You Got A Problem With That?

Not to move this blog into uncomfortable territories, but when you think “athletes” you generally don’t think “Jews:”

I mention this because I happened to be perusing a list of Jews in sports:

And in fact there are tons of Jewish athletes…except in cycling, where there’s just Romans Vainsteins:

I found myself puzzling over why this was. Do Jews really like bikes any less that, say, horses? Then I replayed a conversation I’d had with my son not an hour earlier while we watched the Tour de France recap together. Now that he’s riding he appreciates just how profoundly difficult the Tour is, and he asked me something along the lines of how one reaches that level in cycling. So naturally I found myself explaining that he should never, ever become a pro cyclist. He asked why, and I further explained it’s because you don’t make any money.

And that’s why there are so few Jews in professionaly cycling: Jewish parents.

(Yes, I realize the irony that I am a semi-professional bike blogger, which leaves one similarly destitute, but I like to think of myself as a cautionary tale. I also realize you may be offended by the implication that Jews are preoccupied with money, but I’m Jewish enough to get away with it, or at least not to care how you feel about it, anyway.)

Speaking of the Tour, yesterday’s stage was of course interrupted by some climate protesters called “Derniere Renovation:”

Ironically, Derniere Renovation is also the name of the contractor who did my recent hot tub installation.

I was puzzled by the “989 Days Left” shirt, thinking maybe it was a viral campaign for a new Jason Bourne film, but I guess it’s how many days humanity has left before we all die:

I dunno, is a world without tennis really all that bad?

Anyway, some people got mad at me on Twitter because I said the protesters were both selfish and crazy. (No doubt Bike Twitter was already irritable since Quinn Simmons factored into the day’s racing and boy do they not like him. I should really learn to read the room.) Of course I realize my opinion of the protesters might also offend you, especially mere paragraphs after my problematic take on Jews in cycling . If it makes you feel better you can also accuse me of being a climate denier and only caring about money, in which case I can then in turn accuse you of antisemitism or something, even though my worst nightmare is in fact that my children choose unstable careers such as bike racing or bike blogging or bike shop proprietorship or really anything to do with bikes.

Am I playing 2022 right?

In the meantime though, I’m indulging my older son’s appreciation for the riding of bikes in the hopes that he gets it out of his system, and in fact today has been one of those “‘Goodfellas’ Chase Scene” days, only without the narcotics:

I realize I’ve referenced this scene before, and if that bothers you feel free to add it to the ever-increasing list of stuff I don’t care about.

Anyway, my son’s enjoying Kissena enough–and growing quickly enough–that I decided it’s time to give him my track bike:

Furthermore, I wanted him to be able to use it this evening. So first I rode to a bike shop like 10 miles away to pick up some bar tape, since the bike needed a shorter quill stem and, unlike, say, a delicious diner sandwich, the one I have is not open-faced:

Sure, I could have gone someplace closer, but, you know, dirt.

Then when I got back I immediately got to work making this thing:

Fit like this thing:

And you know it’s serious when I bust out the grease:

Ironically, after like a two-hour round-trip to get the bar tape, I was able to simply reuse the original tape after installing the shorter stem, so I didn’t even end up using the new tape at all:

But I still had to do the following in no particular order:

  • Change bike to junior gearing
  • Shorten chain
  • Make general fit adjustments
  • Put on racier tires
  • Put new cleats on shoes (he wants to do road pedals now)
  • Put computer mount on seatpost because that’s what all the cool kids do at the track

All the while my brother’s stirring the sauce:

Generally you don’t want to do all this stuff on race day, but the bike seems to have come out okay:

If nothing else the bike is way better off in his hands. No good can come of my having it at this point.

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