Gravel Compatibility Is This Decade's NJS


I had the craziest dream after watching “Black Mirror” last night:

I woke up screaming, but my horror turned to delight when I fired up my personal computer and discovered that someone is Kickstarting the crabon tire lever of my dreams:

For far too long we’ve been forced make do with utterly reliable tire levers made from inferior lightweight, durable, and inexpensive nylon.  We’ve longed to experience crabon’s fabled lateral stiffness and vertical compliance whilst prying our tire beads from our rims.  Now our day has finally come–and best of all, they’re GRAVEL COMPATIBLE!

Everybody knows the geometry of traditional tire levers is completely inappropriate for use with gravel tires, and that attempting to remove a gravel tire with such a lever can result in injury or even death.  How many cyclists have to die when they’re gravel-specific tires and rims reject their standard tire levers and send them flying like arrowheads right into riders’ hearts and jugulars?  In fact, I’m pretty sure it was just such an ill-advised flat-repair attempt that caused the injury necessitating all this crazy tape:

After all, it was Archimedes who said:

Funny how people always leave off the most important part of the quote–though I suppose it’s the same for most platitudes:

Even those of a more recent vintage:

Eddy Merckx worship is a warning sign of terminal Fredness, right up there with using boutique embrocations and wearing Rapha sunglasses:

Interestingly, much of this review was about the thrilling experience of opening and holding the glasses, with very little information about what it’s like to actually wear them while riding:

Instead, open the black rectangular tin and lift out the glasses by the rubberized grips on their arms—arms that feel exceptionally sturdy despite being a smidge wider than a cocktail straw. Next, set aside the fleecy protective case, then unfold the information sheet and read it. 

Apart from an obligatory sentence about the “clarity of the lens,” and of course this:

You might even catch the curious glances of fellow riders who may or may not comment on the bold statement the sunglasses make and who may or may not silently resolve to keep refreshing the Rapha site until the often sold-out Flyweights are back in stock.

And if they do comment, it’s likely to be something along the lines of “How can you see through all that Euro-cheese?”

Speaking of Euro-cheese, there is life after pro cycling…and it’s the “thug life:”

Yes, where do you go from winning the Vuelta a España?  Why, robbing a mobile phone store, of course!

The 41-year-old was arrested early Tuesday morning “next to the property where the window had just been broken,” according to diarioinformacion.com. He claimed to have not been involved, and put the blame “on the person who accompanied him, whom he had met that night while they were partying.” He said that this other person broke the glass and then fled the scene.

Just another caper to add to his already impressive palmarès and/or rap sheet:

His first arrest came in 2007, for driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. A year later he was arrested for hiring three people to beat up someone who owed him money. That was followed in 2011 with an arrest for a bank scam.

Though in fairness to him, given the state of pro cycling in 2002, he probably broke far fewer laws during his post-career crime spree than he did in pursuit of that Vuelta win.  Indeed, by cycling standards he’s got a fair amount of integrity, and if he keeps up the good work he’ll probably be UCI president by 2020.

(Warning: contains both an auto-play video and frequent misspelling of “pedal” as “peddle”…both of which you should expect by now from local TV news websites.)

Basically the victim was accompanying a paraplegic hand-cyclist during a charity ride, and so the driver rammed him from behind for riding too slowly:

However, the man still blared his horn at the cyclists. Sullivan went back and explained to the driver that Northbrook is a paraplegic and can’t go that fast because he hand-peddles his bike.


“‘We’ve gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I’ll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'” Sullivan said he told the man. “Completely agitated, he says to me, ‘I don’t care if it’s f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'”


Sullivan said that’s when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck’s driver accelerated and hit Sullivan’s bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.


Sullivan sustained several injuries.

Needless to say, the cops were ON IT:


“Just at that moment, coming in the opposite direction, is a cyclist who happens to be an off-duty Oceanside police officer,” said Sullivan.


Sullivan said the officer called 911 and Carlsbad police arrived to speak with the truck’s driver. However, the man wasn’t arrested and was allowed to drive away.

Sure, he was wearing his helmet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t victim-blame, because I’m sure this never would have happened had he been equipped with a pool noodle.