Yesterday evening I was in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York, NY enjoying a hearty dinner with my family. It was quite pleasant, despite the bitter cold, as well as the poignant reminders of the interesting times in which we live:
I mention this only because, little did I know, the official Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling team launch was taking place right nearby:
Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling officially launched their 2015 team at an upscale presentation held in the IAC Building located in the Meatpacking District in New York City on Wednesday. The team unveiled the newly designed black and green kit and bikes, introduced CEO of Slipstream Jonathan Vaughters and held on-stage interviews with six of the team’s riders.
By the way, the IAC Building is in West Chelsea, not the Meatpacking District, and it looks like this:
My son always wants to know what it is when we pass it, and I always tell him that I don't know, which seems better than calling it a frosted pile of shit.
In any case, I didn't receive an invitation to the Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling team launch, and I couldn't help feeling snubbed. Sure, the mainstream cycling world stopped flirting with me years ago, and I've long since accepted the fact that I'm now just an ornery crank about whom people say stuff like, "Is that guy still blogging? Sad." Still, this is my hometown, damn it! Who the hell else around here writes anything worth reading about cycling? Nobody, that's who! (Granted, that's because this is New York and people have actual important stuff to write about, but still.) Come on! You bring your shiny Lycra-clad Fred-and-pony show through my town and you don't even invite me?!? What am I, chopped liver?*
*[Question is rhetorical, blogger is well aware that he is, in fact, chopped liver.]
Therefore, I was deprived of the opportunity to mingle with A-list bike shop employees, people who moonlight for cycling websites for free in their spare time, and bored junior newspaper employees with no interest in cycling whose bosses forced them to go. Instead, I was forced to experience the glamour vicariously through the miracle of the Internet, just like the dozens of other people who followed the launch closely on their computers and smartphones. For example, here is the crowd arriving:
Hey, I realize it was 17 degrees American on a Tuesday night, but still, this is a pretty sorry-looking crew by swank New York City media launch standards. Cannondale-Garmin's PR company must have gone over to the McDonald's on 8th Avenue and handed out free passes.
Also, it would appear that if Cannondale supplies your team with bicycles then you're forced to sign Ted King:
("I came with the bikes."--Ted King)
And incredibly, this guy is still racing:
Hey, I guess the pro peloton needs a Levi Leipheimer.
Mostly though, I was disappointed to see that in 2015 they were still resorting to cheap Interbike-level gimmickry like "lady escorts:"
Come on, Cannondale-Garmin, you can afford to be more enlightened and progressive than that. I mean, it's pro cycling! It's not like you have an audience to lose. You pretend to not be on drugs, so why not skip the chauvinism too? This is Cipollini-level schmaltz.
Actually, that's not entirely true, because I don't even think Cipo would hire a woman to walk around with a snack umbrella:
There is a churro umbrella. "Not the strangest thing I've been paid to do," reports the brave lady operating it. pic.twitter.com/W6q90k7kKg
— Bill Strickland (@TrueBS) January 8, 2015
Oy. Even Cipollini's cringing:
("Eees a leeetle tacky, no?")
Anyway, it would appear that in the end Cannondale-Garmin successfully communicated its message, which is that people will ride around on bikes in green and black clothing. Also, judging by the size and depth of their roster, Cannondale-Garmin riders now officially outnumber American cycling fans by two to one.
In other news, remember Courtlandt "Biker Terrorists Out To Rule The Road" Milloy? The guy who thinks paying a $500 fine to murder a cyclist is worth it? Well, he's BA-aaack...
And he's still stupid. In fact, his stupidity has coalesced and congealed into some sort of moronic policy idea:
As usual, he starts out by establishing his own idiocy, just like they taught him in idiot school:
A bicyclist is struck and killed by a car in Baltimore on Dec. 27, prompting hundreds of sad and angry cyclists to hold a memorial ride on Jan. 1. A sorrowful start to the New Year.
Two days later, another bicyclist is hit by a car in Harford County; the 25-year-old rider is reported to have sustained life-threatening injuries.
The drivers of the vehicles may or may not have been at fault. Nevertheless, those two cyclists should never have been in harm’s way.
Yeah, that Episcopalian boozehound ran down a cyclist and left him for dead, but she "may or may not have been at fault."
Then, he lists a bunch of stuff that does not, would not, and could not happen:
There are children on bicycles with training wheels trying to keep up adults as they bicycle through downtown. It’s one thing to put yourself at risk, but endangering your child is another matter. I cringe at the sight of infants riding on seats strapped to handle bars, and cyclists towing toddlers in those two-wheel “baby buggies” that are barely taller than the bumper of a car.
Really, there are "children on bicycles with training wheels trying to keep up adults as they bicycle through downtown"? I've never seen anything like that in my life--unless Lucas Brunelle has started sponsoring under-10 alleycats and nobody told me. And "infants riding on seats strapped to handlebars," seriously? I've never seen that either. It was probably just a basket with some Whole Foods in it that he mistook for a baby. You need to update your eyeglass prescription like yesterday, Courtland. Either that or you're smoking the PCP.
In any case, the upshot of all this drivel is that cyclists should be forced to keep to their own roads, which they can access by shuttle bus or something:
The District’s transportation safety plan, called “Vision Zero,” aims to create an accident-free road system with no fatalities and no injuries. Nice thought. The concept originated in Sweden, adopted in New York City and may have shown a modicum of success in the smaller European countries.
But D.C. is not Denmark, San Francisco is not Sweden, New York is not the Netherlands.
Here, bicycles and cars were not designed to “share the road,” and the roads weren’t built to accommodate the wishful thinking of well- intentioned urban planners.
Better to provide a special bus for cyclists once they get off the wooded bike trail. It would sure beat riding in an ambulance
Sure, Courtland, segregating public roadways sounds like a great idea. Because "separate but equal" has served American society so well in the past, hasn't it?
Also, I'm sure if you took all the cyclists off the roads used by drivers then they'd suddenly stop crashing into each other and killing over 30,000 of themselves a year.
Lastly, a reader has shared this sweet Fred ring with me, as seen in the New York Times:
As for the article itself, the conclusion seems to be that cycling is good for you, but you're still gonna get old and die.
Tell me something I don't know.