I mention this only to underscore a fundamental truth, which is this: Once a Fred, Always a Fred. Sure, I could have just jumped on a bike while wearing regular clothing, but instead I opted to don a special proprietary wardrobe just to enjoy an hour of leisurely forward motion. For some reason, once you take it into your head that proper leisure cycling has to involve stretchy shorts and clicky shoes, it's nearly impossible to free yourself from this notion. In fact, the only person in history who's successfully done so is Grant Petersen, and he even wrote an excellent book that will tell you how to do it too, though in undertaking his de-Fredification treatment you do run the risk of becoming something even stranger. It's sort of like kicking drugs only to become a born-again Christian.
Another component of 21st century Fred-dom is an obsession with data, and applications like Strava mean that, while a Fred may technically be a physical presence out there on the road, his consciousness actually resides elsewhere, in a world of make-believe that he will only visit later when he gets home. But Freds aren't the only cyclists for whom the ride is merely a means to a digital end. Lone Wolves too engage in this behavior, as you can see from this article which was forwarded to me by a reader about a rider who creates "GPS Art:"
Here's how it works:
So, I'll map out what I'm going to do, and then I'll look at it in satellite view to confirm that there's actually a pathway where I'm trying to go on. In satellite view, I can look for landmarks. Then I start shooting lines, I call it, in the park. I'll be heading in a certain direction and then I'll say, “OK I have to aim at this tree in order to keep this line I'm going for.” I study that out ahead of time, so I'll put notes on the map, reminding myself "OK, you're gonna aim for this tree" or "Don't miss this street." Little things like that.
Despite being an ostensibly creative pursuit, creating GPS art via bicycle is remarkably similar to Fred-dom, right down to the "personal bests:"
What ride was the hardest for you?
I felt great the other day when I finished “Godzilla Versus Mothra.” That was a 22.61-mile ride, my longest ride to date. I expended a lot of mental and physical energy, but when I finished that one it felt really special.
Apparently "Godzilla Versus Mothra" is the Gran Fondo New York of GPS art rides.
There is one crucial difference between a Fred's "training" ride and Lone Wolf''s GPS art ride, which is that there are actually people willing to pay money to look at the latter:
Do you hope to make some money from all of this?
I've put a lot of sweat equity into this. My site is not set up for commerce. It's a complete rookie, flash website. But that could change in the future. I could switch things around and see what I can do in terms of money. I haven't promoted these images for sale, but people have offered me money for them.
I would like the names and email addresses of these people because I have some crayon scribblings I think they'd be really interested in.
And 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 cycling American style.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and happy Father's Day to all you moms out there.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) Aging alleycat enthusiast Lucas Brunelle's new movie is called:
--"Line of Sight"
--"Fight or Flight"
--"Load of Crap"
--"Bag of Dicks"
2) According to the LAPD, celebrating "as normal adults do" includes trampling cyclists.
(Not this kind of stamp, but the other kind.)
3) Which of the following is not one of the United States Postal Service's new bicycling stamps?
--"A young child just learning to ride with training wheels"
--"A commuter pedaling to work"
--"A road racer intent on the finish line"
--"A man being trampled by sports fans"
(Well at least they're not getting bike-spewing vaginas.)
4) Residents of Fort Greene, Brooklyn are opposing a bike share docking station because they claim:
--It encourages helmetless cycling
--It is not in keeping with the historic character of their neighborhood
--It is likely users will scratch or ding parked cars with the bicycles
--It attracts an "undesirable element" to the neighbohood
5) The Hasidic Jews of Williamsburg, Brooklyn are opposing bike share stations because:
--They have not been subject to proper kosher supervision
--Talmudic law prohibits any form of sharing
--It is not in keeping with the historic character of their shtetl
--Hot chicks might ride the bikes naked
6) Left unlocked, how long will a sweet department store mountain bike remain in Brooklyn?
--Less than 30 seconds
--Less than 30 minutes
--Less than an hour
--More than 30 hours
7) According to the inventor of Fredboarding, the sport is superior to cycling because bikes are prone to theft, whereas you can leave your Fredboarding staff in the umbrella stand when you go to the diner for a post-ride spanakopita.
***Special This Blog's Birthday-Themed Bonus Question***
As of this past Wednesday, this blog is officially:
--Two years old
--Four years old
--Six years old
--Who gives a shit?