After burning my monitor and purchasing a new one I sent the contestant a sternly-worded email, though I did offer him a second chance and I'm pleased to say he redeemed himself:
This is infinitely more tasteful and a solid effort. The singlespeed mountain bike is the track bike's dirtier, uglier second cousin (just as the clear chainring guard is the pie plate's chunkier and only slightly less dorky half-brother), and the Foster's can represents Fyxomatosis. Note also the placement of the Foster's (or, as they call it in Australia, "breakfast), which as you can see has been "kicked to the curb" (or, as they call it in Australia, the "kerb"). He's even managed to slip in an Obama spoke card and a Pentabike sock. But perhaps most importantly, no testicles are in evidence. (Or, as they call them in Australia, "pants yabbies.")
It's becoming increasingly clear to me that I've opened a Pandora's can of worms with this contest. I refuse to make any cheap comments about the track ends and "rear entry," though I do reserve the right to gloat about my refusal, and I maintain that alluding to a tasteless comment is different from actually making it. (Saying you haven't done something even when you just did it is called an "Australian denial.") I also think it's worth pointing out that any spouse or significant other walking in on this photo shoot would very quickly get the wrong idea, so I want to state unequivocally that this site shall not be responsible for any domestic disputes resulting in putting underpants on bicycles. (Or, as they call putting underpants on bicycles in Australia, "Saturday night.")
Finally, speaking of mountain bikes, pie plates, and extreme naughtiness, it just so happens that even before I announced the Fyxomatosis contest a reader sent me this photo involving a pie-plated mountain bike:
Because the original photo is highly unsafe for work, notice I have dressed the model in colors that match her bicycle. (She already had the gloves and shoes.) Notice also that I have not made any tasteless jokes about "exposed pie plates." (That's another "Australian denial.") If you want to see the original and you are either not at work or you work in the sort of place where it's perfectly acceptable to look at explicit pornography (like Starbucks corporate headquarters, or the Parliament of Australia, or any company in France), it's (here). If you can't look but you're still curious, I'll just tell you she's pretty much doing what most fixed-gear freestylers do, which is climbing all over the bike without actually riding it.
Naturally I immediately performed the BSNYC/RTMS Fixed-Gear Video Test on this. While the Celine Dion music didn't match up too well, this did. In fact, I think in Smash Mouth's "All Star" I may very well have found the perfect fixed-gear video soundtrack. It works with absolutely everything. I'm not sure why this is, but I suppose it has something to do with the fact that it's cartoonish, irritating, and massively overplayed, with just a hint of contrived "edginess." Celine's great for the videos with high production values, but she's just a little too schmaltzy for the "grittier" stuff.
(Fixters look up to p-fars. Way up.)
I can only surmise that there must be something in the DNA of certain riders that compels them to clamber up atop the front wheel in this matter, and I also suspect that many of them will never be satisfied until they own actual p-fars. Until they do, they will continue to compulsively straddle their Aerospokes and Hed tri-spokes and Spinergy Rev-Xes in the same way that Richard Dreyfuss couldn't stop himself from sculpting that mountain in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
But while K.O.P.S. isn't for everyone, neither is C.O.P.S. ("Crotch Over Pedal Spindle," the p-far fitting rule of thumb). I was thumbing through the New York Times Style Magazine (don't ask me how these awful things find their way into my bathroom) when I noticed this:
Yes, it's an essential bit of journalism about some sockless rich guy and all his expensive crap. Notice that like many sockless rich guys with expensive crap, he has a relatively inexpensive and useless bicycle:
“He describes his Electra Townie 21-speed (around $500) as a beach cruiser on steroids. ‘The pedals are positioned slightly forward, so you can ride forever and not get tired.’”
Wow, that's not just misinformation--it's misinformation on steroids. If positioning your feet slightly forward on a bicycle meant you could ride forever without getting tired then recumbents would be perpetual motion machines. (As it is, they're just perpetual embarrassment machines.) Granted, I have no recumbent riding experience, but I'm fairly certain they tire you out eventually. Then again, I could be wrong. Maybe some of these guys have been riding around for years, stopping only to feed themselves at drive-thru fast food restaurants. (That could explain while they all have beards and ample midriffs.)
Lastly, I'd like to announce that I'm about to "drop" a "collabo." Many of you probably saw this coming, and I can now confirm that the rumors are true and I'm finally about to release my own line of paper towels: