Coming Apart at the Hems: Excessive Panting

Even though I throw together (I tend to "throw things together" instead of "curate" them) a cycling-themed blog, very few companies take the time to notify me of their new products. Still, once in awhile somebody does take the time to copy me on a press release, and for one glorious moment I feel special and legitimate because I know I'm reading something only a select few people are important enough to receive. For example, I recently learned of a "miracle increasing solution" that will "make your pecker glorious." I also just found out about a "CUSTOM KEYCHAIN FOR FIXED RIDERS :-)" that can be "customised as you like:"

This keychain comes all the way from Lyon, which is in France--a country in which Greg LeMond is a "rock star" and the roadies consume pâté like it's Gu. Not only does this fixed-gear-specific keychain allow you to express your derision for precipitation, but it also allows you to share your gear ratio with other riders:

This is actually something that could come in handy, since each group of cyclists has its own customary salutation, and for fixed-gear and singlespeed riders that salutation is "What gear are you running?" This way, you can just point to your keychain instead of squandering costly syllables. Incidentally, other common cycling salutations include:

"What pressure are you running?" (Cyclocross)
[Scowl and avoid eye contact] (Road riding)
"Where did you buy your mankini?" (Triathlon)

Unfortunately for cyclocrossers, roadies, and triathletes, none of these greetings are available. Then again, cyclocrossers, roadies, and triathletes don't carry their keys on the outside like fixed-gear riders do. Instead, they simply leave them in their race bags, or they keep them in their jersey pockets, or they secret them in an orifice so as not to spoil the lines of their skinsuits. (This partially explains the scowling and avoiding eye contact.) Consequently, any message emblazoned on a keychain would remain unseen. In any case, besides sharing your feelings about rain and your gear ratio, you can also broadcast the following:

Apparently in France, fixed-gear riders like to have sex with cars, which is something they share in common with American tourists:

Yes, the "myth" of the "ugly American" is not a myth at all; we really do travel to Europe and hump police cars.

Just keep in mind that if you do buy one of these keychains and you want people to actually read the message on it, you should make sure it does not get lost among the vibrant print of your pants, the enormous logo on the waistband of your underpants, and the inviting shape and positioning of your posterior:

Actually, given the fact that fixed-gear riders almost always expose their underpants while riding, this company probably would have been better off selling customized elastic waistbands. That way, "hipsters" could coordinate their underwear with their gear ratios, which would not only be clever, but would also provide for ready-made excuses at alleycats. ("I'd ride faster, but my bigger gear is in the wash.") As it is, the model is wearing a pair of "Insane" underpants. I had never heard of Insane underpants, though I found their website using a popular search engine and they are active in cycling sponsorship:

("All You Haters Supplement My Income")

By the way, I'm not sure "Insane" is a great name for a brand of underpants. I can understand trying to be playfully seductive, but implying that what's going on in the wearer's crotchal region is downright "Insane" just seems off-putting. If you go home with someone whose genitals are "insane" you can probably expect to find dreadlocked pubic hair, an inordinate amount of piercings, and at least one STD. Getting to "third base" with someone who has an insane genitalway could be like sticking your hand into a sweatsock full of broken glass. These underpants are a warning, not an invitation. Then again, that may be some people's idea of "Physical Culture:"

I was disappointed to see that the Times omitted Insane from the test, though I guess it's possible Insane don't do seamless. (They probably do crotchless, but the Times would doubtless shy away from that kind of testing.) I was also disappointed to find that, in the recent bicycling pants gear test (forwarded to me by a reader), there was not one pair that featured a pink zebra print:

Yes, more and more companies are making bicycle-specific casual pants, and here is the "origin story" of this hot retail segment:

UNTIL recently, any pants could be considered biking pants: all you had to do was roll up the cuffs or wrap some Velcro bands around your calves. But for people who commute by bicycle, those were not ideal solutions. Spending too long on a bike in regular trousers can wear out the seat of the pants. The rear pockets may rip from too many miles carrying a U-lock and the cuffs may get scarred with grease or shredded from encounters with the chain.

I have nothing against bicycle pants, though I do worry that their proliferation indicates that the lines of defense are retreating from the bike to the body. Why is the fact a U-lock can rip your pockets a reason to buy a new wardrobe? Why not just keep the lock in your bag or carry it on your bike? If you're having a problem with greasy and shredded cuffs, why not install a chainguard of some kind? If your pants are getting filthy from road spray, why not just use fenders? If the seat of your pants is wearing out, why use a saddle with a worn leather cover, or with rivets, or with embroidery?

Of course, the answer to all of these things is obvious--"vintage" racing saddles are cool, and U-lock brackets, chainguards, and fenders are not. It's much cooler apparently to migrate everything to your body by using special clothes and various holsters so people think you've come to read the meter until they notice the little logos which show that your work clothes have an extra zero on the price tag. The other thing to consider is that you only need to purchase one set of commuter accessories for your bike, but even the most dedicated schlub (and I consider myself a dedicated schlub) can't wear the same pants every single day. It's much more cost-effective to set up one commuting-specific bike than it is to purchase a week's worth of new commuting-specific clothing.

That said, as a schlub, I don't "curate" my cycling wardrobe; instead, I "throw it together," and as such I'm probably not qualified to comment on bicycling pants. If they work well and you like the way they look, by all means throw a pair of bicycling pants over your seamless and/or crotchless Insane underwear. You might find yourself so exuberantly comfortable that you totally slay a backwards wheelie, as you can see in this new video which has sent the entire fixed-gear freestyle world into a collective flat-brimmed tizzy:

Joel Weston from MACAFRAMA on Vimeo.

Apparently this is some kind of breakthrough, but to me something boring is no more interesting when it's performed in reverse. I know this to be true because I tried. As a test, I actually listened to that 30 Seconds to Mars song backwards, but it still sucked--though I did discover subliminal messages that alternately implored me to conform and to add the movie "Prefontaine" to my Netflix queue.

If the fixed-gear freestyle community is wondering what to name this trick, I would suggest calling it the "Hem," which, like this wheelie, is simply "Meh" backwards.

automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine