Friday, May 26, 2017

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz! (And Recess Announcement!)

[After today this blog will be on high-ate-us until Monday, June 5th, at which point I will resume regular updates.  The Bike Forecast will continue uninterrupted...except for Monday, May 29th which is Memorial Day.  Got it?  Good.]

Apologies in advance for any incoherence on my part beyond the usual amount (this blog is generally at least 40% incoherent), but the truth is I'm suffering from a massive hangover.

Sadly, this hangover is not due to excessive libation.  Rather, it's because I spent three hours steeped in stupid at last night's community board meeting, which you can read all about on the Bike Forecast:

Believe me when I tell you it's soul-crushing to spend that much time among people who are literally too stupid to get out of their own way:
And who can somehow spin drivers crashing cars into their homes into a rationale for opposing a bike lane.

Also, let's not forget the time-worn line of bullshit that bike lanes somehow slow emergency vehicle response times.  So sure, by all means keep the streets deadly, because at least the meatwagons will have an easier time showing up to scrape us off the road.


In all sincerity the advocates who fight tirelessly for this stuff are made of some seriously high crabon moral fiber and I'm a counterfeit eBay S-Works in comparison.

Anyway, it's on that note that I'll bid you a-doo for the holiday weekend.  Please note as stated above that I won't be here until Monday, June 5th, at which point I'll resume regular updates.  I will however be person-ing my post at the Bike Forecast next week (Memorial Day excluded) so if you can't get enough of my insightful typing then rest assured you'll be able to relish it over there in the meantime.

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right you'll know and if you're wrong you'll see a video that is definitely a reward and not a punishment.  (You're welcome.)

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and enjoy the holiday weekend.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1) Fill in the blank: "Reservoir _____"


2) What is this?

--A fragrance ad
--A clothing ad
--A bicycle ad
--An escort service ad

3) How does the "smart bell" work?

--A button on your handlebars plays a bell sound through your phone
--A button on your phone rings an electronic bell on your handlebars
--A voice-activated electronic bell on your handlebars responds to the command "Ring-a-ding-ding!"
--It broadcasts a bell sound to drivers directly through their car stereos

4) I will be Brompton World Champion.


5) Of course you can get crabon wheels for a Bormpton.


6) In Florida, after you get hit on your bike by a pickup truck driver, you get:

--Free health care
--A large cash settlement

7) Adult balance bike racing is the new adult kickball.


***Special "Pedaling to Paradise"-Themed Bonus Video!"***

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wait, it's Thursday? I thought it was Wednesday!

Wanna hear something ironical?

Sure you do.

Back when I had a real job I dressed several notches below "business casual," often commuting by means of the fabled "Ironic Orange Julius Bike:"

Which, owing to my penchant at the time for embroidered racing saddles, quickly devoured the seats of my pants:

They say "dress for success."  I didn't, and I wasn't, though which was the cause and which was the effect was unclear and ultimately irrelevant.

Anyway, it was of course while in thrall to the purgatory many people refer to as "employment" that I began typing away at a modest bicycle blog.  This blog quickly consumed my being like the saddle of the Ironic Orange Julius Bike consumed my pants.  I quit my job, wrote some books, co-curated some human children, and almost ten (10) years later her we are.

The end.

Just kidding.


So what's the ironical part?  Well, it's that now that I'm almost a decade into being a total bum I should find myself going multi-modal with the quintessential gentleperson's bike:

Contemplating neckties:

And standing before racks of uncomfortable-looking shoes that, inexplicably, do not accept road cleats:

Why?  Because I've fallen in with the Smugness Mafia, and as I mentioned in the Bike Forecast on Monday they wanted to put me in a suit for Bike to Work Week:

TransAlt Bike Month Ambassadors will be outfitted in AWEAR-TECH by AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole suits available exclusively at Men’s Wearhouse. AWEAR-TECH clothing uses 37.5 technology, an advanced fabric technology from the high-performance sports world. With this technology, patented active particles remove moisture in the vapor stage, before liquid sweat can form, making these tailored clothing items far more comfortable to wear. When you’re overheating, active particles in the fabric speed up evaporation and cooling. When you’re cold, the particles return the energy to warm the body. The suits are engineered from the yarn up, incorporating 37.5 technology in every layer, from the suit lining to the wool.

So last week I multi-modaled myself on down to the Men's Wearhouse for a fitting:

Lo, by Friday I was a schlub transformed, and my total suit holdings had increased by 100% to a grand total of two (2).  This means if I ever have to attend back-to-back funerals I won't have to wear the same thing twice in a row:

(Who died?  My inner dirtbag, that's who.)

Meet the Reservoir Dorks:

Of course this was the most time I'd spent in a suit since the last wedding I attended.  It was also at least 30 degrees warmer outside than it had been during that wedding, and unlike the wedding I spent much of this time riding a bicycle.  Nevertheless, despite riding around Manhattan and Brooklyn in temperatures that tickled the undercarriage of 90 degrees I was surprisingly comfortable.  So if you need to attend weddings, funerals, or actual jobs with any regularity and you would like to ride a bike to them, you might want to add one of these to your quiver/wardrobe/stable or whatever the Clothing Freds call them.

Next stop: Brompton World Championships!

In other news, meet Neva, the bike just for women:

In a time when the bike internet practically lives to call out the bicycle industry's inherent gender biases, it's almost quaint that they'd market this thing with a video montage consisting almost entirely of stock photos of fashion models:

In fact I'm pretty sure they just repurposed an old fragrance ad.

I am happy to report: No. The vibe in Fort Worth is somewhere between a soccer game and a pizza party. To be sure: Some young racers are really into it, and some parents, too. But most seem to be there simply for the spectacle and a good time. “Have fun, that’s the main thing,” a parent named Blayne Chambers tells me, even after as his son, Cason, winds up winning the 4-year-old category. “If he’s not having fun, there’s no sense doing it.”

May the Benevolent Lobster on High steer them from the Chasm of Fredness.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Maybe technology really will save us.

For thousands of years, cyclists have longed to be able to communicate directly with the creatures who inhabit the motorized death boxes that terrorize our streets.  Oh sure, we've used our voices, middle fingers, and occasionally u-locks to great effect.  However, none of these can truly penetrate the sheet metal in which the typical motoring moron is encased.

But not anymore!  For thanks to recent advances in technology, we now have the AXA Smart Bell (or at least a video for it):

We've seen the word "innovative" bandied about in the bicycle industry for far too long.  Yes, every misshapen crabon tube or new decal color(way) is hailed as an innovation.  But this?  This is something that warrants the appellation:

In fact, it just may be the biggest innovation in bikes since the wheel.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "This is just one of those stupid smartphone bells, isn't it?"

("Look!  Now my phone's a bell that can run run out of batteries!")

Nope.  If we're to believe the video--and Sweet Lobster on High really, really, really want to believe it--what this allows you to do is ring the bell:

Which then travels to a box directly under your scranus and/or vulvanus:

And is in turn broadcast inside the car next to you:

Right through the sound system!!!

I'm sorry, I'm all choked up.

I have to stop and dry my eyes.

Thank you.

Anyway, do you know what this means?  It means we're now this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to being able to infiltrate drivers' cabins with our voices and say to them whatever we want.  Just imagine the possibilities:

--"I'm on your right;'
--"You're violating my right-of-way;"
--"Please look up from your phone;"
--"Where did you get your driver's license, your own asshole?"
--"Get fucked, you frumunda cheese-eating piece of crap!"

In fact, it's entirely conceivable you might need to utilize each of these in that exact order in the course of a typical interaction.

And just imagine how amazing it would be to use this on people in the bike lane:

A "new way of communication?"  Now that's an understatement:

This could conceivably give us the near-telepathic ability to berate people with the most vile insults we can muster.

Of course, as an aging bike blogger I know nothing about so-called RDS technology so I don't know if you can really make it do any of that, but I'm assuming these clever millennials with their fixies and their hack-a-thons can make it happen.

This gives me hope for the future.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today's Post Will Be Short But Short

I realize you may be looking for Internet content that offers temporary respite from world events.  Alas, today's post needs be short owing to the vicissitudes of blah blah blah and so forth.  However, just to keep you up to date on a few things:

Firstly, you are looking at the new Brompton World Champion:

This is because I just registered for the race, which takes place on Sunday, June 18th, and obviously I'm going to win:


The Brompton World Championship returns to North America this summer, and it's coming to New York City!

The uniquely competitive and singularly sartorial event will be held during this year's Harlem Skycraper Cycling Classic.

The race will begin at 2:15 pm sharp. Donning their finest formalwear, competitors will take off with a Le Mans-style start, running, unfolding and mounting their Bromptons, before racing ten laps around Manhattan's Marcus Garvey Park.

The winner of this race (who will be me) is then flown to London for the finals, which of course I'll also win.

This means the BSNYC Gran Fondon't, which will be held on [DATE TBD], is now merely a training ride for my inevitable win...unless I decide to hold the Fondon't after the World Championship, in which case it will be a victory ride during which I can showcase my rainbow pant cuff retainer or whatever honorific vestments the reigning champion gets to wear.

And between now and race day I must contemplate the big question:

Flat pedals or clipless on the Brommie?

It's not a question of performance, mind you, it's just that the former will allow me to wear my Vittoria shoes, which they sent me way back in 2009:

And which I typically break out for special occasions, such as L'Eroica:

Now to figure out how to fit a Gruber Assist into a Brompon.

Secondly, turning to world bicycling news, this happened:

PALERMO, Italy — A mafia boss was gunned down while riding his bicycle in Sicily on Monday, judicial sources said, in what appeared to have been the sort of mob killing that has become rarer in recent years as dangerous figures have been locked up.

Giuseppe Dainotti, 67, had served more than two decades in jail for murder and robbery, as a member of the Cosa Nostra mafia, before being released in 2014.

Investigators believe at least two hit men, probably on a motorbike, approached Dainetti and shot him in the neck, a few hundred meters from the scene of another mafia murder in 2014.

Living in New York it's not unusual to see these sorts of people in the wild, though the idea of one of them riding a bicycle is almost unthinkable.  Naturally my first thought was "So what kind of bike was it?"  I mean was he cruising around down, or was he off on a full-blown Lycra-clad Fredo ride?  Of course consulting a popular search engine quickly yielded an answer:

I guess if you're a Sicilian mob boss your choice of transport is a tough call.  Motor vehicles might hide you from view, but are susceptible to car bombs:

Whereas bicycles are harder to sabotage yet leave the rider vulnerable to point-blank shootings, as was the case here.

Still, two things are certain: 1) Had the mob boss been wearing a helmet this wouldn't have happened, since nothing bad happens to people who wear helmets; 2) The mafia in America should take to riding bicycles, since then they'd be free to kill each other on a daily basis without law enforcement so much as lifting a finger to investigate.

And finally, there's a City Council candidate in Brooklyn who basically wants to legalize parking in bike lanes, and you can read all about it in the Bike Forecast:

Wow, what a putz.

Okay, now time for some Brompton training.  See you tomorrow.


--Wildcat Rock Machine

Monday, May 22, 2017

From Smug to Single

As a semi-professional bike blogger and world-renowned author it is vital that I do not restrict myself to one form of cycling and instead partake in the entire spectrum of velocipeding--and if that means occasionally lowering myself by attempting bicycle polo:

Or trying out a recumbent:

(Via Rivendell)

Then so be it.

For I am nothing if not a Renaissance Fred.

(Also, when Grant Petersen tells you to ride a recumbent you don't argue about it, you just do it.  Unless you want to get stabbed with a lug.)

Anyway, it was in this ecumenical spirit that this past weekend I rode from one end of the cycling rainbow to the other:

It all began on Friday when I donned a suit, unfurled a Brompton, and waded waist-deep into smugness at the Transportation Alternatives Bike Home From Work Party:

Actually, now that you mention it, I think I very well may register:

After all, what better way to celebrate Father's Day than by totally humiliating myself?  Sure, by the looks of things I fall far short in both the sartorial and fitness departments:

But  some simple upgrades may be all I need to win the race, and to that end I'm trying to decide if I should go with the crabon trispokes:

Or else the paired 16-spoke setup:

Most likely I'll just bring both and make the final decision based on race day course conditions.

So if you go to the Harlem Crit and you see someone in a suit with a Brompton sticking a moistened thumb in the air be sure to come by and say hello.

(Though generally speaking I'd advise against approaching strangers wielding moistened thumbs.)

Yes, with the addition of some sweet, sweet crabon I can transform my Brompton from this genteel circus bike:

To this slightly less genteel circus bike:

And in the process forever consign my dignity to this:

Oh and speaking of today's Bike Forecast post, here's the uncensored version of the note I left on that SUV:

So if your money was on "fuckstick" as the censored word I'm afraid you lost the bet.

Then yesterday I went from smugness to singlespeed when I partook in the "Singlespeedapalooza" race for derailleur-challenged mountain bicycles at Stewart State Park:

("Weed Road."  Heh heh.)

According to my commemorative pint glass my last appearance at the start was in 2009:

And as you can imagine it wasn't pretty:

(From here)

Well, I'm only getting slower, but I do have a fancier bicycle:

And I also got a really good number:

As for the race itself, it was the most fun I've had on the bike in awhile, even though we had to share the park with these people:

There will be kennel club activity throughout the weekend using live and blank ammo.  We have contacted them, and there is a mutual understanding that we both have a permit to be in there and must respect each other's event.  If you are pre-riding, and during the race bump into one of the kennel participants, be courteous and cautious as they may be driving from one location to another.  This is just one of the many hurdles in dealing with Stewart.

Who were kind enough to remove some of the course markings, which as I understand it resulted in the lead riders getting totally waylaid.  (Fortunately I was nowhere near the lead riders and managed not to get lost.)


Then after the race I ate pork:

In all it was a thoroughly well-rounded weekend of making bike.