Mario Cipollini with his sunglasses stuck to his oily forehead:
And now, thanks to Klaus of Cycling Inquisition, this portrait of Sir Stanley Wiggins reading about himself in the newspaper while a butler pours tea into his crotch:
I won it at the Sobethy's auction house for the princely sum of nine (9) bucks--and they even threw in this portrait of Team Sky massacring a bunch of enemy Freds:
Note the exquisite details, such as one of the Sky riders bludgeoning somebody to death with a saddle and seatpost:
It now takes pride of place over my mantle, right next to my original Ted Striker:
Every so often I like to sit on a folding beach chair in my living room, sip wine product, contemplate my art collection, and reflect on how grateful I am for having finally "made it."
Yes, I'm a classic Horatio Sans success story, having hoisted myself sideways by my ratcheting Sidi shoestraps. Only in America, the country that's almost as good as Portugal:
Sure, I'd be making less money in Portugal, but by the looks of things that would be more than offset by all the electricity and HIV/AIDS savings.
The other way I like to revel in my own success is by going for a ride on my fine artisanal handmade mountain bicycle that only has one gear:
As the years go by I have less and less patience for sharing the roads with morons (other morons, that is, for I too am a moron), so more and more I seek refuge in the forest--or, at the very least, the woods behind the mall. Sure, there's the occasional doofus riding around with a handlebar-mounted sound system, and yes there are occasionally groups of "bros" in Red Bull jerseys making videos of themselves riding over the same small rock over and over again, but at least there aren't any cars on the trails. And while I still have to contend with my own ineptitude, it's extremely unlikely that I'll get "doored" by an investment banker who throws his business card and then leaves the scene:
After hitting the cyclist, the man who doored him, Wagner, emerged from the back of the Lincoln Towncar (that belonged to BPTG Car Service) and quickly pulled him to his feet. Wagner then threw a business card to his driver and took off running towards 54th and Fifth Avenue, even as witnesses yelled at him to come back. “It's just a cut, he's fine,” the staffer told us Wagner said, before adding, “The driver knows me, I ride with him all the time.”
Harry Wagner, a worthless human being who deserves to be ear-fucked to death by a raccoon (sorry, I don't seem to be able to shake this fantasy today), is also a typical New Yorker from whom even Vietnamese Dong millionaires like myself are not safe. Yes, there are eight million stories in the naked city, and not a single one of them justifies our selection as the number one "bike-friendly city" in America--speaking of which, I was just checking out the relevant "Bicycling" article again, and for the first time I noticed the "must-do" ride that accompanies the story:
Head out from the Brooklyn Bridge to Rockaway Beach in Queens on the Flatbush Avenue Bike Path, and continue north to Oceanside.
From time to time people email me asking where they should ride during their visit to New York City, and my answer is usually "don't bother." Don't get me wrong, there are some solid B-minus rides outside the city. Also, riding a bike is a great way to get around town--if you actually live here and have a job and other shit you need to do.
However, if you're just visiting for a short time, why not do some of the stuff that makes New York City great instead of the one thing at which we're mediocre at best? Go to a museum. See a play. Take the 7 train to Flushing and eat Chinese food. Visiting New York City for three days and asking "Where should I ride?" is like going to Vegas and asking, "Which is the best Shakespearean theater company?," or like going to the diner and debating between the veal and the Shrimp Provençale.
It's a diner, for fuck's sake. Get a goddamn burger.
However, if you simply must ride your bike-and I cannot stress this enough--DO NOT do the "Bicycling" magazine "Must-Do" ride:
Firstly, there's no bike lane on Flatbush Avenue, so I don't know where they're getting that from, and if you've never been to New York City riding a bike for the length of Flatbush Avenue will turn your hair white and cause it to fall out--assuming you survive. So unless you enjoy being buzzed by illegal livery vans plastered with ads for DNA paternity testing while unlicensed drivers U-turn their Nissan Altimas right into you, I'd skip it.
Secondly...Oceanside? Hey, if you like landfills and shopping centers go for it, but otherwise you're making a big mistake. If I were a tourist and rode my bicycle 30 miles just to wind up in Oceanside I'd be pretty fucking pissed.
Thirdly, I've never done an official count, but I'd estimate that there are roughly 400 billion traffic lights between the Brooklyn Bridge and Oceanside.
[I should also point out that this ride takes you right through pretty much exactly where I grew up, so it's a great choice if you'd like a historical bicycle tour of my life, but I can assure you that you do not want a historical bicycle tour of my life, which is why I can confidently tell you not to do this ride. However, if after all this you do want a historical tour of my life, I'm happy to lead you on one for the low, low price of 10,000,000 Vietnamese Dong.]
Now there is a modified version of this ride that I would fully endorse (assuming it's a beautiful day), which is taking the Bedford Avenue bike lane through Brooklyn, heading over the Marine Parkway Bridge to Rockaway just like on the above map, and then turning around and going back again.
Or, if you'd like another suggestion, feel free to email me and I'll tell you to save your airline bike fee and spend it on booze instead.