One Tough Nut

Further to yesterday’s post, my other Rivendell is an A. Homer Hilsen (there’s a bumper sticker for you, Rivendell), and that too has evolved over the years, going from twee country rambler to slightly less twee urban workhorse:

And no, I couldn’t live with the orange pedals anymore:

On Monday I mentioned how we’re all cyclists here, and as such we should be comfortable speaking frankly amongst ourselves. In that case the context was Jeremy Vine, and how you can be totally pro-bike and yet still believe he’s a complete putz. Similarly, after my commute yesterday, I submit that it doesn’t make you anti-ebike to say they can be really fucking annoying. There are a lot of them in New York now. A lot. Overtaking you, cutting you off, charging full-speed into busy crosswalks…which is why it’s amusing to read something like this:

I used to believe this myself, but that was before the e-bikes took over. How it’s possible to travel around New York City now and come to the conclusion that people are having a difficult time accessing e-bikes is, frankly, astonishing. It’s like sitting on a bench in Central Park and coming to the conclusion that we need to put pigeons on the endangered species list.

Of course I realize this is hopelessly curmudgeonly, and that I’m lumping “e-bikes” together in the exactly the same reductive way that people complain about “bikers,” but what do you expect from someone who’s riding a bike like this?

I should tweak the saddle position just a teeny bit, but I admit that I haven’t done it yet because on those old Super Record seatposts you’ve got to really get in there to access the two bolts:

I think I can probably manage if I find the right wrench, though there’s always the excitingly expensive world of vintage Campagnolo tools:

It’s a lot to pay for something you might use once every ten years. But then again can you really put a price on scranial comfort?

Speaking of the Cervino, it still exists as a Nishiki model…at least in one market:

I’m not sure which market it is, but they talk like this:

In any case, this is perhaps the most unremarkable bicycle I’ve ever seen–except for the seatpost, which has more setback than a New York City bike lane project (you know, because they’re always encountering setbacks…sorry):

As an aging semi-professional bike blogger who hasn’t been relevant since 2009, I know a thing or two about fading brands, and Nishiki is certainly one of them. To put that context (and not for prurient reasons, the cover notwithstanding) I wanted to find the 1982 catalog in which the Cervino I’m currently riding would have appeared:

(Via Classic Cycle)

Alas, I couldn’t track it down online, and the closest I came was the 1983 catalog, which contains their answer to the nascent all-terrain bicycle craze, the “Bushwacker,” the name of which was no doubt inspired by the reception among bike shop employees to their 1982 catalog cover:

Nishiki stuck with the Bushwacker for quite a few years, though the model did not age gracefully:

Though in that same market with the consonant-happy language at least it seems to have survived into the modern-ish era:

But here in the United States of America–the referee with outstretched arms that keeps Canada and Mexico from fighting each-other–Nishiki now exists as a brand name exclusive to Dick’s Sporting Goods. There’s no longer a Bushwacker, since publicly announcing that you got a Bushwacker at Dick’s will get you arrested in at least twelve states, but they do have a gravel bike. I can’t embed the promotional video for it, but you can see it here:

Basically it consists of a helment disclaimer:

As well as a professional demonstration of “Resting Gravel Face:”

Then the two riding buddies discuss the gravel they’ll be riding on:

And then veer off into tall tales and big fish stories:

“I swear, the chunks of gravel were THIS BIG.”

Then they ride:

They don’t specify what the “other rough terrain” might be, but presumably the Alamosa is also rated for sawdust, twigs, sticks, pebbles, marbles, seashells, pottery shards, and the sun-bleached bones of deceased animals and humans, making it a fine choice for riding anything from your local trials to far-flung archaeological digs.

In all it’s a video as unremarkable as the bike, but it is refreshing that they acknowledge there’s no reason for internal cable routing beyond looks:

I’d love to see the look you’d get it you went to a Dick’s and asked them to route your internal cables for you.

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