Secondly, I guess the world is supposed to end tomorrow, and that's why immediately following this post I'll be getting into my Chinese survival orb:
As I understand it, the way these work is that the Universe spits you out of her vagina like a ping pong ball at a sex show, and then you bounce around the void for an aeon or two until the post-apocalyptic dust settles, at which point you can finally come out and look for someplace to charge your smartphone.
Speaking of idiots, really big ones are still trying to get rid of that bike lane next to Prospect Park in Brooklyn:
This bike lane has been a tremendous improvement for pretty much everybody so it's hard to understand why they want it removed. Really, removing this bike lane would be no different than retroactively un-floodproofing a building after it survived Hurricane Sandy. I'm not even sure what their objection is, but if it has anything to do with improving the flow of motor vehicle traffic in their neighborhood then they should ban the Fresh Direct trucks. These things descend upon Park Slope in the hundreds like some kind of upscale artisanal disaster relief effort for yuppies, and they bring traffic to a complete halt. Of course, they'd never actually ban Fresh Direct trucks, since then they'd have to leave their multi-million dollar apartments and townhouses in order to go food shopping, at which point they'd lose their free parking spaces.
Meanwhile, I gather that last night there was a vote on the plans for a new Greenpoint section of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, seen here in this DOT rendering:
In the days before the Great Hipster Silk Route, the Brooklyn waterfront was nearly unrideable, so I'm glad to see it's come so far--even though it's part and parcel of Brooklyn's evolution into a place that's wildly self-absorbed, nauseatingly precious, and disgustingly expensive. Still, I wonder if you were able to vote "yes" on the plan but "no" on some of the riders in the plan--like the guy by the crosswalk who seems to be wearing bib shorts over a tank top:
If they're going to Photoshop total dorks onto the streetscape they could at least pick someone who looks like he knows what he's doing:
Though maybe it's Nonplussed Bibshorts Guy, in which case I withdraw all criticism:
Anyway, bike lane cockblockers like those people in Park Slope are indicative of America's strange relationship with the bicycle. (If you consider looking at something and going, "Eeew!" a relationship--which actually I'm sure a lot of people do.) Headlines like this one are another example:
Oh my god! Can you believe it? A professional athlete in peak physical condition riding a bicycle to work!?! How "odd"!!!
I'm not sure what's so odd about a physically fit person riding a bicycle. In fact, there are some crazy countries in which riding a bicycle is actually a sport in itself--though very few of the riders survive:
When I first read that headline I took it to mean that anyone who survived the 2012 Tour de France was invited back in 2013. "I had no idea last year's race was so deadly," I remarked to myself, but then I looked closer at the picture of Djamolidine Abdouwhateverthefuck and realized they meant all the finishers from all the races, and then it made sense. Clearly the idea is to get everyone who's ever ridden the Tour de France together in one place, extract their bone marrow, and test it for evidence of past doping. Then, the offenders can be retroactively disqualified, or else asterisked* right on the spot.
Ostensibly though this is to mark the 100th edition of the race. I thought they already had a 100th edition of the race--or was that just the 100th anniversary of the first race, since they skipped a few years because of the war? (Organizers suspended the Tour de France for three years due to the Invasion of Grenada.) Or the 100th anniversary of the Alps in the race? Or the Pyrenees? I'm pretty sure they've celebrated all those things. Either way, how long are they going to work this 100 years angle? They should get one 100th birthday and that's it.
Also, 100 years seems like a perfect time to retire the Tour de France and end this dope-fueled publicity stunt once and for all. Honestly, despite all the scandals they've had a pretty good run, but we all know it's not going to get any better, and as the sponsors keep pulling out and the doping stories continue it's just going get more and more embarrassing for everybody. Keeping the race going would be like Lance Armstrong coming back after Tour win number seven. Imagine what a debacle that would be. Really, the only people who would be hurt by the disappearance of the Tour de France would be a couple hundred ultra Euro-Freds with bad haircuts and maybe Specialized. And that devil guy.
(Take a shower.)
But I'm sure there's a freak bike club in Portland that would be glad to take him in.
Speaking of irrelevant institutions, there's apparently still a Forbes magazine, and a reader tells me they recommend this pair of tridork flippers as a luxury holiday gift:
I like the idea that a total non-cyclist might receive these shoes as a gift. (Yes, I realize triathletes are technically non-cyclists, but I mean someone who doesn't even do triathlons.) I'd love to see some middle-aged guy slip-sliding around outside Citarella as he makes his way back to his Porsche. Then again, I guess it wouldn't be much more awkward than a typical triathlete transition, except there'd probably be more olive oil spillage.
Also in the same gift guide is a Budnitz:
Just be warned that the Budnitz can be creaky, so for the same effect you can save a bunch of money by buying a Huffy beach cruiser at Target and spinning one of those Purim noisemakers while you ride.
I'm sure someone makes them in titanium--or if they don't, it's only a matter of time before Old Man Budnitz branches out into Judaica.