Bikes. Parts. Chaos.
Thanks to all of you who have written in support of calling out asshats for being asshats. It makes my heart glad to know there is still some heartbeat left in honesty. Political Correctness hasn't taken over completely, although it continues to hypnotize huge swaths of the populace into limp, shallow compliance to someone else's goals and directives at least as much as it protects the defenseless. Still, we cannot indict the asshats without indicting ourselves, for they are of us. Sometimes when I need to feel that people are not headed enthusiastically en masse and without brakes or foresight toward the cliff's edge, I read some Kurt Vonnegut Jr. because he says things like: "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." and "Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why." and "Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae." I like Vonnegut because he reminds us that we are all preposterous and that upon uncovering that preposterousness the only thing left to do, really, is to laugh at the terrible absurdity of it. As if simply telling the truth could do any good. In other news, Surly team rider Chris Alabama (who, preposterously, is not from Alabama), recently obtained a Big Dummy and wrote to us with his findings: Bama's Big Dummy part 1 1. It's very black. 2. It's stiffer (as in bottom-bracket-sway) than any other bike I own. Seriously. It doesn't flex from side to side. 3. It's got all the braze-ons. 4. The geometry is spot-on/perfect. It steers better than a tandem, feels like a bike, and is very stable when leaned over in corners . . . that is, its predictable and the front tire doesn't "drop" when I tip the handlebars into the apex of a corner. (As opposed to say, a chopper that's front wheel "neutral" position is sideways.) 5. It comes with a kickstand. 6. It has really nice brakes and XT hubs. 7. It's so much easier to pedal than the extra weight of a Burley. I knew the trailer induced shimmy was going to go away, but I didn't think it's be so much lighter. [Some of this has to be due to greater tire and wind resistance of trailers, as opposed to weight. -KB] 8. I can't believe the weight is so perfectly balanced between the front and rear wheel; I thought the front wheel was going to have too much weight. 9. You guys know way more about frame building/design than anyone else. After riding the Big Dummy, its more apparent how much thinking and experience went into making this thing work. 10. How easy it is to install Xtracycle stuff on this frame. Maybe the folks at MRP could take notes on how to manufacture a product that doesn't require a Dremel to install. I have not personally used any MRP products, so I cannot speak to that. I have used trailers and find them to be useful tools for the right task but I agree, the BD hauls more efficiently. And unlike a trailer, which is generally left at home when it is not specifically needed, the nice thing about the Big Dummy is that you already have your ability to haul things right there under you where ever you ride it. Got a call from the better half asking you to pick up some groceries on the way home? Done. Found a guitar at a yard sale on your way home from work? No problem. Etcetera. I know some of you will find all this terribly obvious. Others will not. If this review has helped you gain a better understanding of the riding dynamics of the Big Dummy, I urge you to visit your local shop, where they will (let's hope) get you a Big Dummy of your very own. If you're still not certain, you should pay a visit to The Surly Big Dummy Society, a repository and resource for all sorts of Big Dummy informations, and which, like so many good ideas, we did not think up or incorporate. Charlie, good on ya for that one. And finally, a late entry forwarded to me by Whirl the Everstoned. Funny how sometimes two wrongs can make a right.