("No. I can't. I honestly can't believe it.")
You'd better believe that I'm getting out on the bike as often as I can before the chill hits or the world ends, whichever comes first. I'm also harvesting a bumper crop of late season fitness as a result. Want proof? OK. Here I am winding it up for the big sprint:
Note how I use my dork-tastic SPD-compatible closeout bike shoes to push massive power through my spindly, diminutive, non-press-fit, undersized bottom bracket shell, pushing it to its very limit:
Then I switch my handlebar-mounted phaser from "stun" to "kill:"
In the distance lies my target, a digital sign indicating that my current speed is a searing 16mph:
I did deeper, and the incredibly the readout ticks up to 17mph:
I'm at my limit now. My eyes are watering. My ears are ringing. The landscape is a streak in my peripheral vision. Yet incredibly I discover within my suitcase of courage a false bottom, and extracting a nail clipper from my travel toiletry kit of perseverance I hack away at that bottom, revealing a secret compartment containing ONE MORE MILE PER HOUR:
Yes, that's 18mph on a downhill, a mere 12mph below the official speed limit. Just imagine if I'd had a tailwind, I might have hit 20! Nevertheless, no use lamenting what might have been, it's still a personal best. Best of all, "Bicycling" magazine says I can treat myself to an extra helping of muesli tomorrow morning, so I've got that to look forward to, which is nice.
Of course, as unthinkable as these speeds are to mere mortals, just imagine what would have happened if the road had been booby trapped:
That's kind of horrifying, and I may have to start riding around preemptively swinging my Rivendell axe in order to sever any unseen tripwires:Saw a cyclist get clothes lined in Prospect Park by some sort of rope across the roadway. Almost got caught on it my self. New worst fear...— dan chabanov (@danchabanov) December 9, 2015
I'm sure that won't get me shot by the police at all.
By the way, the Rivendell Bike, Book, & Hatchet shop (yeah, that's right) has a solid five stars on Yelp:
Though apparently Grant Petersen's retrogrouchery is so profound that he refuses to engage in the relatively modern practice of accepting money in exchange for services rendered:
“P.S. Even after having spent close to 4 hours assembling my bicycle, Grant did not charge and refused my offer of payment.”
Instead, he asks that you make a small offering on his behalf to the Sumerian deity Anu so that his actions may be recorded favorably in the Book of Deeds.
Speaking of giving, the Judeo-Christian Retail Freakout is upon us, so why not spend at least some of your holiday shopping money on something useful? For example, here in New York City, your gift to Transportation Alternatives will be matched dollar for dollar by an anyonymous donor*:
*(AHEM Donald Trump COUGH COUGH)
Transportation Alternatives do good work for pedestrians and cyclists, and given that there are now people trying to actively strangle us in the park we need all the help we can get. So buy cheaper gifts for the people on your holiday shopping list this year and donate some money to the organization of your choice--or, better yet, skip the gifts and give your friends and loved ones this card instead:
My kids are going to cry their eyes out when they get theirs.
And while I'm in the holiday spirit, here's a Seasons Greeting from my family to yours:
Don't worry, it's multi-denominational, the mushroom cloud is an Atomic Menorah.
Ah yes, the holidays...if websites and blogs aren't telling you what gifts to buy then they're publishing sweeping year-end best-of lists, like this one from Gizmag or Jizzmag or something:
Ooh, look, a power meter!
Sure, I'm willing to spend almost $400 for some technology confirming that I suck, but WHAT ABOUT MY Q FACTOR?!?
Then there's this wireless dropper seatpost:
But my favorite may be these "electrochromic" Fred specs:
I don't know if I'd pay $350 for some futuristic space glasses, but I'd sure pay a whole lot more than that to see a rider using every gadget on the Jizzmag "Top 10 cycling innovations of 2015" list simultaneously.
And speaking of futuristic space stuff, check out this sweet triathlon bike:
Technology aside, that's some great branding:
I can't think of a better name for a triathlon bike, because when there's a crash in the group ride everybody knows who caused it.
Alas, I suspect there may be a design flaw or two here. Consider this, for example:
Consulting the USA Triathlon rule book for as long as I could before throwing up, I noticed this:
(e) There must be no protective shield, fairing, or other device on any part of the bicycle (including frame, wheels, handlebars, chain wheel, and accessories) which has the effect of reducing resistance.
So wouldn't that snap-on thing constitute a fairing?
Also, the head referee may want to have a word with you about that wacky frame:
Non-traditional or Unusual Bicycle Equipment. Any unusual bicycle construction or equipment to which the specifications in Section 5.11 cannot easily be applied shall be illegal unless prior approval is received from the Head Referee before the equipment is used in the event. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.
As for the disc brakes, I have no idea if they're legal for triathlon, but if they are they probably shouldn't be: