Bikes are the coolest invention in the universe


from what I understand, municipalities first started smoothly paving the streets (as opposed to brick of cobblestone) in response to demand from cyclists. And the first Ford prototype automobile used bicycle wheels, pneumatic tires were invented for bikes.


I’d guess the author talks about stuff like that? It’s always interesting to see the roots of social or technological changes, which often aren’t what people think they are.


I’ve got this Yale University Press book, which is probably where I read that stuff. It’s a good overview of bikes and bike history. It’s not limited to the US or lifestyle stuff, but it has that, too.

EDIT: author is David V. Herlihy

This here is another awesome historical bike book, a biography of the fastest man then alive


Awesome! Those look cool, especially the Balf book. All of them would fit nicely onto a syllabus for a class on American or popular culture.

ETA: Also, I always enjoy reading different takes on the same historical period or topic. The result is often less about competing narratives and more overlapping narratives, where one author can highlight something another misses.


FYI the copy of Major I read is at the downtown main branch of the public library, so that’s walking distance from your school


Anybody ever heard of a “Backwards Brian”? There’s a thing on the main page that shows it but this video actually explains what it is:

Anybody ever ride one? I really want to!


I’ve never tried to ride one of those (that I remember), thought it’s possible I’ve tried and forgotten.
The most interesting part of that video is that the process of learning to ride that type of bike requires that he forgets how to ride a traditional bike. It’s like there’s room for one balancing algorithm in our brains at a time (and that’s it).

I should have a bike project post soon (fingers crossed it’s this year!).


I wish you had posted about the damage before buying a new one. I have one of those frames that I am no longer using. Of course size could be an issue. I built it for an epic ride from Thailand to Vietnam, but it is still in good shape, and in storage.


I want to reach into the video and raise his seat for him. :anguished:


That’s a kind offer- but no worries. Having a legitimate excuse to buy a new frame is seldom a burden for me.


I am the same way. My job sometimes has me living out of a hotel for months at a time, and I try to have projects after work, as I do not drink or do most regular night life. But I did both my road and a couple of mountain bikes during business trips, starting with a frame and putting more than necessary thought and money into each component. But it was a good distraction from work, and probably did not cost much more than some of the other people spent on night life.


And so I’ve got another bike project done.
Kid #1 wanted a front rack/basket, and there are nothing but terrible options for her 20" wheeled bike. So I made one.
It’s not the prettiest thing ever- it’s my first time brazing and whatnot, but it’ll do for now. Basket to be mounted to this.




I would love to enjoy bikes, but it is virtually impossible to own them where I live. I’ve personally been through six bikes in three years, and a few of those were stolen and reclaimed multiple times. It doesn’t matter what I do, I’ve had $100 locks destroyed to steal $25 bikes. I just gave up. I walk now, or drive.


I manage to enjoy bikes without using a lock, generally… I have a pub pike that gets locked up in the street now and then, but my nice bikes only go behind doors.


Do your circumstances allow for trying out a bring-inside folder as suggested way back in the thread? Completely avoiding street storage still sounds like your best choice to me in these toxic conditions.


Unfortunately no. I have to leave my bike locked up outside a bar all night, and my town is infested with tweaker bike thieves (but I’ve had bikes stolen in many other places here). Really, I just had to let it go. It really is that bad where I am, and you eventually have to leave it locked up somewhere, like a grocery store or library. And if you can’t leave a $25 dollar mountain bike locked up with a good quality lock for an hour without it getting stolen then I give up.


Hey, those videos remind me of an idea I had a while ago.

Dropper post on a road bike. To my mind it makes perfect sense; the ideal seat height for making power can make some of the more adventurous moves possible pretty sketchy. It’d be great if you could flick a lever and drop the seat 8" or so; aside from making the bike a lot more versatile, it could conceivably add safety in some kinds of situations, like this, for example:


I mean, sure, but: road bike manufacturers have been pushing the “integrated seat post” on frames to reduce weight. Carbon posts. Carbon railed saddles. Carbon everything.
Do we really think the weight penalty (and the maintenance…) would fly in that world for the handful of times you’d (likely) ever use the thing?

Maybe on the increasingly popular “gravel bikes” I see on all the blogs? Though I’ve no idea where people keep finding all these gravel roads…