Oppression: Let My Peafowl Go

As you may have noticed, I occasionally make mention of wanting to escape from New York City. Well, today I encountered a major setback, and for the forseeable future it would appear that I'll not only be confined to this city, but also to my home. This is because a rabid, man-eating peahen has escaped from the Bronx Zoo, and until it's been captured there's no way I'm setting foot outside:

As you may be aware, this incident comes on the heels of a cobra escape (yes, I realize cobras don't have heels, but it's just a figure of speech), but that one didn't worry me because I always carry a frame-mounted pungi (you're not a true retrogrouch unless your frame has a pungi peg) and had I encountered the asp I would simply have charmed him into submission. A peahen, on the other hand, will spit caustic venom in your eyes and then make right for the genitals. By the way, apparently the correct gender-neutral term for this animal is "peafowl." Therefore, calling it a "female peacock" is like calling a woman a "female man." I admit I didn't know this, and I also assumed a female peafowl was called a "ladycock," but when I plugged the term into a popular search engine it actually yielded something that only made me more confused.

Speaking of pornography, since I'm now a shut-in I recently found myself looking at the bicycle variety. Increasingly, fixed-geardom has become the San Fernando Valley of the cycling world in that it is now the preeminent producer of bike porn, like this:

Frankly, I don't find fixed-gear bike porn even remotely compelling since I have absolutely no interest in studying racing-style bicycles ridden by people who, by and large, suck at riding them. (As someone who also sucks at riding racing bicycles I think I'm entitled to say this, and I'm also fully aware that my own race bike preferences are about as compelling as Stephen Hawking's choice of running shoe.) "Hmm, I wonder if so-and-so prefers drops or risers on his track racing bicycle for his three-mile ride to the bar" is a question I simply don't ever find myself asking.

However, I do like to peruse the bicycles of people who are actually awesome at bike riding, and who also manifest this awesomeness--not by skidding or spinning their bars while bunny-hopping, but by winning major professional races. Mark Cavendish is one of these riders, and so when I saw his Specialized Venge Schmenge profiled on the Bicycle Cycle Radar I found myself wanting to know more about his equipment choices. As it happened, I learned a bit more than I expected.

You may remember the famous instance in which Senator Larry Craig claimed to have a "wide stance" after attempting to solicit sex in a public restroom. Well, it turns out that the "Man Missile" has a wide stance too:

Not only that, but he also likes to change positions frequently:

Gary Blem, one of HTC’s mechanics at the Giro, didn’t have an explanation for the drastic drop, other than: "He’s always changing his position. He may even change it again before the stage.”

Still, his stance is not nearly as wide as that of Mario Cipollini, who had the widest stance of any rider ever to grace the peloton with his oily presence:

They say Cipollini's team mechanic used to measure his Q-factor in meters. They also say that a Saeco rider was once accidentally given one of Cipollini's spare bikes during a stage of the Tour de France, and that the ensuing groin muscle tear effectively ended his career.

Anyway, if we can find and kill you-know-who, I'm confident we can also trap this deadly she-cock or whatever it is and that I'll finally be able to go outside again. Then maybe I'll leave this town for good. As I mentioned, I have been considering launching a Kickstarter campaign, and by way of research I've been checking out what works and what doesn't. Here's a Kickstarter campaign that has failed:

Here's the pitch:

Dom through his unique approach of integrating with society, will take his tandem and invite average Egyptians to get on his bicycle and see their own country. He will act as a blank slate, with no political bias or goals, to give voice to people in a journalistic fashion but with the spirit of adventure at heart.

As far as I can tell, this project has failed for two reasons:

1) It should have been called "All You Egyptians Stoke My Tandem;"

2) A strange man in cycling shorts who goes around asking people if they'd like to get on his bicycle with him will encounter negative reactions pretty much anywhere in the world. As for what these negative reactions actually involve, that's a matter of geography, religious beliefs, and local folkways, but it could be anything from running away screaming to actually stoning him to death

This is not to say that the idea is not without merit, and indeed one might argue the moment is ripe in America for a tandem bicycle talk show. "This week on the tandem, it's Bradley Cooper promoting his new film 'Hangover 2: My Mouth Tastes Like Ass!'" As for the bicycle, it should obviously be well-upholstered, equipped with multiple coffee cup holders, and generally evocative of "The Merv Griffin Show."

In fact, in addition to being ready for a tandem talk show, a number of readers tell me that America is actually flirting with acknowledging the legitimacy of the bicycle as a form of transportation, for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is actually "concerned" about us:

“I’m concerned that people that are driving cars have a level of respect for bikers, and that’s the reason that we have these bike lanes,” said LaHood. “Bikers have as much right to the streets as anybody driving a car and I am concerned about [their safety]."

Wow, a right to the streets? Concerns for our safety?!? Sadly, LaHood probably won't get anywhere with this old-fashioned line of thinking. He should just do what the City of New York does, which is alternately ticket cyclists for minor or nonexistent infractions and call us "jerks." Not only that, but he even claims he doesn't know what a hipster is:

Told that his heartfelt defense of bikers came off like the musings of a run-of-the-mill hipster, LaHood professed genuine confusion.

“I don’t even know what that term means,” he said.

Riiight. Sounds like something a total hipster would say:

("Hipster? Me? I don't even know what that term means.")

Amazingly, though, even New York City may be loosening up, for I've learned from the Tweeter that the Central Park ticketing blitz may finally be relenting:

“The overall concept is: if there’s a red light and there’s pedestrian, the rules apply, you have to stop on a bicycle. If there’s a red light and no pedestrian, you can go on,” she said.

However, the police officer still gets to call you a jerk.

Penultimately, I'd like to share with you just a few of the most recent "There Will Be Action Wipes" contest submissions:

Here's an iconified version of the Flux Capacitor, superimposed on the TTTSWRFFTPT's flavor saver, all framed by an Aerospoke for good measure and international-symbol-roundedness.

At first glance, I actually thought that was a merkin, and while it's too early to say if this is a potential winner, it would definitely be my among my first choices for an armband design if we were ever to raise a standing cycling army.

Here's another compelling design:

Points of interest:

Canary-yellow "kit," with the t-shirt filling with air like a windsock.

Sunglasses and soul patch for the "X" factor.

Aero bars, seat bag, and absence of hydration supply.

Chain stay, seat stay, and rear spokes creating the time mechanism, making it possible for quantum leaps.

Typical sign shape for "crossing" encompassing the rider, warning you that TTTSWRFFTPT's voyage may intersect with yours.

I like it, but it may be a little "hipster" for Ray LaHood's tastes.

Here's another submission that overshoots "symbol" and hits "art" right in the "pants yabbies:"
That one, of course, was submitted by Al Hirschfeld.

And lastly, there are no surer signs of Bike Month than a bumper crop of lascivious bike-themed Craigslist "Missed Connections:"

Shortie with tattoos on a bike - m4w - 28 (Manhattan Bridge)
Date: 2011-05-10, 2:45PM EDT

Sup girl you were riding your sweet teal FIXED GEAR BIKE up the bridge and down the bridge and you had some nice sleeves goin on can I get up in them guts?

How did she get tattoos on her bike?

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