Answers From A Bottle

Hi Stevil,

I have two questions I was hoping you could help me with. 

  1. Lately when I go for rides the bottoms of my feet get really hot, like they feel like they are going to burst into flames. Do you have any good tricks to keep your feet from getting cooked?

2. Almost every time I try anchor picture hanger hooks to the wall I end up bending the angled nail. Do pro picture hanger people use these hooks? Do I just suck at nailing at an angle? Is it because my house is old and has plaster and lathe walls? What’s the best way to hang modest sized framed objects on my wall?

This is more than two questions. 



They say that one should never do internet searches regarding any physical afflictions, because you’ll assuredly cause yourself more stress, when instead of concluding that your headaches are simply the result of mild heat exhaustion, you have terminal brain cancer and have but a few moments to live.

Just the same, I poked around across the web a little, and gave a cursory glance about what could be causing the bottoms of your feet all this grief. The first item I found discussed tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is like its more well-known sibling that instead affects the hand’s carpel tunnel. What jumped out at me immediately however is that it could be plantar fascitis, which essentially is the inflammation of the connective tissue beneath the bottom of the foot, running from your heel to your toes. That said, clearly I’m no doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV. Maybe it’s just that you’ve spent so long using your particular shoe and pedal combo that you’ve actually pinched a nerve across your dogs’ posterior. I really don’t know, but I don’t think it would be the worst idea in the world (if possible) to have a visit with a podiatrist. In the meantime, see if you can’t try out a different pedal/shoe combo, or meet with an actual bike fitter, if you have the means. Best case scenario, that’s all it would take, but you don’t have anything to lose in embarking on a full investigation.

Now, onto the second question- Not only have I spent years hanging my own collection in the various places I’ve lived/galleries I’ve shown in, but I spent a few years as an actual real live, honest to god art installer for the Bay Area’s über wealthy. If you think you know stress, just imagine removing the rigging off of a multi-million dollar, and several ton Richard Serra sculpture, waiting for it to either collapse, or go crashing through the floor, while its new owner stands by… that’s stress. Anyway, while hanging Moore style pins in lath and plaster isn’t ideal, it’s not impossible. Generally, lath and plaster walls will feature crown molding that will run along the top of it. There are hooks specially designed to hang framed work from that style of molding. If you’d prefer to stick with the nail and hook option just mark the spot where you want it and drill a tiny, angled pilot hole first. Bingo bango, you’ve got yourself a hook on the wall, with minimal damage, and all your nails will remain unbent.

Dear Stevil,

I miss the good ‘ol days of Underbike. I’d love to hear about the history of this legendary gathering and well as two questions: 1) What was the most outrageous thing you ever saw (did) at said event and 2) Which edition was your favorite?

Cheers and let’s hope for more!


Hi Cassy-

I sure do too. They were some real fine, albeit blurry times.

So, a long time ago (in 2000 I think- but definitely the first year after Interbike had left Anaheim), Robert Ives, Scott Berg and I showed up to the show with the first ever production Blue Collar single speed frame. We walked around and showed it off while hobnobbing with the other industry losers. Just before our arrival to town, I’d called an old friend who lived in Vegas for a spell and asked if he knew of any good dive bars in town at which we could have our very own industry party. That was when I first learned of the world famous Double Down Saloon. We were tired of the velvet rope affairs that the big companies hosted every year and wanted something that was A) more our speed, and B) something that everyone could come to. Though it wouldn’t be labeled “Underbike” for another decade, that was when the foundation was first laid. The first official Underbike was to celebrate Soulcraft Bicycles’ tenth birthday, and the launch of (my day job), All Hail The Black Market. We held that one at The Peppermill, which if you’ve never been, is black, and shag, and neon, chrome, and everything that was beautiful, and horrible about the ‘70s all wrapped in one spectacular package.

That year, we drank the bar out of every single last one of their beers. So the next year we called and gave them forewarning. Again, we drank them out of the entire supply. In 2011 we decided to go back to The Double Down. I called and warned them, “Get extra beer.”

 We’ll have enough the bar manager assured me. That year I brought a band in from Long Beach called O Zorn!. This was finally a real party. Again, we drank them out of all of their beer.

The next year we moved it to The Beauty Bar in Old Town, Vegas and I brought in a local band called The Black Jetts. Again, we cashed the bar out of their entire supply of beer. I’m beginning to detect a theme at this point

The following year we went back to The Beauty Bar, and this time brought Portland’s Gaytheist along to play. Ears were split, and heads were banged, and round 2:00 in the morning, I see the bar manager pushing a shopping cart full of alcohol in through the back gate. These people have no idea who they’re dealing with.

In 2015 we moved on to another Old Town location called The Backstage Bar, where I’d wrangled the mighty Lady Sinatra to not only play, but to actually reform, (they’d broken up a year prior). The bar had only one bartender working that night. It’s safe to say she’d wished she’d had a barback. Oh, also, they ran out of beer.

We did one more in 2016 at which Who Rides The Tiger played. Interbike was running on fumes that year anyway, (the following year being its last gasp). I can’t remember if we exhausted the bar’s supplies that night, but if we didn’t, we came close.

I put a pin in Underbike after that, but I’m certainly not opposed to doing it again if the feeling is right.

They were never about ‘the industry’, but about providing a place for folks in and out of the bike world to come together, listen to loud music, and put a dent in the world’s beer supply.

I don’t recall any specific things that stood out aside from all walks of life standing amongst one another and having fun. There were no roles and no hierarchy- Just crowds of good-hearted derelicts rubbing elbows and happily embracing the chaos.

I will be having a get together in September in Bellingham, Washington, that will very much embrace the spirit of the Underbike parties of yore. Not that everyone’s not welcome, but consider this your invite.

Mr. Steve,

I’ve just moved to a new home in a different state. I’m missing the familiarity my local riding crew and favorite bike shop. I’m intimidated and a bit uncertain about how to join in and become part of a new riding group and local scene.  Your advice would be most appreciated.

Thank you Sir,



I get that completely. A few months ago I fielded a similar question here and to the best of my recollection, I believe I said I didn’t know how to go about finding a new clique but to simply forge ahead. I’m kinda treading similar waters myself currently, and there are a few things I’ve done to make it glide along a bit more smoothly. Thankfully, I had a few people in place before I landed in my new town, so becoming established has been a bit easier. Even still, firstly, acknowledge the things you love, and try to find a place where you can do them. Do you like dogs and cats? Maybe volunteer at a shelter. You are likely to find a few other folks who you click with on at least the subject of fuzzy buddies, and go from there.

Secondly, now that places are beginning to open up again, go see bands, go to art shows, keep your ear to the ground for various events that interest you.

And as far as group rides, go, if the kinds of group rides that you are able to find aren’t your cup of tea, organize your own. Put together an alleycat race, or a scavenger hunt. Contribute whatever you can to help bolster your scene. Think of it as a gift you’re giving to other locals, while establishing your presence with them.

I know that sounds super cliché 1980s DIY punk rock whatever, but I believe in it. For better or worse, you’re a part of this new scene. Roll up your sleeves and take a stab at making at least little bit of it your own.

Have a life question you need answered? Then by all means send an email to stevil [at] cyclingindependent [dot] com and he’ll get you sorted out.

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  1. Dad Cat says

    Lathe and plaster sucks for hanging stuff. But if you’re gonna do it, use Ook!
    Their nails are actually pretty sturdy and they hold a lot better than the cheap stuff.
    There’s probably a better solution, but that’s what I use.

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