Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Errata, Erotica and Arcana: From Winning Rides to Theme Rides

While I may come across on this blog as aloof, detail-oriented, and judgmental, the fact is that I'm often something of a slovenly bumbler. For example, in addition to doing things like biting into hairy muffins and nearly falling headlong into my own urine, just yesterday I was actually outsmarted by the mysterious workings of my own pannier. (Fortunately a more intelligent person was on hand to help me figure it out.) So I wasn't surprised in the least to receive an email notifying me that I made yet another mistake last week, when I claimed to have seen someone schluffing on a fixed-gear in Williamsburg:

Your dead wrong about williamsburg walk


First of all you should get your bike shit str8. I was out there on Williamsburg Walk during go skate day. And the dude that you saw "Schluffing" on fixed gear was actually not riding a fixed gear in the first place. If you took to seconds to look you would notice that on a fixed gear you can not schluff with out the peddles rotating. Be str8 with you I skateboard but I even know that and I am no bike Snob. So before you post something get your shit str8 or next time someone will blow your spot up "BikeSnob"

Hey everyone has an opinion but it is different when it's your opinion, but if you call your self the "Bikesnob" at least make sure that your opinion or thoughts will not put your self proclaimed name on the line.

This person is indeed correct that the workings of a fixed-gear bicycle would not be conducive to "schluffing," and had I taken the time to watch him for awhile I certainly would have realized it was simply a traditional freewheel "schluff." However, in my defense, I was in Williamsburg, and when I'm in Williamsburg I become frightened and confused. As such, I do my best to move quickly and avoid eye contact. Furthermore, you really can't blame me for seeing a bicycle without a derailleur on Bedford Avenue and assuming it's a fixed-gear. I'm sure Malcolm Gladwell would have something to say about my "thinking without thinking," but if you look at the bicycles in question I think you'll agree that anybody else could easily have reached the same conclusion:

That said, I'd like to offer a contrived and obsequious apology to all fixed-gear riders, singlespeed riders, "schluffers," and "sk8ers," as well as to any readers of this blog whom I may have inadvertently misinformed. I only hope nobody will see fit to "blow up my spot," which is really a cozy and well-appointed spot complete with shag carpet, beanbags, refreshments, and Maxwell playing softly in the background. In fact, by way of a peace offering, I'd like to humbly offer this Maxwell/Gladwell/McLaren Similar Hairstyle Triptych:

If you encounter any typos while reading this post, it's because I'm typing with fingers crossed in hopes of a flambullient and sex-tellectual Maxwell x Gladwell x McLaren "collabo" of some kind.

And this wasn't the only grievous error I made recently. In yesterday's post I also mentioned we were "two stages and a prologue" into the Tour de France. However, the Monaco time trial wasn't a prologue at all--it was actually stage 1. This means that I've already mis-paginated the Tour de France, and that yesterday's stage was stage 3 and not stage 2, which is how I'd been thinking of it. And speaking of stage 3 (formerly stage 2, not to be confused with Simplex 2, which is a type of old derailleur, or a type of herpes, I forget which), it was won by by Mark Cavendish, who also won stage 2 (formerly stage 1, not to be confused with Type 1, which is both a professional cycling team and a type of diabetes). Furthermore, Cavendish not only won stage 3 (or stage 2 in the old system), but he did so in high style:

As far as Cavendish's victory salute goes, I believe the most common interpretation is that he's thanking his team for making his victory so easy that he was able to "phone it in." However, there are some other intriguing possibile meanings as well, among them:

--He's saying: "Who's on the phone? Victory? Why, yes, I'll take that call."

--He's saying: "Who's on the phone? Losing? Sorry, I'm afraid you've got the wrong number. Cadel doesn't live here."

He's miming making prank calls to Scottish phone sex lines. (This link is only unsafe for work in Scotland; elsewhere it's completely indecipherable, as the Scottish accent is effectively self-censoring.)

It's also worthwhile to note that he's thumbing his nipple.

While this was certainly a flambullient victory salute, it's nowhere near being among the all-time greats. That should be abundantly clear from these "Great Victory Salutes in Tour de France History," brought to you once again by the California Avocado Commission. Here are the top three greatest victory salutes of all time, as selected by you, the fans:

3) Bernard Hinault breaks his own nose before the finish of the St. Etienne stage of the 1985 Tour, thus pioneering the "bloody face" salute (
later emulated by fellow countryman Laurent Jalabert).

2) Upon winning stage 4 of the 1991 Tour, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov holds aloft a 24"x36" piece of oak tag displaying a pictogram which illustrates the phonetic pronunciation of his name.

1) At the 1995 Tour, Mario Cipollini mimes nursing a baby, compete with breast pump and actual man-lactation.

Few cycling fans will forget that Cipollini salute anytime soon, nor the protracted obscenity trial which followed.

But while Cavendish's victory salute may have been sub-par, his sprint certainly wasn't. In fact, sources within team Columbia claim that Cavendish unleashed an incredible 100,000,000 Diminutive Frenchman Units (DFUs). This would explain why Cavendish forsakes the usual crabon fribé frame and instead opts for riveted alumin(i)um:

(I'd link to the relevant Cyclingnews page but their new site is even more confusing than my pannier.)

Also, as you can see from the Head Tube-Mounted Pin-Up Girl (HTMPUG), Cav is quite the cad. This could explain his somewhat phallic nickname:

But while cyclists the world over focus their attention on France, it's all to easy to forget about the stunning beauty, delicious cuisine, and fascinating culture of Italy. (Well, according to what I've read, anyway.) Fortunately, Fat Cyclist (who masterminded the contest which resulted in my hairy muffin date with urinary destiny) is offering you the chance to go there on a "Dream Cycling Vacation." Not only is supporting Fat Cyclist reason enough to enter, but I've also heard that they're actually going to be unveiling a lactating fountain statue of Mario Cipollini in his birthplace of Lucca, Tuscany, so this could be your only chance to drink from it. (In Italy, Mario Cipollini is the patron saint of man-lactation.) Of course, I realize I may just have done Fatty's contest more harm than good with that one, but I implore you to take part in the contest anyway and make your dream cycling vacation a reality.

Speaking of dreams coming true, I must confess I'm in high spirits, as a reader informs me I now have my very own theme ride in Portland:

Considering the fact that no event is too mundane for Portlanders to organize a ride around (take the "My Friend's Roommate Got a New Cat" ride for example) I realize I shouldn't bee too flattered. Also, whoever organized the ride didn't even take the trouble to invite me, send me a plane ticket, and put me up in a luxury hotel. Nonetheless, I can't help being deeply flattered. Here's the description:

Thursday July 9


Col. Summers Park, SE 20th Ave and Belmont St Take Trimet

BikeSnobNYC says we'll use ANYthing as an excuse for a ride - and I think he's right, so if you have a bike that's too good for the masses, or if you ride a fixie, or are vegan, or if you just want to poke fun at BikeSnobNYC - here is your chance!

Tallbikes, freakbikes and fixies are strongly encouraged - bring your best bike, dress like a bike snob, and we'll turn our noses up at everyone else this Thursday!

Meet at 6pm at Colonel Summers Park (of course), and be ready to ride!

5-10 mile ride, not a loop, and we will likely end at a bar.

Also, there's a potential scheduling conflict, since any unicycle polo players will apparently have to rush from my ride (which starts at 6:00) to the unicycle polo match starting at 6:30:


Alberta park, NE 20th Ave and Killingsworth St Take Trimet (Polo courts)

6:30pm, April 23, every Thursday

Unicycle Polo.

Where? When? 6:30pm [at] Alberta Park Just about EVERY thursday of the month (Keep your Glazzies peeled on the listserve for info {www.unicyclebastards.com/contact us). Mallets and balls are supplied by the bastards as long as appropriate alcoholic donations continue. however, we are always in need of skipoles and balls. Bring yer uni. bring yer 2x2s. bring yer triple antibiotic ointment.

prepare to breathe hard and sweat. unicycles, remember? not bikes. unis.

also, remember vandalism? not cool. never will be.

I think the fact that a bike blog-themed ride is overlapping with a unicycle polo match means either I've jumped the shark, or Portland has, or both. Nonetheless, I'm profoundly moved, and if you do participate in the ride be sure to fall while urinating to experience what it's really like being me.

Thanks, Portland!


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