fat shoes, book tour, metal, bike, rack, other

My feet are EEEs, which is why almost the only shoes that feel great are my Teva sandals and a few fancy sometimes custom leather ones that I don’t exactly hang out in. Then I came upon a sneaker famed for, among other things, its width up front. It doesn’t come in widths, like New Balance. They’re ALL this way, which sounds dreamy to me, but odd, since more people have skinny feet than have feet like mine. Anyway, this is just a call-out to other fat-footeds out there: Here’s the shoe for us (they come in a few models and colors….I got this one because I didn’t want hot black, and it was on sale):

The brand is Altra, so if you buy your shoes based on how famous they are among strangers and friends, steer clear. Maybe they’ll get famous. Maybe they are and I’m just out of the loop. Anyway, it is the only sneaker I’ve ever worn that didn’t need stretching out. On another note, it’s one of those low-heelers that’s all the rage, designed with the notion that high-heeled sneakers are bad because they encourate heel strikes, which everybody now knows are the way of jogsters, not runners. Whatever—but I got them for the width. I know nobody at the company. I don’t even know if they have people there. It is here. I wear a ten. The width makes them look like 7.5’s. I try to run a 440 every week, and I’ve been doing fine in my Tevas, but as I hone in on my target time, after which I may quit, I’m thinking hey, real shoes.


I’m going out again on a book-tour, and this here now is part of my obligation to spread the word.  Some of the links link to specifics, some to general, can’t help that. As follows:

Mon Sept 10  Wisconsin Public Radio The Larry Meiller Show  live  interview about ten minutes max, sometime betw 945am and 1030am.

Sept 21 Fri

1. Milwaukee TV:  830 to 10 (not the whole time) The Morning Blend  I have no idea what to wear, but it probably won’t be my usual. I do not want makeup, that I know. If I have it, I’ll wiggle my left ear lobe.

2. Milwaukee Radio 11 - 1230 The Lake Effect. I will be discussing how lakes can generate their own weather via evaporation and cloud formation. I will then address some of the hardships it has and will continue to bring to the nearby communities,  and offer my counsel vis a vis how to best deal with it. It’ll be fantastic to be able to spread my wings. This “bike stuff” has been so stifling, and this new territory should prove exciting, and could even lead to book No. 2 in the “Just…” series. Either that, or it’s just the name of the radio show, and if you get that radio station, listen in.

3. Mequon BookTalk  430 to 6pm  Books & Co. If you show, don’t wear spandex, because then I’ll be afraid to —-well, there goes a big part of my talk, basically.

Sept 22 Sat Milwaukee BookTalk   2pm  Boswell Books 2559 North Downer Ave.

Same Spandex request. Leave it at home, folks, or I’ll be sweatin’ bullets. It’s not because I begrudge you your ‘dex. It’s an internal thing here. It’s not a purely anti-‘dex talk, but some of that creeps in, and if I’m looking at you in it, I just won’t know what to say. There may be a short ride afterward. I may need to borrow a bike, but the pub is trying to find me one. Nothing fancy, please. I’m a hair under 5-10 and can ride anything—-even fancies, sure, ok.

SEPT 23 Sunday  Naperville, ILL  BookTalk   11 - 12    Anderson’s Bookshop

May be a ride afterward, not sure. I’m not traveling with bike this time.

SEPT 24 MONDAY  TV Chicago WGN Midday News   Live

I have no expectations but much fear of these television spots. Remember—the camera adds 40 pounds. Here again, I’m hoping for no makeup. I’m tannish,  shouldn’t need it. I’ll let you know how it went, in that department. I’ll wiggle my right ear lobe once if I have it on.

SEPT 26 WED  Missoula   3pm ride, then 7-8pm booktalk at Adventure Cycling at 150 E. Pine. I hope to sneak in some small creek trout, something like that. FLASH: I got an offer—one of you Homer-riders says he knows the lay of the water. I’m bringing a dinky rod, a light line, a few flies, and no waders.

SEPT 27 THURS  College Park Maryland (near DC): College Park Cycles, at 4360 Knox Road.  Ride at 5, and BookTalk at 7.

SEPT 28 FRI  Phoenix   BookTalk   Changing Hands Books at Pedalcraft Festival, Kitchen Sink Studio (?) at 828 N. 3r #101   I’m a little fuzzy on the connections between Changing Hands, Pedalcraft, and Kitchen Sink, but the link may tell it.

THREE REI EVENTS. Of course these are all free, but REI suggests you register to make sure you get a seat. You can probably do that online, in person, and maybe even o’er the phone. The link I was provided is here, but I click on it and it’s not super clear how to register. Maybe you can figure it out better than I can.

Oct 3 Wed Berkeley REI   7-830. They request you pre-register. Info on that soon. Room for 70.

OCT 10 Wed   Concord, CA REI  7-830, please pre-reg. Room for 40.

OCT 24 WED  SF REI 7-830 and please pre-reg. Room for 30.

General note about books there at these talks, and sales and all: Most bike shops or book stores would ordinarily order 3 to 6 at a time. Booksignings kind of make them nervous, because they want to be prepared, but that means risking tons of overstock if they don’t sell. For my sake, I don’t care. I get about $1.10 per book—-fair, fine, normal and all—-but I really want the risk-takin’ bookstores and bike shops to have no regrets about this. Just Ride has been out long enough for most interested riders to get it, and if you’re reading this I’m guessing you already have it…and then you might show up not needing to buy one, or with one you’ve already bought, if it’s not signed and you want me to write my name on it. It’s really late for me to be doing this, so—-if you can spare another $14, by all means do it. I’ll give you my cut of it back in credit here, but I’m scared that the booksellers will be bummed (and I’ll feel horrible) if nobody buys. It’s only $13.95.

So far, these events have gone OK and there has not been a problem with selling books. I’m saying all this just because it’s really late to be still touring around like this. Over and out on that, sorry.

Hold your scolds. Seriously not warranted, but all duly noted.

Last Friday at five we sent out an email update that was, for the most part, me spewing and barfing about bike frames and metal and mechanical properties, and included speculations (maybe a statement or two) that were controversial, although my harshest critics—-maybe I should say my dozen harshest critics—would argue with “controversial” in favor of “just plain wrong, irresponsible, disappointing, and lies.”There were some gentle and kind rebuttals, too, which I am so grateful for, thank you.

Here’s the deal: Since just after the birth of Christ it has been well-known that the modulus (kind of like, but not exactly like stiffness) of a metal is independent of its ultimate tensile strength. I’ve “known” that and believed it and repeated it a hundred times in the last 30 years. Wait—thirty years? Five hundred times.

And all was well until an unscientific story told to me by an ironworker friend seemed to refute it. I told this story, and I probably should have pretended to doubt it in favor of science, rather than lean that way because…I felt like leaning that way. I recently read a more scientific story about this same topic, an article that seemed to support the ironworker version. I don’t remember where or exactly when, except that it was in the last year, and it’s been bugging me since.

Anyway, I reserve the right to have my doubts, but I hereby recant anything I said that rankled anybody.

"It’s not a matter of ‘rankling’ as you put it. To call it that is to deny the gravity of your post." One fellow, I think, would have written that, had I not just now.

The invidious topic was a tiny part of the post. The rest of it was killer and right on. Still, a mix of opinion and fact. Anyway——— strike one, OK.

And now for something you’ll really like (or, at least, may take the heat off.)

We get all kinds of visitors, bike people of all kinds, and we see every kind of bike built up every kind of way. Yes, we get Cervelos folders, hipster dumpster resurrected mixtes, fixies, classics, tons of Bridgestones, Treks, Specializeds, Giants, Raleighs, Nishikis, Schwinns, and customs. It takes a lot to stick out or impress, and on Tuesday a semi-local, Bruce, came by to get some—-I don’t know what he bought because I didn’t ring him up, but I imagine it was some kind of accessory, something modifiable.

At first glance—-I know—you rear back and say “whoa…” in fear. Scary bike, might be alive, must be dangerous. The owner must, simply must, have a beard.

Same from the back.

The frame, a Schwinn Voyager, broke once or twice up here, so Bruce welded in this gusset. Oh—he is the original owner.

The flat stays distribute the rack’s load better, he says. I’m sure they do.

Nice wrap and twine.

Who hasn’t wished for some of these on some ride or other? I used to carry them.

Grip King pedals, good. Odd that Bruce’d double-lock his bike alongside a few unlocked bikes worth many times as much, but if I’d put that much work into a bike, I’d be bummed if it were stolen, too. But still…unlikely.

This is my bike. If you overload a Mark’s rack as I’ve done here, it is necessary to rig straps to lift the load off the rack. I think you can all see how this works. I used John’s Irish Straps, but others will do. This basket has at least twelve pounds in it, but the rack “feels”— I’m guessing—-maybe three.

Around the bars.

Thru the corners. ONE strap will do it, but I’ve used two, and a rabbit’s foot.