Friday, April 29, 2011


I popped into the shop down the road for a couple of spare tubes. It’s not a place where I spend much time or money. While it’s a polite enough place, the shop where I used to work is closer to home now than it was...and besides, there was that time this shop put the axle and spacers into Wheel’s rear hub facing the wrong direction....

Whatever. It’s less than a mile from home and for an immediate need, I go there.

After paying for the tubes, I did a quick scan of the women’s clothing section as I headed toward the door. It’s tough to shake evolution. Women are gatherers and have been for millennia. We scan our surroundings for color, shape and texture that catches our a bike shop that’s clothing, helmets, chainrings, SALE signs. Doesn’t matter.

I saw the jersey colors out of my peripheral vision and turned to look. My eyes stopped.


Not brass ones.

In the midst of the clothing rack rose a female mannequin whose nipples cast shadows.

The jersey it was sporting? No clue. It didn’t make an impression.

Typically the only nipples I zero-in on are on a rim. But these, I couldn’t NOT see. Instead of walking over to take a look at clothes, I walked out the door, pissed-off at what was being sold.

It's marketing, obviously to men. I don’t know about other women, but I don’t want my man to give me a jersey and dream of a plastic torso when he sees me wearing it.

While men comprise the largest segment of cycling-related purchases, there are women who are capable cyclists. We not only buy our own clothing, we buy our own equipment and can service it. Our men wouldn’t dream of attempting to buy equipment, much less clothing, for us because we’re that particular about sizing, materials and features. In clothing we want three deep pockets, a chamois that holds up over the long haul, and colors that appeal.

Do nipples draw women over to fondle the polyester? Creepy. Creepy enough to send me out the door.

To the shop manager: do you plan to feature a male mannequin at the top of the men’s rack? one with chiseled rod and balls sporting the latest men’s shorts? No?

Then ditch the nipples if you want women to hang-out and invest some dollars.

- OB with another reason not to go there....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The Fatback came to life on Easter Sunday. Coincidence?

I think a red bashring is a necessity.

Reflective bits

The look-Ma-no-hands pic.

Raw frame with clear coat...industrial chic.

Brownie Lake rogue path off the Cedar Lake Trail.

This is the kind of paved trail I used to avoid....

With the mtb. trails closed until things dry up, we've been pawing around local wooded patches and either side of the RR tracks to find some interesting riding. For a fat lady, she climbs like a dream and she's at her best on gravel, sand, grass and crappy trails. She hikes up her pantlegs and barrels over anything in her way. The hubs = effortless. This was THE only frame left in my size late in the season. Lucky me. I'm liking it.

- ob :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


My second bicycle life started somewhere in the early 90s. Several years prior I’d ripped out an article from Shape magazine: supported bicycle touring sounded like something I’d like to try someday. The article ended up in my desk drawer and the thought rolled around the back of my brain for years. In my early 30s I found myself prepping for the Oregon coast with a group of friends.

I headed to the LBS for a tuneup on an old Schwinn Grand Sport. I left the LBS with a new, lightweight, black Giant Prodigy. I liked the red bike...the blue bike, green one, yellow... but I bought the one with the best ride.

Since then I’ve had a variety of bicycles, many in black. At first I likened black to ninja, but over the years the idea has become less numchuk and more little black dress: it goes with anything. I’ve since expanded to silver/raw, since that’s neutral enough as well.

So, I’m now debating a Long Haul Trucker frame and fork. The blue frame is a nice look. But the other night as I was talking to the LBS dude, he and I both mentioned our affinity for black frames. My reason?

Black goes with anything, I said, thinking anodized bits and parts and kit.

A quick Sharpie and the scratches disappear, he said at the same time.

I like the way this guy thinks.

- ob hadn’t thought of that one

Saturday, April 02, 2011

No Worries!

Muscle Memory
says he

says I

- ob feelin' sluggish