the setback post

High water mark

It’s always good to have a benchmark for the truly terrible. The standard against which that which is most egregious can be measured.

Don’t bother with the opening credits, they’re very long indeed. Skip to 1:30.


Those aren’t douche chills you’re experiencing. That’s a douche ice age.


U-S-A! U-S-A!

I’m not one for childish anti-Americanism, (hey, I love your music and your cultural exports!) but there are some words best left to the British. Whenever an American says “wanker”, I get the same cringe-itch you get when a parent abbreviates “you” to “u” in a text for no goddamn reason at all.


America does lots of things well, but please, leave the wanking to us.

Big ideas


O rly.


Yep, didn’t think so.


You’d be surprised.


Oh, right. That explains the brakes, and mudguards and the adjustable height seatpost.shit5

Apparently, Grant Petersen once shot a guy in chinos just to watch him die. Apparently.




Don’t worry, they won’t.

Quill stems


Rickets are better. They allow you much easier, faster skeletal deformity, and treatability (curing the dang disease) is a huge, HUGE deal in comfort. Healthy children are part of the heedless system that now dominates the medical world in First-world countries, but the benefits are mainly for the pharmaceutical companies, not real people. Once you know of your condition, and IF you can get it there with modern medicine, then it’s fine. But it is really hard to get it there, given that most children are sized small and come with limbs that are necessarily too short to lengthen them more than about an inch and three quarters. That’s not enough.

By which I mean to say, anyone that spends $228 on a quill stem is a fucking idiot.

This week in bullshit

bullshitPhoto: Token

Translation: we don’t have a fucking clue what holds a wheel together, we’re just marketing guys.


One tae watch.

Technical support 101

Know your demographic.

fsa faq1


Fuck this guy


A new #gnarrative

Bike Park WalesBikePark Wales

Regular readers* may have deduced by now that I don’t generally get much gnarlier than humiliating myself in the odd ’cross race, but since the career-related Great Leap Forward, all that is changing. Henceforth TSP will be all about the shred. It’s going to be wall to wall wheel size discussions, sick edits and freeride flicks.

[*Do I have any that aren't related to me or masquerading as my friends? Not sure.]

To get things under way, Saturday was spent at BikePark Wales, attempting to follow much quicker riders with actual talent down trails sculpted for the express purpose of making buttock-clenching fast-fast. I learned that:

  • motorway service station Costa is heinously expensive
  • egg and bacon McMuffins, whilst delicious, are terrible pre-ride food. Also blah blah evil corporate overlords etc.
  • Doddy is a tall, tall man who rides long, long bikes
  • I look hilarious in mtb kit, especially when I try to mitigate the effect with token Rapha

I was riding one of these:

norco fluid 7.2Fluid 7.2 – Photo:Norco

…which did a fine job of not breaking as I ploughed through, over, and occasionally, between obstacles. I’m fairly certainly I’d have died on a hardtail.

Naturally, the next stage is curating a range of utterly bullshit-based opinions about the merits of 27.5″ wheels and the correct orientation of flat-brimmed caps.

Let the broviation commence.

It takes a village

If you’re wondering why things have been a little slow here this week, it’s because being an industry insider a douchebag is quite literally a full-time job. With, like, hours and uh… work.

However, some stories are just too important not to mention.

For those of you who didn’t grow up on a diet of loose leaf tea and middle class radio: the United Kingdom has a station called Radio 4, and on that station lives a beloved soap opera called The Archers, broadcast since 1950. It started life as “an everyday story of country folk”, and it’s entire 64-year narrative arc is best summed up by the following image:

bull mountingPhoto: Boston Public Library*

From time to time, celebrities do cameos on The Archers, and to the delight of cyclists and sideburn enthusiasts everywhere, Sir Bradley Wiggins is to appear on the programme on March 21st.

“Wiggo” will attend Ambridge to judge the winner of the village’s Sport Relief charity event.

“It’s not every day you get to star in the world’s longest-running soap opera,” said Sir Bradley.

“When I was asked to record a Sport Relief special for The Archers, there was no way I could turn it down,” he said. “I grew up with it on the radio in the house.”

While in Ambridge, the cyclist will also have an “amusing encounter with Lynda Snell and her rusty old bike”, according to programme makers.

When I heard the news, I was all:

The real question is, will he call her a cunt?

*If you were annoyed by the fact that all the visual cues in this photograph point to the United States rather than rural England, I recommend this game.