Why Haven’t I Ordered My Wednesday, Yet? Part 1

The Surly Wednesday comes with, “front and rear thru-axles”.

What the heck is a Thru Axle?? This DiyMountainBike.com web page, What is the difference between a Quick Release and Thru Axle? answered my questions.

In the early 90’s I raced triathlons on a DaVinci time trial frame. This bike had style and class. It was fast, responsive, and reliable, at least as reliable as a skinny tired road bike could be. It also had quick release hubs, NOT THROUGH AXELS, because Campi hadn’t invent one.

Tullio Campagnolo (26 August 1901 – 3 February 1983) invented the quick release hub out of personal frustration with the standard hubs in 1923. Campanolo was having a day of it on his ride up the passo Croce d’Aune. Back then, you had to flip your wheel around to change gears since each side had a single sprocket. Unbolting and reinstalling the wheel was a pain, especially with cold, wet fingers. Changing gears should not be difficult and physical pain painful.

A must watch video re-enactment: How Hard Did Cycling Used To Be? [Modern Cyclist, Retro Bike, Classic Climb] on GCN’s [Global Cycling Network] YouTube channel. Ollie, the reenactor describes the results of his mid-climb gear change as, “Positively Magical.” #scarcasm. His new rear cog was a single tooth larger.

Tullio Campagnolo’s invention would remain standard bicycle hardward for 80 years, so why would a bike manufacturer BRAG about using inferior, non-Campi-based designs? Who do these Fat Bike people think they are?

Time to take a step back and follow my own Rule #1, “Don’t doubt the engineer until you have a look at his plans.” At least try to grasp the problem he is attempting to solve before you pretend an understanding greater than his. This DiyMountainBike.com web page answered my through hub questions.

Positively Magical.

Part 2 (Tubes or Tubeless?)

[sonnet] Into the Dark

Into the dark I walk before the sun
has set her feet upon the coming day.
I am her progeny, her brightest son,
my head held level with each newborn ray.
Each rhythmic step extends a foot to span
an emptiness unseen, each step an act
of faith that solid Earth awaits, that Man
in time will once again confirm as fact
the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.
On muffled owlish wing a stream of thoughts,
as distant rumbling thunder, answer laud
to life's unending, questing astronauts.
Against the dark auroral lights are seen.
Against the silence ringing steps do glean.

Paul Guernsey, © 2020

The Etiquette of Walking Downwind

Before I left home in 1977 to become an exchange student in Sweden, Mom gave me a book of etiquette. There was a paragraph on sidewalks, and on which side men and women should pass. The man was supposed to pass on the street side to protect the woman from splashes from the road or other traffic related dangers.

But these days, the Wuhan virus presents a potentially more ominous threat. The question of etiquette has become, “Who should walk downwind?” Should men still wear the role of protector, despite the virus’ apparent propensity to be more dangerous for the male gender?

My answer, “Of course we should.” Etiquette is based on tradition and culture and civility. It never went out of style for a man to open a door for a woman. It was never about weakness vs. strength. Etiquette has always been a matter of Respect, as well as a prepackaged set of solutions to a myriad of potentially confusing daily human interactions, like this one. Civility. Respect. Some things are more import even than our own health.

Non-Social Distancing

What was it like before, a few short weeks ago when public contagion was not the only topic on the news? Were we a friendlier people then? No, but then our faces passed with sufficient closeness to discern the colors of each other’s eyes. We passed each other on the way with nods of recognition or the curls of smiles on our lips. Nothing more than civility and manners expressed in joint respect for those with whom we share a bit of space for just a breath of time.

We Are Here

We are here, both you and I,
and we shall pass in peace,
as busily we fill our separate days
with striding forward toward 
our not indifferent ends.

We have been emphatically and emperiously asked to maintain a six foot buffer between ourselves and others while in public. This is wise, good, and voluntarily we comply, but the act of walking out of our way to avoid a fellow human strikes a blow to civility. We cast a shaddow of shame or feel ashamed ourselves, or both. So, now the nod, the brightened lifted face are not enough to overcome the added distance we have put between our faces. Social Distancing requires now addition of a verbal cue, a crisp, “Hello!” “Good morning!” in addition to the smile.

I step around you now with widened berth, but not because I think you harbor any threat. Well, yes, I do, but know it isn’t you. So, trying to make up for less than social distancing, I say, “Hello!” to each and every one of you I skirt. I wear an even broader smile just let you know, “I see you and we’re all in this together aren’t we?” Gladly I extend these Collateral Benefits,* for just as good and wise it is to lift your heart, to sweep away the fear as ever it was to keep you at arms’ length.

Paul Guernsey, © 2020


*Collateral Benefits: a term coined by Hans Eisenman on his 2020/03/28 Facebook post [from @TheSconeAge]:
‘I’m officially coining a new (?) term: #ColateralBenefits thanks to the coronavirus.
Example: a lot of people we run into seem friendlier than usual right now. They make eye contact a bit more as if to say “I see you and we’re all in this together aren’t we?”
What collateral benefits have you noticed, if any?’
– Hans Eisenman

Born on a Wednesday, and Born to ride One

Josh Patterson‘s “Surly Wednesday review” is just the comparison I needed to decide between the Wednesday and Surly‘s Ice Cream Truck. My mind is now made up. I was born on a Wednesday, and born to ride one. Here are the boxes Patterson’s review helped me check:

“The Wednesday is a very different machine. Yes, it’s still a heavy weight, at 35.2lb / 16kg, but it’s better suited to the type of riding the average rider is looking to do. ” [✓]

“With the axle pushed back in the track ends, the Wednesday can fit 4.6″ tires, 95% as wide as the ICT’s stock 4.8” Bud & Lou.” Close enough. [✓]

“The narrower bottom bracket stance gives the Wednesday a noticeably narrower Q-factor. ” [✓]

Plus, a couple things I figured all on own:

$1550 [22% less than the $2000 ICT] [✓]

Blue Monday is a great color and matches my new Ford Ranger. [✓]

The F-Word

[Question]
What is it with you and the F-word? [0] You’re just like my father the way you object to it.

[Answer]
The F-word is coarse. It debases everything around it, but mostly its user.

If art is the process of communicating ideas or feelings, [1] the F-word is the artistic equivalent of a slap in the face. The quality of doing, the process [2] employed by its user is a brute force attempt to infuse importance into the idea or feeling communicated. The word’s intent is to startle and shock the listener into agreement. This is not Understanding. It is Acquiescence [3] in the face of unwarranted forceful emotion. It is disparaging, disrespectful and dismissive of the listener’s choice to evaluate the communication and assign his own importance to it.

Users of the F-word, please know this: Upon hearing its use I apply a Reductive Filter to the whole communication, including its source, stripping them of any unearned importance or validity. Additional points are taken off for repetition and increased volume.

Paul Guernsey © 2020


[0] applies also to most curse words.

[1] art 1. something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings; a piece of modern/contemporary art; It’s a remarkable picture, but is it art? 4. an activity that is done to create something beautiful or to express important ideas or feelings
http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/art

[2] “Art resides in the quality of doing; process is not magic.” – Charles Eames
https://www.treehugger.com/culture/eames-appreciation-world-through-common-objects.html

[3] Acquiescence: passive acceptance or submission
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquiescence

Come Ride with Me

Come ride with me. Come ride,
    and be my shotgun gal.
Come ride Chibola's hills,
    re-blaze the Beefsteak Trail*.

Come map with me the scrub-land,
    the ponderosa pine,
the juniper and pinyons,
    Apache plume come find.

Come ride the dirt and dust and stone
    where cattle guards still reign,
where "speed bump" means the washboard gravel
    on the road up from the Plain**.

Paul Guernsey, © 2020


*Beefsteak Trail – a “cattle trail in the United States, stretching 125 miles westward from Magdalena, NM.”

“While miners combed the mountains for mineral riches during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, stockmen drove tens of thousands of sheep and cattle to stockyards at the village of Magdalena, then linked by rail with Socorro.[14] In fact, the last regularly used cattle trail in the United States stretched 125 miles westward from Magdalena. The route was formally known as the Magdalena Livestock Driveway, but more popularly known to cowboys and cattlemen as the Beefsteak Trail. The trail began use in 1865 and its peak was in 1919. The trail was used continually until trailing gave way to trucking and the trail official closed in 1971.”
[Reference (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cibola_National_Forest)%5D

**The Plains of San Agustine
[Reference ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plains_of_San_Agustin ) ]
[Reference ( https://www.trails.com/us/nm/datil/plains-of-san-augustin-the-beefsteak-trail-magdalena-to-apache-creek ) ]

[blank renku] My Song

My song is hopeful for the notes to come.
An optimist at heart whose rhythmic beats
Subside as waves retreat to clear the beach
For those that follow next on next to come.

tonal melody
enchanted trance of progress
never ending song

The patterns of my soul, myself, I sing.
Unheard, unknown until the string is struck,
A fearless measured stream impulsed from depths
Within me and without me, too, I feel
I listen just as much as sing and play.

Paul Guernsey, © 2020

Blank Renku

Haibun Monday 4/27/20: A Portrait of Two Masters

What is Prose Poetry?

What is Prose Poetry?

Prose Poetry is not poetry, at all. It remains prosaic by its lack of verse, though may be a more artistic, creatively written prose. Poetry lives in the land of verse, and verse[1] requires more than arbitrarily inserted line breaks. Prosists seek, by name alone, ascent to the more regal esteem in which poetry has for millennia been held. This is a usurpation and a stolen valor.

Let prose be prosaic.

Let poetry be verse.

Let the writer’s axe of art be swung, and the chips fall where they may.

Paul Guernsey, The Guern © 2020


[1] verse A metrical composition. The word verse is traditionally thought to derive from the Latin versus, meaning a “line,” “row,” or “furrow.” The metaphor of “plough” for “write” thus dates to antiquity. Verse is metrical writing. The poet disturbs language, arranging words into lines, into rows, turning them over, turning them toward each other, shaping them into patterns, Metrical writing is a way of charging sound, of energizing syllables and marking words, of rhythmically marking time. Such formal writing is markedly and perhaps even metaphysically different from prose. …The term verse is also used to refer to a single line of poetry, or to a single stanza, especially of a hymn or song. – Edward HirschA Poet’s Glossary