A Certain Extent: A Short Jog Off A Long Island

There are those who say that cycling is elitist, a rarefied pursuit for people obsessed with "weird style diktats."  I'd like to say that isn't the case, and that anybody who wishes to enjoy cycling can do so free from judgement and ridicule.  Unfortunately that isn't always the case.  Consider, for example, the reply a reader recently received from a shop in France when he inquired about road bike rentals:


Yes we rent bikes racing in your size, you must give me your height in cm and the exact extent of your crotch so you know.*
It may be compact in 50/34
Rates are 20 euros per day for an aluminum bike

Thank you for the information on your waist so that we can make a reservation*


*[emphasis mine]

Understandably, the reader who received this reply was rather taken aback.  Since when does the "extent of your crotch" have anything to do with bicycle fitting?  Incorporating such a metric seems spurious at best, and to me the inference seems to be that if your endowment isn't "extensive" enough that you should look elsewhere.

Then again, she does also add that "It may be compact" (specifically "50/34," which I assume corresponds to length/girth, though I have no idea which unit of measurement they're actually employing), so maybe I've got that all wrong and they will accommodate everybody.  Presumably though, if your "setup" is compact, then they won't give you a Cipollini:

Now that's a big boy's bike.

By the way, if you've ever longed to learn the origin story of the MCipollini bicycle, it's available on their site:

If you have anything resembling an actual full-time job, or if you're offended by explicit sexual content involving two consenting adult males (one of whom spends at least part of the video naked and covered in oil), then you may not have the time or the stomach to watch the strange, lengthy, erotic journey that unfolds above.  Therefore, I'm pleased to present you with the short version.  First, some guy is compelled yet intimidated by the MCipollini's formidable size:

Then, there are a bunch of shots of Cipollini himself sensuously stroking his robust head tube:

Which eventually convinces the guy to get on Cipollini's "missile:"

I realize I just made that sound completely pornographic, but that's only because it is.

Meanwhile, another reader has forwarded me this editorial from the Huffington Post, which was written by somebody who should leave New York immediately:

Basically, she tells the story of how she runs across the Prospect Park roadway while wearing headphones and listening to insipid music at high volume:

Earlier today, I was running in one of your beautiful parks, listening to some very upbeat music created by one of your talented natives, Lady Gaga. I turned the volume up as I entered the park because I knew that upon entering on that Tuesday morning that I was safe from traffic. I ran up the park's entrance and dutifully made my way to the pedestrian's lane, running in a diagonal to get to my designated feet-only zone.

For which she is duly chided by a group of cyclists:

Suddenly, a group of your worst inhabitants that you allow within your borders, your wretched group of spandex-wearing cyclists -- who for whatever reason were biking en masse in the middle of the day on a Tuesday because they don't have real jobs -- whizzed by me and startled me right out of my earbuds. Their leader, a tactless male with questionably low amounts of hair on his legs, screamed, "Heads up!" right into my ear.

Presumably it didn't occur to her that she should look before running across the roadway, or that she should keep her stupid Lady Gag-Gag crap turned down until she got to the jogger's lane.  It also evidently didn't occur to her that she's also in the park in the middle of the day on Tuesday because she doesn't have a real job either--though she is apparently a complete dupe and a full-time pain in the ass:

Now, I know what you're thinking dear New York, and let me defend myself. I do in fact have the very thick skin required to live here, and I believe mine is thicker than most of your inhabitants. When cabs try to tell me their credit card machine is broken and I have to pay cash, I show them my phone, which is already dialing 311 to report them. I've threatened my landlord into fixing just about anything from faulty staircases to poltergeists, and I have successfully seen to it that the builders of Barclay Stadium stop leaving their pvc pipes in front of my house by telling all of the construction workers that my good friend Jay-Z will have them shut down if they don't properly store their materials (we're not friends; I just wear sunglasses when I say this to the workers). I have dealt with bartenders using my credit card to buy Chinese food, the cashiers at Chipotle getting my order wrong at lunch hour, and I may be the only person in New York who has actually received a jay-walking ticket -- which I paid in full. My sweet, mild-mannered family, all still oblivious to the harshness of this world because they choose to live in California, have long ago accepted that New York has made me a huge, huge bitch and have asked me to help negotiate their phone bill overcharges on several occasions.

It's worth noting at this point that New York doesn't turn people into anything ("bitches" or otherwise); it merely extracts the essence of who you already are.  In any case, at this point I figured the piece must be a parody, since while New York City is full of California transplants who do stuff like use credit cards in bars, hassle construction workers, and generally walk around with a sense of entitlement, they're usually not so self-aware.  Evidently though she's actually the real deal, because I checked her Twitter and found this:

Actually, Brooklyn cyclists like the ones she encountered are already on a very long island.  Appropriately enough, it's called Long Island:

Perhaps she's the one who should leave it and go back to California or Manhattan or some other place that's not New York.

Either that, or she should take the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach and get herself a bicycle.  Sure, I don't know the "extent of her crotch" so I don't know if she'd enjoy riding an MCipollini, but I do know that this bike (forwarded by yet another reader) would be perfect for riding in Prospect Park while listening to some Lady Gah-Gah, because it's got some sweet mods:

Scott carbon fiber CR-1 bicycle - $1200 (New Castle, DE 19720)
Date: 2012-04-15, 11:21PM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

Scott carbon fiber bicycle, model CR-1, good condition, Kevlar tires, new chain, replaced hard skinny original equipment seat with comfortable "memory foam" seat. Large size frame [139 mm].

I had the bicycle shop convert it to straight handlebars for better steering control, which could mean the difference in saving you from having an accident when the front wheel of your Kevlar tires with 115 lbs. pressure hits a pot hole, since it gives more leverage for better control than the narrower curved type handlebars.

I also had the bicycle shop drill out bigger tire valve stem holes, to accommodate standard car tire size air pumps. So you won't need to keep an adapter with you at all times. And the shop adapted a kickstand to fit the carbon fiber frame, so you won't need to lay the bike down or prop it against something each time you get off it. It also has extra heavy tire tubes.

The bicycle shop told me this was one of the last USA made Scott bicycles, before they switched to having their bikes made for them in Taiwan. I bought it in 2006, and I noticed that over 60% of the professional bicycle racers at a race I saw back then all had the same type of Scott bicycle as mine. So I presume the "R" in the model designation "CR-1" stands for racing model.

A Taiwan-made Scott model CR-1sells today for $3,000. I paid $2600 for mine in 2006. But that didn't include Kevlar tire up-grades.

Asking a very reasonable $1200. But local pick-up only, unless you pay a shipper to come get the bicycle from me and pay me cash at that time. I've attached four pics of it. Let me know if you want to see more.

NOTICE TO ALL WOULD-BE SCAMMERS: Don't bother send me one of those nutball emails telling me you will send me a [phony] certified check. NO checks of ANY type. Cash payment only.

Yes, don't try to scam this guy--he already fell victim to the one where the bike shop told him his crabon Scott was made in the USA.  I also was particularly saddened by the valve hole drilling, since it's obvious that the seller is one of those people who is unable to imagine an inflation source that's not a gas station air hose.

It does boast a magnificent pie plate though.

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