It's been a steady build-up, but I'd have to say the final straw on the cake is the guy I saw this past weekend riding a bike with clip-on aero bars while wearing compression socks and one of those Giro "Air Attack" helments:
Come on. You're taking a leisurely Saturday ride over the George Washington Bridge. Do you really need to wear surgical hose?
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the clinical, medical, terminal Fred look is the organic, recycled, bamboo-frame-lashed-together-with-reclaimed-dental-floss look, and somewhere around there lies this hat to which I was alerted by a Tweeterer:
With Bike share and rental programs taking off across the US, safety has become a huge concern for travelers looking to optimize city time via a bicycle. But lugging around a helmet can be a bit cumbersome and renting one can often be downright nasty. Enter the Paper Pulp Helmet. A 100% recycled and recyclable, simple, inexpensive option for riders looking to stay safe when having their personal helmet is not an option.
I don't mean to make it all about looks. I really don't. But do you really need to strap a used coffee filter to your head to use a fucking Boris Bike for 15 minutes?
At the very least you should complement your coffee filter helment with some recycled rainwear:
(Can you correctly name this movie? If so email Giro and ask for a free "Air Attack" helment. They're not running a contest or anything, I just like the idea of people bothering them.)
You've got to hand it to the Automotive Industrial Complex, though, for the've successfully brainwashed us into being completely and utterly unable to get anywhere near any sort of bicycle without donning some kind of ridiculous outfit.
By the way, here's how the coffee filter helment is made:
I'd cut out the middleman and just put on a newspaper hat, but that's just me:
(Finally, a helment you can read in the bathroom.)
Anyway, if you want to ride around with a cupcake liner on your head then be my guest.
Speaking of revolutionary new inventions to put on your head, a reader has informed me of a new product called "Cat Ears," which purports to reduce wind noise:
Our products Dampen, Buffer, and Deflect oncoming wind... so you can hear everything else better
"Rest your index finger in front of your ears during your next ride if you need a reminder of
just how much of the surrounding world you are missing." - Technical Editor at Bikeradar.com
About our products:
> Easily attach to the helmet straps
> Soft materials dampen/deflect wind
> Reduce loud annoying ear wind noise
> Acoustic transparence is maintained
> Important sounds can be heard better
> Performance/Satisfaction Guaranteed
Here are the Cat Ears once they've been installed on a Fred:
(Always wear your glasses over your Cat Ears. You know, because otherwise you'll look ridiculous.)
Of course, if you're a sufficiently hairy man could always save the $8-$16 and grow a pair of sideburns for free instead:
(These Integrated Wind Deflectors are rated at "Fred Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo Speed" squared.)
Or if you're a woman or otherwise facially hair-challenged and find wind noise a problem you could always just coif yourself accordingly:
Just don't style your hair like this, because the channels will only serve to amplify the wind noise at high speeds, like an un-faired roof rack:
(Alexandre Vinokourov reportedly bought a pair of "Cat Ears" and uses them as eyebrows.)
Lastly, here's a video via another rider to get you good and mad for the rest of the week:
I know what you're thinking, and I totally agree:
He could have spared us all that wind noise with a pair of Cat Ears.