Tuesday, May 31, 2011

10 Items or Less: The Avocado of Death

In today's modern world of today, there are innumerable evils facing our modern society. Nukelear meltdowns, international financiers who grope hotel staff, and a dependence on foreign desserts are just a few of these insidious threats to our very existence. However, when it comes to negative influences, there is one that looms larger than all others:


Sure, you might think that a movement consisting bunch of rich, iPad-wielding couch surfers with a penchant for borrowing stuff would be relatively benign. Think again--unless you're a minimalist, of course. Minimalists only think once, if at all. They like to keep their heads as empty as their apartments.

The truth is, minimalism is a philosophy of denial, and in this sense it's the Creationism of lifestyles. Creationists deny the mountains of tangible evolutionary evidence we walk on, dig in, and burn in our gas tanks every day in favor of a story they prefer to believe. Similarly, minimalists deny the principles of simple mathematics in favor of a subjective form of accounting that would amaze even a Goldman Sachs executive.

He arrived at his number by arbitrarily omitting stuff (like his toiletry kit), as well as by bundling other stuff together (like his electronics and various chargers) and counting them as one thing. It's that last form of fictional counting--bundling stuff together--that's the most insidious. For example, bundling a bunch of subprime mortgages together and selling them was what caused the financial crisis. Even worse, bundling items together is wreaking havoc at our supermarket checkout counters, as I learned this past weekend:

The above was the scene I encountered in a Brooklyn supermarket at the so-called "10 items or less" register. As you can see, there are ten items of fruit on the conveyor belt alone--and that's not counting what the cashier has already bagged!

At first I puzzled over how someone could commit a civil violation so egregious, but then I realized that this twisted minimalist counting style is now trickling down to the rest of society, and that the woman purchasing all this stuff has probably deluded herself into thinking that all those avocados are one item. (In fairness to her, the juice wasn't hers--it belonged to the gentleman with the giant fanny pack waiting behind her.)

A mortgage crisis is one thing, but glutted supermarket checkout lines are something else altogether, and the consequences of the latter are potentially far worse. Not only does it cause delay, but allowing people to purchase multiple avocados via express lane while simultaneously inconveniencing purchasers of other items could lead to an "avocado bubble" that could burst with tragic consequences--and I don't want to be around when the guacamole hits the fan.

In any case, I've never shied away from social protest, and you can be sure I did my part by sighing impatiently in a barely audible fashion.

Speaking of counting stuff, Transportation Nation is attempting to quantify the New York City bicycle crackdown, and to this end they're creating a bike ticket map to show which neighborhoods in have been most cracked down-upon. Here's how the map looks so far:

(Each red mark represents an extremely indignant white person.)

As you can see, ticketing seems to be heaviest in parts of the city inhabited by the sorts of whiny people whose biggest problem in life is having to wait behind other people buying too many avocados in supermarkets. Non-coincidentally, these are also exactly the sorts of people who send out press releases to local news websites when they get tickets for running red lights on their Dutch bikes, and who ultimately report this information to crowdsourcing projects run by smug transportation websites. The result of this project is what may be the most obvious map ever created, though I am admittedly intrigued by the outliers, such as this one:

I can only assume this represents a roadie on his way to or from the evening races at Floyd Bennett Field (the big beige blob in the middle of the image), and I must say that surviving the wild ride down Flatbush Avenue only to get a ticket just as you've reached the safety of the Gateway National Recreation Area is like winning the World Rib Eating Championship and then choking to death on a maraschino cherry as you enjoy a celebratory cocktail.

Meanwhile, drivers are constantly finding bold new ways to obstruct bike lanes. For awhile, it looked like the protected ones were posing a bit of a challenge, but I'm pleased to report that one motor vehicle owner has finally cracked the problem of how to block them by simply placing his car diagonally across the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane:

I'm not sure what they were actually doing, but they are taking rope out of the trunk so it's possible that they were tying the car back together. The blanket would also indicate they needed to do some work on the underside of the vehicle:

Perhaps by parking the car partially on the curb they afforded themselves easier access:

As for why they wouldn't simply work on the car in the empty parking space right next to them, my best guess is that the green surface offers better contrast for finding those pesky nuts and bolts that are so easy to lose while performing repairs.

Really, the only thing I'm sure of is there's not a cop in New York City who would even think of giving them a ticket, and I also wouldn't be surprised if the so-called "Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes" emerged from their brownstones and served them lunch.

Finally, as I mentioned last week, I am now resolved to bring the "There Will Be Action Wipes" contest to a conclusion:

To this end, I have chosen five finalists, and I'm not exaggerating when I say it was by far the hardest thing I've ever done. (Harder even than having to wait multiple minutes behind a woman buying too many avocados.) The most difficult part was having to exclude the submissions that were brilliant yet not in keeping with the goal of the contest, which was to create an international symbol for cycling. Therefore, as much as I loved this one:

And this one:

And this one:

They were a bit too detailed for simple signage. (Sure, the submission above is a sign, but it doesn't work for, say, an airport terminal, or a dedicated cyclist restroom were such a thing to come into existence.) The same thing goes for this one:

I also was forced to exclude symbols that were signworthy but did not include the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork:

Or that took excessive liberties with his bicycle:
Again, I can't say emphatically enough that it pained me deeply to exclude all the submissions above, as well as many other exquisite renderings I also received. So, finally, I've narrowed the submissions down to these five (5) finalists, in no particular order:

I have my favorite, but I'm not saying which. In the coming days I'll most likely put these to a vote, but in the meantime I invite you to reflect upon them and consider which you'd most like to represent you in a municipal setting.

Friday, May 27, 2011

BSNYC Friday Kosher Vegan Pig Roast!

As I mentioned not too long ago, I'll be visiting and speaking at the Göteborgs Cykelfestival in Göteborg (or "Gothenburg" in English), Sverige (or "Ikea" in English) on June 11th:

I'm tremendously excited about this for three reasons:

1) Gothenburg is like 400 times cooler than Stockholm;
2) I once owned a used Saab and plan to exact my revenge on the people of Sweden through acts of petty vandalism;
3) I will be missing the World Naked Bike Ride NYC.

That last item I only just learned via the Twitter, and it's easily the sweetest part of the deal. Simply put, you cannot put enough water between a bunch of sweaty naked bike dorks and me, though the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea is a pretty good start. Watching this video fills me with a revulsion it is difficult for me to articulate without actually regurgitating partially-digested food in the process:

First of all, I don't know why they call it the "World Naked Bike Ride," when it should obviously be called "The Day of the Chafed Genitals:"

Just like last year, I'm sure the ride will be full of the sorts of people who spend up to seven hours a day changing the world by using the free Wi-Fi in coffee shops, and I'm also sure there will be lots of soullessly exuberant index-finger-in-the-air dancing:

People with no reason to live will also martyr themselves in front of taxicabs:

Then the survivors will all jump into a fountain, scrounge around in it for some change, and attempt to buy back at least some portion of their dignity:

I really hope the city cleaned that fountain.

Speaking of cycling in New York City, I cycled in New York City yesterday, and now that the weather's pleasant there's an honest-to-Lob bicycle rush hour:

I also saw a brace of Bromptons:

One of the Bromptonites scolded a woman who stepped into the bike lane. "This is not a sidewalk," she admonished. Now, I'm as irritated by pedestrians in the bike lane as anybody, but there are certain places where you should hold the smugness in abeyance and Chinatown is one of them. Sometimes you've got to respect the character of a neighborhood, even if it's annoying. Pedestrians have been walking in the streets of Chinatown for generations, and one cranky commuter on a clown bike is not going to change that.

Back in Brooklyn, I was overtaken by a man in a purple shirt riding an electric chopper bike complete with coffin tank, and by the time I fished my camera out of my pants pocket he'd gotten about ten bike lengths on me:

He zoomed by me with preternatural calm, and his face bore the same look of sublime contentment as The Lone Wolf or the Recumbabe. I thought I'd seen the last of him, but then he zipped by me again a little while later:

(Yes, that's his hair.)

I'm not normally a fan of electric bicycles, but this purple-shirted commuting Cancellara with his "groovy assist" was all right by me.

Lastly, I should mention two things: 1) It's a holiday weekend here in Canada's wood-paneled basement, so in observance of Memorial Day I won't be posting on Monday, but will be back on Tuesday with regular updates; and 2) Next week I will finally endeavor to declare the winners of the "There Will Be Action Wipes" contest since I'm sure dozens of people are eagerly awaiting the results.

Now, 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 Crucial Couriers.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and enjoy the holiday weekend.


1) Retro-Fred Bread (in the pumpernickel flavorway), spotted by a reader in:

2) Investment opportunity! Buy a "high speed bicycle patent" for only:


3) Air-drying your clothing now qualifies as an "opportunity for creative expression."


4) Why is this person running?

5) Vancouver, WA is stepping up enforcement of its bicycle:

("So stoked! I'll take 30.")

6) More great news for hipsters! Now you can buy:

7) No saddlebag is complete without a:

***Special Fashion-Themed Bonus Question***

Fill in the blank: "We ______"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Indignity of Smugging by Bicycle: Other Cyclists

As I mentioned on Monday, this past weekend I undertook an "epic" Raphian ride on my roadening bicycle. As much as I enjoy unleashing my inner Fred from time to time by embarking on quasi-competitive bicycle cycling rides, I also enjoy few things more than a completely non-"epic," non-competitive, non-commuting, non-errand-running perambulation. Between the lovely weather and the soreness still inhabiting my legular region, yesterday afternoon practically pleaded for such a ride, and so I resolved to treat myself to one.

First, though I had to clear my desk of work, which is an extremely difficult thing to do because, as a semi-professional bicycle blogger, I don't actually have any work to do. As Hemingway famously never said, "Writing isn't work, unless you do it with a pickaxe in a coal mine 12 hours a day." So instead, I simply cleared my desk of half-eaten bowls of Cap'n Crunch.

Next, I had to settle on a destination, and after some meditation I decided that I'd take my child to Prospect Park. Now, I have 17 children, so this isn't as easy as it sounds, but fortunately I have only one good child. The rest of them are vicious little brats, and so it was easy to leave them with their cruel Dickensian nanny with the giant Lemmy-esque warts (she also has a giant Lemmy-esque mustache) who makes them mine coal for 12 hours a day instead of letting them finger paint.

Finally, I prepped my Smugness Flotilla (which complete with it's PeaPod LT child-portaging seat now has the dimensions and curb weight of a Dodge Caravan) and headed out into Brooklyn's evolving yet controversial bicycle lane network.

Some cyclists don't like bike lanes, since they resent being corralled into two-wheeled ghettos where "the man" can neuter and control them, preferring instead to ride amongst the motor vehicles, wild and free. On a certain level I can relate to this, but when one is traveling in flagrante smugalicto as I was, one craves nothing more than riding in a space of one's own. Unfortunately, that space is all too often occupied by intruders, such as idling cars--or, in this case, people cleaning cooking grills:

On one hand I was annoyed, but on the other I was impressed that he was managing to both block a bike lane and dump chemicals into a storm drain at the same time. I also "Tweeted" this photograph shortly after taking it, which prompted the following reply:

So who's the idiot who painted a bike lane over a storm drain?

All I can say is, this is New York City, and I've seen them paint bike lanes over rats, horse manure, and even actual living people. Sometimes the "guy on a bike" symbol is actually a guy on a bike. It saves the DOT money on stencils.

Anyway, despite the ongoing grill maintenance I eventually made it to the park, where I did the usual stuff you do with a small child in a park: terrorize the playground; make fun of the geese; spend 14 hours running a metal detector along the bridle path in hopes that some equestrian's gold teeth rattled out of his head. Finally, though, it was time to leave, since a certain somebody started crying. It turns out geese can be nasty when provoked, and it really didn't need to say that about my haircut.

Now, you might think that leaving Prospect Park on an early evening in late May would be as easy as, well, a walk in the park, but if you do then you haven't been to Brooklyn. In its wisdom, the city opens Prospect Park to motor vehicle traffic just in time for rush hour. This means the park road becomes the Belt Parkway at exactly 5:00pm. Moreover, those first drivers to enter the park don't give park users so much as a minute to acclimate themselves; instead, if you're unlucky enough to find yourself anywhere near the park road either on foot or on a bicycle when the clock strikes five they will lay on their horns and tell you to go fuck yourself. It's an abrupt and infuriating transition, and the park suddenly goes from pastoral to pernicious.

Furthermore, in addition to the cars, the park road also becomes full of legions of Freds and Wilmas who, after a long day at the law firm or investment bank, are itching for their post-work training session so they can prepare for some triathlon or the New York City Century.

Anyway, to leave the park I would have to cross the park road. On the surface of it this should be easy, since there are traffic lights and crosswalks. However, in practice it proved much more difficult, since while the cars would stop at the red the legions of Freds and Wilmas all barreled right on through. I stood there with a couple of the other mommies for two light cycles until finally the light changed in our favor once again, the white hand beckoned, and there amazingly appeared to be a window for us to cross.

Walking my Big Dummy with the good child comfy in his seat and laughing at my haircut, I stepped out into the crosswalk, at which point a woman who looked like she was probably the most annoying person on the board at the Park Slope Food Co-Op pointed her road bike directly at us as though on purpose. At the last second she had the decency to change her path, and as she passed she issued a very Park Slopey "Ugh" and then said to me:

"You should know better."

She then continued through the red light.

At first I was amazed. I should know better? What did that mean? I looked at the traffic light above me: still red. I looked at the hand in front of me: still white. Suddenly though it dawned on me what she was implying: I had a bike, which meant I was a cyclist. And as a cyclist I should have known that nobody on a bike would stop for me, even with a child.

This made me feel depressed, and my depression was amplified when one of the other mommies said to me resignedly, "They never stop."

I still don't agree with any of it, but this stupid woman was doing her best to justify all of it. Thanks to her, "They never stop" is what people think of all of us--even when we're lying in the street because some driver blew a light. It was all her fault.

Only after I was some distance from the park did I realize I should have waited for her in order to immortalize her sour visage in pixels, but by then it was too late, and to actually return to the park and lie in wait for her arguably would have involved crossing the rubicon between "smug mommydaddy" and "psychopath."

Shortly thereafter, I locked my smugness flotilla in front of a dining establishment, and when I emerged it had made an equally giant friend:

I'm surprised the sidewalk didn't collapse under all that smugness.

Speaking of smugness, a reader has forwarded me a blog post about David Byrne, and he points out that, instead of using the actual Momentum cover on which he appeared, they use my subtly modified version:

They should know better.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Of Luck and Annoyance: Squeaking Through By The Skin of Your Suit

(Another compelling contest submission.)

Of all the seasonal seasonways, spring is by far the most insidious. Summer is honest in its punishing, carcinogenic, skin-searing brutality. Autumn is frank in its portentiousness, and it makes its intentions known to you by killing leaves before your very eyes. And winter is arguably the most straightforward of them all, bitter and barren in its frigid indifference.

Spring on the other hand tricks you into thinking that all is right with the world. In particular, here in New York, you might be fooled into thinking that this is actually a pleasant place to live. Even I, after pretend-moving to Porland, have temporarily returned to visit in order to enjoy the parks, and the riding, and the over-abundance of banks and chain drug stores. However, I will not be lulled into complacency, for I know we're merely dwelling in that two-month window during which life here is tolerable.

I found myself pondering all this after reading the following "Tweet:"


I suppose if anything inspires me it's the basic animal drive to fulfill my family's basic needs, and if I can also manage to enjoy a solitary, uninterrupted bathroom visit on top of that every now and again then so much the better. I'm sure this isn't what they wanted to hear. Instead, they probably wanted to hear some nonsense about how inspirational life in New York City is. Nonsense. Life here isn't inspirational--it's annoying. Sure, that's a form of inspiration, in that it inspires me to complain, but you can get pretty much the same effect from airplane travel, and in fact if you're ever wondering what it's like to live in New York City just think back on the last time you flew coach. It's exactly like that, including the frequent searches and borderline violations of your civil rights. The only difference is that airline travel is way cheaper, even with the gratuitous baggage charges.

By the way, I didn't know what "freecycling" was (I thought it was the opposite of fixed-gear riding) so I looked it up on a popular user-edited Internet encyclopedia:

Freecycling, also known as Free Recycling, is the act of giving away usable unwanted items to others instead of disposing of them in landfills.

Is this actually a novel concept? Can't people even give away their old crap anymore without ascribing some self-important term and accompanying lifestyle to it? Is there any limit to people's capacity for congratulating themselves for performing mundane acts? Apparently not. Here I was thinking that when I gave my extra copy of David Hasselhoff's autobiography, "Making Waves," to my neighbor, all I was doing was giving it away. Instead, it turns out I'm actually a "freecycler," and thus entitled to all the ensuing smugness benefits. By the way, here's a video the Tweeters made, and apparently they're inspired by things like bicycles, brunch, and Lady Gaga:

Ugh again. Hopefully something will eventually inspire them to move to Portland where they belong.

Speaking of springtime and congratulating yourself for doing absolutely nothing, I was visiting the Best Made Co. website (I guess I wasn't annoyed enough already) where I learned that air-drying your clothes is apparently now an act of personal expression:

Okay, let me see if I have this straight:

Having a MacBook Pro and an iPhone and an iPad = "Minimalism;"

Giving Old Shit Away = "Freecycling;"

Living in the City and Being a Pretentious Douche = "Urban Homesteading."

Anyway, why does she need to wait until spring to air-dry her clothes? I guess I must be an even better "urban homesteader" than her, because I have an artisanally curated wooden piece of functional design called a "folding drying rack" that allows me to dry clothes all year round. Then again, I guess hanging my Lycra from a rack in my home where nobody can see it doesn't present "an opportunity for creative expression:"

5) The clothesline presents an opportunity for creative expression. There are many ways to hang your clothes out to dry, for example:

a) Totally random: you just hang out to dry your clothes in whatever order you happen to pick them up.

b) By type (ascending/descending order optional): First socks, second short sleeved shirts, third long sleeves, fourth pants, etc…

c) Rainbow: Arrange your clothes in a rainbow spectrum or some other color coordinated way.

d) Whites: For those that separate their laundry, an all white laundry line is always stunning.

I thought this was great advice, and so I took my drying rack outside and arranged my wet laundry on it so it would spell out "Fuck Best Made" in underpants.

But some things are more annoying than people who get way too into their own laundry and think they're artists for doing their own household chores--like drivers who run red lights and hit cyclists. In fact, a reader recently sent me this shocking video from Seattle:

Fortunately, the rider was unharmed:

Jeff Word was crossing Valley St at the crosswalk from Terry Ave N into South Lake Union Park the evening of May 18 when a driver ran a red light and struck him and his bicycle. Word reacted quickly and was able to put his foot onto the car’s approaching hood and push off. The collision damaged his bike, but Word landed on his feet unharmed after being thrown across the crosswalk.

“I’m doing good,” said Word in an email. “I was so happy that nothing happened I was pretty much laughing afterwards. I’m a chiropractor, too, so I get adjustments all the time.”

Apparently he's not only a chiropractor but a martial artist, because the manner in which he uses his foot to launch himself from the car's hood is worthy of Jackie Chan:

Meanwhile, Stevil Kinevil of All Hail the Black Market alerted me to this video from London, in which another cyclists also walks away from what could have been a very serious accident, but in this case it's entirely the cyclist's fault:

Hipster Trash Compactor - East London from jssjmsvckry on Vimeo.

I'd very much like to know if the cameraman caught this by accident or if they were actually filming an "edit." I've been waiting (far from eagerly) for the day one of these stupid "hillbombing" or "mashing" videos goes horribly awry, and if this was one then it looks like we came incredibly close:

This is also what comes of a new wave of "urban cyclists" convinced that their narrow bars and zen-like ability to "pick lines" through traffic allow them to pass through any space they'd like, when in reality they're about as stealthy as a cat after you cut off his whiskers.

Perhaps soon we'll see these urban cyclists wearing skinsuits to further reduce their bulk, and Klaus from Cycling Inquisition was kind enough to let me know recently that a genuine Mario Cipollini "muscle" skinsuit is now available on eBay:

I already have one of course, but I plan to buy this one too so I have another to wear when it's hanging from my artisanal drying rack. Still, nobody wears it like Cipollini himself:

It's almost like he's wearing nothing at all.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Probing for Answers: The Cat 6 Racing Boom

Not a lot of people are aware of it, but New York City is a bike racing town. During the spring and summer months you can race your bicycle on the road or the track week after week, often multiple times a week, without even getting in a car. Whether you're a lofty Cat 1 or a lowly Cat 5, you can channel your unfulfilled desires into some kind of USA Cycling-sanctioned competition.

But what if you don't hold a racing license or belong to a racing club, yet you still burn with the desire to compete? More importantly, what if you don't even have the wherewithal to rally yourself by midday and sign up for an alleycat--a discipline which, in the realm of organized sport, lies somewhere between ironic dodgeball and fraternity flag football? Well, that's when you join the fastest-growing of segment of competitive cycling today: commuter (or "Cat 6") racing.

Yes, thanks to the practical cycling boom, commuter racing is more popular than ever before, and each morning and evening New York City's bridges teem with "meh-lotons" of abject dorkiness. Until recently, you had to actually participate in (or at least witness) a Cat 6 race to comprehend its unique combination of excitement and profound embarrassment. Now, though, it seems that Cat 6 racers are increasingly immortalizing their conquests on video, for a reader has forwarded me the following gripping example:

Sure, on first viewing it may just look like three people riding their bikes relatively slowly in a protected bike lane, but once you read the description it all starts to make sense:

Second hipster cuts me off like he is hot stuff and pedals like he's trying real hard to go fast. Eat your wheaties hipster! And buy some pants that fit.

My cycling clips aren't intended to be impressive. I'm trying to capture everyday cycling moments which include mini-races with other cyclists, altercations with drivers, pedestrians who have lapses in judgment, the occasional cyclists who doesn't intend to live past 30 and of course something for my wife to see when I get home from work. If you can't comprehend context or are angry that I have not brought more entertainment into your already very boring life please refrain from posting a stupid comment. I'm just going to delete it or show how logically inconsistent you are. I'm really sorry they couldn't extend highschool for you; but please don't waste my time.

Wow. After I read that I began to understand, and on second viewing I noticed how, after he passed his competition, his head began bobbing wildly as he powered his bicycle up to speeds that had to be in excess of 16mph. By the way, here's another look at the "main field:"

Formidable opponents indeed.

While I appreciate this video, I'd much rather see footage of the filmmaker showing it to his wife after he gets home, as he says he does in the description. I wonder if she actually humors him, or if she just locks herself in the bedroom and cries.

Speaking of competitive cycling, another reader has forwarded me the following article from Wired.com:

While ostensibly about the effects of heat on competitive cyclists, it also reveals that they are being probed with rectal thermometers:

The control trial was conducted in a room kept at 71.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A second “hot” trial was held in a room at 88.5 degrees. The final one was a “deception” trial, in which the temperature was displayed as 78.8 degrees but it was actually 88.8 degrees, the hottest of the three. The trials were administered in a randomized way, and all seven subjects performed all three. (Rectal thermometers used to measure each cyclist’s core body temperature were also displayed as being slightly lower than what they were actually were.)

I don't know who these riders are or how they wound up in this "Triplets of Belleville"-esque scenario, pedaling away on trainers with thermometers up their posteriors, but currently I'm working on two theories:

1) The Cat 6 racer videographer is abducting hipsters and conducting grotesque experiments on them;


2) They're just ordinary Cat 3s and Cat 4s. Cat 3s and Cat 4s will do absolutely anything if they think it will improve their performance, no matter how sordid or violating it is. "It'll make you faster" is the "Want some candy little girl?" of the amateur racing set.

In other news of perversity, reader Dave forwarded me an Internet forum thread about the tragic fate often met by old Klein mountain bikes, as well as this example, complete with what is apparently a surfboard rack:

I would have thought it was some sort of air foil, or else a rack for "portaging" Cat 6 racers to the lab for rectal probing after you've chloroformed them.

Anyway, I'm not sure what "vintage" Kleins are fetching these days, but people seem willing to pay just about anything for "vintage" Campagnolo, and another reader forwarded me this eBay auction in which a single hub and skewer went for £1,850 (that's like ten million American dollars):

I suppose this is "a piece of cycling history" as the seller claims, but it's also "for parts and not working," and the only explanation I can come up with for the high selling price is that someone was determined to squander his personal savings before the Rapture. Then again, I suppose that in the retro-Fred community the bragging rights that come with owning the world's oldest quick release are nearly priceless.

Speaking of retro-Freds, it occurs to me that it's about time I start steering the "There Will Be Action Wipes" contest to some kind of conclusion:

I assure you that I will do so, but the decision is going to be tough. Here's one submission that is very much in contention:
As is this one:

Meanwhile, though it's not quite an international symbol, I appreciated the way this one evoked the Tour de France logo, and I also think it would look perfect embroidered on a polo shirt:

Or, perhaps Outlier can license it for their new $220 Dolomite Pivot Sleeve Shirt that they just emailed me about:

I'm not sure why Outlier models are always running, but I hope it's not because Cat 6 bike racing is evolving into Cat 6 biathlon and these people are now racing each other all the way to their cubicles. Or maybe he's just fleeing in terror:

Cat 6 video guy must be on his tail and trying to probe him.