As you may know, Jack & Jimbo's is a "collabo" between man-purse marque Jack Spade and, well, some mechanic named Jimbo. Above is the sign which sits outside of the shop, proving once and for all that fixed-gear conversions are now considered as essential as flat repair and wheel-truing. I didn't take pictures of the interior because the store is very small and it would have been highly conspicuous (they were regarding me suspiciously, possibly because I was smirking), but the picture here should tell you everything you need to know.
Basically, inside you'll find the requisite NAHBS-esque townie bike nobody would ever own (in this case a titanium Independent Fabrications complete with crabon fiber fenders narrower than the actual tires) as well as a bunch of refurbished bikes via Landmark Vintage Bicycles, whom I had heretofore only heard of because they are constantly posting Craigslist ads like this one. You'll also find a few Rapha jerseys and t-shirts, a stack of skinwall tires which may or may not be only for show (it's hard to tell what's real and what's for show in there), and various Jack Spade bags. Besides me, there were two other non-employees in the store--a man who was agonizing over which Jack Spade bag to purchase, and his female companion, who was helping him make this potentially life-altering decision. Both of them were doing their very best to avoid any of the bikes or bike-related items.
To give you the context of the neighborhood in which Jack and Jimbo's is located, it's a great place to trip over small dogs on designer leashes, and the shop itself is right near the Marc Jacobs store. The window display at the Marc Jacobs store is currently a Porsche 944, behind which is a faux-punk banner which reads "Car For Sale Make Best Offer:"
If you're wondering what the design on the hood is, it's knuckle tattoos:
I find it interesting that Jack Spade and Marc Jacobs are now selling fixed-gear conversions and knuckle tattoos respectively. I also find it interesting that the new trend in high-end fashion retail appears to be interactive themed window displays that are actually also for sale. I suppose ITTET this makes sense. Why put just a bike or two in the window when you can dress the whole place up as a bike shop and maybe even fix a few flats and sell a few bikes in the process? Anyway, they don't seem to be hurting anybody, and the mechanic did have lots of tools and was actively repairing a bike--though it's always possible he was just pretending to fix a bike like some actor in Colonial Williamsburg pretending to be a blacksmith. In any case, I suppose in some way there was a need for a shop like this. After all, the male equivalents of the "Beautiful Godzillas" need bike
But Jack Spade isn't the only company advancing the cause of fashionable cycling. I recently received an email from someone in Paris, who related the following:
I got tired of facing the dilemma of looking like an idiot riding my bike (pants rolled up, pants in sock, etc,..) to avoid the grease stains on my pants, Or looking like an idiot the rest of the day (one wrinkled leg pants, dirty or ripped pants, etc, ) .
As such, he contacted a maker of high-end denim pants and came up with these:
While "Stroke's Extra Leg" may sound like a euphemism for "foffing off," it is in fact a protective calf-length pant leg you slip over your pant leg, and it may be one of the most pointless clothing accessories I've ever seen. First of all, I don't see how riding a bike with your pant leg rolled up makes you look like an idiot. Walking around town all day with your pants rolled up might look silly, but riding a bike with your pants rolled up just looks like you don't want to get your pants dirty. If this person had to roll up his pants to take a walk on the beach would he feel like an idiot then too, and instead slip on a second pant leg? Secondly, how does this help solve the problem of getting your pants caught in your drivetrain, which is the other reason to roll up or otherwise cinch your pant leg? Thirdly, how is slipping a filthy, greasy piece of denim on and off your leg going to keep you or your pants any cleaner or take any less time than simply rolling your pants up and down as needed? And where do you put your grimy "Extra Leg" once you've taken it off so it doesn't get all your other stuff dirty? Do you then need a carrying case or pouch? Where does it end?!?
Then again, he does have a compelling sales pitch:
He's right, I don't want to be that guy, but that's because he's wearing topsiders, and a denim leg condom is not really going to help that. But if you don't want to be that guy because you find it extremely difficult to roll your pants back down when you get to work (or you think a calf sheath is somehow less dorky than a pant cuff retainer or a chain guard), go ahead and buy an "Extra Leg" today.
Yes, some people just can't resist putting extra crap on themselves. If you're one of those people (or if you just need something in which to carry your soiled "Extra Leg"), you might enjoy one of these, which was forwarded to me by a reader:
Now that the fanny pack is making a return, the "Sex and the Citification" of cycling is nearly complete. The endless assortment of messenger bags, u-lock holders, utility belts, and fanny packs now on the market has finally allowed people to disguise their teenage girl-like obsession with handbags as practicality. And if you don't think people are using all of these things--at the same time, I might add--I am here to assure you that they are. I'm not sure why people need to carry so many items for local trips, but they look like urban survivalists, and between all the carabiners and nylon belts and satchels and clothing with hidden pockets all over it you'd think New York City was a mountain. I'm also not sure why whatever items these people need to carry must be kept separate from one-another. Perhaps this is part of the survivalist technique, and placing different items on different parts of your body is like diversifying your portfolio or like a squirrel burying acorns in different spots so they don't all get stolen at once. Hopefully soon we'll see people wearing "Extra Legs" with integrated pouches, and cycling specific thigh pouches, and utility belts, and messenger bags, and arm pouches all at the same time. And let's not forget the fanny pack's equally dorky cousin, the wrist wallet. Just finish the whole ensemble off with a pair of Kangaroos and there will be no limit to the places you'll be able to carry something.
Just make sure you don't put a rack on your bike. You wouldn't want to spoil those clean lines.