Big Wheeled Ballyhoo: Well, if you didn't know, it is too late. The Big Wheeled Ballyhoo is set to take off near Brady Nebraska starting at 3pm this afternoon and will run until 4pm Sunday afternoon this weekend. The stories coming from this little get together should be epic. I can't wait to hear what went on. What's that you say? You wonder why I write, "I can't wait to hear what went on"? Well, sad to say this, but I can not attend.
The family emergency I referenced a week ago precipitated my wife having to fly out to El Paso, Texas. That meant that to get the time off, she would have to work this weekend after getting back sometime today. So, I am watching the kids while all this goes on. Family first. For good or bad, that's the way I roll.
So, anyway, the situation has worked out. It's going to be okay for now and our lives will get back to normal, but the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo is out of the question for me right now. To all who worked so hard to get this going, I apologize for my absence, to all who went expecting I would be there, (if anybody actually did get excited about that, which to me would be amazing), I apologize. I am truly bummed that an event bourne out of my own twisted mind is now something I have to miss. Oh well.............
For Sale: I know this is the time that several "end of the season" deals are happening, but I saw a couple by some friends of mine that I wanted to point out to ya'all. First up, The Prairie Pedaler has a sweet deal on some wheels for 29"ers and some White Industries cranks. Hit the link for that and more.....
Secondly, Milltown Cycles is parting out a road bike with a complete SRAM Rival road group, some sweet tubular wheels, and other tidbits. Hit that link for more!
Then the shop I work at has a crazy cheap Raleigh XXIX and a SE Racing Stout marked down for quick sale. Hit that link to find those dealios.......
Finally, as always, Lacemine29 has some killer deals on some hoops and pedals. Check out the link and pester the man!
Don't get hold of me about any of this stuff! Hit the links. Make contact with the fine folks selling these goods, and buy yerself a bargain.
And while I am on the subject of bike shops.... I have been reading recently some commentary concerning mark ups, excessive profits, and lack of value in relation to bicycle companies, bike shops, and the like. All I have to say is, I don't know a single person in the bicycle industry that is pulling down the cash as huge as some of these inner-web dweebs claim. Certainly on the bike shop level, many of these same commenters would sputter and faint at the prospect of living on the wages that LBS owners do. (Not to mention the shop employees!)
The prospect of having direct to consumer sales on bicycles (Name with held, but we all know who I am referring to) as an industry wide practice is appealing to some of these folks. Let's think about that for a minute........
So we would have cycling goods at unbelievable prices. Great! (If that's all that matters) I'm betting that it wouldn't take long for folks to figure out that this would be a bad idea. A very bad idea. Lets see......how about service? So you got a great price on that bike, or component, but.....you know....you spent XX dollars on it, and it should have been XXX dollars, (more on that in a sec), so you don't want your "good deal" to get screwed up. Right? So......the LBS is out of business. Try finding a qualified mechanic that understands the tech and how to use the tools, and knows "that trick" that makes it all work so well together. Good luck!
Or how about this: A few years go by, and sure.....everyone is killing it on cheap deals, but all the bikes are the same, and only a few companies exist now. (Ya know, some folks are motivated by making money. Imagine that John Lennon!) Well, that's how it goes if all that matters is that you get over on "The Man".
Then after awhile, it wouldn't really matter would it? I mean, so what if you paid $50.00 for a $100.00 part. Everyone gets that price now, and the $100.00 price doesn't mean anything, because no one sells it for that much. Now all you have are generic brands, little choice, (because no one is motivated to sell for little to no profit) and zero support after the sale. Great!
Sounds like a world that fell apart called the U.S.S.R. to me.
And what of this company that I refer to? They surely are making a profit, no? Well, of course they are. However; they don't support you at ground zero, nor do they come around with company folks to check on how things are going, (big bike companies all do this), and they don't have a dealer network you can interface with on a human level. Besides this, their models change little year to year, they do not feature cutting edge technologies or materials, and they don't support cycling as a lifestyle, in racing, or at a grassroots level.
But then again, why would you care if you got a "great deal" on a bike, right?
There's a place for companies that cater only to price, but as with anything, there are so many layers of value that can't be directly measured that these companies simply can not, and will not provide for you. To each their own.
Have a great weekend and try to get out and ride......even if it is cold!
Midweek film; Jeff Jones; A Man and his Bike
3 hours ago