In the meantime, instead of riding I've been catching up on emails, and you know what? Checking my emails is a complete waste of time because they're completely ridiculous. Consider this one for example:
My name is John and I'm a founder and CEO behind Surface 604 Element Electric.
Please have a look at our latest videos presenting our e-fatty:
I admit that during our Long Dark Winter of the Soul I found myself pining for a fat bike from time to time. However, the reason I felt this way was because I missed actually riding a bicycle. If I'm not going to do the work myself then I might as well just ride the subway when it snows--though admittedly I'm probably not the target market for this, and an electric fat bike does seem like it would come in handy for those winter trips to your psycho-sexual "True Detective"-style torture shack:
Imagine the muffled whimpers of fear from the duct-taped mouths of the hostages when they hear the telltale sound of crunching snow under voluminous tires that heralds the return of their captor:
("Mmmm, mmmmm, MMMMMM!!!!")
Yes, out here nobody can hear you scream:
Nor can they see your unruly body hair and mistake you for a Sasquatch:
We are interested in advertising on your websites. We just launched a new product called
No Bush Lotion. You can see it at http://www.kingsupplements.com/nobush.html. The product helps reduce the appearance of body hair and is marketed towards athletes of all kind specially cyclists. If you would like to make more money with your blog please contact me and we can work out a deal.
I've been approached by the "No Bush" people before, and their persistence can only mean one thing, so I sent them this email proving my canny ability to read between the lines:
I have yet to receive a reply.
Hey, if you've got a problem with my sub-equatorial coiffure why not just come right out and say it?
By the way, the "No Bush" people aren't the only ones who want me to mention their product because they have no idea I've already been mentioning their product. You might recall that not too long ago I posted the video for something called the "MiniBrake," and subsequently I received an email from the unwitting co-founder asking me to do that which I have already done:
I'm Daniel Bognar, co-founder of MiniBrake - we're developing a child safety device that can help parents protect their kids on the road. We've just launched a crowdfunding campaign to help put MiniBrake into production. We're trying to reach out to parents in the cycling communities and I'm wondering whether you're interested in our concept and whether you'll be open to write about this child safety device in your blog.
You can check out our pitch video about the product here:
As I said before, I think the "MiniBrake" would be much more useful on adult bikes. In fact, in addition to so-called "Lawyer Lips," the law should also require all sporting bicycles sold in the United States to be equipped with a MiniBrake. Just imagine a "master switch" on your handlebar that would allow you to stop any Fred or tridork in his tracks. Can you picture the look of surprise and panic on the typical wheelsucking doofus's face as his rear wheel locks up and you leave him pounding on his aerobars wondering what the hell just happened? Sure you can! It's exactly the same look of surprise and panic wheelsucking doofuses wear all the time. They always look like they're about half a second away from crashing, probably because they usually are.
Instead, the MiniBrake is marketed towards inattentive parents, like Julianne Moore here, who's apparently too busy making plans for "Boogie Nights II" to notice that her child is schluffing off on his balance bike to meet his fate:
Not that I'm judging, mind you. I have a Twitter account, and every single "Tweet" on it represents 15 or 20 minutes I've subsequently spent searching for my own child on a crowded sidewalk, street, or subway platform. Criticizing parents for minor stuff like "inattention" or "being drunk most of the time" is the sort of thing that only non-parents do, since they don't understand the rigors of parenting and the state of perpetual non-sobriety that the job requires. It's these same non-parents who freak out when they see relatively innocuous stuff like this:
("Urban Amish Utilizes Popular Bicycle Sharing Program To Portage Child" is the headline I'd have gone with.)
First of all, "Father" looks like he just had his Bar Mitzvah about two months ago, so I'm relatively certain that's actually her brother. (Either that, or it's rare photographic evidence of a blood libel kidnapping if you're both uptight and anti-Semitic. Hey, it was just Easter, you know.) Second of all, loosen your sphincter's death grip and stop making such a big deal, for fuck's sake. "Death Defying?" Really? Well, I guess in the age of stuff like child leashes and sledding helments, sure:
(Oh come on.)
However, if you actually stop and think about it, the parent (or sibling) driving a young child around the city in an SUV is doing something far more "irresponsible" than carrying a kid on a Citi Bike at slightly more than walking speed.
But of course it's a bicycle in America, so when assessing the risks the laws of physics don't apply. Instead, just look for the presence or absence of a foam hat and extrapolate from there.
Anyway, MiniBrake guy's email continues as follows:
I think I know your first two questions :) Won't the kid just fall over? We designed the brake to avoid that even if a child is going fast. First, the brake is applied to the rear wheel, not the front, second, the brake is applied by putting pressure on that wheel, and not by suddenly blocking them. And the second most common (and totally valid!) question is "Shouldn’t my kid learn to be careful on the road instead of parents stepping in to “save the day”?" We completely agree that kids must learn to be self-reliant and sometimes it’s necessary for kids to learn from their own mistakes. Thus, MiniBrake does not aim to replace teaching kids how to be careful on the road. However, there are always situations in which parents do not want to teach their kids a lesson – they just want to intervene and avoid an accident.
Actually, both of these answers are disappointing, because my first two questions were as follows:
1) Will this lock up the wheel instantly to aid my child in the laying down of fat skidzzz?
2) Have you thought about a "MiniMotor" that drives the wheel instead of slowing it, similar to that Citi Bike motor thing, so parents can get their kids up to "Fred woo-hoo-hoo-hoo" speed before initiating the skid?
Really, the fundamental elements of childhood cycling are going fast and skidding. Everything else is irrelevant.
Speaking of children and cycling, Andy Schleck isn't ready to give up on it yet:
"Today, I still miss things [...] I'm missing some sensations in races. Something to give meaning to all the work I do in training.”
"DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU?," Schleck continued. "I NEED DRUGS!!! JUST LET ME HAVE SOME DRUGS!!!"
I guess he's going to have to wait around for uncle Johan.