Indeed, as I've pointed out before, cycling trends today seem to be increasingly bro-driven, to the extent that these bros are literally shitting all over their own events--to wit, the death of something called the "Oregon Outback" (via a reader named Mike):
Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s a rundown of some of the things that happened on the Oregon Outback this year, from kind of bad to horrendous:
1. Leaving garbage all along the route
2. Leaving bushcamp sites full of actual shit and used TP, not only not burying it, but leaving actual shit and used TP in the campsites
3. Leaving garbage all over the barn that a local opened up to folks in Silver Lake during the first, rainy night
4. Leaving the park in Silver Lake in enough disrepair that the city passed a new ordinance banning camping
5. Someone taking an actual shit in the yard of the nice folks who opened up their barn for riders to camp (see #3 above, same barn…)
It would appear that the same people who were riding fixies and "laying down fat skids" all over the city 10 years ago have now moved onto laying down fat craps all over the countryside.
Meanwhile, the bike companies are more than happy to pander to this sense of frat-boyish adventure, and to that end Cannondale have released the full-length promotional video for that ungodly front-suspension road bike I mentioned yesterday:
The film opens with two duders--pro cyclocrossing dude Tim Johnson and pro Cannondaling dude David Devine--fueling up for a big ride and addressing each-other as "dude" in laconic dude-like drawls:
The dialogue centers around how they like totally don't know what to expect from this ride, since it's going to involve all sorts of terrain, and they're going to be riding a whole new style of bike, the likes of which the world has never seen--all of which seems particularly disingenuous since presumably they've been planning both the ride and the bicycle for quite some time now, not to mention hired a film crew, so obviously they know goddamn well exactly what to expect.
Anyway, we're suppose to have the sense that these two duders are riding off the edge of the known universe and into the void, but a brief clip of the bike going down a set of stairs allays our fears and reassures us that yes, we're watching a promotional video, and yes, the bike is going to be like totally awesome:
But most importantly, cycling will never be the same again:
"There's a lot of people that don't care about racing. I think that's something that's easily forgotten."
At which point they cut to the REALLY FAST RIDING!
Tim Johnson promoting a bike for people who don't care about racing is like Anthony Bourdain promoting a line of garden burgers.
By the way, it's enough with the fucking gravel already:
At this point, you may be wondering why you need a road bike with front suspension and 650b wheels to ride up a loose gravel climb. Well, here are a bunch of random numbers:
Am I crazy, or does that say they're on a 72% gradient? Because wouldn't that look like this?
Or do they just mean they're riding past something with a 72% gradient?
Either way, here they are, TOTALLY NOT RACING:
And here they are again, thinking about the bike and what it means in the grand scheme of human existence:
"You work all day, it's a grind. You travel all the time, it's a grind. Whatever that is and you wanna get away from it, then you do wanna go get lost and you wanna find a new place to ride or I've seen that turn and I've never taken it, I wanna take it, you know, see what happens..."
Wow, you mean the Lefty lets you turn the bike whenever you feel like it in a direction of your choosing?
Well, they set out to blow minds, and they certainly succeeded, because I feel like I'm riding into a whole new era of gimmickry and pretention:
Indeed, this could be you, bunnyhopping the chains of society:
But while this marketing video may be a bit silly, it's practically a Werner Herzog documentary compared to the marketing efforts of your typical aspiring Kickstarter entrepreneur. For example, here's an email I received yesterday from the "Broken Bones Bicycle Company" (not to be confused with the punk band of the same name):
Hello Bike Snob! I’m writing to let you know about my Kickstarter for the Broken Bones Bicycle Company. You are doing some cool and original stuff in the cycling world so I thought you might be interested.
You might be wondering about the name. Broken Bones is an acknowledgment of the danger we face every time we get on the bike. It’s a tribute to every rider who’s ever fallen and gotten back up. We crash and we crash and we get back up.
I also wanted to tell you about is the short film I made called “My Daddy Rides a Bicycle”. It’s very short but it’s a real tearjerker. You can find it on the Kickstarter page.
If you like what you see, please pass it along.
"We crash and we crash and we get back up"?
You're probably thinking he must be a triathlete, but alas, it's clear from the video that he's merely a terminal Fred:
As the film begins we find our Fredly hero crawling towards his broken bike after a crash:
Presumably because he tried to get all Tim Johnson and break the chains of society without using a 650b front suspension road bike.
We soon learn that amateur bike racers are American heroes, right up there with veterans and firefighters:
"My daddy rides a bicycle. My daddy's a bike racer. He trains hard every day. Sometimes he crashes, but he says sometimes we all fall down. The important thing is that you get back up. I love my daddy and all his broken bones."
Then he replaces his broken Fred Sled with another and takes off again:
Well, he's right, this video sure is a tearjerker. It's like listening to a kid whose father's a junkie. He rides, he falls, he waits for his bones to knit, and then he does it all over again. Meanwhile the kid's alone at home, broken shards of crabon his only playthings.
This is followed by a lengthy and boastful discourse on the extent of his Fredding-related injuries:
"I'm lying there in the hospital bed, looking through a cycling magazine ... the sport as it's presented in the magazine is very plain, very elegant, kind of boring and simple..."
From which we can infer he was reading Bicycling:
(Bicycling's target readership is injured Freds on painkillers.)
So he resolves to start a bike company that reflects his unnecessarily crashy version of the sport.
"Broken Bones is meant to be a tribute to every rider who's ever fallen off and gotten back up. It's a tribute to the danger we face every time we step over the bike."
I think what he means by that is it's a tribute to every rider he's ever crossed wheels with and taken out, and to the danger they face every time they ride in the same pack with him. If nothing else, this video is a valuable public service, because it's a warning to the entire cycling world to NEVER, EVER GET INTO A PACELINE WITH THIS GUY.
By the way, if his company is all about crashing, why does he make his bikes out of crabon?
Based on everything he's said so far they're not going to last a week.
Seems like some kind of rubber would have been a better choice.
And sweet fancy lob, what the hell is it with Los Angeles? They've got to have the cheesiest Fred scene on the planet Earth:
I think Broken Bones guy aspires to be the second coming of Michael Ball:
But wait, it gets cheesier:
"I spent a lot of time on social media and we decided we wanted to enter the fixie market."
Nothing good has ever followed the words "I spent a lot of time on social media...," and this is no exception. Usually spending lots of time on social media results in sending people unsolicited pictures of your genitals, but hawking fixies is only marginally better:
Oh, by the way, the new crabon road frame is called..."The Fracture:"
Pro marketing tip: don't name your crabon bike after the way in which it's most likely to fail.
That's like calling your line of bib shorts the tinea cruris.
At the very least, find a pro bike racer to sit in a field and wax poetic about it instead.
And, if at all possible, fit it with a suspension fork.