Category Archives: TMI

WeatherVane Supple Tyres make YOU a Happier, Healthier, Successful Person

Have you wondered why some sixty-year-olds look and feel like forty-year-olds and why some forty-year-olds look and feel like sixty-year-olds?

Typical WeatherVane Supple Tyre purchaser enjoying the benefits of Supple Tyres

While many factors contribute to aging and illness, Dr. Gram Pettifogg discovered a biological indicator called telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, which protect our genetic heritage and is found in huge quantities in WeatherVane Supple Tyres! Dr. Pettifogg’s and Dr. Jayne Hiney’s research shows that the length and health of one’s telomeres are a biological underpinning of the long-hypothesized Tyre-mind-body connection that is incredibly enhanced by purchasing and possibly even using WeatherVane Supple Tyres.

They and other scientists have found that changes we can make to our daily purchasing habits can protect our telomeres and increase our health spans (the number of years we remain healthy, active, and disease-free).

Purchase WeatherVane Supple Tyres and secure your future, TODAY!

THE WeatherVane Supple Tyre/TELOMERE EFFECT reveals how Pettifogg and Hiney’s findings, together with research from intrepid cycling colleagues around the world, cumulatively show that sleep quality, exercise, aspects of diet, and even certain beneficial chemicals that profoundly affect our enjoyment of cycling are found in huge quantities in WeatherVane Supple Tyres!  

Don’t ride stiff slow tires that contribute to chronic stress, negative thoughts, strained relationships, and randonnee elapsed times that are above the 50% percentile in your club, save yourself from dispassionate mediocrity by purchasing WeatherVane Supple Tyres today!  

Drawing from this scientific body of knowledge, Dr. Pettifogg’s and Dr. Jayne Hiney’s research provides lists of foods and suggest amounts and types of exercise that are healthy, mind tricks you can use to protect yourself from stress, and information about how to protect your children against developing poor cycling habits, from pregnancy through adolescence. Dr. Pettifogg’s and Dr. Jayne Hiney’s research describe how we can improve our health spans at the community level, with neighborhoods characterized by trust, green spaces, and safe streets, all in one simple WeatherVane Supple Tyre Purchase!

THE WeatherVane Supple Tyre/TELOMERE EFFECT will make you reassess how you live your life on a day-to-day basis.

WeatherVane Supple Tyres are the first tyres with the gumption to explain how we age at a cellular level and how we can make simple tyre changes that will keep our chromosomes and cells healthy, allowing us to stay disease-free longer and live more vital and meaningful lives.

Purchase WeatherVane Supple Tyres and secure your future, TODAY!

Purchase WeatherVane Supple Tyres in our webstore, today!

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Older Cyclist riding WeatherVane Supple Tires mobbed by Beautiful Women in Bikinis

This could be you, on WeatherVane Supple Tires

CRC has received reports of cyclists riding WeatherVane Supple Tires that have been mobbed by luscious babes with practically nothing on while out for a bit of a spin on the cycle. Some believe that liberal applications of WeatherVane Supple Tire Sauce may be the cause of the increased interest that luscious babes with practically nothing on have shown in otherwise regular guys who like to ride bikes.

Local constabulary have been interviewed by CRC staffer Perci Crockaphone and while they find that mobs of luscious babes with practically nothing on running around in traffic to be a bit of an inconvenience, they do not anticipate any legal or policing action will be required on their part.

Remember folks, try a pair of Weathervane Supple Tires or Supple Tire Sauce today, and get ready to fend off mobs and mobs of luscious babes with practically nothing on. Better yet, try them both!

WeatherVane Supple Tires wishes to salute all women on international women’s day in their continued quest for respect and decency in this topsie turvy world.

Disclaimer: CRC has a controlling interest in WeatherVane Supple Tires, and WeatherVane Supple Tire Sauce.

Portable Grill for Cycles Road Test

As announced recently on Instagram here is our product review of a portable grill for cycles.

We have all been there – enjoying the wilds by the campfire and wishing we had some way to grill our sports energy bars and boil some water for our herbal tea. Well, we here at CRC don’t accept advertising so we can call em like we see em, and have tested the latest product and here is our unchangeable and irrevocable pronouncement on this device.

cute grill attached to a pink 29er is the subject of this review

cute grill attached to a pink 29er is the subject of this review

Packaging

There was no packaging available for review and comment, the grill came pre-installed on a tarted up pink 29er mountain bike.

Workmanship/Finish

The grill was not chromed. We only like chromed grills as powdercoating scuffs, smears, and peels when placed over a flame and makes our weenies smell and taste funny.

Fitment

The grill seemed to fit nicely although it was not perfectly level.

Luggage

No luggage was included with the grill, but it seems as though it might be suitable perch for a basket as well as a couple of bags; but we did not investigate this possibility.

Planing/tubing selection

The tubes were not thin wall. The grill did not plane. Roll down tests were inconclusive. Wind tunnel tests were not performed. It is important to note that there were no open brazing holes for gnomes to be inserted or to obtain oxygen and fresh air.

Geometry

The grill did not appear to be low trail.

Fenders/lighting

We did not notice fenders or lights on the grill.

Grilling

The grill was difficult to remove by firelight for use on the fire, and several small pieces of hardware were lost in the darkness. The grill burned our fingers painfully after we tried to move it while in use. The space between the tubes was much too large and our items to be grilled continually fell into the ashes. As we continued to struggle with the grill, we were shocked by a high pitched screaming which we thought were gnomes inside the grill trying to escape.

The grill was quickly removed from the fire (hence the burned fingers) although we were unable to determine if any gnomes were damaged. Later, we realized the screaming sound was actually our spicy vegan sausages sizzling.

We recommend the application of stickers that read ‘caution, hot while in use’ on the grill.

Conclusion

We simply cannot recommend this portable grill for grilling. Use as a grill does not even seem to have  been considered at all in the design, which is completely baffling to the road tester. Perhaps if you need a rack for carrying things on your tarted up pink 29er mountain bike, this grill is probably just fine, but we did not investigate this feature and cannot in good conscience endorse the use of a grill as a rack.

Disclosure: CRC does not accept advertising nor does it manufacture product – we call em like we see em.

Gnome Care for the Beginner

We are continuing our popular series “How to not embarrass yourself when Randonneuring” with a short article on gnome care. This article discusses ways to look after your gnome and keep your bike planing like the dickens.

Enjoy!

A healthy gnome is a joy to behold

A healthy gnome is a joy to behold

Perhaps you have just bought a gnome on the spur of the moment or drunkenly bid on one at a charity auction (and won!) and you have no idea on how to care for it. Maybe you think you know the basics but would like to learn more; like what to do with gnome droppings when cleaning the frame, or what food and plants you can give to your gnome.

If you have just returned home with your new gnome you are going to need to know how to correctly introduce your newly purchased friend in to his or her new home in your randonneuse. Like most people around bikes, your gnome can easily get burned out and sometimes even get sick of cycling. To minimize the chance of this happening, read on and keep those gnomes happy and oscillating!

If you read over all the articles we have on this site, by the time you have finished you could have earned an online certificate in gnome care if you were to have enrolled in our online course in gnome care so give enrolling a chance and then you could earn extra money in your spare time as a certified professional gnome care giver.

Regardless of your enrollment status, if you study all of our articles you can be confident that you know what you are talking about when it comes to gnomes, and that you are an expert who can help friends, family and passersby learn more about how to care for them.

A gnome is an easy creature to keep and care for. They take up relatively little room in your home. They don’t bark loudly or leave hairs on your sofa, they don’t whine to be let out for a randonnee, they usually remember to put the toilet seat down, and also they don’t require expensive treats.

All they need is a low trail cycle with standard size thin wall tubing, a little tonic in the frame to make it less harmful to them, and regular feeding every day, and that’s it. Do that and you won’t hear a peep out of them.

Introducing your gnome to your frame

This can be the most important step in gnome care. First we’ll tell you what not to do.

Jamming them down the seat tube

Yeah, we know, that is the biggest hole in your frame, but put the gnomes in your seat tube and they will get caught in your bottom bracket and you’ll get all kinds of creaking noises. Cheap carbon bikes with gnomes stuffed down the seat tube by non-union labor always creak. To insert your gnome properly you need to get a gnome hypodermic available from our online store and inject them into the brazing vent holes of your frame. Once the gnomes are inside they will expand and and start oscillate and will not fall out.

A frame with properly inserted gnomes makes a ‘ping’ sound when flicked with a finger, not a ‘thunk’.

Adding Too Many Gnomes at Once

What low trail randonneuse owner isn’t eager to fill the frame with gnomes? Unfortunately adding too many gnomes all at once is another common new gnome installer mistake. Until the beneficial bacterial colonies have fully established within the frame, the randonneuse cannot safely support a full load of gnomes. Only add a couple of small hardy gnomes initially. Wait a week or so until both the ammonia and nitrite levels have risen to optimal levels before adding more gnomes. You can buy testing equipment at our online store.

Overstocking

Even after getting through the initial startup, it’s very common for new owners to overstock the randonneuse. Although an experienced person may successfully keep a troupe of twenty gnomes in randonneuse, it would be disastrous for a beginner to attempt it.

Debate exists over the inch per cm of inserted seat post rule, but it provides a good basic yardstick from which to start. I recommend taking eighty percent of the net seat tube length after seat post insertion as the maximum number of gnomes to keep in the frame. The net seat tube length is the amount of seat post visible after the powdercoating and polishing.

For example, let’s say a randonneuse holds 16 cm of seat post after the frame saver and internal wiring have been added. Multiplying 16 times 80% yields a result of 12.8 – or about 13 gnomes as a maximum number for this frame. It is always wise to go under the maximum to rather than all over. Remember, crowded gnomes do not oscillate freely.

Keeping Incompatible Gnomes

New randonneuse owners often choose gnomes that look appealing to them, without knowing the environmental needs of the gnome. Some gnomes may fight with one another, or require widely different internal frame conditions. Either way, they should not be kept together. Always research each variety of gnome before choosing frame mates. Select peaceful gnomes that thrive in similar air conditions. Older gnomes up for adoption are available at our online store.

Overfeeding

The number one mistake made by gnome owners other than overstocking is overfeeding their gnomes. Gnomes are opportunistic and will seek food at all times. Just because they appear hungry, doesn’t mean they need to be fed all the time, so don’t fall for those big sad puppy eyes when they are getting unruly.

Feed them no more food than is completely consumed in five minutes or things will get messy fast in your randonneuse.

During startup, feed gnomes no more than once per day, and during critical times when there is an approaching grand randonnee, withhold feeding for a day or two to reduce the wastes being produced within the randonneuse. Gnomes can easily go several days without food, and not suffer ill effects. This is important to know when shipping your bike to PBP.

Not Testing the Air

New owners aren’t magically given full knowledge of the oscillation cycle, and the need to monitor the air chemistry in their randonneuse. As a result they often are unaware of the need to test their air, and fail to take steps to deal with harmful toxins.

When the frame is first set up, it should not be ridden for a day or two. Before adding the gnome to the randonneuse, the pH, ammonia, and nitrite levels within the frame should be tested for a baseline record. During the startup cycle it is important to test the ammonia and nitrites often (see Nitrogen Cycles website for details). Once the randonneuse’s internal environment is well established, test the air monthly to be aware of unseen problems that may be brewing. If gnomes suddenly die, test the air to see if anything has changed. Testing equipment is available in our online store.

Tips for Getting Gnomes to Lay Eggs

Do your gnomes lay their eggs in the tool box, on the ground, in tall grass — everywhere but in the low trail randonneuse? Sometimes gnomes can be very stubborn about this habit. These tips will encourage your gnomes to lay in their low trail randonneuses, making sure you get the maximum number of fresh, clean eggs.

Make laying eggs in your bike appealing. Ensure that your randonneuse is kept in a dark, quiet corner of the house. Gnomes have the instinct to lay their eggs in a safe place.

Train them with a “nest egg.” You can purchase fake ceramic eggs from online, or use a golf ball. When your gnomes get ready to start laying, placing the fake egg in bottle cage will give them the idea that the bottle cages are “the place” to lay their eggs, too, if the egg will not fit inside the frame.

How to feed a gnome

You are probably very excited about your new gnomes and want to feed them as soon as you can, to watch them eat. It is better to wait and allow the gnomes some time to settle before you feed them, then when you do for the first time, be careful to not overfeed them.

There are many different gnome foods available in cycle stores and you should choose one that comes recommended or is from a well-known gnome food brand. TetraGnome® is the market leader. The food normally comes in the form of flakes and contains all the nutrients your gnome needs, be sure to get a food brand that is specifically for gnomes and not elves or your gnome may become depressed and negatively affect your randonnee elapsed time and/or stats. You can purchase TetraGnome® gnome flakes in our on line store.

A good gnome food in flake form is all you ever need to feed your gnome. Some gnomes owners do like to feed their gnomes fresh food from time to time, which although it sounds like a nice thing to do, it can easily bring disease or pollute the gnome’s environment that would not have happened otherwise.

It can be exciting to watch your gnomes eat live food so if you really want to do it, get some frame fleas (daphnia) from your pet shop rather than catching them from a constructeur’s workshop. Don’t put too many frame fleas in to the low trail cycle at a time as they can quickly start to decompose and cause odor problems.

Remember, only buy what you need and use it while it is fresh.

Did you know that over-feeding is the most common problem of gnomes dying? If you over-feed the gnomes, the leftover food will remain in the low trail cycle and pollute the frame, feeding your gnome’s developing diseases. Only feed the gnomes as much food as they can completely consume in five to ten minutes.  However, feeding should be done twice a day or more during randonnees.

A great invention is the frame bag feeding rig, which will keep all the food in one place. This way the gnomes know exactly where to find the food. It is also especially important for you to not accidentally consume your gnome flakes while on a randonnee, even if you are bonking horribly, as most randonneurs never recover from gnome flake consumption.

Symptoms your gnome maybe ill

Gnome is gasping at the frame brazing vent holes to get oxygen

Gnome is oscillating abnormally

Gnome is obsessed with instagram/snapchat, etc.

Gnome is oscillating only in the top tube

Gnome is showing swelling or lumps on its skin

Gnome is not laughing at your jokes/refuses to listen during story time

Gnome is very thin or exhibits strange bloating

Clean the frame partially

The main reason gnomes get ill is because of a polluted frame. Make sure that there is no excess food in the randonneuse that is left to rot and always clean the frame at least partially on a regular basis.

If the randonneuse gets too hot the oxygen level in the frame will quickly drop and the gnomes will be distressed, showing signs such as crowding at the brazing vent holes to get air. Cleaning products are available in our online store.

Shade the low trail cycle

You should shade the low trail cycle from sunlight with a cloth or towel, or in a walk-in cooler at the quicky mart. In extreme situations, place a bag of ice cubes on the top of the frame to cool the frame down quickly and you may save your gnomes from a horrible death.

Gnome Fungus Disease

One of the most common diseases in gnomes is fungus disease. The fungus is usually in the frame but the gnome will only become affected if its immune system is low, this can normally happen following any randonnee of 400k or more. Obvious signs to look for are small fluffy spots or dots around the brazing vent holes of the randonneuse. If these are observed open up the frame and inspect your gnomes closely.

If you have many gnomes in a low trail cycle and you notice this condition on maybe only one or two gnomes, they should be removed as quickly as possible from the low trail cycle to stop other gnomes from also contracting the fungus disease. Place the affected gnomes in your waterbottle (don’t drink from it!) or inside the baggy they give you for your brevet card.

Gnome fungus treatment

You can place these gnomes in an isolation randonneuse and buy an anti-fungal treatment from our online store and treat them. Another method to help infected gnomes is to keep them in the same cycle, add 3% of salt to the frame and leave them in it for around 15 minutes. This translates to about 30g of salt to 1 liter of frame. Be warned, do not use table salt as it contains iodine, which can will harm the gnomes.

While you do not have much control over whether your gnomes will contract a fungus disease or not, you can do your part by keeping the randonneuse clean and ensuring there are no sharp objects in the randonneuse that could damage your gnome.

This brings us to the end of the guided tour

http://www.gnome care.org has many other pages that cover certain topics in a more in-depth TLDR sort of way and these topics includes whole sections on the different types and varieties of gnomes and common gnome diseases. However information on breeding gnomes is still in the “this section is still in its infancy” stage and is in the process of been developed. It does however contain information on the 10 most commonly found gnome breeding diseases, including Dropsy, Cloudy Eye, White Spot or Ick to mention just a couple.

Finally our store offers a selection of products with an ever growing selection of Gnome Supplies most of which are very competitively priced.

Thanks in advance for visiting our sister website, http://www.gnome care.org

 

Dream quest of the unknown meeting – part seven

Rushing to pack my now empty musette I had an epiphany.

I am just a regular guy that likes to ride bikes!

What do I care about gnomes, unknown meetings (sounds kinda creepy, actually) and effortlessly stealing victories. I am going to wake up and call the RUSA Police and let them take care of things!

I pulled out my little electronic companion that never leaves my grasp and dialed 1-800-IMA-DOUCH and waited for the operator to respond. I explained to the friendly operator the situation and they promptly sent out a few RUSA officers.

The unlikely pair was a couple who went by the name of Bill and Lois. Bill sported a P-12 pin on his lapel and Lois wore a white wind vest with a red sash with that cute RUSA logo on it.

‘Here, fill out this waiver and we will do the bike check in a minute.’ Bill said as he handed me a clipboard with a piece of paper filled with fine print. I protested I was not a RUSA member but was merely reporting an infraction and Bill responded. ‘Rules are rules, you gotta follow ‘em, and stop giving me a hard time – I am just a volunteer and don’t get paid for my time.’

I filled out the form, reluctantly showed them my reflective gear and then they proceeded to get the facts.

‘You say some guy in a blue sweater with white letters wearing knickers stole all your gnomes? I think we know the guy – he has tried to lay siege to RUSA once or twice, but we have been able to hold him off. With these gnomes he can be a serious threat to the enjoyment of challenging yourself to ride long distances while observing several written and unwritten rules for fun.’

‘Gnomes equal competition and we all know what competition does, it results in adulterated statistics with split infinities, broken links on the RUSA website, and k-hound awards. Serious problems for a volunteer organization to deal with. Why we changed the website from HTML to that flashy broken thing has always troubled me and the stupid thing won’t load on my damn phone.’

Satisfied that I had done my duty I started to leave for the open road already thinking of the stew and house brew at the next quicky mart.

‘Hey! You forgot your helmet – you don’t want a post card and visit from the RUSA Police do you?’

so ends my

dream quest of the unknown meeting.

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 rusa.org 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.”