Since starting this blog in 1986, I've mocked cyclists for being total "weenies" when it comes to equipment. Sure, this conceit became stale almost immediately, but that's not why I'm apologizing. I'm apologizing because I've recently realized that cyclists hardly register on the vast spectrum of weenie-dom. What brought me to this realization? This:
Well not that exactly, but records and the playing of records upon "turning tables." I am not an audiophile by any means, but I do have a bunch of records, mostly because when I came of music-buying age records were still what people used. Therefore, I've maintained ownership of a "turning table" over the years so that I can still hear these records, and as much as I appreciate digital entertainment I still think it's fun to listen to music you have to flip over. Sure, sometimes I flip my phone over out of nostalgia, but it's not the same.
Recently though, I discovered that turning tables and human children are natural enemies, owing to the turning table's delicate parts and the human child's natural instinct to destroy those delicate parts. Therefore, I was forced to relocate the turning table to higher ground, and to replace the delicate parts--in particular, the pointy one that the turning table drags along the record to make sound.
As I said, I'm not even remotely an audiophile, and my goal was simply to make the turntable work acceptably again for a minimal amount of money. Nevertheless, this being the Internet age and my being (at least anatomically) a male, I nevertheless found myself reading up on the latest equipment and stuff, and holy crap these people are insane. You'd need an electron microscope to see the parts they're arguing about, and you'd need hyper-acute cat senses to even begin to discern the difference, if there even is any. Reading about this stuff makes those chain lube tests seem eminently reasonable.
Fortunately though, years of cycling have trained me to recognize the Red Flags of Weeniedom, and of course the biggest one is the appearance of crabon fribé. I shouldn't have to tell you this, but if you're researching a piece of equipment and find that any part of it is available in crabon, then for the sake of yourself and your family stop what you're doing immediately. If someone offers you crack at a party then it's probably time to leave, and if someone offers you crabon anything then do the smart thing and smoke some crack instead. That's why as soon as I saw that they were making turntable parts out of crabon I filled the tub with ice, got in it, and started slapping myself:
I don't know, maybe this crabon record stuff has been around forever, or maybe it's only happening now because records are cool again like
Anyway, following the "no crabon" rule is guaranteed to save your ass from all forms of weeniedom, including but not limited to wine:
And of course fetish sex:
While being whipped for being naughty, you really need the lateral stiffness and vertical compliance of crabon.
Hey, do whatever you want, but don't say I didn't warn you. They don't call crabon "Douchebag's Gold" for nothing.
Speaking of crabon, an important hurdle in the eventual selling of disc brakes to roadies may have been cleared, because you can now buy crabon rotors:
I've long felt constrained by the excessive weight of my metal brake rotors, but I'm relatively certain those are just cleverly repurposed pie plates.
In other news, I don't know about you, but when I receive an email from a reader with the subject line "Seat Post in Rectum" I open it immediately:
As cyclists, it's all too easy to get wrapped up in our own weenie-ism (you know, the kind of weeniesm that compels us to point out it was the saddle rail and not the seat post that got lodged in his rectum), so let's all join together and spare a thought for someone way, way, way less fortunate:
By the way, this is obviously a huge marketing coup for Giant:
You really can't buy that kind of publicity--at least not legally.
What you can buy, however, is Bret, whose image is now used on the packaging of rougly 68% of all consumer goods sold in North America. In fact, he's endorsing so many products that a reader informs me he now competes against himself:
2 Brets on 2 different packages for similar products on the same shelf at the same store
this is like one of those time travel paradoxes where the time traveling self runs into the current self...
If crabon is the Red Flag of Weeniedom, then Bret is the Good Housekeeping Seal of Extraordinary Cheapness.
Lastly, learning how to ride a bicycle in New York City is "liberating"--and not in the "liberate me from my bicycle with the Jaws of Life" sense:
Too bad they're totally going to liberate us from the bike lanes.