Different strokes for different folks. 

First Mark’s ultralight, superfast Ultegra 57cm Roadeo build. It’s a model for the new hatchet store. Current, modern, smart production lugged steel road bikes exist in 2013. 

Second is a 53cm lugged & loaded ‘lantis for a customer. A build like this deserves a frame like an Atlantis and with this bike they can do anything. Take the fenders and racks of and it’s an awesome knockabout. Put ‘em back on and carry the camping gear for the whole family. 

The closeups of the dropouts are there to show off.

~D

Garage Sale November 17, 8:30am

Once a year, or so, we clean out the warehouses here and have a small driveway sale before normal open hours on a Saturday. 

UPDATE: MORE STUFF THAN WE THOUGHT

Stuff that was in web specials for a long time, new but discontinued.  Used tires, lots of fenders with various defects, complete cockpits ripped from frames, baskets, stems, seatposts, some wheels, about twenty blem frames and bikes, discontinued items. Things will be sorted by price from $5 in increments up to several thousand for the bikes. So bring your ones, twos, fives, tens, twenties, hundreds. Cash only.  We can’t/won’t tell you EXACTLY what’s gonna be there, but there will be some real priced-to-move bargains and at least one box of really cheap front derailers. Also if you are an extra small or extra extra large person there will be plenty of clothing items just for you and practically nothing in between.


This is a local, cash only sale.

Normal Saturday business hours 10am-4pm will continue afterwards.

Riv Magnet & Gomez Badge

Authentic cloissonne flat Rivendell headbadge with a super strong rare earth magnet glued to the back.  Perfect for holding a pile of up to 30 papers to your ‘fridge.

Get them here.

New Gomez Badge:

It’s a watchface with Y-hands. Get it? If you have a Gomez (and only if you have a Gomez and can prove it)  and want one send $12 cash and a clearly written return address label through the mail to

Yves Gomez
PO Box 5289
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Gomez customers only, so provide proof. An invoice # would be great.

Last Book Talk

Today, Sunday the 4th I’ve got my last book-talk thing—in the Walnut Creek Barnes & Noble, 2:00. It will last about 75 minutes, and I think it’s in the record section.

PBH Video

calling all….

Here’s a letter I got a couple of days ago.

Grant,

We live in a small world. I have a request - but I need to explain, so bear with me. My mother is in a nursing home. I visit her every day and in the course of my visits have come to know some of the other residents and I regularly visit with a number of them. I met a new resident in the hall some weeks back and we have been greeting one another and exchanging a few words. I  could tell from his skin color that he was a cancer patient, and I have since learned that he is.  He is very sick, Stage 4 prostate cancer. Two weeks or so ago I saw him in the hall and he was wearing a MUSA shirt, but he was tired and we didn’t talk. Last week he was riding a recumbent in the parking lot with his son watching - wearing MUSA pants. I asked him about the pants and he told me he was an old Bridgestone fan. He wasn’t feeling well, but as I was walking away his sister rode up to visit on a beautiful RB2 that he had bought for her. Tonight he showed me his trike that he has stashed on the 2nd floor of the nursing home. He rides it for therapy. The short(er) story is that he and most of his family members ride Bridgestones from your era. His name is Nick Cassell, and he has one of each Bridgestone model, I understand he locally raced an RB1. I talked with him tonight. He remains a big fan of yours, back problems have kept him from buying a Riv, he has been on recumbents for some time, but enjoys the MUSA gear and admires the Riv bikes. He said he has chatted with you in the past. I want to get him something for his room and thought a big Riv pennant would be nice. If I buy one will you write  a “best wishes …’ or something and sign it? I know he would appreciate it. 

Bob

Robert C. Barr
——-
The pennant is easy, the pennant—done. What would you do? Can we/you do more? Nick has Stage Four prostate cancer. It has spread around, and there is no Stage Five, and I think thre’s no recovery, which rules out get well cards and “You’re in my prayers.”
What does it not rule out? — from strangers—us here, although we have spoken, it has been years; and you out there. Don’t go away—-in a minute or so I’m going to offer up a good, easy idea that any of you reading this can pull off without a chance of offending, with no awkwardness, with no even dread-of-doing.
I recently finished Mortality, the book Christopher Hitchens wrote while he was dying of esophageal cancer. On page 18, and then 37-43 or so, he gives advice on how to talk to people who are dying of cancer. You will either be that person, or will know people on that bike and will find the tips useful.
I think — rather than think already longer than the already two hours I’ve given this What can we do? question — it comes down to this. Draw a simple bicycle, a one-try/first shot-at-it bicycle. Do it on a Genuine Postcard and use a Genuine Stamp and sign your name and city/state and mail it to:
Hooverwood Hospital
7001 Hoover Road
Indianapolis, IN 46260 -4169
attn: Nick Cassell
Postcards, he can flip through or put on the wall. Postcards are so great, stamps look so good, and this one’s easy. Nick will know he registers and matters and is being thought about by kind strangers, and that can’t be a bad thing. If you have children, what a good project (this, suggested by a customer whose kids sent him cards),
———————
A customer came by, a 2TT orange Sam-owner, and told me his friend Eek in Thailand wanted bar-end shifters (I wish we could all adopt the Japanese abbreviation BES from now on), so he made them out of wood:
And yes, they work. What other major component could be made of wood and work?
Not an accessory; a component. I am thinking none. OH yes, rims. Many’ve reminded me. Wood rims….wood rim rides? 
REMAINDER OF THIS  PARAGRAPH IS A VEER-OFF, no need to read. In the late ’70s a friend of mine, a junior racer raced a pinkish orange Masi with wooden rims. He had to monitor his spoke tension with changes in the temperature or humidity, something like that. High maintenance. The benefit was better gluing. Wood doesn’t get hot and melt glue. Wood rims are kind of the silk fly lines of fly fishing. I fished a silk line—a Kingfisher brand from England—in the early ’70s. The good: Skinny, less wind resistance (so better casting), and less water resistance (so less drag, better drifts). The bad: they didn’t float well and got gummy if you didn’t air-dry them on a line-winder after using them for several hours. You had to re-lube them mid-day sometimes. Think that’s a no-hassle joy? I also used gut leaders (non-vegan, actually made from cat guts). I didn’t use them a lot, but enough to have the Gut Leader Experience. The good: This is a stretch, but you tied them with a simple figure-8 knot, the simplest and fastest of all fishing knots, but it works only with gut. The bad: Brittle when dry, had to keep them in a “leader wallet” with moist wool pages, and the breaking strength for 4x leaders was about a pound. I had 6x tippets that tested about half a pound. A 3wt silk line on a chalkstream, OK, but two-pound trout in weed beds and weak thick tippets wasn’t a good combo.

FLASH: I just got a photo of Eek’s wood brake levers. it’s not a prize-winner, the photo, but if you look hard at the lever hoods and try to identify them by contour, you’ll see they’re not anything you’ve seen before. Anyway, they are wood. So there you go.


This is not the cockpit of a tweed rider… and I wonder if “Morgan” is an unusual name in Thailand.

And here is a photo of Sam rider Morgan and wood parts maker Eek:

We’re getting a new rim next year. It’s going to be wild, will make tons of sense.
————-
Please do not forget about Nick Cassell.
————-
More later this week.
———and this just in——-
Broken carbon crank arm. It’s not like this can’t and hasn’t happened to aluminum (although the same could not be said of steel), but the whole thing with carbon is how strong it is, how it makes mere metals seem like ancient toy mud in comparison.
Although, you know…looking it it, it seems that Pollywog Flipper pedal or whatever it is sure has a long lever on it. Well, sometimes things just happen.
Nick Cassell. Postcard. Draw a quick bike and don’t tell him he can beat it. Address is up-post. Let’s get on it!
I just did mine. Maybe I shouldn’t have set such a high bar:
G

Photo thing filler, didn’t make book cut.

Sixteen Ways To Shoot Bikes Slight Better Than the Average Photo-Joe Does

(updated from an older one. This was one of the entries that got cut from Just Ride)

Bikes with no riders

1.  Shoot the drive side, because everybody wants to see the crank and derailers, and it seems to be moving left to right, the same way you read and the most natural way for your eyes to move (since you’re used to reading this way). When you shoot the bike on the street you get the left side of it and it’s pointing left, too. The owners park for convenience, not for your photographic needs.

2. When you can pose the bike, put the right pedal just above horizontal. It makes the bike look ready to go.

3.  Back up, zoom in, split the handlebar. Close, wide angle shots distort the bike. Back up at least twenty-five feet and zoom in. Make the bike look like it’s split in half vertically. Hide the left (far) side of the handlebar behind the near side of it, so you see only one brake lever, and there’s as little evidence as possible that there’s even a left-side handlebar. You can’t do this close up.

4.  Shoot in the shade…to avoid distracting shadows.

5.  Watch your backgrounds. Use a plain background, or at least a consistent one. Brick walls and barn sides aren’t plain, but are consistent. When you can’t control the background, make it blurry and the bike sharp. Some cameras allow that, some don’t. When possible, shoot against a background that’s white, off-white, grey, or black—whatever looks right with the bike. Bright colors draw you out, not in.

6.  Keep the cables, crop the wheels (a little). If the bike has cables sticking up, show all of them. But if the focus is the bike’s frame and parts, it’s good to crop a few inches of the wheels out. This enlarges the rest of the bike, and you aren’t eliminating anything that matters.

7. Don’t get too wound up about perfection. The “wound-up” way of shooting bikes for slick catalogues is to show the tires with the labels legible, usually at 12:00 and 6:00, and with the valve stems either at 6:00, or hidden behind the chainstay and the fork blade. When it’s your bike or your friend’s bike, or a shot for eBay or whatever, that’s too fussy. It’s fine to know these tricks, but draw the line where it makes sense to you.

Here’s a bad photo, with tons wrong.  I went out of my way to mess it up, but it’s not all that unusual in the real world:

The wrong:

• It’s the left side of the bike. SHOOT THE DRIVE SIDE.

• Shot close-up with wide angle, so front wheel looks huger. BACK UP, ZOOM IN.

• Inconsistent background is distracting. MAKE IT PLAIN.

• Crank is at noon and six. MAKE IT HORIZONTAL and flatten the pedals.

• Too sunny & for pete’s sake there’s the photoguy’s shadow: SHOOT IN OPEN SHADE.

Here’s a better way:

It’s all pretty cool here. Drive side, —- oh crud, I goofed the pedal. I never do that. It must be so smooth that it rocked up. Well, pretend it’s horizontal—-no shadows, “split” handlebars with one side blocking the other. No wheel distortion, because I stepped back and zoomed. Dang that pedal. I usually don’t crop the wheels, but doing so lets the bike be bigger, and you know the wheels are complete…

Riders on bikes (no examples to look forward to)

8. Shoot the bike heading right, and showing the drive-side components. It’s easier to do that in Japan or England than in America, and it’s easier on trails or bike paths than on roads.

9. Shoot riders coming into you, not riding away. It looks like something’s about to happen, not like something just did and you missed it.

10. Try to shoot riders with their pedals close to horizontal. Besides being at maximum flex, it looks more active. Don’t get hung up on horizontalness, but try to avoid vertical cranks. That always looks weird in photos, like the guy doesn’t know how to coast.

11. Tell your friends what to wear. Black and navy blue get underexposed, and make heads look suspended above nothing. White gets overexposed too easily. In color photos, red looks great, and plaid looks great, and if you can combine the two, in a nicely composed scene, it’s going to look fine. Think Paul Bunyan.

12. Helmets in the woods …make the rider look like a robot. Some people get nuts about published photos of helmetless riders, but not every photo sends a message. It can be just an image. Brilliant, super-vented, elongated and aerodynamic helmets wreck outdoorsy bike shots. The least photo-wrecking bike helmets are plain looking ones that aren’t white. Ball caps or other hats with big bills hide faces, often in shadows. Bare heads, beanies, and bike hats look the best. Race team jerseys in the woods don’t belong, either. They’re covered with advertisements and corporate logos, and they wreck woodsy photos.

13. Shoot from below and above.  It makes even photos more interesting.

14. Rule of Thirds. It’s an old rule (not law) for any photo. Visually divide the scene into three equal parts both vertically and horizontally, and put the subject at the line intersections. When you have both land and sky in the photo, or road and land whichever one of them you want to emphasize should make up two-thirds of the photo. In this case there aren’t any imaginary intersections to guide you, but there are imaginary horizontal lines.

15. Don’t let the road itself eat up the whole lower half of the photo …unless the road itself is the subject. Otherwise, if you get down low, point the camera up so the road or trail takes up no more than a third of the frame.

16. Shoot blurry or grainy black and white. People are too used to seeing total focus brilliant color these days, courtesy of $80 digital cameras and phenomenal cell phone images that anybody can shoot and everybody does. If you want your photos to be a welcome reliever from all that digital perfection, mess them up some.

Film is a natural for messed up action photos, because it’s easier to screw up and if you shoot 3200 iso film, the graininess is automatic. If you don’t shoot film but you’d like to try, get a Holga for $50 and dive into it. I’m sure there are digital ways to simulate a blown black-and-white film shot, but that’s a phony way to go about it.

This is not the last word, it’s just how I do it, but there are thousands of bike photographers better than me—except when it comes to quickly set-up static shots of complete bikes against walls—that is my domain free and clear. The thing is, if you’re floundering and care a smidgen about improving your bike photos,  you can go by this and up your game immediately. Go your own way once you’re comfortable with it all.

 

Concord REI tonite…

Well, I realize this applies to nearly nobody, but if you ARE in this neck of the woods, tonite at 7 at the Concord, CA REI I’ll be there hawking JUST RIDE, and I’m changing it up some this time. There may be a Name That Tune segment that ends up being relevant. There may be more props. At the Berkeley REI talk, the evaluations were good (I had no idea the audience got to grade me), but my low points were in the “audio-visual aids” category, or something like that. So I may bring my bike, some tunes, some $2 bills, and two bananas. They will all make sense.

Register here for the rei-sf event on Oct 24.

All for now, back soon later, book tour nearly over, sorry…..

Updated post-tour notes

The update is well below, April-the-blind woman’s story of recovery, formerly told by me, this time told by her boyfriend, Todd.

Two things in Times:

First is this. It is relevant to everybody who is either aging or knows somebody who is.

Next is this: I am back home now after a second leg of the book tour, and easily, in 95 percent of the radio and television things, the “Bicycle Helmets aren’t all they’re cracked up to be” book entry comes up. I think many people don’t read past the headline. They think aha, I get what he’s saying from the headline, time to pounce.

For those of you who haven’t read Just Ride and won’t, which is fine, it is a thousand percent true that I believe helmets are NOT all they’re cracked up to be. Any one person’s first or second-hand experience in which a helmet was helpful, or seemed to be, doesn’t invalidate that they’re too light to be adequate in all circumstances. The book-thing goes into some details, but it amounts to the tests they pass are designed to pass helmets more than to protect heads…but rather than go down that road here, what I want to say now is…read this link about helmets, and just allow it into your mix of things to consider, because it is….well, worth considering. I am not advocating unsafetyness. I am saying bike helmets are not that much protection, your parachute is ill-packed, you lifeboat is leaky, that rope you’re climbing with is manila and not all that fat.

——-

———

Last Saturday morning after my final television thing, I was standing around outside the teevee station with my “literary escort” (shuttles me from hotel to venue to breakfast or whatever) and Michael S., who lent the bike for the tv spot—-a super passive prop, not even necessary, I’m thinking), and then Michael told me a story involving quicksand, javelinas, nakedness (the first story) and a machine gun and rei (second story). If he reads this and is willing to tell them once again, I’ll include them here. I could retell with every detail where it ought to be, but “this is what happened to a friend of mine” stories start off handicapped, so I hope to beg Michael into doing it. I’ll email him now.

No time to write, so he sent this vid. It’s 7:34, kind of interesting.

And there’s another one later on down below.

We have some circle “Just Ride” patches now:

They’re made in the u.s., sticky-back, but for applications like this, throw on some hand-stitching, They’ll be on the site soon. Available now.

Oct 10 I’m at Concord REI. Then the 24th, in SF-REI.   Both of these also 7-8:30.

——

Everybody in Chicago knows what this is:

It’s The Bean. Andrew, who used to work here, quit to work on it, instead. It’s stainless steel. Was made at least partly in the Bay Area here, and it the neatest public art I’ve seen. I’m not saying I’ve seen thousands, but pick any thousand, and this one’ll come out near or at the top. It’s been up since around 2007. Google The Chicago Bean for more accurate and specific information.

From under it, in the middle, you look up and see this. That’s me, arm outstretched, shooting the picture.

And this is world HQ of McDonalds. From the freeway. Not all that exciting, but we all know McDonalds, and now you know what its HQ looks like & where it is. Onward..

——

Here’s another Michael Shapiro story. The relevance, again, is that he’s an Atlantis owner and lent me the bike I used as a prop for a morning tv show in Phoenix:

It is worth watching.

——-

Also today I got a telephone call from a customer, Todd, with yet another interesting story. He’s a musician, guitarist, and plays now and then at the local farmer’s market, in SoCal. Late ’30s, I think. A month ago he was sitting there playing and April, of about the same age, came up & liked his music & they hit it off. Now Todd and April are bf/gf. Well…..last week I had my version of his story up here. Just now he sent me this, his own:

Hi Grant, 

We talked a couple of days ago and I told you about my girlfriend’s success with the primal blueprint helping her chronic eye pain.  Here is her story.
I met April at the Campbell farmers market on September 9th when I saw her run into a tree she didn’t know was there.  I thought, What’s wrong with this girl? Then I learned she was blind, and had a good sense of humor.  We spent the day together and she told me  she started going blind at the age of 27 when the chicken pocks virus re-awoke and attacked the retina in her left eye.  Four years later the same virus attacked her right eye.  Her blindness was accompanied by extensive nerve damage to the optic nerve in both eyes causing chronic pain.  Her doctors said she’d have to live with it for the rest of her life.  Two years ago the pain became so bad she would go through 120 Vicodin in less than three weeks, and it barely made a difference.  After several hospital visits she saw a pain specialist who put her on anti-seizure medication that lessened the pain but caused daily nausea.  She  tried acupuncture,  meditation,  herbs,  reflexology, but wasn’t helped until she began a daily regimen of cannabis. 

Then about two years ago  you interviewed Mark Sisson in the Rivendell Reader, and that turned me on to the Primal Blueprint and my first real understanding of a healthy diet and lifestyle.  Then again, fairly recently you posted the Dr Terry Wahls video that showed how she cured her MS with the primal/paleo diet.  Shortly after seeing that video I met April and learned of her story.  I remember her showing me her handful of meds and staring blankly at the ceiling of her little apartment and with exasperated laugh explaining how she wished she “had just gone blind”  without the complications.  She told me that she was tired of smoking cannabis everyday and wished she could get off of it.  I thought of the Terry Wahls video so I suggested the that we try the Primal Diet.  We cleaned out her cupboards of all the carbs.  I started sending her home with care packages of salads,  air dried zuccini strips for the pesto chicken zuccini pasta meal.  On Fridays we have the shrimp cakes with Spinach Slaw and Coconut Almond Dressing from the Primal Blueprint cookbook.  She has been 100 percent compliant, and within 10 days her eye pain and nausea disappeared.  Her left eye now tears up on its own and she no longer needs the drops.  She had an offer to purchase a bunch of cannabit at a really good price and she turned it down because she no longer needs it.  She can’t believe how well this is turning out.

—-Me again below—-

Backup a little to the Reader issue with the Mark Sisson interview. Todd was an out of shape musician, read that, went primal/paleo/lo-carb, and had great results. Then in a BLUG he clicked on the TED talk link about MS and mitochondria, <—-17:34, but worth every minute if you have MS or know somebody who does.

For whatever reason, he thought, “Let’s try that with April.” Within 3 weeks her eyes were juicing up again and the pain was gone, no need to medicate.

I understand this is all anecdotal, but still.

——

Finally: Every time I see rotated bars I am tempted to fix ‘em. I found these in Montana. Cannot be good. Cannot be easy to brake from the tops. What is the right thing to do? Leave ‘em? Fix ‘em? If they were just a little off, that’s one thing. But these…come on. I left them, but it didn’t feel right. I’m sure if I’d fixed ‘em somebody would accuse me of playing God.

AZ bike-got, thanks to all who offered

Thank you all, All good offers. It’s only for a 4-5 minute thing on

Good Morn Arizona at 830.

The tv things happen in a second or two, it’s not like I’ll be up there raggin’ on carbon and touting steel to high heaven, talking about stiffness and strength and reviving that whole hullabalooey thing. It’s in and out, gone, what just happened? But we’ll see.

assorted new stuffs

I soon begin the last leg of my book tour, and the stops are below this post, and I’m frequently contacted for interviews in local papers & things, and here’s one: It is tied into Brooklyn Cruiser, for whom I am now…on the advisory committee. I don’t know how many others are on it or who they are, but anyway, I’m on it, and so this interview is sort of a combo Just Rider/Brooklyn Cruiser piece, destined for a trade magazine’s site only, but you can read it here:

http://actionoutdoorbike.com/features/grant-petersen-has-two-words-all-hero-worshipping-racer-wannabes-just-ride

———-

Scott next door has a brake and muffler business, rides BMX, as does his son, and they have trophies all over the place, some three-feet high, and he also dabbles in frame building (not for us, for himself). He likes lugs and we like him so we give him lugs to practice on now and then—-it being a neighborly thing to do and him being right next door and doing stuff for us now and then for free. Although it is forbidden to build with RIv lugs if you aren’t building a Riv—-we don’t want to confuse the velo-archeologists of the future—-he went ahead and built this one-of-a-kinder, and it’s kind of neat:

It’s a left-side driver, too.

Top head lug from a Riv custom; bottom, from a Glorius/Wilbury, with the lip milled off. I am sure this the the  only lugged, left-side drive BMX bike in the world.

—-

 Today Tues the 18th bicycle tourist Brian, 28 and from Ft. Collins, Colorado, about 60 miles north of Denver, came stopped by and wanted to see Rivendell, on his 9,500th mile of what will be about an 11,800-mile or so tour. Ft. Collins CO to Maine to Florida, Lousiana, Chicago, Seattle, SF area (here), LA, Grand Canyon, back to Ft. Collins. John and I were talking with him, all interesting, and as I sometimes do, I asked him to write down his gear list to the last detail. It took him a couple of minutes, no more, and this is it:

(3) wool base layers

(2) wool undies

(3) andiamo undies (not wool)

(2) MUSA knickers

(2) REI-type shorts

(1) Jeans

(3) Cotton T-shirts

(1) Bikey jersey

(2) Nalgene (water) bottles,  and one brush

(1) Super fancy Feathered Friends down sleeping bag—-rich kid!

(1) VBL liner

(1) Thermarest

(1) fleece leg warmers

(1) down jacket

(1) rain jacket

(1) rain pants

(1) tools, patches

Food.

(1) Soap.

(1) Toothpase and brush.

(1) Tobacco (he rolls his own).

(1) Camera

(1) Rainy day pen.

(1) Book

(1) Gloves and fingerless gloves

(1) Rain booties

Peanut butter

(1) Tent (O-Gear tarp tend, no poles or netting, just string it up); with plastic tarp ground sheet, lots of para-cord, stakes, etc.

Here’s Brian and bike and the most serious expression I’ve seen on his face all today:

Now, whatever you think of the list (he doesn’t cook, although he started off with a Trangia—a great choice), however it may differ from yours or what you’ve read as recommended, or what the interexperts say, this list MUST work for him. You can go by this—making tweaks to suit your taste, but keeping the ITEM TYPE intact—-and be confident that you won’t be severely underequipped. If he comes back, I’m giving him some SPLATS, though.

His top tube lists the states:

Bruce Gordon front low-rider, Tubus rear rack, Swift Industries pan-wahs. The frame is made in Colorado by SATA (no “N”  no site),  and the fork, also in Colorado, but by a guy named Yip San. It has a Pacenti crown.

Starting tomorrow I’m going to be traveling and out of here thru Oct 1, so I won’t be all over my email. Other people will be here to help you, and if it’s me-or-nobody, then just wait until I’m back. I will try to answer, but my days will be full, often till 8pm or later, and I won’t have the hours to do email.