Ask Stevil – April ’23

Every month or so, our resident sage opens his mind and his heart to deliver advice to you, our readers.

Stevil, I spend a lot of time on the internet, either YouTube or Vimeo, combing through cycling videos because I find them inspiring, or at least distracting. I wonder what your favorite every bike video is, or any that stick out for you as particularly good.

Thirteen years ago, a fellow named Andy Wardman made a video of him riding his cyclocross bike along trails somewhere in the UK. There was no soundtrack save for the buzz of his tires on the dirt, and maybe a bit of wind, or birds calling. It was as simple as it was sublime. I suppose because I’m answering this query in an electronic format, I can even include a link so you can see for yourself.

Stevil’s words today are brought to us by the fine folk at Shimano North America.

I also quite like a clip I made a couple of years ago that was inspired by Andy’s efforts. Otherwise, I find myself increasingly attracted to craft and diorama videos such as this one from
Minibricks Craft
; Or almost any from Boylei Hobby time. They are as wholesome as they are relaxing.

And of course I can’t mention dioramas without mentioning the absolute king of the craft, Mr. Bobby
. Bike videos are good, but man, there’s so much more out there that lights a fire under me, and they almost always involve the art of tinkering.

As a Revolting listener, I’ve heard you mention a kale salad you make, but you guys never give
out the recipe. Can we have it?

I swear I’ve done it before, but here it is. It’s both stupidly easy to make as well as delicious to eat.

Strip and shred a couple of bunches of kale into a large bowl.

Slice and pickle a red onion in a bowl of apple cider vinegar.

Let it soak for 10 or 15 minutes.

Pour the vinegar out, or if you feel so inspired, drink it. I hear it’s good for you.

Squeeze a lemon and pour some olive oil on the kale. Masticate with your hands. This also has the added benefit of letting you know exactly where each tiny cut on your hands is.

Give it a splash or spray with some liquid aminos and throw some fresh ground pepper on there.

Cover that with a towel and let it sit.

While the kale is digesting a touch, and the red onion is pickling, whack some sunflower or pumpkin seeds into a skillet and toast them up.

Throw all of that shit in the bowl, mix it up, and if you’re feeling fancy, chunk an avocado and mix that in there as well.

So there you have it. Toss in some shredded carrot, or maybe some diced garlic? The world is your oyster. If you’re a mouth breathing honky, maybe some raisins? I especially like to wrap this all up in a heated tortilla with a bit of melted cheese and black beans for an easy and somewhat well-rounded meal, which will probably help me live well into my hundreds.

Do the same, wow your friends, woo a date. It’s a sure fire culinary dazzler.

Cyclists seem obsessed with tire pressure. Should I be thinking about this more? Do you measure
your tire pressure before a ride, and if so, how?

Cyclocross racers love low pressure (something about a bigger contact patch, reduced rolling resistance or whatever). I however do not. In general though, I’d say a good rule of thumb is just look at your tire and run whatever numbers the sidewall says. Road bikes ? 80-100 psi I guess. Mountain bikes? 45 to 52 maybe. I can’t remember. Personally, before a ride I’ll give the tires a squeeze. If they feel soft, I’ll put a smidge in. If it feels normal, I leave them alone.

It’s all very scientific.

With the exception of Kooka cranks, Crank Brothers clipless pedals, twelve to sixteen spoke wheels, press-fit anything, elliptical chain rings, belt drive mountain bikes, brain suspension, cable actuated hydraulic brakes, $700 cassettes, monocoque frames, Y-bikes, rushing prototype product to market, chainstay mounted brakes, ceramic composite frames, pivotless rear suspension, I beam saddles, dual control brake levers, or early inversion suspension forks, it’s almost always a safe bet to assume the manufacturers know what they’re talking about.

If you hit a bump while you’re riding and feel your rim come in contact with the ground, you need more air. If you hit a bump while you’re riding and your tire explodes, then you need less.

*Thanks to Mike Ferrentino for shaking the long since buried horrors of I beam saddles loose for me.
It’s much appreciated.

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