Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lest Ye Be Judged

To look at someone and not judge them by their appearance is a unique gift indeed. I am not unique in this respect. Therefore, despite my best intentions to be a humble, open-minded cyclist, I judge riders by what they wear. Sometimes, cruelly so. I estimate their personality through the narrow lens of a simple head to toe once over and an ear for their introductory line. It's eery how similar my imagined person is to the real one.

First Impressions: Wears Spiderman underwear on lazy Sunday mornings, LOVES chocolate, gets a crimson moustache when drinking juice, has a wife that LOVES chocolate, always cleans his plate, walks bike across streets and intersections, knows a guy that has a friend that "raced" with Lance, favorite movie is Look Who's Talking.

Opening Line: "I have to go potty."

First Impressions: Reads the Wall Street Journal, has a bra on the front of his SUV, drinks a skim, extra whip, triple pump, double shot, caramel macchiato with four sugars, refers to his bike as "she", pays a guy to mow his lawn, doesn't own any tools, will be in the hospital in three weeks because he "never saw that fucker coming", favorite movie is Die Hard

Opening Line: "On your left!"

First Impressions: Virgin, has a bad case of the Powerbar shits, has lots of excuses for lack of results, chain has 10,000 miles on it, 30 minutes to change a flat, never buy a bike from him, bitches about his sponsor's lack of charitable swag, wore Crocs "way before anyone else", impressed by anyone with an SRM, favorite movie is The Fast and the Furious.

Opening Line: "Can't talk. Training."

First Impressions: High school physics teacher, still wears the shorts he bought with the helmet, will only fix bike with found parts, wears sweatpants when cold, wipes nose with nasty old handkerchief, has business card with the title "Tinkerer/Inventor", hangs out with other bearded folk, favorite movie is Back to the Future.

Opening Line: "I bought this a long time ago and it still works."

First Impressions: Dines regularly at Old Country Buffet, has a saddle bigger than most 5 year old children, really likes the idea of a recumbent, wonders why more people don't put flags on their bikes, rotates helmet backward to protect the back of the head better, doesn't get why bikes need "all those speeds", always shifts at worst possible moment, prefers milkshakes to beer, gummy bears serve as energy food, favorite movie is Garfield.

Opening line: "Mind if I tag along?"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

That Hellion Ping Pong

In light of the new 2008 bicycles being received by shops across the U.S., and the multitude of shitty factory assemblies and broken parts, I figure it's time to out the crafty son of a bitch that is responsible for all the angst. And, that man is Ping Pong.

Ping Pong's true identity is a mystery, though, I imagine him to resemble Beggar So of Master with Cracked Fingers fame. Regardless, he lives in a bicycle factory in China and finds great satisfaction in tormenting bike mechanics the world over. He's a practical joker of gargantuan proportions and genuine pain in the ass.

Ping Pong's storied mischief is on par with Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's long list of crimes. Which, leads me to believe that Ping Pong sleeps with one eye open and is likely immortal. His passion for discord is only matched by his affinity for good drink (as indicated by the wine cork we discovered in a bike box). His desire is not so much to anger, but annoy. He is a hellion.

Aside from his trademark shenanigans of crossthreaded stem bolts, seized hubs, and short cable housings, Ping Pong has taken some novel approaches that have elevated his game to a whole new level. Such as employing critters to shock and annoy when bike boxes are torn open. Or, installing bottom brackets that are too long to let you shift to the big ring. He'll even whack the fuck out of bikes in all sorts of obvious places with his crappy old cane. All of this adds up to time consuming fix its, part swaps, paint touch-ups, RA's, and beer swilling fits of exasperation.

I can't prove he's got anything to do with the lead-painted toys or poisoned tooth paste, but I have a feeling that he may be expanding his operations. Although I respect the man and admire the passion and playfulness he brings to his work, the bottom line is Ping Pong is one old, dirty bastard.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Softest Kids in the World

School's finally in session here in Chicagoland. I'm not sure what the state of affairs is in other areas around the nation, but it's a sad, ridiculous sight rolling by the endless parade of automobiles inching toward the front door of school. Why they don't say "Fuck it, Johnny. I'm gonna drop you off at the corner here and you walk the extra 300 feet", I'll never understand.

They have to cross a busy street? Why the hell are you wasting your hard earned coin on that expensive private school if your kids are such dipshits that they can't cross a damn street? Unless your kid has had a lobotomy, there's no reason you can't teach them to look both ways and wait for the walk signal.

Billy can't walk that far? If there's one thing I can't stand it's parents that enable their kids to be losers by falling for their perpetual complaints and whining. Here's an idea: Tell Billy to quit being such a pussy and harden the fuck up.

Chauncy might get kidnapped? You may as well head for the sewers and live like a bunch of home schooled CHUD's if you're that scared of the daily grind.

How about instilling a sense of responsibility and self reliance in your kids instead of lethargy and entitlement? Some individuality instead of robotic emulation. How about a bike instead of 9 months of chauffered rides to school? Fuckin' A.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam 0006

No doubt the man's a sham. Wow. [Ledeen]
Always a good read. [Juan Cole]
Vuelta goodness. [Freire's Third]

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam 0005

Washington will never learn: [Proxy War]
Dick sucks: [Selling War with Iran]
Al Jazeera Focus: [The Armies of Iraq]
The esteemed Harris Cyclery: [Panoramic Shop Photos and More]

If you see this at the local bike shop, ask them where the dildos are.

Menchov Putting on the hurt in the Vuelta.
Photo: Cyclingnews

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Poor Bastards Vol. 1

We all know that in the petty social climate of today if you screw shit up, the torch wielding mobs with forked tongue and self righteous bluster will come out in droves to call you out on it. Michael Vick got caught. So did former Republican Senator Larry Craig. Even that anti-semantic dickface Mel Gibson got nailed. And so, with all the tabloid smut being peddled as news by the major networks, I got to thinking. Isn't it time cycling grew some balls and started castigating the poor bastards that fuck cycling up for the rest of us? I think it is.

This new feature is dedicated to all the cyclists out there that are tired of being asked if they're going to do the Tour de France. It's dedicated to the cyclists that are sick of watching bicycles be chopped, flopped, and diddled by trend whores. And goddammit, it's dedicated to the cyclists that clench their teeth when the lobotomized masses transform bicycles into creaky abominations like a bunch of playschool barbarians.

Thus it is with great fanfare and humility that I give you the first edition of the fruits of my investigative labor: "The Poor Bastards"

When I first saw this bike, my first reaction was "Who shit on my floor?" Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it resembled a bicycle. It might even have been one at some point in time. However this one seemed to have a cancerous growth within it's midsection and rear wheel. I couldn't help but feel a strange sense of pity and disgust. It was like I had come face to face with Frankenstein's monster.

The bastards, full of hubris, thought they could save some coin and assemble this 75 lb (an official weight- we measured) beast themselves. Apparently, the complexity of the Electrec was too great for even their heightened intellect. For, no sooner had they assembled their two wheeled magnum opus, it turned on them and went "all crazy". It was a swift descent to the pave, no doubt.

There's a saying by a great man that I know who said of a remarkable incompetent, "Everything he does is wrong." This is his inanimate equivalent. If you look closely, I believe you can see the profile of Fausto Coppi weeping.

Short Journey Ended

Back from vacation. Expect the high jinx and elitist drivel to grace these pages once again.

I spent some time away with the wife and had a fine time of drinkin', ridin', swimmin', and deconstructing the billion or so ways that retards continue to ride bikes without killing anyone.

The arsenal of societal loathing and crude observation have been reinforced ten-fold.