Saturday, August 7, 2010

MiniVelo's - IGH's - The Pack

There's a bike that's pretty popular in Asia called a Mini Velo.  It's kind of like a circus bike, but cooler.  I don't know why it's cooler, it just is.  Cannondale makes one called the Hooligan.  Dahon has a few - Bullhead, Hammerhead, Silvertip and Smooth Hound.  Those are the only ones I know of that are available in the states.  Melon, maker of a couple of folders, had some in the works but have decided against production.  Damn.  I was all over that Tetra.
Melon never to be models 

Me likes me some internal gears.  My commuter is a Trek Soho with a Shimano Nexus 8 and a belt drive.  I like it's simplicity, lack of maintenance and cockpit.  I'm sold on the IGH (internal gear hub) 'cause basically I'm an idiot when it comes to mechanical stuff.  The down side is changing a rear flat requires extra tools and is a PITA.
My folder is a Downtube SA 8, which isn't as nice as the Shimano but nice nonetheless.
Shimano has an 11 speed coming this fall.  I'm hopeful they'll be showing up on some mountain bikes as well as some city bikes with front forks.  Much as I like my Soho it's a rough ride.  

It's summer in DC.  That means hot and humid.  I remember DC back when trails were empty during these dog days.  No more.  I rode to Herndon Sunday back and it was 100.  Sure, there weren't as many people as there would have been had it been 80 but people there were. 
I had left early so I would only have the heat on the way home.  In the beginning there were few people (and little sun) but as soon as the sun rose the packs started appearing.  And passing.   
What is it about the pack that when they have a whole lane to pass you they still choose to pass with only inches to spare?  I'm sure they're out trying to beat their personal bests and those inches will make a difference.  This must have something to do with pack mentality, the old "lynch mob" thing.  They are probably helpless in this situation and have no control over what they do, much like lemmings, they simply must follow the leader.

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