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Well would you look at that, it’s Wednesday already!

Posted by on March 8, 2017
Let's delve into the mail bag, shall we?

First of all, further to yesterday's post:

ubercurmudgeon said...

Vaccines are not like helmets. Vaccines are like the cycle safety training you get at school (or used to, depending on where you live.) It is training for your immune system to be able to cope with diseases, just like training kids to cope with motorists or adverse conditions. And if nearly everyone gets it then the human species as a whole (or the roads in this analogy) becomes safer for all. Helmets are like prophylactics - wise to use in some conditions, but not 100% (in fact a lot less in the case of helmets), and unnecessary with your long-term partner (or on the same two-mile ride to school you do ten times a week for years.)

March 8, 2017 at 3:33 AM

Well, if nothing else I feel I should point out the following:

1) If used correctly, condoms are indeed close to 100% effective:

Sadly, once the Trump administration destroys Planned Parenthood once and for all nobody will know how to use a condom anymore because there will be nobody around to show them, but that's a separate issue;

2) Not only are helmets far less effective than condoms, but only some bicycle crashes involve the head, whereas 100% of accidental pregnancies involve the genitals.*  So really, wearing a bicycle helmet is more like wearing a condom on your finger**: sure, it might come into play under the right set of circumstances, but for the most part for all the good it'll do it probably doesn't make a meaningful difference;

3) The most important difference between helmets and condoms is that when a helmet breaks people think it saved their lives, but when it condom breaks people understand their lives may very well be ruined.

*[Oh sure, you can still manage to swap STDs while using condoms, but I'm not going to get into a whole dental dam/knee pad analogy since this is still purportedly a cycling blog.]

**[Once the Trump administration destroys Planned Parenthood and everyone forgets how to use condoms people probably will start wearing them on their fingers.]

Please send any remaining thoughts or insights regarding helmets directly into the void.

Thank you.

Secondly, Anonymous asks:

Anonymous said...

Are you gonna talk about the Spring Classics this year? You are my only source for racing info.

March 8, 2017 at 3:28 AM


I'm officially done with pro cycling.  See, I've always loved bikes but hated sports, and while it took me awhile to realize this it turns out that pro cycling is just like any other sport and the bikes are merely incidental.  Shocking, I know.  Oh sure, the Classics were kind of cool because they rode bikes with skinny tires on bumpy roads, but now we have gravel-grinding right here in Canada's gular pouch so who the hell needs it?  Plus, pro road cycling is a sport almost devoid of personalities.  "Oooh, but what about Peter Sagan?  He scarfed a bag of Haribo and gave a rude interview!"  Please.  Peter Sagan is a phenomenal bike rider and a kooky character, but he's also a total bro-bag, and the fact that roadies get so excited about Haribo and watching other people eat it is merely proof of what a joyless existence they lead.  Really, the stuff hangs on hooks in delis, what's the big deal?

So do yourself a favor and expunge the pro cycling weenie train from your consciousness forevermore.

I will, however, continue to enjoy all the bickering about disc brakes and the implosion of Team Sky:

Doubts over Froome’s support for Brailsford surfaced in January, shortly after the boss had claimed the package contained the legal decongestant fluimucil – a claim that no one has yet been able to substantiate. At a press gathering in Monaco, Froome was repeatedly asked if he still had faith in Brailsford's ability to champion the team’s credibility, to which he replied “That’s not really for me to say” before switching the focus to his own personal credibility.

Seems to me that as the team's star rider it's exactly for him to say, but what do I know?

Speaking of gravel, I'm taking all my money out of Chris King headsets and putting it into gravel bikes, because as America's infrastructure deteriorates they're poised to become more popular than ever:

Yes, apparently instead of repaving the streets in Omaha the city has decided "fuck it" and gone back to gravel:

Then repair costs escalated, and potholes started going unfilled. On particularly troubled blocks, the city converted the asphalt surface into a gravelly dirt, a peculiar sight in middle- and upper-class neighborhoods in the center of a city. Only a small fraction of them, less than 10 miles, have been reclaimed.

“I can’t even open my windows on that side of the house,” said Sharon Thonen, a retiree who lives on what is now a dirt road a block from a busy Starbucks. Children stopped riding their bikes on her street after the asphalt was ripped out, Ms. Thonen said. “During the summer, it’s just a dust bowl.”

Wait, the kids stopped riding their bikes?  But what about those sweet gravel skids???  These kids today [grumblegrumble].  And what's Sharon Thonen complaining about?  People in suburbs north of New York City pay a heft premium to live on dusty gravel roads:

This is why, at the private school by my home, the city kids get picked up in gleaming chauffeur-driven Suburbans, whereas the suburban kids get picked up in Range Rovers with a layer of white dust.

In fact, I'd say the people of Omaha have got it made, and they should hope Old Man Buffett doesn't decide to pave them himself.

Then again, while it's tempting to imagine gravel roads slowing the spread of motordom, all it really means is that people buy bigger and dumber cars.  If they're already buying massive all-terrain SUVs just to drive around on paved roads just imagine what they'll buy when they actually do have to drive on gravel:

We're so screwed.

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