gear

Do You Need A Shower?

The Discerning Cyclist review’s Muc Off’s Dry Shower. Check out the Discerning Cyclist for more reviews, guides and cycling tips.

Here’s the Muc-Off commercial. Shouldn’t he have used the dry-shower before he went into the tent? And why didn’t she use it? What – women don’t sweat?

Anyway – I think I’m going to try it.

I commute to work everyday and I don’t shower when I get to the office. I just use a sports towel and let my self dry off naturally. Seems to work for me……but maybe people just aren’t telling me the truth?

Winter Riding

I love riding in the winter especially on roads packed with snow (i.e. not plowed or salted). Here’s a picture of me arriving at work this morning.Temperature is -3C. About 20cms of snow fell the day before.

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I’m wearing Swrve Winter Knickers – they are awesome! Great fit, warm and cosy. I may not need to wear long pants at all this winter!! I’m also wearing Ibex Merino cycling shorts and Ibex 220 Merino base layer zip t-neck (both are terrific – highly recommended), my Twin Six tech jacket (can’t ride in winter without this essential), SmartWool socks, and my old Shimano mountain bike shoes. My 180s ski gloves are attached to my Bern Allston helmet which is hanging from my Henty Wingman which contains my Hugo Boss suit and, more importantly, my lunch.

You can’t see it here but I’m riding an old Raleigh winter-beater, steel frame, with riser bars and dorky-looking V-rims. The gear ratio is high at 52-16 (fixed) so I’m not tackling any big hills with that sucker. I don’t ride it much but I needed to today and may need to again several times this winter, depending on the weather. I refuse to expose the Wabi Lightning to the harsh conditions in Toronto – I don’t mean the snow and cold – I mean to the copious amounts of salt the City dumps on the roads!!

Five articles you need to read today

From the Washington Post, Five economic lessons from Sweden, the rock star of the recovery, of particular interest to Ontario is lesson number one:

1. Keep your fiscal house in order when times are good, so you will have more room to maneuver when things are bad.

In 2007, before the recession, the U.S. government had a budget deficit equivalent to 3 percent of its economy, as did Britain. Sweden, meanwhile, had a 3.6 percent surplus.

So when the recession hit, that surplus gave its government a cushion in the downturn and it didn’t run up the huge debts that in other advanced nations have now created the risk of a future crisis. Sweden’s gross debt is set to reach 45 percent of the size of its economy this year, as the United States closes in on 100 percent.

This was a lesson Sweden learned from its early 1990s crisis, in which a collapse in commercial real estate and the banking sector was exacerbated when the budget deficit rose to such high levels that the country had trouble borrowing money and the value of its currency collapsed.

The nation set a goal of averaging a 1 percent budget surplus over time and held to it — which left the government with lots of flexibility to engage in deficit spending when the economy went south.

“If you don’t have a fiscal problem, you have more degree of freedom,” said Stefan Ingves, governor of Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, in an interview. “This time around, the issue was not ever even close to being about solvency.”

From The Guardian (UK), Why it’s so much harder to think like a Conservative, by Roger Scruton.

Conservatism, I [Scruton] argue, is not a matter of defending global capitalism at all costs, or securing the privileges of the few against the many. It is a matter of defending civil society, maintaining autonomous institutions, and defending the citizen against the abuse of power. Its underlying motive is not greed or the lust for power but simply attachment to a way of life. [emphasis is mine]

From Patheos, a review of Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry.

A number of prominent Bible scholars believe that Richard Bauckham’s book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses just might be the most important book of New Testament scholarship in many decades–the kind of paradigm-shifting work that will be ignored by most current scholars and only taken up by a new generation, as science advances “one funeral at a time”.

In a word, the book argues that the Gospels are books of oral history; in other words, that they are based on the direct accounts of specific, named eyewitnesses to the life and ministry of Jesus. This is contrary to the assumption of most New Testament scholarship, drawn from the form criticism of the early 20th century, that the Gospels are works of oral tradition, in other words collections of anonymous traditions passed down through many iterations between the actual witnesses and the writers of the Gospels.

From Urban Velo, a mini review of Trek’s new commuter bike, Lync:

Trek has upgraded their commuter line with the Lync, a commuter ride decked out with integrated lighting and bluetooth compatible monitoring. Instead of buying a commuter and having to select various lighting, phone mounts, and software additions, new purchasers can have a ride that is ready to go without aesthetic adjustments.

From First Things, A Theory for Tattoos.

That’s the theory of body art. It spells a transition from the body as physique to the body as text. You can write yourself upon it. As a friend put it to me: A tattoo isn’t the Word made flesh, but the flesh made word. It may strike old-fashioned types as pedestrian narcissism and adolescent conformity, and sometimes it surely is. But in a deeper and more troubling way, it is canny and subversive artifice, spiced with a moralistic claim to personal liberation. A tattoo is a personal statement but also an anthropological position that accords with the prevailing transvaluations of our time. It’s a wholly successful one, too, judging from the entertainment and sports worlds, and youth culture. With the mainstreaming of tattoos, another factor in the natural order falls away, yet one more inversion of nature and culture, natural law and human desire. That’s not an outcome the rationalizer’s regret. It’s precisely the point.

 

Wear a Suit to Work and Ride a Bike? You Need a Henty Wingman

I bought one of these bags in January of this year and it’s awesome. It does exactly what it is designed to do: transport my suit, shirt and tie without wrinkling them.

I keep my shoes at work so I use the black internal bag to hold my lunch. 

The one draw back for me is how it drapes across my chest. it sits on my left shoulder so when I look to the left to change lanes, it sometimes obscures my field of vision.

My Winter Ride – Maybe

So I’m busy lately looking for a bike to ride in the winter. I know from past experience how winter conditions can damage a bike, especially one made with a steel frame. This past winter was a harsh one and it took a toll on my 2009 Trek 3rd District and it is made with aluminum tubing.  I needed an upgrade and that’s why I purchased the Wabi Lightning in May.

But now I realize I don’t want to ride the Wabi in the salt and slush so I’m thinking about purchasing a new aluminum bike that I’ll use through the winter months. Maybe something like this beauty!

full65809It’s an aluminum 2015 Specialized Langster? What do you think? I figure this will get me through several Toronto winters.

Good thing my wife doesn’t read my blog.

By the way, the Trek 3rd District is awesome and it held up well through many good rides and a few accidents. It is fast, light and nimble. My teenage sons have assumed ownership of that fine machine and I suspect they will get a few more years out of it.

Why it Pays to Retweet – Thanks Pista Collective

I’m fairly new to the Twitterverse so I was pleasantly surprised when I retweeted a Tweet (can you retweet anything other than a Tweet?) from Pista Collective (http://www.pistacollective.com/). Their Tweet said the first person to retweet will get a free t-shirt. I was the first one and they sent me three t-shirts!!! I think they sent me three because I mentioned in a subsequent email that I have two teenage sons who also ride fixed-gear bikes!  Thanks Pista Collective. Classy guys and gals. Check out their site.

Here are the tees.

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A tribute to Marc Demeyer, a Belgian cyclist who won the Paris-Roubaix race (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris%E2%80%93Roubaix) in 1976 and who died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 31.

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A tribute to the great Eddy Merckx. “Eddy Rode Steel – so do I. That’s where the comparison ends.

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MOVE over!

So, what is a Wabi?

I get asked this all the time. What exactly is a Wabi bicycle?

Wabi is a small bicycle design firm based in Los Angeles, California, operated by cycling expert Richard Snook. According to Richard:

Wabi bikes are not your everyday fixed or single speed bikes that you find at the local bike shops. My bikes are road racing bikes tweaked for fixed/single speed riding, made for riding long distances quickly and in comfort, and with a responsiveness that you only get from a high end steel frame, which is not easy to find. What sets the Wabi fixed gear bikes apart from the other fixies out there is the use of lighter, higher quality frame tubing, road racing (not track) design, quality frame builds and light, responsive wheels. What sets the Wabi Cycles’ business apart is the customer service.

And he’s right. Check out Richard’s awesome bikes for yourself.

www.wabicycles.com/index.html