Monday, December 31, 2012


It's New Years and Party Time!!

Squatch Watch

Never Say Fred AKA Freds: A Scholarly Treatise

Great story from the mid-90's.   

By Chris Kostman
So it goes without saying, that, for me, anyone who rides a bike is alright, plain and simple. However, that doesn't mean that I'm blind to behavior that is inappropriate (for ease of comprehension, Fred-like), dangerous and/or damaging to cycling's image in the public eye. Fredish behavior, then, obviously includes such commonplace practices as running stop signs and red lights, riding against traffic, expecting cars to get out of your way, blowing past hikers and horses on the trails, and tossing flatted innnertubes on the side of the road, as if the world is your personal garbage dump.
However, these are just the tip of the Fredish iceberg. Fredism also manifests itself in less publicly damaging ways:
  1. Ceaselessly and vociferously itemizing the weight and cost of your newest titanium parts.
  2. Ignoring other cyclists on the road, riding hi-lessly, wavelessly, and nodlessly by, like some smug, self-righteous snob.
  3. Having a bike and gear worth ten times more than your activity level merits, such as riding at non-competitive events with disc wheels or tri-spokes.
  4. Riding on aero bars while drafting someone.
  5. Mouthing off about how dangerous aerobars are, while you're not even wearing a helmet.
  6. Dropping newcomers to your weekly ride, then never waiting for them to catch up. Worse yet, intentionally ditching a guest at your ride and leaving them lost in the farmlands of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  7. Wearing Oakleys around town, telling the uninitiated that you train with the national team, are a 'Neo-pro,' or plan to ride in the Tour next July.
  8. And finally, spending your spare hours name-calling other cyclists.

Read more: Never Say Fred AKA Freds: A Scholarly Treatise

Fred's Bike - never cool and sometimes cheap

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fred is a derisive term used by "serious" road cyclists to describe other cyclists who do not conform to serious road cyclists' norms with regard to dress and equipment, and appear amateurish to them. The term is generally reserved for men, while the female Fred is sometimes called a Wilma or Doris.
The exact qualities that define one as a "Fred" vary widely among regions and cyclists. The earliest two definitions used for the term are contradictory.
In the UK, an early usage of the word is the more common—used by 'serious' roadies (cyclists who ride racing bicycles, and may themselves participate in competitive events) to refer to (stereotypically) bearded, sandal-wearing, cyclists without any high-tech gear.[citation needed] These Freds are not generally total novice cyclists, and often ride fairly frequently. This usage still survives in the US. David Bernstein, presenter of The FredCast says the term is "used by 'serious' roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable 'freds' drop the 'serious' roadies on hills because the 'serious' guys were really posers."  More recently, particularly in the US, a Fred is more often somebody with higher quality and more expensive cycling equipment than his or her talent and commitment would warrant. For example, a stereotypical Fred by this definition would be an individual with little cycling experience who watches the highlights of a few Tour de France stages, then goes to a bike store and purchases a Trek carbon fiber Madone in Team Discovery colors, along with Team Discovery shorts and jersey. Thus outfitted with equipment virtually identical to that which Lance Armstrong used, far more expensive than that used by many high-standard racing cyclists, and more costly than many automobiles, the "Fred" then uses his bicycle merely to ride on a cycling path at 15 mph (24 km/h), something which even the most casual untrained cyclist can manage on an inexpensive hybrid bicycle. Some use "Fred" in a somewhat similar matter, but more synonymous with a roadie poseur. However, a Fred isn't necessarily someone who intentionally tries to put forth an image of being better or more knowledgeable than they are. Rather, a Fred is an inexperienced or unskilled cyclist who gets some top high-end or copy-cat racing gear for any reason. Unlike most poseurs, a Fred may still ride lacking some fundamental piece of competitive roadie equipment or style.
A third use of the term exists. In this usage, a "Fred" is a cyclist who has a ton of cycling gear, especially of the utilitarian "uncool" kind, like mirrors, powerful lights, fenders, bells/horns, heavy leather seats, racks, reflective gear, bags, baskets, etc. The gear and bike may be put together by kludgey homemade solutions, like duct-taped flashlights to the handlebar.[1] This type of Fred is a bike geek who likes/needs lots of gear (even if it is modified stuff not intended for bikes). Sacrificing some, or ignoring completely, concerns of speed or traditional roadie/sport cyclist style, these type of Freds are more concerned with practical concerns like comfort, safety, versatility, maintenance, being able to quickly transition to time and culture on/off the bicycle, etc. These cyclists may be well aware of their fredness, once they are aware of the concept, and often embrace it wholeheartedly.
Fred Birchmore

The roots of the term "Fred" are unclear, though some believe it originated from[2] a touring rider named Fred Birchmore from Athens, GA. In 1934-35, Birchmore rode around the world on a bicycle he named Bucephalus. Birchmore and Bucephalus traveled approximately 25,000 miles. Bucephalus is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.[3][4][5][6] In one famous incident while touring in Italy, Birchmore passed a bunch of racers during a race he had crossed paths with by chance. And despite going up hill on his loaded 50 pound non-racing bike, he passed the finish line well ahead of the racers. The cheering crowd at the finish line assumed him to be the winner of the race.

In addition to the Birchmore origin idea for "Fred," there also is a vague idea that there was an old grumpy touring rider named Fred (but probably not Birchmore) from which the term derived.[7]

The Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation

by George Washington; the original rules have been attributed to a 16th-century French etiquette-manual.
  • 1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
  • 2d When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered.
  • 3d Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
  • 4th In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
  • 5th Gentlemen lay with their things on the floor, not within a pile of like family members.
  • 6th If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkercheif or Hand before your face and turn aside.
  • 7th Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.
  • 8th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Drest.
  • 9th At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.
  • 10th Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.
  • 11th When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.
  • 12th Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
  • 13th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs rowl not the Eys lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.
  • 14th Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexteriously upon it if it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.
  • 15th Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one.
  • 16th Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Shewing any great Concern for them.
  • 17th Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.
  • 18th Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play'd Withal.
  • 19th Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unask'd also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.
  • 20th let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave.
  • 21st The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.
  • 22nd: Reproach none for the Infirmaties of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that have in mind thereof.
  • 23d Shew not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
  • 24th When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always shew Pity to the Suffering Offender.
  • 25th Do not laugh too loud or too much at any Publick Spectacle.
  • 26th Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremonie are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.
  • 27th In Pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen, Justices, Churchmen &c make a Reverence, bowing more or less according to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Person. Amongst your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.
  • 27th Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered as well as not to do it to whom it's due Likewise he that makes too much haste to Put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to Put it on at the first, or at most the Second time of being ask'd; now what is herein Spoken, of Qualification in behaviour in Saluting, ought also to be observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without Bounds is troublesome.
  • 28th If any one come to Speak to you while you are are Sitting Stand up tho he be your Inferiour, and when you Present Seats let it be to every one according to his Degree.
  • 29th When you meet with one of Greater Quality than yourself, Stop, and retire especially if it be at a Door or any Straight place to give way for him to Pass.
  • 30th In walking the highest Place in most Countrys Seems to be on the right hand therefore Place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to Honour: but if three walk together the middest Place is the most Honourable the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.
  • 31st If any one far Surpassess others, either in age, Estate, or Merit yet would give Place to a meaner than himself in his own lodging or elsewhere the one ought not to except it, So he on the other part should not use much earnestness nor offer it above once or twice.
  • 32d: To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the cheif Place in your Lodging and he to who 'tis offered ought at the first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness.
  • 33d They that are in Dignity or in office have in all places Preceedency but whilst they are Young they ought to respect those that are their equals in Birth or other Qualitys, though they have no Publick charge.
  • 34th It is good Manners to prefer them to whom we Speak before ourselves especially if they be above us with whom in no Sort we ought to begin.
  • 35th Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.
  • 36th Artificers & Persons of low Degree ought not to use many ceremonies to Lords, or Others of high Degree but Respect and highly Honour them, and those of high Degree ought to treat them with affibility & Courtesie, without Arrogancy.
  • 37th In Speaking to men of Quality do not lean nor Look them full in the Face, nor approach too near them at lest Keep a full Pace from them.
  • 38th In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not Knowing therein.
  • 39th In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place.
  • 40th Strive not with your Superiers in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.
  • 41st Undertake not to Teach your equal in the art himself Proffesses; it Savours of arrogancy.
  • 42d Let thy ceremonies in Courtesie be proper to the Dignity of his place with whom thou conversest for it is absurd to act the same with a Clown and a Prince.
  • 43d Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.
  • 44th When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not him that did it.
  • 45th Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought to be in publick or in Private; presently, or at Some other time in what terms to do it & in reproving Shew no Sign of Cholar but do it with all Sweetness and Mildness.
  • 46th Take all Admonitions thankfully in what Time or Place Soever given but afterwards not being culpable take a Time & Place convenient to let him him know it that gave them.
  • 47th Mock not nor Jest at any thing of Importance break no Jest that are Sharp Biting and if you Deliver any thing witty and Pleasent abstain from Laughing there at yourself.
  • 48th Wherein wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than Precepts.
  • 49th Use no Reproachfull Language against any one neither Curse nor Revile.
  • 50th Be not hasty to beleive flying Reports to the Disparagement of any.
  • 51st Wear not your Cloths, foul, unript or Dusty but See they be Brush'd once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any Uncleaness.
  • 52d In your Apparel be Modest and endeavour to accomodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashion of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.
  • 53d Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms kick not the earth with yr feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.
  • 54th Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if you be well Deck't, if your Shoes fit well if your Stokings sit neatly, and Cloths handsomely.
  • 55th Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.
  • 56th Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad Company.
  • 57th In walking up and Down in a House, only with One in Company if he be Greater than yourself, at the first give him the Right hand and Stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him, if he be a Man of Great Quality, walk not with him Cheek by Joul but Somewhat behind him; but yet in Such a Manner that he may easily Speak to you.
  • 58th Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for 'tis a Sign of a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion admit Reason to Govern.
  • 59th Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act agst the Rules Moral before your inferiours.
  • 60th Be not immodest in urging your Friends to Discover a Secret.
  • 61st Utter not base and frivilous things amongst grave and Learn'd Men nor very Difficult Questians or Subjects, among the Ignorant or things hard to be believed, Stuff not your Discourse with Sentences amongst your Betters nor Equals.
  • 62d Speak not of doleful Things in a Time of Mirth or at the Table; Speak not of Melancholy Things as Death and Wounds, and if others Mention them Change if you can the Discourse tell not your Dreams, but to your intimate Friend.
  • 63d A Man ought not to value himself of his Achievements, or rare Qualities of wit; much less of his riches Virtue or Kindred.
  • 64th Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no mans Misfortune, tho' there Seem to be Some cause.
  • 65th Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion.
  • 66th Be not forward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear and answer & be not Pensive when it's a time to Converse.
  • 67th Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commanding.
  • 68th Go not thither, where you know not, whether you Shall be Welcome or not. Give not Advice without being Ask'd & when desired do it briefly.
  • 69th If two contend together take not the part of either unconstrained; and be not obstinate in your own Opinion, in Things indiferent be of the Major Side.
  • 70th Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents Masters and Superiours.
  • 71st Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.
  • 72d Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime matters treat Seriously.
  • 73d Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.
  • 74th When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speech be ended.
  • 75th In the midst of Discourse ask not of what one treateth but if you Perceive any Stop because of your coming you may well intreat him gently to Proceed: If a Person of Quality comes in while your Conversing it's handsome to Repeat what was said before.
  • 76th While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.
  • 77th Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the Company of Others.
  • 78th Make no Comparisons and if any of the Company be Commended for any brave act of Vertue, commend not another for the Same.
  • 79th Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A Secret Discover not.
  • 80th Be not Tedious in Discourse or in reading unless you find the Company pleased therewith.
  • 81st Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach those that Speak in Private.
  • 82d undertake not what you cannot perform but be carefull to keep your promise.
  • 83d when you deliver a matter do it without passion & with discretion, however mean the person be you do it too.
  • 84th When your Superiours talk to any Body hearken not neither Speak nor Laugh.
  • 85th In Company of these of Higher Quality than yourself Speak not til you are ask'd a Question then Stand upright put of your Hat & Answer in few words.
  • 86th In Disputes, be not So Desireous to Overcome as not to give Liberty to each one to deliver his Opinion and Submit to the Judgment of the Major Part especially if they are Judges of the Dispute.
  • 87th Let thy carriage be such as becomes a Man Grave Settled and attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what others Say.
  • 88th Be not tedious in Discourse, make not many Digressigns, nor repeat often the Same manner of Discourse.
  • 89th Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.
  • 90th Being Set at meat Scratch not neither Spit Cough or blow your Nose except there's a Necessity for it.
  • 91st Make no Shew of taking great Delight in your Victuals, Feed not with Greediness; cut your Bread with a Knife, lean not on the Table neither find fault with what you Eat.
  • 92d Take no Salt or cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.
  • 93d Entertaining any one at table it is decent to present him wt. meat, Undertake not to help others undesired by the Master.
  • 94th If you Soak bread in the Sauce let it be no more than what you put in your Mouth at a time and blow not your broth at Table but Stay till Cools of it Self.
  • 95th Put not your meat to your Mouth with your Knife in your hand neither Spit forth the Stones of any fruit Pye upon a Dish nor Cast anything under the table.
  • 96th It's unbecoming to Stoop much to ones Meat Keep your Fingers clean & when foul wipe them on a Corner of your Table Napkin.
  • 97th Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.
  • 98th Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither Gaze about you while you are a Drinking.
  • 99th Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. Before and after Drinking wipe your Lips breath not then or Ever with too Great a Noise, for its uncivil.
  • 100th Cleanse not your teeth with the Table Cloth Napkin Fork or Knife but if Others do it let it be done wt. a Pick Tooth.
  • 101st Rince not your Mouth in the Presence of Others.
  • 102d It is out of use to call upon the Company often to Eat nor need you Drink to others every Time you Drink.
  • 103d In Company of your Betters be not longer in eating than they are lay not your Arm but only your hand upon the table.
  • 104th It belongs to the Chiefest in Company to unfold his Napkin and fall to Meat first, But he ought then to Begin in time & to Dispatch with Dexterity that the Slowest may have time allowed him.
  • 105th Be not Angry at Table whatever happens & if you have reason to be so, Shew it not but on a Chearfull Countenance especially if there be Strangers for Good Humour makes one Dish of Meat a Feast.
  • 106th Set not yourself at the upper of the Table but if it Be your Due or that the Master of the house will have it So, Contend not, least you Should Trouble the Company.
  • 107th If others talk at Table be attentive but talk not with Meat in your Mouth.
  • 108th When you Speak of God or his Atributes, let it be Seriously & wt. Reverence. Honour & Obey your Natural Parents altho they be Poor.
  • 109th Let your Recreations be Manfull not Sinfull.
  • 110th Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Krampus for Christmas?

 Surly Krampus

What Surly says about the Krampus:
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about fat bikes such as our Pugsley and Moonlander, bikes with massive 4 and 5˝ tires designed to crawl over and through unusual or difficult terrain. These types of bikes are all about stability, traction, and floatation.
The Krampus is not the same animal. True, it’s got bigger-than-usual tires (29 x 3˝ Knard tires on 50mm Rabbit Hole rims, to be exact), a platform we have dubbed “29+”. But as you may know, we’re not the kind of people to just throw on bigger-than-usual tires for no reason, or to attract attention. While the big tires are impossible to ignore, and do in fact offer increased traction and some degree of float, don’t assume that these big tires are only for slow speed crawling. The Krampus’s frame (geometry, tubing diameter and thickness) has been designed with a long toptube and as short a rear end as we could get away with. This, when combined with the big, wide tires, results in a mad amount of rolling inertia and grip. It can go real fast. It responds well to body English.
So Krampus rolls fast, holds speed, corners like it’s on rails, etc. At this point you may be thinking, “Wha? Surly make race bike?” Well no, not exactly. It’s still a Surly…durable, slightly overbuilt. It does exceedingly well rolling over all kinds of stuff, things you’d normally think you’d need suspension to tangle with. Krampus lives somewhere between bushwhacking, speed racing, and back lot dirt track riding, and all this makes it just plain fun to ride.

Monday, December 10, 2012

100km of Walnut Creek - Endurance Ride #1

54 riders started.  27 finished the 100k at Walnut Creek Metro Park in Austin Texas 

 Rigid Single Speed all the way!!

Walnut - Austin 6-pack Series

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Puzzled? Most People don't care.

For anybody that cares to solve the puzzle I hope this hasn't wasted your time.


Monday, December 3, 2012

The 650b freight train

Whether the industry knows what to call it yet is in doubt, but one thing is clear after spending a week with suppliers and product managers in Taiwan at the Taichung Bike Week: The midsized tire diameter is poised to soon dominate the bulk of the mountain bike market.
The wheel size is currently a rarity in most U.S. bike shops and even hard-core enthusiasts are just learning of its existence. But make no mistake, the change is not just speculation, marketing hype or wishful thinking; it's approaching like a freight train powered by some big checkbooks.
At least one major bike brand recently canceled a production run for a new 26-inch model just before the bike was set to go into production.

The 650b freight train | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

Mountain biking, one of safest sports today: Gary Fisher

Known worldwide as the father of mountain biking, Gary Fisher is a passionate advocate of the sport, which he says is much safer that other sporting activities such as soccer or fuel sports like motor racing.
On his maiden tour to India, Fisher says the country has probably one of the best natural habitats in the world to tempt the youth to “bomb down” off-road mountain trails.
“With mountain biking, the original reaction is like, are you crazy, that sounds insane. But with the advent of trek bikes which are practical and easy to ride the scenario has changed,” says Fisher who launched a premium bike by Firefox during his visit here.
While Firefox Bikes says it targets selling 3000 bikes per year of this collection, Fisher believes the sport has immense scope of exploration and appears to be popular in the corporate market as well.
“There are huge chances of one being hurt while playing soccer when a player hits the ball with his head but with the advent of new technology bikes mountain biking is comparatively safer,” he says.

Business Line : News / Sports : Mountain biking, one of safest sports today: Gary Fisher

Bat-inspired tech lets blind man ride mountain bike

A blind college student has successfully ridden a mountain bike down a trail with the help of bat-inspired technology that provides advanced warning of obstacles in the path so the rider can steer around them.
Dan Smith lost his sight a year ago due to Leber’s Optic Neuropathy, a rare condition that leads to loss of vision when cells in the optic nerve die, causing it to stop relaying information from the eyes to brain.

Bat-inspired tech lets blind man ride mountain bike - FutureTech on

Village Dirtbags collecting bikes

With a name that makes them sound less than upstanding, the Village Dirtbags has a holiday mission that reveals a patriotic spirit and heart of gold.
For the seventh year, the mountain biking enthusiasts are collecting bicycles and helmets for children of military members stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
“The guys really look forward to this,” organizer Roger McConnell said of the bicyclists who make up the group.
This year, they hope to give away as many as 125 bikes and helmets.
“I think we’re pretty close to that mark,” he said.
The Village Dirtbags — their motto is “More than cycling” — began the program by giving out 12 bikes the first year. In 2011, they handed out 100.

Village Dirtbags collecting bikes : Vandenberg