The girthy down tube is shaped like an inverted trapezoid and fits easily in your hand for run-ups.
Now, be honest: what was the first thing that popped into your mind? Was it this?
Or was it a chubby gentleman running naked up a hill while holding his pee-pee?
Please bear in mind there are no right or wrong answers here. It is merely a mental exercise.
Speaking of exercise, bike racing is ostensibly a form of exercise, though in practice it's more of a self-indulgent repetitive motion akin to masturbation. Also, like masturbation, bike racing can can be a healthy escape, though when done to excess it just makes you walk around all hunched over and leaves you unable to form any sort of meaningful human relationship.
Anyway, like every other wanker, this is generally the time of year when I renew my USA Cycling license, and so I logged on to their website in order to do it--but I only got as far as this:
"Am I really going to spend $90 for a piece of plastic that tells me I can ride my bike?," I found myself thinking. (For those of you in Canada, keep in mind that's almost CAD$90!)
"And on top of that, am I actually going to make a donation?"
Let's take a closer look at those donation options. First, there's this one:
USA Cycling Development Foundation:
General donation to support Olympic and young athlete development programs
Donate $50 or more and receive an optional eight pack of USA Cycling note cards with images of your National Team athletes.
Now why would I want to help "develop" a young cycling athlete who might otherwise spend his or her time doing something much more useful, like going to school or learning a trade? It's perfectly fine for responsible adults to fritter away their own time and money on their crabon dork machines, but there's no reason to encourage young people to do the same--that's like NORML starting a "Young Stoner Development Foundation" and giving kids weed money. As for supporting Olympians, am I really supposed to pay for Tyler Farrar to travel to London and finish in 33rd place? I mean maybe--maybe--I'd buy him a new haircut, but that's about it:
Then there's this one:
Edmund R. Burke Fund for Cycling Development:
Travel and training grants to assist junior and U23 athletes.
More corrupting the kids by encouraging them to race! Though I suppose blood transfusions don't pay for themselves.
Next, I thought I finally found a worthwhile cause, since it involved academics:
John Stenner Collegiate Scholarship Fund:
Annual collegiate cyclist scholarship for the top student athletes.
But then I realized something. You know what's even more conducive to academic success? Not spending 20 hours a week "training" to win criteriums! Next:
USAC/IMBA Trail Tune-Up Grants:
Awarded to clubs who improve trails used for racing.
Well, I'm already a member of IMBA, so there.
U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame:
Promotes and preserves the history of cycling within the United States.
Wait, we're promoting and preserving the history of American cycling? I thought we were tearing it down and pretending it never happened! Isn't that what the whole Lance Armstrong thing is about? I'm so confused.
Obviously the only donations I'd be making were to my own alcohol fund, but the question remained: Should I renew my actual license? After all, I'd only raced once last year, after something like 13 years of racing nearly every weekend, and the only changes I observed due to the hiatus were that I got a little fatter, a little slower, a lot hairier, I saved a lot of money, and I had a lot more fun riding my bike. Plus, I don't live in Brooklyn anymore:
(Portlyn, New Oregon)
While Brooklyn is becoming an increasingly pleasant place to ride a bike for transportation (apart from the inept mimosa-addled brunching salmon who comprise most of the cycling public), it's not the greatest place for Fredly pursuits. See how the Fat Ass of Queens sort of sits on its head? The result is that you either have to ride all the way to the top of Manhattan and then over the George Washington Bridge to escape the sprawl, or else you have to venture east through the Fat Ass, then across New York City's tight waistband and through the equally fat belly roll that is Nassau County, and by the time you get to any kind of road you'd actually want to be on you've already been on the bike for like three hours and all hopes of having anything resembling a life are gone.
Given all this, racing around and around in circles in Prospect Park actually becomes an attractive alternative.
Now, however, I live about as far north as its possible to live in New York City while still remaining in it, which means the riding begins pretty much at my doorstep. Therefore, there's little reason for me to pay good money to abjectly suck at riding my bike with a hundred other dorks when instead I can suck all by myself in sweet solitary dorkitude--apart from the fact that my presence gives something like 97% of the field someone to beat, of course, though it seems like I should be the one getting paid if all I'm doing is boosting other people's self-esteem.
I think I may have hit the wall with regard to professional cycling too, since the sport is now basically just the world's biggest athletic bummer:
Really, it's enough already. Paul Kimmage is like the guy in the strip club who spends the whole time pointing out the fake breasts. Whether its pro cyclists or strippers, everyone knows they're on drugs, they just want to ogle the freaks.
Also, can't Kimmage let Stanley Wiggins at least enjoy being a knight for awhile before pissing all over him? By the way, Wiggins says he will use his knighthood in a "comedy way:"
In fact, he's already started:
Meanwhile, admirers of
Will be dismayed to learn that some startup has stolen his likeness, to which I was alerted by a reader. Behold his illustrated mirror-image doppelgänger:
The company responsible is called "Starfish," and unless the site is a joke it appears they're about to launch the most pointless device of the 21st century:
By the way, they forgot to add the panel where he looks at his watch and spills hot coffee all over his crotch.
Perhaps he should also consider this wooden bicycle, forwarded by another reader:
If you're wondering why the wheels look that way, it's because they "symbolize the legs of man:"
Lastly, a Tweeterer is boycotting me after I made a wisecrack about the NRA awhile back:
Which I only mention because he's getting rid of my book, so if you want one for almost nothing here's your chance:
Sure, you'd have to pay the shipping, but maybe he'd bundle it with some ammo. And I'll happily sign it for the winner, though that will make it worth even less.