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I’ve Had About Enough of What the Pandemic is Doing to Cycling…

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My wife asked me the other day, because I write a wonderfully popular blog that revolves around cycling and recovery from addiction (strange bedfellows, indeed), what bike colors are like this year.

My wife and I have an annual discussion about bike colors and how horrendous the current slate is… but I didn’t have an answer for her this year. In fact, I didn’t have a clue. And I didn’t have a clue because I haven’t bothered to look. And I haven’t bothered to look because, no matter how gaudy or cool the bikes are this year, you can’t get one till 2023 or beyond, so why bother? Even our beloved boutique brand, Co-Motion for our tandem is eight months out on new orders.

Well, I guess it’s not all horrible! If I’m 4’10” tall or 6’3″ I can get a Tarmac in 49 or 61 cm! Sadly, my wife needs a 54 cm, so she’s out till God only knows when. And the sad thing? Colors are awesome this year from the big two. Better than I’ve ever seen. This is some kind of cruel joke.

Better, and this one really made me laugh, we’ve got the rollout for the new Specialized Evade Helmet. I actually thought about pulling the trigger on two for my wife and I to the tune of $600 for the pair, till I saw this:

Seriously. Specialized rolled out a helmet you can’t actually buy. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so damned sad.

I’ve had about enough of the pandemic and what’s been done with it and in its name. On one hand, you have to expect interruptions in the face of a disaster like this (I wonder, do we call this a “human caused disaster”?). On the other, really?

I long for the days of real normalcy. Not just the “new normal”. I’ve seen the “new normal” and it sucks.


2 Comments

  1. Brent says:

    I spend a lot of time at work analyzing the geopolitical situation. We are going to see shortages of a lot of imported stuff for the next year or two.

    But there’s a lot of work behind the scenes at moving production of high-value items like computer chips and aircraft parts back to the US. Medium-value items (bikes, microwave ovens, blenders) will come back to either the US or to Mexico. It takes 3-5 years for that to happen, unfortunately, because people are building new factories, but they are going to build them with improved (read: more automated) production processes to offset higher labor costs. iPhones won’t be assembled by hand in a Chinese factory with 200,000 workers each making $150 a month… Instead, they will be in a heavily automated factory in the US with 1,000 workers who fix robots.

    People are moving production out of mainland China for a whole bunch of reasons. I would expect to see some bicycle component production, which has been the big problem, move to Mexico, for frames to continue to be built in Taiwan, and for final assembly to happen in Mexico, where new bikes will be just a short truck ride away.

    No longer will you have the chainrings made in China, crank arms in Japan, frames in Taiwan, saddles in Cambodia, seat posts in Vietnam, carbon wheels in Italy, etc. They’ll get it down to 3-4 countries max, and as many as possible of those in the Western Hemisphere.

    End result will be a much more resilient supply chain and more jobs for American workers.

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