Friday, 31 October 2014

The Seat Post: you can't saddle me with the blues.

Wow.  What a big week in the news!  Sure, Canada suffered its very own terrorist attack in Ottawa, and yes, the CBC's biggest star is definitely not the great guy he seemed to be, but I am talking really BIG news here. Seriously. Did you hear? Washington State has shrunk its ferry capacity to reflect American weight gains. That's right. And what's more, Crash Test Dummies are Getting Fatter to match American drivers. Gone are the fit crash test dummies of old, weighing in at 169 lbs.

(from the CBC)
Today's crash test dummy weighs 270 lbs, and that has THIS crash test dummy worried. "Why?" you might wonder...

Earlier this spring, when I started racing, Bill Yearwood (President of the BC Masters Cycling Association, and Investigator-in-Charge of the Transportation Safety Board) lifted Ti Baby and laughed, saying "no wonder you're so strong!" because my bike weighs almost six pounds more than his. So I looked into what it would take to bring my bike in line, and it didn't take long (even for my tiny brain) to figure out that it would be much more cost effective to drop a few pounds round my middle than it would to make Ti Baby a few pounds lighter.  

But nothing appears to be getting any lighter, not this crash test dummy, and not her faithful steed, either.  

Back then, Ti Baby weighed 19.5 pounds, but today, fully winterized, it tips the scales at a hefty 21.8 pounds!

 And me? Bloody hell, all geared up for winter, I don't even want to know.

Escape Velocity's Saturday Club ride - so civilized - here we are, waiting while someone changed a flat.
What I DO know is that poor Bea bike's saddle was looking a little worse for wear, all sway-backed and sagging in the middle.  When I'm riding with the fast boys up there, I like to stay in the drops as much as possible, but I'm not such a big fan of riding in the droops. I prefer that my rides have some serious rigidity.

It was distressing that the saddle is so distressed. It's less than a year old, and yet the tension adjustment bolt was completely maxed out.

Meh. As if anybody needed further evidence that I am hard-on things.

I was fit to be tied, which was fitting, all things considered. I'm not just old, you know, I am a bit old fashioned, too, and so I like to apply old school solutions whenever it works. Long before Brooks employed the saddle adjustment bolt, they used a hole different system.

And you know how I aspire to holiness, (you've gotta be holy if you want to be the pope!) so it was definitely time to swiss cheese the saddle.

I decided to give it the corset treatment...

 y'know, a little bit of leather and lace. Might not be the way that Jian likes it, but it suits me just fine.

So fine, in fact, that I gave it the babble on seal of approval. 

This little fella was dozing in the Horseshoe Bay marina last week when some of those fat ferry passengers walked by and woke him up, poor little mite.

He was just hanging out, waiting for the fish to wander by, alongside his fine feathered friend, blue heron.

The whole week was tinted blue, wasn't it, from beginning to end, starting with a murderous madman at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 

and coloured crazy with a beloved national icon's dramatic fall from grace.

But we're in this thing together, and blue is still beautiful...

And every day above ground is a good day, especailly when you get on a bike.  Nothing else is guaranteed to put a smile on your face quite so quickly, save maybe sobberdooders up there.  Sure, Vancouver caught the remnants of a hurricane that just missed Hawaii, a system which turned the roads into rivers for much of  Bike to Work Week, but even in the pouring rain there's no better way to get around. Call me crazy (you won't be the first) but I can give you a million good reasons...

Just like YOU've given me a million good reasons to keep writing about it!  

Yeowza! Thank you ever so kindly for making this endeavour more than worth my while. The week might have gotten off to a dark and terrible start, but thanks to you, I am sitting here wearing a great big smile.  :D xo xo


  1. il Pirata est Mort31 October 2014 at 06:31

    I was concerned that lace-up would be chaffing your lovely stems until I got to the cinching photo. Nice work!

    In my other life off the bike; I learned Charlie Chapling wrote the immortal lyrics "Smile when your heart is breaking...."

    Helluva tune!

    1. il Pirata est illiterate31 October 2014 at 06:33

      That's Chaplin to the rest of the spelling world.

    2. Podium kisses! XX
      Re chafing: nope, it's all good! The droopy saddle was hard on my hips, though, so I am happy it is well and truly fixed. :)

      That song was wise beyond belief. Apparently, smiling actually makes you happier!
      I have also noticed that when I look for things to appreciate, and reasons to be happy, I find them. Life is funny that way...

    3. il Pirata est Mort3 November 2014 at 13:02

      Counting our blessings is time well spent.

  2. Babblicious!! Now it IS a Happy Friday!

    For continuation from previous. Yes, there are folks of all persuasions who benefit from conflict. Especially, beware the military industrial complex.

    Funny, being the lone NYC conservative, was listening to Larry Kudlow's radio show some time ago and he had William F. Buckley on his program, close to his last interview, and he said going into Iraq the second time was a mistake. Larry kind of swept it under the rug but. Perhaps it was from an isolationist point of view, not sure.
    ISIS - we mucked it up, we should have had stabilization there to keep some sort of peace. Something should have been done earlier. It is more messy with a lot of cross pollenization of good guys / bad guys etc. Lot of religious strife stuff, "believe what I believe or else" Hassan chop!

    The luck of humanity ... I can see it now... News program a few hundred years from now: Resurrected from DNA Peter Jennings comes back on to report 50 years of world peace all around, no murders of any kind for 20 years. The golden age of Beginning. Our second story tonight, the approaching 100 mile wide asteroid now seen as unstoppable. All life will cease to exist except for those in orbit who will perish when the last cannibal kicks the bucket.

    Weight Weeny-
    I always thought the best way to shave a few pounds off my ride is to shave a few pounds off the power plant! I have lots to go! I can lose a whole 2 bikes worth still!! In your case, you are near the top of your game. You can treat yourself to a carbon or Ti goodie here and there.

    I have a Flyer Special I love (B17 on springs) Medium Brown, copper rivets, natural steel springs. Uber comfy. On the drops or higher, nice. I have a 1965 red Raleigh Sports that's all unmolested save for the Schwalbe tyres. The B72 saddle is almost splayed flat. I don't ride it much but may try the lace treatment.
    Love the face pix! Frikkin movie star! I hope I get to go out West ... North West one day. I need to renew my passport.

    Happy Halloween! Happy Friday!!

    vsk / properly gloomy out, in NYC

    1. Oh bless. Thank you! XX Yes, you definitely should go west, young man! September is always gorgeous round here, but I think we have you beat for gloomy this time of year...

      What do you mean, the lone NYC conservative?! Even though New York has a fairly liberal mindset, I always figured most of the other people who work on Wall St would be likewise inclined...?

    2. Probably true however most Wall Street campaign donations went Leftista in the Peoples Republic of New York. So much for Mittens' old Boy network.

      I wonder if I'll be able to see Mr. Snob at Philly. It might be early for me. GF considers anything earlier than 11am Stupid O Clock on the weekends. [perhaps I will take credit for that!]

      Bye the bye, someone in Wednesday's/Thursday's Snobiverse posted a link to Lovely Bike's hostess with the mostest in some RaphaWear . . . yum yum!


    3. Weird! My reply to you disappeared! Blogger is so buggy sometimes...

      You definitely should, even if it does mean getting up at stoopid o'clock. I saw him when he was here - he is just as funny in person.

      And Velouria is always gorgeous. I loved her Builders Ball photojournal- complete with Michelle Pfeffier!

    4. True all round!
      There is something for this global warming stuff ... it's absolutely gorgeous here in NYC today. The ride to work was so nice.

      Philly - I will try to make it. Yes, will definitely try to attend next year's if it happens.

      We did voting stuff down here today. I put my ballot in the machine and it will decide whether to count it later or not.



  3. Nice photogs. I will get one of those Brookes saddles soon. Just need to wear out the two non-Brooks I am using. Changing pedal types this week. One step at a time. Congrats on the millions. and those long ass Strava rides.

    And I rode the Wash ferries recently when I came up and biked in Wash not far south of you. My weight, we won't discuss.

    1. Wow. Just wow. You are a very talented photographer, Mr Raney, and a thoroughly adept writer, too. The pictures stole my heart, though. That first photo alone is worth the price of admission. Stunning.

      Thank you for sharing your blog with me! This is a first - what a joy! :D

    2. Hey thanks for popping over. Still at about 10 to 12 megapixs with just a sub 1000 dollar SLR. And those were mostly short lens shots. The light that day on the north end of the island though was unGodly. I will one day invade Vancouver as well. It is on the list. Look out!

    3. Or it was Oh My Godly!
      I hope you guys head this way sooner than later. We'll head out for a few rides around town before you go further afield to find creatures and critters to take amazing photographs of. Mind you, if you get up at stooopid o'clock you are likely to find a few critters right here in the heart of town, only then there's no light to speak of, Godly, or otherwise.

  4. I've often wondered about a society fattening up and any engineering or design implications. Max people in a lift, width of doors, size of coffins, space between seats, even the number of toilets at venues... that's a scary thought...
    Not relevant to me though, I'm still below 90kg... and it's all muscle, of course !

    1. Course it is! Personally, I am probably about 62 kg of solid muscle. And then there's another 2kg of wine habit, but I don't want to think about that bit.

    2. 2kg of wine habit is quite healthy.
      That's about 3% which would be considered "light" if it was the alcohol content in beer.

  5. Great idea on the Brooks saddle, I'll have to don some lace as well when the time comes! =P
    Sure was a wet Bike to Work week! See you out on the paths!

    1. It's crazy wet this week, too!
      You will probably never need to lace yours up - it takes a special touch to go through things the way I do!

  6. I am sure that Brooks would have put a new top on that if you had contacted them. The only downside would have been, doing without your saddle whilst they repaired it.

    1. Yes, you're probably right, and I did consider it, but a) I ride that bike to work daily, and b) I wouldn't have had the topic to blog about! :)

    2. Aaaaaand, I am pretty sure my very bones are green, because I hate discarding anything which can possibly be repaired.