I mean, come on, we're all grownups here, right?
Just kidding--about the grownup thing, I mean. I'm not kidding about the no April Fools thing. After all, the world of cycling is a running gag 365 days a year anyway, so it's kind of lame when the bike industry and media takes pleasure in tricking you with a post or press release that's really no more absurd than yesterday's or tomorrow's.
Like why is a Fabian Cancellara fragrance any more ridiculous than, say, a $1,000 fat bike for kids?
And if you're confused as to which one of the above is the April Fools prank, I can't blame you.
Speaking of things that should be pranks but aren't, yesterday I talked about Volvo's insulting new anti-death spray, and a reader has since forwarded this post which clears things up a bit:
Volvo’s new spray is transparent and reflective. During the day, it’s invisible but at night, it lights up when headlights appear. Cyclists and even street walkers can spray LifePaint on their bikes and clothes before heading out at night.
Ah, so it's a marketing tool for prostitutes.
Now I get it.
What’s even more fantastic about it? It washes off and it won’t stain!
Wait a minute. If it washes off, then what happens when it rains? Do you just become invisible again and leave an iridescent pee puddle behind?
Ah, whatever. If it rains take the bus.
Also, Volvo's repurposed vajazzling spray isn't much help during daylight hours, nor does it guard against taxi drivers who take detours on greenways:
(Photographed by a reader this past weekend.)
This is the Hudson River Greenway at around 65th Street, and if you're familiar with this stretch you're probably wondering, "How the fuck did the driver even pull this stunt off?" If memory serves, the nearest place the Greenway crosses a street that's open to motor vehicle traffic is at 59th Street, which means the driver was cruising along for at least a few blocks before encountering the indifference of the park police and turning around:
And yes, the driver was carrying a fare, who according to the photographer decided to walk the rest of the way.
Then again, I shouldn't be surprised, because taxi drives are inexorably drawn to bike lanes like moths to flame, or like bloggers to clichés:
I guess when they see a section of roadway that's free of other cars they get so excited they don't realize it's too good to be true, like a thirsty cartoon character diving into a desert mirage.
Anyway, I didn't spraypaint myself yesterday, but I did wear my Inspector Gadget jacket:
Come on, how dashing do I look? And before you answer I should probably show you the rest of my outfit:
Hey, when it comes to sartorial sense, we can't all be Bret, now can we?
(Via a reader.)
No, we cannot.
Anyway, yesterday I engaged in "multimodal transport," which is how the smuggies say "If it rains take the bus"--or in my case, the train, as I opted to park my Smugness Flotilla at the station and ride the rails along with the commuters who, as E.B. White put it, "give the city its tidal restlessness:"
I like that the MTA has a ready-made sign for that.
During the course of my day I also spotted this poorly-locked 1990s Manitou hardtail with a remarkable dearth of scratches and blemishes given it must be at least 20 years old:
Back in the '90s the mountain bike was what the track bike was in "aughts," which is to say lots of people bought them to look cool and never used them for the purpose for which they were designed. I'm guessing the original owner of this bike was also caught up in the '90s mountain bike fashion boom, because it still has the original brake pads:
Hopefully the current owner got a good deal on it--especially since it's not going to last long with only a cable lock.
As much as I enjoy riding my 29er (which is already obsolete by cycling industry standards) I miss the days of 26-inch mountain bikes with primitive forks that used pencil erasers for suspension, for the simple reason that they kept people honest. Now there's a mountain bike for every conceivable terrain, no matter how adverse and treacherous: full-suspension 29ers, fat bikes, ebikes... In 20 years a typical mountain bike trail is going to be a vertical cliff:
(You just need to come into it with some momentum.)
Returning home, I rendezvoused (now there's a word that's awkward on "paper") with the Smugness Flotilla at the trains station beneath the soft glow of a streetlight:
Between my tan Inspector Gadget jacket and the rain-soaked streets our meeting seemed thrillingly illicit, and I found myself caught up in the illusion that I was a spy. So I found a fitting spot to meet my "contact:"
The view provided a suitable backdrop for intrigue:
And if you look more closely you'll see what is quite clearly a UFO:
Though I ignored the science-fictional implications so as not to mix genres.
Soon, the Smugness Flotilla and I met our contact, who was a Dutch femme fatale:
Handing me a note, I opened it and read a single name, and when I looked up again she was gone.
I knew what I had to do, and I won't say any more except that we dispensed with our target:
With that I pedaled away, my Crocs squeaking faintly and my leg hairs rustling in the wind.