What is it about this noble invention that inspires humankind to probe the very limit of what is possible?
Well, it's probably got something to do with the wheels, as well as the fact that it makes constant contact with your crotch.
In any case, Klaus of Cycling Inquisition has alerted me to yet another rider who will swing a Lycra-clad leg over a bicycle, wedge it between the road and his scranus, and attempt to scrawl his name somewhere in the record books:
I was a bit concerned when I read the headline. After all, that's a full 14mph over Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo" speed, and nobody knows for sure how the body of a Fred will react once it reaches Sammy Hagar territory. Will the woo-hoos continue? Will they give way to screams of terror? Will the Fred simply break apart like the space shuttle Challenger?
At this point, we can only speculate.
However, my initial concerns were immediately allayed when I read the article and learned that the inventor, Jim Wing, is a "life long martial artist" who "has only been a cyclist for one year."
Of course he is.
Anyway, here is the Air Spear in action, stalking the recreational path in search of Rollerbladers to impale like pieces of lamb on a kebab:
As a result of training with the Air Spear, Wing states he has “noticed the bike is incredibly fast,” noting, “I don’t create nearly as much wind resistance as when I rode without the Spear.” The above video documents Wings first “shake down” ride with the Spear leading the charge. Due to its relatively flat and straight course, Wing anticipates setting a course record at New Jersey’s City-To-Shore Century in September.
Of course he does.
[Expect Darren Aronofsky to direct Mickey Rourke in "The Fred," the story of Wing's life.]
Anyway, if I were Wing I'd also throw on a pair of Null Winds for good measure. Sure, you remember Null Winds, the glorified skirt guards that will somehow defy the laws of physics and make your bicycle "noticeably faster at any speed:"
I think Cat 2 bicycle racer Jason Shutz's Strava-addled mind somehow fused the old riddle about which is faster, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers, with Ralph Nader's Unsafe At Any Speed, while simultaneously failing to understand them both.
And if nothing else, musclebound Freds traveling at 60mph with spears affixed to their cockpits should be more than enough to give Dorothy Rabinowitz night terrors for the rest of her life:
(That's not a night terror, that's Dorothy Rabinowitz.)
Hopefully Wing manages to keep the rubber side down during his brave attempt to absolutely decimate the field at a century ride in New Jersey, though if the unthinkable should happen he should take care not to land on his helment because a "leading neurosurgeon" says the damn things are useless:
Henry Marsh, who works at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, said that many of his patients who have been involved in bike accidents have been wearing helmets that were ‘too flimsy’ to be beneficial.
He made the comments while speaking at the Hay Festival during a discussion with Ian McEwan, whose 2005 novel Saturday featured a neurosurgeon.
"Bullshit!" countered McEwan, who asserts that his writing helment saved his life when a vase fell on his head as he was midway through his acclaimed 2001 novel, Atonement.
Dr. Marsh was not rattled by the writer's retort:
He cited evidence from the University of Bath that suggests that wearing a helmet may even put cyclists at greater risk. The research showed that drivers get around 3 inches closer to cyclists who wear helmets because they perceive them as safer.
I don't dispute the part about drivers getting closer to cyclists in helments, but I suspect it's less about drivers perceiving them as "safer" and more about drivers thinking that they're "asking for it" with those "tight shorts" and those "little foam hats"--or, as Keith Maddox puts it:
Hey, don't be so hard on poor Keith. After all, he can't "heppit." (Whatever the hell "heppit" means.)
Then Dr. Marsh really let it fly when he called Australia stupid:
He said: “I ride a bike and I never wear a helmet. In the countries where bike helmets are compulsory there has been no reduction in bike injuries whatsoever.
Yeah, I know he didn't literally call Australia stupid, but we all know that's what he meant.
“I see lots of people in bike accidents and these flimsy little helmets don’t help.”
I teared up a bit, I'm not going to lie. There's something emotionally stirring about a doctor who whips it out and micturates all over years of plastic hat propaganda.
Well, okay, actually that wasn't the end of Dr. Marsh's talk. I just wish he'd stopped there, because it was a perfect ending. Unfortunately though, he kept going, revealing that he rides around town in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, thereby casting aspersions on the validity of his claims and raising the possibility that he is in fact completely insane:
Mr Marsh said that he had been riding his bike for 40 years, wearing a cowboy hat, and had only fallen off once.
“I have been cycling for 40 years and have only been knocked off once. I wear a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. I look completely mad."
What, no chaps?
As for only falling off his bike once in 40 years, that's easily attributed to his unique cross-training technique:
Nothing hones your bike-handling skillz like an hour or two a week on a mechanical bull, and I predict that by late summer "Bicycling" will be telling you to do this before cyclocross season.
But as distressed as I was by Dr. Marsh's urban cowboy disclosure, he at least redeemed himself somewhat with this:
Marsh, who retires in March, also admitted jumping red lights to get ahead of the traffic.
“It’s my life at risk,” he said, ‘So I regularly cross over red lights.”
Disdain for helments and red lights? [Golf clapping.] Yee haw, Dr. Marsh. Yee haw.
Of course, if you do choose to wear a helment (my personal guideline is if I'm putting on Lycra I wear a helment--you know, because bad things only happen when you're wearing Lycra), you should at least make sure you put it on correctly--not because it's the difference between life and death, but because it's the difference between looking silly and looking really silly:
I tried to tell you something while you were biking - w4w (Prospect Park)
You: Blonde, wearing jorts, biking.
Me: Brunette, biking, talking to you.
I saw you bike by me today and I tried to tell you something, but alas. I failed. In case you read this, I will tell you now. You either had your bike helmet on backwards or your face is on the wrong side of your head and your head faces in the wrong direction. If it's the former, I suggest you turn your helmet around the next time you wear it. You won't regret it! Biking will be so much more comfortable and the helmet will be more effective. If it's the latter then I see that you might be in a pickle. I think I would turn the helmet around. It will better serve to protect you until modern science comes up with a corrective surgery to put all of your head parts in the right place.
My guess is it's the latter, and the poster simply happened upon a character from "The Lego Movie."