(Lone Wolf with hydration pack, by erik k)
As cyclists and as humans, we inhabit a narrow sliver of reality. Our bodies and our minds are limited, and as such there is only so much that we can palp and comprehend. Sure, we can augment our eyesight with headlamps. Yes, we can stay in the water longer with wetsuits. We can even cover longer distances with wheeled boards and sticks. However, while these may help to some degree, they really only serve to remind us of how feeble we are. Similarly, we also try to expand our minds. Some use meditation, others use mind-altering drugs. Really, though, these are simply helmet mirrors for the soul, granting only a coin-sized glimpse at something beyond the everyday. Few if any of us will ever know true enlightenment and omnipresence.
Yes, life is like a track race. It's full of rules and structure and competition which in the larger context is really meaningless. Still, most of us just focus on the riders in front of us going around and around futilely and going nowhere:
But there's more to existence than this. There has to be. I truly believe that if we open our minds and broaden our perception we can start to see the edges of a larger, more powerful and beautiful reality. And it doesn't need to be a mind-melting revelation either. Sometimes all it takes is a small shift in perspective to see something that's really been there all along:
Yes, there he is, the Lone Wolf, resplendent in his Golden Fleece. A reader sent me this photo, and to me it is proof that the Lone Wolf exists in a higher plane of reality, the periphery of which dovetails with our own. He also palps white pants when he attends the races, because he is 100% class. His expression is one of intense concentration, and I suspect he's either enjoying the race on a molecular level none of us can possibly understand, or he's staring across the infield and glaring menacingly at his arch-rival, World's Greatest Madone owner Bart Kaufman, who could very well be sitting across from him on the other side of the arena. If that is true, we're not just looking at a track race. We're looking at a metaphysical particle accelerator, and as the twin cycling deities of chaos and order, darkness and light, and destruction and rebirth stare each-other down, the universe hastens towards yet another Big Bang.
Either that, or the burrito he had for lunch isn't agreeing with him.
In the meantime, while the Lone Wolf plays with the very forces of the universe, the rest of us play with little more than ourselves. However, some of us do occasionally get bored and reach beyond our own crotchal regions in order to play with something else, and if you're Craig Calfee, that "something else" is bamboo:
This picture was taken at the San Diego Custom Bicycle Show by none other than Erik K, and it's evidence that Calfee may already have moved out of his "George Washington Carver of Bamboo" phase and into his "Colonel Kurtz from 'Apocalypse Now'" phase. Not only is it something someone who's gone half-mad might build, but it also looks like it could actually house a POW. It's not hard to imagine Martin Sheen trapped in there as Dennis Hopper ladles water into his mouth and talks about what a great man Colonel Calfee is. I think on his last expedition for materials, Calfee might have brought some form of tropical brain fever back along with his armfuls of bamboo.
Even worse, word has it that Calfee will actually show a car at the New York International Auto Show this week, and an informant has sent me some spy shots:
Clearly, Ginger and Mary Ann are in the process of installing the roof rack.
But bamboo bikes aren't the only type of bicycle capable of driving a man mad. Cervelos seem to be driving people crazy too. A reader just sent me this shocking story, in which a Cisco executive wished death upon the staff of a bike shop which was late with his Taiwanadian wonder bike:
I thought Cisco was that guy who did the "Thong Song," but I guess it's actually a technology company. Either way, Joe Burton clearly had something up his posterior. We've seen "roadie rage" (or "triathlete rage") before, and at first glance this would seem to be yet another instance of it. However, according to the link in the "Gawker" piece, Joe Burton actually considers himself a "mountain biker." Moreover, he's apparently one of those "all mountain" guys. That certainly explains the goatee, and it also points towards an appreciation for "artists" such as Chris Cornell and Creed. One can only speculate as to what made him snap, but he was obviously in a big hurry to take to the roads on his Cervelo. I'm sure he was eager to ride it in his baggy nylon shorts and hydration pack and helmet complete with visor, so when it turned out he had to wait because the compact crank or the stem riser was on backorder he must have lost it. Bad news for the shop, but good news for the people on the bike path, who were safe from another budding time-trialist screaming "On your left!" for one more day.
Of course, it's also possible that Cervelo were partially to blame for the delay. Perhaps they could supply their retailers more quickly if they had "Centers of Excellence" like Cannondale:
I was genuinely saddened to learn that Cannondale is closing its US factory, but I'm sure the "Five Centers of Excellence" will more than make up for it. As a Scattante owner, I've made frequent visits to my local Scattante "Center of Mediocrity"--or as I call it, the "Temple of Meh"--and it's always helpful to be treated with indifference. In any case, following Cannondale is becoming increasingly like watching the 1986 Michael Keaton classic "Gung Ho." Somebody deserves a few "Ribbons of Shame."
Still, I suppose nothing stays the same. I recently saw the following Craigslist Missed Connection:
JENNIFER ANISTON AT ENIDS IN GREENPOINT - w4w - 100 (greenpoint brooklyn)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2009-03-31, 8:13PM EDT
hey i was with a friend and i was going to get my bike fixed. i was walking past enids when i saw a ton of paparazzi and film crew. i asked some dude who was in enids and they told me it was you, jen. i stood there for a while looking in at your beautiful face. you have such a beautiful smile jen, and i bet you have the sexiest laugh too. i stood there for about 5 minutes just staring. i'm not sure if you saw me, since there were a bunch of people everywhere and you were filming your new movie "the baster"...but this is worth a shot. i know you're having man problems, and i really think i can give you what you need. i mean that. i want to take you to the movies and then for drinks and then i would love to really work that sexy rich body of yours. jen please email me if you see this, i am a dapper young dyke and you won't regret it.
Which prompted this reply:
re- jen aniston at Enids- damn it use to be such a cool spot - w4w (brooklyn)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2009-04-04, 6:33PM EDT
now it will be featured in some lame hollywood movie and the obnoxious druggie trust fund kids will drag their asses there from Manhattan
to pose in more of their ongoing fantasy desire of " wanna be MTV reality video" vapid lives.
Christ Jennifer did you really need to spoil this nice outta the way Brooklyn spot for some straight to video Hollywood schlock?
oh and "dapper dyke" -good luck with Jen- but please keep the dates on the other island...lol
This person shouldn't be so upset. Firstly, neighborhoods change. Secondly, the "obnoxious druggie trust fund kids" already took the neighborhood over like ten years ago. In fact, if you go there now, you'll find they've already started breeding and actually have little hipster mini-me children. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the local bike shops start selling little "My First Fixie" bikes with 14-inch wheels.
If anything, the neighborhood could use a little same-sex celebrity seduction to shake it up.