Thursday, 23 July 2009

Sexy and Bold: Life on the Street

(A thing that I saw.)

Today is a big day in the Tour de France, and in keeping with the BSNYC/RTMS Code of Ethics (free copies are available upon request; please send a SASE and $250 in postage) I will not be including any "spoilers." However, there are two things I feel are worth mentioning. Firstly, according to the live updates on Cyclingnews, George Hincapie is "palping" a CamelBak even as I type:

Secondly, a reader informs me that Team Astana has just received another celebrity visitor in the tanned, dudely and bro-ey form of Matthew McConaughey, which means that Lance Armstrong will almost certainly be hanging a Maillot Célébrité next to the seven Maillot Jaunes already on display in his wood-paneled rumpus room back in Austin. Just look at the cavalcade of personalities who have been guests on the "Astana Show" so far:

It's also been heartwarming to see a more friendly Lance Armstrong. Whereas a few years ago it was "no gifts," this year he's selflessly "gifted" celebrity stage wins to opposing teams by not only allowing Ben Stiller to come on the Columbia team bus (after an appropriate refractory period of course), but also letting Jimmy Buffett air out his bare feet with Garmin. I wonder if either team will get to play with McConaughey when Astana is done with him. Even if they do though, unless Christian Vande Velde is caught on video having sex with Amy Winehouse I think it's safe to say Armstrong's got this particular competition in the bag.

Speaking of disgusting videos, a reader has just forwarded me a bicycle-themed music video from Australia:

Frankly, I feel this video is a far greater affront to cycledom than yesterday's craven U-lock beatdown. Even though there's no violence in this video, the real truth is that when hipsters with U-locks attack it's simply in a flurry of limp flailings, and as such they only leave a trail of superficial injuries in their wake. However, nothing cuts deeper than shame, and this video made me embarrassed to be a cyclist. Even before it gets to the part with the Queen "Bicycle Race" sample (a song which is sickening enough to me on its own) I already found myself contemplating putting my entire "stable" (or "quiver," or "livery," or "arsenal," or whatever term bike reviewers are using now) on Craigslist and taking up curling instead. (However, I'd probably opt for the new "fixed curling," which is done on pavement and which is "totally zen.") It also made me afraid of Australia, where the musicians apparently look like fairer-complected versions of the DJ from "Zoolander."

Also, while I didn't notice any Frida bars in the video, I think I might have seen the real-life Frida Bars:

No, it's not the Frida Bars I was looking for, but sometimes when you go looking for something you find something else that's even better.

Conversely, sometimes no matter how badly you want to keep something you wind up losing it anyway, as evidenced by this flyer posted on the Manhattan side of the Manhattan Bridge:

It should go without saying that if you see this bike you should alert the owner. I certainly haven't seen it, because if I had I would remember it--I never forget a pair of Spinergys or a tilted Brooks, especially when they're on the same bike. Interestingly, the owner says it's a "Lost Bike" and not a "Stolen Bike," as if the thing might have wandered off on its own volition and gotten disoriented like an erstwhile housecat. So if you open your front door one morning and a poor, emaciated Raleigh wearing a pair of Rev-Xes starts rubbing itself against your leg and purring hungrily, give it some milk and then call the number on the poster. (Or else, check to see if it's wearing any tags.)

But while the sight of an abused Raleigh wandering the streets in search of food might seem odd, stranger things have "gone down" in New York City. For example, the guy who caught the Nü-Fred U-lock beatdown on video also apparently saw a dramatic fight between two women, though he failed to document it:

Bummer indeed. The idea of two people throwing "titties" instead of fists and then hammering car windshields with their shoes for some reason seems highly choreographed and would certainly be a welcome distraction from the menacing specter of cyclist-on-pedestrian violence. Some might even find it "sexy and bold," like a "girl riding bike with hairy armpits:"

Girl riding bike with hairy armpits - m4w - 32 (Greenpoint)
Date: 2009-07-22, 9:36PM EDT
Reply To This Post

You were riding your bike on manhattan ave. around 8pm.You were a brunette wearing a bluish/grayish dress and your armpits were totally unshaven (very sexy & bold). I would like to meet you. Maybe for a couple of drinks. Hope you see this and if you are interested email me....

Really, the only thing sexier and bolder than a woman with unshaven armpits is a woman who bike-salmons and then makes a u-turn right into a taxi:

Girl on a bike who got hit by a taxi - m4w - 36 (12th St/5th Ave)
Date: 2009-07-22, 8:35PM EDT
Reply To This Post

Me- tall man in khakis and a white polo.

You- girl on a bike who just missed running me over (well, you WERE going the wrong way, but I like that about you).

You made a big circle in the next intersection and then got hit by a taxi. I waited to make sure you were OK, while my life was still flashing before my eyes. After it was over, I decided I needed a drink.

And then I realized there was nobody else I wanted a drink with more than you.

Is it too late?

Really, it's hard enough to keep taxis from hitting you when you're doing everything right, so you shouldn't increase the already high likelihood of it by salmoning. The average taxi driver is far more dangerous than even the most addled U-lock-wielding Nü-Fred, and neither the strongest helmet nor the most highly-shellacked mullet is enough to keep you safe from their maniacal driving:

Yes, life is far too precious to put in the hands of a taxi driver, and when I say "precious" I mean precious in a good way, not "precious" in a bad way like this effete Colnago track bike with a wire basket:

Of the many ways in which track bikes have been abused and degraded in recent years, perhaps the most demeaning mistreatment is when they're transformed into dainty brakeless townie bikes. Riders of such velodrome-to-crêperie conversions can often be seen "portaging" tiny loads while wearing canvas shoes, boutique shorts, and polo shirts. Certainly there's nothing wrong with dainty townie bikes, or with load-"portaging" (tiny or otherwise), but I do think it's a shame that track bikes have become mixed up with these things. I also think this is an impassioned Craigslist post waiting to happen, since using a vintage "curation" like this as your errand-runner seems about as practical as using Gucci loafers as shower shoes.

Really, if you're one of those people who simply must "palp" Italian at all times, you might want to go with something like this instead:

Yes, it's a Benotto Super Turismo conversion:

This at least is more like wearing fake Gucci loafers in the shower.


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