Wednesday, 24 August 2011

This Just In: Off 'Til Monday!

Firstly, by way of dispensing with mundane matters of scheduling, I should mention that I will not be posting tomorrow or Friday, but that I will return on Monday, August 29th with regular updates. Therefore, you may or may not want to mark your calendars accordingly as I have:



I can't confirm that I'm going on one of those new "experiential vacations" where you get to work in a Subway franchise for four days, but I'm also in no position to deny it either.


Secondly, I want to thank everybody who came to the Manhattan Bridge early yesterday evening in order to receive free Knog products, and I also want to apologize for being a bit late. However, I do have a pretty good excuse. First, after yesterday's earthquake I immediately went to the closet to look for duct tape (as I understand it you're supposed to put duct tape on stuff in an emergency), and the contents must have shifted during flight because as soon as I opened the door I found myself trapped beneath 150 rolls of toilet paper. For three hours my cries of help went not only unheeded but also completely muffled by the patented Quilted Northern Ultra Plushness. Eventually I was able to tunnel my way out by means of a Surly Jethro Tool, but then I got stuck in slow-moving bike lane traffic:



Ordinarily I'd have passed them, but I was riding a Big Dummy and there simply wasn't enough room.


Eventually though I did make it, and people did proffer coupons in exchange for free stuff, as you can see in this photo that was taken by an attendee:



They were also kind enough not to make fun of my hair:



I was actually getting my hair cut at the time of the earthquake which caused the barber to lose control of his shears, and this was the only way he was able to correct it.


Speaking of ingenuity, while most people opted to print their coupons by means of ink jet printers that were nearly out of ink, at least one presented an artisanally hand-curated version:



It's a pretty good rendering, too:



There are even a bunch of squiggly lines representing the fine print. He must have one of those "MFAs."


But the best thing about giving away free stuff is getting free stuff, like this t-shirt:


As well as this inordinately fancy bottle of beer:



It must have been pretty strong stuff, because I don't remember much after that. All I know is I woke up in the park the next morning on a pile of coupons:


In any case, thanks again for traversing the Manhattan Bridge a few short hours after an earthquake, because I certainly wouldn't have, and I'm glad I had the foresight to arrange it on the Brooklyn side. Also, if you're the person who took my wallet, keys, and bicycle while I was passed out in the coupons, may I have them back please? Those weren't actually part of the giveaway.


Speaking of bikes, I was tempted to bring the "Base Urban" belt drive bike I'm testing to the giveaway so that everybody could gawk at its profound ugliness, but with one (1) moderately-sized box to portage I figured I should ride my enormous cargo bike instead. And while I'm still trying to figure out how the bike I'm testing is worth a whopping $1,750, I suppose it's a relative bargain when compared to this belt drive bike, which was forwarded to me by a number of readers and which "checks every box:"



As far as I can tell, this bike checks at most two boxes, those being the "I paid way too much money for a townie" box, as well as perhaps the "My name is Larry Olmsted" box. Then again, you do get that all-important belt drive:


It goes on. Instead of a dirty, noisy chain you get a Gates carbon drive belt drive and Shimano Alfine internal hub...


This confused me, because I didn't know they even sold bikes with dirty, noisy chains. Any new bike I've ever had actually came with a clean, silent chain. Then again, maybe I'm just out of the loop and the bike industry is putting dirty, noisy chains on new bikes now in a massive conspiracy to convince people to switch to belt drives.


Of course, if you really want to be cutting-edge, you should pair your belt drive with the Cateye "Urban Wireless" cycling computer, which will tell you your "carbon offset:"



Yes, the Cateye Urban Wireless will "fluff your smugness" as you ride:


In addition to basic ride data, both carbon offset and calorie consumption information will not only help you feel better from your ride, but better about your impact on the environment, too!


* This product is only available in USA.


It goes without saying that this is only available in Canada's "tramp stamp," since in no other country do people need to be coaxed, cajoled, wheedled, and rewarded in order to do ordinary, logical, everyday things in the way that Americans must be. It's also good to know that urban cyclists can now "foff off" over their crabon offsets in the same way that roadies dork out about their "wattage." Still, I would imagine this computer must be very difficult to calibrate, because it certainly can't be as simple as just entering your wheel circumference. I would think it would also need to know what your most recent meal was, and what your frame is made of, and where you're going. For example, someone who's had a locally and sustainably farmed breakfast and is riding a homemade bamboo bicycle to a shift at the local food co-op can't possibly yield the same smugness numbers as someone who's just eaten a McGriddles and is riding a Huffy to the OTB, even if they're riding side-by-side, pedal stroke for pedal stroke.


Presumably though, the Cateye Urban Wireless is an ideal training tool for the Brompton World Championship, and another reader has forwarded me this video of the latest edition, which took place last Sunday:







If you're offended by tiny wheels and men panting heavily, you may not want to watch.


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