So not only will I be in Portland next week:
As well as for all the concomitant debates about inclusive language:
I'm hoping that by the time I leave town we can agree on a gender-neutral version of the word "bro." Seems to me you've got to go with "bre" since it goes so well with "ze," but I suppose then you run into the problem of people hearing it and thinking you're talking about the cheese:
By the way, assuming I make it out of Portland alive, I'll then be at University Bookstore in Seattle on June 17th and Rivendell in Walnut Creek, CA on Saturday June 18th.
You're welcome for the incessant reminders.
In other news, I threw a pallid, stubbly leg over the ol' Ritte yesterday:
And pointed it over the George Washington Bridge, where I was promptly admonished by a sign:
"CYCLISTS," it bellowed in all caps:
"Yes?," I replied tentatively.
"SLOW DOWN," it demanded:
I clipped back in and was about to be on my way, but the sign was not done with me.
"HELMET REQUIRED," it ordered:
Hey, if I'm wearing the stretchy clothes I generally top off the ensemble with a foam hat. It's mostly a sartorial choice. If I'm going to look like a doofus I might as well go all the way.
The sign was still not satisfied.
"MUST RIDE SINGLE FILE" it boomed:
I was starting to get angry now.
"Look, I'm riding by myself, you stupid piece of shit."
"KEEP RIGHT," it fired back:
Okay, what the fuck. I'm in a park that was created by Teddy Roosevelt so that assholes wouldn't blast the Hudson River Palisades into rubble for their goddamn quarries. It's a beautiful day, and I'm savoring my surroundings while riding a machine that produces no noise beyond that of my admittedly loud artisanal hub, and no emissions beyond my own flatulence.
Yet here's this goddamn sign, YELLING AT ME IN ALL CAPS while I'm trying to enjoy nature. Meanwhile, they let people drive cars through this park for some reason (which is just stupid because there's both a parkway and a US highway Highway right next to it), but I don't see any signs telling them to slow down or stop texting or look out for hikers and cyclists. It's sublimely stupid if you really think about it. Basically they decided, "Hey, let's put a giant flashing landscape-ruining sign in the park and tell everybody to make way for the cars."
All they forgot was to add this:
And of course this:
And rest assured they're prepared in the event that the sign loses power, or if a cyclist naively assumes another sign somewhere is merely decorative:
You have to be a real prick to come up with a sign like that.
Anyway, apart from being harangued by signage it was a lovely ride, and I even passed the Bore Hole:
I contemplated it for awhile wondering what it was, and then I finally realized the bore in the hole was me:
Rest assured I'll be changing the name of the blog in due course.
And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll feel elated, and if you're wrong you'll see recumbents.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and obey all signs.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) What are the symptoms of late-onset Fred disease?
--Hiding bikes from partners
--Paying a clothing company thousands of dollars to "break you"
--Hypothermia and semi-coherent shouting
--All of the above
(The Hövding inflates and then envelops your head like a randy armadillo.)
2) From the company that brought you the inflatable helmet, it's:
--The self-steering bicycle
--The bicycle seatbelt
--The inflatable codpiece
--A bike bell that emails the mayor
3) Michael the Bicycle Man wants to:
--Flatten your bike
--Widen your Q-factor
--Sniff your saddle
--Peer into your bedroom window
4) What are they doing?
--Trying to figure out what determines a bike's "ride quality"
--Trying to figure out how elevation changes affect tire pressure
--Trying to defuse an exploding Fred-bot planted by operatives from a rival group ride
--Testing the new electronic shifting system from Rivendell
5) Why is Chris Horner so upset?
--He was crashed by another rider
--His frame broke
--He dropped his chain
6) Curling broom technology is now evolving faster than road bike technology.
7) What is Procore?
--A new bladder system Specialized claims will enhance the stiffness, vibration damping characteristics, and overall ride quality of their S-Works frames
--A tire system that involves mounting two tires on one rim and then inflating them independently with a dual-position valve
--A common misspelling of "procure"
--An extremely aggressive and unsettlingly nationalistic genre of punk music
***Special "At Least He Was Wearing His Helmet"-Themed Bonus Video!***
Well okay then.