Yesterday, I was determined to watch the Tour de France stage. However, despite my best efforts, I was unable to plant myself at or near a televisual screen for any sustained length of time owing to my extensive "to do" list. (Those fingers and toes aren't going to mani-pedi themselves.)
Eventually, I gave up.
Then, this morning, I went to check yesterday's results, only to discover that yesterday was a rest day:
This welcome reprieve should help me get up to speed on the race.
But it won't.
Meanwhile, the controversy the cycling media has not dubbed #Contador'sBrokenBikeGate may finally be at an end:
Speculation ran riot on social media after suggestion that Contador's bike had failed before he crashed. However bike sponsor Specialized said this is not true. Other witnesses and teams corroborated the claims of Specialized and the Tinkoff-Saxo team.
See that? Specialized says it isn't true. Also, so do some witnesses, and everybody knows professional bike racers never agree to maintain a code of silence. That's good enough for me!
So what happened?
"Teammates were first to communicate the crash to the team vehicle via radio. Reports from Tinkoff-Saxo are saying their team car was passing closely to a vehicle Team Belkin and bikes became entangled between the two. Alberto’s spare bike was broken into two pieces in this way..."
Okay, so the bike didn't fail while in use. It failed when it touched another bicycle while sitting on a roof rack. Yeah, that's way more reassuring.
("You should see the other bike."--Contador's Specialized Glass Jaw SL)
("Actually, I'm totally fine."--The Other Bike)
There are only two problems with this story. Firstly, the other team involved in the bike tangle is Belkin. Belkin. That's the same team that has been begging for money on its website:
Obviously there's no way they could be bribed by a team owned by a Russian millionaire douchebag or anything like that--though if you go to their website now here's what you'll see:
Hey, sometimes you get a windfall, you know?
Secondly, the broken bike has Contador's race number on it, which is not typically the case with spare bikes. Granted, Cyclingtips reports that Contador's mechanic does put race numbers on spare bikes out of sheer anal retention:
Several Tour riders expressed surprise at this, telling CyclingTips that from their experience, spare bikes don’t have race numbers on them.
However, according to Mondini, Contador’s personal mechanic Munoz – who is known as a perfectionist – ensures that his rider’s number is on both the usual race bike and also his spare.
But you'll notice the link to this picture of the team car with no numbers on the spare bikes at all, which would appear to contradict that:
Anyway, whatever actually happened, you have to give everybody involved plenty of credit for fabricating a high modulus rationale.
In other news, a reader has forwarded me a short film called "How to Survive as a Bike Messenger in NYC," and while the embedding doesn't seem to work with my blog I suggest you visit its site and watch it:
It opens with what appears to be Father Time clutching an hourglass:
"If you look at me, you are definitely rolling the dice. It is a 50/50 chance you're going to get me or I'm going to fucking kill you. And definitely one of the two is going to happen. Fortunately they don't call me 'Wild' for nothing."
As it turns out, this is somewhat inaccurate, because it turns out there's a 100% chance that if you find yourself face to face with Wild Bill he's going to give you a pizza:
I like those odds.
Indeed they don't call him "Wild" for nothing, because there are two ways to deliver a pizza: the easy way, and the hard way. A true outlaw, he opts for the latter by portaging his pies on a fixie with low handlebars, no brakes, and no load-bearing accessories of any kind:
And so forth.
However, if you've been making deliveries by bicycle for 30 years and you are still having a demonstrably difficult time carrying your pizza pies, I think then it's fair to suggest that maybe it's time to visit Nashbar and shell out twenty bucks for a rack or something.
I mean really, it's painful to watch, especially when he has to deal with two bags:
Come on now. He's halfway down the block before he can even get both feet on the pedals!
I honestly don't know.
By the way, so-called "Best Pizza," I'm looking at you guys too. Why the hell don't you buy a decent delivery bike? Worksman Cycles is like ten miles away in Queens and they're to pizza delivery what Rivendell is to retrogrouchery:
Meanwhile, here's Wild Bill shouting at a pedestrian crossing with the light to get out of his way because he's riding around on a track bike and carrying 14 pizzas:
One thing all these bike messenger videos seem to have in common is that you're supposed to feel like it's the messengers against the world, but it becomes clear that the world is actually being pretty cooperative a lot of the time and it's usually the messengers themselves who are making things so difficult:
Still, there's no doubt Wild Bill has what it takes to be a Brooklyn legend. They're still way into the old-timey look there, and Wild Bill's old-timey look is so authentic you'd think he was a deserter from the Civil War. "Premium Rush?" Fuck that fakenger crap. This is some "Red Badge of Courage" shit.
Finally, the film ends as he salmons off into the sunset:
Ride on, Wild Bill.
And fuck Domino's.
Lastly, Andy White of Fyxomawhatsit wants you to know that his new line of ironical shoe covers is now available:
You've heard of "fuck me heels." Well, these are perfect if you're looking to get gang-banged by Nike's lawyers:
It's that irrepressible Antipodean irreverence.