Friday, December 21, 2012

This Just In: It's The Holidays And I'll Recess If I Want To!

So how about that Apocalypse?  Sure, it wasn't total devastation like some were predicting, but nevertheless it was a real inconvenience.  At the very least, I'm going to have to go out and buy new underpants.

Speaking of underpants, that's something you sometimes find under the Christmas tree (either as a gift, or else crumpled up in a heap if you over-nogged it on Christmas Eve), and with the holidays upon us please note that after today's post I will be on a peanut-butter-and-chocolately-delicious Holiday Reese's until Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013, at which point I will return with regular updates.  Until that time, you can bask in the virtual warmth of this holiday yule log:

Or, if you're a Wisconsin drunk, you can gather around the burning Obama instead:

Whatever your party affiliation, that's just disturbing.

In any case, I'll also point out that I had hoped to bore you with a longer end-of-the-year blogular posting, but believe it or not I am a parent (parenting is like riding a bike in that they'll let pretty much any idiot do it), and as it happens I have to strap on my daddy helment this morning and take care of some important parental business.  Nevertheless, I will take the time to direct your attention to this article and video about Jerry Seinfeld:

Not only is it interesting, but it also turns out he rides a Pinarello road bike around the city:

A sleek Pinarello racing bicycle, which Seinfeld rides around town, stood against a wall. “It’s very addictive, that feeling of gliding through the city,” he said.

I had no idea he was a closet Fred, but I guess it goes with the Porsche fixation.

Also, here's video of Jerry Seinfeld "getting rad" on that very Pinarello:

Just kidding.  That wasn't really Jerry Seinfeld.  Also, I bet you never, ever saw that video before, nor are you completely tired of it.  I know I'm not.

Lastly, before we all vanish into our own personal psychedelic tinsel-tastic holiday nightmares, I'll once again remind you that if you're looking for last minute gifts for people you don't like that much you should a) Buy My Books; and b) Patronize Our Sponsors, as seen in the right-hand margin.  For example, not only are Knog lights useful for your bike, but they're also great as beacons so that make-believe planes don't accidentally fly into your make-believe George Washington Bridge:

Yes, that's the George Washington Bridge, because the East River crossings are sooo last decade.  Plus, Knog lights are waterproof so they make great tub toys.  By the way, if you think it's my kid who's playing with Knog lights then you're mistaken.  The block architecture and the tub play is all me, and he knows if he gets anywhere near my toys I'll take away his box cutter.

And with that, I turn you over to the holidays and all the joy, depression, and general ennui that comes with them.  Hopefully you only experience the joy part.  Once again, please excuse my hasty departure, and I look forward to returning on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2013 (holy crap, it's the future!) with regular updates.  (Or even earlier, which is highly unlikely, but not impossible.)

Most of all, thank you very much for reading this crap every day, it makes me very happy to type it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

No time to compose a title! The world's about to end! Look how much time I've wasted already!

Firstly, yesterday I mentioned a stupid car loan commercial, and I'd like to tip my dunce cap to commenter "Telegram Sam," who pointed out that the idiot producers left the watermark on the stock footage they used:


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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's the penultimate Wednesday of 2012. Make it count.

All, right, that's it.  I've officially had it up to here [indicates top of head where helment goes] with the helment nanzis.  Why?  Because yesterday someone Tweeted this article in my direction:

Yes, apparently people are outraged that Tony Hawk took his helmentless daughter for a ride on a skateboard:

INSTAGRAM users have severely criticised skateboarding star Tony Hawk for taking his four-year-old daughter into a concrete bowl without a helmet.

Of course, Instagram users aren't the most savvy people in the world, which is why they subscribe to a service that can license their photos without compensating them.  Anyway, here's what he did:

First of all, you're supposed to fling kids around.  They love it!  Secondly, he's Tony Hawk.  Tony Hawk is like the Tony Hawk of skateboards, and I think he's perfectly capable of piddling around in his own backyard without bashing his daughter's head in--or, as he put it:

"For those that say I endanger my child: it's more likely that you will fall while walking on the sidewalk than I will while skating with my daughter."

Arrrgh-men.  (That's Pirate for "amen.")  But for the love of Lob, put some shoes on that kid, you maniac!!!  Also, you've got to be downright suicidal to hang out with Robert Smith without wearing a helment:

Actually, I'm not sure if that's Robert Smith or an undead Liz Taylor:

You have to admit the two are virtually indistinguishable.

Speaking of helments and danger, I was watching TV last night and saw the following commercial:

Now that's something to get outraged about.  I mean, look at this crap!

You know, maybe if people with shitty credit rode bikes instead of driving cars we wouldn't be a nation of indebted obese people suckling the corporate teat--which is exactly why these all these companies work so hard to shame you out of riding bikes in the first place.  I'm not sure why riding a bike is more humiliating than being an indentured servant to a bank, a car company, and an oil company all at the same time, but that's exactly the mindfuck these companies have managed to pull off, and it's only a matter of time before you start seeing commercials like this:

Bad credit?  No job?  Spent all your money on the lastest smartphone?  How badly do you really want that car?  Well will give you a car with no money down, no interest, and no monthly payments, and you can just pay us back with oral sex!  Just check out these testimonials:

"I'll do anything to stay behind the wheel of a car.  Good thing there's no APR on dignity."

"This scarf is easing the pain in my neck muscles but it cannot hide the shame.  Still beats riding a bike!"

"My jaw is tired as shit but I am loving this new car!"

Of course, if you think road rage is bad now, just wait until most drivers have had to fellate their way into their car:

("Out of my way!  You know how many dicks I had to suck for this Beemer?")

With the way things are going, I figure blowjobs will replace the US dollar in about five years. at which point I guess we'll finally be able to pay off our debt to China.

Speaking of delusion, professional cyclists continue to come up with innovative ways to excuse their past doping, and the latest angle is that doping is actually harder than not doping:

“The drugs made me feel sluggish at first, but eventually I got used to them. I assumed they helped me physically, but I didn’t expect the mental toll. If you’re not sleeping and feel paranoid and guilty all the time, it affects your performance massively. It was only once I stopped that I realized the gains were minimal.”

In other words, he was actually at a disadvantage to the clean riders and therefore deserves sympathy instead of scorn--which might be worth something if there were actually any clean riders.  

Meanwhile, in cyclocross, where nobody dopes, it looks like they're barely going to be able to pull off this World Championships in Louisville, KY:

In fact, not only is the sponsor a total deadbeat, but they've hardly sold any tickets:

"We've sold 2,500 tickets, but we'd like to double that at least. We are also hoping to get a few more sponsors, and we are hoping that the industry will help by purchasing VIP areas that are still available."

Evidently people don't like cyclocross as much as they've been pretending to--either that, or they're all defecting, in which case I blame that SRAM video.  As for where they're defecting do, my best bet is they're getting into competitive karaoke and buying karaoke bikes:

Washington, D.C. is the new epicenter of bicycling - and home of District Karaoke, D.C.'s first-and-only team-based, competitive karaoke league.

District Karaoke is dedicated to building community through karaoke - singing is a fantastic way to introduce people to each other and have fun.

Which sounded like a waste of money, but which is actually a good investment compared to the "Bag Buddy:"

(Click here to watch, I can't get the stupid video embedding to work.)

I have a number of reservations regarding the Bag Buddy, though I am convinced that this guy needs to invent a Shirt Buddy if he's going to carry his bike like that:

I'm also disinclined to take cycling advice from people who ride on the sidewalk:

And who salmon wantonly:

Anyway, have you ever been in a situation where you needed to hang a plastic bag on your handlebars?  Sure you have, which is why you know it sucks.  It's also why you don't want a sketchy bag-hanging counterbalance system reminiscent of those sandbags they use in theaters:

I mean look at this:

Next come the outrageous claims, such as: "There are three important benefits to the Bag Buddy, number one being safety," after which we see our safety-minded inventor riding on the sidewalk with four shopping bags hanging from his handlebars:

"The second important benefit is maneuverability," he says.  "You can take hard turns and short stops with no problem."  Then he makes a short stop and his Key Food bags start swinging like low-hanging "pants yabbies:"

Not annoying at all.  So what's the third benefit?

"The third benefit is decreased risk of wheel pinches."

I don't even know what that is.

I do know what the Bag Buddy is though, and that's a bad idea.  If he really likes carrying stuff on his handlebars, why not get a pair of bar ends?  Has he really never watched Chinese food delivery cyclists?  Nobody hands plastic bags from their handlebars like those guys.

A plastic bag handlebar-hanging enthusiast who doesn't copy the Chinese food delivery guys is like a fakenger who doesn't wear a messenger bag.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snubbed: Season's Greetings, Or Lack Thereof


So you know how in the United Britain they have this show on TV called "Top Gear?"  If you don't, it's a show about cars, and they made a shitty American version of it even though it was already in English.  Well, yesterday a reader forwarded me an essay by one of the "Top Gear" guys about the bicycles:

I liked the essay.  In particular, I liked this:

The bicycle was without doubt one of the greatest inventions ever.

And this:

Only the ability to ride a bicycle remains with us after decades of inattention, and that's because riding one taps into some innate understanding of basic physics. A bicycle really is an extension of both your body and your psyche.

And this:

Bicycles should never be regulated, they should never be subject to road tax, they should not require third-party insurance and competence to ride a bicycle should not be tested. It tests itself, because if you can't do it, you have a crash. Bicycles are the first rung on the personal-transport ladder and should be free at the point of use.

But I'm not so sure about this:

Cyclists have become miserabilists.

Several times a week, I go for a bike ride alongside the river near where I live. It's good for me. Or at least it is until I meet another cyclist coming the other way. "Morning," I chirp, cheerfully, because I am cheerful, filling my lungs with the airy elixir and freeing up my tired old bones. Nothing.

I was keeping score for a while, but I've long since lost count. It stood at something like - May, 8,000; other cyclists, nil. I supposed I might just be coming across as a weirdo. So I then tried smiling instead. Still nothing.

There are numerous great debates that rage within the topic of cycling.  Obviously, the king of all of these is the Helment Debate.  Then, just after that (I'm not going to continue with the royalty metaphors, I know nothing about royalty because I'm not from a primitive monarchy like England, I'm from an oligarchy south of Canada), you have the stupid equipment and frame material debates, like Dick Breaks vs. Tubulers, Crabonium vs. Lugged Aluminium, and Ridged vs. Supsension, or whatever the hell idiots bicker about on forums nowadays.  And then, after that, you have all the etiquette stuff, the main one being whether or not to wave to, or otherwise greet, other cyclists.

For some reason, many cyclists get really snitty if you don't wave to them or return their wave, and frankly I think this is completely ridiculous.  Sure, a friendly greeting is nice, and if you receive one you should return it, but at the same time there are a million legitimate reasons not to do either.  Here are just a few that I feel are perfectly acceptable:

--You didn't see the other rider and therefore were unable to offer a greeting;
--You didn't see the other rider greet you and were therefore unable to return the greeting;
--You were preoccupied with a shifting issue or other mechanical problem because you don't read enough Internet forums and you bought the wrong component group;
--You think the other rider looks like he's probably a dick;
--You know the other rider and he's definitely a total dick;
--You like the rider OK but you think the club they ride with is stupid;
--You've had a shitty morning, this is the only time you have to yourself before work, you've got some heavy emotional crap to deal with, and instead of leaving you alone with your thoughts complete doofuses are smiling and waving at you every thirty seconds;

Just to clarify, I do wave to other cyclists.  I just don't do it all the time.  Sure, it makes sense to wave to another cyclist on a country road in order to acknowledge your mutual humanity, but it would be ridiculous to wave to every commuter on the Manhattan Bridge in the same way you'd have to be a complete kook to greet every single person on the subway.  (Sure, I do it, but I'm a complete kook.)  And so what if I'm riding my Fred machine on a country road and I don't greet you because I'm deep, deep, deep in my Fredliness?  If you're old enough to ride by yourself on a country road do you really need complete strangers to coddle you and make you feel special and loved?  I'd argue that you don't.

I also maintain it's perfectly fine to scowl instead of wave in certain circumstances.  For example, I often ride the mountain bike trails in Cunningham Park, Queens. (Or at least I used to before I moved to wherever the hell it is I live now, which is thankfully not Queens.)  Now, I couldn't care less whether or not people wear helments.  However, in Cunningham Park the Parks Department wants you to wear a helment, and I think that's a pretty fair trade considering they let these people build mountain bike trails in the first place.  So when I'm riding in there and I see some goofball helmetless singletrack salmon in a velour tracksuit riding a dual-suspension bike the wrong way on a one-way trail you can be sure I flash him the sort of withering look I generally reserve for Bichon Frisés.  (I always scowl witheringly at Bichon Frisés on the street, it's delightful to watch them recoil.)

Anyway, all I'm saying is that waving is complicated, and that unless someone actually gives you the finger you really shouldn't worry about it.  If you can't handle someone not returning your wave or your smile then don't offer it in the first place, and that way we can finally evolve into the cold, introverted, smartphone-addled society we were meant to be.  Hey, it's 2012.  Maybe all those people James May thinks are snubbing him are just waiting to get home so they can "like" him on Facebook.

By the way, that's a lot of words without pictures, so here's some guy skitching with a pennyfarthing:

If the pennyfarthing were still the dominant form of bicycle then all the Lucas Brunelle wannabes would be wearing magnet shoes.

Speaking of outlaw behavior, I received a compelling email this morning, and I share it in the hopes of raising some intelligent discourse in the comments section.  (Just kidding, any comments not containing the word "scranus" will be deleted as per the BSNYC style manual.)  Here is that email, and as you read it keep in mind that "GC" refers to Grand Central Station, which is not only a very busy station but also a famous landmark, unlike that craphole Penn Station on the other side of town:

I am writing to you because I recently received a summons for "disorderly conduct" for parking my bike in GC station. Most people I have told this to are baffled. You probably have a different take. Please let me know what you think about all this, and feel free to share my story.

I was meeting my husband & son in GC station at the mezzanine bar the evening of Friday December 7. As you may or may not be aware, there is absolutely nowhere safe to lock your bike up within blocks of GC.

After making this determination, I locked my bike to the handrail below the balcony on the main floor. As we were imbibing, I glanced down a couple of times to check on my bike...

The first time, all was well.
The second time, another biker was about to leave her bike next to mine on the railing.
The third time, my bike was gone.

Having already finished our drinks & food, I immediately went down to the main floor (after seeing my bike was gone), and spotted a cop standing nearby. I asked him if he knew where my bike was. He told me it was at the police station downstairs and that I wasn't allowed to park it inside the station, that I should have instead locked it to a pole somewhere outside. He also said some people were concerned that there might be a bomb in the pannier, so a canine was deployed to sniff it. Wow, all this had happened in the course of the maybe 10 or 20 minutes between my bike checks!

So I went to retrieve the bike at the Police Station in the basement level of GC and was told to hand over my ID. After waiting for 15-20 minutes, my bike was delivered to me along with a summons and a broken lock. It wasn't until I was on the train heading back to Westchester that I noticed that my rack bag and pannier had been slit open. Like most everyday bike commuters I keep bike tools, a lock, and a spare inner tube in the rack bag along with emergency rain gear. Riding home from the station, I had to stop a few times to pick up gear that kept spilling out of the ravaged bags. These have now all been repaired and I am supposed to show up in court on February 21.

If you have any advice or interest in joining me in court, I could use the support.

Firstly, while I appreciate the invitation to a day in court, I must emphatically and enthusiastically decline.  Secondly, while I think the mandatory court appearance is a bit excessive, I'd also fully expect an unattended bicycle locked inside Grand Central Station to get the potential bomb treatment.  Thirdly, I agree bike parking sucks on the streets around Grand Central, but I've also visited that neighborhood many times to see the foot doctor (stubborn plantar wart, if you must know, which you didn't want to, and now you're not hungry anymore), and I did manage to lock my bike, so I know that it can be done.

I'll also add that this is why people get folding bikes, and the whole "looking like a trained circus bear" thing is just a bonus.

Anyway, if you have a different opinion about parking your bike in Grand Central please let it be known, and if you'd like to attend court with the accused I'd be happy to put you in touch.

Once again, I've been remiss with the pictures, so here's a minimalist unicycle:

Lastly, just moments ago, I received this video from Klaus at Cycling Inquisition:

Nice guitar playing, but a wave would have been nice.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Under This Decorative Title There Are Words And Pictures!

New York City is doomed.  I give it 20 years at most before we make present-day Detroit look like the golden age of Rome, whenever that was.  I'm not talking about being doomed because of the natural disasters, either.  I'm talking about the fact that the rich people here have officially become too incompetent to spend their money:

Yes, even when armed with $1.5 million in purchasing power, they still can't find two-bedroom apartments in which to live:

But after a year and a half of aggressively looking, the couple still haven’t been able to make a deal. And that’s after broadening their search from South Williamsburg to nine other neighborhoods in Brooklyn and loosening their purse strings to a maximum of $1.5 million, up from their starting point of $800,000.

“I’m so frustrated,” said Ms. Jepson, noting that most apartments in their price range were either “chintzy,” or in a residential-commercial space that made getting a loan tricky. “I feel like we have great credit, all the financial documents and are willing to pay more, and we still can’t find what we’re looking for.”

When you can't find something you're looking for, there are generally two reasons:

1) What you're looking for doesn't exist;
2) You're not very smart.

Since two-bedroom apartments costing less than $1.5 million do indeed exist--even in post-hipster Brooklyn, and even without "chintz"--then it's probably time to start coming to grips with reason number two.  If our gentrifiers have indeed reached this profound level of ineptitude then I really can't see any hope for our civilization.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the New York Times, a model wants a bicycle for the Christingmass:

What She’s Hoping to Get: A bicycle. “Whenever I’m stuck in traffic, I always see people riding past, and I love the carefree feeling I always get from them,” she says. “Not to mention it’s a very environmentally friendly way to travel!”

I haven't got the heart to tell her that what she's mistaking for "carefree" is actually periods of inflated smugness punctuated by moments of abject terror as motorists do their best to kill you.

And while I'm on the subject of giving, if you're still looking for holiday gifts I recommend the following in order of how highly I recommend them, the topmost being the most recommended and so forth on down.  I hope that makes sense.  I guess I could have just said "in descending order" but it's too late now.  Fuck it:

1) These:

These are books that I wrote.  You can buy them anywhere they sell books, including the Internet, and you can even buy them in some places they don't usually sell books, barring the frozen food section at the local supermarket.  I don't care which one you buy.  Buy one, buy both, or don't buy any for all I care.  Jesus, I'm sorry I even brought it up.

2) Something from our sponsors.

By "ours" I mean "my," and by "sponsors" I mean the people who advertise on this blog.  Go ahead, look on the right side of the page, it won't hurt you.  One of those business concerns is probably selling something somebody you know would like.  If they don't, get some new friends.

3)  I don't care what you do beyond that.

Honestly, I really don't care what you do beyond that.  Go buy that model a bike for all I care.  Just buy my book(s) first.

Speaking of books, just because I wrote some doesn't mean I'm smart.  Paris Hilton also wrote a book, so there you go.  That's why it seems silly to expect me to use words right, as the person who sent me this email apparently does:

The pudding was named after the town, thus the TOWN is the eponym and not the pudding. It's an eponymous town.

Eponymous is one of those words that's maddeningly misused, mostly when referring to Led Zeppelin albums. As an artful wordsmith, I thought you'd like to know.  And besides, you're screwing up the Universal Simulation that is the entire point of our eponymous Universe.

This is in regard to last Friday's post, and while I genuinely appreciate the clarification I also can't help feeling both nonplussed and eponymous.  Yeah, I went to college or whatever, but the simple truth is that I don't have some kind of fancy education, nor was I even remotely intelligent or motivated enough to make the most of the mediocre one I got.  Just to give you a sense of my academic background, the most successful person my college ever graduated was this guy:

So there you go.  Again.

Also, in my defense, I did look up "eponymous" in the dictionary before I used it and this is what I found:

Then I clicked on the pronunciation and heard this.

By then I was so confused I'm amazed I managed to post anything at all.

Nevertheless, I'll make every effort to be more linguistically accurate in the future.


--Wildcat Rock Machine

PS: Now onto the rest of the post.

Right.  So this past weekend I made the bicycle ride.  Specifically I made the mountain bicycle ride, and even more specifically I rode from my home to the traihead almost entirely on dirt paths and in about an hour.  (Suck it, Brooklyn.)  Anyway, if you've been riding a bike for more than six days you've doubtless heard a gazillion "Thank god I was wearing my helment" stories, but it's not very often that you hear the opposite.  Well, here's an "I wish I hadn't been wearing my helment" story for once.

So there I was, riding through the forest and gloating about how I don't live in Brooklyn anymore, when I encountered a rocky section of trails.  Here's what the section looks like:

It's actually pretty tricky if: a) You're approaching it from the other direction, which I was; and b) you suck at riding a bike, which I do.

Anyway, the first time through it I "dabbed," and so I made myself ride the section again, and then I "dabbed" again.  "Aw, fuck it," I thought.  "At least I don't live in Brooklyn anymore.  Suckers."  Then I clipped back in, continued on my way, and ducked under a low-hanging tree branch, at which point I promptly--not to mention painfully--wedged myself under it with my own head:

I can assure you it hurts when your own helment gets mashed onto your scalp like that, so I then turned around and looked at the eponymous branch with a nonplussed expression on my face:

Now, I always wear a helment when I do the mountain bicycle cycling, yet I totally would have cleared the branch if I had not been wearing a helment, since it's that extra inch of styrofoam what done me in.  And here's the resulting dimple:

So yes, since I didn't fall head-first onto those rocks, but I did get wedged under a tree branch, then I do wish I hadn't been wearing a helment.  Plus, because it's now got a tiny dimple in it, I'm sure I'm supposed to replace it--which I'm absolutely not going to do, even though its structural integrity is now compromised and I'M TOTALLY GOING TO DIE!

By the way, you're also supposed to replace your helment if it gets exposed to dandruff, styling products, or temperature fluctuations in excess of 5 degrees Fahrenheit [or mumblemumblemumble degrees celsius].

Of course, you might also point out that I'd have cleared the branch if I'd been riding a 650b bicycle instead of a 29er due to the additional clearance afforded by the slightly smaller wheelsize, but combining a helment debate with a wheel size debate can be fatal, and at the very least we'd all have to replace our helments afterwards.

Speaking of helments, did you know that a cardboard bike helmet could revolutionize head?

Oh, wait, sorry.  That's not right.  Let me try that again:

Damnit, still not right!  This SRAM DoubeTap computer mouse is so balky!  Why don't they go electronic already?!?  OK, one more time, as forwarded to me by a reader:

So how does this revolutionize head safety?  It's a protective shell you put on your head.  Now if was a suppository that somehow protected your head then that would be revolutionary.  Sure, it might be a bit uncomfortable, but at least you wouldn't get helment hair.