I'm bad at bike maintenance. (I like to start these newsletters with honesty and introspection, haha)
I mean, I know how. I used to have a bike shop ; ) I actually like re-packing bearings, cleaning and preserving the various components that make my bike work well. But, despite that, each bicycle I own has had a hard life.
Whenever someone sees the gnarly patina all of bikes possess, I always joke: "it's a tool, not a jewel".
Sure, my passion for frames built by builders that I personally know + working in the industry off and on for nearly 15 years means that I have some fancy bikes with fancy bits. Hell, each builder (looking at you Sacha from Vanilla, Aaron of 611, Jordan Hufnagel, Lester of Lester Cycles, and Stephen Bilenky), has been thrilled about the wild stuff I've done with the frames they've built. After all, these tubes were welded to get radical not hang on a wall because it's too valuable. (...ok, brazed, I know, but 'welded' sounded cooler, though the temperature to braze is actually lower when welding but I digress)
Do my bikes (or yours?) deserve meticulous maintenance (maybe!) or is there an honour in being used & abused, rusted and busted from travels across countries, cultures, countless terrains and even everyday not even that arduous endeavours? Be it bikepacking, track racing, crits, gravel riding, commuting or just being repeatedly packed for flights for going on 8 years like my 611, I always bring my bike and I've been always glad that I did.
This article uses the phrase about a camera being a tool and not a jewel and similarly, had I not had the same philosophy about my bikes, there are countless moments that I would have missed, friendships never made and a life never lived. I'm grateful but you're thinking #yourbikehatesyou, I know.
So as we all cope with the heavy atmosphere of doom & gloom permeating our daily lives, I'm simply saying: try to remember what is a tool and not actually a jewel. Could be anything you own, put it to use! Well worn is always better than lazy! ; )
Thank you for reading! I hope you have a great weekend ahead,
Header image from 2020's @gravel_fondo in the #pfälzerwald by Frank of @shutuplegs.de.
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Ampler Stellar review: The most beautiful electric bicycle that doesn’t even look like an e-bike
Elegant design and high-quality European manufacturing combine to create the Ampler Stellar, a beautiful and well-made electric bicycle designed to get you cycling all over the city.
We're proud to have gotten this wonderful review in Electrek for Ampler!
Danny MacAskill: VR Experience
Danny MacAskill and RIDE OUT Bicycle Store in Amsterdam have teamed up to create a world first virtual reality experience. Looks fun!
Lachlan Morton Wins Badlands 2020 in Just Over 43 hours
Mega Congratulations to Lachlan Morton winning the 700km Badlands 2020 race in just over 43 hours. Find details and photos via the link!
PandaDoc Employees Arrested in Belarus After Founders Protest Against Violence
On September 2, 2020 four PandaDoc employees in Belarus were arrested and are currently being held without cause.
Scary stuff affecting the team of an app Twotone has uses for years. It looks like their website was taken down, here is the scoop. Will a similar story unfold in the USA in November?
Quality is what makes you future-proof
A thinly veiled article by Boris to promote TNW's upcoming online event but some good examples of staying quick on your feet as a company to adapt to change.
Your Responsibility as a Manager is to Hire 7 People
Managers who hire those seven people - either from talent inside the company or outside the company - will be more effective.
Seven does seem to be a magic number, what do you think?
Speaking of hiring, my friend Ashley shared this growth marketing opening at Dealroom with me.
Give yourself permission to be creative
from Laura Olin's wonderful newsletter:
"And if history has taught us anything the world is an extremely unreliable critic." Sorry for linking to a TED thing but I make exceptions for Ethan Hawke talking about art and creativity in full "Before" trilogy mode as the greasy middle-aged philosopher king he was always meant to be even when he was young and beautiful.
Only 9 mins! Worth a peek to end your week!
The Privileged Have Entered Their Escape Pods
As the climate crisis unfolds and corona lingers in the daily lives of everyone in various ways depending on the country you live in, this story's mention of the "ethics of bailing" (emigrating) and "shame about escaping." stuck with me. (The art is so sick too)
I kinda know what he means, I had this feeling when I left Atlanta 7 years ago. Though, I've always maintained: if you can find a better life elsewhere, do it.
The Myth of the Great Bike Savior
Outdoor recreation can be a lifeline for rural economies, but the industry has also benefited from the erasure of Indigenous peoples from their lands.
Props to Patagonia for striving to keep it real!
Border Bash Bound This Week!
As I send this, I'm on an east-bound train heading back to the Bohemian - Saxony Switzerland National Park on the borders of Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland for 2nd annual The Bohemian Border Bash!
I'll be taking over the @bbb_camp while I'm there, so stay tuned for action from the event this weekend!