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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.
I stole this from Speedgoat's Interbike blog coverage (which, as usual, is not what it sounds like) because it is very, very funny. And dead on. Chris is, in my book, one of The People Who Get It, and I do not even know what It is, nor does anyone else as far as I can tell, but if there is an It, Chris gets It, possibly even subscribes to It, and if he weren't so damn good at bikes he could make a respectable living as a salesman for It. THE ERIC SOVERN INTERVIEW Day one on the show floor, and my journalism kung fu gets strong. Witness my interview with Surly's Eric Sovern. The next time somebody asks me what's so special about Surly, I'm going to refer him to this blog. Chris: Are you related to Lady Sovereign? Eric: I wouldn't say related. I would say I was a big influence on her . . . her music. She was, you know, on a street corner, and she was doing mostly jazz skat kinda singing, and I said, "You know what you oughta do? You should get into the hip-hop." So she took, you know, my name. Chris: Would you say Jay-z ruined her? Eric: Jay-Z is a bitch, and if I see that man, I will personally raise my strong hand. Chris: So are we down then? Eric: Oh yeah. Chris: 'Cause we have . . . what's his name again . . . oh yeah, L'il Wayne. We have L'il Wayne in our corner. Eric: L'il Wayne. Chris: Yeah, L'il Wayne. Eric: Is it "L'il" Wayne? Chris: Of course. Of course. The only other question is, recently I've seen an article in a magazine where they cut parts in half to show you how they work. Eric: Yeah. Chris: Are you willing today to start cutting Surly parts in half for us? Eric: Uhhh, the problem with cutting Surly parts in half is that the goey center will spill all over everything . . . and we'll be swimming in nugat. Chris: What about, how about, would you help us cut some White Industries stuff in half? Eric: That stuff is really well made. I don't know if we could cut it. These were not softballs, and Eric stepped up and brought it, offering arguably the most insightful comments about Surly products I've ever heard. And this was at 9:15am, after only one beer. People, this man is a visionary. ******************************************************************************** Also on the docket this week is a new website with which I am wholly unfamilar but which has such nerdolescent post heading teasers as Knot Tying 101 and You Can Do That With A Space Blanket? and How To Have Good Sex In The Woods. It occurs to me that perhaps all three of those articles are related. describe themselves as "an outdoor adventure network based in Minneapolis." I like their succinct approach to adjective. I would like to underline the fact that this website is not something I have spent any time on. In fact, it was spammed to me and in spite of my normal tendencies to auto-delete spams and to only post links with which I am familiar, I actually opened it up and it looks, at cursory glance, to be possibly useful. The email from Bruno, who seems to have started this website, says that it is a place to "share pictures of your adventures, get advice from experts, and find inspiration to get out and get active." Sounds like a tall order for any website, and I'd point out that any of those titles I mentioned seem to cover the sorts of topics that you as a consumer would benefit more completely from if the authors in fact prove to be knowledgeable and articulate professors of their field of study. I believe this would be particularly true for those articles covering health-impairing activities such as first time ice climbing (see the article titled 5 Rules For Your First Time Ice Climbing). But again, I haven't really read it. I mention this because it seems to me a person could really get into a jam fast if one went, for example, ice climbing for the first time armed only with knowledge gleaned from some yahoo on some website linked for no good reason by an idiot who doesn't know the first thing about ice climbing. And that idiot is me. Perhaps if they had asked me to write something like 5 Mixers You Can Make With Berries & Twigs Found Whilst Napping Off Last Night Under A Bush, perhaps then I would feel confident offering this as an indispensible website pimping the strong hand insights of professionals. As it is, you'll have to log on for yourself and see if offers you anything useful. Free market evolution and all that.


And Finally Today... Alix was, as she mentioned in her last posting, the only Surly person here in the office for the better portion of last week while the rest of us toiled at that great dog and pony show Interbike, the bike industry's enduring annual gulag. And she done good! I received word from several people praising her hard work and prompt attention to matters which I can assure you are not normally hers to know anything about, and she handled it with aplomb (which is, again, not what it may sound like). Scott, of Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin, Texas, had this to say: "The lovely and talented Alix had responded to me promptly last week. I recommended doubling her salary to two donuts per hour." As Surly has reached dizzying new lows in our marketing strategem, leading to staggering highs in inaccurate and therefore acceptable reputation, and all this has led to people sending us unsolicited resumes (?!), I thought Scott, and all of you, deserved some explanation of our official pay policy: "Dear Scott Donut prices having reached a 10 year high, despite ingredient prices having fallen continuously during this same period, we have had to reevaluate, reassess, and generally rethink the whole donut payscale we use here at Surly. Realizing that with growth we are not the mom&pop, corner store band of misfits we once were but instead the cutting edge of anti-technology and therefore leaders of industry and Very Important People, we realized the only honorable thing to do was to hire consultants, so we found a team of people we've never met who have degrees that sound almost made up, & who arrived in expensive cars and nice suits to reevaluate and redirect our situation, all at high cost, but let me tell you it was worth it! We were advised by this group that indeed donut prices, should we so much as hold steady our payroll, would send us to the poor house. Donuts, it seems, are more expensive by weight than gasoline yet remain in much greater supply. Demand for donuts is simply astronomical. This group advised an alternative, and an old standby at that, almost forgotten since the days of yore. Peanuts. If you're buying your peanuts from the whole foods section of your local chain grocery, buying them "bulk" as they say from dirty little bins that require a lot of refilling (if the product in that bin sells at all), you're paying a premium and have no real idea what peanuts actually cost. Peanuts are so cheap that they make donuts look like the fat greasy potentates of a crumbling economic empire, soon to choke upon their own waste in a surprise visit from the shaded hand of fate. We saw the light and are now the hand-wringing scrooges we always knew we could be. Yes, Alix will get her raise: an entire dixie cup of peanuts per hour. Sweet!" Not sure Alix feels the same way, but she -and you- can rest assured that donuts are still a big part of our Long Term Business Plan, and we have promoted Alix to Donut Procurement Officer Kerl, Cursor to the Office of Donut Related Activities. She would like you all to know that the donut threat level is currently Sprinkles, up from Glazed just yesterday. Be alert, citizens. -----