Worst World Bicycle Day Ever!

Well, it’s harder to think of anything people could possibly give less of a shit about right now than the fact that it’s World Bicycle Day:

Regular physical activity of moderate intensity – such as walking, cycling, or doing sports – has significant benefits for health. At all ages, the benefits of being physically active outweigh potential harm, for example through accidents. Some physical activity is better than none. By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can quite easily achieve the recommended activity levels.

Wow, way to sell it, UN. Weren’t there conspiracy theorists claiming that the United Nations was pushing this whole “Agenda 21” thing to force everyone in the world to ride bicycles or something like that? If so the above post, complete with thoroughly depressing picture, should be more than sufficient to debunk that notion. To paraphrase the above, basically what they’re saying is, “Riding a bike is better than sitting on your ass, even though there’s a decent chance you could die,” only they’re not making it sound quite so appealing. And what’s with that picture, anyway? I mean yeah, I realize the UN is in New York City, but couldn’t they have picked a more inspirational street scene from one of their other member states such as the Netherlands or Denmark? Plus, helmets and masks? No matter what you think of bikes and masks, just because people are wearing them now doesn’t mean we have to include them in our stock photos too. Why not use something from last year? Then again, I could see it becoming illegal to depict people without masks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they start digitally inserting them into “Seinfeld” reruns.

Hey, don’t laugh, that’s pretty much what Australia did with helmets.

Anyway, I celebrated World Bicycle Day this morning by being a gigantic Fred: not only was I riding a plastic Specialized, but I was also wearing a Rapha jersey and Mellow Johnny’s bib shorts. Basically, I wasn’t a giant Fred so much as I was a parody of a giant Fred. However, the reason for this is that I’d been riding the Rivendell for the past two days, and invariably what happens after a prolonged stint on the Lugged Flyer is that my Inner Fred comes boomeranging back to me with shocking intensity.

Speaking of the Hilsen, a few days ago a commenter asked for more Rivendell pictures, and while I have no idea if they were serious or not I’m always looking for an opportunity to fawn over it, so here goes:

I’d estimate that these days I’m riding the Rivendell probably half the time. I might even go so far as to say it’s become my go-to bike, for the simple reason that I can get dressed in the morning, hop on it, and then get on with the rest of my day as opposed to dealing with special clothes and shoes and all that stuff. The only special preparations I undertake are filling a water bottle and slipping a mini pump into my hip pocket, and I could save myself the slight hassle of the latter by simply fitting a frame pump, which I’ll get around to just as soon as I get around to it.

Otherwise, even though the bike begs for accessories such as fenders and a kickstand, I’ve been enjoying having the bike all light and unfettered, though in addition to the frame pump I should probably get some sort of handlebar bag at some point:

I don’t have time for rides long enough to necessitate a handlebar bag these days, but sooner or later that’s going to change, and it would be good to have a sack to put crap in when it does.

Here’s a closer look at the fork and all the ample eyelets I’m not using:

Here’s that “low-normal” derailleur, which now feels totally normal:

Here’s a non-driveside shot, which is the “low-normal” of bike photography:

Like its derailleur counterpart, the low-normal/non-drive bike shot has an oft-overlooked advantage, which is that you can see the whole frame without those pesky drivetrain components getting in the way.

I mean let’s get real, you’ve seen one crankset you’ve seen them all, but when you’re shopping for bikes on the Internet you want to make sure it’s got a threaded bottom bracket and not some unglodly press-fit thing. (Not like a Rivendell is going to have anything but a threaded bottom bracket, but you know what I mean.)

The wheels are holding up beautifully:

I’m generally anti-valve cap and locknut on Presta valves, yet for some reason I feel compelled to leave them on this bike, go figure. Perhaps its the lugs, which make the bike feel kind of formal, and in turn makes the valve seem like it should be wearing a hat.

Here are the rims, complete with brake grime accents:

Here’s the dynamo hub:

I confess I haven’t used the light very much since my time is short and the days are long, but that too will change. In the meantime it turns smoothly, and if there’s any resistance I sure can’t feel it.

Here’s the bicycle’s undercarriage:

And here’s everthing you’d ever want to know about the tubing:

I usually like an UTS of 104,000 PSI, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

You can also see the backside of the front derailleur, which would be an opportunity to make a joke about how Rivendell should start selling rod-shifted derailleurs. However, I can’t make that joke, because they may actually start selling rod-shifted derailleurs:

Speaking of Platypuses, a fellow in Australia is working on a design of a rod front derailer. I don’t know what we’ll do with this, if anything. I don’t know where it’ll go. He’s kind of doing it for himself, but we have an understanding that it he comes up with something groovy, we might look into having it made. I’ve sent him the Huret of a few BLAHGs ago.

Somewhere out there somebody’s monocle just fogged up.

Speaking of rods shifting, here’s your Requisite Tire Clearance Porn:

And here it is again, only with the focus changed so you can see the jaunty “AHH” on the back of the seat tube:

Here’s the saddle, which is breaking in nicely:

The pedals are comfortable and grippy and have yet to ravage my shins:

And while the bike still looks very new, it is at least gathering a fine coating of dirt, which really complements the color scheme:

Finally, here’s the deer that was less afraid of me than my cat:

I’m fairly certain this is the same deer I saw a week or so ago since it was more or less in the same place. If it is then it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. I can totally relate.

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