Rivendell Bicycle Works: RBW Owners Bunch List Update: 05/22/10:
Rivendell Bicycle Works"State of the List" Message to the RBW Owners Bunch over at Google Groups.

May 22, 2010




State of the Rivendell Bicycle Works Owner's Bunch Mailing List
May 2010 - #10

This group has continued to grow steadily. We're now north of 1340 members, having added more than 150 new people since the beginning of the year. Some have quietly lurked, a few have contributed a bit and others have pushed themselves well into the flow. There's been a bit of bumping and jostling now and again of late, but I wanted to start by thanking everyone who has continued to make this a positive and interesting discussion.

For the newer members, I use this message as a reminder of some of the basic tenets of the list, to highlight changes and trends on the list and various websites, and to speak generally about the RBW group.

One of the basic underpinnings of this group is to define ourselves by what we are, rather than what we are not. As an example, I don't think that Rivendell has ever said they are "anti-racing". Rather, they emphasize the things they enjoy - riding bicycles where ever they can under any conditions, camping under the stars, being comfortable - in short, just enjoying the ride. That way, you don't have to have an argument about racing vs. comfort. You can have a discussion about what is great about either.

And to say it very plainly, this list is about discussion.

By that, maybe it's helpful for me to share one of the ways I think about this list - as a public house where ideas are easily shared between those who have arrived, everyone is present because they want to be, and passing through the doors means that "baggage" is left outside.

Of course, disruptions will periodically occur, which is kind of where I have to attempt a polite correction now and again.

One of the things I found very interesting was how many members emailed me directly, when I commented a couple weeks back about the general trend of recent topics to drift and generalize. It was interesting to hear how many people thought they'd been the cause of my post, and in more than a few cases, I had to go back and re-read their contributions to the discussion, as most of them weren't really the ones which caused my comment.

I think it speaks highly for everyone that they had taken some of the assumption of cause, even if it wasn't the case. I responded directly to most of you, but if I didn't let me use this space to thank you both for your contributions and your willingness to temper your posts.

To speak directly to the "topic" issue, there are a number of drivers which can cause issues - not the least of which is the number of people now on the list. If everyone just makes one post a month, that means 1341 posts, or somewhere around 37 per day in an average month.

Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't discuss things - that would sort of undercut the whole "list" thing, eh?

It does mean, however, that just by staying on topic, we're going to generate a fair amount of traffic. One of the hallmarks of this list has been a very high signal to noise ratio. It's solid information from the people using and thinking about the items.

And we've gotten to know one another pretty well, generated real, live rides among the members. All good stuff.

If I see that the day's RBW emails outpace that of the iBob list, it makes me worry a little. I don't know if there's been a fall off of discussion there, or a migration of more general iBob topics to this group. But, there have been days when the traffic here outpaced iBob by a factor of 2 or 3.

That's really what I was concerned about: what seemed to be a certain amount of momentum in the amount of non-RBW posts, questions and topics, particularly among the newer members.

Not to give the RBW group silverbacks a free pass, but when someone who has regularly posted about Riv-specific topics for a number of years makes a more general post or shares a fantastic ride report that doesn't involve a Rivendell, I'm going to try to keep it in the context of their overall contribution to the list.

By the same token, it's important to remember that if you are tagging your post "OT" or "Off Topic", then it doesn't belong on this list.

Tone is a different issue.

My view is simple: life is too short. If you can't stay positive or at least polite, it's time to put down the keyboard and take a break. We all get enough guff in our everyday existence that we don't need to add to it here.

As I've said before, disagreement is expected. There's no way we will all come to the same conclusion about anything, and I think it would be a more boring world if we did. But, here, under this roof, we agree to disagree with respect for one another.

To finish, I'll repeat what I said in the last SOTLR - it is important as we grow to honor the relatively narrow focus of this group, even though it's tempting to have more general topics discussed here. Clearly, it's a bit of an imperfect border, but one which we've largely maintained.

Letting discussions end as they creep toward more general topics, not having to have the last comment (or needing to "win" the argument) and, above all, maintaining the respect for one another within the group is what makes this list special.

As always, thanks again for contributing to or simply enjoying the discussions.

Projects and Features

Not too much this month. My recent focus has been on some personal things, work, other work and trying to streamline my workflow on the galleries. I now have announcements of the Gallery additions here:

Two poems added to the Hilsen page:
(For those who don't know, when the site existed, there was a call for poetry, stories, limericks and odes, for which there was a $20 credit offered. Unfortunately, the site is offline (not Riv's fault), and those writings generally inaccessible)

Paint color touch-up reference page updated:

Alternative RBW Streams and Info

The RBW pages are here:

It gets updated with various happenings, scans, images and such that get found in the news and info flow.

I did create a "Rivendell Bicycle Owners Bunch on Facebook" page back in the beginning of 2009 -

It got a recent push from another RBW fan page started by group member Michael S.

Thanks Michael, for sending folks over!

Please note: I'm certainly not a Facebook* at all, and honestly don't check in that regularly with the group (now at 151 members), and in no way do I see it as a replacement for this group. As I mentioned, I finally signed up a while ago for unrelated-to-bicycle reasons, and had bumped into quite a few folks there. It seemed like it might be a useful platform for coordinating rides in specific areas or for more quick-pinging type of communications.

*In fact, I've more or less stayed away. You can and should search about previous and ongoing Facebook issues with private user information, internal viruses, etc. before deciding if you want to mess with it. Some of that's life in the online world, but it's worth being aware of.

Regional RBW Flickr Groups -
(I much prefer the control over personal info which Flickr allows. It does support messaging and discussions there as well, and many of us were using Flickr for social networking before Facebook exploded.)

Not to be outdone, another has popped up in Minnesota -

Portland, Oregon -
None, but there has been a ride announced for June 6th

There have also been Flickr groups created for:

RBW Staff Bikes -

Rivendell Commuters -

Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen -

Rivendell Bombadil -

Rivendell Bleriot -

Rivendell Quickbeam -

More General Topics (From Previous Issues)

- Broader technical questions and non-Riv stuff are well covered by the iBob list, the 650B list and others hosted by alex wetmore on - - This is also where you can find the pre-March '07 archives to the RBW list. Peter White runs the "Bicycle Lifestyle" google group, which is here -

- Resources get put onto the RBW-Owners-Bunch pages here:
Most are either mirrored or enhanced here:

- The Official RBW Gallery is on Flickr -
Of course, my feelings get hurt if you don't send photos to the Current Classics (or other) Galleries ;^)

- Our FAQ continues to exist! The FAQ has one Q which was A'd enough.

- Posts from new members (or old members changing their email) are moderated. So, it means that if someone joins, their first messages will have to get my (or an acting list admin's) OK before being sent to everyone. If you want to bypass this or speed it up a bit, send me an email so I know you aren't a spammer. If your first posts are "For Sale" items, then you will not be switched over to unmoderated until you join in the discussion at large.

- Posts to the list are by default distributed to everyone. That means if you wish to make a private comment, you need to change the "TO:" information. It's also easy to make that mistake, so please don't jump on folks who do so.

- Bug reports for the Rivendell website should be sent to
You should include the browser, system and specific issue in the email.

- RSS feeds for the RBW Owners Bunch group in many formats can be found here:

- Earlier SOTL reports are archived here -

Statistics & Housekeeping

List began: March 26, 2007

Members: 1341 (Up from 1184 on 12/12/09, increase of 157)

Activity: Medium activity (Unchanged)

April 2010 was our highest traffic month so far, with 2365 posts.
This followed March, 2010 which had 2019; Jan '10 which had 1897; and December '09 which finished at 1604.

Our first month with more than 1000 posts was December, 2008.

In addition to email delivery, the list can be viewed via the web at -

If you wish to turn off or restart email delivery, change to digest mode, update your profile or make other changes, simply log in at the page above and make the changes you desire.

Unsubscribing is as easy as an email. But, don't send it to the group or to me - All posts (including this SOTL message) contain a footer with the appropriate address.

The Rivendell Owners Bunch list is "dedicated to the discussion of Rivendell Bicycles and products, you don't need to own one - just an interest in RBW designs is enough to join in. Ride reports encouraged, as is a respectful, supportive and polite tone in all posts. This group is not endorsed by Rivendell Bicycle Works."

As stated, this list is a discussion of things Rivendellian in nature and is not associated with Rivendell Bicycle Works or its employees and staff. If you have specific questions for Rivendell Bicycle Works regarding customer service or other issues, you should contact them directly.

Ending Note

I'd be more than happy to continue the discussion on any of the topics mentioned above, but in the interest of clarity, it might make sense to either email me directly or to create a new topic thread specific to your comment.

Thanks again for your contributions and enjoyment of the list.

Your list admin,

-- Jim

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Company Info:
Rivendell Bicycle Works
P.O. Box 5289 Walnut Creek, CA 94596
T 800.345.3918/ 925.933.7304
F 877.269.5847


Please note - this is absolutely not meant to be a comprehensive representaton of Rivendell Bicycle Works, their products or their policies. This information is purely for enjoyment and education only - I cannot be responsible for any errors in pricing or availability, suitability or accuracy for any product specifications.

If you have questions regarding these items, please visit the Rivendell website, or contact them directly regarding these products.

Last updated: May 22, 2010


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