Screeching the Surface: Don't Sell the Steak, Sell the Squealing

"To err is human; to forgive, divine." At least, that's what some schlub who messed up a lot would have you believe. The truth is, it's just this sort of "Whatever, man, I messed up and now you have to forgive me or else you're an asshole" attitude that is rotting our society from within. Low standards and lower pants are destroying this country, and it's why Canada's dollar can now beat up our dollar. We shouldnt' tolarate mistakes, and the mistake maker should be punished. Punished!

Having said that, I kind of sort of made a little mistake last Friday. Specifically, on the quiz I administered that day, this was the first question:
The correct answer, I had you believe, was the last one: "All of the above." However, subsequent to distributing the quiz I checked my Twittering account, and to my considerable embarrasmentitude I saw the following "Tweet" from the author of the actual review:

Egads! Going back to the review, I read it more carefully, and indeed the Mavic Ksyrium Delyrium SLR SL Exalith Monothith Deluxe-Tastic Crap-Sys wheelset is not actually crabon. It just looks like crabon:

The reason it looks like crabon is because it's coated with some sort of Smucker's Magic Shell-like stuff that apparently improves braking and but also makes the bike shriek like a rider with his "pants yabbies" caught in the drivetrain in the process. Yes, nobody does proprietary shrieking wheel technology like Mavic, who in recent years also brought us the Ksyrium "death squeal." I'm hoping Mavic saw fit to include that same crappy bushing in the SLR Exalith wheel with the Smucker's coating, because the freehub squeal coupled with the rim coating squeal would make these well worth the $1,800 price tag.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that "All of the above" was not the right answer. I apologize for this, and as compensation for the inconvenience I'm pleased to announce that Mavic will give everybody who took the quiz a $1,400 credit! All you have to do is, instead of buying the SLR Exalith chocolate-dipped wheelset, simply buy a pair of Mavic's perfectly serviceable road rims and attach them by means of traditional spokes to a decent quality pair of hubs. That's $1,400 right in your jersey pocket. Plus, use a menstrual cup on top of that and you'll save so much money you'll almost be able to afford to visit Canada!

In any case, after discovering my mistake I was already feeling pretty bad about myself. Then, I made the mistake of watching this video from the Dutch Cycling Embassy, which transported me to a sad realm of utter despondency:

According to the video, the Dutch have embraced cycling because they place a high value on human life, and this is precisely why we'll never see this level of bike-friendliness in America. Unlike the Dutch, we're an enlightened society, and we only place a high value on things like durable goods and real estate. Human life is supposed to get out of the way.

Still, this doesn't keep us from trying, and as you may have heard New York City is finally getting a bike-sharing program next year. In order to soften us up for it, there was a sample station set up in Brooklyn this past weekend, and so I headed over to take a look. The Dutch cycling video was still fresh in my mind, and as I rode to the demonstration I thought to myself, "What can we do to make New York City better for cyclists?" Well, we could probably start by taking the lampposts out of the bike lanes:

If you're Dutch this might seem like a bad thing, but at least it helps keep the cars out of the bike lane.

As I stood there contemplating New York's cycling present, I looked across the street, and there was the future:

Yes, it was a real-life bike sharing station, just like the ones I used in London:

I'm very pleased we're getting our own bike share, and I'm also pleased that as New York City gradually tires of the "fixie" craze it is now foisting it on other cities, like Paris:

I made a quick count, and the word "fixie" (or at least some variation thereof) appears 20 times:

Clearly the journalistic "Fixiedex" is still rather robust--unlike, say, a Spinergy Rev-X, though amazingly Parisians still seem able to obtain them:

I find it remarkable that there are almost no regional variations in the "fixie" trend and that the conformity is nearly total, though to be fair the French do appear to add their own little cultural flourishes, such as the top tube baguette:

For the picnic later, some taped baguettes to the top-tubes of their fixies, with bottles of rosé and Burgundy lashed into tote baskets.

Maybe online vendor Funked Up Fixies should add that as an option:

Then your look could be stale on every level.

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