Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day to day

Got the clothesline up. Now the dryer sits as idle as my car, only getting used under similar circumstances of inclement weather.

Hummingbirds arrived on the 12th as always. Also as usual, it was one sighting of one male. Over the next couple of weeks we will see more and more.

Fuel prices and the bad economy have had the usual stimulating effect on the bike business. Unfortunately, that also means the business will become more competitive, as those who survived the collapse of the mountain bike boom seek to resuscitate their fortunes. A lot of familiar voices have returned to the radio in ads, as bike vendors push their wares. Can price wars and unwanted "innovation" be far behind?

The early-1990s mountain bike was the perfect platform for consumer bikes. A knowledgeable shop could turn it into whatever form a particular customer needed. It may not have been the perfect tool for thrashing down a rough trail at racing speeds, but the vast majority of riders had no interest in that at all. Nor did they want some comatose "comfort bike." And if they did, we could build it on the same platform we could tweak for the intrepid explorer to play in rougher stuff.

No matter. That's all gone now. Consumers at all levels have been brainwashed to think they need suspension. Shifting systems have turned into an endless acid trip.

The day job has a way of expanding to obliterate everything else. Cycling's a good cause to support, but it's just one line of effort among many.

At least the weather's nice.

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