Sideways: Take Me Away!

If you were around "back in the day," then you might remember this commercial:

Who among us can't relate? It's a sentiment that rings as true today as it did back then. The goddamn traffic. That sonofabitch boss! That Spawn of Satan baby!! And the dog!!! Oh my God, won't somebody kill that fucking dog!?!?!

Between David Berkowitz and the Calgon lady, people of the 1970s and '80s were highly susceptible to dog-induced stress. This, as much as anything else, was responsible for the so-called "cat boom" of the 1990s.

In any case, when I find myself overwhelmed by the barking baby and the crying dog and the boss who snarls indecipherable orders at me, I can't just slip into a hot bath with a bar of Calgon--mostly because the dog always follows me in, and the smell of wet canine is not exactly aroma therapy. So instead, I daydream about people whose lives I envy, and I imagine what they're probably doing right then.

I used to imagine Mario Cipollini, since it's a pretty good bet that at any given moment he's pectorals-deep in decadence at his Tuscan villa--either that, or he's just riding shirtless:

Now, though, I've found somebody who lives even more sumptuously than Mario Cipollini. That person is of course the man we met yesterday, Larry Olmsted, writer of "The Great Life" column on In addition to being the author of canonical cycling classics such as "Why You Need A Custom Road Bike," he also penned "Dog Days of Summer? Not With the KoolCollar!," which you'll no doubt recognize as perhaps the single greatest thing ever written about how to keep your dog from getting too hot.

Anyway, there I was, once again drowning in life's travail as an overheated dog humped my leg and a baby, in turn, humped the dog. And once again, I wondered how I could possibly manage all this stress. Taking a deep breath, I thought to myself, "I wonder what old Larry's up to right now. Something fabulous no doubt." So I checked his Twitter, and sure enough he was in Norway stuffing his face full of moose meat:
Sigh... I can almost taste the fur. Moose meat, take me away!

By the way, when he's not gorging himself on moose, Olmsed is riding around Italy dressed as a cow:

Presumably he never saw the movie "Top Secret." Or, more profoundly, maybe he did.

But while it's easy to be jealous of people like Larry Olmsted, whose lives are filled with custom bicycles, and moose meat, and cow jerseys, and Golden Retrievers with ice collars around their necks, it's important to remember that life just isn't fair. The truth is, the universe doesn't owe you anything, and it all comes down to the fact that some people are simply better than others. Larry Olmsted is one of those people. You ride a Cannondale, he rides a Seven. You eat chicken, he eats moose meat. You have a regular jersey that's one color, he has a mottled one that makes him look like the world's Fredliest Holstein.

Look, he can't help it if he's naturally awesome. And how awesome is he? Well, he's so awesome that he had to get a singlespeed because he was too fast for the group ride:

I got my first single speed three years ago because I often participated in group fun rides where the pace was bit slow and not challenging, but that’s okay because I was there for the social aspect. But I soon thought, if instead of slacking off so I could hang and chat, what if I was working the entire time?

Sure, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "If you're so fast why don't you just find a stronger group instead of sandbagging on the MS ride?" Well, that's just the sort of thing a loser would say. See, what I've learned from reading Olmsted's work is that you can't think like a loser--you have to think like a Larry. Sure, a loser might just quit that slow group ride, but a Larry just keeps taking parts off his bike until the ride is hard again. Problem solved.

Actually, I think USA Cycling should introduce this concept to bike racing. Instead of having a bunch of different categories, there should just be a single Category 5, and instead of upgrading you they could just remove components every time you win. This way, the slow people could all ride their custom Sevens, and the fast people would have to ride unicycles.

This is the beauty of Larryism. Instead of seeking new challenges and experiences, you simply change your equipment. This allows you to live in a perpetual state of moronic condescension.

Speaking of singlespeeds, a reader has forwarded me one that is so "bad ass" that even Larry "Too Strong For The Group Ride" Olmsted probably couldn't handle it:

Bad Ass Bike - $315 (The Dalles Ore)
Date: 2011-07-19, 8:36PM PDT
Reply to:

This is a bad ass mother fucker Bike. This bike has no speed limit. Brand new chain tenser. If you can't handle it, I have the shimano derailer. Michelin Kromion tires ($60.00 per tire.) (Sugio) 52 teeth front sproket, fuji bars & seat post. Alex rims, tektro clip on brakes.
Adam 600 vintage pedals. 1 altar custom butted alloy frame.

This bike is meant for a hard-core mother fucker.....

Call Kirk at 541-993-[deleted] $ 315.00 or best offer

Do you know what the definition of "bad ass" is? It's a chain that contains at least two right angles:

The only way you can outdo that is with the elusive "Cat's Cradle" setup:

Show up at the SSWC with that and they'll give you the winner's tattoo before the race even begins.

Meanwhile, moving from "bad ass" to "bad Assos," another reader tells me that the gilded "A" is still running ads which feature egregious examples of cleat/pedal incompatibility:

To wit:

You'd really think they'd have noticed by now. Then again, the model is probably another Larryist, and he set his bike up that way on purpose since his local charity ride wasn't hard enough.

Also, the very same reader also sent me this ad, which features a disembodied hand:

As much as I admire downhill mountain bike chic and the manner in which it evokes chin-strap facial hair, "peeing Calvin" decals, and that whole 1990s "cat boom"-era Limp Bizkit aesthetic in general, I also can't help thinking that the hand would be doing him a huge favor by handing him a change of clothes instead of a camera. At the very least, perhaps the hand could proffer him this anorak, to which I was alerted by high-end clothier Outlier:

Here are three (3) quick facts about this garment:

--It is "experimental;"
--It has a magnetic dickey;
--It costs $425.

It's also an ideal choice for scurrying crab-like on all fours:

Beyond this though I'm sorry to say I can't provide you with any additional insight. For example, I have no idea why it's "experimental," though perhaps the magnetic dickey is untested and there's still some danger of strangulation. (Warning: never use your magnetic dickey while wearing metallic neck jewelry.) Also, the jacket appears to have something on the order of 97 pockets, and from the looks of things can be folded up into the shape of a teddy bear, but as for how you'd do this or why I have no idea. Presumably, if you break your leg while scurrying on stuff and get stranded in the wilderness, you can snuggle the teddy bear as you alternately scream for help and sob about the cruelness of fate.

I will hand it to Outlier, though, for this appears to be by far their most complicated garment to date. I'd get one myself, except I'm reasonably sure I couldn't figure it out and would get caught in it like a straight jacket. Also, I try to keep the crab-like scurrying to a minimum. And, it's $425, which I could use instead to buy like 20 moronically simple baja-style pullovers with the marijuana smell pre-impregnated:

Thus attired, I'd hop on my sideways bike (forwarded by another reader) and ride off into the sunset:

Of course, you really should get a custom sideways bike, but I'm saving that article for Forbes.
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