When we last sat down together we were discussing sandals:
Specifically, we were marveling over the fact that most people are fine with destroying the planet through excessive energy consumption, but under no circumstances will they look at feet shod in flip-flops:
“Never!” he said. “Disgusting, filthy, revolting, repellent, repulsive, sickening, nauseating, stomach-churning, stomach-turning, off-putting, unpalatable, distasteful, foul, nasty, vomitous.”
The conclusion, if I recall correctly, was that people are fucking idiots.
Oh, also, what do flip-flops and helmets have in common?
Philip Brown Australia
What Americans call "flip-flops" are dangerous footwear that should be banned on a number of safety grounds: they fall off, fall apart, catch on things causing falls, they catch under things causing other accidents, they provide no protection from rough, sharp or dropped objects. In most Australian jurisdictions it is an offence to drive in flip-flops for many of the preceding reasons.
Aesthetically they display the ugliness of 'human' feet.
As poverty footwear, made from scraps, there may be some justification for the existence of flip-flops but no other springs to mind.
Philip Brown's head would no doubt explode if he knew that in the hot summer months I often ride around the neighborhood helmetless and in flip-flops.
He does have a point though: dangerous footwear should be banned. In addition to the deadly flip-flop, which has somehow not spelled the demise of humankind despite being the oldest form of footwear on the planet, we should also ban any heel larger than one (1) centimeter tall, as well as require that any shoe with laces be double-knotted and secured with a Velcro closure. Remember that story about the person who dripped over his untied shoelace and fell into the path of an oncoming train? Of course you don't, because I just made it up, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't go Full Aussie and nanny down hard on everything.
Oh, and it goes without saying that walking in cycling shoes should be punishable by $6,000 or 6 months in jail.
Anyway, after all that, I posed the following "teaser" image yesterday:
That is not, contrary to what some of you speculated, my foot. It is, however, the foot of the person who invented the Bellcycle:
Which, as you can see, is a rolling paradox in that it's sort of an upright recumbent pennyfarthing:
And beyond that the website will tell you everything you need to know:
If you miss the sensation of riding around the neighborhood on your friend's handlebars then clearly this is the bike for you.
I should also point out that I've mentioned the inventor of the Bellcycle on this blog in the past, for he is waging an "epic" legal battle against a small package delivery concern called the United Parcel Service:
I think we know which company he won't be using to deliver all those medium sized boxes.
Speaking of the associations I've made over the years, longtime readers may recall the heady days when this blog was relevant and really good bicycle rider Barry Wicks used to send me stuff in the mail:
Well, I mention this because remember these gloves?
As you can see they share share a similar aesthetic sensibility, clearly identifying them as Mr. Wicks's handiwork. Indeed, it turns out he's got something of a "working person's Best Made" operation going on Etsy:
Inspired by vintage mountain bike films, we sought to re-create an updated, durable, good looking glove that is good for just about everything.
We start with 100% Deerskin leather gloves to give a soft supple feel, while providing excellent wear characteristics and comfort.
Customers can choose size and venting options along with graphics colors.
We offer an unvented, snosealed version for winter riding or spring ski touring etc.
All gloves are built to order and ship in 1-2 business days from order date.
When you order, include in notes to seller up to 2 additional color choices, and if you want standard venting, no venting and/or snoseal waterproofing.
Slip on a pair of Hella Sweet Gloves, then go outside and do something awesome!
Questions? Email us! hellasweetgloves [!at] gmail.com
Rest assured I plan to give my pair a thorough test, though don't expect it anytime soon because it's currently like 93 fucking degrees out.
Incidentally, these babies would go great with that wooden bike I'm picking up next week:
Hopefully I don't have to return it before it's cool enough to wear them.
And yes, that's right, by next weekend I will be riding a wooden bike. At this point it's just a matter of finishing the paperwork, which has all kinds of stuff about avoiding woodpeckers, not using magnifying glasses near it when it's sunny out, and so forth:
With a regular bike it's "I was just riding along when..."
With a wooden bike it's "I was just admiring the exquisite handiwork when..."
Also, be absolutely sure not to leave your monocle hanging off the bars when you head into the coffee shop.
Ah yes, I could make wood cracks all day.
In fact look at that, I just made another one!
As for these things:
I haven't tried them yet but they're basically a reusable zip tie type thing from Hiplok:
Though I'm sure somewhere at some point some thief has scooted away on a balance bike, and I'm also sure it was fucking hilarious.
And with that, I'm vanishing into the weekend, and I beseech you to do the same--though at some point today my latest Outside column is probably going to materialize, in which case I'll duck back in and let you know. But pending that, ride safe, ride safely, and engage in bicycling with an appropriate level of care.
Sincerely and so forth,
--Wildcat Etc. Machine