It's oddly inspiring that the so-called "Queen of the Classics" has been relegated to the status of Strava segment.
Not only am I worried about my fitness (I'm supposed to peak for the Wildcat Rock Machine New York City Anti-Fondo, register here), but now I'm also worried about whether or not all my quick release skewers are overdue for replacement:
This of course is a completely insane thing to worry about, even by Lennard Zinnian standards, though the responses from the various manufacturers are pretty hilarious:
This is more complicated than it might first appear.
As you’re aware, due to the extreme variables in usages and conditions among users, Shimano does not provide fixed periodic replacement recommendations on any non-wearing components. While I’ve personally never witnessed any of our skewers break, my suggestion is to inspect it periodically and if it looks visually flawless, continue to use it for the life of its matching (original) hub/wheel. When replacing with a new hub or wheel, it’s probably safer not to reuse the old QR.
— Wayne Stetina
VP of R&D, Shimano American Corp.
Translation: it's actually not complicated at all, and to be honest we've never even thought about it, but now that you mention it, yes, you do need to buy new skewers.
Anyway, now that the bicycle industry has discovered a new and lucrative source of Fredly anxiety, expect articles about the dangers of mixing hubs and skewers from various manufacturers in every major cycling periodical within the next six months.
Expect my Kickstarter campaign for a $250 quick release fatigue-checker soon.
Use it before every ride. Or die. It's your choice.
Meanwhile, bro-duder dude-bros are still bro-duding and duder-bro-ing around in the mountains on their stupid track bikes:
Apparently these are the last four bro-dudes on the entire planet of Earth who have not yet heeded the entire Internet's advice to get a freaking road bike already. These four stragglers aside, it's remarkable how quickly the fixed-gear fad spun itself out and moved on to bikes with brakes and gears. I choose to attribute this to the elegant simplicity of the bicycle as a machine--which, for all the overpriced crabon gewgaws and Kickstarter nonsense, leaves little room for affectation. The simple fact is that you can only ride up and down a mountain pass on a brakeless track bike so many times before you're forced to admit you're an idiot, and that the entire enterprise becomes infinitely more enjoyable with the simple addition of a few hundred grams of componentry. Remember this doofus?
You gotta figure that by now even he has realized that by the time you skid through eight or ten high-end Contis you could have paid for some pretty decent clicky integrated brake lever-shifter thingies like the ones they use in the Tour de France.
Anyway, the aforementioned duderbros are featured in a video that someone "Tweeted" at me, and I couldn't watch the whole thing because it made me physically ill:
WE WERE NEVER BORN from Dosnoventa on Vimeo.
We were never born, huh?
As far as 21st century quasi-rustic overly fashion-conscious douche-wallahism goes, this bears all the hallmarks, including staring slackjawed at a fucking tree like you've never seen one before:
Directing your friend in the stupid flat-brim hat's attention to the same tree:
Pointless whittling serving only to dull the expensive knife you wear on your belt as an affectation:
(Uh, if you need something pointy, why not just use the fucking knife?)
And of course asymmetrical haircuts:
("Hey dudes, don't worry, I'll be done with the useless pointy stick in just a few more minutes.")
Not to be outdone, flat-brim brodude starts chopping the shit out of a log with an artisanal axe:
I know there is no god, because if there is he would have chopped off his foot:
Also, granted I'm no outdoorsman (I prefer my woodland adventures to include handy access to shopping malls), but I think that wet log is going to make for some pretty shitty firewood:
("Isn't this [cough] great [cough] [cough] [sputter]?")
Which I guess is why they just said "Fuck it" and used the fireplace back at the hotel instead:
It's not all dudes and bros, though. There's also a token female whose only role in the video is to be sexually assaulted in the woods:
I think the word "hipster" officially became obsolete when they finally all morphed into fraternity brothers in slightly different clothes.
After that it's all panties and bikes, including the obligatory "cyclocross" shot:
What he's doing with that bike is the equivalent of what the other guy was doing with the knife.
Ultimately, I had a hard time figuring out exactly what the video was trying to sell me, which is a shame, because if I ever unwittingly buy any product featured in it I'm going to chop off my own foot with an artisanal axe--and I do, thanks to Rivendell, have an artisanal axe:
Maybe I'll even use it one day, if I ever get more than 500 yards away from a shopping mall.