this just in
Buonjovi!As promised, I have finally penned (“penned” is pretentious for “typed”) a detailed account of my trip to Tuscany for L’Eroica, and you can read it over here on the Brooks blog:If you’ve got a problem with having to make one extra click to rea… Continue reading
Remember how I wrote this HILARIOUS guest post for Brooks about my intense preparations for the L’Eroica ride in Tuscany?
Well, tomorrow I depart for that ride, which means that after today I won’t be posting again until Tuesday, October 7th, at which point I will resume regular updates.
Of course, as a seasoned traveler I know comfort is paramount on long journeys, and so you can be sure I’ll be donning my customary flying suit:
Between that and my combination neck pillow/padded toilet seat cover I expect to arrive in Italy as fresh as a bruisewort:
As for the route I’ll be riding, there are four on offer, and it is my understanding we’ll be doing the “percorso medio,” which is Italian for “Medium Woosie:”
And which is described thusly:
It is the “gateway” to the myth of l’eroica, in 4 hours, and 1900 meters of difference in level, in addition to the beauty highlighted in the short route, do not miss.
This distance itself is not daunting, but I’m guessing the combination of 1,900 meters of climbing (yes, meters and not feet, unfortunately), jetlag, and a fakakte (sp?) old bicycle will conspire to thoroughly kick my scranus.
Also, as I understand it, Brooks is making us all go “full retro” by riding in medieval hair shirts:
Fortunately I am naturally hirsute, so I’m pretty sure I can fool them by simply riding topless.
Meanwhile, I’ve been preparing mentally for the ride by studying the “philosophy” of L’Eroica:
L’EROICA WAS BORN FOR THE LOVE CYCLING, THAT WHICH CAUSED THE WRITING OF SOME AMOUNT HISTORY AND OF A LOT OF ITALIAN LITERATURE WITH THE INTENT TO SEEK THE AUTHENTIC ROOTS OF A BEAUTIFUL SPORT, WITH A GREAT POPULAR SOUL PEOPLE, AND TO DISCOVER BEAUTY
I have no fucking idea what that means.
It’s also natural that on the eve of my departure my thoughts travel to the last time I visited Italy, for the so-called “Full Bike Day:”
Actually, pretty much everything in that part of Italy is performed to throbbing disco accompaniment.
(And yeah, it’s filmed vertically, but keep in mind that my peripheral vision was totally fried by this point anyway.)
All of this, however, took part in the region of Puglia, and this time I am bound for the vastly different region of Tuscany, so I really have no idea what to expect apart from an apparent lack of housing inventory–and I’d be remiss if I didn’t append the following video:
All of this raises the alarming question of where I’ll be staying, and hopefully Brooks at least loans me a hand-chamfered leather sleeping mat so I can curl up in whatever the Tuscan equivalent of a Dumpster is:
Moving on, as Fred violence becomes increasingly commonplace, it’s only a matter of time before they’re banned from the roads altogether and forced to compete virtually–which I have a feeling they’ll be totally fine with:
With just a stationary trainer and ANT+ speed and cadence sensors, users can race their buddies from across the country. Add an ANT+ enabled power meter, or a smart trainer like the Wahoo Kickr, which allows resistance to be controlled externally, and the platform’s capabilities expand into a highly realistic virtual riding experience.
It’s true, the weak link in the Fredly cycling experience has always been the actual riding part, so I expect this to be a hit–though if you ask me they should have included the violence:
Despite the Zwift staff’s gaming and software heritage, and the very video-game-like graphics, Grand Theft Bicycle this is not. There are no guns, no running down of pedestrians or zombies to blow up. There aren’t any cars, either, or flats, or crashes. Zwift Island, the first of many virtual worlds Zwift will be adding to the system, is a cyclist’s utopia, bursting with evening light and flitting fireflies, smooth roads and stiff climbs.
Then again, they’re probably saving that for the bike messenger version.
Lastly, a “twitterer” claims to have found the “World’s Greatest Surly Long Haul Trucker:”
Quite possibly the World’s Greatest Surly LHT. @bikesnobnyc pic.twitter.com/CHDeFC8dB8
— BrokeinMileEnd (@BrokeinMileEnd) October 1, 2014
Here it is again:
It’s all right, I guess–though apart from the artisanal aerobars it seems pretty ordinary to me. Continue reading
It’s hot. The kind of hot when housecats just lie around on their backs all day with their legs spread, airing out their private parts.
There are also people who do the same thing.
Or so I’ve heard.
In addition to being Hot As Balls, it’s also Our Nation’s Birthday in two (2) days, which means I’ve already got one foot out the door. (I don’t literally have one foot out the door. Right now both feet are up in the air as I cool my private parts in front of the air conditioning.) In other words, after this post I’ll be gone until Monday, July 7th, at which point I will resume regular updates.
Also, please allow me to extend belated happy birthday wishes to our passive-aggressive neighbor to the north, who celebrated Fête du Canada yesterday, and who will no doubt leave their usual note on our front door this Friday as we grill meats and blow shit up:
And we will leave our customary reply:
It’s true, 36% of Americans believe Barack Obama is the Prime Minister of Canada, and of that 36% roughly half also believe that the President of the United States is Jesus Christ.
Speaking of American Awesomeness, the Great Trek Bicycle Making Company has unveiled the World’s Lightest Production Bicycle in the World, and it’s made right here in Jesus Land–or Waterloo, Wisconsin to be precise, which until just a few minutes ago I thought was in Canada:
Although the bike had been seen at the Criterium du Dauphiné, the Trek Émonda was officially launched just days before the Tour de France. At a claimed 690g for a painted 56cm frame, the hyperlight road machine builds up to a 4.65kg/10.25lb complete bicycle thanks in part to new Bontrager integrated components like an XXX bar/stem combination and Speed Stop direct-mount brakes.
Of course, Trek know a thing or two about building road bikes, having won anywhere from one (1) to nine (9) Tours de France, depending on how you look at it:
Nevertheless, I’m confused by this bicycle. If it’s so great (US$15,749 great to be precise), where are the disc brakes and thru-axles I thought we were supposed to have now?
I thought getting on a state-of-the-art road bike with hydrolic dick breaks and thew-axes was like going from a Model T you have to stop with your feet Fred Flintstone-style to a BMW 8-series luxury sports sedan coupe crossover SUV with eight vented rotors the size of manhole covers plus the $20,000 optional full all-weather electronic traction-sensing douchebag package:
So why then are they charging approximately US$10,000 for the bike dripping with the very latest technology, but they’re charging almost US$16,000 for the bike sporting a bunch of obsolete crap all the reviewers are telling us suddenly sucks balls now?
Simple: because by making the “obsolete” bike obscenely expensive and the “modern” bike merely grossly expensive, the new technology seems like a bargain, all the Freds move to disc brakes, and all Trek had to do to make it happen was whip together an ultralight Fred charios, slap a stupid price tag on it, and get it written up on a few bike blogs.
That’s the kind of marketing genius that makes America great.
I’m not so sure about that foreign-sounding name though:
The overarching design and engineering principle is simple: cut weight, increase stiffness. Even the name, Emonda, is a play on the French verb meaning to trim or to cut, emonder.
“To trim or to cut,” eh? I would have called it the “Trek Circumcision.” (“Trek Bris” would have been too ethnic.) Also, “Émonda” sure sounds pretty close to “LeMond,” which is a brand of bikes Trek sold until they dumped the guy after whom the bikes were named, allegedly at the behest of a certain seven-time Tour de France winner, who they also ended up dumping after too many people knew he took drugs.
Got all that?
Don’t worry, it’s okay if you don’t.
In fact, Trek is counting on it.
And if all that weren’t complicated enough, now Specialized is suing Trek over the whole Émonda/LeMond thing:
Sure, Specialized has no claim whatsoever to the LeMond name. Nevertheless, their lawyers are under strict instructions to take action whenever any bicycle anywhere is given a French-sounding name.
Speaking of LeMond bicycles, I used to have one:
Wow. I almost look fit in that photo–which is not to say that I was. In fact, all those riders passed me roughly four seconds after that picture was taken, at which point I probably fell down, slid onto another portion of the course, and got run over by those very same riders. Still, it’s the only photograph in existence in which there are riders behind me in a bicycle race, which is why it’s 10 feet high by 15 feet wide and hanging in my living room.
And with that, I conclude my broadcast day. Inasmuch as it is a short week I will not administer a quiz, but by way of compensation here is some bonus hot summer cat porn:
Thanks for reading, ride safe, and enjoy the holiday. (Unless you don’t live here in Canada’s milking machine, in which case we’ll enjoy it for you.) See you on Monday, July 7th.
–Wildcat Rock Machine
Just a little self-congratulatory notice on the eve of the holiday weekend that I wrote something and they put it in the newspaper:Wisely, the Times has published it during a time when the intelligentsia will be too busy barbecuing in the backyards of … Continue reading
Hello!Hope you had a good weekend. Mine was a bit of a “mixed bag.” Saturday was an unseasonably warm day which I spent enjoying some family-style bicycling, and then Sunday I fell ill and underwent the violent alimentary process doctors re… Continue reading
Here in New York City, crews are working around the clock to plow Winter Storm Anus:(Winter Storm Anus dumps its load across the region.)In all, it’s really not that big a deal, but nevertheless I’ll use it as an excuse by saying that the storm has exa… Continue reading
***Hats! Books! Hats and books! Get them before they get you!***Well fuck me, it’s that time of year again:Sure, yes, it’s fender time, but it’s also Christian Hanukkah, followed by the Roman New Year, which means I’m signing off of t… Continue reading
See this date?
Sorry, let me try that again.
See this date?
Goddamn it! Piece of crap Apple computer. Yeah, I got your “keynote” right here. [Indicates “KuKu Pentouse.”]
Okay, see this date?
Probably not, but it’s… Continue reading
(New Zealand: Now with 30% more zeal than the old Zealand!)
About a thousand or so miles off the coast of this world power is an obscure island nation-state called “Australia.” Famous Australians include Paul Hogan:
Yahoo … Continue reading
(“God.” Oh, man, that’s hilarious. The Lobster I worship can kick “God’s” ass.)
So tomorrow is the Fourth of July, or July 4th, or Independence Day, or “American Bastille Day,” or whatever you want to call it, and it would behoove all… Continue reading