Interbike 2018: Protection racket

Ow, goddamn it, I had the helmet on, but hit my nose on the keyboard.

We interrupt our waltz down the aisles of Interbikes Past to visit Interbike Present, where the industry is looking at eating a fourth round of tariffs for Christmas dinner.

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

As the fella says, a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

Speaking of which, China appears poised for retalation, and The New York Times reports that “top officials have warned that could include penalizing American companies that rely on Chinese components for phones, cars, televisions and other products.”

The good news is that this latest round of Gotcha! won’t affect bicycle helmets. So strap one on before you start banging your head on the desk. You’ll be able to get a new one cheap. Ish.

Extra-Credit Business Studies

• Do tariffs save American factories? Nope.

• China’s options appear limited … on the surface, anyway.

There is no short-term solution, says China’s richest man.


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8 Responses to “Interbike 2018: Protection racket”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Tariff = tax. They won’t be satisfied until they get all the money, all of it.

    When is the fall Ruta? My mental health requires a long lunch with a bunch of Mad Dog miscreants. “We know it’s wrong, but we’re doing anyway”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Pat, I haven’t thought about a fall Ruta. Herself just jetted off to the auld sod o’ me fathers yesterday, though, and without my taskmaster around I may have a moment or two for deep contemplation.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I assume contemplation involves trails either on shank’s mare or two wheels.
        As far as a fall Ruta is concerned, if Herb shows up whenever and wants to go ride, give me a ringy dingy.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Trails would be the thing, especially the ones in and around Fanta Se. I have friends in low places there — Khal and a half-dozen BRAINiacs in various stages of degeneration — and I feel certain they could recommend a few casual outings for gentlemen such as ourselves.

  2. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    As they say, “Interesting times”. Just what the bike biz didn’t need I would guess? Will all those Chinese-made bikes with US brand names on the downtubes now cost a lot more? I remember years ago Japanese pickup trux could be imported free of tariff if the bed/box was not mounted on the chassis – so factories stamping, welding and painting-to-match bed/boxes for these popped up right near the ports-of-entry so the completed trux could then be loaded onto rail cars for distribution. Will the bike biz try some dodge like this? I’m really glad I’m not in the biz of selling bikes – selling fun with bikes is much, much better!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      And I recall that the first thing to fail on those Japanese trucks was the bed. The paint would peel and the bed walls rust and rot. Which, of course, gave rise to the aftermarket flatbed for light Japanese pickups. I nearly put one of those on one of mine.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Another Big Lebowski quote captures the gist of this tariff bullshit. “Smokey you are about to enter a world of pain”. On the other hand I’m happy I don’t have my acreage planted in soybeans.
    Interbike is indeed far too late in the shop buying calendar to make any sense at all. The 2019 bikes are already here for chrissakes. Put the show on Belle Isle in Detroit in June and watch what could happen. Detroit you snort? Yeah…home to some of the best bike shops around and Michigan is tops in Rail Trails.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      How’s the show so far for your mob, Herb? I see Northstar seems to have drawn some positive comments. My people on the ground are as silent as the grave as regards the show itself, however. My man Steve Frothingham is on the tariff beat for BRAIN and has no time for idle chitchat. Marc Sani is back as publisher and is probably watering the whiskey. The only thing I’ve heard from the Adventure Cyclist crowd is that a lot of editors ate shit and died on the XTR ride.

      I suppose I’d be better informed if I hadn’t croaked all my social-media accounts, but I’d also be crazier, and nobody needs that.

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