Next Sunday, May 17th, is the Gran Fondo New York:
(Pro for a day, Fred for a lifetime.)
So why does this matter? Because I'll be "leading" an alternate ride that very same day called the BSNYC Gran Fondon't:
(Click here for theme music.)
So what is the BSNYC Gran Fondon't? Well, first of all it has no association whatsoever with the Gran Fondo New York. If anything, it's the anti-matter that resulted from the creation of the Gran Fondo, and if it helps let's compare it to the GFNY 50 miler:
Note that for US$299 (plus an additional $14.95 they just call a "fee") the GFNY will graciously allow you to ride a bicycle to Bear Mountain or wherever, including return transportation.
On the other hand, for US$0 (plus an additional $0 I simply call "nothing")* the Gran Fondon't will involve riding 50 miles on the opposite side of the river from the GFNY. Furthermore, the BSNYC Gran Fondon't will provide no return transportation or indeed any transportation of any kind, though we will finish close to where we start. (Feel free to use the subway, the Metro North, the car that you own, lease, or finance, or any other form of transport that is in no way my problem, responsibility, or concern.) Also, the Gran Fondon't is not a sanctioned ride, nor is it being held under the auspices of any organization. Rather, it's simply going to be people who enjoy riding bicycles (and who happen to read this blog) meeting at a certain place and time in order to go on a ride together, at the end of which we'll finish up someplace where we can purchase and consume beer. (You buy your own beer, cheapskate.)
*[I will, however, ask you to make a completely voluntary donation in the amount of your choosing to a non-profit volunteer organization in order to help support some of the trails we'll be using.]
So, in short:
BSNYC Gran Fondon't!
When: Sunday, May 17th, 7:30am;
Where: Starts uptown. Way uptown;
What: 50-ish (?) miles of mixed terrain north of New York City and east of the Hudson, figure around four hours of riding, nothing crazy;
Who: People who enjoy riding bicycles in a somewhat spirited but not antagonistic fashion;
Why: Because I said so, that's why.
If you came to the "Super-Secret Early Morning Ride" last week you've got a pretty good idea of what to expect, except this will be a couple of hours longer, we'll go farther north, and we'll take in some more inspiring "countryside," such as it is. This isn't a "no-drop" ride, but the pace will be civil. (I define "civil" as "comfortable for me.") Yes there will be dirt, yes your road bike will be fine, no you don't need to buy special equipment unless you're looking for an excuse to do so, in which case go ahead and buy some handmade Paris-Roubaix tubulars and a custom gravel bike.
Oh, and if the weather sucks I'm canceling, life's too short for slogs and death marches.
If you're interested email me at bikesnobnyc (@) yahoo (dot) com with the subject line "I DON'T DON'T WANT TO DO THE FONDON'T!" and I'll send you full details when they're ready.
Speaking of riding bikes, as someone who doesn't use Strava I was pleasantly surprised to read this tweet from Bicycling:
That is, until I read the article:How to break the addiction to data--and discover the sweet thrill of riding unencumbered: http://t.co/TkoBBXGrKq pic.twitter.com/AU8ORAQwTK— Bicycling Magazine (@BicyclingMag) May 8, 2015
And discovered that, in lieu of Strava, Freds and Fredericas need to engage in self-bribery, psychological trickery, and even good old-fashioned hoarding behavior in order to convince themselves to ride their multi-thousand dollar bicycles:
You're Financially Motivated
Drop coins or dollar bills into a jar after every ride. Use the cash to buy a new piece of gear at the end of the year.
You Like Souvenirs
Pick up a pebble or a rock on every ride and add it to a pile near your doorstep, creating a cairn of your rides.
You Just Want Memories
Keep a handwritten diary of your rides. Note distance, destinations, milestones, and revelations.
You're Glued to Social Media
Create a unique hashtag, then tweet or post photos to Instagram every time you get on the bike. At the end of the year, you'll have a stream that doubles as a ride log.
Are you kidding me? Stick-on stars?!? Are these adult cyclists or kindergarteners learning how to tie their shoes? If you need to pay yourself or build a midden by your door in order to ride your bike then just give up. Really. Nobody's making you do any of this. It's supposed to be fun! Me, if I'm lucky enough to have a window of a couple hours I can't wait to jump on the bike--I don't need to add another clipping to my toenail collection before doing so.
And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right that's great, and if you're wrong, that's not great, because you'll see some fucking asshole scare an entire school off their bikes.
[Also, please note that QUESTION #7 IS A SPECIAL INTERACTIVE QUESTION, and if you get it right and follow the directions after the question YOU WILL WIN A PRIZE COURTESY OF CLASSIC CYCLE!]
That's right, the stakes just went up. A lot.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and happy quizzing.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) Alberto Contador says he has the necessary confidence to do a Giro-Tour double this year because:
--He won the Vuelta last year
--He has a newly-designed bicycle
--He's breathing freely thanks to the strips on his nose
2) What's going on here?
--A tall biker is chucking a u-lock at a driver
--A driver is chucking a u-lock at a tall biker
--The guy on the right is throwing the lock because the driver is heckling him for his socks
--God hates Portland, so He is cleansing it with a hail of u-locks
3) What are these "Spoke Fins" for?
--They're supposed to help you true your wheels
--They're supposed to help maintain spoke tension
--They're supposed to increase aerodynamics
--They emit a pleasing sound when you hit Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed
(Robbie McEwen, feelin' the PEAWAH!)
4) What is "PEAWAH?"
--Australian for "power"
--A female peacock
--A guitar effect
--An energy bar made from peas and water
5) This man wants $100,000 for:
--A "Loud Ass Bike Horn"
--A "Big Ass Bike Tire"
--An "Ass-Haulin' Bike Motor"
6) Should you drill a hole in your crabon frame in order to turn the downtube into a hydration bladder?
--Oh yeah, absolutely, sounds like a great idea.
--What are you, a friggin' idiot?
7) What year is this Schwinn Grey Ghost?*
***Special Bike Theft Report With Appearances By Your's Truley!***
Not bad, but could have used more me.