The racing is over, the trees are still standing, and nobody cares anymore.
That's why I'm putting in a bid with USA Cycling to host the race on behalf of the New York Botanical Garden:
This great New York City attraction and national landmark will make a thrilling venue, and I've scoped out an "epic" course that will take riders through a section of old-growth New York forest, through the pristine conifer arboretum, and then into the iconic Haupt Conservatory which is filled with thousands of delicate plant specimens from around the globe:
(The run-up to the Conservatory. Riders should have their tickets ready.)
Expect the course to be closed by the horrified staff within seconds of the first pedal stroke, after which riders from each category will instead complete a grueling tram tour of this verdant venue:
Then champions in each field will receive a whimsical National Champion's Gardening Apron:
And you can expect the usual beards and forced irreverence from the singlespeeders:
Speaking of cyclocross, they love it in Portland. But America's 4th-Most-Bike-Friendly City According To The Ad Sales Department At Bicycling Magazine isn't just about the bikes, and this is what happens when you have an entire town full of white people:
By the way, did I hear right that it only costs $125 to rent a billboard in Portland? They really need to raise those prices, because as it is it would be all to easy for someone to launch an ad campaign designed to crush the self-esteem of every Portlander and send them all into a tailspin of depression. Just look at that soul-crushing gray sky behind those ebullient billboards! Having spent time in Portland myself, I know all this artisanal "put a bird on it" crap is the only thing keeping from them from total despair, and a few well-placed bits of negativity would be more than enough bring the entire city to its knees. Really, all you'd need is a few strategically-placed billboards bearing slogans like these:
Everybody's Really Disappointed In You
Narcotics: They're Readily Available, You Know
And of course the ever-popular and always effective:
Go Fuck Yourself.
Sure, here in America we're always looking out for terrorists with bombs, but we're still all too vulnerable to emotional terrorism--especially in those wet, cloudy pits of despair in the Pacific Northwest. It only takes one maniac with a twisted political agenda an a college-level psychology course--or, worse yet, some hyper-critical relative--to plunge this country into a state of crippling introspection.
Couple that with all those dead malls and we're truly screwed.
Speaking of Portland, someone's sabotaging cyclists by placing tacks on the Hawthorne Bridge:
On Saturday, Pedal Bike Tours employee Sarah Gilbert was riding downtown to lead a tour when she picked up two flats. We also heard from a victim who flatted from tacks on Monday. Then just yesterday, an employee from West End Bikes called to tell us they had three people roll into the shop with flats — all of them from the same, golden tacks we’ve now seen on many tires in the past week. The main location of the flats appears to be near the bus stop where the westbound bike lane merges up onto the sidewalk/path (above SE Water Ave).
I'm sure those naive Portlanders think this is the work of someone who hates bikes, but if I were them I'd start asking questions over at West End Bikes. Ask yourself this: who benefits most when a bunch of cyclists suddenly get flats? The closest bike shop, that's who! Come on, follow the money, people! Has anybody looked into their recent charges at Staples?
Of course, instead the Portlanders will remain fixated on the fact that this happened near the bus stop, since Portland is a city of white people and so they're naturally suspicious of people who use public transportation.
Speaking of conspiracies, a reader informs me Volvo continues to move forward with its plans to make us all wear smart helments:
This is extremely bad news, for it's a clear sign that society is moving towards 100% driver blamelessness. (We're at about 98% as it is.) Smart helments, driverless cars...it will soon be entirely your responsibility to be electronically visible to all those onboard computers, and it won't be long before you have to walk around wearing one of those motion capture suits at all times:
Meanwhile, for your recreational endeavors, you'll wear a "smart shirt:"
French company Cityzen Sciences has developed a smart t-shirt, that measures statistics including your heart rate.
The first thing I thought when I saw this was that the Freds will be all over it, and sure enough they've got that covered:
I can't wait until all the Freds have smart jerseys which measure their girth and then communicate with their tire pressure apps in order to calculate their optimal tire pressure:
Alas, shirtlessness will be the only way to free yourself from the conspiracy:
The future's so awful she's got to wear shades.