Andrew Ritchie Dips Toe Into Cyberspace

Just add cider....

Spent yester-eve across the bay, chez AR.

This Cambridge educated, California-rooted author decided to get with the program and create a blog frimself.

Touchingly, he asked for assistance.

Hey, I’m even better at computers than I am at working on bikes*!
Ignoring the light rain, I opted to cycle/bus to Berkeley (rather than drive the super easy 20 miles). There is a 4-mile long, no-bicycles bridge–the Richmond /San Rafael . So you spend a half hour  pedaling to the bus station,  then you get to wait forty five minutes. Then it’s an HOUR on the bus, with its thirty mile roundabout route.

I am determined to be as green as possible if only to impress my readers.

Fuck the planet. It’s all about seeming green, right?

Like those Chevron advertisements?    We’re all doing what we can, eh?

Ah, misere.

In my bag: true hard cider (not yet available in California) and a few dumpster food items. The bus  took forever. As always, when finishing up a bike/bus trip I need half an hour to calm down. Staring at one’s bike perched on the front of a bus, held by one little spring -loaded hook is nerve-wracking.

“Can we please have the cider now?”
“By all means”.


“This is impressive stuff, lemme look at the bottle!”

Heh. I knew Farnum Hill cider would be appreciated here. Brits are mad about cider. I think they call it scrumpy,  what a sick, er darling name.

I’ve known the British “eminence grease“, Dr. Andrew Ritchie** , for a couple of decades,  seeing him at bicycle history symposia, “hollow fame” banquets and other velocipedalian gatherings.
Very personable.

I’d like to say we sat sipping peacefully,  but he and I are both semi deaf opinionated curmudgeons so instead we yelled excitedly for at least an hour, interupting, back-tracking, regaling… then I made him show off  his impressive pewter tankard collection (envy quotient =ten) and his even more frighteningly impressive book collection… then  we teased the blog into some kind of shape.

Actually a few shapes. WordPress has themes that lets you try out looks  the way Alicia Silverstone tried out  her ensembles in Clueless.

It felt great to seem knowlegeable.  Some of this wordpress stuff is second nature to me. At least the well-worn tricks that I do. I still have no clue how to change the order of my blogstories…and it’s completely beyond me how to fudge the blog stats. Daily hits should show “2,309,359”, not  “137”.

Subscribe to his new book. You won’t be sorry you did. How many authors, liars and pun-ditzes  can you say you personally assisted?
(If the number is less than two, with me being ONE of them, please call. I will yell at you, too).

*Sarcasm alert

**Not to be confused with the much younger (by twelvemonth) Andrew Ritchie–who was at the same uiversity! That Andrew Ritchie engineered  the celebrated folding bike known as the Brompton. The other three dozen Andrew Ritchies are in prison for identity theft.

~ by jacquiephelan on January 9, 2010.

6 Responses to “Andrew Ritchie Dips Toe Into Cyberspace”

  1. Having a blog, especially one that functions properly and doesn’t look horrible can make others grossly overestimate one’s computer skills. That’s how I ended up becoming the “webmistress” for the Dirty Kanza 200 site. For all my headaches and cusses, the website turned out looking like how they wanted it, and they comped me into the race, so everyone’s happy.

    I hear you on the nerve-wrackingness of watching one’s bike jounce up and down on the front of a bus. Even if I am riding one of my junkers, it still kind of worries me. If for no other reason than I might end up semi-stranded if the old Trek got flattened en route.

  2. Thanks Jacquie for this blow by blow account of a stimulating evening. And, by the way, you didn’t tell the folks that you stayed the night, and that the ruminations continued into morning tea and toast! Hm? Let’s just let their imaginations run riot. Of course, they could be wrong in whatever they think.

    The “other Andrew Ritchie”, brilliant, millionaire engineer is actually only I think a year younger than his impoverished but equally brilliant bicycle historian comrade in arms. My Brompton [green, the de luxe edition with rack and lights and dynamo, now getting a bit battered because it’s been all over the world – you absolutely must get one, they are the best!] was actually signed in magic marker by the “other Andrew Ritchie”, but the signature wore off slowly and now it is just another Brompton out there among its plebian brethren – unsigned. I will write the story of my own experiences with Bromptons one day, soon. Andrew “Brompton” Ritchie [the “OTHER” one] is a fantastic gentlemanly dude who I would like to spend more time with, but he is so busy these days. I heard he just got married – happy married life, Andrew, and I’m sure your new wife will be happy with your genius.
    We two Andrews were at Cambridge University just a year apart, I think. I know people do get us mixed up, because we’re both in the bicycle world.

  3. Isn’t there a ferry to Oakland (short ride to BART) taht would be more fun at least?


  5. OK J, First. I’m too scared when my bike is on the front of something big bouncing down the road that can run over it being driven by someone disinterested.

    If you want to be miserable take abuse.

    Second, I like collecting things also plus I’m near deaf so scream away.

    Third a man can’t own enough books.


  6. Jacquie, thanks for the tip about Ritchie’s new blog (and kudos for your part in it). As for your blog, I’ve read a bunch just on first visit. Consider me subscribed. Hope to “hear” you back on mine some time.

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