I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling outraged over this crime. This is nothing like the Astana bike heist in Sacramento--we all knew that The Great Trek Bicycle Making Company would quickly replace those bikes. Even Lance Armstrong's custom one-of-a-kind time trial bike was eminently replaceable, since Trek clearly have the capability to crank out new Armstrong customs at a moment's notice. If Armstrong Tweets about eating a burrito, they send him a burrito-themed bike; if he decides to sit in on the local group ride for a few miles, they send him a local group ride-themed bike; if he takes a ride with Robin Williams, they send him a Robin Williams-themed bike with a disconcertingly lifelike body hair paintjob and a forearm applause meter SRM readout.
No, the Zabriskie heist is something else entirely. They broke into his home, and they took a lot of stuff, including many personal items. I mean, look at this list:
Items stolen include the following:
Black 2008 Subaru Outback, Utah plate A189NC
Black 2006 Toyota Scion, Utah plate 094VWM
Giro D Italia Race Medal (approx. 6" circumference)
Olympic Seiko watch Beijing Olympic ring (silver) with initials "DZ" engraved ($4,000)
Olympic Time Trial Bike, plus 12 other bikes (combined value of $100,000)
Cervélo (black/red) bike frame - team issued ($5000)
Tag Heuer watch ($6,000)
Bose Speaker/Receiver System ($15,000)
Sony 52" flat screen TV ($4,000)
Two Mac Books and one Mac desktop, plus hard drive ($8,000)
A pair of Space legs, a recovery compression system for legs ($5,000)
7 Marvel sideshow statues ($11,000)
I'm glad to see that Zabriskie is a part of "wristwatch culture." I'm also glad that during these difficult economic times, Zabriskie had his money in secure investments like Marvel Sideshow statues. I only hope they were insured. Obviously, if you have any leads, or if someone tries to sell you comic book-themed collectibles and a Giro race medal, you should contact the authorities immediately. And if you're still not upset about this theft, maybe this image will hit home:
Obviously Zabriskie's "junk" is still comfortable thanks to his eponymous crotch cream, but he's been robbed of pretty much everything else--including his pants. I hereby call upon the domestic peloton to come to Zabriskie's aid. Yes, I'm looking squarely at you, Michael Ball. After all, you're the King of Pants, and if you had any human decency at all you'd donate a new wardrobe. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Ball is a chief suspect in the investigation. We know that Rock Racing is in dire financial straits and is now shopping at Bikesdirect. Thirteen bikes would probably be enough to keep the team rolling for another year, and you can probably expect to see either a Subaru Outback or a Scion with anarchy signs painted all over it following Rock Racing at their next stage race. Either that, or Ball will seize upon the opporuntity to do more viral marketing, this time releasing a video depicting a fixter strike force carrying a bunch of stuff out of Zabriskie's house.
I was actually so disturbed that I decided to launch my own investigation. Naturally, I started by checking Craigslist, since most of the stuff on there is being fenced anyway. I chose the New York City Craigslist--even though it's pretty far from Utah, I figured stolen stuff eventually winds up here anyway, and at least it would be close enough for me to try to retrieve it. Almost immediately, I found something suspicious in the "Missed Connections":
Red hed black dog hot girl red car pink bike - 36 (Babylon, NY)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2009-02-19, 7:34PM EST
I saw you leave the pink bike and take what looked to be a velveteen pig to a park with your red hair with blonde streaks. You are as hot as the pig is cute. I saw you yell "You ran a red light asshole" and figured you must be a strong and independent woman! You had me at "asshole!' Nice legs! They look just a bit buffer than your arms! Quite a package for a smart girl.
Yes, you read that right: it says "velveteen pig." If my comic book knowledge is correct, the "Velveteen Pig" is a Marvel superhero, and I'm pretty sure that a Velveteen Pig Sideshow statue was one of the items taken from Zabriskie's home. So be on the lookout for a woman with red hair, blonde streaks, and nice legs riding a pink bike.
Figuring I was on to something, I continued to browse the "Missed Connections," and soon found this:
Don't buy that freeze-dried coffee - m4w - 23 (Grand Street Key Food)
Reply to: [delete]
Date: 2009-02-18, 8:39PM EST
You were about to make the mistake of buying freeze-dried coffee at the Key Food when I rescued you by suggesting that you go to Gimme! instead.
We seemed to have a little moment. Got the vibe that maybe you have a boyfriend. But maybe not.
Anyway, when by the time I got outside, you were gone. I tried to find you, but my raviolis got caught in my bike spokes and spilled all over so I had to discontinue my search.
I'd love to get a drink. We do live in the same neighborhood, after all. I hope your spaghetti was good.
Well, I'm not sure this one's going to help break the Zabriskie case, but I do think this serves as an effective warning as to the dangers of riding while carrying ravioli.
Speaking of warnings, yesterday I mentioned the "underground/mainstream inversion," which can only be a bad sign. Well, I recently received the latest catalog from the Secret Website, and discovered something even more horrifying. Yes, it's the dreaded "Microshift/Ultegra Price Inversion":
Sure, the Secret Website may have upgraded its shifters, but for them to be more expensive than Ultegra shifters can only be a sign of the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse. Skeptics will point out that it's only the triple Ultegra shifters that are cheaper, and that the double shifters are still way more expensive, but I'm not sure it matters since I think you can use the triple shifters just fine with a double crank.
And that's not all. Things are even scarier over at the Secret Website's sister company. Not too long ago I revealed that Performance is actually the middleman in a sordid Australian-US pornography-smuggling ring. Well, it gets worse. A reader tells me that they're now brazenly selling sex toys too:
For shame, Performance! This sort of thing is best left to the Kinky Llama. The only innocent explanation I can possibly come up with for this is that some factory in Taiwan makes these and they randomly brand some as chain cleaners and some as plastic phalluses. Plus, nobody would ever buy something like this to clean their chain--everybody knows chain cleaners don't work. They just spread the filth around. (Kind of like what Performance is doing.) The only way this thing works is if you put "clean your chain" in quotes. And when used in conjunction with the XTR hub (which you may recall is "designed to cradle the balls"), well, let's just say it can really cut into your riding time.
Then again, I could have this all wrong. Maybe Performance is trying to atone for the Knog debacle and this is actually an updated version of a Victorian anti-masturbation device. I've also found another wholesome use for it. Instead of censoring photos in the traditional way (the original unsafe for work version is here):
All you need to do is use the Spin Doctor Clean Machine "Chain Cleaner":
(image by bkjimmy)
I still don't know why (from left to right) Lamar from "Revenge of the Nerds," Joaquim Phoenix, Sarah Vowell, Thurston Moore, David Allen Grier, and Anthony Bourdain felt the need to take a naked bike ride together, but at least now their respective "junk" is covered. Bourdain better be careful, though--I think I see some ravioli in his spokes.
I hope they all used plenty of DZ-Nuts.