If you have a problem with it you can take that shit to the BiekForums.
Yes, it was a lovely day up here in Lob's Country yesterday, and so I availed myself of a short lunchtime ride:
(BSNYC Crotch Cam™)
The cycling life is good here along the Mighty Hudson. Sure, maybe not Californee good, or Coloradee good, or French Arlps good, but it's certainly not bad considering this is the largest city in the United States. A quick lunchtime spin 'round these perts is a simple matter of hopping on the bike path, twiddling along for awhile, turning off for a gratuitous hill or two, and then twaddling right back home again. It certainly beats doing laps in the park. Plus, I seem to have resolved my nagging bottom bracket issues. Then, I got home and found a box from Rivendell waiting at my front door, which I opened to reveal this:
Yes, that's an axe. Or is it a hatchet? Or is it both? I'm not hip to this rural jargon. Despite my rugged image and rustic sensibilities it may surprise you to learn I'm not actually much of an outdoorsman. In fact, I had no idea to do with an implement like this, though that didn't stop me from putting it to work immediately on the previous night's leftovers:
I was actually a vegetarian until a couple of years ago and now I eat leftover pork chops for lunch. I wasn't a vegetarian because I had any problem with eating livestock or anything like that (eating barnyard animals always made good sense to me, at least in principle), though I will say that when you have a kid you suddenly give a whole lot less of a shit about animals dying, and indeed about anything that's not your kid, which probably explains a lot about why the world is such a shithole.
Anyway, after eating my pork chop I cozied up on the couch with "The Axe Book" and read about how "To Dry And Store Splitwoods:"
I don't think I'm going to be doing a lot of that. Not only do I not have a fireplace, but that woodpile is bigger than my house.
(By the way for all you rubes, when we say "house" in New York we don't mean "house," we mean "apartment." Also, if someone who lives in Brooklyn tells you a block is "sketchy," don't listen to them. All that means is that there aren't any cool bars on it and you might see some people who aren't white. I'm amazed these people don't realize how racist they sound when they call certain areas "sketchy," but I chalk it up to the general Portlandization of our country's urban areas.)
Anyway, I was conflicted. On one hand, thanks to the "Best Made Co." I'd come to think of axes as the sort of affectation owned by douchebags in Brooklyn who refer to certain blocks as "sketchy." On the other, honestly, who doesn't like sharp things? In fact, as a kid I even had a knife collection. It seemed very badass at the time, though in retrospect it was probably just a glorified assortment of nail clippers and table knives. As for what I actually did with the knife collection, I mostly just used it to make sticks pointy, and then when I got a little older I'd get a thrill from hiding one in my sock and pretending I'd be able to protect myself if I accidentally wandered onto one of those "sketchy" blocks.
Plus, now I'm a father, and as I admired the tool I couldn't help dreaming about teaching my son the Ways of the Wilderness. Unfortunately though I don't know shit about the Ways of the Wilderness. Sometimes when we're in the park my son will ask me what a certain animal eats and I have to look it up on my iPhone, and if I can't get a signal I just tell him "garbage." (Usually the animal's in a garbage can anyway so this is accurate.) As for camping, sure, I've slept in a tent outside, but that was in summer camp, and the camp I went to was a "woosie" camp that makes the one in "Meatballs" look like a prepper outing.
Even so, the Rivendell site gave me the confidence that I could do it:
Most of us here have toured on bikes. Maybe everybody. Touring is fine, but it’s often inconvenient to the point of it just not happening. Jobs, families, school, work… it’s time-intensive. Blessed be the frequent bike tourists, good for you if you’re one of them, but you know what’s so much easier and available? The S24O: Sub-24-Hour Overnight.
It’s local bike camping, where you leave after work, ride 1 to 3 hours, find a spot to sleep, and ride home in the morning. It’s minimally invasive to your family and work life. The ride is short, and if you forget some “essential” piece of gear, what’s the big deal? You’ll live through the night without it.
The bike camping gear we offer is the same we use on our S240s. It’s perfect for touring. The selection is small but good. We don’t sell sleeping pads, so get one somewhere else. We don’t sell tents because we can’t find reasonable ones not made in China. We’re not out to compete with REI, anyway, but you can certainly equip yourself almost, but not quite entirely, right here and with confidence.
One to three hours away, huh? Looks like I'll be loading up the Big Dummy, heading up to a B&B in Westchester, and using my new axe to cut some artisanal cheese.
By the way, the axe is a Gränsfors Bruks, which I gather is Swedish, and elsewhere in Scandinavia a reader informs me that Thor Hushovd is riding around like a maniac and then morphing into a housecat:
That was seriously trippy.
Lastly, remember how yesterday I mentioned that a driver in the East Village hopped the curb and took out a bunch of people?
Well, it sounds like he was just enjoying a little drunken drag racing:
Fortunately, later that day, the NYPD moved quickly to make sure the streets are safer for all of us--by ticketing the fuck out of a bunch of cyclists:
NYPD Cycling Ticket Blitz by alfonsoranaudo
Just another day in Dorothy Rabinowitz's New York.