Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Every couple of years I'm seized with the idea of taking control of my bicycle's maintenance. I'll learn bike mechanics at last! I tell myself.

And so it came to pass that on a recent Saturday morning, I attended a class on deraileurs, at a place called Community Cycles.

The class lasted for a couple of hours and I came away with a much better understanding of bike gears. In particular I think I can fine-tune them for consistently smooth shifting, which makes a huge difference in ride enjoyment. Clunky shifting is a drag.

Inspired, I decided to tackle an even easier chore: replacing the worn-out bar tape on my bike's handlebars. I bought new tape, manufactured by a company called Arundel (which sounds like a place in Middle Earth).

I've replaced bar tape before. It's one of the tasks I feel comfortable doing. While it takes a little practice to get it just right, there really isn't much to it, so I didn't need the instructions that were printed on the back of the box. But they really amused me, so I am showing them here.

I like it when companies don't take themselves too seriously. This is not to suggest Arundel doesn't take itself seriously – but it's only bar tape, right?

Below is another amusing label, this one for Arrogant Bastard Ale. This is a wonderfully whimsical label. It's good beer, too. The label's even funnier after you've had a few!

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