Shoulda Coulda Wood-a


After the publication yesterday of my cloyingly smug Outside column about the joys of riding super early in the morning:

(Yeah, I just plugged it again, so what?)

I set my alarm for a super-early ride this morning.  However, I must have turned it off in my seep, and by the time I finally woke up it was too late to ride.

So much for that.

I also took a lazy and gauche mid-day ride yesterday, so clearly I’m reverting to schlub mode just as we move into prime morning riding season.  And it was on my ride that I saw this kludge-tastic skateboard deck fairing:

It’s hard to see because I didn’t feel like squeezing past the parked car, but there’s also a fender made of two (2) skateboard deck tails on the back of the bike:

Speaking of wood, I was also on the Renovo:

Which I hadn’t ridden for awhile owing to the fact that until a couple days ago we’ve been subjected to a near-constant soaking from above and I’d been riding my bike that was already dirty:

Having now shuffled the Renovo into my deck of bicycles I’ve had ample opportunity to compare it to the others (if you’re wondering about my one-bike resolution I promise a full accounting at the end of the year) and at the risk of sounding like a douchebag (oh, who am I kidding, I’ve been sounding like a douchebag for 11 years now) I think I’m finally buying into Renovo’s claims:

Renovos have an unequaled smooth ride. This is because vibration is absorbed by the wood itself, enhanced by our designs where appropriate.

Well, okay, I shouldn’t say “buying,” since there’s no way I’d spend ten grand on anything I couldn’t live in (and no, I’m not becoming RV Snob), but going from bike to bike it does ride really, really nicely in comparison.  I also can’t discount the wood’s role in all this since it rode more or less just as nicely with a pair of cheapo Shimano wheels.  Really, the biggest problem I have with the bike now (apart from the single bottle cage, which I’ll keep mentioning forever) is that it feels too damn fancy–I just look down at that woodgrain and I can’t relax completely.  It’s kind of like walking around in a pair of new shoes you’re afraid to scuff.  I mean there’s no reason the Renovo shouldn’t get gouged and notched like a bar or a stairway handrail, but despite my forced irreverence I still harbor an Inner Fred who remains overprotective of certain velocipedal items, especially when they’re expensive.  So I should probably just take my own advice and ghostride it off a flight of steps to get it banged up a little bit.

As for the parts, they’re all holding up well.  Since last November I’ve only charged the Di2 once, in early March, and it still seems to have plenty of juice.  The crabon wheels remain true, and the braking remains noisy, but not unbearably so.  (Seems to depend at least partially on atmospheric conditions.)  The Continental Grand Prix Whatever-Number-They’re-Up-To-Now have also held up well, though I’m going to change them soon to 25s to see if that increases the sumptuousness factor at all.  And I like the handlebar shape, but still not the fact that the tops are bare.  (When the bars need re-taping I’ll wrap them all the way up, but since the current tape is that Lizard Skins stuff I don’t expect it to wear out until roughly 2032.)

So yeah, I’m a pathetic middle-aged club racer on an expensive wooden bicycle and I’ve got absolutely no problem with that.

Of course the only thing left to do now is compare the Renovo to a state-of-the-art high-end crabon road bike, but the chances of my either buying one or receiving one gratis are virtually nil.

Finally, they’ve deleted it now, but the LAPD had some advice for cyclists recently:

The above is a screenshot from a Twitter thread, and it’s a shame it doesn’t include the complete photo because it showed that the car was in the bike lane with a crushed bicycle beneath it.

So yes, a reminder to cyclists to wear helmets, but no reminder to motorists not to drive in the bike lane or run over any of the cyclists they might find in said bike lane.

Got it.