While I appreciated the nod, I'm also the sort of person who can extract negativity from anything. (Hand me a suitcase full of money and I'll complain about how heavy it is. "You expect me to schlep this all the way to the bank?!?") If you're unfamiliar with Twitter, it only allows for entries of 140 letters or less, so it strikes me as odd that, with words at such a premium, Armstrong should still feel the need to squander them with use of the word "Maybe." Also, after he mentioned me, I checked back and was dismayed to find this:
If Armstrong can't even tell a serious site from a comedic one, does it really mean anything that he thinks mine is funny? Talk about damning with faint praise! Sure, Rapha did kill with that "tweed softshell" bit, but still.
Even so, this didn't prevent me from enjoying his Twitter feed. It's rare that you get so much insight into the life of a public figure, and he should be applauded for his candor. I mean, he even tells you when the drug testers come--which is pretty often. Actually, at this point Armstrong just urinates involuntarily whenever the doorbell rings. (It's a great way to embarrass him at parties.) I was also surprised at how similar his life is to mine, as you can see from this entry:
"Getting a massage from Ryszard (my longtime Polish soigneur) listening to Sufjan Stevens."
That is so wild! I also have a longtime Polish soigneur, and I totally crank up the Sufjan when he massages me. (My soigneur's name is Thadeusz, though. He has the hands of an angel--or at least the hands of an angel who has Hormel hams for hands.) Get out of my head, Armstrong. Get out of my head!
Moving on, yesterday's post included a photo of Madonna on a road bike like 20 years ago, and since then speculation as to the identity of her training partner has run rampant. (And by "run rampant" I of course mean that one or two people wondered who it is.) Well, one reader in Canada (or "Canadia" if you prefer) postulates that it may be none other than "Canadian Track Great Curt Harnett," based on this revealing photo:
Well, the hair is certainly a match, and the reader points out that both riders are sporting Canadian national team colors on their shorts, but the cyclist with Madonna has the spindly legs of a pure climber and not the bulky legs of a trackie. I guess we may never know. Then again, that photo is pretty old, so if by some chance they spawned it may be worth watching the velodromes of the Great White North for any up-and-coming track racers with a penchant for both mullets and g-strings.
But as much as I'd like to avoid reality by obsessing over the sexual dalliances of celebrities, the fact is there are much more serious matters in the world of cycling that need to be addressed, and I for one cannot in good conscience sit idly by. I received a shocking email recently in which a reader told a tragic tale of arriving at a bike rack designed to accommodate multiple bikes, only to find that a greedy rider had taken up the whole thing with one single wretched Huffy:
I've taking the liberty of annotating the reader's photo, in which irony abounds. We've often seen expensive bikes locked up poorly, yet here is a bicycle that arguably nobody in his or her right mind would covet that has been secured with two U-locks. The rider has even made sure to lock up both wheels, much to the chagrin of anybody looking for a steel-rimmed Schraeder valve wheelset with a gigantic pie plate. I'm guessing the only reason the highly-desireable comfort saddle isn't locked up too is that the seatpost became permanently stuck in the frame way back when Madonna used to ride (with) Curt Harnett.
So I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that we, as a community of cyclists, should not tolerate the craven act of bike rack-hogging. (Or bike rock-hagging, which is what Curt Harnett was doing with Madonna.) Nor should we tolerate the stupid act of failing to lock your bike altogether:
And, perhaps most importantly, we need to take a strong stand against leaving frame size stickers on seat tubes. This is the bicycle equivalent of letting the tag stick up out of the collar of your t-shirt. Nobody cares what size your BILF t-shirt is, and nobody cares what size bike you ride. This particular example is especially disconcerting, because the rider has actually gone throught the trouble of adding additional stickers, yet still couldn't even be bothered to remove the size sticker. And that's like standing there with your fly open and straightening your tie.
But there is some justice in the world, as evidenced by the apprehension of Dustin Dunlavy, the idiot who's all touchy about lights. One intrepid reader even went so far as to unearth Dunlavy's results from a few dorkathlons:
Rumor has it that Dunlavy has already been approached by Michael Ball, who has apparently offered him a spot on Rock Racing's 2009 roster. Ball wouldn't confirm or deny this, though he did acknowledge that "Dunlavy has the agressive attitude and the extensive palmolives we look for in a rider." I would have pressed him further, but the egg timer he uses to limit the duration of his interviews popped and that was that.
Finally, the p-far trend has officially moved into its "being sold at exorbitant prices on Craigslist" phase, as you can see from this listing:
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2008-12-04, 1:50PM PST
1888 Columbia Light Roadster Highwheel high wheel penny farthing bicycle. Original paint and nickel plating. 52" front wheel diameter. Museum quality but is also ready to ride. 760-473-[deleted] carlsbad, california
I'll be the first to admit that this p-far is mad old-timey, yo, but I still think the $8,000 price tag is excessive--especially since it probably retailed for nineteen cents back in 1888. Still, it's a fine ride, and it even appears to have an integrated headset. (At least I don't see any headset cups.) Personally, the first thing I'd do is remove the brake, which is that thing on the front that looks like a shoehorn. I wouldn't want some gentleman to question my mettle, lest I be forced to challenge him to a duel. (In which case I'd slap him with my Knog love/hate glove.)
If your tastes run more toward the modern, you doubtless covet this new-school ride, spotted by a reader in Des Moines:
I'm especially "feeling" the lantern on the front. If Dustin Dunlavy had had a light like that, the whole unfortunate incident would have been averted. Also, if Knog Frogs are hipster cysts, then this bike has a serious case of "dandy rheumatism."
But as trendy as the old-fashioned rides are, it's important to keep looking towards the future. And no company is more forward-looking than BMC. One reader even forwarded me this photo of a BMC p-far prototype:
Now that's a chick magnet.
Ride safe this weekend,