(Struggling models who live hand-to-mouth being paid to look like rich executives.)
Secondly, I forgot the second thing.
Thirdly, I was talking (when I say "talking" I mean writing, I don't talk out loud while I type, mostly because I don't know how to pronounce most of the big words I use, or "utilize," which is what corporate wants me to say) about folding bikes awhile back, and here's a recommendation I received:
No! Nononononono! I will not ride this! I will not ride this Fred-I-Am, and so forth. It's far too too Seussian. Sure, I may be willing to ride a clown bike, but I am not willing to ride something that looks like a step stool with a belt drive. (Hey, we all have our thresholds for looking ridiculous, and while mine might be pretty high it's not that high. At least not yet. I'm still not ready for Stridas, recumbandts, tall bikes, or unicycles, and I pray to sweet Lob above that I'll never be.) Also, who buys a bike like this and locks it up instead of folding it? It's only saving grace is it's portability! This is like those people in Brooklyn who live next-door to real pizza places but still order from Domino's.
Oh, wait, I just remembered the second thing, which is that I took another lunchtime ride yesterday. Sure, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Who the hell are you that you get to ride your bike at lunchtime?" Well, I don't have to answer that, because the simple fact is that I earned the right to ride my bike at lunchtime once in awhile. How? With hard work, that's how! (Obviously by "hard" I mean "easy," and by "work" I mean "not working.") That's why I relate to Milt Romney, we both know what it's like to be resented by people who have to work for a living just because we don't. Boo-hoo for you, maybe be born rich next time.
Also, it turns out that when you leave Brooklyn things improve tremendously, and you'd be amazed how wonderful cycling in New York can be when you're not completely surrounded by a bunch of fetid water and Queens. (If you want to know what cycling in Queens is like, go to your nearest shopping mall and ride around in the parking lot.)
Anyway, I wouldn't even mention the lunchtime ride except there were two noteworthy things about it:
1) I fell down.
Obviously I'd expect this on a mountainous biking ride, but this was a garden-variety solo Fred ride, and the way I fell down was that I slipped on one of those metal plates. This is particularly embarrassing because riding over metal plates is one of the most basic elements of New York City cycling--almost as basic as knowing that the yellow cabs want to kill you. In fact, I think this may have been the first time in my life I've ever fallen off my bicycle because of one of those metal plates. Sure, I've fallen off because I couldn't get out of my pedals. I've fallen off because of slippery garbage water. I've even fallen off while urinating. But until yesterday I'd never been stupid enough to pedal my bicycle on wet metal, which suggests to me that my best cycling days are behind me and I'm officially regressing. This is frightening because even at my best I totally sucked, and it's especially frightening because it probably indicates the trajectory of the entire rest of my life.
Now that's good spondee.
2) There were pushpins everywhere.
It's a bit hard to see the pushpins in this picture, so here's a closer look:
If that was all I wouldn't think anything of it, but as I rode I kept seeing them, and they were scattered about in the shoulder for miles like sprinkles on a donut. Now, I can only think of three reasons for this:
1) A truck full of loose pushpins had sprung a leak;
2) Some smartphoneless Luddite was driving around in a convertible with a heavily pushpin-annotated analog map:
As I continued to notice the little pushpins, I increasingly suspected number three. Sure, it wasn't a huge amount of pushpins, but it was too many over too long a distance to have been an accident. Plus, I was on route 9W, which is easily the most Fredly cycling corridor on the Eastern Seaboard, so if you had it in for the Lycra set and wanted to mess with them then this would certainly be the place to do it. Also, people have been doing exactly this in Central Park for years. Of course, in Central Park they use thumbtacks, which are much more effective and far more difficult to spot than rainbow-colored pushpins, but keep in mind that this part of route 9W runs through New Jersey, and cleverness and subtlety are not exactly hallmarks of the indigenous population.
At this point I wondered what I should do. After all, somebody could be hurt. A cyclist could have a blowout and crash, or a triathlete could see a tiny colored object in the road, panic, and crash. Should I attempt to pick them up? No, that would take days. Should I call somebody? I had no idea who to call. In New York City we have 311, but in New Jersey I'm pretty sure all they have is Dial-A-Joke. So eventually I just made the Fredly decision, which was not to let anything interfere with my stupid ride, even if it meant that someone else might be seriously hurt.
Nevertheless, I kept my eyes open for suspects. Eventually, I noticed a minivan with Jesus stickers on it pulled over on the side of the road. There were two parents and a young child, and I'm fairly sure that they were just helping the kid to relieve himself in the weeds, but I also saw the mother holding a small package of some kind, and I wondered if they could be bike-haters training their son to commit acts of office supply terrorism against their sworn enemy. Of course, the only reason this even crossed my mind was the Jesus sticker, and I had to admit to myself that I am suspicious--perhaps overly so--of religious people. Then I thought about what a shame that was, since all Jesus (or the people who invented him, as the case may be) ever talked about was peace and tolerance, yet here we are two thousand years later in a circle of hate and paranoia, and that just made me angry at Jesus, because I'm precisely the sort of miserable human being who gets to ride his bike during the week yet spends that time being suspicious of other parents and getting angry at Jesus.
Anyway, eventually I reached my turnaround point, where I turned around, because that's just what you do at a turnaround point, and then I happened upon a member of the Alpine, NJ police force, so I figured I'd tell him about the pushpins since it would seem to constitute a road hazard. Leaving out any mention of sabotage, I simply told him there were a great many pushpins all over the road and it seemed kinda dangerous, and then he got a funny look on his face and said, "Maybe someone has a vendetta against cyclists." The look suggested he thought this was highly unlikely yet at the same time tremendously appealing. He also said something about how "There are enough bike accidents on 9W as it is," and I resisted the urge to ask him exactly how many of those involved triathletes, since I'd expect a figure on the order of 98%--though this is a bit unfair of me since I had fallen down for no good reason not an hour before. Finally he said he'd notify the Department of Transportation, which I'm sure he didn't, and I went back home and ate two (2) sandwiches and a pickle.
In any case, I've already spent far more time writing about this non-incident than I did actually thinking about it at the time, but I guess the point of it all is that everybody should watch out for crap in the road.
Speaking of working and being rich, this:
I'm not even going to link to the stupid article because who cares, but it's worth noting that the struggling model pretending to be a millionaire is smelling his finger in the back seat of a limo, and it's amusing to speculate as to why.
Who says I don't work? Sure, a lot of people look at photos and make juvenile associations, but very few take the thirty or forty seconds necessary to publish them on the Interent.
By the way, you know who likes to fingerbang? This guy:
That's Alberto Contador. He's a professional cyclist. He's won an indeterminate amount of Grand Tours because it all depends on whether you ask him, the Spanish federation, the UCI, or WADA. This is why cycling is now officially the lamest sport on the planet. Nevertheless, there are people who think this Lycra-clad clusterfuck is worth "saving" for some reason, which is why there's now a "Charter of the Willing:"
That's quite an impressive mutual handjob administration committee they've assembled there. If history is any guide, by the start of the 2013 cycling season they will have invaded Iraq.
By the way, if you're going to invade anybody, be sure to do it in a cape, as in this video forwarded to me by a friend:
Cleverhood & the Street Kings of New York from Cleverhood on Vimeo.
This cape is ideal for walking with your fixie:
Gesticulating to photographers:
Shrouding your hunchback:
Annoying you at any speed greater than 5mph:
And of course furtive wanking:
Presumably it was modeled on the cape worn by Frank Costanza's lawyer:
Looking forward to when they "drop" the Urban Sombrero.