This internet, jeez. It is winter here, and for many of us that means decreased ass kicking in the out of doors. Kick ass adventures are some celebratory shit, maing! That's where you get your Good Feelings from. That is not to be taken lightly. I'm not talking about some SAD bullshit, either, I'm talking about the source of some postive, creationary, eff you en.
When folks are not having some type of Good Feelings on a regular basis, they begin to feel mean. And lowdown. They begin some rants on the internet? Somebody might be upset...for instance, that carbon is so heavily used in the bike industry on account of they feel it is a creaky, breakable and expensive sleight of hand. Prolly mostly that it is so damned expensive. Or, maybe mostly that they weigh nearly 200lbs and ride the shit out of their stuff (daily) rather than polish it and wait for the fucking Saturday ride to race their Cat 5 buddies to the 1.5 hour mark, only to replace it next year with the version 2.0 because if it's new, it's better, right? Clearly.
Perhaps it's these new guys, the ones all fired up about fat bikes, that are the next bogeymen. I hate the hipster infusion of (recent everything) "colour ways" and their co-option of classic men's fashion into a stale, jokey uniform of moustaches and whatever the hell they call that haircut from the 1920s...but a fixed gear bicycle is a joy forever and classic men's wear is classic because it works. Those are stone cold facts. Hey, a fat bike is just a fun time, it's not the fair target for hating the new school. I remember when.
Or, somebody might feel like giant bike company A,B, or C has instigated the complete ruination of cycling via _____________. A legitimate concern, I'll grant you. Particularly in this era of "flagship" and "elite" brand-only stores. The soul can leak out thru that hole real easy, but.
All a these customers coming in to the shop with their me-too and their give-me-a-deal might find their way to becoming in love with cycling for the simple sake of pedaling along on a kick ass adventure with whatever gear(s) on whatever surface. They might. The benefit of the doubt could usefully be given at first glance, on a temporary basis, on a case-by-case tip. It wouldn't hurt. And if they don't? fuck 'em. Sell homeboy that geegaw with a smile.
Look. Nobody likes to have their scene turned out. To see this bastion of hardness softened up and divided. There was a recent interview in Dirt Rag with Missy Giove (remember?) that had a relevant bit about having the mtb race scene invaded by athaletes. People were bummed that genetic freaks had come calling to their fun thing and turned it into something....mmm...less pure. Folks had been attending the mtb county fair because they loved it and it was it's own reward, and then the money and the Circus had come to town, and it was clowns to the back of the train.
None of that can make actually riding any less rad than it ever was. Let the fools and their shysters have each other. We have bikes. To the limited and self-selected audience reading these words: If you are not riding, you are blowing it. I personally don't see how that happens, as the riding is required or I start getting mean and lowdown my ownself, but I see that it does, so. Shut up and ride.
Maybe take a ride to your local graveyard and drink a beer near a mausoleum. It's quiet. Well, it might be on your way home from work.
And, as regards the recent (and welcome!) wet weather, I remounted the fendered and fixed Schwinn Le Tour; an old and trusted friend. Some 32s and a hella raked fork swing me to and from my work and garden path type trail use. And, yes, that fender line is tight.
None of my experience with technical rainwear has been positive, so I'll let y'all in on a secret you won't like: Carradice riding poncho and Filson tincloth chaps:
Well, I said you wouldn't like it. Yes it's heavy, yes it suffers if there's crazy winds or one is descending a col whilst being chased down by the peloton, and yes it actually keeps you dry and comfortable. I don't use this combo on short "training" rides, I use it for a day(s) on the bike. For short stuff that sees a warm shower and dry bed soon, I'll either use more aero "normal" gear or just trust in wool to keep me warm while wet. For long stuff, or camping, you can't be too dry or comfortable. I know you will, but...don't kid yourself.