Yesterday morning as I was crossing the Manhattan Bridge I noticed a group of cyclists assembled by the fence overlooking the East River:
Ordinarily I would think nothing of this and keep pedaling. However, a number of the bicycles had white tires, many of them had racks, and all of them had fenders:
Fenguard curation is relatively rare in New York City, so when I saw so many fendered bikes assembled all in one place on a weekday morning my first thought was that they were all members of some commuter dork cult and were about to commit mass suicide by jumping off the bridge. Naturally, I stopped to investigate in case it became necessary to intervene and talk them down (or, if I was unsuccessful, to take their bikes). However, after standing around for a few moments I became satisfied that they were not about to kill themselves, and so I simply snapped a picture and resumed my commute.
Incidentally, I've mentioned before that people tend to regard me with a look of contempt bordering on disgust, and a close-up of this particular shot proves it yet again:
If you're wondering why this blog often has a bitter tone, a lifetime of being glowered at should serve as at least a partial explanation. To recap:
Mind you, this is only since last September, and it's only the people I've actually caught on camera. Granted, it's inspiring that so many people of different races and genders can all come together to hate me, but it still takes its toll. Yes, the "nonplussed" (in the technically incorrect yet increasingly common sense of the word) eyes of society have undoubtedly sculpted me into whatever it is I am today.
Anyway, I forgot about the would-be fender cult until this morning, when I was passing by that rotating cube in Astor Place and an assembly of bicycles once again caught my eye. From a distance, they looked like Republics, so of course I headed over to investigate:
As it turns out, they weren't Rebublics at all; they were Globes. I queried a nearby gentleman who commendably managed not to regurgitate his breakfast at the sight of me, and he informed me that Specialized (who are behind the Globe brand) are doing some kind of pre-launch promotional thing and that a bunch of industry types were going to be riding these things around the city today. Also, in addition to the Republic-like fixies (yes, I am saying "fixies" just to be irritating) they had these:
I then realized what I had encountered yesterday must have been some kind of Globe promotional ride, which would explain why they were all wearing those Specialized helmets with their distinctive and patented Wall of Vents on the back. Apparently, this afternoon they're also going to have some kind of booth set up in Red Hook, as well as another one tomorrow at "Summer Streets." This way you can marvel at what what very well may be the world's most uncomfortable-looking production bike:
Of course I was tingling all over after this thrilling encounter with The Industry, and I was even more delighted afterward when I noticed that, in one of the photos I took, a Globe person actually appeared to be smiling at me:
Though at second glance I'm pretty sure she was actually smiling at these women instead:
At any rate, as the exhilaration from my brush with real live bicycle marketing subsides, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see French cycling at its best, courtesy of Metal Inquisition.
Thanks very much for reading (and for sending photos, some of which are included in this quiz), ride safe, and beware of withering scowls and wayward Globes.
1) Locking your Brooks is irrelevant when:
--You've left a water bottle on your bike
--You're riding a mixte
--You have full fenders
--You've locked your bike to a headless meter
2) This bicycle-themed window display was spotted by a reader in:
3) This bicycle-themed window display was spotted by a reader in:
4) What's going on here?
--The owner has jury rigged a replacement headset top nut
--The owner has jury rigged an auxiliary rudder-like steering mechanism
--The owner has jury rigged a visual indicator to ensure proper stem/wheel alignment
--Impossible to know for sure without more information
5) Why can't these riders remember what day it is?
--Because their tampons are so comfy
--Because they're wearing tall socks
--Because they're palping banana seats
--Because it's Wednesday and they're stoned out of their minds
6) Top tube commentary may well be the new top tube pad.
7) Performance, Inc. denies being behind the wildly popular "Performance" music video:
***Special Erotic Leather Saddle-Themed Bonus Question***
What are these two priests doing?
--Preparing to make out
--Preparing to lick a bicycle saddle
--Sniffing a saddle a woman has just dismounted
--Exorcising a demon from a Dutch city bike
(Correct answer via Prolly)