They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. This couldn't be further from the truth. I hadn't checked out Fixedgeargallery in awhile, and when I finally did again it was like running into an ex on the street. And I'm not talking about the kind of run-in where she looks great and you're digging in a public trash can because you accidentally threw your keys in there. I mean the kind of encounter where her first shrill utterance reminds you of just how large a caliber bullet you dodged. More than anything though, as I clicked through the gallery I was once again amazed by the amount of effort people make to look ridiculous. Here are some examples:
This tribute bike puts the "Devo" back in "devoid of sense," largely due to the fang-tastic, intelligence-defying handlebar setup. What reason could one possibly have for cutting the drops off in this manner? It's like taking the shifter knob off your sports car, or cutting your computer mouse in half. The only explanation I can come up with is that the owner took Weird Al's Devo tribute, "Dare To Be Stupid," even more seriously than he takes Devo. Because he did, and it is.
Here's a frame that was apparently hanging safely in a shop window for the last eighteen years, only to meet the unfortunate fate of death by gold anodized componentry at the zenith of the fixed-gear trend. I certainly hope the owner coordinates his riding attire with the color scheme of his bicycle. If he doesn't, I suggest the following:
And these high-heeled Chucks, perfect both on and off the bike.
This entry isn't about the bike; it's about the backdrop. We've seen the bike-in-front-of-the-record-collection plenty of times, but it's incredibly rare to see a bike posed in front of a video collection. I sincerely hope this is a video store and not the owner's personal library, though, because a close-up reveals some distressing choices:
This video collection is worse than Redman's in his "MTV Cribs" episode. Note in particular the treacly trifecta to the immediate left of the stem, with "The Breakup," Brokeback Mountain," and "Bruce Almighty" all cheek-by-jowl. Notice also that the leather-clad bullhorns appear to be forklifting a payload of refuse that includes "Clerks II," "Con Air," and "Cruel Intentions." Harrowing. I haven't seen something this trendy in front of a wall this full of crap since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie posed in front of a Masai dung hut on one of their Africa visits.
This bike is remarkable because it has a built-in theft prevention device. Just put it in a basement and it disappears into the scenery like a stick insect in a tree. Just look at this photo--the bike's in there. Can you find it? Bet you can't!
Always fascinating is the extent to which people will go to tape their bars incorrectly. In browsing Fixedgeargallery and checking out bar taping jobs I've seen almost every conceivable variation on the theme of stupid. Here's a new one, where the middle of the drop is left bare for some reason, like a bare midriff in the snow:
This one's tall, dark and lanky, and somewhere between intimidating and ridiculous:
This one, on the other hand, is genuinely terrifying. In particular, note the ferret, which looks unnervingly like the one the nihilists threw in Jeff Bridges' bathtub in "The Big Lebowski." Certainly one man's pet is another man's infestation. Then notice the poor lighting and the perfectly-circled pentagram formed by the crank spider and chainring guard.
But most terrifying is the head-actuated brake lever. It looks like the gnarled, beckoning finger of a demon, gesturing for you to come closer and closer, until it throttles you like the disembodied hand in "Evil Dead 2."
Decidedly more upbeat is this entry. This thing's got more aging bells and whistles than an antique music shop. It looks like one of those old-timey fire engines:
It's the Little Engine That Could Not.