Agents of Change: Of Freds and Men

The empowering effect the Internet has had on humanity is so profound and far-reaching as to be immeasurable. It has fomented revolution in the Middle East. Videos of doggie "three-ways" are merely a mouse click away. And now, as Klaus from Cycling Inquisition tells me, you can decide who's going to be on Team RadioShack's (pronounced "LAY-oh-pard Trek") Tour de France team:

Yes, that's right: Johan Bruyneel, a director who once reigned over a Tour-winning machine like a potentate, is now allowing you to pick, say, Robbie McEwen in the same cavalier manner in which you might "like" a doggie three-way video. Then, once the lineup is set, I imagine RadioShack will "drop" their new "app:"

With the RadioShack "U-Direct It!" app, you're in the driver's seat of the team car, and you get to control all the action from your smartphone or tablet:

[Note: "Attack" button not compatible with Levi Leipheimer.]

By the way, RadioShack aren't the only ones taking social networking to a new level at this year's Tour, and for the first time TV network Versus is offering viewers the opportunity to choose the commentating team. This could spell trouble for the venerable duo of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, for beating them in the polling at the moment is the unlikely pairing of actor Morgan Freeman and fictional 1980s newscasting puppet Gary Gnu:

This may seem a bit arbitrary, but word is they totally "killed it" last year when they co-hosted the Latin Grammys.

Apparently, he jumped out from behind a house like a silent movie villain, joined the ride, and then totally bogarted the showers at the finish:

Despite being told to leave the event by other participants, Riccò rode the whole course and then even had the nerve to use the shower facilities provided by the organisers at the finish in Voghera, near Milan.

By the way, Riccò is not the only controversial professional to "ride bandit" in this fashion. Back in 2008, the Rock Racing team actually jumped into a race in Brooklyn's Prospect Park when they were in town for the Harlem Skyscraper Classic. Of course, Rock Racing ultimately folded, but with the right look Riccò could have a long career ahead of him as an organized ride-crasher. I think he should get his hands on a fixie and dress like this, which would allow him to slither undetected into rides like the Five Boro Bike Tour:

The above image was forwarded to my by a reader, who cannily observed that the rider is clearly the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork's evil doppelgänger:

It's clear to me now that we stand on the cusp of an apocalyptic war between Good and Evil that could very well lay waste to the Universe, and that at this point there is only one man who can save us:

It is written in the Book of Fred that if the Lone Wolf should take the maillot jaune, mankind shall be saved. Of course, for that to happen, we need to get him a spot on the Team RadioShack Tour de France squad, but once he has his white-sneakered foot in the door winning the overall should be easy for him.

Speaking of empowerment and changing the future, from Athens, Greece I recently received a link to by far the most socially significant fixie "edit" ever "curated:"

The Prism: Riders on the Storm from localathensfilms on Vimeo.

If you're wondering what motivates these riders, according to the video their goal is two-fold:

1) "The creation of a community which will reflect the ideas of the group and will have a more solid political stance in relation to all that goes on around us;"


2) "The creation of conceptual actions that basically aim to reinforce collective imagination of the city's inhabitants towards a specific direction."

Wow. Meanwhile, this remains the state of affairs here in Canada's oversized bottom bracket:

I suppose you could also call that a conceptual action that reinforces collective imagination towards a specific direction. Granted, I'm not sure what that specific direction actually is, but I'm guessing it's somewhere towards the vicinity of the snack drawer.

And elsewhere in not-America, a reader informs me that some Stockholm politicians feel cyclists should be allowed to run red lights:

“As a cyclist you want to feel free and it is not as easy to go an extra two blocks as if you are in a car. There is a risk that people ignore the rules anyway, and then it is better to make it legal in an orderly fashion,” he said to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Sounds perfectly sensible to me, but of course the big question is this: "So what about that teen boy who grabbed his principal's butt?"

Well, it's an unfortunate situation, and the principal reportedly feels "humiliated:"

She doesn't look all that humiliated to me, but then again Swedes can be difficult to read.

Lastly, from our nation's capital, a reader has sent me this exquisite example of a disembodied arm:

I just wish I could figure out how he's making that bike stand up without a kickstand.

It must be Photoshopped.

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