $250, but I couldn’t.
By popular demand? Not exactly. Cotton, American Apparel (so, slightly slim cut, buy a size up) T-shirts from Rosco Bubbe Junior College (mens, right) and Bosco Rubbe Junior College (womens, left). It helps to know your American Apparel size, but the tend to be sized for skinny Los Angelinos. In the next year, look for online classes of some sort from this top notch Junior College. Seriously.
The mens says Rosco-Bubbe. This is the Women’s. The color is more like the photo above, I don’t know why this came out funky.
This is the sun-caked contents of a waterbottle cage in the Battery Park area of Manhattan. A lot going on in there.
Those of you who’ve read entry #37 in Just Ride now know that I monitor my blood glucose as a way to monitor my insulin as a way to —- well, it started off as a show of solidarity with my newly diabetic friend, Sean, but has now become a habit that lets me know how close I am to becoming diabetic, and it seems to be not close at all.
Normal-desirable fasting glucose levels (taken in the morning, generally) are between 70 and 99, but what is normal these days and what was normal, say, eleven thousand years ago, or even five hundred, may be different. I try to stay under 85, and it’s all a matter of diet and exercise. Here’s my record, which will surely make those of you kind of in-the-know about such matters think I’m going nuts. This happened in the afternoon on March 1:
The BOSCO bars were expected last week, so we definitely re-expect them this week.