(Don't worry, the sleeves will be attached on the actual jersey.)
Pre-order yours now so you'll receive it in time to place it beneath your Christmas Tree, Hanukkah Bush, Kwanzaa Shrub, Festivus Pole, or phosphorescent Dark Satanmas Boner of Lucifer!
Praise the Lard and Holy Luau, etc.
Speaking of bike-riding hats, I gave out a bunch yesterday at the Philly Bike Expo to the intrepid people who were both bold enough and bored enough to come and hear my "semi-GNAR." Yes, it was a lovely day for what has now become my annual fall pilgrimage to Philadelphia, and it was with a song in my heart and another song on the satellite radio that I fired up THE CAR THAT THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK FOR IT and pointed it south--stopping briefly in Brooklyn where I picked up a famous bike blogger who just happened to be visiting from Californy, and who was no doubt questioning his decision to get up early on a Sunday during his New York City vacation and spend like half the day on the New Jersey Turnpike.
About a hundred miles later we arrived at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, whereupon I drove right through the doors, slipped this kid a double sawbuck, and said, "Park her someplace safe and clean up these glass shards while you're at it, wouldya?"
However, instead of thanking me profusely and kissing my pinky ring, this audacious little snot gave me some line about how it's valet parking for bikes only, furthermore adding something like, "What do you think this is, a Dunkin' Donuts?"
Hey, these kids in Philly have moxie, I'll give 'em that.
After fruitlessly shouting "Do you have any idea who I am!?!" for 15 or 20 minutes I finally gave up and headed across the street to a parking garage. Now, my sense of direction isn't terrible, but there are two places in which I'm bound to get lost, and those are convention centers and parking garages. Naturally, I was particularly apprehensive since this day was now going to involve both, so after securing my vehicle I photographed both the sign nearest the car:
As well as the sign outside the elevator:
I have lost my car in parking garages before (in fact that's why I had to get a new car), and I wasn't about to do it again.
For good measure, upon returning to the Convention Center, I also confirmed with some other new arrivals that I was in the right place since it's a vast building and there were many events taking place:
Just kidding. The Bike Expo is the Gigantic Nerd Summit.
It's a trick question.
Then, heading back inside, I snatched my $20 back from that impertinent kid and checked out the bike parking area:
Oh, come on. A bakfiets? A tandem? A tall bike?!? They would have had plenty of room for my Maybach!
Once inside the exhibition hall I felt like an explorer looting the pyramid of a pharaoh, so dazzling were the treasures on display. There were exotic folding touring bikes:
And of course the keen sartorial sense for which Philadelphians are famous:
("I'm telling you, leather pants and arm warmers go great together! Also, lose the hat.")
There are also windows, because Philadelphia is a no-bullshit kinda town:
("Yeah, I know this is a bike show. So that's supposed to mean you don't need windows?")
If Fashion Week were to move from New York to Philly I like to think they'd work in a hot water heater display somewhere.
Speaking of windows, the most recent bikes from Engin tempted me like a hot pie on a windowsill:
Though self-restraint shut the window right on my thieving fingers:
And it was right then that I decided to start a new photo essay called "Disembodied Hands of Bicycle Fabricators Pointing to the Bikes They Fabricated." Here is the first--and last--in the series:
That's Simon of Transport Cycles, by the way, which last time I visited Philly had not even opened yet:
The fact that they are now both open and thriving made me feel both happy for them and old.
Finally, it was time for my "semi-GNAR:"
And when I emerged an hour later my smarting phone was dead and I could no longer take any photographs:
After another turn through the exhibition hall the famous bike blogger and I were hungry, so he asked some of the Convention Center staff where was the best place to get cheesesteak. "Geno's is good," said one. "I like Pat's," said the other. "Yeah, I like Geno's better," said the first one, and as they rolled around on the floor trying to strangle one-another we slipped outside and went to get the car.
Unfortunately, since my phone was dead I couldn't access the photos I'd so cannily taken of my parking spot. Also, since I get confused in Convention Centers I forgot where we'd originally entered. Therefore, we ended up walking into another parking garage that, while almost identical to the one we'd used, was not in fact the one housing my car. This caused us both considerable consternation, and if you want to know how long it takes two bike bloggers to find a car they parked directly across the street from a convention center not more than three hours before the answer is: an embarrassingly long time.
Despite the odds, however, we eventually succeeded, and off we headed to Geno's and/or Pat's:
Which one we actually chose is a secret I will take to the grave, but it was delicious, despite my fear that I'd order wrong and the server would throw scalding Cheez Whiz in my face.
Lastly, see this guy?
Well, he's now apparently the World's Fastest Fred: