Did you know that next month is National Bike Month? Yep, that’s right, we’ve got our own month all to ourselves! Now I don’t know about you, but I’m tremendously excited. I feel like Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” right after his parents left town and he called Rebecca De Mornay but right before the pimp stole all his furniture. In fact, I’m so psyched for Bike Month I hardly know what to do first! So for some guidance, I went over to the League of American Bicyclists website, where they have a handy PDF full of suggestions. Here were my five favorites:
#2. Decorate a cake or cookies with a bicycle theme.
Decorate a cake?!? You don't have to tell me twice! The only thing I enjoy more than baking scrumptious desserts is whimsically adorning my creations with delightful decorations. And my Bike Month cake is already done. It's the Mario Cipollini "Mmm, Smell My Fingers!" cake. Nobody knows for sure where those hands have been nor what they smell like (though "crotchy" is probably a good guess), but one thing's for sure: the cake's delicious.
#5. Try a New Type of Cycling: Cyclocross
Hey, I'm all for people trying cyclocross, but I can't stress enough that it is not a "running race, with a bicycle added for extra excitement..." The bicycle is not incidental in cyclocross--the running is. This is the kind of misconception that leads some people to liken cyclocross to triathlon, which is one of the most egregious and offensive comparisons you can make to a cyclocross racer. It's sort of like calling a Japanese person Chinese, or an Irish person English. "Whatever, same thing. You both use chopsticks." Riiight. Plus, Bike Month is in May, and you're not going to find too many cyclocross races going on in the Spring. What do they recommend for June, ice fishing?
#28. Attend a local cycling race.
This is an exceedingly bad piece of advice. If it's May, chances are your "local cycling race" is an amateur road race. And there is nothing more boring than watching an amateur road race. I'd rather watch traffic on the LIE than watch an amateur road race. At least you can always see cars on the LIE. An amateur road race though consists of a bunch of roadies going by, then nothing for like 20 minutes, then the group zipping by again, then nothing, and finally a sprint followed by excuses and long-winded protests to the officials. We want to keep people interested in cycling, not put them off of it. Sure, there are some races that aren't boring to watch, just like there are some movies starring John Travolta that aren't awful. But in both cases they're so rare that it's not worth the risk--it's better to just avoid them altogether. So unless you are a racer yourself, do not--I repeat, do not--attend a local cycling race.
#31. Attach playing card to your bike wheel and ride around like you did when you were a little kid.
This pretty much describes every fixed-gear rider in Williamsburg, for whom every month is apparently Bike Month. Do I have to use risers on a 90mm stem too?
#48. Ride a different bike than usual: Try a tandem, a tricycle or a unicycle!
Now this is a piece of advice I can get behind--not because it would be fun to do myself, but because it would be tremendously entertaining to watch. I'd love it if for the entire month of May cyclists were forced to ride completely unfamiliar machines. I'm imagining roadies falling all over themselves on mountain bike trails; recumbent riders struggling to stay upright on unicycles, and Rivendell riders hunched painfully over Pinarellos. If we all took this advice, Bike Month would be an anarchic, floundering free-for-all. On second thought, though, for a lot of riders every day is an anarchic, floundering free-for-all. It certainly describes my commute this morning, which consisted largely of dodging fawn-legged fair-weather riders on their bikes for the first time since last Fall. In any event, I'm looking forward to kicking back with a slice of Cipollini cake and watching the insanity.