And also stood face-to-face with the legendary Crazy Bike of San Vito dei Normanni:
It's so crazy that the only way you can adjust the rebound damping is with prescription drugs.
Well, the organizers of Full Bike Day are doing it again, and they've asked me to let you know about their new photo contest, which I'm now doing because: a) I like them; and 2) they said if I don't they'd come to New York and kill me:
(When I think of "The bicycle and mankind," I think of a 15 year-old in a sweatshirt.)
By the way, I never would have imagined it possible, but I think they may have actually topped the "OG" Full Bike Day poster:
Anyway, if you are inclined to submit a throbbing hunk of your photographic excellence to this contest, here are the rules:
That's how they do things in Puglia.
Moving on to matters of bicycle safety, here's a Bike "Accident" Fun Set for your your child, which was forwarded to me by a reader:
(Ambulance-chasing lawyer in Escalade sold separately.)
See how everybody's smiling? That's because the idea is to teach your children that running down cyclists in cars is a fun part of everyday life, like visiting grandma or going to the bakery. In fact, it's perfectly reasonable to expect that you might run down one or two cyclists on the way to either place. Just treat them like pigeons or squirrels--keep right on going until they notice you and get out of the way. And if you hit them don't worry, because it's their fault for being too stupid to move, and anyway everybody will be fine just as long as the cyclist is wearing a helment.
By the way, if the toy store is out of the Playmobil set, you can always get the same thing in Legos:
Clearly this is a popular scenario.
Anyway, I was thinking about safety yesterday as I was riding my Scattante bicycle cycling bike in Brooklyn and found myself behind this person:
There are some safety-minded cyclists who would be bothered that he is not wearing a helment:
I am not one of those cyclists. However, I am still safety-minded, and indeed I'd argue that because I'm not preoccupied with helments I am able to hone in on far more serious omissions, such as the complete absence of brake pads:
I guess it was either the $10 brake pads or the $150 Chrome bag and he opted for the latter. Given the state of the economy, who can blame him? I can't wait for Mitt Romney to fix this damn country so people can afford to start stopping again.
Of course, everybody has a different approach to safety, and it's largely determined by how you answer this question:
Or at least there will be if you give them $100,000:
That's about 10,000 pairs of brake pads.
The inventors of the ICEdot recently emailed me about their product, and basically what happens is you fall on your head, your head calls your cellphone, and if you don't press the button in a certain amount of time your cellphone calls someone who can help you:
Or, if you prefer, it's the Fredly equivalent of this:
Depending on where you fall on the "What would happen?" spectrum this may or may not appeal to you. Certainly anything that has the potential to save a life has value. At the same time we all have a different threshold for the extent to which we're willing to be "wired" during a bike ride, and I confess that this one falls far beyond mine. Still, I suppose I have a weak threshold, because I also refuse to use Strava, mostly because the "How it Works" diagram on their website makes no sense to me:
I'm fine with number one, which is grabbing a phone, because I do always carry a phone. (It's a rotary wall phone, I keep it in my giant messenger bag.) I'm also more than fine with number two, which is going out for a ride, because I do really like going out for rides. However, it's number three--viewing my ride afterwards--where to my mind the whole system falls apart. See, here's a little secret: if you skip number three, you can actually spend more time doing number two. (By the way, you can also spend more time doing number two if you replace number three with eating an "epic" burrito.) Why essentially just cut your ride short so you can look at it in the form of red lines on a map? I thought the riding was the point.
I guess it's the same impulse that compels people to film themselves during the act of onanism, which could be why the map in number three looks suspiciously like a penis:
as this one does:
I have posted this ride before but I feel it bears mentioning again, especially since the creator only has the second-fastest time on one of the sections:
Of course, all this safety is for naught if nobody can see you, which is why you can also get high-visibility clothing--and nobody loves high-visibility clothing as much as British people, as I learned during my visits to London, and which this article and video forwarded to me by a reader proves:
I was particularly intrigued by the fake police vest that says "polite:"
Apparently it backfired when the writer had a bottle thrown at him because people hate the police. It would probably also backfire in America since here saying you're polite is another way of saying "Run me the fuck over." Still, I suppose it's safer than riding a bike made from melting cheese balls, as forwarded by another reader:
It's perfect for your next gran fondue.