Firstly, thank you for indulging my absence as I took a week to get my baby-rearing legs back. Thanks also for your well-wishings, for those of you who extended them. Here are answers to some of your questions:
--Regarding genderway, to quote Luca Brasi, the child is a "masculine child;"
--Regarding nameway, after much deliberation we went with Masterlink Derailleur Hanger Pump Peg Rock Machine;
--Regarding the delivery, it was an artisanal birth, complete with kiddie pool in the living room, iTunes playlist consisting of Indian ragas, a Wiccan midwife, a highly-paid doula, a Rabbi who can juggle, and, for reasons I still don't quite understand, a live llama painted with fractals.
It was beautiful.
Oh, also, before I forget, a very special thanks to Riccardo Riccò for the fantastic baby gift:
We'll cherish it always--or at least until the cat punctures it while trying to make love to it.
By the way, I was just about to head out for a ride when I got The Call notifying me that Masterlink's birth was imminent--and when I say "just about" I mean I was stretchy-clothed out and in the process of lifting my bicycle off the storage rack in the basement when my dork-tastic smart watch started vibrating. Of course, a true Fred would have said, "OK, breathe, just a quick spin, I'll be back in an hour." However, being the chivalrous sort I abandoned the prospect of a ride, shucked the Lycra speedsuit, loaded up THE CAR THAT THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK, and headed down to the hospital.
Only when I was nearly there did I realize I'd forgotten both my wife and my pants.
As for that thwarted ride, it would be nearly a week before my scranus would know the sweet caress of a Brooks, and when it finally did I propped my bike up against an outcrop and took a photograph to commemorate the occasion:
A second later the bike fell over, scratching the crabon fork, which means it's now liable to explode at any moment.
My belated New Year's Resolution is to make my bicycle cycle fleet completely crabon-free by the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, no sooner has the storm of childbirth begun to settle than a new storm has brewed, and as I type this we New Yorkers are about to get slammed by Winter Storm Juno: The Blizzard Of Hades:
With the first flurries starting to fall Monday morning in what officials said was expected to be one of the most powerful blizzards to ever strike New York City, officials warned residents that the storm would gather strength and urged people to get off the roads before evening when winds would pick up and the heaviest snow was expected.
That's gonna seriously cut into my riding time.
That's also the cue for denizens of the northern reaches which suckle off Canada's arctic teat to start getting all smug:
Well, scoff all you want, but it won't be too funny when some poor schmuck freezes to death trying to un-dock a Citi Bike.
(Dockblocked.)And before you even start:
I know you've waited all year to gloat about your stupid fat bike, but that doesn't mean I want to hear about it.
Here's something else I don't want to hear about:
During my absence various people informed me that some football player rode a bike around, but even a cameo from my most favoritest form of wheeled conveyance is not enough to make me care, because I hate football. Sure, football brings together America's favorite twin obsessions--mass consumerism and helments--but that's precisely why I despise it. In fact, I despise pretty much every professional sport both foreign and domestic (yes, even curling, mostly because of all the annoying people who like it ironically), and increasingly I'm inclined to include cycling in that list. As a sports-hating cyclist I've made an exception for pro bike racing for years, but I've finally realized it's a sport no different than any other and I was merely distracted by all the pretty bicycles.
So now that the bicycle's aren't pretty anymore the spell has been broken.
Another race, another plastic bike.
This is not to say that racing plastic bikes can't be inspiring. For example, here's someone who wants you to give him $3,999 so he can do just that, and in exchange he'll let you look at his ass:
Scoff if you will, but he's already on his way to being a successful amateur racer, since the very essence of bike racing is believing you're doing the world a favor by partaking in it. Also, his goal to fight addiction is a noble one:
I need to give the world something nice to look at, in doing so make the world a better place. By buying a beautiful bike, I will bike most everywhere in most conditions. I also want to start racing here in Vancouver and my current bike is not an option. Being on parole and fighting addiction I need something positive to keep me occupied. This will do it. If you back me, you are going to help me stay clean and positive as opposed to being a leech on the community.
However, it is also misguided, since amateur bike racing is itself an addiction, and there is no bigger leech on the community than the roadie. So if he wants to replace one addiction with another he'd be much better off just chain-smoking cigarettes. Really, both amateur bike racing and smoking are bad for you in the long run, but at least with smoking he'll still have some time on his hands to do something productive, whereas bike racers are only off the bike just barely long enough to disappoint everyone else around them.
If you have a roadie in your life then you know what I'm talking about. Roadies aren't even wet blankets; they're depilatory wax the moment you rip it off.
Lastly, remember how some company asked me if I was interested in a drone?
Well, naturally I asked for one with the intention of crashing it immediately and/or harassing triathletes on the Hudson River Greenway. (Hard to imagine anything more fun than buzzing triathletes with drones!) Sadly, though, they're not going to send it after all:
Hello Bike Snob NYC,
This is Sabrina of the Hexo+ team. Unfortunately due to logistics reasons, we could no longer be able to offer a testing unit free loan. It would be most grateful if we could still be mentioned on your website. Regardless, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused and we wish you all the best in future.
Oh, sure, I'll still mention you. In fact, here's an advertising slogan you can use for free:
HEXO+: The Company Confounded By The Logistics of Putting A Crappy Drone In The Mail