Well, a reader I'll call Steven Arthur (though his real name is Stephen Arthur) writes in with a story that will tug on your heartstrings, testicle sack, or labia, depending on how you're equipped and where you're most sensitive:
Attempted NYPD confiscation of my bicycle averted by building doormen!
As if I did not have enough bad news to deal with today...
when I walked out of my office after work, my blue Bianchi of over 14.5 years, was missing, and two of my locks were cut laying on the ground.
But I figured, that the NYPD cut my bike locks because Vice President Joe Biden was next door speaking, though when I parked my bike just before 9AM that morning, there was no indication of any police or fencing on the street that day.
Fortunately for me, the doormen of the building I had been parking in front of for the last 2.5 years, intercepted the attempted NYPD confiscation of my bicycle, and had it waiting for me in their building, along with a picture they took of the incident.
Here's a video of the police removing the bike, which I assume was taken by the heroic doorman:
I see about a thousand places you could hide something dangerous around there (the planter with the tree in it, hell-ooo!!!) so I'm not sure why they're fixated on the bike. And what, they can't just have a dog sniff it? They have to go at it with the saws? Actually, maybe I've got it all wrong, and perhaps Vice President Joe Biden has a disorder that causes him to ejaculate repeatedly whenever he sees a bicycle so they need to sweep the area free from bikes before he arrives. You can't have a world leader addressing other world leaders with a rapidly-growing wet spot in his pants, so if that's what all this is about I guess I don't have a problem with it.
And here are the severed locks:
So anyway, the doorman, who recognized the bicycle as belonging to someone he saw every day, convinced the NYPD and the Secret Service to leave it with him instead so he could hold it in trust for the owner. Steven Arthur (real name: Stephen Arthur) also sent me a video interview with the doorman, but I'm not posting that, because if I were the doorman I wouldn't want my likeness plastered all over the Internet, especially because the NYPD and the Secret Service might come after me looking for revenge and I'd have to go all Jason Bourne.
In any case, the moral of the story is: 1) Joe Biden has an ejaculatory disorder that is triggered by bicycles; and B) Doormen are awesome people and the cornerstones of our neighborhoods, which is why I tip the one I don't have one million imaginary dollars every Christmas.
PS: I hope Steven Arthur (real name: Stephen Arthur) gifts the doorman a nice bottle of wine or a fruit basket or an all-expenses-paid trip to Cleveland (going rate: $75) or something, because he went way out of his way on that one, and if I had seen the police cutting a bike off a pole you can be damn sure I wouldn't have done shit.
In other bikey news, Lucy Burningham (wife of noted framebuilder Tony Pereira) has published a story in "Bicycling" about the bike tour they took with their not-quite-two-year-old son:
Never in a million years did I imagine we’d be subjecting our innocent toddler to imminent dehydration thanks to that promise. It was official: Our adventure was too adventurous. And in that moment, in my mind, it was all Tony’s fault. I tried to stop focusing on the peeling paint on the top tube, which suddenly seemed like a metaphor for our marriage.
Yikes! This is why the most ambitious family bike tour I've ever taken was loading up the Big Dummy homeless-style and riding like eight miles to the beach:
I realize people don't want to let their kids slow them down, but I have no problem waiting it out until they're ready and willing to pedal the goddamn bike themselves. (And preferably fix it, too. If the kid flats then that's his fucking problem. Amirite? High five! [Sound of slapping hands.])
By the way, just to be clear, this is not a criticism of Ms. Burningham. It's merely an acknowledgment that I'm a lazy wussbag. I wouldn't even do a 500-mile bike tour through the Cascade Mountains by myself. My criteria for any ride is that I'd better be back in my own home by sundown eating food and drinking alcoholic "recovery" beverages while watching Netflix or I'm not bothering.
No campfires, canned foods, and crotch rot for this wussbag. [Points to self with thumbs.] Amirite? High five! [Sound of slapping hands.]
Oh, my life's so empty and meaningless.
Oops, did I type that out loud?
I'll tell you what the cure is for ennui, though: Buying Stuff! How many bikes do you own? One? Three? A millionty-seven? Well, no matter what the number, it ain't enough unless you have a Dedicated Gravel Bike (DGB)! Even Wired is up on the trend now (as a reader informs me):
Oh and in case you haven't heard, gravel bikes have become A Big Thing. Everyone is scrambling to introduce a bike that is not a road bike yet not a ‘cross bike and definitely not a skinny-tired mountain bike, but an honest to goodness all-day adventure bike. If you’re struggling to understand just what a "gravel bike" is, the key criteria appear to be a bottom bracket lower than that of a cross bike but higher than a road bike, with a wheelbase a little longer than both. Gravel bikes also have quick handling and plenty of provisions for racks and fenders. I want to give a special shout out to two I liked in particular, the Giant Revolt, the HED Black & Tan, and the Raleigh Tamland.
Okay, I'm still struggling. My understanding of the "high bottom bracket on a cross bike" thing was that it was left over from when people needed clearance for toe clips, and that most of the cool new race-specific cyclocross bikes had lower bottom brackets now anyway. And now they have dick breaks too. Like the gravel bikes. Also, fenders on a gravel bike doesn't sound like a good idea, and it seems like a bike with racks and fenders and a long wheelbase already exists as a touring bike. So many permutations! I'm so confused!!! I thought the "fixie revolution" was going to end all this, and that embracing the fixed-gear drivetrain and its concomitant "zen simplicity" was a rejection of the ever-increasing number of cogs and fancy gew-gaws. But now the revolution is over, the same people are buying gravel bikes, and there's more (and more expensive) kinds of bikes than ever.
Incidentally, speaking of dick breaks, do you want to see a dick-compatible rim? Here you go:
(Deep-section gravel-specific Joe Biden "collabo" dick break rim.)
My favorite, though, is how now everybody's like, "Wait, what? Gravel bikes are cool? I invented riding on gravel! Buy my stuff for it now!":
However; it may surprise you to learn that Steve Hed is a big fan of gravel road riding. “I grew up riding these roads and my uncle was a county maintainer.” The company founder told me. His roots go way back to riding in rural areas and also in touring. “I really am a touring cyclist. That’s where I started. I was attracted to the Iron Man thing initially because I looked at it as an adventure.”, Steve explains, “Later on it became all about racing, and then the aero thing…” Of course, the rest is a well known story.
I'll skip the boutique gravel wheels but I'm looking forward to the upcoming biopic, "Steve Hed: From Mankini to Gravel Weenie." I've also got eleven (11) words for you which I believe perfectly encapsulate the current cycling zeitgeist:
"Five thousand mile epic gravel-grinding adventure with toddler in tow!"
Throw in a KuKu Penthouse and you're all set.
Also, here's a related question: When do you set your kid up for a Strava account? I mean, seriously. Do you wait until he or she is old enough to ride himself, or do their segment times count if they're still sitting in the trailer?
Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai.