Before anything else, I was saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of Jobst Brandt:

Back in the late 20th century, while still deeply in thrall to Fred-dom, I used to read the “” group, where Brandt used to tell everybody what was what. Like any Fred I was highly susceptible to the newest and latest gew-gaws, to the extent that I emptied my savings account to purchase the very first iteration of the Ksyrium. (It was an illness, I realize that now.) Even so, Brandt’s authoritative and at times irascible posts resonated with me, and I began to realize and embrace the fact that I had retrogrouch tendencies.

The Kysriums didn’t last long. One day I was Just Riding Along in Manhattan when a hormone-addled teen ran out into the street and kicked my rear wheel for no apparent reason. I didn’t break stride, but the wheel went wildly out of true, and it was never the same after that–nor was my faith in bicycle marketing.


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