Speaking of life, I've made some mistakes during mine, but I've also made some awesomely sagacious decisions. One of these was getting this badass photo-realistic tattoo backpiece:
Though it probably wasn't such a good idea to sell all my Apple stock about five years ago and invest everything I had in Cannondale:
But at least I never moved into a Brooklyn hipster death trap like this place:
Remember when everybody in New York was cashing in on the fixie craze by doing the Loctite conversion on old crappy ten speeds and then selling the resulting death traps on Craigslist? Well, lofts are the fixies of real estate, and landlords do pretty much the same thing with buildings:
That September, an inspector determined that workers had plastered over fire sprinkler heads and ordered the building vacated. Residents came home from work to find the building padlocked; they lost their security deposits.
Yet after only a few months, construction restarted. This summer, the building began filling once again, advertised on Craigslist under varying names, like “the Sweater Factory Lofts” or “the Rustic House,” for $2,800 to $3,800 a month.
Sure, it's completely unfit for residential use, but that's what makes it so "exciting:"
Then there is Mr. Fiegel, who has reluctantly stayed because his roommates find the area exciting and the relatively low rent — $3,500 for four — almost as appealing.
“They are just amazed, because we have the loft space,” he said. “They love it here.”
I think they should try rebranding the building as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
Speaking of the fixie craze, evidently it's still happening in certain parts of the world, as evidenced by this video that I learned about first from Klaus of Cycling Inquisition:
Yes, "tarck" is "barck:"
Or maybe it never went anywhere in the first place. Either way, as with that music video from last month, I continue to be amazed that a city as cosmopolitan as London could be so embarrassingly behind the times as far as cycling fashion is concerned. I mean look at them, skidding all over the place like a bunch of MASHy Macaputzes:
I did learn one thing from this guy though:
(You mean your LBS doesn't have a creative director?)
Which is this:
"East London seems to have been a bit of, uh, like, the birthplace of fixed gear and single speed bikes, if you like."
Wow. That's like saying Brooklyn is the birthplace of Charles Dickens. Then again, I suppose one appealing aspect of the fixed gear scene is that the history is as easily customizable as the bikes themselves. I also suppose his obvious talent for fiction is why he's the creative director.
Another thing I liked about the video is that they found the one bike lane in all of London:
If my own experience riding in London is any guide then that bike lane extends for a grand total of seven feet before it leads cyclists straight into a strategically-placed "keep left" sign.
Wait, so what year is this again?
Well, I see a top tube pad (!) and bars set up to take core samples of the rider's quads, so it must be 2005.
Anyway, back to the story of the clothes, which is the real point of the video:
"They brought the revised samples over to London and we all got to try them on and actually ride them then."
Here's who I'm going to assume is the corporate suit (or "sweater") from H&M, because making assumptions is easier and more entertaining than real life:
("The Man" waiting eagerly for feedback.)
Here are the pants:
("The Pants" waiting eagerly for scranus.)
And here's a member of the hand-picked fixie focus group explaining exactly what he wants out of a cycling garment:
("There needs to be adequate crotchal room for testicular pendulation when I'm laying down a fat elephant trunk skid like they did circa 2007.")
And here's another member putting in his two cents, or pence, or whatever they opine with over there:
("The jacket closure should use buttons instead of a zipper to prevent beard entanglement.")
Most importantly, the clothes are "sustainable:"
"Already from the start when doing this collection we also thought it was really really important to make it as sustainable as possible."
That's why there's absolutely no sperm whale vulva used anywhere in this collection--with the exception of the crotch of the pants, since nothing stands up to saddle wear better than whale vulva. Still, it's far more sustainable than Rapha, who use whale vulva in everything they make, and whose shoes are made of late-term panda abortions:
It's called the "rubbish pocket:"
Basically, the idea is that pedestrians can discard their refuse in it while you're trackstanding in the middle of the crosswalk. (That's where the "sustainability" comes in.) However, pedestrians should only put regular refuse in the rubbish pocket. Recyclables should instead be stuffed down the rider's pants.
Yes, clearly mainstream retailers are beginning to cater to young bike-riding urbanites, but oddly they only seem interested in making these clothes for men. (Or at least emotionally stunted man-boys.) Women, on the other hand, are ignored, which is why they must turn to Kickstarter:
Says the designer:
"I've been riding my bike around Seattle for the last five years. For me, it's the most amazing way to experience the city."
At first I was offended at the implication that Seattle can be experienced amazingly, but then I remembered that in rainy Seattle "amazing" is just a euphemism for "wet," because Seattleites have no concept of "amazing." ("What an amazing day." "That ride was totally amazing." "The seat of my pants is totally amazing now." And so forth.)
But yes, clearly women need cycling clothing too, because this project has far exceeded its fundraising goal:
Which means it shouldn't be too long before H&M totally rip her off.
Meanwhile, in the world of attempting to ride bikes fastly, a reader has sent me the following email:
crabon crash porn from the sandpit at NC cyclocross state championships 12-1-2012
We may have lost the war, but we still like to play in the sand. Yankees go home-
Hey, I don't see any broken crabon, and it's not crabon crash porn unless the crabon breaks. At best, this is like one of those Cinemax After Dark movies. Plus, you don't have to tell me to go home, since I'm always careful to avoid the South because I don't want to get run over by a monster truck. (Why you need a passport to visit another state like Canada yet you can travel freely between the US and a foreign country like the South is beyond me.) Of course, Miami doesn't count because it's part of New York, and speaking of Miami some famous basketball players recently participated in Critical Mass:
I don't follow basketball so I tuned out everything until 1:13, at which point he said, "Critical mass, I love it."
Maybe next year we'll see him at the SSCXWC.