I would have liked to have taken part, but I ultimately succumbed to various and manifold life-curation responsibilities. Instead, I was sort of an incidental spectator, inasmuch as my corner of the city represents the "hilly" portion of the route and riders were streaming through the area in dribs and drabs throughout most of the afternoon. In addition to not riding, I also regret not setting up a de facto Bike Snob NYC-sponsored rest area, where I could have served crudités and other light fare while simultaneously promoting my blogging enterprise to people on the verge of physical and mental collapse.
In any case, congratulations to the finishers, you're all winners*.
*[None of you are winners, even the "winner," since it's not a race.]
Speaking of the Century, part of its mission was to build support for "Vision Zero." Sadly, despite the valiant efforts of advocates such as Transportation Alternatives, the initiative seems to be derailing like a G train. In fact, just this morning I caught a snippet of a local news segment about yet another push to institute mandatory helme(n)t laws in New York City, which I couldn't bear to watch.
I can assure you if such a measure were to pass I would leave town faster than you can say "polystyrene."
(Actually, a helme(n)t law might be a good thing. I've been trying to leave town for 20 years without success, so this could furnish me with the the motivation I need.)
Meanwhile, it's September, which is the most important time of year for bicycle marketing. No, I'm not referring to Interbike. I'm talking about all the new Kickstarter campaigns that have finally "dropped" now that the summer's over.
Let's take a look.
The 2015 fall season is shaping up to be an exciting time in the an(n)als of Kickstarter, and indeed there is no component or aspect of bicycle design that these would-be entrepreneurs are leaving unmolested. Consider this pedal, which occupies the middle ground between platform and clipless:
While providing the advantages of neither:
Really, a flat pedal that requires proprietary shoes?
What's next, bib jeans?
One noteworthy aspect of the campaign is that for only $5 you get to name the company, and here's my suggestion:
Also, "Honey Comb" was already taken:
Bicycle license plates were part of an Automotive Industrial Complex conspiracy to soften up the next generation to the idea of bicycle registration.
Fortunately it didn't work on me, because thanks to my unusual first name they never had a plate for me on the spinny display rack at the bike shop:
Yes, my real name is Torvald. "Wildcat" is just a nickname.
Still, you'd think someone would have made a "Torvald" bike license plate. Come on, he's the husband in "A Doll's House," for chrissakes! I have a hard time believing that makers of novelty products aren't familiar with Ibsen.
Here's another Kickstarter which dares to reinvent the very essence of frame design itself:
You may recall that, in "The Jerk," Navin R. Johnson dreamed of one day having "S"-shaped hedges. Well, today he surely would have pined for an "S"-shaped fixie:
"The shape of the bike was inspired by the tucked cycling position that track cyclists and road cyclists adopt when traveling at speed."
"This shape was simple yet elegant, and revealed a whole new visual to what a bike could look like."
No it didn't:
"Our focus has always been simplicity, as we wanted to produce a stripped-down fixed bike without all the unnecessary extras you see on traditional bikes."
Unnecessary extras? You mean like stupid swoopy frames?
Also, the bike may be designed to evoke the grace of a racer in an aero tuck, but this is negated when the bike is piloted by somebody with terrible form who looks like he's plunging a toilet:
"One thing that you'll notice if you own a Sync bicycle is the number of double-takes people give you as you pull up at the lights or just pass people by."
I'm a bit more bullish on these DriBarz hand fairings:
Which are exactly what they sound like:
Though the pitch gets off to a somewhat rocky start:
"Hi, I'm Jay. I'm an engineer and an avid cyclist."
As a seasoned Kickstarter investor my brain shuts down as soon as I heard the words "engineer" and "avid cyclist" used together, just as Hollywood producers slink away when they hear "screenwriter" and "barista." Indeed, all cyclists fancy themselves to be one or both of the following:
1) An engineer;
2) An urban planner.
Still, if you ride in the cold and rain it's not a bad idea:
It also seems a bit more useful than the Bar Mitts:
No, no, I said "BAR MITTS!!!"
Goddamn voice-recognition blogging program.
Lastly, why stop with a hand fairing when you can put one all over your body?
Meet Elon Muskrat:
He's going to revolutionize personal transport, and I can't believe the Automotive Industrial Complex didn't have him executed for attempting to do so in front of our nation's most hallowed landmarks:
(It looks like it has a wang.)
Here's the inventor cruising around the capital:
Seems a little bulky. If only there were a human-powered vehicle you could also carry up stairs and that was narrow enough to cut through traffic, maybe one with two wheels that weighs around 20lbs:
Oh well, I'm sure if someone comes up with one we'll see it on Kickstarter.
In the meantime, I can't wait to share the crosswalk with the Pupa of Smugness:
That doesn't seem like it would annoy pedestrians at all.