BSNYC Friday Friday Friday!

Yesterday I mentioned Tullio Campagnolo, noted Japanese inventor, businessman and founder of Shimano Bicycle Component and Fishing Pole Spinny-Thing Manufacturing Concern:

(Tullio Campagnolo is nonplussed by the above sentence.)

Well, relatively few people know that he also had a long-lost twin brother who played Fred Mertz on the old "I Love Lucy" program:

(When talking about an old TV show you have to call it a "program" and pronounce it "PRO-grum.")

What makes us who we are? Is it nature or nurture? Well, I say it's a little bit of both, and Tullio and Fred are a perfect example of this. Born from the same womb yet raised a world apart, both men wore pants up to their nipples and put their hands on their hips when nonplussed (nature). However, Tullio used suspenders to hoist his pants, whereas Fred opted for the belt (nurture).

Anyway, Tullio and Fred were finally reunited later in life, and the constant bickering that ensued ultimately became the inspiration for Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys."

Speaking of component groups, when considering which shifty parts to put on your bicycle, chances are you only think of Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM. Maybe--maybe--you think of "microSHIFT" or one of the various re-branded variants. However, as you may have seen elsewhere over the past few months, there's now a new player in the moving-your-chain game. They come from Portland, and their name is Retroshift:

Quickshift from Retroshift on Vimeo.

What, you may ask, is the point of a system that basically just moves bar end shifters onto your brake levers? Well, these are the ideal retrogrouchy shifter for the 99%. I don't mean 99% in the #Occupy sense; rather, I mean it in the "percentage of people who never put their hands in the drops" sense. See, with the advent of integrated shifting everyone started riding on their brake hoods all the time, so handlebars got lower, but now people are interested in old-timey shifters again because they live in Portland, ride in the mud, and have beards. However, they can't reach their drops anymore because STI bar height has become the norm, so along comes this piece of retro-kludgery to solve the problem.

Also, you won't bang your knees on them, so I suppose there's that.

Then again, I shouldn't be critical, since the people using it seem to like it, I'm lousy at cyclocross no matter what shifters I'm using, and I'm not a qualified product tester--even though Knog seems to think I am:

I pressed and pressed and pressed the sample but nothing happened, and so after awhile I just took them out of the box and stared at them:

These are Knog's new "Blinder" lights, and once I charge them I'll let you know if they live up to their name. I'm not sure how I'll do that, but at the moment I'm thinking I'll just test them on small animals. And before you get all PETA on me, just relax, because I plan to put the animals in sunglasses:

(Bugsy the BSNYC product-testing rabbit always gets the holeshot.)

By the way, Bugsy rode all of last cyclocross season on Retroshift, and you can look forward to a detailed review just as soon as he learns how to read and write.

With that, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see someone who loves his bike.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and stay shifty.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1) A Spanish professor is protesting the Alberto Contador verdict by:

(Dr. Eddy Merckx: picking up where Jonas Salk left off.)

2) Eddy Merckx is a doctor.


(Tullio Campagnolo and Federico Bahamontes)

3) Tullio Campagnolo invented the:

--Quick release skewer
--Presta valve
--Steam engine

(Behold! The Fred of the Future!)

4) The Next Big Thing in road bike technology is going to be:

(I know what an IRO is, but what's an 'illin' pose?' And where are all these 15-speeders?)

I’d always thought single-speeds were an illin’ pose, but the IRO was nimble and ridiculously light. Standing on the pedals, I climbed past 15-speeders in my only gear. It was like having a skinnier, younger girlfriend.

5) The above quote appeared in:

--Yet another "New York Times" article about the waning fixie trend
--A recent "Outside" magazine article on stolen bikes
--The "Rivendell Reader"

6) The animal embroidered on this patch is:


7) Fill in the blank: "I wanted to get a sleeve tattoo that incorporated _______________."

***Special Automotive-Themed Bonus Question***

(By 2013 the screen and the steering wheel will have switched places.)

The advent of "connected cars" means:

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