(Theoretically it's a May book but I think it's already in stock.)
Because of this book I'll be visiting the following places on the following days:
Saturday, April 20th
Saturday, April 27th
Saturday, May 18th
I'll give you more information later, and I think there will be other things in other places too but frankly it's too nice outside for me to think any more about it.
Speaking of the niceness outside, yesterday I took a leisurely spin through Central Park. Many years ago (forty-seven to be exact) I worked in a building on West 57th Street. I was not particularly happy in this job, and sometimes I would have lunch in the park and watch the cyclists on their shiny bikes (back when bikes were shiny and not plastic) with a longing in my heart, dreaming of a day when perhaps I too could ride laps in the park in the middle of a weekday instead of living in fear of the alphanumeric pager in my pocket that would vibrate scary orders at me. (Remember alphanumeric pagers? Those things were hilarious.)
Well, there I was yesterday, riding lazy laps through Central Park on a Monday afternoon, and it was nothing short of glorious. "It only took forty-seven years, but we did it," I wanted to tell my young self as I gave him a high-five across the chasm of time. A sunny spring afternoon in Central Park is a delight, a Seurat painting come to life--or at least this one come to life, because it's the only one I know, and only because of that scene in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off:"
As wonderful as all of this was, though, there's also nothing like Central Park on a beautiful day to make you deeply and profoundly ashamed of being a cyclist. If you look at the Seurat painting above, you'll notice certain things are missing, such as heavyset riders in full pro team kits riding hairy legs akimbo at top speed through families with young children trying to cross the park road with the light in their favor. Then again, I guess you can't blame them, since I slowed for one such family and was nearly rear-ended by a pedicab. But as deeply humiliated as I was by my fellow cyclists, at least I wasn't riding one of these:
I tweeted a still photo of the above encounter and received the following reply:
@bikesnobnyc FWIW, the guy on the left is a three time olympic pentathlete...So, like, what, I can't find that contraption ridiculous just because the guy is an Olympic multitasker? The Olympics do not necessarily imply dignity. You know what else is in the Olympics? This:
— Jonathan Lewis (@JonathanLewis) April 8, 2013
According to a 2003 poll conducted by "The Globe and Mail," 89% of Canadians watch women's curling because they're hoping to glimpse some cleavage, and the remaining 11% watch it because they're afraid the women will beat the crap out of them with those brooms if they don't.
Anyway, a pentathlon is when you do five things at the same time, so I guess it makes sense you'd train in the park on a machine that makes you do two things at the same time, and then when you get home you probably make lunch in the shower--or just soak in one of these, as forwarded by a reader:
A Dutchtub is a portable wood-fired hot tub for four. Portable enough to deliver by bicycle. Do you see where this is going? Portland’s bikey people deal with more than the usual amount of cold water most of the year. So collect it in a big beautiful tub, add 2 wheels and a bicycle hitch, brilliant Dutch design, friends or family, a hot fire, a meal cooked over flame, and it’s all good. Slip in and soothe your bones under the stars or spiteful rainy clouds, no chemicals or motors necessary. You can now rent a Dutchtub, reservations being accepted starting 1 March. The rate is $400 for 3 nights, plus a $50 deposit refundable upon clean return. This fee includes the following:
The tub, complete with cover, fire coil shield, ash tray, wok, fill and drain hose with fittings and bung, leveling shims, stir paddle, custom bicycle trailer doubling as a hand cart
Delivery and pickup by Clever-certified bicycle tubbist* within our delivery area
Setup at your site, with instruction, tips for a successful first heating
~60lbs dry wood for 1 heating; additional 60lbs @ $15
Approved cleaning products
If you're a Portlander looking for work (arguably a Portlander looking for work is about as common as a Hasid looking for a short rib sandwich) this is a great opportunity to add "certified bicycle tubbist" to your résumé. Or, if you're simply looking to schvitz in a giant bowl, this is a great opportunity to do so and to contract Legionnaire's disease in the process.
By the way, did you know there's an ElliptiGO World Championships? Because there is:
This of course raises the burning question: can UCI license holders participate in the World Championships of Elliptical Cycling under UCI rule 1.2.019?
I don't know what's dumber: shitty organizations like the UCI and USA Cycling trying to cockblock grassroots race promoters, or all the Cat 4s who are in a tizzy because they think this affects them in any way. Either way, amusingly, here's why USA Cycling thinks they're better than "unsanctioned" race organizers:
In its defense, USAC has said that in addition to helping grow the sport on the national and international levels, it brings anti-doping controls to races and more robust insurance.
That's like McDonald's claiming you shouldn't eat at independent restaurants because McDonald's food is healthier and their bathrooms are cleaner.
By the way, it's an interesting quirk of human nature that this sickens us, yet we think everything else we eat at McDonald's is somehow less disgusting only because it doesn't have a face on it--sort of like how people like pro cyclists until they actually test positive or confess. That's when the deep-fried chicken rears its crispy head.
In a way the above morsel should actually be more appealing, since at least in that case you know you're not actually eating the ass.
Of course, let's not forget that we need USA Cycling so athletes like this can fulfill their dreams:
Uh, if you want everyone to buy you a new crabon bike you should just say so.