Just some random things that popped into my head over the past couple days…
diNotte Tail Lights – A Post Script: Absolutely AWESOME, but rendered worthless if the batteries go dead. We headed out for our first group tandem ride of the year with four other couples this past Sunday. It was a cold, gloomy day with intermittent drizzle and as we ‘shot the breeze’ before the ride one of our friends mentioned they’d picked up a diNotte taillight, knowing how I’d recently praised and adopted them for daytime use. As so often happens, our friend noted motorists will comment on just how bright and noticeable these lights are. Someone else at our ride asked about the diNotte lights and I allowed how they would see one in action when we hit the road. However, when I went to switch on the AA model I had mounted to our tandem I realized the batteries were not juiced-up enough to support the light’s operation. Turns out, I had not changed out the Duracell rechargeable batteries after we’d used the light twice on the prior weekend and, well, for some reason, the AA batteries tend to discharge rather quickly, which is not true of our Li-Ion diNotte. This shouldn’t have been a problem as I typically take my massive tool box with me when we leave the house and, as you’d expect, I keep a couple sets of charged batteries in my tool box along with CR2032 batteries for computers, etc… Well wouldn’t you know, we were running late (first morning after moving the clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time) and I failed to pack my tool kit. Doh!
Award Winning & The Best: Can something that has never won an award, never mind being in a category for which no awards exist actually be “Award Winning?” Probably not, but Girl Scout cookies aren’t made with real Girl Scouts either. How about being “The Best” in a category for which there has never been a competition, never mind any objective criteria or any type of consensus on what such criteria might be? Of course, being ‘The Best of’ anything even when there are judges and the like can be a pretty subjective thing when there isn’t any objective criteria. So, perhaps ‘The Best’ is actually as meaningless as “New & Improved“?
The Quest for Equality: Ever notice the only time someone or a group wants equality is when they perceive themselves to be less equal? No, no… I’m not talking about affirmative action, globalization, compensation or other hot-button subjects. I’m just talking about more basic things such as tire size. Tire size? Yes, tire size. I always get a kick when someone has decided everyone else is using the wrong size tire on their road bikes and tandems. What I haven’t figured out — nor do I really care about — is why it’s so important to want everyone else to subscribe to their way of thinking on something that is TRULY as subject to personal preference and many other factors as tire size. As I always say, “Ride what you like and like what you ride“.
Too Good To Be True… Usually Is; Really: As mentioned earlier this year, True Temper has exited the carbon fork business and the awesome Alpha Q X2 tandem forks are now hard to find. A couple savvy builders stocked their shelves with the forks to support their 2010 new production tandem needs and unless you buy a new frame with the prized Alpha Q X2 attached to it, good luck finding one. Our friend Ritterview at BikeForums.net mentioned finding the Alpha Q X2s listed as ‘in stock’ and on sale for 20% off retail at one of the better E-tailers which, frankly, I had a hard time believing. So, just for kicks I put one on order. Well, the first bad sign was that the order sat in limbo for a while, suggesting there really wasn’t one in stock that they could use to fulfill the order. When I called to check on the order after several business days had passed an the order was still not filled & invoiced the support folks said “It was showing as on-dock”??? Hmmm. Interesting. Well, I decided to let it ride and on March 11th I receive a notice that it had shipped. Hmmm. Maybe they did find a source? Well, the X2 showed up today only it wasn’t an X2. It was an Alpha Q CX (Cyclocross) and even carried the CX designation on the “Made in China” box label and elsewhere.
However, for whatever reason,the E-tailer’s distributor re-labeled the CX fork as an X2. In fact, they even went to the trouble of attaching a tag with an X2 label to the fork leg right along side the CX markings and cantilever bosses??? Anyway, it’s going back on a call-tag for a full refund. Thankfully, I already have a spare X2 fork so I’m not overly concerned.
Bottom Line: File this one under Too Good To Be True… which is what it seemed to be from the git-go. I’m not sure calling the E-tailer to follow-up on the great find would have yielded a different outcome since the inventory system would have also been wrong about which fork was labeled as an X2.