Maybe I've been reading too much Bike Snob, but I saw something today that made me cringe. Yehuda Moon’s sponsor, ClankWorks, is the purveyor of bamboo bicycle fenders (that is, fenders made of bamboo and intended to be attached to bicycles, not necessarily fenders for bamboo bicycles, though I'm sure they could be attached to such a bike as well as one made of steel or recycled underpants). Now, in and of itself, the bamboo fender has a sort of appeal, I admit, so I investigated further, despite my misgivings caused by the name of the site: clanking is not a sound you really want to associate with any part of your bike, after all, and the bamboo fender, even if poorly mounted, would likely produce not a clank but more of a gentle thud or thump akin to native girls beating wooden drums during the halftime show at the Aloha Bowl. Unless the fender comes loose entirely. Then you might hear some clanking as it destroys your Campagnolo derailleur.
Upon further investigation, however, I discovered that ClankWorks is a self-described “small cycling boutique” that provides “stylish solutions for the modern and design conscious cyclist.” Well, I suppose I am too old-fashioned and design unconscious to know for sure, but I have always though of boutiques as places that sell perfume and very expensive dresses and shoes that are intended to be uncomfortable. In other words, the antithesis of all things cycling-related. Best of all, however, the physical location of the “boutique” is Pittsburgh, PA. Again, when I think of Pitt, I think Big Ben, Terrible Towels, the ghost of Terry Bradshaw’s hair, and rusting steel mills. What I never thought of, at least not until now, was bamboo. Perhaps the “boutique” should sell cycling cleats made of bamboo, to clip into bamboo pedals. That arrangement could easily be made as uncomfortable as the shoes traditionally sold in boutiques.