Tuesday, 4 August 2009

This Just In: Plugs and Deliberations

As many of you know, in addition to writing both this blog and the "Spatula Snob" blog, I also write a column for Bicycling magazine. However, before that column was just a glint in the eye of the shark I'm perpetually striving to jump, I wrote an article for Outside magazine about my participation in the 2008 Single Speed World Championship. So I'm pleased to announce that, nearly a year later, it has finally appeared in the August issue which officially "drops" today like a bunch of subscription forms from a copy of Cosmo. Not only that, but it includes pictures (taken by a real photographer) and is multiple pages in length. Here's how Outside describes the article:

Obviously, I'm hardly the world's greatest and funniest cycling blogger, but keep in mind that in this same issue Cincinnati, Ohio also scores a top 10 in the "America's Best Cities" story, so clearly use of the Wednesday weed is abundant in Outside's fact-checking department. By the way, if you're unfamiliar with Outside magazine, it focuses on stuff you can do outside, and is published by the same media conglomerate as Inside magazine, which is America's most popular magazine for shut-ins. (This month's cover story: "Terry Cloth Bathrobe Shootout!") If you'd like to read my article (it's good bathroom length), you'll need to get your hands on a copy of the actual magazine*, which looks like this:

*Well, it turns out you can read it "online" too! The 1990s is a truly amazing time to be alive.

They don't mention the article on the cover though because it probably wasn't rugged enough, unlike Aaron Eckhart's craggy face. Here's a close-up of his chin:

And here's an even tighter close-up of his chin cleft, magnified 1,000 times:

While I'm reasonably proud of my article, I must admit it isn't nearly as exciting as the cover story by John Krakauer: "Into Cleft Chin: A Personal Account of the Expedition into the Recesses of Aaron Eckhart's Face." (Spoiler: they make it out alive, but barely.) Yes, despite being incredibly dangerous, determined outdoorspeople continue to explore Eckhart's deep and forbidding dimples. Some of them never return. Actually, there's even a rumor that the 2010 SSWC is going to be held in his left laugh line.

Speaking of intense yet absurd competitions, it's nearly time for me to wrap up the BSNYC/RTMS Fat Cyclist Knuckle Tattoo Tribute Contest and announce the podium. As I mentioned yesterday, I was both moved and entertained by all the great submissions I received--so much so that it's extremely difficult for me to pick a winner. Really, if I could I'd award every single entrant, but unfortunately ITTET I just don't have the resources. So, in order to make my job at least a little bit easier, I've deepened the prize list:

First place is still the Rapha/Lion of Flanders shirt, second place still is the Knog Beetle lights, and third place is still the BSNYC/RTMS Lounging Smock. In addition, there is now a fourth place, which earns you a Rapha/Fignon shirt, a fifth place, which also nets you a BSNYC/RTMS Lounging Smock, and a sixth place, which means you'll receive a BSNYC/RTMS Sticker Fun-Pak:

Not only that, but the Special Super Deluxe Über Grand Prize (courtesy of Chris King) is of course also still on offer. This is comprised of a pink "Pretty and Strong" bottom bracket:

As well as a "Pretty and Strong" t-shirt:
In all, that's a seven-step podium, which is almost 60% of the way to sobriety.

At any rate, after looking at the submissions, I finally forced myself to choose seven finalists. Please note that this was extremely difficult, and that while all of these are excellent there were many that were equally excellent and in the end my selection process involved random selection as much as anything else. So here they are:

Of course, even as I type this, I regret excluding brilliant submissions like this one, this one, and this one. Still, in in the end had to overcome my indecision and make a selection, and in any contest there has to be both the fingerbanger and the fingerbanged. However, while I was able to choose the podium, I was unable to choose the finishing order, which is why I'm putting that to a vote:

Simply vote your preference, and come tomorrow I will award the prizes according to the number of votes for each submission, thus absolving myself of any further responsibility. Also, do keep in mind that even if you don't win, Fat Cyclist has just announced a new contest himself, so there's always that. Furthermore, I may just award a consolation prize.

Once again, thanks for all the submissions, as well as for your patience as I plugged myself.



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