(That's five American degrees.)
Good morning! I love you. However, there are two (2) groups of people I don't want to hear a goddamn peep out of today, and those are:
1) People in New York City who rode to work today.
You rode to work today? Good for you. Now shut up about it (assuming your mouth has even thawed yet). Certainly the bicycle is one of the greatest inventions ever wrought by humankind. However, here in New York we also have the greatest public transportation system in the country, if not the entire world, and it's called "the subway:"
(Comes in handy from time to time.)
Hey, it has its problems, and you do run the risk of having your smartphone swiped or getting kicked in the face by a breakdancer, but it's cheap and it's warm, and when it's five fucking degrees outside it ain't a bad choice.
So if today of all days you wanna be a schmuck and not use it that's fine, but I don't want to hear about it.
2) People who live where it's much, much colder.
Yes, I know five degrees is downright balmy in other parts of North America. For example, I punched "Minneapolis" into a popular weather website just for the heck of it, and noticed that it was minus thirteen American degrees there yesterday--at its warmest:
Even so, I don't wanna hear from you people. First of all, the "We're colder than you" game is one you can't win, because I'm sure there were places that were colder than Minneapolis, and then they start chiming in, and before you know it it's a great big dick-measuring contest. (Albeit a reverse dick-measuring contest because everyone's all shriveled because of the cold.)
Also, let's not forget that we're getting your hand-me-down weather today, and the only reason it's 18 degrees warmer here is that the air has been slowly heated by your flatulence as it moves across the country. So do you think we take pleasure in this little bit of extra warmth when it consists entirely of Midwestern beer farts? Because we don't.
Of course, none of this should imply that I don't think we, as cyclists, have a right to the road in any weather--unlike the mayor of Watertown, NY, who a reader tells me thinks cold weather cyclists should be "arrested:"
I know I’m gonna get in trouble for this: People who are on bicycles out on streets like this — they should be arrested. I mean, that is a clear and present danger that is being created and if you’re gonna sit there and make the argument that texting while driving is reckless, doing that is reckless and it creates a danger for them and the motorists.
Unfortunately, they’ve got their — quote — rights, so they can do it.
At first I was upset by this, but then I looked up where Watertown is and it all made sense:
See, Watertown is across Lake Ontario from Toronto, so it suffers from "lake effect flatulence:"
Basically, what happens is that every time Toronto mayors Robs Fords farts (which is often), the gases travel across Lake Ontario and intensify as they move over the water's surface, so by the time they reach Watertown they're powerful enough to turn the mayor into a complete fucking moron.
So I feel better knowing that the mayor of Watertown is just another fart-sucker, but for a moment there I was almost mad enough to ride my bike today.
Speaking of clueless people in politics, you may have read by now about how political consultant David Axelrod has absolutely no idea what bike share is or that it exists all over the freaking world:
Does any other city have these goofy rental bike stands-people riding w/out helmets, even in dead of winter-or is that unique to Chicago?
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) January 4, 2014
This burst of mental flatulence elicited the following response from Rahm Emanuel:
— ChicagosMayor (@ChicagosMayor) January 4, 2014
Speaking of cold, if you're basically like "Fuck it" and just wanna pack it in until spring, here's a video I saw on VeloNews about how to store your bike for the winter:
All of this is great advice, assuming of course you're completely neurotic and/or you're storing your bike at the bottom of the sea. For everyone else, here are detailed instructions for long-term bicycle storage:
1) Put it somewhere and don't ride it.
By the way, did you spot the total bicycle creampie porn in the video at 48 seconds? Because I did:
Salacious and outrageous.
Of course, if you're really neurotic--like replace-your-helment-every-six-months, write-letters-to-Lennard-Zinn-asking-if-it's-safe-to-run-two-different-brands-of-tire-at-the-same-time neurotic, you'll want to follow my personal bike storage checklist:
Bike Storage Tips For the Truly Insane
--Never hang bicycle by the wheel as the weight of your superlight crabon bicycle can cause the rim to go elliptical over time.
--Whenever possible, suspend bicycle from ceiling using invisible wires like they used to film "the Matrix."
--If you must leave your bike sitting on the floor, be sure to rotate the wheels every three to five days to avoid flat spots. Also, release and replace air at least weekly to prevent tire degradation.
--If your bicycle is equipped with a suspension fork, remove from bicycle and place on a slowly rotating gyroscopic device that will ensure fork oil keeps fork internals coated. (Entry-level suspension fork storage gyroscopes start at under $800.)*
(Wood-trimmed rigid steel fork storage gyroscope for ultra-neurotic retrogrouches.)
*[Note that rotisseries are not adequate fork storage gyroscope substitutes as they do not rotate forks on multiple planes, leading to oil depravation of seals and other internals.]
--Brake pads should be stored at the optimal temperature. If you are storing the bicycle in an unheated space, be sure to remove all brake pads and store someplace warm, such as near a radiator. If you are storing the bicycle near a heat source, be sure to remove all brake pads and store someplace cold, such as the refrigerator.
--Turn bars to full lock in either direction at least twice a week to avoid headset seizure.
--Place a small piece of lube-soaked cloth between the plates of each chain link to prevent corrosion. This is known as the "pedicure technique:"
--The fluorescent lighting found in many basements can degrade crabon fiber, so be sure to cover your bicycle in opaque cloth. If your frame has been exposed to fluorescent lighting for more than 72 consecutive hours then replace frame before riding.
--When removing bicycle from storage in the spring, be sure to not to exceed speeds of 8mph for the first three (3) months or 1,200 miles, as sudden application of torque after prolonged bicycle disuse can result in catastrophic frame or component failure.
Meanwhile, while I continue to ride my bicycles over the winter, on the worst days (like this one) I prefer to skip the riding and do some maintenance. For example, a couple of weeks ago I noticed my front rim was dented:
Probably as a result of my adventures on Mount Tampon:
This was causing a pulsing sensation in my front end while braking:
Which in turn was causing Mario Cipollini considerable excitement:
(Did somebody say "pulsing sensation in my front end?")
By the way, if you're wondering why Mario Cipollini is coated in oil, it's because he's about to go into storage for the winter.
Now, I'm pretty neurotic when it comes to bicycles, so in order to repair the dent I used a special high-tech proprietary rim-alignment tool, as well as a dedicated kevlar microfiber rim protection system:
However, utilizing the rim protection system felt like showering with a raincoat, so I threw it away and just bent the fucker:
Then I put everything back together and made a sandwich:
By the way, those faux utilitarian basement-style walls and floors in my bedroom cost me $50,000 but the effect is stunning and well worth it.
See you on the subway, which should be 10 degrees warmer by the time it gets downtown thanks to all the flatulence.