This blog features new additions to the Galleries. If you want to know when the Current Classic, Singlespeed, Cyclocross or Working Bike Galleries receive updates, you can check back here, "follow" this blog by using the link below right, or subscribe to this blog's RSS feed.

Most of the time, I'll highlight one of the new entries from the batches - don't take that to mean it's better or the others are worse. It's just that when I went to post those entries, one caught my attention at that time and place.

This won't be my main venue for online nattering - ride reports, technical stuff and whatever tangents capture my brain will show up over on the "Ramblings" blog, so you ought to wander over there. If you want to see what I've been writing about, there's a feed down at the bottom of this page which has the most recent posts from that blog.

If you have found your way here looking for things about Rivendell Bicycle Works (, I am the moderator of the RBW Owner's Bunch group over on google groups. That is a discussion of Rivendell bicycles and their products, but you can learn more about that here.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Site Stirrings

Best laid plans and all of that stuff...

Creative work is a funny thing.  You need to be patient but not passive. Driven but not mindless. You need to set a direction and speed, but honor the unexpected and embrace those shifts which clarify. 

But stepping too far from the original impetus for action often causes a sudden loss of momentum.  The reverse slingshot effect as when you fall just outside the protected slipstream on a fast group ride. 

Which is kinda where this whole project currently sits.

With the acceleration of other efforts and focus over that last year or few, it kinda got spat out the back and is now just poking along by itself.  There are a litany of excuses, which are all, ultimately merely excuses.   I guess that means that it just doesn't matter how things got derailed.  That doesn't mean I won't mention them now and again.  It just means that they are getting examined and articulated without a lot of value judgement upon them.  The question just keeps coming back to "what now"?

That's what has me a bit stumped.  The internet, the web, online, social media have all changed dramatically since this project began (itself the morphing of a reasonably unrelated project itself.)  There are venues such as Pinterest which didn't even exist when this started.  Flickr has gone through a chunk-o-changes.  The very nature of online discussion has morphed, acted upon by the major magnetic poles of twitter and facebook.

All of which I use, of course.  So I'm not against any one of those ideas by itself - say the way I'm reasonably unimpressed by disc brakes on road bikes.  They all have their places and their strengths.

That thought has me thinking about precisely what the strength of the galleries is. And few things I really like about it include:

  • the "hands-on" nature of it - the fact that someone had to site down and deliberately choose 5 images which captured their bicycle.  
  • that the layout is simple and stark, with the emphasis on the bike and the words in each gallery, rather than the slickness of the frame. 
  • the unexpected friendships which have come from the interactions of receiving, processing and posting the photos.  
  • the 2009 Calendar project.  

It would probably make sense to mention the things I didn't like.  But, those really don't come to mind.  Most of the "not likes" have to do with frustration at not posting my way through the backlog.  Of there being a few folks who have patiently waited for their bikes to be posted, or updated or have errors in their listing fixed.  And while there are "reasons" those things didn't occur, ultimately those are the types of excuses which I mentioned at the outset of this post.  But, they do bug me. 

They also cease to matter once action begins again.  So, there's that.

I'm also reconsidering the scope and focus of things.  This blog - - was originally going to only focus on the new listings in the galleries.  I'd played with some methods of generating an RSS of the four gallery update pages, but none of them worked particularly well.  And though I still use and enjoy RSS, it's become a slightly neglected aspect of design and implementation in the broader sense these days. (Though I'll just pause a second here to say that feedly has happily replaced the retired google Reader.   It's not the same, but has taken what I like about RSS and incorporated some slick, intuitive interface design.)  It's ended up with a more varied set of posts - again, mostly because there just haven't been any posts to share. 

My other blog - has chugged along.  There's almost 500 posts there.  But, the technology of very much off the back. Again, back in  I should probably just bite the bullet and shift over to a wordpress-based setup. Back in 2005, it was a nice benefit of my hosting company to include the blogging option, but the interface hasn't really gotten a face lift for way too long.  And I haven't slapped on the coveralls and dug under the hood in at least 2 or three.  It gets an ungodly amount of spam comment attempts - one of the benefit of being active since 2005 - but lacks anything remotely resembling a useful blocking tool. 

The Ramblings blog has always been about more personal thoughts and topics, ride reports and such.  I do like that separation and it's likely it will continue.  For some reason, I've been a harsher editor there in the past year.  Much of what got written didn't make the cut to be posted.  Doesn't necessarily mean that what got posted was all that good, of course.   Just that the stuff which got trashed was probably trying too hard, or read too forced, or just caught me wrong when I went back through it. 

Or it was just that I was trying to make it do too much.  Like voice acting, sometimes it ends up much better if you just let it roll.  Which is really the only step that matters right now.

Thanks for being patient!   Here's to the new year!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Little Year-End Tease from Rivendell

This cropped up via the RBW Group a day ago.  It's actually the photo which finally got me to join Instagram, but that's a whole different tangent.  Just an orange downtube (or orange wrap-around decal - we don't know which...) with part of a few letters.

But, scrolling down the comments a bit, rivbike states, "It's our new gender neutral mixte for the masses. we'll have some photos of it built on the Blug soon"

Can't wait to see more!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Get on a Bike with MCBC

Earlier in the year, I spent the latter half of a day with some other riders, being filmed around the MMWD watershed - finally saw the result!  Nice video on the varied cycling and culture in Marin County.  My "cameo" is at 6 minutes when the camera follows me  on the Bridgestone singlespeed, then another quick clip at 9:52 (I'm the guy in the middle there).   There was a boom shot on the Lagunitas dam which didn't make the cut - but these things happen.

Get on a bike with MCBC from John Vigran on Vimeo.
A short film about the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC), advocates for cycling in Marin County, California by filmmaker John Vigran, and

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bay Area Bike Theft Victims Band Together

This one from a story by KPIX Channel 5 -

One slightly "optimistic" bike owner (at least as far as a rack which "can't be moved"), and there's no way that a 12 year old Bianchi CDI (which sold for under a grand when new) is worth "several thousand dollars" - honestly, $300 would be about right for one. 

I wish they had given a bit more detail about the bike theft reporting websites.  So, here's that info:

google groups Bay Area Stolen Bikes!forum/stolen-bicycles-bay-area

flickr pool - "Bikes at Bay Area Flea Markets"

east bay bicycle coalition's theft page

plattyjo's good blog post with more info

Thursday, February 21, 2013

FOCC Update - China Camp State Park

There had been quiet and quick construction around the arteries of China Camp State Park of late.  Weird little solar-powered boxes and new signs.  All of which burst to life a week or two ago, jostling anyone who entered the trails for some spare change. 


By the time these had appeared, I was already in possession of my FOCC (Friends of China Camp) Annual Pass - available here - of course, the first few times I hit the trails, the pass was sitting safely on my desk at home... thank goodness I had a smartphone image of it on hand.

Paying for these trails brings up a host of thoughts, of course.  But, with the recent California budget crunches, one of the options which was being considered involved closing State Parks.  Which pretty much sucks. And is probably reasonably unenforceable for a lot of geographical reasons.  I mean, if you have no one on the payroll to patrol the park, how are you going to keep people out?  Fencing is not cheap, and would probably cost more than the operating budget of most parks.  

What happened at China Camp State Park has been reasonably well documented - here's an early article from 2012 in the Marin IJ - -  and the newest edition of's Pedal Press has a decent overview article starting on page 10 (pdf download).

But it comes down to a pretty simple test - the trails are open, accessible and funded. 

Yay, FOCC!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Two Brooks Blogs With a Rivendell Twist

Ha - I seem to be on a Rivendell-referencing jag of late, but hey - when you are retuning and laying in a base, it's best to go with the proven...

Anyway -
For your Friday amusement, a couple of links to the Brooks Saddles (& Stuff) Blog -

Grant Petersen – “Short Rides Beat Long Rides”

Photo - courtesy of  Reno Rambler

"The most underrated ride in all of cycling is the shortie, the opposite-of-epic neighbourhood ride that beats walking but doesn’t make you sweat or hurt. The kind of ride kids and non-cyclists do out of need; the kind of ride you gave up when you got serious and came under the influence of racing."

(original and complete article)

And I was much chagrined to see that I had missed this event in its entirety.  But, other things were happening through December which had my attention.  But, I did enjoy this vicarious evening at Huckleberry in S.F.

Dashing Bicycle Show, San Francisco

Grant Petersen holds forth before the gathered throng at Huckleberry Bicycles

Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycles was on hand to fill in the blanks at Huckleberry Bicycles
The Brooks Dashing Bicycle Show kicked off this past December in San Francisco, California with an evening party at host shop Huckleberry Bicycles, bringing together a group of stylish, functional and unique brands from all over the world to showcase the finest in urban and transportation cycling.
Photo by Matthew Reamer, courtesy of Momentum Mag.

(original and complete article)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jay Bird Films: Rivendell People

Nice film from Jay-now-of-Arizona-who-used-to-be-Jay-At-Rivendell.  Jay Bird Films presents "Rivendell People".  Nice use of about 30 minutes of your time.  GP called it a "Rivideo"...

Rivendell People from Jay Bird Films on Vimeo.

Monday, November 05, 2012

RBW Pubic Bone Height Measurement How-to Video

Another in the low key and totally cool series of Rivendell instructional videos.

Wonderful music, stylin' graphics... The only sad thing (well, other than lacking a professional voice actor) was that the famous RBWHQ&L stump did not get a starring (or even a walk-on) role... Ahh well!


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Grant Petersen and "Just Ride" Talk - This Sunday

For those of you who missed it, Grant Petersen (of Rivendell Bicycle Works) recently published a book called "Just Ride: "  He's been on a bit of a whirlwind book tour through several states, but has returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and will be speaking at the Warming Hut on Chrissy Field (near the Golden Gate Bridge) this Sunday, June 10.

It should be an enjoyable opportunity to meet and hang with one of the folks in the bicycle biz who has an astute sense of design, history and need. 

For more information -

To Buy the Book -

Publisher info -

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

San Francisco Randonneurs June Populaire - This Weekend!

Wow! Where did the time go?  This Saturday, June 2nd is the (hopefully rain-free) running of the San Francisco Randonneurs' Summer Populaire.

Owing to rain, the March 31st Populaire had a small, but very enthusiastic group of riders. To share the enthusiasm under potentially better weather, the SF Randonneurs added another Populaire on  June 2nd.

Please consider joining SFR for the Populaire on Saturday, June 2nd. If you haven't ridden with us in a while, this is the perfect opportunity to rejoin us. If you are looking for a ride to keep your momentum going between longer rides, this ride is perfect and will still leave you most of the afternoon for other events. Come on out and join us, and bring a friend or two.

Newcomers to brevets and randonneuring more than welcome as well!  You'll seldom find a nicer group of folks with whom to while away the time.  It's a great way to learn about brevet cards and controlles and route finding/following.

Registration can be done here:

or here: