Login | October 23, 2020

Caps and corks

Pete’s World

Published: September 28, 2020

I’m calling today’s column “caps and corks” because I wanted to update you on the remnants of a few subjects I’ve previously covered.
Earbud Purgatory, Published MAY 15, 2017
I’ll start with an oldie that’s definitely still a goodie, at least in my mind anyway. I penned this rant some three years ago about the growing earbud use among recreational trail enthusiasts. And I’d be hard pressed to say that this situation hasn’t worsened since then.
Now it’s a given that there are inherent dangers when talking on a cell phone or texting while driving. So I’ll follow that maxim up with this leading question: Might it also be dangerous to listen to music on headphone devices while hiking, cycling, running, and doggie walking along multi-use trails while scores of bicycles are whizzing by?
I honestly can’t list the number of times when I’ve ridden up behind one of the aforementioned individuals and voiced, “On your left,” with zero response. And when I’ve repeated that warning a second and third time I still get nothing. Yet when I eventually pass them they act as if they're going into a full on code blue.
Look, I’m totally cool meeting half way on this issue, whereby you culpable folks simply wear just one earbud and/or use low volume such that you can still enjoy your music yet remain engaged with me in the outside world. But when I have to yell as if I’m a floor trader in the pit of the NY Stock Exchange, well, that’s when my rant-O-meter registers an 11 out of 10, and then Katy bar the door. I will definitely call you out.
Peloton...Is it worth it? Published MARCH 9, 2020
Well, in as much as I tried to dissuade you from spending what I considered far too much money on this indoor cycling device and its extravagant online membership fees, Peloton’s popularity has absolutely skyrocketed since the COVID pandemic.
As detailed in the July 20, 2020 piece titled Peloton Keeps Benefiting as COVID-19 Keeps People Working Out From Home, writer Pearl Wang reported in The Motley Fool, “NASDAQ:PTON stock has had a winning 2020 so far as the company gained customers while a large segment of the populace was forced to stay home due to COVID-19. There had been a start of a re-opening this summer across the U.S., but now a resurgence of coronavirus outbreaks is creating the need for a second wave of closures as some states pause or reverse their reopening efforts. This development, in addition to Peloton's new business deal with streaming media provider Roku NASDAQ:ROKU, have provided an additional boost for Peloton shares.”
And to add insult to injury, I was the one who poo-pooed buying tons of Apple stock back in 1997 when they were on the verge of going bust. Ouch.
Bicycle Buying in the age of COVID, Published June 29, 2020
I’d talked about the mind-bending difficulties of buying an entry level to moderately priced bicycle this past spring due to the fact that bike shop inventories were severely depleted…worldwide no less. Heck, bike sales were up by 75% in April alone.
And the update: This trend continued all through the summer and looks to keep sailing through the fall.
In a report by writers Michael Pooler, David Keohane and Christian Shepherd titled, Worldwide bike shortage slams brakes on cycling revolution, published in the July 9, 2020 online version of the Financial Times, the authors state,“Many stores around the world have been selling out as soon as new bikes are delivered, leaving shop floors empty but for premium brands and frustrated customers on the months-long waiting lists. Bike manufacturers in western markets and the two biggest Asian producers, China and Taiwan, have struggled to meet the surging demand as the effects of the pandemic continue to resonate.”
So against my better judgment, I’m going to go out on a limb with yet another ill-fated prognostication…if your heart is set on a particular model and/or brand of bicycle, well, you just might have to look at 2021 as the date you’ll finally get to plant your gluteus maximus upon a brand new steed.