Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday News And Views

What does this term even mean anymore?
Retail Burnout:

This last couple of weeks, was bad. Then on Wednesday it got waaaaaay worse, and Thanksgiving Day? No breaks for e-mail bots, apparently. I guess they don't observe familial traditions. Whatever......

I don't know about you, but I didn't even look at the 30+ "Black Friday" e-mails I got and I pretty much tuned out from any media. It's just too damn much anymore and I don't have to listen to it. So, forgive me my little mini-rant here, but retail has gone to the dogs. It is ridiculous. No wonder people shop online. If the traditional retail stores weren't so obnoxious and unceasingly shrill, I'd maybe pay attention. If they weren't offering, mostly, what is going to end up being junk in a couple of months, I'd consider their products. If it all just went away....... Well, that isn't going to happen, now is it?

To be fair, I remember when I was a child that it wasn't really much better. It was just that there were only so many channels of info coming at you, (easily ignored), and it didn't start at all until post-Thanksgiving and went away after December 25th.

Here's hoping you can find peace and wholeness despite the onslaught of garbage info being slung everywhere this season. My advice? Get outside and leave the cell phone off. Good luck.

Decent day for late November. Looks like this will be about it for gravel for a bit though.
Get Out And Ride:

So, continuing on with the escape from madness theme I have going today, I wanted to report that I actually did heed my own advice and went out for a pre-meal ride on Thanksgiving Day.

I took out the Breezer RADAR Expert I have here to test. I figured that with the forecast of "impending doom" that has been issued for Sunday, I had best get my behind on that bike's saddle. It figures. I get a bike to test on gravel and it brings a blizzard. sigh..... I mean, yeah, I have a fat bike, so part of me rejoices. We haven't had decent snow for that activity in quite some time. So, if the forecast 6"-8" of white stuff materializes, I'm ready. Bring it on!

The ride Thanksgiving day was toward the South because the wind was out of the Southeast. I didn't push things too hard since I had been pretty under the weather the weekend before. The roads to start out were still frozen, but as I went things got sloppier. The RADAR Expert was stable and sure-footed on the icy and snowy patches I ran into on the way out. It was smooth on the few rough patches I ran across on the gravel. I ended up putting two hours in on this bike which was enough for Thanksgiving Day. Hopefully y'all had a wonderful day, whatever you did.

Maybe next week will look like this?
Fat And Ready:

Like I said above, if the snow does come, I'm ready. The ol' Blackborow DS will be seeing a lot of action. Maybe you didn't know it, but the Blackborow wasn't always a "cargo/fat bike", or "longtail fat bike", or whatever that thing is they have now. At first it was a cool fat bike and it was offered in a 2 speed, "Parallel Single Speed" drive train option. Some call it "dingle speed". I call it "fun".

The Blackborow DS solved a problem I had which was that I was not getting the kind of flotation I wanted in the 4" tires that I had been on before. Traction was also a big issue. Finally, roaching drive trains in Winter "car slop" commuting back and forth to work was also solved by getting this "rust resistant" drive train on the Blackborow DS. Okay, that's more than one problem this bike solved. 

Anyway, some of my friends have said I need to get that new, longer Blackborow. I'm sure it is good, but it isn't better than what I've already got. My rig pops the front end as high as I need it whenever I want to do that. My rig carries exactly enough, and that's without a frame bag. My drive train is "just enough" and it has lasted four years without any part of it needing replacement. That includes the PressFit bottom bracket. (I know! It is even quiet! Will miracles never cease!) My rig can be easily portaged downstairs into my shop, over logs, or whatever. It's just flat out better.......for me.

There is only one way I'm ever replacing this bike, sans any tragic accident or breakage, and that's if they make it in titanium. I know I could score a custom version in titanium, and maybe someday...... I might just do that, but this bike refuses to let me down, and besides swapping the handle bar for a Carbon Jones Loop Bar, the bike is bone stock. That's a very unusual thing for me to leave a bike alone. I just don't think it can be improved upon.

That's it for this week. Hopefully you get a chance to get out on two wheels this weekend and "Turkey Burn".

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