Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Bicycle resale end times

The end is near.


Sunday, June 16, 2024

Selling your soul to the devil and then begging for a do-over will only make the devil laugh harder.

Electric cars are supposed to be the great savior of the environment, and the next chapter in the story of wheeled transportation. And I suppose if this had come about thoughtfully and carefully, at a measured pace that would allow people and governments to transition sensibly and sustainably, perhaps it would be more widely accepted by — and accessible to — a larger majority of drivers.

Instead, competing types of cars were introduced at lightning speed before the longer mileage issues were worked out, and before there was sufficient infrastructure to support a nationwide transition away from fossil fuels. And as in so many instances of chest-thumping in capitalism, there were buffoons with too much money and too little consideration for the greater good elbowing their way to supremacy.

And this is how we got here:

This is the Tesla Cybertruck, a monstrosity of steel, excess and testosterone unleashed onto an unsuspecting world by Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla and a whole lot of other things I won’t bother with here.

A stainless steel hard-on.
This vehicle retails for between $61,000 and $110,000 before add-ons, making it one of the most expensive consumer vehicles on the market.

But that’s not the most interesting part.

That’s right.

Selling your soul to the devil and then begging for a do-over will only make the devil laugh harder.

If you Google “used Tesla Cybertruck,” you’ll find a number of these behemoths available for sale, used. Either the owners decided they could afford the penalty, or they already know they’ll never buy another Tesla, or more likely, they got in way over their heads.

I have not an ounce of pity for these buyers, or their remorse. If you’re wealthy enough to buy one of these grotesque, offensive hulks, you’re smart enough to read the fine print (or pay someone to do it for you and translate). 

I also feel no pity for Tesla founder Elon Musk, who has shown himself to be a rich, unrepentant oaf and possibly an antisemite, or for anyone employed by Tesla (nobody pointed a gun at you and forced you to choose this clown act as your employer).

Anyone who earns enough to spend his money this way — and I’ve yet to find evidence of a woman buying one of these things — and buys in has drunk a poisonous brew indeed. You think that buying something like this is going to get you into the same club as Musk or Bezos? Nope. You’re just rich guys aping the super-rich, and you can’t keep up. You could do a lot better, so much more truly good stuff, with your money, and you chose to spend it on this? You don’t have enough political juice to persuade state and local governments to make roadways, parking spaces and garages bigger so you can park your hundred thousand dollar Hot Wheels(TM)  Terminator(TM) edition clown car. 

No pity here.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Coffee Outside 6-15-24: Peninsula Park

I made my way carefully to Peninsula Park for Coffee Outside this morning. The weather was cool and occasionally a little rainy, and I stuck to residential side streets so I could ride slowly and carefully.
Balance issues continue to bother me periodically when I ride, so I tend to keep my rides short and mellow.
We had a nice gathering of folks, some bringing coffee and others brewing on site.
There was a softball tournament in progress, and we could watch the goings on from the gazebo.
A couple of dogs accompanied their people, and were very friendly. 
It was lovely to see friends and enjoy a cool early summer morning. Peninsula Park’s Rose Garden s in full bloom right now and the colors were gorgeous against a swirling, blue-gray sky.
There’s also another Coffee Outside today on Ainsworth, going on till 3pm, at a coffeehouse that’s celebrating an anniversary; but one ride was enough for me and I went home for a nap.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Pedalpalooza Kickoff party and ride

I decided I’d skip Coffee Outside this weekend, and go to the Pedalpalooza kickoff party and ride instead.

I enjoyed myself while I was downtown, bumping into friends and ogling the wide variety of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles.

I arrived a little before 3:30 and enjoyed the proceedings, walking around and snapping photos.

By 4:30, there were several thousand people gathered, filling the North Park Blocks while waiting for the start of the ride at 5pm.

At 5pm, the ride kicked off, cruising slowly to NW Broadway, then turning left to cross the Broadway Bridge. I pedaled along slowly, finding myself surrounded by other riders whose bikes passed me, sometimes with less than  half a foot between us. Once upon a time, this would not have fazed me at all and I would have easily held my line without worry.

Today, though, was my first group ride since before the pandemic, before Covid and Long Covid and everything else. And today, I simply could not feel comfortable holding my line with others passing so close. I got dizzy and a little thrown off, and I knew I would have to pull over and get out of the way. My Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride was over after four blocks. 

I pulled up onto the sidewalk, feeling sad and sorry, and then I watched as several thousand riders in a dense bunch streamed past me. 

I knew I had made the right choice. I was sad, and also philosophical about it. Long Covid, a long hiatus from riding and the passage of time had taken away some of my comfort, stability and confidence. It had also taken away my stamina. I knew immediately that even if I had felt comfortable enough in that huge crowd, I wouldn’t make it over the bridge and up the hill to Laurelhurst Park, some six miles away. It was all just too much for the rider I had become now.

I waited until the last of the throng had passed me, and then I turned and rode towards the nearest MAX stop. I would ride the train up the long hill to Overlook, them hop out and ride the last two miles home.

Riding alone, I felt less wobbly and mostly held my line. I wasn’t trying my head quickly either way to look out for other riders, and I was riding in a bike lane, and that was preferable by far. 

I stopped at Peninsula Park to admire the roses, most of which are in bloom now. It was a good way to end my evening, and I was able to feel gratitude for being able to ride alongside such beauty as this.

Enjoy Bike Summer, and happy riding.

The depressed used bike market, part two.

Seen today in my FB feed.

Twenty years ago, this bike would have cost at least $1,200. And it would’ve been worth every penny.

Not today.


Everyone seems to be chasing after cookie-cutter, mass-produced e-bikes, while masterpieces like these sit ignored and unridden. Very sad.