That's not a rhetorical question, you're supposed to say, "What?"
Well, IMBA is having a World Smit in Steamboat Springs, CO from August 20th to the 24th!
Not only that, but I'm going to be there as a guest!
(Visualize World Smit!)
So why does IMBA want someone whose mountain bike exploits consist mostly of falling down on the trails behind the mall to be a guest at their World Smit? I'm not entirely sure, but the words "human piñata" have been bandied about in the context of shuttling me up a mountain, sending me down on a full suspension bicycle with no brakes, and letting people take swings at me with pool noodles on the way down.
Hey, don't ask me, I'm not up on this laid-back Colorado mountain bike duder jargon.
In any case, perhaps this video will help clear things up:
Get Yourself There from IMBA on Vimeo.
Or perhaps it won't.
Either way, I'm going to the IMBA World Smit, I'm excited about it, and I hope you're going too--and that you're also excited about it.
In other news, further to yesterday's post, I posted this picture:
Which prompted a commenter to express dismay that the chain is in the little ring.
Obviously as a semi-professional bike blogger I am aware of the "rule" that you're supposed to photograph your bicycle with the chain in the big ring. However, as an accomplished photographer, urban sophisticate, and noted aesthete who is a card-carrying member of the itelligentsia (sp?), I'm also aware that this rule is stupid. Sure, if you're photographing a plastic bike for "manufacturer" website or catalog, put it in the biggest gear. However, this is a bicycle in its natural habitat, and the approach to wildlife photography should be completely different. If you're photographing the bicycle you're riding in the wild, you should do so in the gear that it's in at that moment, for this communicates to the viewer the nature of the surrounding terrain. In short, the bicycle should be in harmony with its surroundings, not in some gear combo you use three times a year when you're attempting to reach Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo" speed.
Then someone went ahead and cited something called "Rule 26:"
Rule #26 // Make your bike photogenic.
When photographing your bike, gussy her up properly for the camera. Some parameters are firm: valve stems at 6 o’clock. Cranks never at 90 or 180 degrees. Others are at your discretion, though the accepted practices are include putting the chain on the big dog, and no bidons in the cages.
Oh please. Firstly, I don't use "bidons," I use bottles. "Bidon" sounds like something you might do on eBay, or like one of those things they have in fancy hotels next to the toilet so you can wash out your vagina. Secondly, the only reason my BOTTLE was not in its cage was because I was drinking from it at that moment, because photographing bicycles is thirsty work. (Also, I may have taken a moment to use my bottle to wash out my vagina.) Thirdly, how do you put your chain on the "big dog?" Is that a UK Fredism or a typo? I'm not up on this sphincter-clenching roadie jargon.
Anyway, as a semi-professional bike blogger, I've obviously seen these Voluminati rules before, but I've never been able read them all without succumbing to severe douche chills. Also, if I see the phrase "old school" written anywhere I switch off immediately, and if somehow that doesn't trigger my emergency reading shut-off valve then the phrase "slam that stem" certainly will. I do think cataloguing these "rules" is a useful exercise though, because it proves conclusively that "cool" and "dorky" are close relatives, and the only difference between them is that the latter is the attempt to articulate the former.
Or, to put it in more Velominonymous terms:
D=C+A (Dork=Cool plus Articulation)
In other words, if you try to describe why something's cool it automatically ain't no more.
(Basically, anal retentiveness and cool are natural enemies, and this is why cycling is one of the dorkiest subcultures in the known universe.)
Speaking of "rules," one rider who has no use for them is
@bikesnobnyc Bret/TTTD spotted in Ted Talk by David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene. pic.twitter.com/ZdV3FpVjWU
— Chris Ryan (@chrisryan55000) May 28, 2014
By the way, if a TED Talk is like watching someone masturbate for 18 minutes (which it is), then a picture of Bret suddenly appearing during a TED Talk is like if, at a particularly intense lip-biting moment, the masturbator ejaculated one of those magician bouquets:
Lastly, some duders in Colorado who are obviously high on legal marijuana have invented something that actually seems kinda useful:
Not bad. I could see keeping a pair of these in my commuting bag. (That is, if I had a real job.)