According to Wicking Pedia, "Labor Day is an American federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 3 in 2012) that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers."
I'm not a worker, nor do I contribute economically, socially, or in any other way to America or indeed any country. Nevertheless, I'm not going to let that stop me from celebrating Labor Day. In fact, I'm going to start celebrating it immediately after this post, and I'm going to continue to do so until Tuesday, September 4th, 2012, at which point I will return with regular updates.
Sure, I could call it a much-needed end-of-summer recess, but instead I'll call it what it actually is, which is wheelsucking behind the American labor movement.
Meanwhile, it's a dark day for American cycling, and one which will forever be remembered as the opening day for the movie "Premium Rush" starring Jason Gordon-Levitt:
The New York Times has mostly good things to say about the movie, and also says that it "tries hard to look real:"
Like some fixie devotees, Wilee also rides without brakes, a choice that’s branded by other characters in the movie as reckless and maybe evidence of a death wish. But it also registers on screen — as when Wilee, like a groovier or at least thinner Fred Flintstone, skids to a stop using only his skill and sneakered feet — as the ultimate in authenticity. To a degree, the director, David Koepp, has tried to mirror the DIY ethos of fixed-gear devotees by using real rather than digital stunts and effects. There are digital cars and occasional passers-by scattered amid the remarkably clean streets of New York — as well as a lot of interstitial Google-map-style sections that zoom out for an aerial view and in for the street view — but most of the imagery is analogue. The movie tries hard to look real.
In that sense (trying hard to look real), I suppose it has captured the fixed-gear zeitgeist perfectly.
Oh, also, there's this whole Lance Armstrong thing:
I'm still a Lance Armstrong fan, and whatever happens he'll always be the two-time winner of the Dauphiné Libéré as far as I'm concerned. (A feat, I might add, that only six other riders have managed to accomplish--not including all the other riders who won it three times.) Plus, there's no question he's given his heart, soul, and bodily fluids to the sport:
I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided.
"Whatever they asked for" is right. When the UCI wanted blood, he gave it. When USA Cycling wanted urine, he gave it. When Ashley Olsen wanted saliva, he gave that too. Yes, whether it was an out-of-competition test or just an out-of-wedlock "booty call," Armstrong was always available at any time of the day or night for any drug tester or starlet in desperate need of his secretions.
Of course, in the cycling world you're not supposed to say you like Lance Armstrong. It's almost as un-PC as making jokes about women's racing:
“I think (RadioShack) forgot that the women’s race is later in the week,” Sayers said, referring to the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge women’s criterium. “I don’t understand why they’re not going for stage wins. I don’t expect anybody to help my team, but I don’t understand why, when you have six riders in the front group, that you won’t even pull, and then you start attacking to get the stage win.”
RadioShack countered by assuring Sayers that they did remember that the women's race was later that week, and further explained that the reason they weren't pulling was that they were saving their legs for it.
Lastly, I recently received the following email from a reader who encountered a bike thief in the Flatiron district of Manhattan USA:
Here's a picture taken today around 1pm of a bike thief in action on 5th Ave between 22nd and 23rd St. I saw him checking bike locks on the block walking around with his bright yellow bold cutters. He settled on the on in the photo with a cheap cable type lock. Immediately after this was taken my friends and I confronted the guy asking him what he was doing. His words: "it's okay i talked to the police and they said it's no ones bike," then said "I already have my own bike, its parked around the corner, wanna see?", then "those shears, they are my bosses, i'm just carrying them for him." There was a lot of shouting and a crowd gathering and 10 seconds later the guy took off down the street. Worst part, as he was leaving the scene an undercover police approaches us saying they had been watching him the whole time and were just waiting for him to cut the lock before making the arrest!
Here he is, complete with the city-mandated yellow flag identifying him as an officially licensed bike thief:
Notice the bolt cutters are still in his bag and he's instead chosen to melt the cable lock with his mind.
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 you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see a bicycle opera.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe on Labouring Day, and I'll see you on September 4th.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
("Biodynamic, no pesticides. Can't spray. Don't want to.")
1) The producers of "Premium Rush" have already announced a sequel called "Artisanal Squash" in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character moves to Portland and starts a Community Supported Agriculture bicycle home delivery service.
(Just another day at Cipollini Sex Camp.)
2) The Italian Society for Hair Restoration has stripped Mario Cipollini of his seventeen consecutive "World's Greatest Lover" titles due to his alleged use of sensual oils containing a banned meerkat pheromone.
(Cyclists love those Robs Fords.)
3) After a Toronto cyclist was killed in a crash involving a disused streetcar track, a city councillor proposed:
4) When not calling for a tax on cycling, John Kass is sodomizing chickens with beer cans.
5) This man is:
6) What are these?
--Ultra-lightweight pant cuff retainers
--Elastomer retrofits for Brooks saddles
--Internal tire sidewall stiffeners to enhance cornering
--Oral bug guards
(Researchers believe the condition known as "micro lip" may be transmitted by poop sex.)
7) What is "Micro Lip?"
--MicroSHIFT's proprietary name for its diminutive downshifting button
--The new title sponsor for the RadioShack cycling team in 2013
--Todd Akin's term for the labia minora
--David Byrne's latest artisanal bike rack
***Special Tattoo-Themed Bonus Question***
Gentlemen with dandelions for heads prefer pennyfarthings.