I'm pretty sure "Zorg Voor Je Fiets" is Dutch for "Zorg For Your Feets."
As for "Zorg," I assume that's a popular brand of anti-fungal powder.
Anyway, in addition to exotic low country footcare products, the box also contained a bike that I am currently in the process of assembling. (By "assembling" I basically mean putting on the front wheel because the bike was 90% together already.) I will of course share more details once the bike is up and running, but in the meantime bike nerds will be interested to note that it is equipped with "hydrolic rim breaks," hence the block of wood:
And yes, I am aware the fork is backwards, which makes me only a slightly more competent bike mechanic than a typical Target employee:
Indeed, I have now reached the point in life where my idea of a city bike is one that weighs like 45 lbs and can carry two (2) human children, though this could be enough to convince me to get back on a fixie, because intentionally confusing Google cars while trackstanding sounds like great fun:
The issue is that, during such a trackstand, the rider does usually move slightly forward or backward — at least enough to alert the conscientious Google car that some human might be blasting through the stop sign.
“It apparently detected my presence,” the cyclist writes. “And stayed stationary for several seconds. It finally began to proceed, but as it did, I rolled forward an inch while still standing. The car immediately stopped … I continued to stand, it continued to stay stopped. Then as it began to move again, I had to rock the bike to maintain balance. It stopped abruptly.”
As someone who rejects new things Just Because, I've always been skeptical about self-driving cars, but this really worries me because if the damn things are really that polite then it won't be long before cyclists truly are the biggest assholes on the road.
As it is, the fact that cars can squash us lends us a certain amount of pathos, but if we lose that it will be a PR disaster.
In the meantime, Google should probably tweak the system by adding some presets like you find in those cars that have a button for "sport" mode. Ideally the driver could select one of three settings:
(Car does the "courtesy dance" with the fixie rider)
(Car honks and proceeds)
No Criminality Suspected
(Car runs rider over and sends a text to local law enforcement with location of body and an HTTP 404 Not Found Error message)
Speaking of fixies, recently the New Yorker took a look at the Kissena Velodrome in Queens:
Designed by Robert Moses, in the nineteen-sixties, the track has been poorly maintained, leaving the racing surface uneven and somewhat dangerous. But, as the neon skinsuit-clad cyclists and race officials explain in this video, competing on the bumpy track has become a badge of honor for the city’s fixed-gear riders.
Here's the video, assuming the embedimentation code works:
I enjoyed the video, though if nothing else it's proof that we don't need any more velodromes:
Because if you can barely fill Kissena then there's no way you need a facility as big as the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx or any of the other places people have floated as potential venues:
(Velodrome = Hot Dog In Hallway)
Though "back in the day" there was a velodrome not too far from there:
The rabid fans were out in force to witness a no holes barred cycling competition featuring international star athletes. Competitive cycling first gained popularity in the 1880’s and by the 1920’s the Velodrome was the hottest ticket in town.
"No holes barred," eh? Sounds like a date with Mario Cipollini:
(Cipollini travels with this bird just so he can set up his favorite pickup line: "Hi, you want to see a cock-or-two?")
Though ultimately the velodrome fell victim to a "friction fire:"
For eight glorious years the Velodrome was the scene of awe and excitement, before a suspicious fire burned the fabled venue to the ground.
They never did figure out who was behind the fire, but I have my own ideas:
Of course, we all know what happened next: Americans lost interest in track racing, and then road racing became more popular, except in America, where nobody gave a shit about that either--even though it involves something Americans love, which is cyclists getting hit by motor vehicles:
Before the stage started and before Paulinho suffered his accident, Tinkoff-Saxo penned an open letter to Unipublic, the Vuelta organisers, and the UCI, cycling's governing body, demanding that measures be taken to increase rider safety in relation to race vehicles. It is an issue that has come to the boil recently with a number of unfortunate incidents, and Tinkoff-Saxo's letter followed a similar one from BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz addressed to the UCI.
What's especially ironic about this is that there are so many TV motorcycles covering a race that nobody watches. I mean come on, it's September already, who the hell is still interested in road racing? This is like sitting in the movie theater and watching the credits so you can see who was the second assistant cinematographer's second assistant.
Then again, I suppose the clusterfucktacular nature of the race does qualify it as an amusing blooper reel, like at the end of "Cannonball Run."
Still, it seems to me they can just strap a GoPro on the bike of every one of these Pro Fred and ban the TV motos once and for all.
Speaking of new technology, I recently heard from a company called OTTO, who are selling a system for adjusting your derailleur with your iPhone:
Adjusting the rear derailleur on your bicycle is not simple. Every bike requires regular maintenance for a great riding experience. Whether sloppy shifting comes from stretched cables, switching wheels or even a crash, you may not have the time or confidence to make the needed adjustments. The OTTO Tuning System is a vision App and hardware kit that enables you to conveniently check and adjust your bicycle with professional precision.
Not simple, really? It's certainly no harder than installing an iPhone app. Indeed, inasmuch as derailleur adjustment is basically a matter of turning a barrel adjuster one way or the other, this strikes me as about as useful as an iPhone app that talks you through the process of combing your hair--and the video does little to dissuade me from this impression:
Though they want to send me a sample, so if they're crazy enough to do it then I'm crazy enough to try it.
Now back to the WorkCycles. Too bad I don't have the OTTO to talk me through it. Then again, the WorkCycles doesn't have a derailleur.