Housekeeping: It’s Sellout Time

In the summer of 1997, I started the “BMX Basics” website. It started as an Apache subdirectory of a local internet provider (there’s a 1998 snapshot here) and ended up as Once I realized that Internet newbies only understood dot-com I opened At one point I was serving over 560,000 pages a month — even though I only wrote one new piece a week. I closed that site and opened around 2005. Finally, I closed that site and opened this one up a decade ago, eventually moving it to the WordPress site that you all know and tolerate today.

Over the past twenty years, I’ve never had a single banner ad, promotional tie-in, sponsored marketing piece, or any for-profit content whatsoever on any of my sites. The most I’ve ever asked you to do is to use my referral codes for Club Eaglerider (thank you for that, I’m up to 18 free days in the bank!) and Massdrop (28 referrals so far, they sent me some very nice notebooks and pens.) That’s about to change and I’ll explain why in terms that I hope make sense to all of you.

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Housekeeping: Two Million Ways To Waste Your Time

Thirty-four months to the first million and twenty months to the next. When I started this blog I had no expectation that it would eventually attract a couple thousand readers every day of the week. It’s not like Bark and I have done very much to make that happen. Rarely do we have more than a few new posts every week. Much of the credit has to go to the tireless and perceptive Tom Klockau. His classic curbside (wink) reviews are tremendously popular here, and with good reason.

As I did at the one million mark, I’ll answer some Infrequently Asked Questions below.

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Housekeeping: In Which The Other Cheek Is Turned

Earlier today, I wrote a post about how a little bit of effort is required in order to succeed. The example I used in this post was a Google document, written by the wife of an auto journalist and promoted by that journalist on Twitter, containing all the ways in which she would be resisting Trump.

Over the course of the afternoon, I had a conversation with the autowriter involved in which he disavowed the document and stated that his wife had not created any of the content in said document. I added a disclaimer to the beginning of the article. Since then, I’ve spoken to a couple of people, including Bark, about whether the article should stay up regardless of whether the person involved actually wrote that document. I also had a second discussion with the autowriter in which he said “do whatever you want”.

After some consideration, I’ve decided to take the article down. If you care about the reasons, and you’re willing to put up with a little bit of expressed frustration on my part, feel free to click the jump.

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Housekeeping: If You’re Buying Anything Music-Or-Audio-Related

I got a call today from my pal Matt Emick at Sweetwater. Apparently one of you magnificent bastards bought a set of Westone UM2s from him and mentioned this site. Many, many thanks for this. I’ve been working with Matt for eight years now; he’s sold me everything from guitar strings to a Gibson R9 Collector’s Choice and a PRS Private Stock. In all of that time he’s never failed to answer a question, find a particular item, or cut me a brilliant deal on something that I absolutely, positively did not need!

Contact Matt here. Full disclosure: I don’t get anything from Matt or from Sweetwater if you deal with him. I just think that you will benefit from the interaction. The primary thing you can do to make my life better, other than reading and commenting on here, is to join Massdrop and buy something with this link. Every so often, Massdrop sends me fun stuff like titanium sporks thanks to your patronage.

Housekeeping: In Ukraine (and China), The Game Plays You


That’s how many fraudulent login attempts this site got yesterday from the Ukraine and China combined. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So starting next week, I’m going to block traffic from those countries. If you’re a (at least semi-)legitimate reader of this site from either of those countries, post in this thread and I’ll email you a workaround. Thanks!

Dashing Through The Snow

The rumors are true: Matt Farah’s Corvette is coming to live at my house. Yesterday we drove it from Venice, CA to Albuquerque over the course of seventeen dismal snowy hours.

If you know the story behind this car, you know it is very loud. 132dB at full throttle. I’m still a little deaf even though I brought and used three different kinds of earplugs.

Here’s hoping you all have the best holiday possible. I can’t stand Christmas, but I don’t expect all of you to share my opinion!

Happy Birthday To Me

Yesterday, I turned forty-five. I wasn’t really inclined to celebrate this birthday; I don’t expect to live to be ninety so I’ve long since stopped kidding myself that this is “middle age”. But that didn’t stop my friends and family from burying me under an avalanche of generosity. Some of you gave me gifts of humbling magnitude. Others gave me time and effort to attend my surprise party two weeks ago, help out with my trio of October races, or visit with me in places as diverse as Powell and Las Vegas. Still others called, texted, e-mailed.

Thank you.

Yesterday, the American people decided to chip in for one last birthday present — namely, the defeat of Hillary Clinton. I voted for Mr. Clinton in 1992, but in the years since I have come to think of myself as a populist. I believe that full employment is more important than free trade; I believe that this country cannot survive unless we are a net producer and a net exporter; I believe that native-born Americans have the right and the duty to determine this country’s direction; I believe that immigration is only helpful when it occurs in a reasonable and prudent manner.

Mrs. Clinton’s plans to bring several million more people into this country who in no way share our common beliefs, combined with her determination to export more working-class and middle-class jobs to further enrich her plutocrat backers, were incompatible with traditional Democratic or Republican values. It is too soon to tell what Mr. Trump will do. But in the words of the recently famous essay, “A Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.” In other words, we have hope now, where we would have had none. Thank you for that.

Housekeeping: Thanks For Stopping By, Google Searcher


So. Apparently, over this past weekend, a former colleague of mine decided to send out as many as 100,000 emails to people claiming that I was invading his safe space or something like that and asking for those people to “respond” to my “attack” by attacking me by any means necessary. As a consequence of those 100,000 emails, the number of people reaching this site from Google went from about 75-100 a day to, um, 94. Well. Maybe that’s not an increase. I don’t know. I never claimed to be a “doctor of math”.

I’ve been writing about bikes and cars for print since 1991. I’ve always tried to do what’s best for the readers, not for the bike or car makers. When I see somebody doing things that I think are intended to enrich them at the cost of the readers, whether it’s faking up a Wikipedia page about their business or claiming to have objective data about car manufacturers while at the same time aggressively and privately lobbying those same manufacturers for free cars, expensive trips, and luxury accommodations, I’m going to say something.

Every time I call somebody out for advancing their private interest at the expense of their readers and/or contributors, I make enemies by doing so. Eventually, one of those enemies is going to successfully run me out of the car business, whether through gossip, influence peddling, or their own attempts at libel. The only way to stop that from happening would be to join their team, so to speak, and start looking at my readers and contributors as a resource to be exploited and sold rather than as people who have entrusted me with their time and attention. That’s not going to happen. So go ahead — attack me, attack this site, sue me, slander me, whatever. It doesn’t change who and what you are.