(Explanation: focus groups did not like "Chrismas Turd" so packaging was changed.)
As you may know we're experiencing an unseasonably warm February this year, so over the past week I was able to indulge in some family-style cycling:
Some solo mixed-terrain #whatpressuryourunning cycling:
And even some Category 6 Citi-Biking:
That's the new sumptuous two-way bicycle lane on Chrystie Street, and the green thing being projected onto it is the new Blaze light with which the oncoming Citi Bike is equipped:
Citi Bike + Blaze from Citi Bike on Vimeo.
If I'd fallen asleep back in the year 2000 and woken up today like some kind of Fred Van Winkle...
...the sight of a public bank-branded laser-firing futuristic space bike traveling along a two-way bike lane would completely blow my mind. Then when I learned who the president was I'd probably beat myself back into a state of long-term unconsciousness, waking up 20 years hence only to discover that the planets in the Trappist-1 system are not only inhabited by humans but linked by bridges and ruined by Teslas:
Speaking of the future, the future is now, which is why some of the pro roadies are using disc brakes. However, they're still not without controversy, and one rider complains a disc rotor almost severed his foot recently during an interview he conducted while wearing nothing but a towel:
In fact, he was so frightened he apparently wet himself while discussing it:
Subsequent to this, the cycling media and Fred-dom at large seem to taken umbrage at this claim, and have gone to great lengths to discredit it. There's been Zapruder film-like analysis:
Based on this video, it appears that Doull caused the crash, pinched against the left-side barriers. Kittel is on the Brit’s right shoulder, and is taken out shortly thereafter. You can see the German’s disc brake-equipped Specialized S-Works Venge Vias flying through the air while he slides face-first on his stomach. The disc bike lands some distance ahead of both Kittel and Doull.
There is a brief moment in which foot-on-rotor contact would have been possible. As Doull falls left, the inside of his left foot, which is where he was cut, would have needed to go under his own bike and hit the left side of Kittel’s bike, where the disc rotors are located. That doesn’t look likely based on the footage (Kittel appears to be launched forward when Doull’s own bike slides under Kittel’s bike), but stranger things have happened in high-speed crashes.
As well as half-assed testing:
The reason for this skepticism is obvious: the entire Fred economy depends on a wholesale shift to road bikes with disc brakes. If, however, the professional Freds refuse to accept this shift, then the whole crabon gravy train grinds to a halt like a low spoke-count wheelset with a broken spoke in a rim brake frame. Why? Because amateur Freds are completely unable to think for themselves and must ride whatever the pros do period full stop the end etc. Even if Freds objectively like disc brakes better, they won't use them if the pros don't, because someone might see them and figure out that they're not pros too. (Though the fact that they completely suck is usually enough of a giveaway.)
Therefore, the Fred Media must dismiss any criticism of discs on the part of the pro peloton as the Fredly equivalent of "fake news," or else the amateur Freds won't buy new disc brake bikes.
This is too bad.
Indeed, while I'm perfectly content with my primitive rim brake bikes, I've begun to realize that, with the advent of discs, American Fred-dom is now on the cusp of a great opportunity:
To finally divorce itself from the influence of stupid Euro UCI road racing once and for all.
Really, it's enough already. Why in 2017 after innumerable scandals is any amateur cyclist still taking cues from this idiotic sport in any way? It's time to say adieu! After all, even Freds are able to get rid of their stupid hang-ups eventually. Remember criteriums?
A cliterium (or "clit" for short) was a particularly boring form of bike racing in which a bunch of Freds rode up and down the main street of some hick town, and the last person without a broken collarbone was eventually declared the winner and given a free inner tube and a $10 gift certificate to the local hardware store. Crazy as it may seem, this was once a popular form of Fred-dom. But eventually people wised up, and realized that when it comes to racing around in circles, cyclocross (Americanized cyclocross, you know, with irony and stuff) is not only safer but a lot more fun:
(Incredibly, despite my poor remounting technique, I still managed to reproduce.)
And criteriums are way more entertaining when you hold them in cool cities and force people to ride fixies:
Now I think we're finally at the same point of realization with Euro-style road racing, since we've got a replacement all ready to go in the form of this whole "gravel" thing:
(It's "Handjob," but the "b" is silent.)
Oh, sure, the gravel thing is certainly silly. Basically the bike industry sat around and said: "Let's take a Rivendell or a Surly Cross Check, swap the serviceable components for proprietary ones, make it out of plastic, and market it to Freds." Even so, at least it's based on riding bikes in a fun way, whereas the best anybody could do with the whole traditional Euro-style road thing was Rapha's whole "exquisite suffering" take, which is already dated and over:
In case you're just joining bikes, this was actually cool for a few years. I know it's hard to believe now that Rapha has become the default attire for people on brand new Treks with the pie plate still on, but I can assure you it was the case.
Anyway, all of this is to say that we've finally built ourselves a sound foundation, and have a whole range of weenie-ism to indulge in: cyclocross, fixed-gear criteriums, plus-sized mountain biking, bikepacking, gravel grinding... It's time for the media and the consumers to say goodbye to UCI road racing once and for all and let it ride off into obscurity into the middle east, where a bunch of depilated Euros riding around in circles make perfect playthings for oil-rich royal families but generate nothing but boredom interspersed with periods of scandal for everyone else.
Because come on: if you still need to be that big a weenie in 2017, there's always triathlon.