Monday, April 2, 2012

Travel Day!

Today is what we who are in the business of touring around the country in order to sell things call a "travel day."  This means that, as you read this, I am en route from Boulder, CO to my hometown of Cagliari, Sardinia.  My return will then conclude the first let of the "Enlightened Cyclist" World Annoyance Tour (sponsored by Brooks England, makers of fine cycling posterior supports), and I will resume more or less normal blogular activities tomorrow--until I set out on the second leg of the tour, which takes me to the west coast, but which we don't need to concern ourselves with at this moment.

In any case, pending my return, I'm pleased to present you with these photographs from my Madison (which is in Wisconsin) BRA this past Wednesday.  As it turns out, Madison is more than just "bike friendly," and it's actually so affectionate towards cyclists that it sometimes gropes you in a way that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.  Here's what it looks like when you enter from neighboring Middleton as I did:


And here's what it looks like when you have your very own bikey road:



Naturally, I stopped to study the "path etiquette:"



Which I subsequently ignored, though I did notify others when passing with a hearty, "Out of the way, cocksuckers!"

By this point I was amazed my Madison's extensive cycling infrastructure.  Sadly though, a few miles later things took a turn for the worse, and the cycling conditions went from delightful to dreadful due to the presence of these few unsightly sealed cracks:


I really shouldn't have to look at that.

Disgusted, I took a little detour into this charming hilltop neighborhood, and the presence of this car told me much about its demographics:


The old Saab is the pickup truck of the smugness-and-Birkenstocks set.

Speaking of smugness, with every mile I realized that Portland had less and less to feel special about, since in Madison they even have streets just for bikes:


Once again, however, cycling conditions took a turn for the worse:


I mean, shadows on the bike path?  Seriously?!?  I could be killed.  The city should really do something about that.

As I got closer to the university I began passing scary buildings, like this "Livestock Laboratory:"


I don't know what they do in there, but you can be sure I slipped on my Vogmask so as not to contract anthrax.

Ugh, more shadows!


If there's anything more smug than a Prius taxi with a bicycle rack on it, I have yet to see it:


By this point I was approaching the hustle or bustle (due to civic ordinances, they can't have hustle and bustle at the same time) of downtown Madison:


If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of someone being unfailingly polite.

By the time I got downtown I had forgotten I was in the midwest, but the local populace's affinity for striped clothing reminded me in short order:


There are also lots of bike racks in Madison, but rest assured that if it rains, you can take the bus:


Overall, Madison has a certain European flair, by which I mean you can find lots of schlubby people sitting around outside and smoking:


Wisconsin is also known as "America's Diaryland" (at least according to the license plates), and this was supported by the populace's apparent fondness for journaling:


Here's where they have rock or roll music (due to civic ordinances, they can't have rock and roll at the same time in Madison, otherwise people might get too excited):




And here's where they have the government:



Like all government buildings, it is surrounded by questionable massage establishments:


Note the use of underlining.  When Alan Koa says any, he means any.

Skirting the capitol building, I finally arrived at Machinery Row Bicycles, from which our pre-bra ride would depart:



Book whoring touring means being a stranger in a new city every single day, and to deal with this I've developed a cunning strategy, which is to look sad and confused until someone is kind enough to adopt me.  This strategy worked perfectly in Madison, and these kind people were kind enough to guide and succor for the duration of my BRA:


It wasn't long before we were on the road, and it wasn't long after we were on the road that we decided to stop and imbibe beer.  So we stopped at the student union and I enlisted the strongest riders in the bunch to aid me in "pitcher portaging:"




Here is the Filling of the Pitchers:




And here is the Dispensation of the Beerstuffs:




It was a lovely spot to sit and drink, and we gazed across the lake upon the residence of John Burke, the Grand Exalted Leader of The Great Trek Bicycle Making Company, which apparently lies somewhere in the distance:



Then, sufficiently beered, we mounted this short stretch of unpathed path:



At which point the ride officially became "epic:"


On we rode, through the forbidding streets of Madison:




And on into the sunset:


Until we finally reached a Barnes and Noble in a mall somewhere, where we paraded in with our bikes:




People found their seats:


And I prattled on until all assembled became heavy of eyelid and short of patience.

After which I returned to my accomodations and joined the rest of the coaches:


It was an especially lovely ride and BRA, and thank you very much to all who attended.  It is now time to board my aeroplane, so I bid you adoo, and I look forward to returning tomorrow with more regularer and better proofreaded and formatteded updates.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

106 comments:

Ed said...

Keeping us on our toes.

Podium.

Kenny said...

AND THAT'S HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW!

Anonymous said...

i am awesome.

Anonymous said...

panties!

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

Travel Panties!

Anonymous said...

Top X.

JB said...

wooden noggin prophalactic

Buffalo Bill said...

"Keep right, pass left"
Such a simple rule, so frequently ignored.

theEel said...

weed.

Anonymous said...

eating pussy

Anonymous said...

What the hell is a journal made from a vintage book?

Anonymous said...

Only in the top twenty? My coach is going to be pissed now.

Cipo said...

getting sloppy

McFly said...

Welcome back Kotterrrrrrrrrr

Anonymous said...

Top Ten?
Who cares.

I'm guessing the Boulder Bra deserves its own post?

I hope that post is suitably bloated.

McFly said...

That's not a sealed crack, it's called a "Hipster BurnOut", it takes two of them because one has to hold the rear of the Fixie aloft while the "pilot" gets the RPM's up. Then it's GoTime.

JB said...

I want to move to the Portland of the Midwest and join the All City team.

streepo said...

scranus



And i resemble that schlubby remark.

singlespeedwaster said...

Top 20! Woo-hooo-hoo-hang on a minute

DerZoots said...

Doooooooooooood.

le Correcteur said...

Missed the top twenty! Snob, I've got to disagree with "The old Saab is the pickup truck of the smugness-and-Birkenstocks set," since I really think Volvo 240s wagons (made until 1993) are instead.
Respectfully,
le Correcteur

Anonymous said...

is that blue one the judge judy bike?

JB said...

While old Volvos are smug like having a vintage lugged bicycle, old Saabs are smug like having a vintage custom-built lugged bicycle.

Bobby said...

Good morning, travelling apostle of the Lob! S it won't be lost among your countless e-mails begging for rescue from Nigerian generals, I have a Serotta sighting for you. I see that Conan O-Brien has been spotted on a Serotta Ottrott.

Hey, if it promotes cycling for the masses, it's a good thing, right? I'll just stand back and wait for the entertainment.

Perhaps we should bestow on honorary D.D.S. upon Conan, so he won't stand out?

Bobby said...

Aw snap! Here's the link for the Elvis, I mean...Setotta sighting.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2123998/Youthful-Conan-OBrien-48-works-sweat-cycling.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Billy said...

Actually had to work today, missed the top 10!

Jasper said...

@JB and le Correcteur - but they are both Swedish cars, you notice. What does that tell us?

Anonymous said...

Madison looks like a very nice town.
Not funny in any way but very nice. NTTAWWT

Surley Temple said...

All new Surley models will be city themed;

The Boston themed 'Immense Re'Tad.

Billy said...

Really surprised Conan doesn't have more spacers on his stem. But DAT HEAD TUBE. Whenever a tall person goes past on an appropriately sized bike I feel like a midget. It's amazing how large someone gets on a large bike. If I ever seen a 6'10" person on a tall bike I might have to cower in the gutter until they go by.

Anyway, Madison is quite impressive. Wait, there's beer at the student union? I'm confused, aren't most students under 21? No beer allowed on campus where I went to school, Ole Miss.

I like their bike lanes.

What is up with the bare bars on the blue fixie at B&N though?

Anonymous said...

1988 saab 900s (non turbo) pre GM takeover has no weaknesses

SAAB LIFE

Cipo said...

She was about to succor me and began to take her hot nerd/dork glasses off and I said "No Daphne, leave them on, leave them on."

Anonymous said...

4EYE DBJS

Anonymous said...

Those cracks arent half so distracting as your typos. PS love the blog

Anonymous said...

balls™

Captain Hardbread said...

Death Penguins? wears my face panties?

Captain Hardbread said...

Death Penguins? wears my face panties?

Anonymous said...

and more balls®

Anonymous said...

PLEASE return to posting regularly, otherwise I have to spend my lunch looking at blogs like the drunkcyclist… where everyone is a “baller” …and they like to take pictures of themselves cycling alone to prove they are indeed BALLERS.

Anonymous said...

Try Cycling Inquistion, they have a sweet, new hat.

Vaginally Stuff, Literally Compliant said...

Snob--

You didn't visit the KILLDOZER MUSEUM in Madison?!

I'm downgrading your wildcat 'rock' license!

Jimbo! said...

Jimbo!

Anonymous said...

Most Madison students are over 21, since they instituted the 12 year undergrad program in the 60s.

greenpinkblue said...

Are you going to post about Chicago or just prattle on about Madison's overabundance of infrastructure (or smugfrastructure as it's commonly known in the mid-west) forever? You gotta rep "the Chi" cuz it's a REAL mid-west city complete with raging taxis, copious pot holes, and drunk driving sporting fans. Also, next time you're in town come visit us at the Recyclery Collective. We're fans.

Anonymous said...

Let or leg? I'm assuming the latter...

Keep left! You're all wrong, I tell you!

hey nonny mouse

leroy said...

Have a good trip back.

My dog observed that I am more suited for air travel than cycling given that my seat can be used as a flotation device in the event of a water landing.

He assures me he isn't confusing "saddle" and "seat".

He even has a poem to keep things clear:

This is my saddle,
This is my seat.
One is for riding,
The other's bewtween my head and my feet.

leroy said...

One other thing ...

I don't care how nice Madison seems, I still wouldn't accept a stranger's offer of ride in a "Welcome Coach."

mikeweb said...

What pleasant April day for my ride in Central Park just now.

If it wasn't for the 20 MPH north wind and the 48 degree temperature, it would've been perfect.

JB said...

Bobby,
We've seen Conan's "long tube" Serotta before. But, the dailymail story is worth it for that last photo of Conan.

Snobby could use it at the stock "despaired cyclist" photo. Such as when a roadie upgrades his gruppo, only to find out a new version will be dropped next month.

mikeweb said...

If I'm not mistaken, CoCo appears to be clad in Rapha as well.

Marcel Da Chump said...

BRA succor.

Buy-cycle said...

scratchy scranus. Top 69?

Quilled and Lugged said...

While I was going to take umbrage at the suggestion that there is such a thing as a schlubby European, the debate over drinking age and students reminds me that, since in Europe we get to drink at a reasonable young age, there is a concomitant tendency to portliness, which starts with all those undergrad hi-jinks.

Anonymous said...

@Billy: When I went to college decades a go there were only two student Unions that sold alcohol: The University of Texas at Austin and Madison. Perhaps Snobbie should head uptown from Mellow Johny's for the sake of reporting about the current status of availability in Austin.

Anonymous said...

and that's how a drill becomes a saw

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

The blue sky above Madison is captivating.

Anonymous said...

@anon 3:16

typical. I assume you live in one of those dozens of towns with the "Keep ______ Weird" and think it is so.

bikesgonewild said...

...too much beer back at the student union ???...that one guy in the front row, at your bra, looks to be throwing up in his bag...

...overall, other than the 'great gatsby' & his green blinky light across the water, madison looks like a decent place to ride a bicycle...

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Travel Day?

I thought you hated baseball

jno62 said...

Frack this place, I'm going to Madison!!

bikesgonewild said...

...bonus, bsnyc/rtms/wcrm...

... totally non-cycling related web-schlog gives you a great writeup n' review ...

...your book has gone mainstream, amigo & i for one think it's awesome because you personally will benefit by it, despite the 'boat anchor effect' we commentators might otherwise have on your career...

...i can hear frank sinatra & sid vicious together singing "...& i did it my waaay..."...

CommieCanuck said...

Fact: a Prius carrying a bike actually makes oil and consumes C02.

CommieCanuck said...

What does "10% off" mean anyway? It costs 10% less, or it's 10% faster?

David Byrne said...

That Prius pic is hot.

zoomer said...

Top 69?
Twas good to meet you in personable in Austin,Texious on Saturday. Now,
enough 'bout Madison, I KNOW what it's like there in January. All the bikecycle paths and smugness does not entice me to layer up all my whole wardrobes just to go outside. And frozenen snot?
Scranus!

oh, and Weed thermalPanties

Anonymous said...

I foresee a demand for bike couriers, with cargo bikes.

http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=149703488

le Correcteur said...

Rapha Alert! Weird cockpit alert!

So, I was slumming over on the Daily Mail website (it makes People mag at the doctor's office look classy), and here's Conan wearing Rapha-on-top, a wonderful look, paired with khakis on the bottom. Plus look at the brifter orientation!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2123998/Youthful-Conan-OBrien-48-works-sweat-cycling.html

le Correcteur said...

Serotta Alert! And it's a Serotta as well! How many cliches can one Hollywood type hit effortlessly! This must be why they're paid so much!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2123998/Youthful-Conan-OBrien-48-works-sweat-cycling.html

Comment Troll said...

Um, le Correcteur, we covered that one, like, seven hours ago. You should scroll through from your previous comments before you start trying to claim exclusives...

Comment Troll said...

And you should be ashamed of yourself, reading the Daily Mail, even ironically.

Foreverman Isforever said...

you know that adoo means that you intend to never ever see these folks again right? Are you really ready for that kind of commitment?

Tom Bone In said...

I von dees race eend you zerefore suckzeescranus.

JDH said...

Bringing up the rear...

Anonymous said...

Comment troll... that was a Setotta spotted earlier. Either way, I'm really bummed you guys weren't talking about Conan the Barbarian and some new Rapha goat skin vest.

Stuart said...

Beer drinking and bicycling? Not a good idea.

crosspalms said...

No, a GREAT idea

ce said...

I carry my Prius on my cargo bike.

Burt Reynolds 531 said...

This place just ain't the same without Frilly.

Artisanal Pain said...

<the striped man and woman is a great photo somehow for all those other random shots you post I am going to copy it and paste it on my springtime team creme theme blog!

Anonymous said...

take that cockpit suckers
likelike

McFly said...

HANDS DOWN HOTTEST CHIC IN YOUR TRAVEL TIMES PHOTO COLLAGE: Barnes & Noble, far back right, yellow shirt. Somebody done went and broke out the good China.
GOOD CHNA

McFly said...

BALL CITY

Ralph Nadar said...

Levi Leipheimer: I could be dead, for sure. I flew into Bilbao on Saturday night before the Vuelta al País Vasco. I wanted to get here early, relax and go for a ride. I was returning from a light ride, about two hours, at about 12:30. I was using my (smart phone) to find some good roads.
Even the Pro's Text and Pedal...

Billy said...

@Stuart, 9:22 PM: Better idea, wine tour in upstate NY by bicycle. Plenty of room on the wide shoulders to weave back and forth after your third winery stop.

le Correcteur said...

My apologies, abject, for NOT finding out that other Daily Mail slummers had found Conan first. But still, I spotted the weird cockpit, right? Does Conan have some kind of wrist oddity that leads to strange brifter positions?

And give up my Daily Mail perusal, so that I miss the beyond hypocritical "tut--tutting" over Madonna's ass and such? Never, I tell you! Never!

ghulam sarwar said...

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ghulam sarwar said...

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sarwar said...

nice work

sarwar said...

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Anonymous said...

Why does everyone at the Madison BRA look like they're members of the Decemberists?

Occupy Colin Meloy!

CommieCanuck said...

I had to click on that last photo to read it:

"Pregnant? You're not alone, Women's aid can help...Until the baby is born, then we'll dump your slutty ass and your bastard child, burn in hell. Have a nice day."

CommieCanuck said...

Would Hincapie's Trek have busted if it were made in Taiwan?

A post-race inspection by Trek engineers confirmed that instead of carbon bonding epoxy, they found Philly Cheese steak meltings. Ah, Wiscahsin.

LK said...

What if I have a four-door Saab?

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Robert said...

>european flair
>Boulder, CO

Pick one

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Stace said...

I am incredibly tickled and pleased with your account of Madison, or "77-square-miles surrounded by reality." We are fond of our beer, Brew Crew (the Milwaukee Brewers), bikes, bikes paths, bike racks (Go, Saris!!), bike stores, and all things ecological. Thank you for capturing the essence of where I choose to live: "behind the cheese curtain!"

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