(Who's the dorky time-traveling Fred who's a sex machine to all the chicks? [Bret!] You're damn right.)
Hi! Welcome to [insert blog name here]. Today's post is pretend-sponsored by Miller's Honey, the world's first all-natural taintally-applied all-in-one energy food and chamois cream! It's the perfect goop for that "epic" ride--and speaking of epic riding, this past Sunday, the New York Times explored the strange and expensive world of Long Distance Fred Commuting:
If you're excited by lengthy descriptions of Freds sensually donning hundreds of dollars of technical garments then read on:
Having sheathed his legs in NASA-worthy Capo bib shorts — woven from high-tech fibers that compress leg muscles to minimize fatigue — he pulled on a pair of winter cycling tights lined with fleece from the waist to the thighs. Next came over-the-calf Smartwool ski socks under Sidi Genius 5.5 shoes strategically packed with chemical toe warmers. To shield his torso, he wore a wool base layer under an Italian long-sleeve racing jersey, and a windproof vest reinforced in front to block freezing gusts and meshed in the back to vent excess heat. On his head, an Assos Fuguhelm racing cap with vents on top to minimize sweating, and a pair of Oakley Jawbones sunglasses. The final touch: a pair of $19 insulated work gloves, coated with beeswax to make them water resistant.
Fastening his helmet, Mr. Edstrom stepped outside and into early-morning indigo. In a minute he was rolling down the driveway of his snow-covered Cape-style house, his headlights aglow, on a 40-mile journey to his workplace, JPMorgan, at One Chase Manhattan Plaza, a trip he would make entirely on a Zanconato cyclocross bicycle.
That passage was an excerpt from the upcoming erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Fred," which will be published by Rodale in Spring of this year.
Certainly a 30-mile commute can be a good way to squeeze in those winter base miles, though I'm not sure why you'd elect to do it on a folding bike:
The second query was from Scott Bernstein, an electrophysiologist and assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, who commutes 30 miles on a collapsible bike from his home in Tarrytown to his office at NYU Langone Medical Center at First Avenue and 34th Street.
“As long as it’s at least 10 degrees, I ride,” Dr. Bernstein said.
I realize that boasting about your temperature threshold is an essential part of Long Distance Fred Commuting, but if I had to commute from Tarrytown to 34th Street and it was 10 degrees outside I'd collapse the shit out of that bike and ride the Metro North instead. What does he do when it's actually warm outside? How does he prove himself then? Does he ride his folding bike while wearing nothing except a Terry bolero like some sort of Naked Matador of Smugness?
(Forwarded to me by a reader.)
Then again, he is a man of science, so he might just mean 10 degrees Celsius, in which case big freaking deal.
Speaking of thresholds, by now you've no doubt seen the "bicycle barometer:"
The bicycle barometer takes data about the weather, the status of the tube lines I use to get to work, and whether my local station is open or shut.
It then reduces all that data down to a single value and displays it on a dial with a bike sign at one end and a tube sign at the other.
Meanwhile, a similarly clever Portland bike commuter has created a "smugness assist" that actually pats you on the back as you ride, and you can see his invention here. He's also working on a dynamo hub that powers a handlebar-mounted speaker which constantly reminds you of how special you are. Expect the Kickstarter fundraising campaign soon.
Anyway, I enjoyed the Long Distance Fred Commuting article, and perhaps one day the New York Times will explore an even more ridiculous group of commuters--people who travel to work in Manhattan via car.
In other New York City-related news, a mass email I received from some guided tour company declares the Brooklyn Bridge to be the 8th most romantic spot in New York City:
If your idea of romance is having "Stay out of the bike lane!" shouted at you by an endless procession of self-important brownstone-dwelling bicycle commuters then by all means, grab the old ball and chain and shuffle on up there. And if you're wondering what the number one most romantic spot in New York City is, it's apparently the whispering gallery at Grand Central:
As for the most popular romantic utterance in the whispering gallery, it's a tie between "Will you marry me?" and "I have a boner," though if you listen closely you might get to hear Toronto mayors Robs Fords opining about "Orientals:"
The afore-linked article was forwarded to me by a reader, and while I've enjoyed following Fords' exploits over the years I have to admit that I'm totally over them now that Gawker has picked up on them. In this sense Robs Fords are the fixie bike of shitty mayors, so naturally I will now move on to the cyclocross bike of shitty mayors, whoever that might be.
Of course, any fashion-conscious cyclist knows that cyclocross bikes are also passé. Indeed, the real bike of the moment is the "fat bike," and here is one that was spotted recently by a reader in Michigan:
Carrying a snow bike on a convertible is like wearing one of those crazy Russian fur hats with a pair of flip flops. In this case it seems like it would make more sense to use the bike to carry the car.
Lastly, there's apparently a group of people out there who are more dorky than cyclists, and they're called the "preppers:"
We are so screwed.