* STAY IN YOUR CAR
* DO NOT SHUT OFF MOTOR OR AIR CONDITIONING FOR ANY REASON
* IDLING RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED
* IF YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE, BE SURE TO DOUBLE-PARK IN FRONT OF A RETAIL COOLING CENTER :
The “Shut the Front Door!” initiative kicked off Wednesday with an estimated 200 volunteers fanning out across the five boroughs to chat with businesses about the true costs of pumping air conditioning into the ether, while tweeting about it with #BeCoolSaveFuel. The volunteers reminded some 5,000 businesses about Local Law 38, passed in 2008 to ban open door A/C at large chains or stores with more than 4,000 square feet.
I'm not sure why the city is making a big deal about this. Forcing people into overcooled restaurants and retail establishments due to extreme temperatures seems like a great way to stimulate the economy--because nothing staves off heat exhaustion like shopping for underpants at Abercrombie and Fitch, or dining on Eggs Benedict and bottomless mimosas:
(Humanity is doomed, for as we begin the next phases of climate change and human evolution, only the shoppers and the brunchers will survive.)
Of course, as the atmosphere becomes increasingly thick, aerodynamics in cycling will only become more important. This is why the new Specialized Venge-Schmenge is yet another harbinger of the Apocalypse:
We've already heard from Bike Radar and VeloNews about how this new miracle bike will turn plodding Freds into ever-so-slightly-less-plodding Freds, and now it's Bicycling's turn to Enter the Wind Tunnel:
The protocol went like this: Each journalist (there were 12 total) had a basic bike fit done in advance of the event. We had two bikes set up: a new Venge ViAS and an S-Works Tarmac. We took wind-tunnel readings on both setups to establish drag, and then did a back-to-back road test of each setup on a lightly rolling 19km loop to see whether we were faster.
Firstly, I don't think it's fair to refer to bike reviewers as "journalists." That's like calling amateur bike racers "athletes," or like calling me an "athlete" or a "journalist." Secondly, it's fairly clear to me that Specialized's wind tunnel is also a brainwashing machine, which is why they've been marching all these bike reviewers into it one after another.
So what happened?
Across my two runs, the Venge setup was 122 seconds faster than the conventional setup, or an average speed increase of 1.74kph (a little over 1mph). That’s significant, especially considering that the actual “conventional” setup we ran was slightly faster than their benchmarks, and since the Sub-6 shoes weren’t available to test, that made the Venge ViAS setup a little slower.
Yeah, I don't care about these bike reviewers beating their own pathetic times. I WANT TO KNOW WHICH OF THE 12 CYCLING "JOURNALISTS" WAS THE FASTEST! These people have been selling us on the idea of speed for years, so it's only fair that we learn the outcome so we can ridicule the losers. Live by the Fred Sled, die by the Fred Sled.
But of course no review is complete without the "spurious anecdote," so here it is:
The Venge ViAS was the first aero road bike I’ve been on that I actually enjoyed. On a 62-mile road ride, it proved comfortable trading pulls on the gently rolling outward leg, grinding up a climb or hammering an almost 40mph paceline with a tailwind. At one point, grimly hanging on to the back of the line after a pull, I thought to myself: “If I was on a Tarmac right now, I’d be screwed.”
See that? The $12,500 Venge-Shmenge (not to mention the $1,000+ outfit you need to wear with it in order to reap the full aero benefits) is the difference between getting dropped and finishing with the group.
So there you go.
[40mph paceline? I el-oh-elled.]
As for me, I'd much rather have this "Cipollini Equipped" custom-curated vintage pro bike replica, as forwarded to me by a reader:
This 2000 Cannondale R2000 Saeco-Cannondale team bicycle that I have built to replicate the racing machine of the legendary sprinter Mario Cipollini. The bike is equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 component group, and is highlighted by the funky Cinelli Alter stem (hard-to-find in team colors) and Spinergy Wheels. The carbon fork is made by TIME, but is branded CODA Slice Prodigy.
I remember that bike well, and it arguably represents Cipollini's stylistic zenith--though it's worth noting that as fashions change so does the Cipo, and here he is today clad in a full-camo Fred onesie with bike to match:
Of course, with Cipollini camouflage is more than just a fashion statement.
He also has to hide from all those paternity suits.
Finally, a reader forwarded me an amusing and insightful video that entertainingly underscores just how abjectly bicycle-unfriendly Australia is:
(Sorry, you'll have to click the link, I couldn't embed it because of technology.)
While another reader forwarded me this group of Melbournites (or Melbournians, or Melbatoasts, or whatever they are) brunching in an off-brand Dumpster:
They ought to have no problem surviving the Apocalypse.