Friday, 4 March 2011

BSNYC Plug-Fest! (And Friday Fun Quiz!)

Did you know that less than 200 miles north of Portland, OR there's actually another city before you get to Canada? Well, it's true. Located in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, this city is a cultural center for not only the Pacific Northwest but indeed the entire United States. I'm referring, of course, to the great city of Tacoma.

Obviously, there's not much else worth mentioning between Tacoma and Vancouver, BC, though there is a small hamlet of little consequence called Seattle. This small fishing village was disputed territory until 1958 when the United States finally wrested it from Canada in The Great US-Canadian War, and since then it has served mostly as a warehouse and shipping center for a popular online book retailer named after a river in South America. As it happens, though, they also have a bicycle expo, which is called the Seattle Bicycle Expo, and which takes place this very month on the 12th and the 13th:

So why am I mentioning an obscure bike expo in some grungy backwater deep in the country's Fern Belt? Well, because I'll be at the Seattle Bicycle Expo making a Book-Related Appearance, or "BRA." (Please excuse my gratuitous bold face.) Not only that, but you will have not one, not two, but three opportunities to find something better to do than listen to me talk. First, on Saturday at 1:20pm, I'll be following none other than Axel Merckx, father of cycling great Eddy Merckx:

Then, at 4:15pm, I'll be on an "all-star panel" that has no actual stars, has "laughing" in the title, and seems concocted entirely to capitalize on the moderate popularity of the TV show "Portlandia:"

But wait, there's more! On Sunday at 12:30pm I'll be talking again for 30 minutes, though for 25 of those minutes I may or may not be eating a sandwich:

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it--though not as tired as Ryan Leech will be, since he seems to be performing like every half-hour. (I'm guessing Danny MacAskill thinks he's too big to do bike expos now and is holding out for an appearance on Letterman wherein he will do a "nose manual" on Paul Shaffer's head.)

Also, they promised to lend me a bike, so you can follow my Tweeter for news of any concomitant bike rides or surprise performances by '90s grunge supergroup Temple of the Dog.

At any rate, while I'm gratuitously plugging stuff, I might as well also mention that professional cyclocrossing person Timothy "Tim" Johnson and various friends and hangers-on are undertaking a bicycle trip from Boston to Washington, DC for the National Bike Summit in order to raise funds for Bikes Belong, as Jason Gay reports in the Wall Street Gerbil:

This is noteworthy because:


2) What has reigning Cyclocross World Champion Zdeněk Štybar done for cycling lately? Probably nothing, that's what.

So support Tim Johnson on his "epic" advocacy ride, and together we can "portage" our bicycles over the barriers of injustice.

Also, I cannot confirm or deny rumors that the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork will be on the ride (except to say that he won't be), but I have learned from many readers that he has made yet another in a seemingly endless series of cameos, this time in an email "blast" from MapMyRide daht calm:

I'm not sure how doing a "30 Day Century" challenges your "Inner Athlete," since that's only 3.3333333 miles a day and wouldn't even challenge your "Inner Beautiful Godzilla."

Speaking of Beautiful Godzillas, after over a week of traveling it was good to be back in New York City yesterday, except for the fact that it was awful. At one point I was riding in a protected bike lane, and while I waited like a good little cyclist at the red light a siren blared behind me. It was the "fuzz." For a moment I thought I was about to get a ticket for riding a bicycle with sub-par welds (I was on a Scattante after all), but it turned out they just wanted me to get out of the way since they were using the bike lane to travel the wrong way down a one way street. In fairness to them they might have been on urgent police business, though judging from the pizza pie in the front seat they were merely in a hurry to get someplace to park and eat before their lunch got all cold and rubbery. Really, the only upside of the ride was that I was afforded a fleeting glimpse of--and "shoaled" by--the Beautiful Godzilla's male counterpart, the "Beautiful Manzilla:"

Note the short pants in the salmon colorway, which draw the eye towards the sockless suede loafers. Now that's "cycle chic."

There is one bit of good news in all of this though, which is that the Manhattan Borough President has asked the Department of Transportation to reprogram the traffic signals in Central Park so that cyclists don't have to wait at red lights during car-free hours:
Since the driving force behind this is the local club racers who train in Central Park, it just goes to show that when Freds unite they do have a political power that far exceeds their meager wattage output.

Lastly, Stevil Kinevil of All Hail The Black Market recently forwarded me the following interview with noted steel smeller Dario Pegoretti:

Not only is it highly entertaining, but it turns out the interviewer is none other than the owner of the One Less Car on a Mercedes bike, so he's clearly a master of irony. Also, it's worth noting that the paint job on that Pegoretti in the background is slightly less attractive than the sticker job on the interviewer's Surly at many times the cost, and I'd hate to see what he could do on a canvas as large as a Mercedes SUV. I'd like to see a hideous paint-off between Pegoretti and John Slawta of Landshark, though afterwards I'd need a new set of retinas.

With that, I'm pleased to present you with a short NAHBS-themed quiz. As always, study the item, read the choices, take a nap, feed the cat, fix yourself a sandwich, and then click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see Human & Bicycle: A Love Story.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and be sure to stop and smell the steel.


1) NAHBS stands for:

2) NAHBS also stands for "Navigating Austin's Hipster Buttcracks by Segway."

3) Fill in the blank: "Disembodied ____."

4) English saddle maker Brooks is expanding into leather home furnishings.

5) Club Ride Apparel's marketing slogan is "Rapha for Cowboys."

6) The oversized bottom bracket is:


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