In the most shocking instance of cycling technology run amok since Femke "Vroom-Vroom" Van den Driessche was busted for secreting a motor in her cyclocross bike, it has now come to light that Movistar rider Fran Ventoso was gored by a disc brake rotor at last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix:
Fran Ventoso was taken to hospital after a crash at Paris-Roubaix, suffering deep wounds to his leg reportedly caused by landing on a disc brake.
The Spaniard was flown back home on Tuesday after undergoing an operation to apply suture and drain on the wound, according to his Movistar team. They are hoping to regenerate the muscle tissue damage as quickly as possible.
I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing Ventoso a full and speedy recovery, though I can neither confirm nor deny rumors* that medics were able to stop the bleeding my clamping the wound shut with a dual-pivot rim brake caliper:
*(I can start the rumors though.)
Indeed, since the news broke Ventoso has penned an impassioned screed on the dangers of disc brakes in the peloton:
The letter begins with a brief survey of the technological advancements Ventoso has witnessed during his bike racing career:
Through all these years, I’ve witnessed many improvements on different parts of the bike and cycling apparel. We started off with steel, then aluminum, and later on, carbon. That last one came here to stay, since it was as rigid as we needed while also offering lightness.
We’ve also stopped using toeclips for clipless pedals, much more comfortable, effective and secure. Days are long gone when we used hairnet helmets: modern ones are now lighter, beautiful to the eye and offer absolute security guarantees when you use them.
I’ve also seen very important improvements on gearing. My first bike had one chainring and three sprockets; nowadays, we use two chainrings, even three, and 11 sprockets… and I’m certain it won’t end there.
Wait a minute. Toeclips? Hairnets??? Three-speed freewheels?!?
Was Ventoso born in 1948?
As for the bit about how helmets "offer absolute security guarantees," I'm tempted to disagree, but having seen the state of his helmet after the crash I'll give him a pass:
Looks like Blackie Lawless's codpiece.
Anyway, after recounting the history of the racing bicycle from the pennyfarthing on, Ventoso coins what is sure to become the rallying cry of retrogrouches everywhere:
But then, there’s pro road cycling events. Was there really anyone who thought things like Sunday’s wouldn’t happen? Really nobody thought they were dangerous? Nobody realized they can cut, they can become giant knives?
Did you hear that?
THEY CAN BECOME GIANT KNIVES!
Still, as much as I enjoy deriding disc brakes on road bikes, there's something a little too perfect about all of this. I mean really, there are only like two teams using disc brakes and already they're making cold cuts out of the rest of the peloton? Seems a little...convenient to me, which is why I suspect this could be the work of the International Rim Brake Cabal. Sure, nobody may have seen Grant Petersen by the side of the course and armed with razor-sharp throwing rotors, but that's exactly the point of a ninja suit, isn't it?
Think about it.
Meanwhile, in more exciting technological news, meet The World's Firstest-Ever Smart Aero Road Bike Or Something!
Yes, the SpeedX Leopard is all about the "undistracted pleasure" of ultimate Fredness:
Undistracted Pleasure. This is what SpeedX Leopard is all about. Riding is an activity that touches people’s mind. Riders want to be integrated with the bike, in each own rhythm, in fluency, without distraction. Leopard is ready to give the rider the ultimate road experience.
How does it do this? Well, it's made out of space-age carbon fiber. You know, the same stuff they use to go to SPACE!
There's also an "integrated cycling computer" called the "Smart Control," which is similar to regular control, only smarter:
As well as an "automatic taillight:"
And of course "hidden brakes" so you don't gore anybody:
Okay, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Big deal. My bike is also made from space plastic and has brakes." Well, sure, but can you use it to RACE AGAINST YOURSELF?
Here's how it works. First, you get your SpeedX Leopard up to 37.1km/h:
Which is officially known as Mullet-Lifting Speed:
Then you want to use your hidden brakes to lock up your rear wheel and skid through the turn:
Causing you to crash and resulting in scabs and scrapes on your hairy legs:
(Really, hidden brakes and cables but hairy legs?)
Then, as you stalk the road presenting your Lycra-clad hindquarters like a cheetah in heat, you see something:
So you chase yourself down:
Your nostrils flaring as you inhale the heady scent of your own pheromones, embrocation, and chamois cream:
And once you've caught yourself you finally get to experience the ultimate in onanism by making love to your own doppelgänger, which is of course every roadie's greatest fantasy.
"Undistracted Pleasure" indeed.