Once in a great while though I do manage to slip away for a short lunchtime ride. Back when I lived in Brooklyn, that usually meant going to Prospect Park:
I absolutely love Prospect Park. It has a zoo. I've seen hawks picking apart dead animals there. It's a great place to have a wine-soaked white people picnic.
However, riding in it is something else. Between racing and just plain riding I've probably circled the Prospect Park loop a thousand million hundred times. About ten years ago I reached the point that I could barely complete a lap without falling asleep, and since then the only way I've been able to get around the damn thing is by slapping myself repeatedly in the face. To this day, as I fall asleep my legs twitch and spin in exactly the rhythm and cadence it takes to propel a bike around Prospect Park. This will probably be my death spasm. And the most interesting aspect of the park from a cycling perspective is this tiny bit of an incline, where people like these shout "Hold your line!" at you for no apparent reason:
(They actually shouted "Hold your line!" at me even though my line was being held securely by me.)
Well, yesterday a window opened for a lunchtime ride, and because I don't live in Brooklyn anymore I didn't go to Prospect Park. Instead, I went here, which is close to where I live now:
It was a lot more fun than Prospect Park. The possibility of a lunchtime mountain bicycle cycling ride has been my dream for many years, and it's finally become a reality. Granted, it was a pretty long lunch, but whatever. I lubed my chain with tears of joy. The only problem is that a lifetime spent living and cycling on a giant sandy glacial deposit has made me an utter wussbag when it comes to riding over rocks:
(If it's so easy then you go over it.)
I actually caught myself wishing I had a full suspension bike, and then I blanched at the realization that I have now been transformed into a person who covets both a folding bike and a full suspension bike. I mean really, there's clearly no hope for me now, I should have just buried myself alive in those woods. But instead, I fashioned a switch with a sapling branch and whipped myself repeatedly in the thigh until I came to grips with the fact that buying your way out of a fear of riding over rocks is the coward's way out, and that I need to hike up my breeches and work with what I've got. (Which is a perfectly good bike with a suspension fork and a bad case of sucking at riding bikes.)
I did, however, determine that wider handlebars would be a worthwhile upgrade, since the ones I was using on that bike were narrow vestiges of a time when bikes had 26-inch wheels and I fancied myself fast, and I also really like the wide handlebars on my Engin, which I was not riding at the time because I felt like being able to shift. So after the ride I went to a bike shop and bought some wider handlebars, and wouldn't you know it, they had folding bikes! In particular, they had Terns:
(Wine-soaked white person in mid-flight.)
I took one out for a ride and it actually felt pretty darned good, though I'm not sure it folds up small enough for my taste. Call me paranoid, but you never know when you're going to have to secret a bicycle in your own rectum, and when it comes down to that every fraction of a cubic centimeter counts, believe you me.
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 then HOLY FUCKING CRAP!!!, and if you're wrong then you'll see cycling.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and Lob bless.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) Why does this Hyundai have only one teal wheel?
--Because it's faster
--Because it's supposed to look like a fixie
--Because David Byrne wanted it that way
--Because someone stole the hub caps
2) The artist who created this claims that the paint actually contains a small amount of Mario Cipollini's semen.
3) A Swedish woman was recently struck by which body part while cycling?
--A male member
--A female breast
4) "GFOAT" stands for:
--Greatest Freds of All Time
--George Found Obvious Advantages from Testosterone
--Good Food On A Table
--Goat Foot On A Testicle
5) Torono Mayors Robs Fords will fight their removal from office:
--"To the death"
--"Tooth and nail"
--"Tongue and scranus"
--"Ham and cheese"
(Spotted by a reader.)
6) With this seat cushion, you can travel through time.
7) What kind of bars are these?
--"Wide stance bars"
***Special Bonus Travel Video That Doesn't Really Make Me Want To Visit That Place***