For the working stiffs, it's hump day:
(Look at these suckers with their steady incomes and their health benefits!)
For Mario Cipollini, it's hump day:
(Then again, so is every other day.)
And for recreational marijuana enthusiasts everywhere, it's slump day:
(Then again, so is every other day.)
For one exclusive group of Freds, however, Wednesday means putting on your dandiest Rapha gear and pedaling off into the Palisades:
It's worth noting that before the #Occupy movement a 1% biker gang meant something totally different:
But the times they are a-changin', as Jacob Dylan or John Lennon or somebody like that once sang. 1% biker gangs aren't a bunch of thick-necked, crank-addled motorcyclists anymore. Now they're a bunch of urban professionals with depilated legs and a penchant for designer cycling clothing and exotic crotchal unguents:
At 8:30 on a Wednesday morning, most corporate big shots are hustling to the office or negotiating power breakfasts. But in a Soho bike-gear boutique, another group of movers and shakers is off the 9-to-5 grid. Casually sipping coffee, the men chat about recent rides, family doings and the odd business trip.
Are power breakfasts even a thing?
I wouldn't know. My power breakfasts consist of peeling and scarfing a hard-boiled egg over the garbage before taking my kid to the school bus stop. But that's because I'm not a corporate big shot, nor am I a member of the Fredly Illuminati:
Officially called the Wednesday Club Ride, but better known as the Freelancers Ride and organized by the elite two-wheel accessories company Rapha New York, the cultish jaunts are part bike ride, part secret society. The 40-mile weekly rides, which started two years ago, are opportunities for cementing relationships — and networking — on the open road, from downtown Gotham to the picturesque Palisades in New Jersey.
But don't be fooled. They're not really freelancers. According to Rapha they're actually a bunch of rich guys who can do whatever the fuck they want:
Despite the name, few participants are actually independent contractors. “We call it the Freelancers’ Ride so that people wouldn’t complain about it starting at 9 a.m., in the middle of the week, when most people are at work,” says Derrick Lewis, Rapha’s communications manager for North America. “These guys work at high enough levels that they can decide to take off the day or the morning.”
Though according to the riders themselves they're "in between gigs," which is otherwise known as being "unemployed:"
Judging by their chiseled physiques, pricey gear and sturdy bikes, the crew is pretty seasoned. Sipping an espresso at the communal table in the front of the store, Chelsea resident Paul Livornese, a 54-year-old advertising creative director who’s in between gigs, says he worked hard to hang on and stick with the group for the first couple of rides. “The Wednesday ride has upped my bike game,” he says. (Like most other participants, he became acquainted with the ride from being a customer of the store.)
So basically it's a ride for unemployed guys masquerading as a ride for rich and powerful guys who enjoy linguistically slumming by using the term "freelancing" ironically.
They should just call it the "Euphemism Ride" and be done with it.
Or, they could always call it the "Excuse Ride:"
“I’ve seen people here, between jobs, network for a few weeks or months, find jobs and then disappear,” says Livornese, leaving the impression that they became too busy working to ride. “I told my wife that I might find my next job through my cycling network.”
Wow, that's genius! The only group of people who make more creative excuses for their self-indulgent behavior than cyclists is drug addicts. Up until now I thought I'd heard them all, including but not limited to:
--"I need a new bicycle, the disc brakes will make me much safer."
--"Let's take a weekend trip to this really boring destination! And oh, would you look at that, there just happens to be a Gran Fondo there! What are the odds?"
--"Yes, racing takes up all my free time and when I'm home I'm detached and exhausted, but at least I'm too tired for philandering. And that's good for our relationship."
Now you can add "The group ride might make me rich" to the list.
Speaking of excuses, Team Sky's would-be drug courier speaks!
"It was just an envelope, a Jiffy bag, a small Jiffy bag. As far as I know I could have been Speedplay pedals in there," Cope told Cyclingnews, before adding that the press were "digging at nothing."
"I don't know, no," he said when asked about the contents.
Wow, "Speedplay pedals" is an even better code word than "Edgar!" But for someone who had no idea what was in the envelope he was carrying he's oddly certain it was nothing unusual:
"I don't have a clue what was in there. It wasn't something unusual either. If people were going somewhere they'd just say 'can you take this?'. There's no way that British Cycling are going to put something dodgy or illegal for them to take through customs. It's just not going to happen. It's just madness. You have to go through two sets of customs. Why are you going to take the risk?
"It was for the doctor," he added.
It seems to me someone with this combination of total faith and lack of curiosity regarding what he's carrying would make for the perfect mule--though he is more than happy to keep listing random things that could have been in there:
"It was nothing to do with Brad," he said. "I gave it to Richard Freeman. This parcel was asked for, for Richard Freeman. It could have been nasal strips or bandaids, I really don't know."
I realize Speedplays are pretty light, but I'm pretty sure a package containing them would still be considerably heavier than an envelope containing Band-Aids. And sure, when you're in France and you need a Band-Aid it makes perfect sense to have them flown in from Manchester via Geneva.
Lastly, as a semi-professional bike blogger I receive some pretty ridiculous press releases, but few are as absurd as a vibrating navigation belt:
I'll wait for the limited Cipollini collabo edition.