Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Shop hours and schemes

I'm heading to the low desert tomorrow, and will have a trip report after the new year, if I survive.

Mark and/or Kevin will be here, though, and you really should come and keep them company. Don't forget, we're still having a wonderful sale, which is a great deal if you were planning on buying stuff anyway (especially good deals on accessories for new bikes). Because of our festive spirit, we're going to be open special festive hours through the end of 2011. Here they are:

This week: Wednesday, Dec 21: CLOSED Thursday, Dec 22: Open 3-6 PM Friday, Dec 23: Open 3-6 PM

Closed Saturday, Christmas Eve.

Next week: Tuesday, Dec 27 thru Friday, Dec 30: open 3-6 PM

Closed New Year's Eve.

Holiday Rides: Also, The Weasel will be leading and/or spearheading the traditional Christmas Day and New Years Day rides from the shop, both at 10 AM. The duration and distance and destination are unspecified, but it will indubitably be a hoot.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Come ride with The Weasel, et al

Our friend, Sean (aka The Weasel) has returned from his grandiose adventure to Minneapolis for holiday respite, and will be joining the Saturday ride this week. Aside from the wonderful company, the weather is forecast to be unseasonably non-winterish, so come for a sociable breakfast/coffee ride with us. The ride is 8am until noon, leaving from HCWHQ, 4301 E 54th St.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

End of year sale

Now until the end of 2011: All in-stock and most special order items: 15% off. If you buy a whole bike, you may take the 15% discount OR apply a 20% store credit to accessorize your new machine. On a Surly LHT, this amounts to $255 worth of accessories or upgrades.

Don't need bike stuff in the middle of winter? Buy a gift certificate for 15% off face value, for yourself or for someone else. You'll need bike stuff sooner or later.

If you purchase stuff through our web page, get free shipping on orders $150 or more (this deal excludes complete bikes).

Like everybody, we have bills to pay (like everybody), and business has been SLOW the last couple weeks. Come and see us. We miss you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Revelate Tangle Bags in stock

We have quite a few Revelate Tangle frame bags in stock. These are amazingly well-made bags manufactured in the US for an amazingly reasonable price of $68-70. Yes, that was "amazingly" times two. The design and craftsmanship is a joy to behold, making use of space in a bicycle frame that is often just dead air. I've got lots of experience with the large size Tangle bag (pictured above on a 54 cm LHT). There is ample room inside for a 3L hydration bladder and all the tools, pump, and spare tubes I'm likely to need. There is a small passage at the front of the bag for the hydration tube, which can easily be rigged up to allow nearly effortless on-the-bike drinking. Imagine drinking your beverage without juggling a water bottle or flask out of and back into a bottle cage, which is an activity that's fraught with peril, I tell you! In addition to a space to carry water, you can carry everything else, too. It's at least as convenient as a handlebar bag, but without any undesirable aerodynamic or bike-handling effects. I can imagine these as ideal for commuters who don't require full pannier(s), loaded tourers who want more space than what panniers provide, and it's just about the perfect bag for a brevet bike. I really like these, and you will, too. Feel free to ask if you don't know which size to pick. These make great holiday gifts. Stop by the shop or order online here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Neck Romancer

The all-black Pugsley formerly known as "Black Ops", now known as "Neck Romancer", has arrived here at HCWHQ. Legally speaking, it belongs to our service manager, Mongo, but quite likely it will be here for test rides and such.
I'm sort of amazed that the fat bikes are so popular, when just a few years ago they occupied novelty status somewhere between giraffe unicycles and 650B wheels. Nonetheless, they are cool and fun and useful, and if you think they're just for snow, you're mistaken. They are one of the more versatile bikes that exist, faster and more efficient than you think, and with braze-ons for every conceivable type of rack for year-round touring/camping/commuting applications. Also FUN!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ogrohloff

Ogrohloff. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Kevin just picked up an Ogre frame and we moved the parts over from his Rohloff-equipped Civia. Quite a machine. The 700x35 Schwalbe studded tires seem too skinny, though I'm convinced that this is actually the optimal width for winter riding in an urban environment.
For those playing along at home, the Alfine crank on the Ogre is not what you might call a "stock" fit. Also, linguistically, Trohloff has some advantages.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bicyclists as elite snobs?

Recently a short online article pondered whether bicyclists are "elite snobs". Despite the provocative title, the article itself portrayed cycling in a mostly flattering light, but it did assert that we cyclists should take care to not evangelize too forcefully about anti-car or pro-bike attitudes, lest motorists take us for elite snobs. This, the writer seems to believe, will make cycling and cyclists more tolerable to the general (motorized) public.

Read the comment section of any online newspaper article about cyclists in a motorized world, and it is clear that some people despise cyclists. The haters cite a variety of predictable complaints including anecdotes about cyclists coasting through stop signs, cyclists not paying their "fair share" of taxes toward road maintenance, cyclists wearing too-tight clothes, and, apparently, self-righteous attitudes among cyclists. My interpretation of all this is that the haters would like to believe, and would like everybody else to believe, that they have a solid reasoning for their animosity, that the cyclists deserve to be hated, that we ask for it! It's classic scapegoating, bullying, and blaming the victim, but that's just my opinion. I've been yelled at or honked at by motorists who didn't witness me violating any rules, didn't check my tax return to see if I'm paying my fair share, didn't see me wearing exotic clothing, and never asked me for my self-righteous opinion on any issue. I conclude that they just don't like cyclists, since I haven't given them any other reason to dislike me personally (and, I'd wager, they'd like me just fine in another context).

I should be clear that my observation is that most motorists, the vast majority (some of whom sometimes ride bikes), don't actively hate cyclists, but simply want to get where they're going efficiently and safely. If anything, they're nervous around cyclists, afraid that we'll do something unpredictable, causing them to hit us, which would be traumatic for everyone involved. And I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that some drivers are too busy texting, applying make-up, reading a book, smoking pot, talking on the phone, and/or eating the Burger King Whopper Value Meal to pay much attention to us. They don't hate us, and in fact have no opinion about cyclists whatsoever, until we distract them from whatever they're doing to pass the time while driving! (I kid, because I love!)

Almost everybody wants to be environmentally and socially responsible. Almost everybody wants to get more exercise and be more physically fit. Many people are bored with life and would enjoy a little adventure, if not for the perceived risks. If you actually talk to non-cyclists, many offer apologetic explanations: I would ride a bike to work, but it's not possible under the circumstances. Clearly they see advantages to the bike-lifestyle, whether it's driven by environmental, financial, social, political, exercise, or fashion attitudes, and they feel a little guilty that they're not living up to whatever ideals they hold. We all have a self-justifying nature that seeks to dilute conflicts between personal ideologies and personal behaviors, and I believe a lot of cycling hate (hate, in general, actually) comes from these internal conflicts. Why, for example, is it not uncommon, in bad weather, for a motorist (stereotype: manly-man in a big truck or SUV) to slow down, roll down the window (letting in rain, snow, cold, etc) to verbally abuse a cyclist for being "stupid" to ride in bad weather? Is this a public-service they're providing? Many motor vehicles are marketed with notions of machismo, but a person riding a bike in bad weather is doing something that requires a modicum of actual toughness and courage. A guy whose tough-guy self-image is wrapped up in a Chevy commercial featuring greasy muscle-men and cowboys throwing logs and concrete around could be forgiven for feeling threatened by a 120-lb woman riding her bike in a blizzard. She's obviously not only stupid, but a smug elitist snob for rubbing his nose in his own feelings of inadequacy like that!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Surly Ogre

You could get into all sorts of interesting situations with one of these.