Pants Cometh Before The Fall

It’s officially starting to look and feel like autumn around here:

In addition to being perhaps the best time of year to be on a bicycle (it’s a toss-up between autumn and spring, with maybe the edge going to autumn since spring can be pretty muddy), it’s also an ideal time to enjoy nature–not just the changing leaves, which are like totally obvious, but also the fauna. Recently the kids and I have made sure to turn over plenty of logs, under which we’ve found lots of salamanders:

As well as this toad:

So well camouflaged was this creature that I dismissed it for a leaf until my younger son informed me otherwise:

It’s amazing to think about how many creatures spend their entire lives hiding under logs while trying to look like other shit. At first it makes you feel much better about the rich and varied life you live as a a human being. But then you consider it more deeply, and you realize most of us are doing pretty much the same exact thing.

Anyway, they were all delicious.

Yesterday’s rains meant today was a perfect day to debut my new fenders:

Not only did they keep me dry, but they also failed to get all jammed up with debris owing to the generous amount of clearance between them and the tires:

Sure, I mostly left the clearance out of laziness, but I prefer to think that I’m lazy like a fox.

In addition to the fenders, I also tried out some MUSA pants from Rivendell that Grant Petersen sent me back when it was way too hot to even consider wearing pants:

They’ve got all kinds of seams and gussets and stuff which I tried to capture here:

I also attempted to capture my own posterior to show that they don’t ride embarrassingly low:

After one (1) ride of approximately 26 miles, I observe the following:

  • They’re quite comfortable and lightweight and I could have happily ridden in them all day
  • Even though I could possibly have gone one size larger since I have massively powerful thighs, there’s no binding or pulling while on the bike, which I attribute to the aforementioned seams and gussets
  • The pockets are nice and deep and I had no concerns about losing my wallet, phone, or keys
  • The slick fabric meant that my drive-side cuff didn’t stay rolled up, but the slim cut meant it didn’t matter, and there’s no sign of any contact with the drivetrain

Durability, water resistance, warmth, etc. all remain to be seen, but they were perfect for today’s conditions, and I totally wouldn’t feel weird wearing them off the bike:

Then again, I am a bike dork, and I wouldn’t feel weird wearing a cycling cap, a wool jersey, and a pair of Sidis off the bike either. In fact, pretty much everything about my appearance from head to toe screams, “This guy doesn’t work.”

Hey, someone’s got to stare off into the distance and admire the foliage:

As for the Eye Of The Tiger Bike, that too was a pleasure, though I seem to have a hop or flat spot in the rear wheel:

At first I wondered if the Rene Herse tires were seated improperly, but I think I can see it in the rim when I spin the wheel, and I think I also may have vaguely noticed it on the last tires too. Speaking of the tires, you’d think a hop would be less apparenet, since I was led to understand the profoundly supple casings conform to the road surface in such a way as to absorb vibrations or something…or is it this very supple-osity that amplifies the rim irregularity, creating the same princess/pea effect that lets Jan Heine tell whether a bike is “planing” or not? I have no idea, but I suspect this is exactly the sort of thing they’ll be studying at Cal Poly, and I suspect whatever they find the conclusion will be, “You really should be riding Rene Herse tires.” Regardless, I should probably just replace the rim, though I daresay this bike deserves a nice set of wheels with a Shimano-compatible hub which would greatly facilitate cassette changes in the future.

Speaking of the future, I’ve got nothing against Teslas, but I do have something against smug Tesla license plates:

They’re especially irritating when you’re on a bike. I mean, I’m also gas free..well, in the way they mean it, at least:

Maybe I should add a “Three Feet Please” patch.

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