Good morning! Did you know that today is Bicycle Day? Well, it is.
Of course, Bicycle Day should not be confused with contrived attempts to encourage people to ride bicycles for transportation such as Bike to Work Day. See, Bike to Work Day is that one day a year the person in the cubicle next to you rides to the office, arrives drenched in perspiration, and spends the rest of the day in the emergency room due to heart palpitations. Bicycle Day, on the other hand, commemorates the first time the guy who invented LSD tripped his face off:
April 19, 1943, Hoffmann performed a self-experiment to determine the true effects of LSD, intentionally ingesting 0.25 milligrams (250 micrograms) of the substance, an amount he predicted to be a threshold dose (an actual threshold dose is 20 micrograms). Less than an hour later, Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception. He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home and, as use of motor vehicles was prohibited because of wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle. On the way, Hoffman's condition rapidly deteriorated as he struggled with feelings of anxiety, alternating in his beliefs that the next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, and that the LSD had poisoned him. When the house doctor arrived, however, he could detect no physical abnormalities, save for a pair of incredibly dilated pupils. Hofmann was reassured, and soon his terror began to give way to a sense of good fortune and enjoyment, as he later wrote...
"... Little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux ..."
And here is an animated recreation of the incident:
Shame on Dr. Hofmann for not wearing his Tripping Helmet:
(He looks like Ken Kesey's penis.)
Anyway, over the years, Bicycle Day has evolved from yet another excuse for PhD candidates to slack off into a gigantic party for hippies and douchebags:
And apparently they're even observing it over at the Today Show:
Either the person who runs their social media account saw it on a calendar somewhere, had no idea what it meant, and used it as an excuse to post a stupid GIF, or else the whole cast and crew is tripping balls:
The above notwithstanding, Al Roker is a certified Bromptonaut ready and willing to throw down in New York City traffic:
As far as I'm concerned this makes him twice the badass that Lucas Brunelle purports to be.
Meanwhile, further to the recent revelations concerning mötödöping, apparently it's well on its way to becoming sanctioned, albeit unofficially:
Citing a hypothetical scenario, Mariën said: “I’m wondering, if the UCI had wanted me to check bikes like at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday morning, and let’s say I discovered a bike there that was, let’s call it, imbalanced, and I would like to take it with me. Do I have the power, as a UCI commissaire, to confiscate the bike? I don’t think so. Honestly, I don’t think so.”
Mariën called for a precise protocol for confiscating a bike to be established. “I think there should be a procedure with a form signed by the rider, by the team manager, by the UCI, in which all three agree the bike will go with the UCI for further investigation. I know they [the UCI] are working very hard on it to get a proper legal basis to do that.”
Wow, three (3) sign-offs before they can check a bike that's glowing like an athlete's groin in a Ben Gay commercial--two of which are from the rider and his or her team? That's not just sweeping this under the rug, that's nailing it under the floorboards like "The Tell-Tale Heart."
Meanwhile, after watching the original report, far more damning than the glowing seat tubes and hubs is the video of Alberto Contador's mechanic at the Giro d'Italia last year, wherein he repeatedly spins the rear wheel:
While fiddling with his watch:
After which he sends the bike in for an inspection in which they check...the bottom bracket shell:
I'll bet you a choice cut of Europe's finest tainted beef that Contador was running one of those futuristic space wheels with the magnets in it and the mechanic had to disable it so the bike didn't ghostride itself right out of the UCI inspection hut. (One day this will happen and it's going to be fucking awesome.)
Anyway, if nothing else, you have to believe mötödöping is happening because if Greg LeMond and Mario Cipollini agree on something than it has to be true, that's just simple physics. Plus, Cipollini actually took the time to put on a shirt, which lends his words considerable gravitas:
In fact, it's hard to take anything more seriously than an oily man with a plunging neckline engaging in discourse about hidden motors in bicycles with a woman in a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and a polka-dot neckerchief on a set that looks like it's been painted in Pepto-Bismol:
You can give any reason you want why pro cycling never really took off in America--drug scandals, inscrutable team dynamics, competition from football and baseball--but it's clear the real cause is our complete failure over the years to get the TV coverage right.
Pretty simple really.
Lastly, here's an important reminder of where you stand as a cyclist in America: