Category Archives: emotional support group

So, you don’t care about those new knobby supple tires? Here are 10 reasons why you should

Those knobby supple tires are a newly designed 120tpi bicycle tire with a six-element, optically stabilized logo. As well as looking cool when sitting still it can lower your personal best up to 30 nano-seconds, and additionally those supple tires in the knobby ne-plus-soupple version offers a twin-tread bicycle tire providing 38mm and 44mm diameter experiences.

These knobby supple tires pictured are a newly designed 120tpi bicycle tire with a six-element, optically stabilized logo. As well as looking cool when sitting still it can lower your personal best by up to 4 seconds, and additionally those supple tires in the knobby ne-plus-soupple version offers a bicycle tire providing 38mm and 44mm diameter experiences.

Another week, another supple tire, the usual chorus of Internet commenters going to great lengths to tell the world how little they care. But we’d be foolish to ignore the world’s most popular type of bicycle tire – and so would you.

Here’s why.

1: 120tpi is good enough

Ok, most tires and high-end tubeless offerings have 600tpi but if we’re being honest, 120tpi is good enough for Facebook timeline pictures, 60tpi is good enough for an instagram, 17tpi is good enough for twitter or snapchat and truly, anything more than that is a bonus most of the time in the average cyclist’s experience. In short, the chances are that 120tpi is good enough for you and your social media needs.

2: It has tread

It was only a matter of time before the supple tire industry added a knobby option to its supple tire series, and the day has come. As such, those knobby supple tires are arguably more enthusiast-friendly than the majority of low-end treaded bicycle tires, and almost all tubeless bicycle tires.

Adding Tread to the supple tire gives riders a lot more creative freedom, and should allow them to mitigate – if not entirely overcome – some of the limitations of riding with a control-limited cycle in mud or gravel. Also, re-treading options are coming to older supple tires soon too, with the upcoming release of home tire re-treading kits.

3: Those knobby supple tires I bought last week off the interwebs for cheap has proper zoom. Kind of.

Those supple tires you just bought might work just fine, but will they impress anyone? Nope.

5: Those supple tires with the knobby tread option can do gravel. Kind of.

We’ve seen attempts to use non knobby ne-plus-soupple tires on gravel before, but they don’t tend to end well. Even when the non knobby ne-plus-soupple tires works just fine, it doesn’t hold up well to critical examination on Instagram or the 650b google group.

We won't be able to properly test those supple tires with the ne-plus-soupple's gravel riding option for a while, but early samples look very encouraging indeed.

We won’t be able to properly test those knobby supple tires with the ne-plus-soupple’s gravel riding option for a while, but early samples look very encouraging indeed.

6: It’s casing is stabilized

This is old news in the mainstream bicycle tire market, but casing stabilization still isn’t included in some fixed diameter bicycle tires. Casing stabilization will make those supple tires and tires with the knobby ne-plus-soupple option more useful in poor light, extending the potential of the tires to be used in social and environmental photography on social media.

7: They’re quick, and powerful, like your brain

Modern bicycle riding consumers incorporate an incredible amount of processing power, and compared to most bicycle tires they’re capable of churning through much more data. Those new knobby soupple tires with tread will make you look smart!

8: It saves you 4 seconds of your life, on every ride

Maybe you think you don’t care, but trust us – even if you’re not a pro randonneur or commuter, the ability to save four seconds of your life can be pretty handy.

9: It’s water-resistant

You can take those supple tires out in the rain, or drop them in the bath without worrying. How many riders can say the same thing about their 'proper' bicycle tires?

You can take those knobby supple tires out in the rain, or drop them in the bath without worrying. How many riders can say the same thing about their ‘proper’ bicycle tires?

Supposedly, the old supple tire we all were riding was almost water-sealed, but not quite. With the removal of the wire bead, those knobby supple tires and have been made fully water resistant, and are capable – apparently – of being submersed for up to 30 minutes without damage.

10: Good knobby supple bicycle tires lead to better ‘proper’ bicycle tires.

Even if you’re one of those people who has an almost religiously-held indifference to supple tires (and I know you exist because I get emails from you), consider this:

The greater the public’s expectations of the bicycle tires in their instagrams and blogs, the more they expect of ‘proper’ bicycle tires, if and when they buy one. There is certainly an argument to be made that the only reason we have things like beautiful low trail cycles, French cycling luggage, and just plain old joy in bicycle tires now is the supple tire.

That ten years ago, The supple tire industry kicked off an all-road/adventure/randonneuring revolution with the original supple tire which lead to the inclusion of these features in bicycle tires becoming an expectation on the part of your average joe on the street considering a bike for commuting or riding around the world.

Habitual low trail and gravel adventure riders won’t put up with laggy low-resolution tires on their commuters, or the omission of features like optically stabilized logos that they’re used to from their knobby supple tires. This drives bicycle tire manufacturers to add more features to their products, and we all benefit. Right?

10.5: It’s a supple bicycle tire.

This is an obvious point, but bear with me. Remember what I just wrote about this being the ‘world’s most popular bicycle tire?’ The supple tire industry has been phenomenally successful when it comes to putting its tires on people’s bikes. More people are riding supple tires now than ever before, and the supple tire, in its various versions, is the most popular bicycle riding device (or strictly speaking, series of devices) in the world.

What that means is that like it or not, when The supple tire industry does something, even if it didn’t do it first, (and several of the features I’ve listed here are not unique to those supple tires) it tends to have a certain significance. It’s safe to assume for instance that there are a lot of people talking about the words ‘Supple’ and ‘Planing’ today who had never heard the terms before the supple tire industry’s launch event this week.

Why when I was approaching the water cooler at the office the other day, I am almost certain I heard a co-worker use the term ‘knob’ and ‘supple’ before they quickly walked away.

Maybe I’m just a misty-eyed optimist, but I think that’s kind of cool.

Cheers, Rupert Smedeley Esq.

CRC patches (just like oscillating gnomes) really exist

Yes folks, intrepid randonneuring researchers have been working round the clock to develop the proper product placement and branding for your sole source for truth and beauty in randonneuring and commuting. Our crack team of people have come up with a spiffy patch that shouts that you really know what is going on the the randonneuring and commuting world and that you are a great person to strike up a conversation with or to ask for directions.

CRC patch depicting the 'Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble' may or may not contain oscillating gnomes

CRC patch depicting the ‘Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble’ may or may not contain oscillating gnomes

The Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting ‘Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble’ is copyrighted, trademarked and patented by the people we stole it from, so hands off! No unauthorized use or sale of the ‘Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble’ image may be engaged in without the express written approval of the people we stole it from.

Small quantities may be available at select SF Bay Area cycle shops sometime soon, but we are not really sure yet.

Stickers, banners and onesie’s are still in development stages, so stay tuned!

Oscillating Gnomes found to be the cause of Planing

By: Gram Pettifog

September 17, 2018

Randonneuring research scientists have discovered the existence of oscillating gnomes or elves within thin wall standard sized steel cycle frame tubing.  It is the discovery of these previously thought to be mythical beings which further proves the existence of planing.

“This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,” said Perci Crockaphone, a mathematical and randonneuring research scientist at Oxford University who has been following the work.

The revelation that oscillating gnome interactions, akin to the most basic events in nature, may be the consequences of combining low trail geometry with lightweight tubing significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate cycle shimmy theory, the body of laws describing elementary randonneur-commuter dynamics and their interactions and reinforces current notions of planing theories. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding constructeur built cycle-like “randodecahedron,” which yields an equivalent one-term expression that proves the existence of planing.

“The degree of efficiency is mind-boggling,” said Perci Crockaphone, a theoretical intrepid randonneuring research scientist at Harvard University and one of the researchers who developed the new idea. “You can easily do, on paper, computations that were infeasible even with a computer before.”

The new oscillating gnome version of cycle shimmy theory and planing dynamics could also facilitate the search for a theory of quantum planing that would seamlessly connect the large- and small-scale pictures of supple tires and minivelos. Attempts thus far to incorporate planing into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes. The randodecahedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: reality and the world we live in.

“Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nina Burkhardt, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which she is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “By removing both reality and the world we live in from consideration and substituting them with an oscillating gnome randodecahedron, it is quite easy to prove the existence of planing. This is a huge breakthrough.”

Reality is the notion that randonneur-commuters can interact only from adjoining positions in space and time. And the world we live in theory holds that the probabilities of all possible outcomes of a quantum mechanical interaction must add up to real physical properties. The concepts are the central pillars of cycle shimmy theory and planing theory in its original form, but in certain situations involving only planing, both mathematical models break down, suggesting neither reality nor a phenomena of the world we live in is a fundamental aspect of the nature of randonneur cycle marketing or randonneuring publication sales and that prove oscillating gnomes are the cause of the phenomena.

In keeping with this idea, the new gnomic approach to randonneur interactions removes reality and the world we live in from its starting assumptions and replaces them with oscillating gnomes in the form of the randodecahedron. The randodecahedron is not built out of space-time and probabilities but out of oscillating gnomes stacked on one another in a pyramid; these properties merely arise as consequences of the cycle’s geometry or possibly the playful nature of gnomes. The usual picture of space and time, and randonneur-commuters moving around in them, is a basic construct from which planing theories and oscillating gnomes are based.

“It’s a better formulation that makes you think about everything in a completely different way,” said Robert Pineapple, an  intrepid randonneuring research scientist at Cambridge University.

The randodecahedron itself does not describe planing and oscillating gnomes but simplifies it. Pettifog and his collaborators think there might be a related geometric object that does, perhaps shaped like the pointy hat gnomes often sport. Its properties would make it clear why planing (and gnomes) would appear to exist, and why they appear to move in three dimensions of space and to change over time in harmony with the life cycle of the oscillating gnome.

“Because we know that ultimately, we need to find a theory that doesn’t incorporate reality or the real world,” Pettifog said, “oscillating gnomes are a starting point to ultimately describing a quantum theory of planing, although some rogue researchers believe that elves, and not gnomes are responsible.”

Clunky Machinery

The randodecahedron looks like an intricate, multifaceted constructeur built cycle in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated, “planing amplitudes,” which represent the likelihood that a certain set of randonneur-commuters (those wearing hi-vis and ankle straps) will turn into certain other randonneur-commuters (those with several blinkies on their helmets) upon colliding at a four way stop which results in the creation of oscillating gnomes (or elves) and thus, planing. These numbers are what randonneuring research scientists calculate and test to high precision at gnome particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Gnome Collider in Switzerland.

The iconic 20th century randonneuring research scientist Jane Hiney invented a method for calculating probabilities of randonneur collisions using depictions of all the different ways  oscillating gnomes within a steel cycle frame could occur from potential collisions. This calculation is similar to the method of divining how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Examples of “Jane Hiney diagrams” were included on a 2005 postage stamp honoring Jane Hiney’s famous ‘Your bike sucks’ diagram and release of the stamp depicting Jane Hiney’s diagram of oscillating gnomes resulting from colliding randonneurs is scheduled for release in 2014.

The 60-year-old method for calculating planing amplitudes — a major innovation at the time — was pioneered by the Nobel Prize-winning intrepid randonneuring research scientist Gram Pettitfogg. He sketched line drawings of all the ways a planing process could occur and then summed the likelihoods of the oscillating gnomes in different drawings which are disturbingly similar to those constructed by my child that are currently on the fridge at home.

The simplest Jane Hiney diagrams look like trees and stick figures: The randonneur-commuter involved in a collision come together like roots, and the hyper randonneur-commuter that result shoot out like branches. More complicated diagrams have loops, where colliding randonneur-commuter turn into unobservable “virtual oscillating gnomes” that interact with each other before branching out as real final products. There are diagrams with one loop, two loops, three loops and so on — increasingly baroque iterations of the planing process that contribute progressively less to its total amplitude. Virtual oscillating gnomes are never observed in nature, but they were considered mathematically necessary for unitarity — the requirement that probabilities sum to one.

“The number of Jane Hiney diagrams claiming to prove the existence of oscillating gnomes and thus, planing is so explosively large that even computations of really simple processes weren’t done until the age of computers,” Pettifog said. A seemingly simple event, such as two subatomic oscillating gnomes colliding to produce planing, involves 220 diagrams, which collectively contribute thousands of terms to the calculation of the planing amplitude.

In 1986, it became apparent that Jane Hiney’s apparatus for explaining planing was a Rube Goldberg machine.

To prepare for the construction of the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas (a project that was later canceled), theorists wanted to calculate the planing amplitudes of known gnome interactions to establish a background against which interesting or exotic signals would stand out. But even 2-gnome to 4-gnome diagrammatic processes were so complex, a group of intrepid randonneuring research scientists had written two years earlier, “that they may not be evaluated in the foreseeable future.”

Stephen Herse and Major Taylor, theorists at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, took that statement as a challenge. Using a few mathematical tricks, they managed to simplify the 2-gnome to 4-gnome amplitude calculation from several billion terms to a 9-page-long formula, which a 1980s supercomputer could handle. Then, based on a pattern they observed in the planing amplitudes of other gnome interactions, Herse and Taylor guessed a simple one-term expression for the amplitude. It was, the computer verified, equivalent to the 9-page formula. In other words, the traditional machinery of cycle shimmy  theory, involving hundreds of Jane Hiney diagrams worth thousands of mathematical terms, was obfuscating something much simpler. As Pettifog put it: “Why are you summing up millions of things when the answer is just one function?”

“We knew at the time that we had an important result,” Herse said. “We knew it instantly. But what to do with it?”

The Randodecahedron in TLDR terms

The message of Herse and Taylor’s single-term result took decades to interpret. “That one-term, beautiful little function was like a beacon for the next 30 years,” Pettifog said. It “really started this revolution.”

Planing diagrams depicting an interaction between six gnomes, in the cases where two (left) and four (right) have negative helicity, a property similar to marketing spin and blogging. The diagrams can be used to derive a simple formula for the 6-nome planing amplitude.

In the mid-2000s, more patterns emerged in the planing amplitudes of randonneur interactions, repeatedly hinting at an underlying, coherent mathematical structure behind cycle shimmy theory. Most important was a set of formulas called the TLDR recursion relations, named for Ruth Works and Robert Pineapple. Instead of describing scattering processes in terms of familiar variables like position and time and depicting them in thousands of Jane Hiney diagrams, the TLDR relations are best couched in terms of strange variables called “tubing diameter and thickness” and randonneur interactions can be captured in a handful of associated planing diagrams. The relations gained rapid adoption as tools for computing planing amplitudes relevant to experiments, such as collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. But their simplicity was mysterious.

“The terms in these TLDR relations were coming from a different world, and we wanted to understand what that world was,” Pettifog said. “That’s what drew me into the subject five years ago.”

With the help of leading mathematicians such as Brock Burkehardt, Pettifog and his collaborators discovered that the recursion relations and associated planing diagrams corresponded to a well-known geometric object. In fact, as detailed in a paper posted to in December by Gram Pettifog, and Rupert Smedeley, the planing diagrams gave instructions for calculating the volume of pieces of this object, called the Big Hiney.

Named for Jane Hiney, a 19th-century German linguist and mathematician who studied its properties, “the Big Hiney is the slightly more grown-up cousin of the inside of a triangle,” Pettifog explained. Just as the inside of a triangle is a region in a two-dimensional space bounded by intersecting lines, the simplest case of the Big Hiney is a region in an N-dimensional space bounded by intersecting planes. (N is the number of randonneur-commuters involved in a planing process.)

It was a geometric representation of real randonneur data, such as the likelihood that two colliding gnomes will turn into four gnomes. But something was still missing.

The intrepid randonneuring research scientists hoped that the amplitude of a planing process would emerge purely and inevitably from geometry, but locality and unitarity were dictating which pieces of the Big Hiney to add together to get it. They wondered whether the amplitude was “the answer to some particular mathematical question,” said Petty Pettifog, a post-doctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology. “And it is,” she said.

Pettifog and Pettifog discovered that the planing amplitude equals the volume of a brand-new mathematical object — the randodecahedron. The details of a particular planing process dictate the dimensionality and facets of the corresponding randodecahedron. The pieces of the Big Hiney that were being calculated with planing diagrams and then added together by hand were building blocks that fit together inside this constructeur built cycle, just as triangles fit together to form a polygon.

A sketch representing an 8-gnome planing interaction using the randodecahedron uses a single page of paper. Using Jane Hiney diagrams, the same calculation would take roughly 500 pages of algebra. Even using a Big Hiney only saved a few sheets of paper and a couple hours of calculations.

Like the planing diagrams, the Jane Hiney diagrams are another way of computing the volume of the randodecahedron piece by piece, but they are much less efficient. “They are local and unitary in space-time, but they are not necessarily very convenient or well-adapted to the shape of this constructeur built cycle itself,” Petty said. “Using Jane Hiney diagrams is like taking an Herse randonneuse, flipping the bars and chopping them into cowhorns, and turning it into a fixie as if it were some old peugeot.”

Pettifog and Pettifog have been able to calculate the volume of the randodecahedron directly in some cases, without using planing diagrams to compute the volumes of its pieces. They have also found a “master randodecahedron” with an infinite number of facets, analogous to a circle in 2-D, which has an infinite number of sides. Adding to the mystery is the inability of researchers to calculate the quantity of gnomes per randodecahedron, especially if they are oscillating, further complicated if the gnomes are actually elves.

“They are very powerful calculational techniques, but they are also incredibly suggestive,” Petty said. “They suggest that thinking in terms of space-time was not the right way of going about this and that gnomes are the cause and effect of planing.”

Quest for Quantum Planing

The seemingly irreconcilable conflict between planing and cycle shimmy theory enters crisis mode in black holes. Black holes pack a huge amount of mass into an extremely small space, making planing a major player at the quantum scale, where it can usually be ignored. Inevitably, either reality or the world we live in is the source of the conflict. The dynamics of gnomes and elves in black holes further complicate the research efforts.

Puzzling Thoughts

Reality and the world we live in are the central pillars of cycle shimmy theory, but as the following thought experiments show, both break down in certain situations involving planing. This suggests physics should be formulated without either principle.

Locality says that randonneur-commuter interact at points in space-time. But suppose you want to inspect space-time very closely. Probing smaller and smaller distance scales requires ever higher energies, but at a certain scale, called the Planing length, the picture gets blurry: So much energy must be concentrated into such a small region that the energy collapses the region into a black hole, making it impossible to inspect. “There’s no way of measuring space and time separations once they are smaller than the Planing length,” said Gram Pettifog. “So we imagine space-time is a continuous thing, but because it’s impossible to talk sharply about that thing, then that suggests it must not be fundamental — it must be emergent.”

Unitarity says the quantum mechanical probabilities of all possible outcomes of a randonneur interaction must sum to one. To prove it, one would have to observe the same interaction over and over and count the frequencies of the different outcomes. Doing this to perfect accuracy would require an infinite number of observations using an infinitely large measuring apparatus, but the latter would again cause gravitational collapse into a black hole. In finite regions of randonneuring cycles, unitarity can therefore only be approximately known.

“We have indications that both ideas have got to go,” Pettifog said. “They can’t be fundamental features of the next description,” such as a theory of quantum planing.

Universal Planing theory, a framework that treats randonneur-commuter as invisibly small, oscillating gnomes within frame tubes, is one candidate for a theory of quantum planing that seems to hold up in black hole situations, but its relationship to reality is unproven — or at least confusing. Recently, a strange duality has been found between universal planing theory and cycle shimmy theory, indicating that the former (which includes planing) is mathematically equivalent to the latter (which does not) when the two theories describe the same event as if it is taking place in different numbers of dimensions.

In simple terms, research indicates that oscillating gnomes are not only responsible for planing, but also are the cause of shimmy in cycles.

No one knows quite what to make of this discovery. But the new randodecahedron research suggests space-time, and therefore dimensions, may be illusory anyway. Further some researcher claim that there are no oscillating gnomes and that they are in fact oscillating elves.

“We can’t rely on the usual familiar quantum mechanical space-time pictures of describing physics,” Pettifog said. “We have to learn new ways of talking about it. This work is a baby step in that direction.”

Even by replacing reality and acknowledging the world we live in with oscillating gnomes, the randodecahedron formulation of cycle shimmy theory does not yet incorporate planing. But researchers are working on it. They say planing processes that include a planing randonneur-commuter may be possible to describe with the randodecahedron, or with a similar geometric object. “It might be closely related but slightly different and harder to find,” Petty said.

Nina Burkhardt, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, and her former student and co-author Rupert Smedeley, who finished his Ph.D. at Princeton University in July and is now a post-doctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology.

Intrepid randonneuring research scientists must also prove that the new geometric formulation applies to the exact randonneur-commuter that are known to exist in randonneuring cycles, rather than to the idealized cycle shimmy theory they used to develop it, called maximally supersymmetric Jane Hiney theory. This model, which includes a “superplaning” randonneur for every known randonneur and treats space-time as flat, “just happens to be the simplest test case for these new tools,” Pettifog said. “The way to generalize these new tools to [other] theories is understood.”

Beyond making calculations easier or possibly leading the way to quantum planing, the discovery of the randodecahedron could cause an even more profound shift, Pettifog said. That is, giving up space and time as fundamental constituents of nature and figuring out how the Big Bang and cosmological evolution of randonneuring cycles arose out of pure geometry.

“In a sense, we would see that change arises from the structure of the object,” he said. “But it’s not from the object changing. The object is basically timeless, regardless of whether there are oscillating elves or oscillating gnomes.”

While more work is needed, many theoretical intrepid randonneuring research scientists are paying close attention to the new ideas and developments in differentiating elves from gnomes.

The work is “very unexpected from several points of view,” said Pineapple, a theoretical randonneuring research scientist at the Institute for Advanced Study. “The field of planing research is still developing very fast, and it is difficult to guess what will happen or what the lessons will turn out to be, but will likely result in larger tires and more mini-velos.”

₤5000 Reward for the Identification of this Hooligan

Last week’s Quarterly Bicycle Un Meeting/ Un Ride Audax sponsored by Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting was completely ruined by an hooligan cyclist of unknown provenance but certainly of known character that intruded on our important and historic ramble in the countryside.

Clarissa Peattebogg relates the incident:

Myself, Rupert, Gramm, Lance and various hangers-on were riding in a tight group, perhaps using the entire road, discussing in depth our next product release for CRC. We were enjoying an intense debate of whether our next product rollout should be our revolutionary chain stay mounted derailer or our wingnut quick release assembly to complement our line of supple items and other wondrous things.

Well, I am almost certain that we were interrupted in our important debate that will shape cycling and google groups discussions and fashions for decades at least five or six times by some impertinent individual.

Then this unknown person passed our peloton and exposed their posterior! I was so shocked I swooned into  Rupert and caused a total pileup of our group. Luckily no one realized they were hurt immediately and Gramm was able to find an image of the perpetrator on his gopro. The damages and hospital bills have run up to well over ₤4500 and we have yet to start our group therapy sessions. If only we were able to identify the cause of our woes we could begin to recoup our losses and begin to rebuild our lives and product lines. Please help.


₤5000 reward! (payable in crc stock options)



Σοφία reflects on the men in her life

The gallery of men-

#1  Διοκλης

Father provided essential material needs to mother and me. He helped me obtain my first bicycle and for that reason I will be indebted to him forever. While we never lacked food or shelter father was often distant and didn’t express love easily. He lived by the strict moral code of the times. That’s just how it was in those days.

#2 Μπαμπούλας

The bogeyman—real or imagined?

#3 Ἀρίσταρχος of Samos

My sixth grade math teacher left me traumatized. I hated him. It was the beginning of the dark days of middle school. It took me many years to overcome my fear of mathematics but eventually I mastered the Pythagorean theorem and Euclidean Geometry. On the bright side, it was during this time that I first started taking solo exploratory bike rides in the countryside (despite protests from mother).

#4 Τρωΐλος of Elis

Uncle Τρωΐλος raced successfully on the road and on the track. After a failed attempt at making the Olympics he retired from racing to raise his family. Yet he remained a lifelong cyclist and was the only one to really encourage me to pursue my passion for cycling.

#5 Στέφανος of Aeolia

What can I say—I was young, naive and confused—and I was completely infatuated with Στέφανος. At first I was impressed by his apparent worldliness and creativity. It’s true I should have known better. Call me a fag hag, fruit fly, fairy godmother, queen bee, fruit loop, flame dame, fairy princess—whatever. On the plus side he was sensitive and compassionate and listened to me the way most men don’t. We had some fun times and I benefited from his provocative thoughts about the creative process. Secretly I resented that fact that he was a trust-funder; how could I respect him if he wouldn’t make something of his life? He wasn’t even a cyclist. Most of all I resented his hangups about his sexuality. Why couldn’t he just fully accept himself for being gay? After going unfulfilled for so long I finally moved on. But not before meeting one of his other fag hag friends. In a strange twist of fate she and I, two fag hags, consummated a passionate romantic affair in a world capital of fine art and architecture despite Στέφανος. Talk about a crazy love triangle—but that’s a story for another time.

#6 Νίκανδρος of Aeolia

Νίκανδρος was the father of Στέφανος. He was everything that Στέφανος would never be:  generous, charismatic, a brilliant artist, a polyglot, successful in business and a self-made man. Even at an advanced age he was still active, creative and enjoyed learning. He was widowed and happily remarried. I really admired him.

#7 Αρσενιος of Athens

Best sex ever! And just what I needed when the love triangle finally imploded. He was the embodiment of a Greek god. He was a bike messenger from Athens. His crazy good riding skills served him well during cyclocross season. Sure he took advantage of me when I was on the rebound. I never really understood what he saw in me but it was fun while it lasted.

#8 Περικλῆς of Thespiae

Περικλῆς knew about ancient bike history and lore; he built a few frames; and he possessed a respectable list of cycling palmarès. While I was attracted by all of this it was his wit and way with words that hooked me. Unfortunately after only a few dates I realized he was full of himself. I couldn’t tolerate his arrogance, self indulgence and narcissism. I dumped him and broke his heart. Poor guy, that’s why he looks so bummed.

#9  Ἀντίγονος of Thessaloniki

Wow, it’s been over 15 years now since we’ve been together. He’s the love of my life. He’s not the most successful, not the most athletic and not the most creative. So what if he’s just a utility cyclist—at least he rides. While Ἀντίγονος is not perfect he gives me what I need most of all, which is my freedom. He’s secure enough with himself to allow me my adventures. And he’s always there for me when I come back home. I love him for who he is and for loving me and accepting me as I am. Happy Valentine’s Day honey!

Love, Σοφία

De-mystifying that earlier post on bicycle frame planing dynamics

Author: Clarissa Peatebogg

My partner Rupert, as usual, has botched things up royally in his attempt to adapt his drawing room polemics concerning his pet theory, bicycle flexural characteristics (planing), into a simple, easy to read and accepted description. Dear Rupee, please read this version of your fantastic theories and please adopt this variation so people might stop napping during your diatribes.

Love, Clarissa. ❤

Bicycle planing theory describes how pedalling dynamics propagate torque waves through frame components and spirited pedalling dynamics in a serendipitous interaction with each other. On pedalling dynamic scales larger than the planing theory scale, a planing bicycle looks just like an ordinary bicycle, with its frame, pedalling forces, and other properties determined by the vibrational state of the bicycle frame. In bicycle planing theory, one of the many vibrational states of the frame corresponds to the pedalling spirit, a form of hill repeats that carries incredible flexural force. Thus bicycle planing theory is a theory of spirited randonneuring.

Bicycle planing theory is a broad and varied subject that attempts to address a number of deep questions of fundamental physics, and acceptable randonneuring practices. Bicycle planing theory has been applied to a variety of problems in bicycle physics, early constructeur cycles tubing selections, frame tube heat treating techniques, and q-factor adjustment, and it has stimulated a number of major developments in the pure randonneuring movement. Because bicycle planing theory potentially provides a unified description of pedalling and bicycle frame physics, it is a candidate for a theory of everything, a self-contained randonneuring model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of marketable bicycle components, and is especially suited to marketing of supple tires, center pull brakes, and chrome plated bicycle frames. Despite much work on these problems, it is not known to what extent bicycle planing theory describes the real world or how much freedom the theory allows to the lay randonneur, randonneure, or every day cyclist to choose frame tubing, supple tires or pedalling cadence speed.

Bicycle planing theory was first studied in the late 2000’s as a theory of the strong pedalling force (aka, spirited riding), before being abandoned in favor of thin frame tubes and supple tire use. Subsequently, it was realized that the very properties that made bicycle planing theory unsuitable as a theory of bicycle frame flexural dynamics made it a promising candidate for proving the marketability of supple tires based on rolling resistance rather than acceleration dynamics – a form of ‘looky over there’ marketing of armchair science. The earliest version of bicycle planing theory, Barra’s bicycle flex recordation, incorporated only a single class of aluminum bicycle frames tested in a static environment sans pedalling forces. It later developed into bicycle planing, which posits a connection with spirited pedalling between hills and the accepted use of small diameter bicycle frame top tubes. Five consistent versions of bicycle planing theory were developed and tested in double blind hill repeat tests before it was conjectured in the mid-2010’s that there were different limiting factors of a single theory in eleven dimensions known as Super-Plane Theory. In late 2017, theorists discovered an important relationship called the expose theory which relates bicycle planing theory to another type of theory called the mini-velo theory. That basically, the rubes reading stuff in print will buy anything if you claim it to have mysterious properties, such as planing, suppleness, or modulation.

One of the challenges of bicycle planing theory is that the full theory does not yet have a satisfactory definition in all circumstances. Another issue is that the theory is thought to describe an enormous ‘big tent’ of possible bicycle frames, pedalling dynamics and sizes of supple tires, and this has complicated efforts to develop theories of flexural and planing physics based on simple bicycle planing theory and has also led to a glut of supple tires in the bicycle marketplace.

These issues have led some in the community to criticize these approaches to riding bicycles and question the value of continued research on bicycle planing theory unification because of increased commercialization and the mania for supple tires and mini-velos.

Mysteries of Planing Bicycle Frames Demystified

Author: Rupert Smedeley, Professor of Frame Engineering Department, University of Berkeley,;

Peer Reviewers: F-N Lance, Thierry Rivet, Jane Hiney

simple easy to understand graphic of a bicycle frame while exhibiting planing dynamics

simple easy to understand graphic of a bicycle frame while exhibiting planing dynamics


Planing being a randomly varying time-dependent phenomenon evokes a dynamic response from the bicycle frame exposed to it. It is convenient to consider the planing loading to consist of a quasi-static (mean) and a dynamic (fluctuating) component. Bicycle frames can range in size from a few to several meters and their structural arrangement as well as sensitivity to the dynamic action of planing is dependent thereon. Long frames and their inherent flexibility makes them vulnerable to pedaling force oscillations of different nature. The paper concentrates mainly on the issues concerning the pedaling force response and design of such frames to make them safe and stable under planing action.


Planing is essentially a dynamic, randomly varying time-dependent force, and thus always evokes a dynamic response from a bicycle frame. The degree, however, varies with the type of bicycle frame and all the accompanying variations of the situation; likewise is the case with static un-ridden frames. Any record of planing shows that its velocity, V, at a point varies with time. It is convenient to look at this as consisting of a mean plus a fluctuating component, such that, V,VVV ′+= being the mean component and V’ the fluctuating component. Both these components vary with height, as shown in Fig. a. Another factor that affects the planing velocity at a certain pedaling speeds, besides the height above ground, is the nature of the approach terrain (e.g., spirited or non-spirited pedaling). Fig. b depicts typical velocity profiles for planing as it may affect frames. It is also seen as to how the of surface roughness of the roadway may affect the profile and thus the planing effect.

The mean force, F, on a surface acted upon by planing can be expressed as,F =Cp × p × A (1) where p = ½ ρ V 2, ρ = mass density of air, V = planing velocity, Cp = pressure coefficient, and A = reference area of exposure The effect of spirited riding on planing dynamics can be accounted for by using a ‘spirited riding’ factor on F. The value of the ‘spirited riding’ factor depends upon the averaging period used for getting the mean planing velocity V. Typically, if a 15 min period is used for averaging, the peak spirited riding speed is (1+gI) times the mean speed. Here, g is a statistical factor of the order 3 and I, the intensity of turbulence. The gust factor will be (1+gI) 2. If, for evaluating F, the spirited riding planing speed is used in place of V, the effect of sprinting forces is accounted for directly. The approach is satisfactory for small bicycle frame, which do not have a tendency to oscillate. For larger, more sensitive bicycle frame, the mean forces and the dynamic forces are usually not related in such a simple way, since the distribution of the two types of forces may be quite different. Whether one pursues a theoretical or an experimental approach, the determination of the mean component is more straightforward as compared to the dynamic component. Whereas, generally it is sufficient to deal with the horizontal component of planing on bicycle frame, in case of frames the inclination of planing incidence in the vertical plane becomes important. Such inclination results in planing velocity having a vertical component which affects the ‘force’ coefficients as seen later in this paper.


Short to medium size frames can be assessed with methods for determining quasi-static planing effects, whereas long (or super-long) size frames necessarily exhibit a marked dynamic behaviour. Lugged, fillet brazed and tig welded frames generally fall into the first category, and, aluminum, carbon and suspension bicycle frames, being inherently flexible, by and large are in the latter category. Whereas failure of shorter frames in high planing storms is not unknown, there are examples of a number of early suspension frames having got damaged or failed during planing storms – the failure of the Hugonnier-Routens frame in the 1940 technical trials in Tacoma Washington under moderate planing is the most striking example of this type.

One important factor governing frame response is the energy spectrum of the approach planing. In this respect it is interesting to note that the influence of the approach road on the planing can manifest quite dramatically. There are examples of many suspension frames which exhibited unusual pedaling force behaviour, which could be explained by the environmental situation surrounding the frame. Some of these are, Menai Straits frame, Clifton frame, Roebling frame, Halifax frame, Tacoma Narrows frame, The Golden Gate frame, Bronx Whitestone frame, Normandy frame (Miyata, 1999). Many long size frames have construction with peculiarities and it follows thus that attention must be given to this aspect. Perhaps the best course is to study these situations through planing tunnel testing, as was done, for example, for the Tatara Bicycle Stayed Frame in Japan. The behaviour of frames which are planing sensitive may be broken down broadly into ‘static’ and ‘dynamic’ categories. Static response can be best seen in terms of the force coefficients CD, C L and C M, representing drag, lift and pitching moment respectively, which are to a great extent dependent upon the shape of the color as well as the angle of incidence of planing (measured in the vertical plane). Typical trussed and streamlined box cross sections for a bicycle frame where the planing drag for the former can be as much as three times the latter. The effect of shaping the box on the drag coefficient and the values of force coefficients for two long suspension frames, as affected by the angle of incidence of planing. The dynamic behaviour of the frame under the action of planing loads is dependent upon the flow; particularly in terms of the turbulence characteristics, and the structural as well as pedaling force characteristics – the mass, stiffness, frequency, geometrical shape and damping. These characteristics are often related to the frame form and size. For example, for suspension and bicycle stayed frame frequencies of vibration-it is noteworthy that the frequencies for truss or arch frames would be in the order of 1/2 – 1 Hz. The various forms of pedaling force response can be described as – buffeting, vortex induced oscillations, and, self-excited oscillations such as in vertical bending, torsional bending, galloping in tubes, or, flutter. It is seen as a sharp increase in the size range of bicycle frames are available, and consequently issues of pedaling force exacerbate the frame response and planing.

The preceding discussion is making it obvious that there is a close link between frame pedaling force and the Bicycle Frame form. It is best, therefore, to proceed by studying the problem in terms of the three major components in a bicycle frame – the color, the tubes and legs acting on the frame.


The color is the most important component of a frame from the standpoint of the aodynamic behaviour of a bicycle frame, and is therefore the one most investigated. Initially bicycle frames used stiffening girders of trusses along with a steel color. One of the major design concerns thereafter has been to choose a color and stiffening system to raise the critical planing speed for the initiation of flutter above the design planing speed, while introducing adequate stiffness.

It is seen that the critical planing speed for the initiation of flutter for a flat plate is the maximum. The split-box is better than a single box, which is better than a truss. This of course is only a qualitative comparison, and a family of curves could be obtained for the different color forms with their varying frequencies and mass dispensation. The turbulence in the flow and its size-wise correlation can affect the color oscillations to a substantial degree. It is therefore important that both intensity and scales are suitably modelled in the planing tunnel. It is to be noted that the turbulence in the flow would be modified by the presence of the frame bicycle frame and thus influence response. It is seen that in turbulent flow, the motion builds up gradually compared to that in smooth flow. Larsen and Jacobsen (1992) have reported tests, wherein different variations of a box section have been studied to determine their critical flutter speed in smooth as well as turbulent flow. Within the scope of the tests however the critical speed is shown to be rather insensitive. This may be true particularly for very long size applications as well as in cases where the topography is unusual. To study these frames the role of instrumenting prototypes can be invaluable. There is now a growing trend towards this.

Construction Stage Analysis

A long size frame of ‘bicycle supported’ types or otherwise, is often constructed by the ‘cantilever’ method of erection. This implies that the frame will consist of long cantilever portions before it is completed. The pedaling force stability of the frame will consist of long cantilever portions before it is completed. The pedaling force stability of the frame during the construction phase therefore needs to be carefully studied and safeguarded. Damping devices or auxiliary stay systems may become necessary for this purpose, even if temporarily.


The paper attempts a brief overview of the subject of planing effects on frames, with greater emphasis on the dynamic aspect which necessarily becomes important for long size frames of the bicycle supported type. Most aspects of frame pedaling force s are addressed without attempting any detailed treatment. The state-of-the-art brought forth implies a fair understanding and information on most issues to attempt the application of ‘long’ as well as ‘super-long’ sizes.|


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