Tuesday, August 4, 2015

It's All Downhill From Here

Further to yesterday's post as it pertained to Tom Danielson, remember this from last year?


Well, it was amusing then:

“Professional athletes get heckled day in and day out…. I wasn’t telling him his momma was fat or anything,” said Kalan Beisel, who harangued Danielson on Thursday in Colorado Springs, to the point of prompting Danielson to extend a middle finger, mid-race. “I just called him a doper and told him he sucks. It was really simple … I don’t think it’s harsh at all. Personally I think he shouldn’t be racing in the peloton.”

And it's even more amusing-er now.

Also, STEVE TILFORD (who has earned all-caps status at this point in his cycling career) pointed out the following regarding Jonathan Vaughters:

In February, Vaughters told Cyclingnews, “It’s true we ask for that [scrutiny] and still in ten years we’ve not had a rider dope on our team. Ever. We’ve lived up to that. That was the initial promise. If that ever is broken then Doug and I are out.”

So presumably if Danielson's B sample comes back positive then it's exeunt Vaughters--assuming he's a Fred of his word, which of course we all know he is.

Anyway, saying a cloud of suspicion hangs over professional cycling is like saying Bill Cosby may be a bit of a philanderer.  This puts us in a frustrating position, because we want to thrill to heroic cycling exploits, yet when we learn we're basically just watching pharmaceutical clinical trials on wheels then the thrill is gone.  Essentially, watching pro cycling is now like watching reruns of "The Cosby Show," albeit without the still-reassuring presence of Phylicia Rashad.

So to whom do we turn for acts of two-wheeled derring-do?  Well, I recently received the following press release about Giuliano Calore, a rider in whom we can all believe, at least for now:


STELVIO. AUGUST 03, 2015

A great, almost unbelievable achievement, the one that saw Giuliano Calore coming down the Stelvio no handed, with his bike without brakes and handlebars, during the night of July 31st 2015.

"It has been the most difficult record attempt in my life, I was ready from days but we had to wait for good weather conditions! This night at the 2750 mts. of the Stelvio Pass we still had a lot of wind and temperatures around zero degree, but I decided to go down anyway. And It was all simply perfect, with no crashes or stops at all!"

And here is the man himself:



77 Years
12 Guinness World Records
1 Record still to be conquered
1 Night
0 Handlebars
0 Brakes

After reading the above list I was inspired to burst into song, though I couldn't decide whether to sing "...and a partridge in a pear tree" or "Day-day-enu..."

So instead I said "Fuck it" and just started beatboxing.

Anyway, there's also a movie about this daring and pointless cockpit-less Stelvio descent, and it reveals the story of how Calore became the Eddy Merckx of riding no-handed.  Basically, when he was a kid his relatives owned an ice cream shop in Bologne:


So he'd ride there from Padova and back:


Which is a distance of 150 miles:


Naturally, he needed to ride no-handed to eat the ice cream, which is presumably how he honed his formidable no-hands skills.  Of course, what the movie trailer doesn't address is that it only takes like five minutes to eat an ice cream cone, so why did he continue to ride no-handed for the remaining 74 miles of the return trip?

I suspect the reason is that after he ate the ice cream his hands were all sticky and he didn't want to mess up his bar tape, but I suppose I'll have to pay for the entire move to confirm whether this is indeed the case.

In any event, Calore went on to parlay his ice cream-eating skills into untold fame and fortune--so untold in fact that you never heard of him until today.  Here is his in 1986 using a parachute as a brake:


Here he is executing some fancy footwork as he conquers the Dolomites:


And here he is getting some kind of Casio keyboard hand-up:


If this guy ever showed up at the Cross Crusade in Portland he'd be worshipped like a god.

In the meantime, it's heartening to see that the AARP has its own Patrick Seabase.

Meanwhile, at 77 years old Giuliano Calore is descending the Stelvio no-handed, yet at only 65 years old Bjork can't make a right-hand turn in a stupid Chevy Avalanche:


That's Richard Bjork, for the avoidance of confusion:

“The guy just shot across and I tried to avoid him and the car went out of control,” said the driver, 65-year-old Richard Bjork.

Bjork said he was making a right turn from Nostrand Avenue onto Avenue W around 6pm when the bicyclist zoomed past him on the crosswalk. After veering left to miss the biker, Bjork said his gas pedal stuck and sent his 2002 Chevy Avalanche hurdling into the building.

The bicyclist did not stick around after the crash, he said.

Wow.  He smashed into a storefront while making a right turn?  This is truly Coltrane-level, sheets-of-sound excuse-making.  Firstly, he blames the cyclist, which is smart because everybody hates cyclists.  Secondly, he claims the cyclist was in the crosswalk, because it's important to establish that the cyclist was doing something wrong, even if it has little bearing on the situation.  Thirdly, he explains that he was "veering left to miss the biker," because when you're making a right-hand turn and you see someone in the crosswalk naturally you're going to take evasive action instead of, I dunno, using your freaking brake pedal and slowing your vehicle.  And finally, for good measure he claims that in the process of all this veering "his gas pedal stuck."

I feel dizzy just reading it.

So let's take a look at this intersection.  Here's Avenue W, where it intersects with Nostrand:


And here's some douchebag in the crosswalk, because in Brooklyn the deeper into the alphabet you go the more intense the motor-vehicular douchebaggery gets:


Now, in this image you see a silver car turning the same corner where Bjork heroically avoided an alleged scofflaw cyclist and sacrificed his beloved Chevy Avalanche to a storefornt:


Here's the Avalanche, represented by an Avalanche, and here's the cyclist, represented by Bret:


Now, if Bjork were paying attention and turning at a reasonable speed (a laughable notion in this part of Brooklyn, but bear with me), he'd simply stop when Bret entered the crosswalk, mutter "Friggin' cyclists" under his breath, and continue once the crosswalk was clear.  But instead he somehow launches his truck clear across Avenue W and into a storefront, which incredibly does not contain a Dunkin' Donuts:


An occurrence all the more tragic because Bjork's truck had just won third place in the world's lamest auto show:

Bjork said he was returning home from a auto exhibition in Gerritsen beach, where his truck won third place for “best in show.” He said he felt unhurt after the accident and the FDNY later reported there were no injuries sustained from the crash.


Auto show podium, really?  It's just an ugly white truck with some wheels he ordered online from the Tire Rack.  There's 20 more impressive cars than that right now in the parking lot of your nearest Target.

Nevertheless, I'm glad Bjork emerged unscathed, though I was never too worried about the cyclist, because I'm fairly certain he doesn't exist.

Laslty, it looks like people are finally realizing you can integrate bike commuting with other modes of transport:



Walas said Park and Pedal, inspired by the president of Montague Bikes, mostly targets people who live in the suburbs and feel they have to drive all the way to work.

“Most people are either not willing to bike the whole distance, or are just not able to,” he said. “This is about just building awareness, and letting people know you can actually do this. It gives people the idea.”

Montague Bike, eh?

I knew it.

It's a conspiracy designed by "Big Fold."

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Thrill of the Hunt: Does Strava Keep Track of Kills?

You could say that the cycling community is an insular microcosm, but just as a single atom reveals the workings of the universe, so too is the world of bikes a perfect model for the world at large.  Indeed, if you understand bikes then you understand everything.  Consider for example the phenomenon of the "Fred," which has its analog in every aspect of human endeavor--including hunting:


(Via Bryan the reader)

What, you're surprised?  Of course there are Hunting Freds.  Why wouldn't there be?  Men are men, and toys are toys.  In fact, the only ways to distinguish the Hunting magazine Annual Gear Issue from the Bicycling Editor's Choice awards are: 1) A slightly higher body count; and 2) More earth tones.

Furthermore, as you might expect, Hunting Fred marketing videos about bicycles are just as ridiculous as every other kind of marketing video about bicycles.  To wit:


Introducing Cogburn Outdoors from Cogburn on Vimeo.

"To live off the land," explains the video as headlights appear out of the darkness, "is a noble experience:"


I'm sure it is.  But how the fuck is driving a giant truck into the woods living off the land?  Unless you're drilling for and refining the oil yourself, this is the exact opposite of self-sufficiency.  Really, it's just using the drive-thru at Sonic, only with more camo.

Then it goes on to evoke the ideas of "tradition, passion, and birthright:"


If you have white skin and a penis, nothing makes them tingle like the words "tradition," "passion," and "birthright" used together.  It means something's about to get invaded or killed.

It's also your white penis that compels you "to look for an edge:"


And "to go deeper:"


Yes, we are innately driven to probe and thrust ever deeper into the wilderness, that great big unkempt vagina existing solely for our pleasure.

Just make sure to "leave no trace:"


Because you wouldn't want any DNA evidence to come up on the rape kit.

Sweet bike though:


It brings new meaning to the term "dentist bike"--assuming the dentist is Dr. Walter Palmer.

By the way, speaking of bows and arrows and the great big shopping mall that is the outdoors, those best made douches are still at it:



This is the bow that every generation learns with, and the bow that reconnects a seasoned archer with the romance of casting arrows. Unencumbered by technical aids, the American Longbow patiently teaches true form. Without sights, pulleys, or counterweights, the archer learns an instinctive style, shooting naturally and with grace. The release of a string-follow bow is forgiving and dependable, allowing for versatility on the range and in the field. The bow does not strain to pull the string past its centerline, resulting in a comfortable and confident feel in the hand.

So it's the fixie of archery?

I really, really don't think the sorts of douchebags who buy stuff from Best Made Co. should be allowed to handle weaponry.  It takes strength to control a bow and arrow, yet the most strenuous activity these people undergo on a regular basis is masturbation.  In fact, here's what happened shortly after they took the catalog photograph above, because his already feeble arm was further weakened by excessive wanking:


Finally, the fat bike craze comes to stretchers.  They're ideal for portaging carcasses over loose terrain.

In other news, cycling fans everywhere were shocked to learn Tom Danielson was still racing:


As for the positive doping test, the only person surprised by that was Tom Danielson:
So what are these tribulations he's referring to, anyway:

Further Tweets from the American rider, who served a six-month suspension, from September 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013, after he admitted to doping during his time with the Discovery Channel team, state that he will have the supplements he takes tested for possible contamination.

That's right, he was suspended from September 2012 to March 2013.  This meant that he couldn't race during the off-season.  Big freaking deal.  It's the exact opposite of those blackout dates the airlines give you when you try to use your frequent flier miles.  Danielson's off-season suspension is the equivalent of telling a Hunting Fred he can't go hunting on Superbowl Sunday.

Also, if Danielson has indeed been through so much, why is he still taking "supplements?"  Seems a bit risky.  This is like someone who's joined Narcotics Anonymous, but still goes to Grateful Dead concerts, breathes deeply, and hopes.

And where the hell is he buying supplements that contain banned substances anyway?  At the same delis in New York City that sell "synthetic marijuana?"

Synthetic marijuana refers to the many herbal mixtures inaccurately marketed as “safe” and legal, that produce marijuana-like effects. It is often labeled “not for human consumption” and sold as “incense,” but look more like potpourri. It may contain dried, shredded plant material and chemicals that create the mind-altering effects. People buy it in head shops, convenience stores, and on the Internet. It is illegal to sell synthetic marijuana in New york State.

These products are known by such names as bliss, black mamba, Bombay blue, fake weed, genie, spice, zohai, K2, Yucatan fire, skunk, or moon rocks.

Actually, this would explain a lot:






Lastly, here's a video I received from a reader that is the exact opposite of the Cogburn Hunting Fred bike video:


On the Move with new Fordham Law Dean Matthew Diller from Fordham Law School on Vimeo

It makes me happy to see someone riding to work, but I just want to know who they paid off to clear the tourists out of the Brooklyn Bridge bike lane:


That never happens.

The only way you could pull that off on a typical day would be to ride across on a fully loaded Cogburn while shouting "Psychopath on your left!"

Friday, July 31, 2015

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Of all the many reasons to love and respect the paradigm for human behavior that is pro cycling, perhaps the most compelling is the integrity of the team ownership, as exemplified here by Oleg Tinkov:


Wow, okay.

So what are we to make of this?  Well, there are three possibilities:

1) Between the inherent limitations of the Twitter medium and the fact that Tinkov is not a native English speaker, some nuance was lost here, so when he says "no monkeyobama" to Vaughters what he's really doing is warning Vaughters not to draw the comparison, à la "Don't go there;"

2) Tinkov is fiercely defensive of his country's leader and was deeply offended by the implication that Putin resembles Leonardo Da Vinci in drag;

3) Tinkov is a flaming racist.

[Hint: it's #3, with just a pinch of #2.]

Oh, but he does have 200,000 followers though:
Good for you.

While Tinkov's comment did not go unnoticed on Twitter, it's unlikely to draw the ire of the UCI, since racism seems to be fairly low on their list of priorities--a list which is itself languishing in a drawer somewhere.  Remember this from last year, for example?



But on Tuesday, words were some of the loudest elements of the day. After the stage ended in Bagnères-de-Luchon, a report emerged that indicated Switzerland’s Michael Albasini called Kévin Reza, the only black rider in the race and one of few in the sport, a “dirty negro,” according to Reza’s general manager at Europcar, Jean-René Bernaudeau.

Reza, he said, was upset after the stage, and that the comments were “unacceptable, inadmissible,” reported France’s Sud Ouest website. “I do not tolerate racism,” Bernaudeau said. “After doping it is the other scourge of the sport.”

Albasini of course denied the insult, but Bernaudeau's comment was telling, because if racism is even remotely as prevalent as doping in the peloton then they've got themselves a rolling KKK rally out there.

I don't know if that devil guy is still around, but either way maybe they should replace him with an "irony tuba."

Meanwhile, here in New York City, here's what you have to do to get in trouble for killing someone with your car:


On July 19th, at about 11:17 p.m., Aron "Eric" Aranbayev, 40, was struck by a car in front of his home on 71 Avenue. The car, a Dodge Magnum, fled the scene. Aranbayev and the driver may have been arguing about a parking space.

One person said, "He was just being dropped off, and some guy was in a rush. They got into a verbal argument and then the guy ran into him backwards." Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he died.

Police released video of the car and one of Aranbayev's famous clients, Floyd Mayweather, offered a $10,000 reward for information about the driver. 

Okay, so here's what it takes to get arrested for using your car as a murder weapon:

1) You have to argue with your victim beforehand;

2) You have to run him over in reverse;

3) You have to flee the scene;

4) All of this has to be captured on video;

5) Your victim has to have close ties with celebrities who are willing to shell out cash for justice.

Otherwise, if all five of these factors are not present, then "I mistook the gas for the brake" is a perfectly valid excuse.  Case closed.

Here's what the DA had to say:

Queens DA Richard Brown said, “The defendant is accused of viciously running down and killing a 40-year-old man, who was standing in front of his home. The victim didn’t have a chance. He was allegedly brutally rammed by a 1,000-plus pound, high-speed vehicle that violently threw him to the ground. The victim hit his head and succumbed to his injuries. This was a senseless, violent death that could have easily been prevented.”

"Brutally rammed?"  "Senseless, violent death that could have easily been prevented?"  Obviously it's a good thing they're prosecuting this guy, but these things are true for pretty much every motor vehicle death in New York City, yet we don't prosecute the vast majority of those drivers.

But sure, keep patting yourself on the back there, DA.

By the way, I notice the writer here didn't mention whether or not the victim was wearing a helme(n)t.

Hmmm...

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 then good, and if you're wrong you'll see a "human bike ride."

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and stay cool--unless it's cold where you live, in which case stay warm.


--Wildcat Rock Machine




1) What was the typical Fred uniform in the 1870s?

--"...tailcoat and tophat, hunting shirt and splatterdashes"
--"...a sort of blouse, buckled at the waist, long boots or Knickerbockers and hose, and a little cap"
--"...white flared trousers and rough blue serge"
--"...steel plate armor with peaked helmet and velvet-lined codpiece"






("The Wiggle, Presented by Facebook")

2) San Francisco cyclists are protesting:

--Stop sign enforcement
--Tech company shuttle buses
--Facebook's proposed purchase of naming rights for "The Wiggle"
--Mileage caps on cyclists in order to curb excess water consumption







3) The hot new performance-enhancing drug in cycling is:

--FG-4592
--THX 1138
--RU-486
--Pot Belge





4) The fastest team time trial in Tour de France history was Orica-GreenEDGE in 2013 at 35.9mph.

--True
--False






5) "Specialized claims the new S-Works Venge ViAS Di2 bike can save your 120 seconds over 40km."  This is a $12,500 bike.  According to Specialized themselves, how much time will a free leg shave save you over the same distance?

--0 seconds
--12 seconds
--40-90 seconds
--120 seconds






6) Why should you not lock your bike to a tree?

--It is illegal
--Your bike will get stolen
--It is bad for the tree
--All of the above







7) It is acceptable to lock your bicycle to a tree if your bicycle is made of wood.

--True
--False



***Special Physically Separated Bike Lane-Themed Bonus Video!***




What, no parachu(n)te?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Evolution of the Fred

Like New York City, London is an economic powerhouse, and wherever you find money you find Freds:


(Parking for one (1) Fred, spotted in London by a reader.)

But did you know that Fred Culture actually began in London?  It's true.  Consider this article from 1874, which chronicles the birth of the cycling craze, and in the process reveals what may be the very genesis of Fredness:


A form of amusement which appears to be becoming very popular in England is what is called “bicycling.”  

Great name, I love it!

Unfortunately, by the 20th century, Americans would shorten it to "biking," which they pronounce "bi-keen."

When bicycles were first introduced there was a disposition to treat them with ridicule, and many persons imagined that working a machine of this kind was simply a roundabout way of applying physical force in order to do what could be more effectively done by simply walking or running.  

This blows my mind.  Today, we're derided for not driving cars, yet 140 years ago our forbears were ridiculed for not simply running:


It's strangely comforting that we've been annoying people with our efficient machines ever since history's very first pedal stroke.

In the first instance, the machines were, of course, rather rough and clumsy, and very heavy into the bargain, and there is therefore some excuse for the contempt with which they were regarded.  But great improvements have lately been made both in their form and materials; the weight has been considerably reduced, higher wheels have been supplied, and various arrangements made by which the person working the bicycle is enabled to acquire a more thorough and easy command over its movements.

Behold, the Venge-Schmenge of its day:


According to reviewers of the time, it cornered like it was on stilts.

A school of daring and expert riders has also risen up; and though it is doubtful how far the bicycle will ever be introduced for the purposes of ordinary locomotion, it is evident that it is likely to take a prominent place as a form of competitive sport.

"Riding bicycles in order to get around?  Fie on that!  Bicycling's future lies in racing against ponies!"


(What, no helme(n)ts?)

A new class of sportsmen are thus introduced to the pleasures of the chase, and though the humbler riders on their five-pound velocipedes cannot keep pace with aristocratic rivals mounted on 200-guinea hunters, still they enjoy, to a great extent, the same sort of exhilaration and excitement.

Wow, that sounds like it's right out of Bicycling...1874:



"The £5 Hi-Wheel Sport with its cast iron frame lacks the supple lightweight steel tubing of its 200-guinea sibling the Ultra-Hi SL, but it's an ideal rig for the entry-level rider interested in charity rides, quick jaunts to the country, and even the occasional pony race."

And so it was that Fred-dom was born.

By the way, this article also contains the first-ever recorded answer to the question "Whatgearyourunning?"

It may be mentioned that Stanton’s bicycle has a driving-wheel fifty-eight inches in diameter, and is under fifty pounds in weight.  Keen rode with a fifty-four-inch wheel, the weight of his machine being less than thirty-six pounds.

Keen was like totally spun out with that tiny wheel.

I wonder how many skid patches he had...

Of course, since then, competitive cycling has come a long way--by which I mean the drugs are way better:


Recent positive drug tests by two cyclists suggest there is a new, cutting-edge substance making its way to athletes looking for performance-enhancement: FG-4592, an experimental drug that increases production of red blood cells but has not yet been approved for human consumption.

FG-4592?  Sounds like a model of fixie from BikesDirect--and as it turns out it's just as easy to order online:

In theory, FG-4592 is available only to participants in clinical trials being conducted by AstraZeneca and FibroGen. The drug is in the final stage of testing, but not approved for sale.

But at least three chemical-supply companies sell FG-4592. A person can simply go to a website, click on FG-4592, add it to a cart, pay with a credit card, and even get it sent via overnight delivery. The hitch, though, is that the buyer has to be a researcher.

“You have to have something in writing saying you will be using it for research purposes,” said Jane Lee, a technical-support specialist at Selleck, a company that sells the compound and advertises it to be 99.36 percent pure. Lee added that the compound has to be sent to a university or research facility.

Fortunately, the Cipollini Bikes headquarters technically counts as a research center:


Sure, they don't have a wind tunnel like Specialized, but they do have a "Virility Chamber" where Cipollini himself has been conducting extensive research on the alleged link between cycling and impotence:


(The Cipollini Bikes Virility Chamber)

So far he hasn't found any, but he feels it's still too early to draw a conclusion.

Speaking of competitive cycling, cyclocross season will be here before you know it--but even if you're trying to ignore it you know it anyway, thanks to the incessant chatter on Twitter:
I wonder how people even rode cyclocross before Twitter...

Oh, right, I forgot: before social networking there was no such thing as cyclocross.

It took disc brakes and hashtags in order to make the sport viable.

And of course under no circumstances should you attempt to engage in cyclocross without taking part in a "clinic" administered by an expert:


Sure it's just getting on and off your bike quickly, but it's different when you do it in a skinsuit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Advisory In Effect, Do Not Leave Your Sofa or Cubicle

Firstly, you should know that New York City is under a heat advisory and air quality alert:


* STAY IN YOUR CAR

* DO NOT SHUT OFF MOTOR OR AIR CONDITIONING FOR ANY REASON

* IDLING RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED

* IF YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE, BE SURE TO DOUBLE-PARK IN FRONT OF A RETAIL COOLING CENTER :


The “Shut the Front Door!” initiative kicked off Wednesday with an estimated 200 volunteers fanning out across the five boroughs to chat with businesses about the true costs of pumping air conditioning into the ether, while tweeting about it with #BeCoolSaveFuel. The volunteers reminded some 5,000 businesses about Local Law 38, passed in 2008 to ban open door A/C at large chains or stores with more than 4,000 square feet.

I'm not sure why the city is making a big deal about this.  Forcing people into overcooled restaurants and retail establishments due to extreme temperatures seems like a great way to stimulate the economy--because nothing staves off heat exhaustion like shopping for underpants at Abercrombie and Fitch, or dining on Eggs Benedict and bottomless mimosas:



Of course, as the atmosphere becomes increasingly thick, aerodynamics in cycling will only become more important.  This is why the new Specialized Venge-Schmenge is yet another harbinger of the Apocalypse:


We've already heard from Bike Radar and VeloNews about how this new miracle bike will turn plodding Freds into ever-so-slightly-less-plodding Freds, and now it's Bicycling's turn to Enter the Wind Tunnel:

The protocol went like this: Each journalist (there were 12 total) had a basic bike fit done in advance of the event. We had two bikes set up: a new Venge ViAS and an S-Works Tarmac. We took wind-tunnel readings on both setups to establish drag, and then did a back-to-back road test of each setup on a lightly rolling 19km loop to see whether we were faster. 

Firstly, I don't think it's fair to refer to bike reviewers as "journalists."  That's like calling amateur bike racers "athletes," or like calling me an "athlete" or a "journalist."  Secondly, it's fairly clear to me that Specialized's wind tunnel is also a brainwashing machine, which is why they've been marching all these bike reviewers into it one after another.

So what happened?

Across my two runs, the Venge setup was 122 seconds faster than the conventional setup, or an average speed increase of 1.74kph (a little over 1mph). That’s significant, especially considering that the actual “conventional” setup we ran was slightly faster than their benchmarks, and since the Sub-6 shoes weren’t available to test, that made the Venge ViAS setup a little slower.

Yeah, I don't care about these bike reviewers beating their own pathetic times.  I WANT TO KNOW WHICH OF THE 12 CYCLING "JOURNALISTS" WAS THE FASTEST!  These people have been selling us on the idea of speed for years, so it's only fair that we learn the outcome so we can ridicule the losers.  Live by the Fred Sled, die by the Fred Sled.

But of course no review is complete without the "spurious anecdote," so here it is:

The Venge ViAS was the first aero road bike I’ve been on that I actually enjoyed. On a 62-mile road ride, it proved comfortable trading pulls on the gently rolling outward leg, grinding up a climb or hammering an almost 40mph paceline with a tailwind. At one point, grimly hanging on to the back of the line after a pull, I thought to myself: “If I was on a Tarmac right now, I’d be screwed.”

See that?  The $12,500 Venge-Shmenge (not to mention the $1,000+ outfit you need to wear with it in order to reap the full aero benefits) is the difference between getting dropped and finishing with the group.

So there you go.

[40mph paceline?  I el-oh-elled.]

As for me, I'd much rather have this "Cipollini Equipped" custom-curated vintage pro bike replica, as forwarded to me by a reader:



This 2000 Cannondale R2000 Saeco-Cannondale team bicycle that I have built to replicate the racing machine of the legendary sprinter Mario Cipollini. The bike is equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 component group, and is highlighted by the funky Cinelli Alter stem (hard-to-find in team colors) and Spinergy Wheels. The carbon fork is made by TIME, but is branded CODA Slice Prodigy. 


I remember that bike well, and it arguably represents Cipollini's stylistic zenith--though it's worth noting that as fashions change so does the Cipo, and here he is today clad in a full-camo Fred onesie with bike to match:


Of course, with Cipollini camouflage is more than just a fashion statement.

He also has to hide from all those paternity suits.

Finally, a reader forwarded me an amusing and insightful video that entertainingly underscores just how abjectly bicycle-unfriendly Australia is:


(Sorry, you'll have to click the link, I couldn't embed it because of technology.)

While another reader forwarded me this group of Melbournites (or Melbournians, or Melbatoasts, or whatever they are) brunching in an off-brand Dumpster:


They ought to have no problem surviving the Apocalypse.