What The Internet Is For (WTIIF, natch) is a series about sites on the Internet that are maintained by one person and are crazy in-depth on a single topic. And are awesome.
First: Yes, those are my shoes. We'll get to how I did such an absurd thing later.
Today we're gonna talk about bikes! And shoelacing, because you might wear shoes on your bike.
Long, long ago I decided I was going to get a bike. You can't just go out and buy a bike, though, you have about eighteen hundred different decisions to make before you get there.
Mountain vs. hybrid vs. road vs. racing, what kind of lock, what kind of handlebars, what kind of gears, and it's all aaaaggghh and uuuggghhh then you just decide to put off buying your bike for a year or two or three out of boundless fright and fear. Been there, done that!
Coming to your rescue is Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Technical Info. I believe it is a law in 37 or 38 of these American states that a conversation about awesomely in-depth, awesomely single-topic sites has to begin with Sheldon Brown.
Confused about singlespeed vs. fixed gear? Want to know how to adjust your handlebar height? Curious about repairs like dealing with flat tires or cantilever breaks? Or what the hell is a cantilever break? Or what the hell is anything else on a bike that starts with a "c"?
Modern-day sites like Bicycle Tutor have fancy-pants videos and the like, but have literally zero candles to hold to the depth of knowledge that exists on Sheldon Brown's site.
Although Sheldon passed away in 2008, the site is still maintained by the bike shop he worked for, his widow, and his noted-bicycle-authority-friend-according-to-Wikipedia John Allen.
Basically it's the best site ever, but especially about bikes, and it's never going anywhere.
MOVING ON: Unless you're Professor Fancyrides in your laceless cycling shoes, you're probably going to need some shoelaces to keep them attached to your feet. But come on, a four-year-old is capable of tying their own shoes, isn't it time to rock something a little harder than bunny ears? Enter Ian's Shoelace Site.
According to Science, the best shoes are shoes that come with two pairs of different-colored shoelaces. I had such a pair of Pumas fall into my possession (pictured), and I wondered if someone out there had any ideas about making those shoelaces work together in some super-sweet way. And oh lord, that's how I met Ian's Shoelace Site, and it's never been the same since then.
Also featuring The World's Fastest Shoelace Knot, the eponymous Ian knot. Come on, THE WORLD'S FASTEST SHOELACE KNOT, what the hell world do we live in where you aren't impressed to death. Try trading it for free drinks or cab rides.
Not the sharpest knotter in the book? You'll find help with slipping or crooked shoelaces, sport-specific tying recommendations for runners, hikers, skaters, and yachties (which I suppose is what you call people on yachts). There's even an FAQ.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is What The Internet Is For.