horses, urban velo int, & a P/T job?

Last  month’s Urban Velo had this. Please don’t think this is me pumping me. The thing is, when the media covers one, one is supposed to point to the media, too. So—it’s all part of the book thing. Interviews, stories, articles, whatever. Believe me, I’ve seen enough of me not to need this for my own feel-good, but also—-invariably—-the writers and interviewers are always nice people, and I get to meet them in the process, too. So without further adieu…

You can read the bigger type below it, then scroll up and there’s an arrow to the right for the next page, at which point you scroll down again to read that section. You’ll figure it out. Look for the arrows to click on. Scroll around, etc.



We may be looking to hire a part-timer here. Vince is heading back to school full-time and so on and we need to fill his gigantic clown shoes. Our most successful hires and employees have always been customers before they worked here. Sometimes we get a super overthetop enthusiastic candidate who loves bikes, loves us, is into it all and has been for years, and yet they’ve never bought anything here. You can’t buy your way INTO a job, but not having ever bought anything from us despite liking “this kind of” bike stuff…doesn’t ring of sincerity.

But whatever the case, we are looking for somebody to work three days a week. Maybe just sub four. For now, it’s not going to be a full-time-with-benefits position, but certainly could grow into that if it’s a good fit and the work is there. The ideal candidate, ahem:

• already has one of our bikes and knows a lot about us. You don’t have to own one, and if you’re 19 we don’t expect you will. Remember, these are ideal things, not total requirements.

• is good with people

• is not a slacker. Has kept jobs before. Probably has not been fired. Works hard.

* we’re into personal hygiene, so …. you better be, too

• is not hoping to get the job he can score industry deals on bike parts for himself and friends.

• lives near and won’t have any problem getting to work on time. I think it is illegal to ASK a candidate where he or she lives or how he or she will get to work…but in this case all I’m saying is ideally….for YOUR sake….you won’t live in Modesto, for instance.

• COULD assemble a bike. COULD learn to do so at our standard. WOULD be enthusiastic about that. This is ideal—-not a requirement.

• if you can’t work 10 to 4 and sometimes 5 saturdays, see ya’.

This is a good place to work for the right person. We have many emps who’ve been here 10 years or more, and several going on seven or eight. In all cases, they are super employable out there in the real world, even in a lousy job market.

Out of staters, too much pressure. We’d never ask you to move, but if you moved here and didn’t work out, well, that’s a drag for everybody.

Grant, who is I, will not field questions about this. If you’re interested or kno somebody who might be, they (or you if it’s you, but not you if it’s not) should email

John’s not here tomorrow, so you can cc me—-
But address your letter to John. The benefit of cc’ing me is that I’ll read the resumes and cover letters tomorrow and over the weekend, and we’ll be up to speed sooner. Sometimes we get lots of responses, sometimes not that many.

Cover letter, resume, references that we will absolutely check. The candidate must also state his or her salary requirements. No resume without them will be followed up on. You won’t be reminded. I’d even go so far as to say that if your inclination is to fret about that and ask your friends and family what they think you should put down, then you maybe don’t have the spine we’re looking for. That may be a little harsh, but the point is, we’re looking for a mature person of any age.

It really is a good place to work. We have a fine filter up front, but if you’re the right person…sure.



I have not been a horse person, but I think that’s only because I’ve not been a barn and ranch person. We all LIKE horses, right? One of my favorite movies is — I’m sure some of you will hate it, sorry —- The Man From Snowy River.

Sigrid Thornton—that had something to do with it, but it was mostly horses. The scene of ‘em running slow mo’ thru the snow about 3/4 of the way (o’ mo’) thru the movie was great.

I never flip past a horse story, and I remember when this happened. This is a delightful shorter-than-seven-minutes video of something that happened that makes you sort of proud to be a member of the species that helped:

Netherlands horse rescue

We have here a photo of the horses. I forget who took it, but some guy in Holland or something, and I bought a copy from him back then. Here’s the photo, hanged, and sorry it’s so blurry:

A woman came by and liked the photos and sent me this link, which has some supersuper photos of wild horses that live on Sable Island, SE off the coast of Nova Scotia:

I’m going to get a couple of prints from here, too.
Bikes and horses have something in common. One of the bikes we have coming up will be named after a kind of horse, so there’s that connection, too.


A woman ordered a custom mixte. Thru a miscommunication, my fault, it was built as a non-mixte. It is here:

She is not obligated to buy this one, of course. She said she might, also, but for sure wants the mixte.


Former Emp frevver friend Vaughn, whose Hunqa we showed here last time, has been out riding it. I wondered publicly why in heck he got Cliffhanger (heavy) rims and Big Apple 55mm tires, when he weighs about 120. He sent me this photo.

I understand he’s not actually riding up it, but I’m guessing he rode down stuff seventy-five percent as rocky. This stuff here—-well, one must know when a bike is the wrong thing.

And then this one, too, to which I must ask, ¿Quien es mas macho?

I’d say Vaughn es mach macho. He is also here:

Vaughn: Friendly tip. When you pose with a bike, show the drive-side out. Otherwise it looks left-handed and we’re frustrated not being able to see the drive train. Now, get back up there and do it again. I had to flip the photo. Street photos of bike are always left-handed, because that’s how they’re parked. Maybe not in England, I’m thinking.


Mark recently rigged a rear rack on the front of this 51 Hunqapillar. It’s a large rear rack. We’re thinking the rack won’t sit high enough for a 700c wheeler. It’s OK.

Here’s the attachment:

You can also attach a Mark’s rack or a now-discontinued 2-strut rack this way.


Here’s a perfectly good alternate way to carry a pump:

In some cases, on some bikes, with some pumps but not in THIS case, you might need a couple of straps. This Topeak Masterblaster pump works fine with one on this ol’ Sam.


Will try to post again soon. I will top-post, to eliminate scrolling.

UPDATED MONDAY: Almost WKRP, Lance, Nepalese cobra, Western States, general stuff.

At 6:20 pm Eastern time on WKRQ in Cincinatti, a 10-minute or so interview, sponsored by Red Wigglers, the Cadillac of worms. The show is Amy’s Table. Amy Tobin is the host. Just FYI.


Too bad about all of that, the whole thing, the “culture” or whatever that fostered it or whatever. IF he did all that, he did it to be a contender among other enhanced contenders. It could be that it just leveled the playing field, at which point his superior training or heredity kicked him over the finish line first and they really were fairish races after all. IF he did that, he wasn’t born a cheater, and IF he was, which is ridiculous, it makes interesting debate that goes something like this: Born that way, not his fault. Not born that way but nudged into it by escalating successive approximations and the rewards of winning and the encouraging of his employers and enabling of his “trainers,” his entourage and even his fans for cheering his winning, also not his fault.

This is the hard one to swallow, the idea that at some point Lance didn’t just make a private Decision to dope—-IF he did.

"Decision" is a tricky word. There’s never an accusation of decision without an action to back it up. If I say I’ve decided to do a side-straddle hop and then I do it, you’ll say something like, "Duh…don’t bore me."  But if I say "I’ve decided to do a side-straddle hop in the next few seconds" and then don’t, you’ll assume that I decided not to between the time I decided to and then didn’t do it.

People think decisions lead to actions, when the only evidence of any decision is the action, that’s like saying Joe Blow is never quits because he’s determined, or that lady reads book after book because she’s voracious.

Back to the side-straddle hop—-You can’t just say “No-no….at the last second I decided not to do it.”  A statement like, “I decided not to do it” isn’t any more helpful than, “I didn’t do it.” If all “deciding” is, is weighing the pros and cons of doing something, culminating in either the pros or the cons winning out and then doing it or not doing it, then it’s still not a free-willish independent decision. You weigh what you predict will happen, and that keeps it from being “free.”  If I go into this bar, provacatively attired nice drunk ladies. If I go into this bar, provocatively attired mean drunk men. I don’t think I’ve ever even been in a bar, but this is a way to make a point.

That Lance’s environment shaped it and is guiltier than he is—that’s tough for a lot of people. Everybody acknowledges an influence, but then they throw in free will, which is supposed to trump it. You can’t have both. You can’t say “environment up to a point, and then free will takes over.” That’s like saying I’m vegan between meals.

As a society we have to act as though everybody has free will and is their own inner and solo agent of every action they do. Pious people say God is all-powerful and that his will is always done, but then to get God off the hook, say that God handed out the free will.

Free will is key here, because not buying free will doesn’t leave one with a lot of options when it comes to consequences. If nobody has it, how can we justify spanking children or punishing or killing criminals? If there were no free will, wouldn’t chaos take over, and so isn’t order evidence of free will?

It’s just a complicated topic, far beyond my intellectual abilities to make sense of, and not the kind of topic you want to read on a bike blog, except for the Lance connection. But it is a topic that I get to do because this is just a blog and it will go away soon.

I’ve never met Lance, never even got a chance to get a glance of Lance or look askance at Lance from a distance. <—-that is the best sentance I’ve ever written. And I’m as weak as the next guy in the way some deep part of me likes to see the cocky champs fall or secretly hopes the lunatic jumps so I can brag about having seen it. On top of that, I think the Lance-‘fluance has sent a lot of sincere middle-aged riders wannabes down a path that’s bound to fail ‘em.

If Lance gets double-stripped (if the ICU strips him, too), then I will feel really sorry for him. That doesn’t mean I think he was clean, and it doesn’t mean I think he’s a pathetic figure, either. It’s a complicated thing, isn’t it? In the end, Lance is one of us people living at the same time as we are on the only habitable place in our solar system (maybe the universe), and he is not one of the bad guys, he’s so much like his critics (and I’ve been one). I never wore a yellow band, but I kind of have an invisible one on now, in the sense that I’m feeling the compassion. Even that’s a funny thing….rooting for his downfall, then feeling sorry for him when it happens, and then feeling like a good person for feeling bad for him. It’s complicated to be human, isn’t it? I may feel differently tomorrow.

On a slightly lighter note, although still bad news for the truest of nature lovers, click here.

And now, on a low-carby note:

Projects that otherwise aren’t on the radar:

1. The resurrection of the Rivendell Reader. Dave has the next issue planned—RR44. I think it’ll be kind of a reference book for certain kinds of steel bikes, with some kinds of technical information about lugs, chainstays, design, tubing, forks and cork frowns and maybe metallurgy. Some things that didn’t make the cut in the book. All presented in a practical way. It won’t be a source for your Master’s thesis  in anything, but it’ll be a friendly overview.

2. Our paper catalogue is 90 percent written and just needs to be laid out. One of you has offered to do it, and we’ll see how that works out. In the past, this kind of reaching out has flopped, but I’m confident this time. You know who you are. The clock will start ticking in a month and the pressure will then be on.

3. Patches. We’re going to have some in three months. Assorted.

4. This morning Tuesday Aug 21 I taped an interview with Colorado Public Radio. It will air Wed Aug 22 at 10am Mountain time. I hope it comes out OK. To me I always sound exaperated, but that’s not how I’m feeling. It comes from thinking about the answers, a certain way of that. (It is part of my job to call attention to these things….so don’t anybody go getting mad at me for thumbing at myself, which I don’t mean to do.

5. I would like to recommend a short book, a quick novel that you will love even if you don’t especially have never ever at least since school read a novel. It is here. If somebody you know likes novels, even if it’s not you, and you want to surprise them by giving them a book they’re bound to like from somebody who they won’t expect it from, this is that book. Get it here. One of the bookstore owners was inspired to open the bookstore after finding a used copy of this book many years ago. This book belongs here.

assorted mid Aug.

This guy, Robert Forstemann of Germany and gold medalist in the match sprint, the guy on the right  in this photo standing next to the guy on the left with the skinny quads,  needs to Just Ride.


Former employee Vaughn of Colorado recently bought this Hunqapillar, and we all found it notable because of its monster tires and Vaughn’s probably not needing them. He’s about 125lbs, and the rims are Velocity 28mm wide Cliffhangers  with Schwalbe 55mm Big Apples.

It’s a 51 Hunqa.

This is Nitto’s Top Rack. Good choice for a medium or large SaddleSack, and the only choice for the TrunkSack Large.

The Nitto Mini-Cantil rack. This is the new crown, which all by itself weighs 0.0045 what Vaughn weighs.

Now here’s the grip area. Mark knows Vaughn well and wanted to try something different. It’s cork tape overwrapped with cotton, then twined and shellacked. The groovy part is the constant diameter of the wrapping, and how you can also split your fingers over the lever clamp, no  problem or funny feeling. I’d go for a cork grip myself (and I do, and it’s similar), but I’ve got to say the constantness of diameter is kind of neat.


One of you sent me a link to a review of Just Ride, thanks. It is here. Nice review, makes me glad, but that’s not why I’m here now. The site looked kind of interesting, so I clicked on a podcast and some links and it and — well, it’s sort of a men’s grooming and culture site, and this cracked me up. I’m signing up. The tennis and cleaver convinced me.


Here’s an interesting reversal.

Aug 7

Many people, I think, don’t know that Jan Heine and I are buddies. He and I travel the same path for the most part, and then veer off on nearly parallel tributaries. We don’t have to make the same noise and believe all the same things to be pals. He likes lighter tires, I like stouter ones. He rides brevets, I don’t. I believe we are otherwise identical…or at least, close enough. We have way more in common than not, and I’m a fan of his. I KIND of wish people would stop putting voodoo dolls of us in the same ring together. Over and out on that.

The widespread opinion that bikes are just another vehicle on the road, and should have the same rights and responsibilities as cars seems to make sense, but here’s an interesting column about that in Sunday’s NYT.

Dang, BSNYC already linked to it. Well, there’s not 100 percent crossover, but it’s worth a read regardless. I’m just throwing it out there.

It’s an interesting topic. I’ve thought of it as Jayriding for a few years now. I was re-reminded of it on the Bikeyface site, with “jaybiking.” I’ve been known to do it, but…of course I don’t condone it. I do a few things I don’t condone.


Last week two bike tourists came by. Both are 20.

Left-to-right, Lizzie and Haley, both from Oregon.

Lizzie is vegan, but collects hard animal parts, and found these great antlers, with skull (not visible) attached.

Non-vegan Haley has a Hunqapillar, a high-school graduation gift!

Mark is building this Roadeo for a customer. Nice how the steel steerer can be so long, so it can be cut to any length, so higher bars with threadless headsets.

This is our Snow Peak (brand) titanium plate. Titanium turns rainbow-like colors when you get it hot enough. I knew that so I did this on the stove. I suppose there’s a way to take the heat too high or too far and mess up the plate, but you know…just watch it and see where it goes and be willing to sacrifice a $14 plate, or whatever it costs these days. With the super strong Yen, it should be $25. Titanium plates have a nice lip and can hold up to four-egg omelettes. Easy to wash, no slippery hands, and unbreakable.


Here are the latest versions (V.3) of the Mark’s Hub Area Rack.

On the left on a 700c fork. On the right, on a 26-wheel fork. We don’t show it on a 650b fork, but the bolt will be more midslot on it. Mark’s making sure it works with at least with an Ortlieb RackTime bag, but mainly we’re going to have our own, and then whatever else it works with, fine. He’s not going to design it for existing bags, but by its nature and dimensions it’ll likely fit a few.

Close ups of upper attachments:

The long slot makes  one fit many. This is on 26-wheel, used with a Mini front rack.

And here it is on 700c wheel and no mini-front rack.


All for now.

Bosco Bars are now in stock. Details follow. New news, too. (at bottom)

On Wednesday tomorrow August 2 in Hartford  on radio

WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut

At 10am California time, 1pm Eastern Time. Noon Midwest time, 11 Mountain.

As I understand it, it will be an hour long with three people, and one of the others might be Tom Vanderbilt, author of a great book, Traffic. I THINK the topic is general bicycle culture, safety, cars and bikes, can’t we all just git along…and things like that. I will go with the flow and try to speak up a little but not too much. Tom V. has a lot more to say than I do, and will no doubt say it more intelligently, on the topic cars/bikes/traffic.


I just got a 1700-word letter  from a fellow who found nothing but things to disagree with in Just Ride.

Just Ride has lots and lots and lots of opinions personal observations along with a few facts. It is a point-of-view book, and I don’t expect anybody to agree with all of it, but he may top the opposite chart. In the big picture his letter means nothing, but I think we all live in small pictures more—-I do for sure—-and so I can’t say hey, we live on a spec of dust in the cosmos and are here for the beat of an eyelash. I wish he found SOMETHING acceptable about it. It’s OK.


Maybe my favorite OlyAthlete is Whatsername…Schmitt, the swimmer. Allison Schmitt?

I’ve seen enough perfect divers. I like the gymnastics but not the tension and scoring. I’d give them all medals. I don’t like how Marc Spitz lost the 200 Butterfly by five hundredths of a second. What does that mean? That he’s slower? I don’t know.

Some badminton players are throwing games to give them a more advantageous next round, or something? Remember before professional Americans could compete? We lost a lot against the Germans and Russians, but it was easier to root for us. It hard for me to root for the American basketball team when they’re playing—-well, anybody. I don’t root against them. I don’t, actually, even watchem, but sitting around hoping they cream Croatia or Trinidad and Tobago is something I am not capable of doing.

You gotta like that Gabby Douglas. The Flying Squirrel. But still—-too much tension for me, in all of those deadly seeming gymnastic events. A stuble here, and a nightmare memory for life, maybe. I’m not against anything.


We got a silver box today:

It’s a first. Here’s the bottom of the box.

They start with two or three real words and make non-words out of them. THat’s OK.

Whatever is inside…had to be kept chilled. Somebody is not messing around.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Can you guess?

Still….can you guess?

BOSCO Bars. And note the fine print, upper left corner of the label:

Presumably, you should have access to refrigeration, or at least a Chilltainer/

As choco-bars go, the Bosco is fairly “clean”: I was glad to see this.

Typically a dark-choco bar, 72 percent or more, will have about 21g of carbohydrate per 40g serving, and this is 29g per 50g….about the same.


The Nitto-made CrMo Bosco bars should be here in a month—-by, say, early September (“Uhhhhhhh, no, they’ll be here mid August” - says the Invent’ry Person). There are never promises when it comes to delivery. The Yen is at .781, which is an all-time high against the dollar = bad for riv.


We are getting in, oh actually just arrived today,  mossy green long sleeevey woolies tops from Australia again. They will be on the homepage about now. Also have Brand new MAU wooly trunk undies, the loose boxer kind that are so delightful in summer.


I know this risks overload, but in this case it’s sending you to somebody else’s blog, and that’s something I can do. Forbes Black has interviewed lots of bikie people, and he recently talked to me and it went something like this.  None or at least not much will be new to some or many of you. Hey—I would like nothing better than to hole up for a while, but this is my time-of-the-book, and part of the job is being OUT THERE to whatever extent I can, hang the discomfort. Thus the travel and talks and all.

Go to his site, look at the archives…there’s more. He’s a good interviewer.


New: On Connecticutt NPR Thurs Aug 2. Interview with two others and me.

Reader scans for issues 1 thru 39 are coming and we’ll have them on cork usb drives. They will cost…we don’t know. People don’t like to pay for stuff like this, but gotta.

We’ll be getting new Yves Gomez head badges. They’ll be we think $10 (might be more) if you already have one, and …free with a new bike, of course.


Not all that’s Bosco is gold. The Russian Oly team’s Bosco (a Russian brand) warmups are pushing it, and the Spanish team’s Russian-made Bosco brand warmups or shirts or whatever they are—-also not fantastic.

General things, variety pack

This is more book stuff—about Just Ride, which came out in May and isn’t setting the woods on fire, but is chugging along. At least one of you must be wondering what “chugging along” means. It’s one thing to say it in a sentence like that, but it’s kind of a humble tease, or something like that. A tease masquerading as humble, is more like it.

The first printing was 26,000 books. There has not yet been a second printing, and as I understand it, second printings are much much smaller than first ones. Still, for books of its type it is holding its own. I think the perfect companion books to it are the BSNYC books, which are better written, not because he has a better publisher or editor, but because he is a better writer. He tries to hide that behind the humor and what he calls snarkiness, but he is really good, and his books have shaken things up.

Another new book that is doing well, thank goodness, is Ann Patchett’s What Now?, a book that grew out of the commencement address she gave at Sarah Lawrence College in 2006, and great advice for anybody of any age who’s facing some sort of unknown future. Even if you think you aren’t, you’ll get something good out of this book. But certainly, absolutely, if you know a recent high school or college graduate, or somebody recently laid off work or just out of work, it is perfect.  It’s not just good, but it may even help awaken a reading habit, and Ann Patchett has a few other books they can follow up with.

I suppose, speaking of books and authors and that whole world, I’ve got to mention because I’m getting some nice comments about it, that in the brand new NYT Book Review, David Eggers reviewed Just Ride and said good things about it. I had no idea it was going to happen, and the NYT is above my station, but there it is.


We are trying to get out a new paper catalogue by early next year, and about that time, a new Rivendell Reader, too.


I had lunch with Gary Taubes today in the Berkeley part of Oakland. Technically Oakland, but—well, at Barney’s in Berkeley. We both had salads with chicken and bacon, and a nice long general talk about stuff. He looks extremely fit, I’d say.


Did anybody else notice the Symbicort (?) commercial, where grampa and the grandkids head out fishing with fly reels on spinning rods? Did they get the formula for the drug right? Is this a “well, that’s not the point…” kind of deal, where it just shouldn’t matter or bug anybody. Maybe.

Whatsisname Vinnicourov (sp) won the Olympic road race.  He looks a whole lot like Sean Virnig, of Rawland. It was a neat finish. I can hate racing’s influence (that’s my rep now, and it’s kind of about right) and still like to watch a finish like that. I’d still prefer to look at a peloton of riders dressed in normal clothing and looking like real people rather than … pro bicycle racers, but that’s OK. And all the bikes are the same now. No gleaming metal and individuality or jewelry on them. No PEOPLE in the making of them, at least none visible. All aero carbon with no clearance and no headset, cold and lab-designed. It’s OK, but that superficial aesthetic part of bike racing has not improved.


I remain wishing only objectively scored (measured, timed, weighed) events were in the Olympics. War-born events from the fighting field, like the original olympics. If I had a child or friend or even a friend of a friend of a cousin competing in synchronized swimming or ice dancing or rhythmic gymnastics, I’m sure I’d feel differently. I don’t like to see people lose, period, and especially not a subjectively scored event after getting an 8.9 from one judge instead of a 9.1.


A customer was international surfing and found this page on Toyo’s site. Toyo has made many bikes for us, and here you can see the first proto-Bombadil:

This bike has been a wonderful bike, on several overnights and on many trails, and currently is all assembled, clear-coated, and rides wonderfully. It’s a 52 x 650B, and we may sell it as is one of these days. Probably to a local so we don’t have to box itup and ship, but that has not been locked in yet. And no price, but it’ll be fair. We’re suffering from crappy cash flow right now, so look for it  in a week or so. It will be AS IS, no changes, and there’s no warranty on the clear-coat. The bike is solid, but  it’s not for prissies…no offense to anybody, just trying to make a point.


I have been spending a little time in the pool lately in preparation for my next book:

Just Swim

In it, I advocate cut-off blue jeans, hairy bodies and heads,  kickboards and truck tire inner tubes, swim fins and cannonballs, breath-holding contests, and playing diving board catch, where the thrower always misjudges and shoots high.

WCNY Radio Audience Hates me/Grant

I was on Brian Leher’s show this morning.

I was actually on my couch in my pajamas, but other than that it was me, live. I thought it went well, but maybe I’m not the best judge. I answered the questions, and said what I had to say.

It was nothing all that firey. I mean, his introduction to me had me starting in a divot (I’d write it here, but you should listen to it yourself), and I think that’s probably just good radio, keeps people wanting to listen. I thought I climbed out of it OK, but you can be the judge. My publisher is being supportive, gotta give ‘em that, but I can’t help but wonder what they really think.

That’s all for now. Have a listen. Holy cow.

This Thursday, more radio, unless it gets mysteriously cancelled.

Here’s a link to the schedule.

B’day deal clarification, book tour continues, and Dave plays a slide guitar


These go out to anybody on our email subscriber list. It’s not our obligation, it’s an extra, and the only way to be notified and qualify is to subscribe to the email list. That’s the easiest way, and the only practical way, for us to manage it. Link on bottom left of the homepage.

It’s a ten percent discount on any ONE shippable order up to $300 (so $30 max discount) on your birthday or the 6 days following it. Not your friend or cousin who digs us but lives computerless under a coconut tree. We don’t automatically owe him something on his birthday, and you can’t even transfer it to him. No regifting.

Let’s say you were born on Day X. Then on Day X through Day X+6—-and as long as you’re registered here as a customer—-we will offer you a 10 percent discount on any in-stock (no backorders) merchandise valued at up to $300. You are notified by email, and if for any reason you don’t receive notice (changed email, we copied it down wrong, act of god), then you try again next year.

The ten percent discount amounts to $15 on a $150 order, $21 on a $210 order, and so on. There has been confusion about this. We weren’t as clear as we could have been, and this stands to correct that, with apologies for having to.

The REBATE…has also led to confusion,  and we’re changing it to avoid the kinds of problems we’ve been having that make some of the gang here wish we’d drop it altogether. We don’t want to drop it, so we’ll change it.

It used to be, you buy something and the day after we shipped it you got a 5 percent credit rebate on your account, good for…a few years. Now you have to wait a month. The reason for the change: When it was next day, so many people wanted to apply it to their current purchase, effectively taking it down by 5 percent then and there. The purpose is to encourage future purchases by rewarding current ones. Devilish? Vile? Clockwork Orange and Soylent Green and Mind Control all over again? We never thought of it that way. Anyway, the one-month lag will push it out just far enough to de-tempt those who want concurrent rebates, and yet not so far as to require a lot of patience.


Book Tour notes

When authors, publicists, and book people in general talk of it, it’s always Book Tour, not “a,” “the,” “your”, or “my” book tour. Just Book Tour. Mine continues as follows:

Sunday, 22nd

Davis, CA, a 39-minute Amtrack trip away, talking about the book, answering questions, signing some afterwards. At the Bicycle Hall of Fame, and for heaven’s sake, no, I’m not going into it—-just talking about the book, etc. Here’s a link.

Here’s a link to the schedule.

Here’s a picture of Dave playing his guitar. I’m sure I was the only one who didn’t know about the glass bottleneck one slides over one’s baby finger when one plays this kind of guitar.

 Sample Below:

Great little book, carbs, court, relief, MS, and tennis

What now? in stock.

It’s a small book that has outgrown its original purpose of advising recent college graduates of things to keep in mind and attend to as they dive into an uncertain future. It has good advice for anybody. Hard to find in bookstores, though not impossible if you look hard enough.


Many of you know that we’re kind of the low-carb bike company. Something like that. Not exactly, but hey, that’s in the mix. It’s not inappropriate. One of the reasons we ride bikes is for health. Beyond fun—-health. For most riders, riding a hundred miles in heat isn’t fun. If you say it’s fun to YOU, I’d say you are a rare animal in the animal kingdom, and I’d challenge you to find any other animal, less complicated and less influenced by commercial forces than Homo sapiens, who finds an equivalent exercise fun. Is there warthog who gets up one morning (unless they’re nocturnal) and says, “I’m going to see how much ground I can cover today; how bigga loop I can make in the next eight hours if I go as fast as I can?” Is there a duck in New York who wakes up another duck and together they decide to see how long it takes them to get to Africa and back?

You do it when you do it because you think it’s healthy. If you say it’s fun, I will ask How many times have you done that solo? It’s out there, the opportunity, maybe not every day unless you don’t work, but certainly every day you don’t work and aren’t driving or flying to grandma’s. I hear there’s a heat wave east of Reno and west of Maine. Hit the road for long hard miles. Point made, I hope. Health, and part of that is weight. You can be a bit overweight and healthy, just like you can be not overweight at all and unhealthy, as many drug addicts will attest.

Vanity is in there, too. We’ve all ridden vanity miles, except maybe those who are strongly genetically predisposed to skinniness, but even they shoot for muscle tone in the legs, or something. The fun miles are the best, and the traveling ones, where the traveling itself is fun and the companionship is incredible. For bike riding to be fun, though, it has to be relatively easy. Not a struggle, at least.

You can say you enjoy physical challenges, but what we all really enjoy are things that appear to others to be physically challenging, but are quite do-able to us. Achievable challenges. It is fun, in the satisfying sense, to tackle something that you doubt you can do, and then do it. There is satisfaction and relief in that, but if you never DO it, then it’s not so fun. You can build up a tolerance for trying and failing, but only if you’ve been “stretched out” through past efforts where perseverance paid off in the end. Relief is a cousin to fun, but is a more powerful emotion.

Relief, if you think about it, is the most exhilarating, fantastic feeling in the world. It is powerful in the tiniest doses, more powerful than we generally give it credit for. Here’s an example of what I mean. It will require some imagination and recollection of your particular history, fitting things together, and on top of that, paying attention in the near future, to nail it down for good.

Let’s say you’re on trial. The jury has decided, but nobody ‘cept the jury knows what the verdict is. In two minutes you’ll know whether you’re going to jail, or going to have to sell everything you own and lose your job and break apart your family to pay an unfair fine—something like that. And then you raise your hand and beg the judge to let you take a peeeeeeeeee. Yes, a peeeeeee. And the judge is perturbed, some members of the jury are amused, and the plaintiff’s lawyer slams her pencil on the table and leaves it there and looks up and around in frustration and disgust and disbelief that you, at this time, have to pee.

The judge looks at you, looks at your lawyer as if to say, are you kidding me, can’t you do anything about this, holy cow, man…control your client. But then he looks at you and says you really can’t wait? I mean, really? and there are giggles all around that shatter the tension, and suddenly there’s sympathy, and you’re allowed up, escorted by a cop or guard wearing a uniform that has never gotten dirty.

You push the door beneath the blue sign with the white handless and footless man on it, and the guard, following protocol, follows you in. You line up and drain and shut out the whole world behind you, and as that’s happening you, as you are relieving yourself, the relief you feel puts you in a world where nothing’s bad right now and it is impossible to simultaneously relieve yourself and worry about the verdict.

Bicycle rides can be relievy, challenging, useful, grueling, miserable, or fun. These days mine are all fun  and useful. The one that looks hard because I’m going uphill on a loaded bike aren’t as hard as they look, because I’ve got the low gears and use them. I may look like a hobo on his thirtieth day out, but that morning I cooked my own breakfast in a clean kitchen, and the next night I’ll be back home.

I used to ride to burn up the calories I couldn’t help eating because I rode so long and hard. They were goal-oriented rides, challenging and grueling and relieving when I finished them, but they weren’t fun. I’ve never been by society’s standards overweight, but like a lot of people I feared it, and I knew I ate a lot, so I figured I’d have to ride a lot and hard to burn up my food before it could turn into fat.

Since I gained a couple of pounds a year while riding 6,000 to 8,000 miles a year, I thought holy cow, if I get off this grueling treadmill even for a week, I’ll gain weight. If I cut back to 5,000 miles a year I’ll gain fifteen pounds a year. I believed the stuff about weight gain that most people still do.

Mark Sisson and Gary Taubes changed all that for me, and that’s why we sell their books. They’ve been working for dozens of you, too…and if YOU want to drop ten to ninety pounds or more, these are books you should get. The NYT is all over the place with the carb-diet-controversy. It prints truth and bs on the same topic in the same week. For every true point made there’s a false counterpoint a few days later. The net gain is confusion and contradiction, all in the name of fairness or objectivity.

Here’s an NPR interview with Gary Taubes, early July this year.

If you have read neither The Primal Blueprint nor Why We Get Fat (and What To Do About It), then at least listen to this—-IF weight is a concern at all. The point he makes here, about how everybody has his or her own —- not his words—-“personal carb sensitivity” is so right on. If you’re really fat, you cannot eat fruit. Yes, fruit is better than white bread, but you’re still operating above the carb level that will drop the pounds. Anyway…..this is a ramble. Listen to the broadcast.

Don’t forget about What Now? <——it’s a really neat book and will surely help somebody in your life, even you.

One penultimate thing: At the risk of somebody yelling at me online for playing doctor (which I have a right to, since my brother-in-law is one), I want to provide another link, for the second time but for the benefit of those of you who missed it the first time. It has to do with MS. Clearly, I know nothing about it—-can I make that any more clear?—-but it is not uncommon, and if one of you either has it or knows somebody who does, then run—don’t walk—to this TedTalk link.

Post-penultimate thing: Four or five 19-year old (all of ‘em) fellows came by yesterday, on a combo train-ride bike-ride climbing trip. One had a Hunqapillar, and one of the others had this bike:

Here’s the thing to harp on:

It is a mountain bike converted to a touring bike. The rider, River, needed-wanted higher bars. There’s only so much you can do with off-the-shelf hardware and mechanical aptitude, but some out-of-the-box creativity goes a long way. It’s an off-the-court tennis ball, all taped up so as to stay in place. I rode the bike, it feels tanfastic. It’s nice to not have to resort to this, but this 19-year-old Tenneseean named River figured it all out.

All used up for now.