On this inaugural day, conditions on the Manhattan Bridge are "messy yet passable," which, coincidentally, describes most of my schoolwork during my academic career. I cannot speak to conditions on the other bridges, as I did not have time to ride them. Also, if you are riding a brakeless track bike, the Manhattan Bridge may not be passable for you on this inaugural day, because the person I saw riding one this morning was forced to walk across the span, and he appeared to be regretting his shoe choice (canvas Vans if you're wondering) as much as his bike choice.
Hopefully the transition between Presidents on this inaugural day is smoother and neater than my own transition from Brooklyn to Manhattan. I was pleased to receive this photo of a bunch of bikes parked by the National Mall during the inaugural concert:
It does my heart proud on this inaugural day to see so many different kinds of bicycles coming together. Surely they are as diverse as their owners, at least some of whom must be certifiably insane, as evidenced by this photograph sent to me by another reader:
When it comes to expressing your patriotism, be sure to leave your dignity at home. Or, at the very least, keep it inside your capacious saddle bag. I'm glad to see that in addition to the star-spangled tights this rider has opted for the Ksyrium SLs, carbon cranks, and Speedplays. When you're rocking/running five full-size blinky lights (which adds up to at least ten AA batteries), half a roll of reflective tape, and a Specialized Body Geometry saddle that's thicker than a lasagna, it's important to shave grams any place you can.
But when it comes to dignity, nobody is less encumbered by it than recumbent riders. Not that they care, mind you. On this inaugural day, one recumbent rider would like to tell any haters out there exactly what they can do. And he's not using his rim; instead, he's using his helmet mirror:
Indeed, recumbent riders are no longer going to take things lying down--metaphorically, that is. Obviously they're going to keep literally lying down on their bikes, which is what their whole twisted subculture is about:
Personally, on this inaugural day I'd like to see the AYHSMB sentiment applied to the Zipp carbon rims of the World's Greatest Madone--which, I learned from reading the comments on last Friday's post, has been spotted in the wild:
The intrepid photographer also managed to snap a shot of the bike's proud owner:
So inspired was I on this inaugural day by seeing the World's Greatest Madone in action that I decided to piece together my own grotesquely expensive race bike-based townie. And thanks to a reader, I think I may have found my chassis:
Rock Racing's riders may need to auction off their team gear in order to get by, but at the end of the day on this inaugural day it's all about savings--for me. I've already got my build planned, too. I'm going for a Carbonsports Lightweight disc in the rear and a regular spoked Lightweight in the front. (I'd hate to break up the $6,300 set but I can always use the rear as a trainer wheel.) The rest of the bike, however, will be all about practicality, so I'm going to round out the build with a selection of goods from Velo Orange and Rivendell. I figure this way I can build a bike capable of making both Michael Ball and Grant Petersen vomit.
Meanwhile, the Tour Down Under is really heating up on this inaugural day. Stage 1 took place today (or yesterday, as today is called in Australia) and it was a real scorcher:
Frankly, I like the fact that nearly every word written in the cycling press about the TDU this year involves Lance Armstrong. It's a welcome relief from all the undue attention that's usually placed on the winners. And speaking of winners:
It's almost time for me to finally choose a winner of The Great BSNYC/RTMS Fyxomatosis Photo Parody Contest (presented by Boston Whaler Boats--The Unsinkable Legend). Just to refresh your memory, the winner of this contest will receive: a pie plate (but not the schmata I'm using to hold the pie plate); a chainring (courtesy of Fyxomatosis); a beer cozy and an elk's tooth (courtesy of Stevil of HTATBL); and a Boston Whaler decal (courtesy of Bluenoser). You'll also get a smock, but only if you want one.
But before I make my decision, I wanted to give everybody the opportunity to peruse the entries, so I've assembled them all on this Flickr page. (This includes the uncensored version of the controversial submission from thealphastate.) If you submitted an image and you don't see it here, please let me know and I will attempt to rectify that. Also, as you can see, the competition really heated up as the deadline drew closer. Just a few late entries included this fixed-gear freestyler/road bike couch copulation shot:
This wild outdoor threesome involving a Cannondale Major Taylor track bike:
And this photograph which looks like it was staged by Bill T. Jones:
On this inaugural day, it remains very difficult to predict a winner.