One Hand Washes The Other

Good morning.

We’ve all had a lot of laughs here over the years, but it’s important to stop every now and then and consider the less fortunate among us. Consider professional cyclist Lachlan Morton, who has been forced to undertake his outré publicity stunts endurance rides on a shitty disc brake Cannondale with a stupid battery-powered derailleur:

Which he was forced to shift with a spoke:

Like so:

So basically a Campagnolo rod shifter:

Of course this is not the first time Morton has been undone by his equipment, and two years ago he made headlines when his plastic biking shoes started bothering him and so he rode the Tour de France alone while wearing Birkenstocks:

The Fredly media outlets in particular were astonished, as until then it was widely considered impossible to ride a bicycle while wearing sandals.

Anyway, given this, it’s tempting to imagine the sorts of pointlessly difficult heroic rides Morton would be able to complete if only he had access to proper equipment and not the throwaway crap his sponsors make him ride. That’s why I’m starting a fundraising campaign to buy Lachlan Morton a decent bicycle:

[Photo: Rivendell]

Good for everything from Grand Tour race banditing to transcontinental gravel slogs–and easily restored to full functionality in minutes with only the contents of your Banana Sax:

[Photo: Rivendell]

With that bike, that bag, a multitool, some spare cables, and a pair of decent sandals, he won’t even need a sponsor anymore and he can ditch the SRAM-Pon bike forever:

[Once u-Pon a time these were different companies.]

So click below and give generously:

Thank you.

Speaking of roadies in distress, it was only this past spring that the National Cycling League represented the “future of professional cycling:”

Well…maybe not:

But the good news is at least the riders who were laid off have to opportunity to “buy equity in the company:”

Now, I’m no businessman, but buying equity in a company so fucked that not only can’t it afford to pay your salary but it also needs all your equipment back doesn’t seem like a particularly shrewd financial decision. But I guess “You’re fired, can we have some money?” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Finally, I don’t often open the mail bag here on the blog, but when I do you can be sure that it’s worth your time and attention:

Dear Bike Snob,

Since summer began, I’ve been riding by the below Victorinox ad, located down near the south end of the Great Hipster Silk Road, and wondering what use case it represents. Yesterday, I passed it on foot, so I stopped to take a closer look and… I still don’t know. I thought that maybe, with your unparalleled grasp of the cycling cultureways, you would be able to tell me what’s going on here.

Is it a combination can opener and chain tool? A method for prying a 12-speed chain from between the cogs of an 8-speed cassette? A new, experimental Rene Herse Ferdi Kübler-edition derailleur? I like Swiss Army knives, but to me they’re like WD-40: wonderful things with a multitude of uses, few if any of which apply to bicycles. I think I must be missing something. Can you shed some light?

Lightlessly, your reader,


Firstly, with regard to the so-called “Swiss Army Knife,” I would put forth that its uselessness goes well beyond bicycles. It’s merely an assortment of lousy tools that preys upon the absurd human delusion that we might somehow find ourselves in a situation in which or lives depend on simultaneously picking our teeth, filing our nails, and opening a bottle of wine. (And good luck opening that wine with that stubby-ass corkscrew.) As for what the hell the disembodied hand is doing to that bike, let’s take a closer look:

This is indeed a vexing mystery, but my best guess is that the rider is using the bottle opener attachment (“I’m dying and I need to open a bottle of Mexican Coke. DOES ANYBODY HAVE A SWISS ARMY KNIFE???”) in order to lift the chain onto a chain hanger before removing the wheel:

Of course I can’t be sure, but I like this theory because, like a Swiss Army Knife, a chain hanger is something that seems like a great idea but that you never actually use. Like, I know at least some of my bikes have a chain hanger, but I couldn’t begin to tell you how many because I never actually use it–even the clothes hook in THE CAR THAT I OWN seems indispensable in comparison. So, given the vested interest the Swiss have in perpetuating the false notion that their eponymous Army Knife is something you should have with you at all times, as well as their well-documented propensity for keeping their hands clean [see: numbered bank accounts, money laundering, etc.], I posit that the disembodied hand is hanging a chain on a chain hanger with a Swiss Army Knife whilst avoiding sullying itself with chain grime.

But I’m open to other ideas.

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