I'd also like to point out the irony that I've been published in the "journal of competitive cycling" not in spite of but because of the fact that I'm an extremely poor competitive cyclist. This proves something I've been telling the many people I've disappointed over the years, which is that failure when done well is its own form of success.
Speaking of irony, at the very moment I was typing my pedantic screed about the excesses of the fixed-gear craze yesterday, the New York Times was lumping me right in with it:
I particularly enjoyed the fact that I was mentioned in the same breath as a collabo. Of course, I have enough perspective on things to understand that this blog is a part of the fixed-gear phenomenon, whether I like it or not. Hey, I own a fixed-gear bike, too. Not only that, but I even ride it in cutoff shorts and a t-shirt once in awhile. (You know, if I'm just nipping across town for a pedicure and an orange julius or something.) Really, is there that much difference between me and the guy in the picture from yesterday's post?
Uh, yeah, of course there is! Those giant freaking glasses!!! (I thought I was over it but I just got angry all over again. Even though it was apparently all a joke in the first place, according to the King Kog site. See? I told you I'm not a part of "bike culture!" Once again, LOU=A.)
So sure, from the Times's vantage point, as cyclists we're all the same. But I maintain it's vital to scrutinize everything up close and focus on the things that make us different, not the things we have in common. If we don't do that then we all run the risk of forming some sort of community where we all share in the joys of cycling or something. And that's just icky. And anyway, I receive my share of anger from others and I don't mind. Here's a comment from Tuesday's first post:
Prince Gutta said...
Epicly failured attempt at humor. Another reason I want to strangle the asshole who runs this bogus ass website.
Personally I don't consider it a successful day if I'm not the target of a strangulation attempt. If anything, I'm dying to know the other reasons Prince Gutta wants to strangle me. He only alludes to them. He does say "bogus ass website," though. Maybe he's an ass fetishist and was bitterly disappointed to find the content here was not what he expected. (Though in my defense, I've never claimed this was actually an ass website. And judging from the strangulation reference he may be into auto-erotic asphyxiation as well, like Michael Hutchence. In that case I hope he stays away from me.)
While I'm on the subject of people who want to do bad things to me, awhile back I mentioned that someone actually spit on me. Here's the picture I took that day:
Well, I saw him again this morning and I managed to get another shot:
I took the photo not to embarrass him but as an attempt to get over the trauma of that day's events, which still haunt me as I type. If you've seen Clockwork Orange and remember the part where Alex winds up back at the house of the woman he raped in the beginning of the film and her husband trembles in terror as he realizes he's once again face-to-face with his wife's attacker then you know how I felt. Despite the fact that I was shaking violently I managed to operate my camera, though I did stay well out of spitting distance.
I hope you'll forgive me for hopscotching from subject to subject, but apart from the spitter there's another two-wheeled menace roaming the streets of New York City, and his name is David Byrne. Gothamist reports (and Byrne himself corroborates) that he got on his bike after drinking, took a spill on the 14th street pave, and cracked a few ribs.
Personally, I'm disgusted that Byrne wasn't prosecuted. These rock stars and their chemical-fueled rampages are a menace to decent society. I've had it up to here with tales of Byrne and his ilk tossing television sets and baby cribs out of hotel windows, driving their Lamborghinis all over decent people's cornfields, and throwing flaming bundles of cash at old people. I don't care if Byrne was in the Blue Öyster Cult--he should be punished to the full extent of the law! (His crushing riff on "Godzilla" notwithstanding.)
I'm also completely against riding while under the influence. That sort of thing should be done on closed courses on singlespeed mountain bikes only. I'm ashamed to admit that even I have ridden after having one too many. In fact, I'm lucky to be alive. Not long ago I was at a bar with some friends. One drink turned to several, and before I knew it I was smashed. Suddenly, I remembered there was someplace I needed to be, and stupidly I got on my bike. It's a miracle I made it to Prospect Park in one piece, and I can safely say that that was the single worst road race I've ever suffered through in my life.
In closing, today is the 125th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge, and there's apparently some kind of "birthday blowout" planned. Despite the fact that it's crawling with tourists, I still like to use the Brooklyn Bridge sometimes, because as any pre-war track racer or sex worker can tell you, there's nothing quite like riding on wood. They're definitely making a big deal about this birthday, too. Recently they installed this in the pavement, which should serve as a nice new surface for the fixed-gear riders to skid on:
The bridge is also lined with these big party boxes:
I'm not sure what the party itself is going to be like, and I don't intend to find out either. I'll definitely be taking a different bridge to get home. Unless there's going to be cheese, that is.