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Welcome to 2022! Ditching Sirloin for Cabbage Steaks? Let Me Show You A Guy with Two Thumbs That’ll Take a Hard Pass!

I woke up to this in my news feed: “Skip the Sirloin, Head Straight for the Cabbage Steaks”. It’s going to be that kind of year. Apparently cauliflower steaks are falling out of favor. Or something.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those Neanderthals who believes someone who writes something so goofy as “skip the sirloin and head for the cabbage” should be silenced, banned or otherwise receive 1,000 lashes with a wet noodle. On the contrary, someone get that knucklehead a megaphone, because some stupid sells itself!

See, that’s the funny thing about the whole “ban this” and “censor that” “woke” movement. Take AOC as an example. Conservatives don’t want her banned! We want someone to give her a bullhorn, because that woman is obviously nuts (and no, I have no desire whatsoever to “date” her) and every time she opens her mouth she drives more people to the conservative side than she attracts to her corner of dumb island.

No, those who seek to ban thought, speech and writing do so because they have no hope of debating against logic, science and sound reason. They’re the one standing behind a crate of cabbages, saying “cabbage steaks are way better than sirloins!” And they’ll try to get you cancelled if you disagree.

Speaking of, do you know where the term “capitalism” originated? See, way back when, the commmmmies found it increasingly difficult to rail against the “free market”. You can’t rail against freedom effectively – again, it’s like trying to sell cabbage steaks over sirloins. Oh, you’ll convert one or two knuckleheads, but everyone else will laugh at you because you’re trying to sell lettuce as an alternative to steak. Well, commies, Marxists, Leninists, etc., etc., ad nauseum can’t take someone laughing at them – especially when you get the Nieman Marxists and Champagne Socialists together and one says, “politicians ruling over the economy is much better than a free market” and everyone busts out laughing… well, those fragile egos just can’t handle that, so they came up with “capitalism” because it’s easier to impugn than “freedom”.

Now, if you’re one of those and, when you impugn “capitalism” whilst trying to insist “socialism” should be preferable and someone like me laughs at you, you’ll know why. People like me know you’re trying to sell cabbage steaks to someone who eats sirloins whenever the desire strikes.

And that’s why you want someone banned, condemned, shadow banned, relegated to the corner, ostracized, fired, or disliked – because at the end of the day, cabbage is still cabbage, baby.

For the rest of the dummies, if they’re that dumb, hand them the bullhorn. Let them prove your point for you.

Just a thought.

An Article I Found Interesting on the True Meaning of the Movie Die Hard

First things first, I don’t make a big deal about movies on my blog, because I tend to feel I have bigger fish to fry, but I am a massive fan of movies. Not Hollywood, so much, because movie stars tend to be tools and ignoramuses (a great combination, by the way), but I love the suspension of disbelief for a couple to three hours while a movie is playing.

One of the more enjoyable parts of the Christmas season for me, aside from the pinnacle of the season, in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Randy Quaid’s Eddie is explaining to Chevy Chase’s Clark the metal plate in his head was changed to plastic because “Every time Catherine would rev up the microwave, I’d piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour.” Every year, without fail, I laugh to the point of tears over that one, perfect line. Aside from that, and the rest of Christmas Vacation, along with A Christmas Story, is the tradition of watching John McClane battle Hans Gruber’s bad guys at Nakatomi Plaza. It’s become a yearly thing with my daughters.

Rarely, however, do I put much thought into movies beyond their ability to allow an escape of the mind… until I happened on the linked article below, about the meaning of Die Hard:

One of Die Hard‘s themes is that it is the regular guys, the practitioners lower down the command chain, who are more likely to figure things out than those above them.

https://www.americanexperiment.org/the-true-meaning-of-die-hard/

Never mind that the author called Duane T. Robinson, “Robertson” through the whole article, he gets the themes right:

In many ways, McClane’s opposite in the film is not Gruber, but Ellis, Holly’s cackling, coke sniffing colleague who tries to negotiate with the bad guys: “You use a gun, I use a fountain pen. What’s the difference?” Ellis learns the hard way that there is a very profound difference. Again, the the sophisticated (in his own eyes at least) Ellis is no more successful than Dr. Hasseldorf, Deputy Chief Robertson [sic], or the Johnsons at correctly identifying the nature of the threat posed by Gruber and his comrades and how to combat it. It is John McClane — “a dumb Irish flatfoot” as Gruber’s vengeful brother calls him in the third film — who does that. Die Hard celebrates the common sense wisdom of the Blue Collar American everyman.

And that’s what I love about Die Hard, one helluva Christmas movie. Do read the rest of the article, it’s quite good.

Finally, to put a big, red bow on this post, it never fails to amaze me, listening to politicians who live in their nice little Washington DC bubble, completely miss the pulse of the nation and resort to their spoon-fed, bubble wrapped DC talking points. I get this listening to the local radio station on the way home as the show hosts get their panties in a bunch about how tough it must be for people having to return to the office to work with omicron taking over the Covid scene… I was back in the office before there was a vaccine for the vastly more deadly alpha (or was is beta?) – and I worked through delta as if it wasn’t even there. Now they’re whining about the “vastly more contagious omicron” while completely missing the fact that it is also vastly less deadly. Omicron will crowd out delta (it’s already happening) and replace it… this is the best news since they were reporting on the success stories of record Christmas sales in 2019 and all they’re completely missing it.

Like it or not, willful or not, the betters miss what we in flyover country see plainly and simply so consistently it boggles the mind. It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

How Much Should One Ride a Bike to Keep One’s Brain “Younger”? A Humorous Look At A Captain Obvious Study…

I read an article recently that delved into the subject of brain health, diet and exercise. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but researchers who put sedentary people with “mild cognitive impairments” on a hypertension busting diet and had subjects exercise a few times a week saw their subjects’ cognitive abilities improve from that of a 93 year-old to an 84 year-old. Here’s the problem; the test subjects were 65.

Each person was randomly assigned to six months of either aerobic exercise (three times a week for 45 minutes each session at greater than 65 percent of their max heart rate), adhering to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, following a combination of aerobic exercise and the DASH diet, or attending informational sessions where they learned about ways to boost their brain health.

The results? Those who were assigned the combination of exercise and the DASH diet saw the most brain-boosting benefits, and actually experienced an improvement—they now had the cognitive function of an 84-year-old instead of a 93-year-old. But those who only exercised still “demonstrated significant improvements in the executive function domain,” according to the study.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/here-s-how-much-to-ride-a-week-to-keep-your-brain-9-years-younger?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Now, this should surprise no one. And, if you look at the bright side, you now have an excuse to ride a bike. The conversation could go something like this:

“What do you do to stay active?”

“Well, I love riding bicycles.”

“Oh, you ride a bike? Those are so dangerous, and traffic is so terrible (and texting people, etc., etc.)… I don’t know how you could have any fun!”

“Well, it is loads of fun – we pick and choose which roads to ride on, trying to limit our exposure to traffic, but it’s more than about just having fun. You see, fitness slows cognitive decline, so when we’re both 80, I’ll be mentally spry and nimble, likely living in my house with my wife while you, being the sedentary type, will be dumb as a box of rocks and likely in a nursing home. Enjoy that couch.”

“Oh.”

“Yep.”

Now, we’d never treat another person like that, because that shit’s just plain rude. But if we didn’t have a “nice” filter… ?

Right, one in ten times you’d get punched in the nose. Better to stick with tact, I suppose.

Ride hard, my friends. Cognitive decline is no joke. And bikes are freaking cool.

Fun with Numbers: Covid 19 Edition

We’re in trouble here in Michigan. I just heard the breathless report on the news… The Omicron Variant is up 800% in just a few days!

It was one case. Now it’s eight.

We’re on day 643 of 14 days to flatten the curve…

Michigan’s Gov. Says “Let’s Go Brandon” Calling on the Republican Legislature to Fund a Wall to Keep “Invasive” Carp Out of the Great Lakes

Trigger (heh) warning: This post is of a political nature. If you can’t take a joke (or if you think it was okay to say “F*** Trump” but “Let’s Go Brandon” is beyond the pale, you need help), you won’t want to go any further in this post. Hit the little “x” in the upper right and call it good. You have been trigger (heh) warned.

That’s right, folks! Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer joined the chorus with her very own way to say “Let’s Go Brandon”!

This is from the Gov’s office:

In a stunningly ironic rebuke of President Biden’s southern border policy, the Democrat Governor’s December 10th announcement calls for full funding of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes with a wall. Dam folks, you simply can’t make this stuff up. Apparently, someone on her staff wasn’t paying attention during their diversity and sensitivity training.

Somebody pass the popcorn.

UPDATE: Folks, this is all too ironic to take serious. It’s just meant to showcase how “willy-nilly” Democrats can be with policy. I’m all for keeping carp out of the Great Lakes. It’s one of those perfect government jobs – one of those you’re talking about when you say, “Hey, good enough for government work!” The Great Lakes are so vast, you can’t possibly hope to keep a fish that’s in too many inland lakes to count, out… is invasive, and just wants to get to a “better life” in a bigger, better lake. In all truth, I don’t want to see the things in the Great Lakes, either. In this case, though, the irony is just too good.

Hobnobbing with Hobnobbers and Finding Serenity in Hobnobbery Outside of My Element

D’you ever have one of those days? I left work early to take my daughter out to lunch. We ate, we laughed, we had a glowing time.

So far, so good.

I headed home, picked up my vaccination card and headed over to get my booster (my sister is flying in for Christmas after having surgery to remove part of her lung to beat cancer – it was a success). It is important that I do what I can to make sure she goes home without a hitchhiker even though being fully, fully vaccinated won’t stop the virus – it’ll just help me fight it better, as the science goes. Still, it made my sister feel better and that’s good enough for me.

Got the poke in my right arm. Bueno.

On the way home, all hell broke loose at work. The biggest job we’ve got was falling apart at the seams and it was on me to put it back together. I was on the phone for well over an hour and on “high alert”. My arm started hurting in waves shortly thereafter. Not terrible at first, but noticeable. I felt quite good, though, as I started getting ready for my wife’s board Christmas party up at Zehnder’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Frankenmuth. I wasn’t aware, as we were on our way up, that my wife put the shindig together and was a large part responsible for things coming off without a hitch. I would be off on my own in a roomful of a few hundred people, not one of which I knew.

After we dropped our coats at our table, my wife introduced me to the husband of one of her friends. We hit it off quite well and talked for the better part of fifteen minutes before their table started filling up. I went back to my table where I chose to sit alone for a bit. I sent my daughter a text or two, then put my phone away and took in the crowd. A couple, the wife of whom sits on the board with my wife sat down with her husband and we began shooting the breeze. Unlike many in the crowd who were quite well educated, the four of us were normal folk so it was easy going after breaking the ice.

Surprisingly, five hours after having gotten my poke, I wasn’t feeling the least bit off. Hope blossomed as we ate a fantastic dinner.

Shortly after dinner, however, the fun was over. It wasn’t a crash like my two previous Covid shots, the suck washed over me as we drove home. We were home and I was a sleep shortly after 9pm… and I was up at 1:41 am, full-on fever and shivers had set in and I couldn’t warm up. The pain was tolerable, but getting worse so I tried to fall back to sleep for an hour before getting up and taking some Tylenol. It was like taking a walking stick to a Stormtrooper deployment on Scarif. There was no way I was falling back to sleep.

So here I am at work and I shouldn’t be. But I also should have waited till this afternoon to get my shot, so it is what it is.

To the main point, though! Whenever I find myself getting nervous about the crowd I happen to be with, I always fall back to one simple truth; they put their pants on just like I do and we all want to be happy in the end. That simple thought keeps it in proper perspective for me… and so I hobnob with the hobnobbers and can find serenity in hobnobbery outside of my normal crowd.

Should a Male Cyclist Shave His Legs? There Is No Short Answer, But Yes. Or No. How About Maybe?

I got roped into shaving my legs by the internet (and being a little bit gullible). That may read funny, but it’s the God’s honest truth. First, The Rules (I know). Second, everything I read out there on the webz said if you don’t want to look like a noob, leg, meet razor, razor, meet leg. Commence with the shaving.

The first time I climbed into bed with my wife after shaving, she was all like, “Wait a second! I like it!” She gently, ahem, recommended the clean legs stay.

And so it’s been for the better part of a decade. The real question is why?

Now, back when I started shaving, we all kinda figured shaving the guns was more aerodynamic but there was no data on it. Today there is. Shaved versus hairy legs were tested in Specialized Bicycles’ wind tunnel and the analysis showed a significant benefit. This is a fantastic “why”. It was my “second” why.

Next up we’ve got the road rash theory. For those who regularly try to stop their bikes very quickly, with their body rather than the brakes, having shorn legs means its easier to pick out gravel and less painful for bandage removal. These are two big pluses. But how many crashes have I been involved in where I needed that perk? That would be zero. In a decade. This is mainly for racers. Oh, and it sounds good.

Finally, we’re going to go where the rubber meets the road. I’m going to be candid and honest where many won’t, possibly because it’s a little vain: Bro, shaved legs just look awesome. It is what it is. Go to a big group ride and look at the difference between those who do and those who don’t shave. That’s all you’ll need to see. The hairy dudes will look out of place – even if they can lay down the watts.

The tough part here, and this gets fun (and even a little “political” without having anything to do with politics), is that shaving the legs is entirely unnecessary in a club setting. Five years ago, everyone who threw their leg over a hybrid shaved. Nowadays, you’re down to 75% of the club ride. Heck, I know a few guys who refuse to shave simply to be the “anti-everybody else” guy, hence the “politics without politics” angle.

I will say the same thing I’ve always said; shave or don’t. Nobody really cares as long as you’re competent on your bike. Just know this: if you don’t, you’ll be working harder than all of the shaved dudes to go as fast as they do. Fair or not, it is what it is.

Smooth and sporty, baby. That’s how we roll. On the asphalt. If you’re only into gravel or mountain biking, please return your seat back to the proper position and prepare for landing. You guys stick with being a sasquatch.

Study Reportedly Shows Vigorous Exercise Could Add Years to Your Life; I’m Not Playing Captain Obvious, This Is BIG News

A new study out, reportedly shows vigorous exercise, 2-1/2 hours a week seems to give the best results, will add years to your life – or, more to the point, keep a person alive longer. There are a few key flaws, namely that “vigorous” goes by perceived effort and the other is that everything was self-reported which can lead to over-exaggeration.

Here’s the key quote that really matters:

In general, those who had a higher proportion of vigorous physical activity to total amount of exercise showed a lower risk of early death from all causes. That means they were more likely to live longer than those who didn’t have more intense exercise in their routines.

The question, you may be thinking, is, why is this a big deal? Everyone knows this. Ah, that much is true. However, if you remember, less than a decade ago the experts were saying vigorous exercise should be limited because it didn’t show much in the way of benefit against the problems associated with prolonged physical exercise. Those “experts” said physical exercise should be limited to less than rigorous, for health’s sake.

This study, that followed 403,000 people (in other words, the study was massive), showed that the “leisurely walk is just as good, or better than, strenuous exercise” people were practicing a bit of “wishful hoping”. How can I say this? Well, I wrote, way back when (just last year, I’m being facetious), that the leisurely walk stuff sounded fishy.

The reason for the lying, and there’s a lot of it, is meant to be benevolent; to encourage people who wouldn’t ordinarily perform any kind of fitness activity, to at least do something. I suppose the thinking is, if we’re being honest, those who are interested in rigorous activity don’t really care what the talking heads say, they’re going to do their thing whatever the squacking dopes say the science shows. Where this gets ugly, though, is when people take that crap they lay out seriously.

What happens when the ignorant, woke masses (and I repeat myself needlessly, Lady Redundant Woman) get a hold of misinformation, call it fake news, like that? This is where things can get ugly. Imagine a world in which the woke complain those who rode a bike or ran too fast shouldn’t be allowed their “free” medical care if their ticker valve runs afoul and gets a little leaky after decades of rigorous exercise? Any doctor will tell you, old athletes have leaky valves. All of them. Many need pacemakers and ablation procedures to correct decades of working the heart muscle. If the old lie is embraced, that too much fitness is bad, what stops the powers that be from disallowing service based on your Strava data?

You may think that’s going off the rails into conspiracy theory land, but that’s all happening in the USA, in different nuances, right now.

Have a look at this is from 2017, from Time Magazine, or this article from WebMD that gets into exercise addiction from 2007. Here’s a great quote:

Do you insist on rising at five to run each morning, even when your back is aching, black ice coats the streets, and your wife beseeches you to stay in bed? Do you only feel good when you’re training for triathlons? Is eating merely a way to replenish for the next race? Then you, my Spandex-clad friend, may have an exercise addiction.

I insist on riding most evenings (I already wake up too early, I’m not waking up any earlier). I do ride when my back is aching and my wife knows better than to implore me to stay in bed – she’s usually right next to me (anyway, it’s a rare day someone will find my nuts in my wife’s purse, ahem). I don’t feel good when training for triathlons but I do feel good when I’m riding my bike. All of that BS leads to the money quote from the Time article linked above:

Findings like these are important because many people still believe that exercise has to be excruciating in order to provide big benefits. Not only is that untrue, but it’s also harmful, says Michelle Segar, director of the University of Michigan’s Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center. This sort of thinking leads people who can’t stick with regular rigorous workouts to think of themselves as failures, and in some cases to give up on exercise altogether, she says.

Segar is the author of a new study showing that many people avoid exercise because they assume it will be unpleasant or time-consuming. “Most people have the old ’80s and ’90s view that physical activity means going for a long run or doing a hard gym workout,” she explains. “But we know exercise doesn’t have to be intense or uncomfortable to be good for you.”

The Time article then to confuse the difference between getting off the couch to feel good and performing at higher levels to make the point that if you’re going from the couch to a ten minute walk, you’ll see a greater jump in benefits than someone who exercises regularly. The notion is preposterous unless you’re highly gullible:

“The true value of exercise is in just getting off the couch,” says Catrine Tudor-Locke, chair of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a researcher of the impressive health benefits of walking. She explains that almost all of the health perks research has linked to exercise—from a stronger heart and lungs to more energy and clearer thinking—increase the most when people move from a sedentary lifestyle to a modestly active one. “You continue to get benefits from exercise, but the returns are increasingly diminished,” she says.

Now that quote pisses me off. The true value of exercise is in just getting off the couch because you continue to get benefits from exercise but with diminishing returns? Buuuuuullshiiiiiiiiit!

That’s a Donut Shop lie in the form of elite idiocy, folks – it’s a lie you sound smart telling everyone sitting near to you at the donut shop. Oh, they’ll agree with you as they’re munching on their third apple fritter, but give me a break!

So why play Don Quixote with this? Who really cares?

Folks, this is us rocketing down the slippery slope. With politicians making rulings about what we should and shouldn’t put in our body (especially in the US where there are controls on such an overreach), and with ignorant pundits galore claiming those who don’t follow what they think is right – what’s the chance some ignoramus in charge of Health and Human Services decides they should go by the reported “science” in that equally ignorant Time article I linked above and start monitoring Strava workouts to see who they think is exercising too much to penalize them for putting too much and put a strain on the healthcare system by exercising too much which can lead to their body breaking down, requiring expensive surgeries to replace knees and hips? How about denial of service for a leaky valve or some other heart problem? Maybe the government decides to take away that Social Security check you’ve been paying ahead for your entire life because you can hold a 19-mph average on a road bike.

Do you think I’m wandering off into conspiracy theory land?

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/will-unvaccinated-people-face-barriers-to-medical-care
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/if-covid-vaccine-refusers-are-turned-away-hospitals-doctor-offices-ncna1277475
https://wisconsinexaminer.com/2021/08/18/should-the-unvaccinated-be-denied-health-care/
https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/03/health/unvaccinated-death-benefits-khn-partner/index.html

Folks, as I said earlier, we’re not just “on a slippery slope”. We’re rocketing down that bitch on a toboggan. For the record, I believe I’ve had Covid (it was early, before tests) and am fully vaccinated (I haven’t gotten a booster because I don’t meet the criteria for doing so) but I respect personal choice over government edict any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The governments of the world, especially ours in the US, was WAY too short on truth and intelligence and too long on the manipulation when it came to this pandemic for them to be blindly trusted. After all, wasn’t it both President Joe Brandon Biden and VP Kamala Harris who both said the vaccine shouldn’t be trusted because it was rushed out?

Why yes it was. Now, many of us know they were lying to get elected when they suggested the vaccine was rushed and shouldn’t be trusted. But(t) now those same tools who claimed the vaccine might have been too rushed to be safe are the people who are saying those who were hesitant to get the vaccine because of that lying, scheming and conniving rhetoric should lose their health care for not trusting it?!

And you wonder why I’m skeptical of government? I say you’re nuts to trust that mess. This is, and always has been, why the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

Why I Ride a Bicycle: Part Two.

This isn’t part 1,278, though there are easily that many reasons why I ride bicycles. This also isn’t Part One, because I aready used it. This is Part Two for a reason; it’s a big one…

I called my buddy, Chuck when the score looked out of hand for Michigan State. It was tied at 30s, but State had just scored and Michigan was moving the football and it didn’t look like State was going to stop them. He was just getting to work on his gravel bike for the big Apple Cider ride (this morning’s) and had some major issues to work out. He figured he’d be ready in about 45 minutes.

This is Saturday at 2:30 in the afternoon. It had rained since early Friday morning. All the way through Saturday at 10 am, and with barely a breeze, it wasn’t drying out. I figured it was going to be sloppy, at least a little bit, so Chuck offered gravel bikes so he could give his a test after working on it. That was fine with me, and it was set.

I watched a few more minutes of the game then went in to shave (I hate going 24 hours without shaving my face – can’t stand it) and get dressed. Chuck sent me an ominous text at 5 past 3:00 that he needed to make it 3:30. I sat and waited for a few then headed out for a slow roll to meet Chuck. Much to my surprise, the roads were starting to dry out. I’d swapped out the tires on my gravel bike that morning for something a little less aggressive… and faster. I still felt sluggish on the heavy bike. With 70,000 miles on bikes between 16 & 18-1/2 pounds, I always feel 24 on pavement. There’s no escaping it.

I snagged Chuck and we rolled out. Thankfully, right out of the gate he called for a slow spin. All I wanted was enough to justify dinner, so slow was right up my alley. We had a wind out of the northwest so we’d be bucking it the first half of the ride. We started talking about music and memes of the day – Brandon was brought up more than once. Music centered on an interesting clip Chuck had sent me, Tokyo Groove doing “What Is Hip”… super cool and the bassist is outstanding. She’s no Les Claypool, but she definitely rocks. Chuck’s a bassist.

We cracked a few jokes along the way and simply had a good time… it was one of those, “better than sitting on the couch” rides. And that brings me to Part Two of the continuing “Why I Ride Bikes” series. Friends, it was in no way a comfortable day for a ride. I was in full leg warmers, thermal jersey, wool socks, gloves, hat… it was chilly, gray, and always felt like we were about twelve seconds away from getting drenched. We wound our way through our normal weekday course content with just getting out in the fresh air and out of the house. There was nothing impressive about the ride. No sprintervals – nothing that would even resemble a fitness-building effort. We just laughed at the world and made the most of a crappy day for a bit better than an hour.

I was astonished we made it to my driveway dry. We did, though. And State ended up beating U of M (I did find this out on the ride when I saw a fella walking out to his mailbox in a State sweatshirt – State fans are vastly more approachable about the score after a tight game).

Our youngest went out to a Halloween party with her boyfriend and my wife and I played a few games of cribbage and zilch before heading to the grocery store to pick up some candy for the kids, then hitting the couch to watch a movie. I can’t even remember which movie it was. I was out before the credits started.

I went from kicking my own ass for sitting on the couch in my pajamas (all of the needed maintenance on the bikes is done) to an afternoon and evening of fun and good times – and an easy jaunt with a friend on the gravel bikes kicked it all off. I ride a bike because you can throw a bike ride with a friend at just about any kind of day and make it better. And for that I am grateful.

Ride hard, my friends.

Serfas Polka Dot Bar Tape Review: Just Keep Walking… Or Shopping…

I had a blockbuster post lined up for today. Well, maybe not blockbuster. It’s pretty good, though. And it will have to wait till Monday because this one is important since I gave Serfas’s Polka Dot bar tape a pretty fair “I like it” a while back.

Now, there are two versions of the bar tape. The earlier version, the one I’ve got on my Venge, is stellar. I love it. I’m going to keep it as long as I possibly can. The new version, with bigger “polka dots”, sucks. I’d been through two sets this summer and the second set just went in the garbage because the outer layer of fabric separates from the foam.

This is the good stuff…

If you zoom in on the second photo, on the handlebar, that’s the bad stuff (it seems I don’t have a closeup of that bar tape, oddly enough). The difference is the size of the polka dots – in the new stuff, the polka dots are much bigger than the tight, small-dotted pattern on the Specialized above.

Distinguishing the two is simple; small dots, good. Big dots, bad.

And the saddest thing is, the bar tape is exceedingly comfortable. I absolutely love the both styles in terms of grip. The delamination of the newer tape just can’t be overlooked, though… and it happened with two sets of tape. I blew $40-ish on bar tape that didn’t last a half of one season. I hate to give anything a bad review, but Serfas earned it with their new iteration of Polka Dot bar tape.

Save yourself some money and a large amount of headache. Keep shopping. Or enter “Supacaz” into Google and start there.