*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Unlovable Toronto; Misanthrope Marathon

Nobody loves this place, unless in ignorance.  The reasons are legion, but I'll give an example to elucidate the whole.

I want to do this race in October, but I cannot easily get to it, and I live on a subway station!  What the everlasting fuck?!  The everlasting fuck in Toronto: fuck you if you don't have a car.

Here's the deal:
- all athletic events like this start early on Sundays*
- the trains do not start until nine in Toronto on Sundays!
- you can take buses before then, infrequently, and tardily
- but these will be diverted off the major streets, their normal routes
- instead of forty minutes to get there, over ninety
- I could cycle there far faster, which is probably something I don't want to do the day I'm going to run 42km
- did I mention one has to pick up the bib the day before the race at every running event in Canada (not so in Japan, but their mail works) and the location is far from any subway station?
- and nearly $100 CAD

There are no end of solutions. which can only not occur to an entire organization that has cars on the mind.  Fuck Toronto.

I may just do my Misanthrope Marathon: run on my own between two subways stations, at my convenience.

*I just missed one today, because it would take as long to get to it on a Sunday morning as it would take to get from Tokyo station to Nagoya.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

My Facebook: equal friend to blocked ratio

Mine's nearly equal.  Hmm...  If I were to look at it as an extrovert and optimist, I'd think I had a problem.  I am neither of those things.

Since this is Easter, and speaking of how much humanity sucks, let me retell the story.  There was a guy who came and said "be excellent to each other", so they killed him, and some self-hating Jew* with serious issues with women reworked the story to turn the guy's movement into a plutocratic death cult of pederasts, but without Saul of Tarsus we'd have never heard of the guy.  Fuck people.

*The Jewish part I'm fine with.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Gravel Bikes (modern touring) Under $2K

I built up my own gravel mutt from parts I had around, but it's too much the touring bike for long gravel road rides or modern unpaved touring: camping gear is now lighter, so too should be the bike.

Selection rationals:
- Off-the-peg, because one's own build is too spendy.
- Canti brakes are derided, but they are still easier to maintain, allow you to run a more compliant fork and allow plenty of tire clearance.
- Disks are the fashion now, but there isn't the need if you set up your cantis right, and use wide-profile like the CR720.    I will not suggest hydraulic brakes for use far afield.
- Steel frame for best value by pricepoint.
- Shimano Tiagra quality grouppo, or better.
- Geometry more slack than road, but less than touring.
- Bar-end shifters or brifters?  There's an argument for both.  Certainly not on the down-tube.  Gevenalle Retro-Shifters might be best, but never come standard.

Here's my list of the bikes.

Cantilever Brakes

All City Space Horse is the closest to a one-bike to rule them all, but 2015 Tiagra chainrings are ugly!

Surly Cross Check is nearly the same thing, but has a bottom-bracket higher than ideal.

Disc Brakes

Raleigh Clubman Disc: not a real gravel-bike, but works in a pinch and a hell of a price-point.  Best all-around bike with discs?  That ugly chainring again!

Raleigh Tamland 1

Salsa Vaya 2


Kona Rove

Sunday, 22 March 2015

$1000 steel road bikes

That's the cheapest you can go for a geared bike that rides decently.  Any aluminum or carbon frames or forks at this price point are as heavy as steel, and ride more poorly.  As do disk brakes, so none are included here.  No triple-ring cranks here either: unergonomic.  These make a great starter and winter road bike: commuting, light touring, the lot.

Raleigh Grand Sport
- has lots of room for tires and fenders
- won't require parts-swapping

Bianch Lupo
- a bit more rugged than the Grand Sport, and maybe heavier
- more room for tires and fenders
- you'll want to switch for wider-profile canti-brakes

Kona Honky Tonk
- 28mm tires and fenders will only just fit
- a few better bits in the drive-train

Monday, 16 March 2015

Real road bikes

Friend of mine has killed his old touring bike, though hasn't yet come to terms with it.  He's looking at a cost of switching out the worn parts that approaches replacement value, and he never much liked the bike he has.  This post is to convince him to go new.

He's not racing, and wants a bike to commute on and do long days, to multiple days, which means baggage.  I am trying to convince him he no longer needs a bulked out touring bike, as camping gear now weighs much less, and he's liable to use hotels more than he did in his youth.  So, for his benefit and any readers looking for an all-purpose road bike for any road conditions, here's my suggestions to him.  There's a lot of steel here, Tiagra Grouppo, because this is where he's going to get his money's worth. My recommendations.

Note that all of the double-ring cranks need adjustment of the gearing: IRD Triplizer or Shimano's new middle-rings on road-triples; triple-rings have a q-factor too wide.

I'd go for the Raleigh Record Ace with long-reach calipers, but really want the Grand Prix with the Ritchey frame for under $2K.  Outstanding.

Surly Cross Check
Does everything a touring bike can do, has been used as a versatile bike for over a decade with much success by many.  Lots of room for bigger tires and fenders, braze-ons and the like.  30-118", 2x10, bar-cons, cantis, 32 spoke wheels.  BB a bit high for touring.

Surly Straggler
Disc-brake version of the above, with brifters.

Surly Long Haul Trucker and Disc Trucker
As above, overbuilt for today's touring, more cumbersome and slack-angled, triple-ringed, better BB drop.

All City Space Horse
Slightly better frame than the Cross Check, and with brifters, but otherwise similar, but a lower BB.  All City Macho Man and disc version have the usual cyclocross issue for touring: high BB.

Trek 520 and disc version
Rather a lot like the Long Haul Truckers.

MEC CÔTEThis is a neat choice, if you are looking at a lot of gravel roads.

Raleigh Clubman Disc
Best value disc option here, I think.  Not my thing, but he wants them.  This is also the cheapest bike here!  $1000 USD.