In the meantime, one consequence of growing older is the onset of old people problems. For example, this morning I got mud splatter on my white linen pants because I was riding a folding bike without fenders:
It doesn't get much more old people problem-y than that--unless you then wet the linen pants.
And if you have a problem with the fact that I put on white linen pants and ride around on a folding bike, I'll have you know that I'm an author goddammit, and by the time I'm a thousand years old like this guy I too will be sporting white seersucker suits on a daily basis:
(Tom Wolfe eats imaginary footlong submarine sandwich.)
That's the expression of a man who just wet his pants.
Speaking of folding bikes, here's a comment somebody left yesterday:
If you ended up driving an automobile to Boston why did you have to take a silly folding bike?
You could've taken a proper unbroken bike. You might've had to remove a wheel or maybe even two wheels, but as we live in the wonder days of space-age quick release hubs, you could've broken down and reassembled a man's bike as quickly and easily as messing about with a dopey folding bike.
You then could've conducted your Boston affairs with some personal dignity and returned some courtesy to your hosts by displaying common decency and respect to your hosts.
May 20, 2013 at 8:53 PM
A fair question. Let me explain it to you. My visit to Boston lasted about 16 hours. I spent half that time sleeping and watching TV in my hotel room. The remainder of that time I spent BRA-ing, eating, schmoozing, and so forth, including about two (2) hours of total saddle time. If you rendered this visit as a pie chart, the amount of time I spent on the bike would look like the tiny sliver your aunt requests because she's dieting.
Now, when you get older you get smarter, and when you get smarter you don't bother putting a full-sized bike on your roof rack where it sits there out in the wind burning additional gas for 200 miles just so you can putz around Boston for a couple of hours. You also don't bother taking the wheels off and putting the seats down and doing all that nonsense to put a full-size bike inside the car, where it takes up lots of space and where it's going to be the first thing to go if someone breaks into your car.
No, what you do is you take the half a second to throw a clown bike in the rumble seat and then you're done with it.
Of course, had some sort of Fred ride been in the offing I would have put one of those bikes with the curved handlebars like they use in the Tour de France on the roof, and I would have packed various stretchy outfits for every conceivable weather condition, and a pair of those special shoes that click into your pedals, and yes, a helment, and all the rest of it.
But one wasn't, so I didn't. Instead, I did as little work as possible, which is the one (1) lesson I've learned from many years of bike racing.
As for the bit about "conducting my affairs with some personal dignity" and "returning some courtesy to my hosts," I was in Boston for fuck's sake. Being dignified and courteous in Boston is like wearing a white suit to a mud wrestling match:
("I daresay they'd have an easier time of it without all that mud.")
In fact, it's almost as ridiculous as the idea of an "Urban Cycling Hall Of Fame:"
then I took a closer look:
Ah, now I get it. It's not an Urban Cycling Hall of Fame, it's an Urban Cycling Fashion Hall of Fame. This makes sense. All trends inevitably reach a point in their lifecycles at which the participants all decide to give each other handjobs in front of an audience, and it would appear that "urban cycling" has finally reached that auspicious moment.
Anyway, the selection committee also consists of various hardened street veterans, some of whom have been riding bikes in the city for as long as six (6) years:
it's on an RV:
Chrome ONE, Chrome’s 1976 GMC motor home and collection mobile will tour the country in search of cycling artifacts and video stories. Amanda Sunvador will be at the wheel, determined to make her way to as many events as possible to collect artifacts and meet, listen, and ride with the community.
Sorry, an RV headed for Interbike:
Chrome ONE has one objective: to collect artifacts and video stories for the UCHOF. Artifacts can come in many forms: jerseys, race numbers, frames, posters, race flyers, and everything in between. We are collecting artifacts throughout the year, and the final stop will be at Interbike, in Las Vegas, for the first exhibit of the Urban Cycling Hall Of Fame. In conjunction with Interbike, the First Annual Urban Cycling Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony will be held in Las Vegas at the Double Down to celebrate the inductees into the UCHOF’s first class.
Because when you think of hardcore urban cycling, you think of giant trade shows.
Anyway, you can (and probably should) dismiss my rantings on this or really any subject as the ramblings of an old fusspot who wears linen pants, but the last thing I'll say on the subject is that any "Urban Cycling Hall of Fame" should probably start and end with Bill Cunningham:
Hmmm, he knows fashion and he's been riding a bike in New York City "since forever?" I'd say he's got all these other characters licked.
Meanwhile, I've been thinking about establishing a Fred Hall of Fame, and in my search for inductees I found myself sifting through the results of last Sunday's Gran Fondo New York (sorry, the Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York). As a slow cyclist myself I always check to see who finished "DFL" so I can give him a mental "high five," and according to the results the last rider finished in 2,230th place:
Even finishing DFL is a formidable accomplishment considering it was raining all day. However, it's worth noting that according to the last press release I received from the Gran Fondo they had over 6,000 starters:
More than 6,000 cyclists from over 70 countries including the United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Russia, Jamaica, Israel, and Poland, among others, will gear up for the third annual Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York, a competitive cycling event based on the popular Italian racing style and the only one of its kind in the New York/New Jersey region.
This can mean only one thing, which is that almost 4,000 Freds are still lost and at large in the greater New York City metropolitan area.
I hope the Gran Fondo plans to send a "broom wagon" out to tranquilize and collect these Freds, because they're probably rummaging around in people's garbage even as I type this.
Still, it's not as bad as what happened at a recent Fred ride in the UK:
Toby Hockley was knocked of his bike during the Boudicca Sportive in Norfolk on Sunday, allegedly by Emma Way who didn’t stop and later tweeted: ‘Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier – I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax! #bloodycyclists’. Her account was later deleted.
Wow. Politically correct-minded people are working to abolish the word "retard" as an insult, but the fact is that language is evolving, and I feel strongly that we should preserve the word as a slur but apply it exclusively to motorists. Because if you've got a better word for a woman who hits a cyclist and then Tweets about it then I'd like to hear it.
Lastly, there's apparently a guy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who will make you some custom perfume:
I’ve been described as one of the most innovative perfumers of the 21st Century. I’ve won awards, my work is in museums and countless people in all civilized parts of the globe enjoy the unique scents I create.
So why would you want custom perfume? Because your smell is "an invisible portrait of who you are:"
A custom blended perfume is the height of luxury & the ultimate expression of individuality. Choosing exactly what ingredients you want in your perfume gives you a scent that smells like you & it is truly an invisible portrait of who you are. And you will have a scent like no other on earth.
This confused me. I thought your scent just came out of your body naturally, and that all the fragrances were to disguise it. It seems to me that if you want a scent that "smells like you" all you need to do is refrain from bathing for a few days. Apparently not. Anyway, he'll need a few things from you before he begins:
BEFORE THE APPOINTMENT: WHAT I NEED FROM YOU
In order that this experience is as gracious as possible for all concerned there are a few things I request from possible clients before an appointment is scheduled.
Right, just give him a pair of your dirty underpants, some underarm clippings, and a scranus sample and he'll produce for you your very own custom "Eau de Frumunda."
I think I just found the first inductee for the Urban Douchebag Hall of Fame.