New Outside Column! And Other Stuff Too!

I’ve got a new column in Outside and it’s about OH DEAR GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING???

My motivation for writing this was 4% because I had actual insights to share and 93% because I wanted to torment the Internet with pictures of this thing.

The remaining 12% was because I suck at math.

I do think this is something to consider though:

Yep, because the bike companies have to sell everyone else the same stuff the pros ride, you soon won’t be able to buy a road bike without TPMS:

You’ll see.

Fortunately, I have a burgeoning collection of “obsolete” bicycles, both new and vintage–and from the wildly exotic to the timelessly mediocre:

And I ride them while wearing jerseys made from “obsolete” fabrics, such as this one from Wabi Woolens:

It’s been about a month since I received this garment, and like the Montgolfier brothers I’ve ascended to great heights (metaphorically speaking) in it…without washing:

Such is the advantage of wool over more Fredly synthetics (that’s a surprisingly mellifluous phrase), and I plan to launder it no sooner than the moment it walks up to me, taps me on the shoulder, and entreats me to do so.

As for the bike, I mostly rode it because the drivetrain was getting all crunchy so I cleaned out the cassette and gave it a “new” chain (actually the one I took off the Softride), and I wanted to satisfy myself that all was running smoothly and quietly, which it very much was:

Speaking of the cassette, it is of course a Uniglide, and as I mentioned not too long ago prices for them on the used market are surprisingly ridiculous. So not only is sticking with this system both contrarian and pretentious, but it’s also potentially expensive. At the same time, as I disassembled it, I had to admire its simplicity–just a stack of non-riveted individual cogs you can mix and match or flip as you please–and presumably as it wears you could probably even replace it piecemeal with these things, which are cheap and come in a variety of sizes (though not all the sizes, which is a bit of a problem):

Though I suppose it would probably be more straightforward to just replace the freehub body.

Oh, I also replaced the worn brake pads with the cheapest ones on the planet Earth;

Ironically, while the entire pad is quite thick, the actual braking material portion is probably thinner than what was remaining on the pads they replaced.

Anyway, not only was the bike thrumming along nicely, but the first bursts of color were appearing on the landscape:

And I even found one of these things:

I will now proceed to build an entire new bike around it.

Finally, further to yesterday’s post

…I’ve been getting lots good use out of my Two Wheel Gear pannier briefcase thingy recently:

And no, I am not getting ready to rappel down a cliff, it’s all a part of my Pee-wee Herman bike locking system.

In any case, since I took delivery of said briefcase Two Wheel Gear have updated their lineup, and I just received a veritable bike commuter bonanza from them, which I very much look forward to trying:

It’s almost enough to make me want to work!


Powered by

Up ↑