Out In The Cold

A picture may be worth a thousand words:

But no matter how long you stare at this one there will be three words missing from it, and they are:


Also, you could contemplate this one for hours, but you’ll never feel or hear the howling Arctic winds off the mighty Hudson:

When there are leaves on the trees you can at least get get a sense of it, but when the trees are bare there’s nothing to belie the illusion of stillness, or the fact that it’s so cold you can hardly stand to take your gloves off to open your fly and take a whizz.

Nevertheless, I unzipped and relieved myself anyway, which is a testament to my considerable fortitude.

Speaking of having to be there to know what’s happening, on Tuesday I explained that I need to take steps towards making this blog more remunerative, and many of you have responded by making donations–way more of you than I would have expected, in fact, which is deeply humbling and tremendously helpful.

There’s nothing I’d like to write about less than the “business” of being a semi-professional bike blogger, but now that the week is ending and so many of you have pitched in I do at least owe you a follow-up. As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, I’ll always write plenty of stuff people can read for free, but in addition to that I’ve been considering implementing some level of subscriber-only content. Well, many of you were were quite generous, and some of you even opted to make monthly donations, which is something for which I hadn’t even accounted. So in the immediate short-term, this amounts to a mighty tailwind for me.

I’m slow when it comes to figuring out the finer points of being a self-published writer (I’m 16 years in and still feel feel like a novice), and still don’t know what a Money-For-Bike-Snob model might look like in the long term. Do I offer premium content? Do I periodically solicit for donations? I still don’t know. But in the short term your support has been a tremendous help, and since it’s Friday and some of you might already be drunk and lacking in judgment I’ll go ahead and post the donation button again:


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And for those of you who have said you’d rather give via Paypal and Venmo, you can do the former this way and the latter this way. Or feel free to give nothing whatsoever–all I ask is that you read and enjoy. (Well, even enjoying is optional.) But if you are in a position to donate just keep in mind anything you do give reduces the likelihood I’ll have to put anything behind a paywall going forward–especially if it’s a recurring donation. Yes, it turns out there’s a reason all these companies want to make a subscriber out of you:

So thanks again, and as always feel free to drop me a line with feedback. Some of you have already done so and I’ve loved hearing from you. In the past few days you’ve all done more than you know to get the world’s third- or fourth-best cycling blog back on track, so you can fuck off into the weekend feeling good about yourselves.

Then again, if you’re feeling flush you could also just say “screw you” and blow it all on a Rene Herse derailleur, as a commenter recently pointed out:

Apart from the considerable cost, you’ll also need a new frame, and it’ll be way harder to remove your wheel, but in the long run I’m sure it’s money well spent.

I could also use a lesson or two in fundraising from the creators of the Superstrata Bike, who raised over seven million dollars:

Unfortunately for their backers–but unsurprisingly to anybody who actually knows anything about bikes–it sounds like the finished product totally sucks balls:

I mean who wouldn’t want a road bike with 185mm rear spacing and terrible handling?

I have virtually no interest in cutting-edge crabon bicycles, but if you want one and have shitloads of disposable income, it seems to me there’s no shortage of well-established companies who will happily sell you one that will knock your boutique merino socks off. Like, I don’t particularly want an Aethos or a Domane or a C68, but I bet if one fell into my chamois I’d enjoy the hell out of it.

Despite my cynicism I’m fundamentally an optimist with tremendous faith in humanity, and I refuse to believe even obscenely wealthy people are dumb enough to throw their money at a bike like this. Therefore, I can only conclude it’s some sort of money-laundering scheme, and in that respect it appears to have been rather successful.

Sadly I’m not sophisticated enough to engineer such a scheme. But if you’d simply like to dispose of your money altogether without going through the tedious process of receiving a shitty bike in the meantime I can assure you I’m your man.

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