(Lassie and me on the way home from the Greenmarket, as photographed by one of those two-wheeled menaces.)
Sockless and happy, I bounded along in my loafers, savoring all that extra elbow room. Unfortunately, these entitled cyclists seem to think the "auxiliary sidewalks" are "bike lanes," just because they have pictures of bicycles painted on them and have big signs that say "bike lane" right next to them at every corner. Still, I refuse to cede an inch. Instead, I just keep walking and stare the cyclists down from behind my Ray-Bans, and then vent my frustration by leaving angry comments on cycling-related articles in the New York Times.
Speaking of New York City cyclists and their inflated sense of self-importance, the fallout from "Fondogate" continues, and mere days after a 45-year-old amateur was caught cheating at Fred riding the local racing club is now implementing a real-live drug testing program:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Champion System p/b Stan’s NoTubes cycling team helps CRCA fund new testing program. Call for others to help fight doping too.
New York City, NY (FPRC), July 25th , 2012 – Following the news of positive drug tests at the 2012 Gran Fondo New York, the Champion System p/b Stan’s NoTubes cycling team has pledged a $5,000 donation to the CRCA with the stipulation that the money be used to fund a testing program.
“The cost of testing is very expensive, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for inaction. We would like to see testing at CRCA events and we’re ready to help fund this,” said managing director Igor Volshteyn. “While we are disappointed by the recent news, we believe the stark reality highlighted by these positive tests is exactly what we need to finally mobilize our community and take firm and decisive action against doping together… something we frankly should have done a long time ago.”
New York City's amateur bike racers have long been on the forefront of taking themselves seriously and so this is the logical next step. Sure, testing a bunch of hobbyists for performance-enhancing drugs is a lot like calling the IRS to audit your Monopoly games, but when you've already got the equipment and the uniforms and the coaching programs and the high-definition finish line camera for the race where you win a turkey and you've upgraded every single component it's possible to upgrade then buying yourself a comprehensive drug testing program is really all that's left. In any case, to my knowledge this is the furthest any amateur racing club has inserted its helmet up its own posterior, which puts them deep in uncharted "waters"--though it should all be worth it when the person who places third in the "B" race tests positive for THC.
Of course, if you don't want to join a bicycle riding club that requires you to pee-pee in a cup and notify them when you leave town for vacation, you can always take part in rides like the "Bicycle Blitz Through Staten Island"--which I'd never even heard from until I received an email that it had been cancelled due to exhaustion:
SORRY GANG. We just dont have the energy to pull this one off. Stay tuned for the next free tour coming up in august - the Bike the Boro Border Bike Ride!
Not enough energy, huh? They really ought to try performance-enhancing drugs.
But while it's one thing to make light of doping amateurs, there are other aspects of cycling that deserve more serious treatment, and to underscore that seriousness I ask that you please listen to the theme song from the 1983 film "Terms of Endearment:"
Damn that Flap, he didn't know what he had until it was gone!
Anyway, the serious cycling subject I'm referring to is the bicycle cycling road cycling bicycle race of the Games of the XXX Olympiad:
("Wiggins Rings," or "Wigg-Os," hand-designed by You-Know-Who.)
Now, I don't believe in policing the comments section of this blog. However, yesterday I couldn't help noticing some disrespectful references to the parcours, such as this one:
Has anyone taken a glance at the Olympic Route Map? They go through a place called Bushy Park, Dorking, and Box Hill. I predict very high attrition in that race. Major abandonment.
July 25, 2012 1:23 PM
Firstly, off-color sexual references are an affront to the spirit of the Olympic Games, which began over 2,000 years ago when a bunch of muscular Greek men decided to run around naked together. Secondly, it is wrong to mock the host nation and laugh at its culture, even if their ways are quaint and backwards and seems incredibly silly to us. The fact is that English culture is dozens of years older than our own, and to laugh at their place names is to reveal your ignorance. So let's take a little tour around the race route and set a few things straight:
1) "Box Hill" is not British slang for the female mons pubis;
2) "Leatherhead" is not a cruising spot for men who are into "rough trade;"
3) "Headley Heath" has nothing to do with Heath Ledger's character "Brokeback Mountain;"
4) "Dorking" is a place, not a verb, and the "Dorking cockerel" is not in any way lewd. All it is is a statue of a big, fat cock:
Most importantly, please refrain from making throat-clearing sounds when the announcers refer to the feed zone in Bushy Park, or from laughing when Fofonov "gets off" in Woking to "answer the call of nature."
"XXX Olympiad" indeed.
Anyway, if we keep all of these things in mind, we may just be able to keep a straight face until the very last rider crosses the line in Vaginae or wherever it is they finish. After all, nobody's more dignified than the British, which is why Bradley Wiggins only issues forth tasteful Tweets like this: