Further to yesterday's post regarding my debut Brooks Blog guest post (and yes, your chamfered comments have now appeared), the so-called "Recumbent Conspiracy Theorist" posed the following question:
recumbent conspiracy theorist said...
So are you doing the full monty 209 km or one of the lesser wuss-bag routes?
September 17, 2014 at 12:24 PM
Okay, I know I tend to make self-deprecating remarks concerning my cycling ability or lack thereof, but let's cast modesty aside for just a moment and take a look at my "carrickyoulumb vee-tay:"
--Experienced former mid-category amateur road, mountain, and cyclocross racer who never won a race;
--183rd fastest single speed mountain biker IN THE WORLD according to my SSWC '08 commemorative bottle opener which was handed to me at the finish line by a drunk person;
--Three-time Rapha Gentlemen's Race veteran (teammates described me as their "anchor," probably because they had to drag me the whole time);
--New York City cyclist who messengered for six whole months--in the winter mind you!--before there were cellphones even (or at least before normal people had cellphones) and before there was such a thing as designer urban cycling apparel and accessories. (It was pretty much Manhattan Portage or nothing.)
All of this is a roundabout way of saying that YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT I'll be doing one of the "lesser wuss-bag routes." Come on, clearly I've done it all! How many people could boast that list of cycling accomplishments in a single lifetime? What more do I have to prove? Also, I'll be in Italy all of like three days, and if I did the 209km course I'd have maybe five minutes left to go visit Mario Cipollini. (I plan to slap him with a paternity suit as I'm fairly sure I'm his illegitimate son. If you do the math it makes total sense, since he would have been 7 years old at the time and it's medically documented that he hit puberty at 3, there's a whole article about it in the Lancet.)
Speaking of accomplished cyclists, while Jens Voigt may not have my incredible Palmolives, he's had an okay career, and as everybody knows by now he's about to attempt a cycling feat that could land him in the anals of cycling forever--that is to say he'll make an assault on the hour record while listening to the cheesiest playlist of all time:
Q: @BWSimons: What’s on Jens’ 60-minute playlist?
A: We asked him, and this is what he said:
• REO Speedwagon “Keep on Loving You”
• Brian Adams “Summer of 69″
• Journey “Wheel in the Sky”
• Air Supply “Making Love out of Nothing at All“
• Metallica “Turn the Page”
• Republica “Ready to Go”
• P.O.D. “Feel So Alive”
• Metallica “One”
• AC/DC “Hells Bells”
• AC/DC “Highway to Hell”
• Farmerboys “Here Comes the Pain”
• Ugly Kid Joe “Goddam Devil”
• AC/DC “Thunderstruck”
• Black Sabbath “Paranoid”
• Metallica “Frayed Ends of Sanity”
• Europe “Final Countdown”
• Metallica “Nothing Else Matters”
• Cranberries “Zombie”
• Kansas “Dust in the Wind”
• Air Supply “All Out of Love”
• Lita Ford/ Ozzy Osbourne “Close My Eyes Forever”
Wow. I don't think I could even make it through the warmup without puking. That's pretty much the musical equivalent of a cannoli-eating contest.
I guess he's always telling his legs to shut up because they keep humming REO Speedwagon tunes.
By the way, a lot of people have been pointing out that Jens Voigt is a man in his 40s who hails from the former East Germany, but while that might explain the massive amounts of drugs he's probably taken over the course of his career I'm not sure how it excuses that playlist since the wall's been down since like 1989 thanks to decades of Cold War wheedling:
Sure, it turns out an already senile Reagan thought he was standing in the White House and giving a contractor instructions regarding a bathroom renovation, but it was a proud moment for America nonetheless.
Also, if you've got a problem with my pointing out that Jens Voigt is probably more drugs than man at this point, get over it. Everybody knows that Voigt, Jan Ullrich, and Erik Zabel are the accidental by-product of a Soviet experiment to genetically engineer cosmonauts who could survive in outer space without costly space suits or oxygen tanks. You think the Air Supply on Voigt's playlist is just a coincidence? I'm sure those Soviet researches played it to them over and over again as they pedaled stationary bicycles in an air-tight chamber, until the head scientist had a brainstorm and said, "Fuck it, let's just put 'em in a bike race."
This isn't to say Jens Voigt isn't one tough bike racer, but let's also remember that he has six kids. So if anything, it's his wife who's the real badass.
Anyway, you can watch the whole thing here. (That's the hour record attempt, not the Soviet space experiment.) I only hope they don't use Voigt's playlist for the soundtrack--and if you're wondering what I would choose if I were in Voigt's place, it would simply be this played over and over:
Which would invariably backfire, since my post-hour record attempt Strava would look like this:
In any case, when you're a cyclist of my caliber it's only natural that makers of high-end performance gear would be falling all over themselves to send you stuff. Nevertheless, I was surprised and amused when I got this email from "LifeBEAM," who are selling a helment with a heart rate monitor in it or something:
We chose you to be one of the first cyclists who is going to try our new bio-sense helmet!
You can forget your heart rate monitor strap forever
Can you please advise with shipping address and helmet size?
Sorry, I cannot advise, as I am not in the least bit interested. I forgot my heart rate monitor strip about fifteen years ago and I haven't looked back. At this point in my cycling career heart rate data is about as relevant and useful to me as I ride as streaming updates on the price of toilet paper in Serbia.
Also, there's no way they'd let me use it for L'Eroica, though I think technically I'm allowed to wear one of those "Smart Hairnets," which is basically just a regular hairnet with a sundial glued to it.
By the way, I plugged "cycling hairnet" into a popular search engine and it came up with this:
You'll be pleased to know everything in that image is kosher for L'Eroica, right down to the green eyeshade.
Lastly, on a less festive note, remember how the NYPD didn't investigate the hit-and-run of a cyclist that was captured on video because they "didn't have time?"
Well, after much public outcry and an 83rd Precinct community council meeting, I'm pleased to announce that...they still haven't:
New York City: earning that "Number One Cycling City" ranking one police-sanctioned hit-and-run at a time.