Further to yesterday's Brooks England Blog guest post, I mentioned that on the way home I made a beer stop, and here was that stop:
Even though it's a giant warehouse I was slightly self-conscious about bringing my bicycle inside:
Which evidently I shouldn't have been, because shortly after I sat down a woman riding a road bike and wearing a DayGlo windbreaker and helment mirror rolled right up to the bar before dismounting and pulling up a stool.
For a moment I felt as though I was in some strange Fredly version of a western and she was an assassin come to do me in, but fortunately this turned out not to be the case and I lived to tell the tale:
Speaking of people who are lucky to be alive, you've no doubt heard by now that the Shimano neutral service cars kept running over riders at the Tour of Flanders last Sunday:
The first incident happened when a Shimano neutral-service car — which normally provides spare wheels and bikes to riders in need — struck Jessee Sergent, a rider from New Zealand.
Not long after that, a second incident happened when another Shimano neutral-service car slammed into the back of an FDJ team car — which was shunted into one of its very own riders, Sébastien Chavanel
Apparently the Tour of Flanders has adopted New York City's ironic version of #VisionZero, in which drivers continue to run over pedestrians and motorists at will, but at least we have a clever hashtag now so we can browse all the relevant links on Twitter.
Anyway, you'd be forgiven for assuming that Shimano has outsourced its neutral service to Uber, but according to them they hire "professionals with many years of experience in professional cycling races:"
At Shimano we apologize for both incidents the Shimano sponsored neutral caused today at the Tour of Flanders.
We especially apologize to the riders and teams involved, Jesse Sergent of TREK Factory Racing and Sébastien Chavanel of Française des Jeux. We wish them a speedy recovery.
The drivers of the neutral cars are professionals with many years of experience in professional cycling races. We will investigate both incidents deeply and take appropriate action.
Right. Years of experience. Shimano should probably read those résumés more carefully, because "Drove media car in caravan at 2011 Tour de France" isn't actually a good thing:
In any case, it seems fairly obvious to me that some bookmaker paid the Shimano neutral service drivers to take out a few riders in order to manipulate the outcome of the race.
Wait. You knew that the Spring Classics were fixed, right? That's on top of the rampant doping.
Just wanted to make sure.
Of course, if you prefer to watch your scripted races from the comfort of a movie theater or your sofa, you could always watch this instead:
@bikesnobnyc @jeremyddunn @TrueBS the Michael Bay of Hong Kong, Dante Lam, has made a pro cycling movie https://t.co/ov91yQbVM9Yikes. That's everything about cycling and movies that makes me nauseous.
— Aaron Stewart-Ahn (@somebadideas) April 9, 2015
I'm sure cycling cafés, bars, and boutiques everywhere will be screening it ironically.
And in other collision-related news you've no doubt heard about already, BikePortland recently shamed a cyclist for running over a duck:
Naturally, the first thing I did was check the date on the post, and if this was a joke then they missed April Fools by five days:
On the many paved, off-street trails that wind through the subdivisions of Washington County, there are some path users who are truly vulnerable. On Saturday we learned about a disturbing incident that involved one such user, a mallard duck, that tried to cross the path adjacent to Bethany Lake (near NW 185th and West Union).
And then, tragedy struck in Fredly form:
According to a tipster named Steve C., just before noon a man wearing a red and white lycra jersey came rolling down the path near the lake, struck the duck and left it dead, then failed to stop.
Steve said several people pleaded with the man to stop and report the incident to the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District; but to no avail.
Well fuck a duck.
Hey, if I ran over a duck I'd be pretty bummed, but what am I supposed to do? Stop and give the thing mouth-to-beak? Let's not forget the guy was surrounded by a mob of simpering Portlanders, so he probably ran for fear of being artisanally lynched. Also, it's not exactly like he took out an endangered species:
Nevertheless, you'd think from reading the BikePortland post that the cyclist should have done one if not all of the following:
--Turned himself in (though to whom is unclear. Sheriff Daffy maybe?);
--Wept disconsolately and then dug the poor waterfowl a shallow grave with his multitool;
--Found the widow and any ducklings and raised them as his own.
In fact, if you read the comments, even many Portlanders thought the Fred deserved a break, though that didn't stop them from pitching in their exquisitely Portlandesque stories:
Several years ago, a bird hit me head on smack on the front of my helmet. Instantaneously dead. I picked up the bird and took it to work where I gave it to a coworker who helped at the animal rehab facility where he fed it to the hawks. At least that way, I figured something good happened from the bird’s demise.
1) This is just more proof that helments kill;
2) You know, you don't have to bring the dead bird to a hawk rehab facility. If you just leave the fucking thing on the ground something good happens from it too. That's how nature works. Where do you think soil comes from? Sure, the dead bird might just get eaten by insects instead of a cool animal that makes you feel special, but hey, bugs gotta eat too, right?
It's amazing the planet Earth has managed for four and a half billion years without Portland to help it along.
Anyway, eventually the much-maligned duck-killer himself told his side of the story:
Here is my side. I was riding my bike on the bike trail. There was a lot of foot traffic on the path. There was a group of people feeding the ducks. As I approached I was riding slowly when all of a sudden one of the people feeding the ducks dropped food in the middle of the path and directly in my cycling path. I was avoiding people bikers and walkers. The duck lunged for the peice of doof and its neck came directly under my tire. It was accidental and definitely not intentional.
Figures. A bunch of putzes feeding animals that are better off without us. What a surprise.
Then--and this is a stroke of genius on the killer's part--he "flips it," consequently "topsy-turvying the motherfuckers," and thus out-Portlanding the Portlanders:
Peace to you all and I trust you will take as much concern about how the chickens are treated that supply your eggs and the chicken (or any animal in a corprate farm) for your meal as you were about this poor duck that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Again… I am sincerely sorry for the duck… but feel much more pain over the chickens cows and hogs that populate your dinner table than I am about this unfortunate duck who was being fed human food. In addition, I have been hit twice on my biciycle and NO ONE expressed nearly this much outrage much less a dedicated story on a cycling site and oregon live. Peace out. Look for me on the trails because I will be there and have nothing to hide. TY
All I know is the more political Portlanders get the hungrier I become.
Lastly, some Kickstarters have invented a theft-proof seatpost clamp:
I wonder how long before bike thieves just start sawing through seatposts.
Seems to me the ultimate payback would be a saddle that explodes.