Friday, December 2, 2016

Beyond My Bicycle Budget

Does Johnnie Walker Black taste better than Red? In the past when I was a scotch drinker I also worked in Canada. Canadian whiskey prices were much lower above the border than in California where I lived. So I became fond of Walker that was priced out of my California budget. Ask any bartender or cocktail waitress if the bar customer can tell the difference between "well whiskey"  and expensive label drinks after a couple of shots. I would suspect the answer would be no.

Fuji Pro and Schwinn Paramount 1938

I have been riding bicycles for more than a few years. I don't drink scotch any more but I have two sailing friends that drink scotch. One buys his at Costco the other imports his from Scotland both taste the same too me. Back to the bicycle thing, I prefer my wheels to have matching rims, tires and hubs. My fixed gear rear wheels collection includes one clincher, two sew-ups (tubular). I can make an almost pair of tubular but not so with the clincher. I need to purchase a matching pair. Prices vary from dam cheap to several thousand.
Painting Bob Jackson 3 years ago

My last matching pair were Zipp with a carbon disk rear and Zipp rim with Phil Wood hub and bladed stainless spokes. The most expensive Zipps out there now are close to $4,000.00. I am still stuck in 1950s price range.

Schwinn Paramount

My knowledge of current prices comes from reading Bicycle Blogs and Internet searches. My budget is beyond purchasing bicycle magazines to look at and there is no reason if I can't afford to purchase the mag I sure as hell can't afford the shiny stuff inside.

This clip is from YouTube and is my son Dylan recently jumping stairs at UCI. The reference to El Toro is the stairs at El Toro High School which is located in Lake Forest. Before Lake Forest became a city the area was called El Toro. The Main street is El Toro Road, El Toro Library and Post Office then they got fancy and changed the name. There isn't any natural forest there or any real lakes. The El Toro Stairs add rails and attracted zillion of skateboarders then later twenty inch bikes. My daughter Frances went to ETHS but you will not find that in her bio. The area around the campus is somewhat hilly and when the school was built they did't grade it level so the parking lot between the Gym and office building has a small slope on it. Same with the stairs from the lockers down to the office. Many years past I was skateboarding with Frances and she fell there and banged her head. Neither of us wore helmets, probably no skater did then. Anyway Frances has not been right since then. (Father Humor).
N. Y. Bike Snob makes a living bashing Freds and I enjoy reading it. This morning I was reading a local blog where the author described the pleasure of shelling out almost 2k to buy a Brompton so he could use public transit and save the operating cost of his fossil fuel 4 wheeler. A fold-up can be purchased at Big 5 Sporting for $199.99. If one has the money to buy a Brompton please don't think I am whining it is good for the manufacturer to sell product. My neighbor suggested I get a folding bike and suggested Big 5. I have ridden the trains here in Los Angeles with my bike and there is ample room but I don't do rush hour so a fold-up doesn't fit in.

My current bicycle collection stands at seven. Included is one Specialized S-Works Cross Country that retailed for around five thousand USA dollars. My out the door price after discounting was $3,500. Now that was several years ago but the current S-Works CC is $11,500.00 plus sale tax in Los Angeles, California adding $1035.00. The S-Works shown in the link in a 29 inch whereas mine is only 26 inch.

These price increases don't make too much sense but I am not a MAMIL or a saddle based weekend jolly.  All these clever descriptions (middle age man in lycra) can be confusing as I first thought it was another reference to something similar to Rapha or Assos. After receiving a nice compliment yesterday about my tanned legs I coined a new acronym "OFSSL" (old fart still shaves legs).

Currently I am trying to get some Thorstein Veblen books and since he existed before e-books I might just have to ride up to my local library (it is all up hill) and get an old fashioned style book with pages. Velben Goods and the Theory of the Leisure Class. Being of a discursive nature Velben got me thinking about reading Vance Packard books and his bashing.

This is not me riding.

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