"Giving gifts to others is a fundamental activity, as old as humanity itself. Yet in the modern, complex world, the particulars of gift-giving can be extraordinarily challenging." - Andrew Weil Welcome to the NOVEMBER 2021 issue of MILES PEDDLED (MP) which will be the long awaited, much anticipated HOLIDAY BUYING GUIDE. Management at MP appreciates the opportunity to help remove some of the complexities and challenges of modern day gift giving. This is particularly true if the gift is an oblation to MP. Before we get to the subject matter of this Month's edition, however, MP is happy to announce some more nuptials. Remember: LOVE IS……
Specifically, the nuptials of the following:
· MAD VIKING (MV) AND SANDERELLA: Recently, the beautiful, intelligent and tall daughter of MV married her handsome and very tall boyfriend in a wonderful ceremony held outside of Philadelphia. Management at MP took advantage of the situation and used e-bikes to tour George Washington's military winter home at Mt. Vernon. Highly recommended. Message to this new young couple: Subscriptions to MP are free! (At least for now). · MR. MP AND WONDER WOMAN (WW): On a recent hiking trip to Ashville, North Carolina, the son of MR. MP and WW proposed to his beautiful and intelligent longtime companion. To the surprise of many, she said YES! MR. MP and WW are thrilled to have a new daughter. Message to the couple: Invite MR. MP and WW for a ride now and then. One final delay before we get to the part where the subscribers to MP start spending their money. Specifically, an update regarding the LAKEFRONT TRAIL – SOUTH SECTION. Recently, the CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD (COB) led an experienced scouting team on a re-exploration of the south section of the LAKEFRONT TRAIL. The trip started at Soldier Field and ended at STEELWORKERS PARK. This 11 mile (one way) trek, took the team past the SOUTH SHORE CULTURAL CENTER where the trail official ends, but the COB and the team kept going. The next leg of the journey took the team down SOUTH SHORE DRIVE (bike lane) through RAINBOW PARK. Playlist suggestion: OVER THE RAINBOW by Judy Garland. The trip ended at STEELWORKERS PARK at 87th Street and the Lake.
STEELWORKERS PARK is located on the former home of the US Steel South Works facility. At its peak, South Works had more than 20,000 employees and the facility covered more than 600 acres of lakefront property. The City has turned about 16.5 acres into a community park. There are several remnants of the old South Works facilities which have been left in place. The park has one of the most spectacular views of the City skyline looking from the south back to the north. Playlist suggestion: ROSIE THE RIVETER by The Four Vagabonds. As an aside, the family of the wonderful young lady who transcribes each edition of MP, henceforth referred to as DARLINGDAR (DD), worked at the South Works facility and lived just one block west of the park. Playlist suggestion: THE WAY WE WERE by Barbra Streisand. Now onto the fun part, spending the money of the well healed subscribers to MP. Please note that all the recommendations will be for the normal Joe/Jane. There will be no recommendations for some souped up Spandex wearing Tour de France wannabe. MP is for the regular guy or gal. Playlist suggestion: EVERYDAY PEOPLE by Sly and the Family Stone. Before we begin, a special message to TREK, SPECIALIZED, GIANT, GAZELLE, REI, MOOSEJAW, BACK COUNTRY, et al…What is holding you back? The recommendations of MP can and should be influenced by overt contributions and sponsorship. There is no reason for you to miss this opportunity! To the recommendations: I. BIKES A. CATEGORIES Management will be making recommendations in 3 bike categories which are as follows: · TRAIL / URBAN / TREK (TUT). · FAT TIRE (FATTIES). · E-BIKE. B. RESOURCES Management has used the following resources to make the recommendations contained herein: · Jamesthebikeguy at https://www.jamesthebikeguy.com. · Electric Bike review at https://www.electricbikereview.com · Bicycling Magazine: at https://www.bicycling.com. · DMANOPEDIA at https://www.allknowing.com.
C. TUT This is management's favorite biking category. Keep your head up and go anywhere. Playlist suggestion: HEAD UP by Don Diablo featuring James Newman. The recommendations are as follows: · TREK Hybrid: The TREK hybrid category includes the FX and the VERVE. Both are excellent bikes and have an upright to semi-upright seating position with straight handlebars. The Verve has a little more of a cushy ride; and the FX is more of a fitness hybrid. Management prefers the FX, but we are not alone. The TREK FX and FX Sport series are the most popular hybrid bikes in the World. They range in price from $630.00 up to $2,200.00. A perfect all-round bike for trails, the urban commuter, or long treks (pun intended), is the FX 3 disc that comes with the standard crossbar or for the women has the lower mid-step version referred to as the FX 3 Disc Stagger. Price point $900.00. · SPECIALIZED Hybrid: A new favorite of management is the specialized SIRRUS and SIRRUS X. Like the FX, these are hybrid bikes that have an upright to semi-upright seating position with straight handlebars. They range in price from $650.00 up to $2,250.00. The higher end models have a very unique feature which Specialized refers to as the "future shock," which is a mini shock built into the handlebar post. An excellent choice would be the specialized SIRRUS X 4.0 which comes with the future shock and can be outfitted with all of the racks and panniers that you desire. Price point $1,500.00. · LIV: Liv is a bike manufacturer owned by GIANT which is the largest bike maker in the World. The Liv division designs and sells its bikes specifically for women. A great all-round seriesis the ALIGHT DISK which ranges in price from $650.00 up to $850.00. They all have a comfortable upright seating position. An excellent bike for the women who want to commute to work but also want some trail action on the weekends is the ALIGHT 2 DD CITY DISK which comes equipped with integrated dropouts for racks, fenders, or panniers. Price point $850.00. · TREK Gravel: Gravel bikes are the hottest new segment in biking. Many manufacturers make excellent gravel bikes. One of Management's favorite is the TREK CHECKPOINT SERIES. The price range runs from $1,700.00 to $12,000.00. Remember the
admonition from SLY that MP is for the everyday guy. Thus, forget about the high end five figure gravel bikes. Rather, when you are ready to take it to a new level check out (again pun intended) the CHECKPOINT SL 5 which is lightweight, can be fitted with multiple width tires and has numerous dropouts for racks. It also has an ingenious internal storage compartment in the down post. Price point $3,200.00. D. FAT TIRE BIKES (AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN AS FATTIES) The loyal subscribers to MP have definitely seen a Fattie, and I'm talking about the bike, on the trails and bike paths on one of their numerous treks. A Fattie is equipped with wide tires between4 to 5 inches, and the bike will definitely catch your attention. You run the tires at low pressure and they "float" over the sand, snow or on the mountain bike trail. They are a blast to ride. Playlist suggestion: LEGALIZE IT, by Peter Tosh. Recommendations: · SURLY SURLY brought the fat tire bike to the commercial market with its release of the PUGSLEY. SURLY stopped making this bike in 2021. It has been replaced with the SURLY – ICE CREAM TRUCK. The Truck has a steel frame, 4 inch tires and is very maneuverable. Price point $2,100.00. · KONA Many of the experts, including, but not limited to, Bicycling Magazine, the Bike Exchange and DMANOPEDIA think of the KONA – WO as one of the best values in the fat tire category. The bike has a double-butted aluminum frame, 4.8 inch tires and is a great bike packing or expedition bike. Price point $2,000.00. · SALSA Another great value Fattie is the SALSA – MUKLUK DEORE. The bike has an aluminum frame, a bearpaw carbon fiber fork and 4.6 inch tires. The frame and fork make it one of the best vibration reduction fatties on the market. Price point $1,600.00. · GIANT The GIANT – YUKON 1 is considered one of the best built Fatties. The frame is "low slung" for a better center of gravity and easier maneuverability. It comes with 4.5 inch tires and a standard dropper post. For the subscribers who do not know what a dropper post is, think of a man using and not using Viagra. Price point $2,300.00.
E. E-BIKES Please note how the editors of MP were able to line up the heading "E" with the title of this section "E-BIKES." NICE! Please recall that the inaugural now world famous May Edition of MP dealt with E-bikes. All past editions are available on the digital version of MP which can be accessed at https://www.milespeddled.com. All of the recommendations set forth below will be in the Class 3 e-bike category. For simplicity sake, this means that they will provide pedal assist up to 28 miles per hour. In addition, all of the recommendations will have the battery integrated into the bike. Moreover, each of the recommendations can be purchased at a local dealer. Recommendations: · AVENTON The AVENTON LEVEL is a nice entry level e-bike. It comes in both a standard or step through frame; has a front shock; and, an integrated rear rack. Price $1,600.00. · SPECIALIZED SPECIALIZED makes some great e-bikes. Management is partial to the SPECIALIZED TURBO VADO SL 4.0 EQ. This model is relatively light for an e- bike (37 pounds); comes standard with integrated lights, fenders, and a rear rack. Price $3,500.00. · GAZELLE GAZELLE is a Dutch bike company that has been making bikes for 125 years. They make a series of e-bikes that are very high quality and are used around the World. Recently, GAZELLE purchased CANNONDALE. Accordingly, MP expects that GAZELLE will become more of a household name in the US. WW is currently sporting a GAZELLE ULTIMATE C380+ HMB. This is a great e- bike. It comes standard with the integrated lights, fenders, and rear rack. More importantly, it does not have a chain, but rather, uses a carbon belt. In addition, there is no derailer with all of the gears being contained internally in the rear hub of the back tire. This makes the bike virtually maintenance free. Price $4,800.00.
· RIESE AND MUELLER RIESE AND MUELLER is an e-bike company founded by two German engineers. They make only high quality e-bikes. If you go on the R and M website you can custom make your own e-bike. Management at MP is partial to the RIESE AND MUELLER CHARGER 3. This is an e-bike that can be used for everything from your daily commute, trip to the grocery store, trail ride or even a bike trekking adventure. The bike comes standard with integrated lights, and a rear rack. It can be customized to add a front rack, carbon fiber belt and internal gearing. Price point $6,500.00 and up. II. ACCESSORIES A. INTRODUCTION: The recommendations outlined in this section will be broken down into the "MUST HAVES," and the "LUXE ITEMS." In this section, Management will be making general recommendations unless there is one product that stands out and warrants a special shoutout. B. MUST HAVES 1. Rack and Panniers: By adding a rack and a pannier to your bike it becomes more than just a leisure or exercise piece of equipment. It can be used for commuting, errands, and trekking. There are many good racks and panniers on the market. Management is partial to the TOPEAK rack and pannier system. Some of the best panniers on the market are made by ORTLIEB. 2. Rain Jacket: Please recall the layering system outlined in the spectacular October 2021Edition ofMILES PEDDLED. The rain jacket acts as your outer later to keep away the rain and wind. Think Gor-Tex or D-Tex. Playlist recommendation: RIDERS ON THE STORM by the Doors. 3. Helmet: Your bike helmet is the most important piece of equipment you should have when riding your bike. Please recall that the third rule of biking is "safety first." When purchasing your bike helmet, you must make sure that it is MIPS certified. MIPS stands for: MULTI-DIRECTIONAL IMPACT PROTECTION SYSTEM. The difference between a MIPS and non-MIPS helmet is the difference between life and
death. There are great MIPS helmets out there starting as low as $65.00 and going up to well over $200.00. Pick one that fits the size of your head. 4. Lights: Poem recommendation: Do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave at the close of day; rage,rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas. You need lights for both the front and back of your bike. For the front you need at least 100 lumens but there is no reason not to go higher up to at least 300 lumens. For the back of your bike, you need a minimum of 20, but consider going up to 100 lumens. Recently, Management killed 2 birds with 1 stone by buying a bike helmet that has integrated lights. Specifically, the NUTCASE VIO KIT. The helmet is MIPS certified and has an integrated front 200 lumen light and a rear 65 lumen light. Very comfortable helmet and comes in many colors. Price $150.00 but recently on sale for $120.00. 5. Multi-Tool: Don't be a tool, get the inexpensive must have multi-tool. C. LUXE ITEMS The items set forth below are not must haves, but they do make your journeys a little more enjoyable and would make great gifts. Recommendations: 1. Bike Computers: There are many brands of bike computers on the market, Management prefers the GARMIN brand. You can go with the basic GARMIN EDGE which provides you all of your real time biking stats for $200.00 or you can go up to the top end EDGE 1030 PLUS which can be pre-loaded with MAPS and provide real time directions for $600.00. There are many models in between. 2. Audio: When you are riding all alone there is nothing better to do than put on some earbuds and listen to the MILES PEDDLED playlist which can be accessed via YouTube MILES PEDDLED Playlist.
Management's preference are "bone conduction headphones" which do not go in your ear, but rather over your ear and rest on your temple. Check out the AFTERSCHOKZ brand starting at $80.00 and going up to $160.00. With the wonderful recommendations set forth above, I am sure that many of the loyal subscribers are now going to start ordering gifts for the loved ones in their life which, by now,should include Management at MP. I am sure that several of the subscribers will use the internet to order their gifts and have them delivered via Amazon. Shopping via the internet is the modern way of the former catalog shopping that was prevalent in the US from 1850 to 1950. This brings us to our trivia/quiz section. As usual, it is a twofer: First, why does Chicago have the largest post office in the world? Book recommendation: THE THIRD COAST: WHEN CHICAGO BUILT THE AMERICAN DREAM by Thomas Dyja. As stated by Vanity Fair: The Third Coast is a rollicking cultural history…what's a given now was often given by Chicago: high rises, gospel and the blues, TV talk shows, Playboy, McDonald's sketch comedy…was it all a dazzling coincidence or, as Dyja suggests, was there something in the water? Second, The meaning of the call letters for Chicago radio stations. Why does Chicago have the largest post office in the world? The answer is simple: Railroads and catalog stores. In the mid-1800s, Chicago became the rail center of the United States. This meant that from Chicago a product could be transported to anywhere in the United States. This attracted the mass marketers such as Montgomery Ward; Sears/Roebuck; and, Marshall Field. By 1920,Chicago was processing more mail and packages than any other post office inthe World. Thus, a new post office was built in 1921. At its zenith, it processed 19 million pieces of mail per day. It is now referred to as the "Old Post Office." It was decommissioned in 1996. It has recently been reimagined as a multi-tenant office building with its main tenant being Walgreens which rents 200,000 square feet. Recently, the SENIOR IMPROV CREW toured the renovated Old Post Office. The common spaces are beautiful and should be seen by all. Playlist suggestion: PLEASE MR. POSTMAN by the Marvelettes. The catalog mass marketers made a fortune. Each of them, in their own way, however, gave back to the City of Chicago. For example:
· MONTGOMERY WARD: Please recall that Montgomery Ward is a hero of MP for fighting the legal battles that kept the Chicago Lakefront "FOREVER OPEN, CLEAR AND FREE." See the magnificent June 2021 Edition of MILES PEDDLED for more information. · JULIUS ROSENWALD: Rosenwald was a part owner of Sears. He contributed most of the money to establish the MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY. · MARSHALL FIELD: All of the subscribers are familiar with the former Marshall Fields stores in the Chicago area. Marshall Fields paid of the development of the FIELD MUSEUM. In addition, along with John Rockefeller they donated the money to start the UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO. The second trivia question was What do the call letters of the Chicago radio stations stand for? What does a large department store have to do with the call letters of radio stations? So here is your answer: WLS stands for WORLDS LARGEST STORE which was the tagline for Sears/Roebuck and Company. The radio station was started and originally owned by the Sears Company. Other well-known radio station call letters are as follows: · WGN –WORLDS GREATEST NEWSPAPER founded and originally owned by the Chicago Tribune. · WTTW – WINDOW TO THE WORLD · WCFL – CHICAGO FEDERATION OF LABOR · WIND – The IND stands for Indiana since the radio station hails from Gary, Indiana. · WBBM – WE BROADCAST BETTER MUSIC · WDMN – An abbreviation for DMANOPEDIA the all-knowing source for everything. TEASE TIME: The winter glog issue of MILES PEDDLED will provide you with multiple reasons why you should embrace fat biking this winter and will include snowy trail recommendations. Playlist recommendation: LET IT SNOW/WINTER WONDERLAND by Lee Ann Womack.
Time to go: "Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight til it be morrow." Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. Until morrow remember to R, R & R!