Remember the YikeBike?
Incredibly it failed to completely revolutionize urban transport. Nevertheless, it's back with a Kickstarter:
As you ponder this contraption, two questions likely spring to mind: 1) Why would you want to ride around town like you're sitting on a toilet?; and 2) Why is it called the "YikeBike" when it's quite clearly a YikeTrike?
Well, they're not saying, but I suppose these are the qualities that make it "unique:"
Every part of a YikeBike is for a reason and everything is in its place. Its uncompromised design with structured clean lines balances both form and function. YikeBike is a mobile piece of art that stands proud and performs.
Stands proud and performs? How can they say this when the rider is quite clearly sitting there with his arms at his sides and grasping a pair of handles like he's straining against a recalcitrant bowel movement?
The YikeBike also gives you "freedom:"
YikeBike creates your personal freedom. Freedom from congestion, freedom from rush hour traffic, freedom from parking hassles and freedom from fuel bills. YikeBike gives the freedom you have desired for so long.
Let's not forget freedom from dignity, as well as the freedom to annoy the fuck out of people on the sidewalk:
I also note he's riding an actual two-wheeled YikeBike, which would explain why he's wearing a helment.
I'm guessing they offer the three-wheeler so riders can skirt those Antipodean helment laws.
Speaking of flashbacks from yesteryear, here's a story about an alleycat--specifically the "Stupor Bowl" in Minneapolis--that appeared on a snarky sports blog recently:
Follow me, fellow ruiners, as we simultaneously get a piece of and help destroy an ill event. I did a little light dusting and vacuuming, and then hurried on down to One On One. Snow was not a factor this year, and 20-degree (above zero) temps were just cold enough to encourage picturesque layering and de rigueur shorts 'n tights combo.
The story starts out promisingly enough (by which I mean it is a half-assed facsimile of something you might find on this blog), however it quickly goes downhill when it turns out the writer didn't even participate in the event. Instead, after the race starts she she simply gets into her car and lamely drives to one of the checkpoints:
Having discovered through intense over-the-shoulder eyeballing that one checkpoint was on my way home, I hopped in my car and drove straight there. Two young women, dressed in layers of tired nylon and acrylic, were lining up cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon on a frozen plastic picnic table, so I sensed this must be the checkpoint. Their delight when they thought I was there to help make sure racers drank their beer and check off manifests with a Sharpie was only matched by the sudden draining of mojo when I said I was there to write about the goings on.
"What's Deadspin?" one volunteer asked.
What is it indeed?
Meanwhile, in a sunnier clime, LA Weekly has taken an in-depth look at the exploding semi-professional alleycat-cum-fixie-crit-whatever-it's-called scene:
Complete with platitudinous competitor interviews:
Like it our not, this may be the future of domestic bike racing:
Everyone who's anyone in L.A. competitive cycling is here, for an event that not only reveals who's fastest on two wheels but is also the last chance for riders to score points in the Unified Title Series before a men's and women's champion is crowned. An announcer shouts, "It doesn't get any bigger than this, folks!"
This is probably true that it doesn't get any bigger than this. After all, what's more interesting: a bunch of roadies sponsored by a vacuum cleaner company, or some guy who used to steal cars? The same thing goes for participation, and if you're going to pursue competitive cycling you're far better off doing this than going the USA Cycling route. Both paths will ultimately prove fruitless, and you'll squander the best years of your life racing bikes for free promotional products, but at least as a semi-professional fixed-gear-critalleycatter-whatever you'll probably get laid if you're halfway decent at it, whereas "legitimate" bike racers have the charisma and raw sex appeal of Mormon missionaries.
I suppose you could argue cyclocross may be the future of domestic bike racing, given what happened in Austin I wouldn't say the discipline's on an upward trajectory in this country at the moment.
Finally, have you ever had the feeling you're being stalked by a guy in a pink tank top riding a beach cruiser?
I'm guessing that guy's either CIA or Mossad.