I totally meant to clean the bike before putting the fenders on, but I totally didn't--nor did I clean the fenders after last winter (or the one before that, or the one before that...). The upshot of all of this is that the entire bike is basically covered in crud and filth, so by the time I finished installing the fenders I looked like a Dickensian chimney sweep:
Indeed all my bikes are similarly filthy, and I can't so much as fix a flat without begriming myself like Citi Bike begrimed New York City:
("It did, you know.")
Anyway, the immediate impetus behind my velocipedal fenderization was that the weather is kind of Portlandy today, by which I mean it's cold and wet and the sun is hiding behind thick layers of clouds and smugness. Indeed, as I rode my newly be-fendered bike I reflected on my own time in Portland, which made me wonder what's been going on there lately. So I headed over to BikePortland, where I learned that the city is in the midst of a cycling-themed real estate boom:
In the case of the Peloton Apartments, the developer of the 268-unit project says inspiration for the name came from being located on Portland’s busiest bicycle corridor.
Gus Baum of Security Properties shared with us via email this morning that, “Since inception, the Peloton site was focused on taking inspiration from the unique community on N. Williams, and in particular the bike gateway to the city via Vancouver headed south and Williams headed north.”
“Literally hundreds of avid bicycle enthusiasts,” Baum continued, “from commuters to casual riders use the thoroughfares to navigate to north and northeast Portland every day. We wanted our multi-family apartment project to embrace not just the two major streets surrounding our project but to bike culture in Portland overall."
Yes, nobody strikes that jarring note of tone-deafness quite like real estate developers:
The word peloton comes from the French “platoon” and today is used to refer to the main group of riders in a bicycle race. Baum is likely unaware of the irony of using a name from competitve cycling for a building on streets where high-speed bicycle riding — also known as “Cat 6” or “hipster racing” according to the Urban Dictionary — is rampant and often ridiculed.
But is he unaware of the irony? Or is he a marketing genius? I can only imagine that if you built a luxury development called the Cat 6 Arms at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge it would be a smashing success, especially if it had amenities such as its own Citi Bike station complete with valet service, and a Cat 6 soigneur to cuff your right pant leg for you.
By the way, this isn't the only apartment building with the name "Peloton." There's also one in Redmond, WA:
Though there's no mention of anything bike-related anywhere in the lengthy list of amenities:
But hey, there's FIOS.
Then in Boulder, CO you've got "The Lofts at Peloton:"
In case you're wondering, "all that you love about Boulder" refers to ski jackets and white people.
And while there don't seem to be any bike-specific amenities here either, there is shuffleboard:
I'm pretty sure that I read an article in "Bicycling" about how playing shuffleboard while wearing compression socks is the ideal way to recover from that "epic" century ride.
Still, if you're going to call an apartment building "Peloton" you could at least throw in a free bike with every apartment, like maybe one of those "plus-sized" mountain bikes everyone's talking about. As you know, I've got one on loan myself, so I've got plus-sized mountain bikes on the brain lately, which is why the following review caught my eye:
The second-tier Stumpjumper FSR Expert 6fattie is still a lot of money but with so few performance compromises made in the process, it’s akin to hitting the trail packing only a teensy bit extra around the middle the day after Thanksgiving – while having a fair bit left over in your wallet.
Okay, I don't doubt it's a really fun bike and all, but what kind of wallet are you carrying if you've got anything left in it after spending $6,500?
But sure, compared to the $8,600 S-Wanks it's a real bargain:
I guess the thinking is that if bike reviewers keep saying really expensive bikes are cheap, everyone will start to believe it's true.
Speaking of big puffy things, a reader named Torsten informs me that Hövding (makers of that sublimely hilarious head airbag) are making a big media push in Sweden:
Which sent me into a deep hole of watching highly addictive Hövding porn such as this:
Yes, in the event you take a long ride off a short pier, your head becomes a flotation device:
(Erik the Red about to float his way to Greenland in his Hövding)
Though how this applies to any real-world situation you're likely to encounter is beyond me.
Then there's this video, in which an instructor teaches a rider how to fall properly onto an air mattress:
Here she is in mid-fall:
Though you'll note that the Hövding doesn't appear to deploy until after her head hits the mattress:
At which point it begins swallowing her head:
And finally finishes engulfing it on the rebound:
It's like I always say:
If you're going to crash, make sure you do so onto an air mattress.