Sweaty BRAs: Keeping Austin Weird

As I mentioned yesterday, I am fixin' to give away some Knog Blinder lighting apparatuses in the near future.  (Yes, I said "fixin'," I've become more folksy since touring the midwest, even though I'm pretty sure they don't even say that there.)  Most likely I will dispense of these strobe-inducing Pulsars from Down Undar by means of some sort of contest, though I'm still working out the details of what that contest might be.  One possibility I haven't yet ruled out is a contest involving professional bicycle riding person Linus Gerdemann:

Basically, the way it would work is that whoever can stare into the eyes of his incredibly perturbing Twitter photo (above) for the longest would get the Blinders.  So far I can only manage it for about three seconds, which is half a second less than I can stare into an actual Blinder.  Chances are I won't actually go with the Stare Into the Eyes of Linus Gerdemann contest though, since: 1) it would be nearly impossible to verify the results; and 2) all the contestants who suffer from nervous breakdowns as a result would probably file a class action lawsuit against me.  Still, I haven't ruled it out entirely, so feel free to practice at your own risk.

Then, if you win the Knogs, you can celebrate like this (to which I was alerted by a reader):

While the podium administrator on the right is displaying a look of profound post-ejaculatory nonplussitude, my eye gravitated to the aministrator on the left, who appears ready to catch something about to be "hiked" from the winner's posterior:

("Hut one!  Hut two!  Hut three...")

That's a podium party as directed by Sam Peckinpah.

However, if you crave less salacious fare, you can always watch this Kickstarter pitch from two people who want $1,000 to ride from London to Ipswich:

I'm a little confused by this pitch, but from what I gather we're supposed to want to fund their journey because they once had an awesome time in Austin and plan to have a similarly awesome time in England.  Plus, they "will write and blog" about it:

Do you promise?

Also, there's this:

Jay has never been out of the United States. Jodi’s Nana (see video) wants desperately to meet Jay. Add bicycles and cameras for a 10-day pedal-driven adventure.We will start off in London where we plan to see traditional sites such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.

So if you're dying to please someone else's grandmother and fund trite visits to utterly predictable landmarks, dig deep and help these two get there:

By the way, according to a popular search engine's mapping function, it's about 75 miles from London to Ipswich, which means they're only asking $13.33 per mile to ride their bicycles while on vacation.  Compared to some other Kickstarter pitches I've seen, that's a relative bargain.

Speaking of Austin and blogging about trips, I was in Austin this past weekend, and I'm about to blog about it, but while I'm sure you'll find it extremely tedious at least I'm not charging you for it.  By the way, if you're unfamiliar with Austin, it's the capital of Texas, it's hot enough to melt your "pants yabbies" and scald your bald spot (assuming you "run" a bald spot like I do), and it was a bicycle friendly community from 2007-2011:

I'm not sure what's happened since then, but presumably they've just said, "Fuck it."

Like a balding tumbleweed, I blew into town on Friday night, and I already found the town in a state of advanced revelry:

If you enjoy shirtless motorcycling, being drunk in revealing clothing, or just plain shouting "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" like a Fred who's just hit 46mph, then Austin is your kind of town.  If, on the other hand, you prefer more refined pleasures such as quiet cocktails, polite conversation, and maintaining your dignity, you might be more at home elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Austin is tacky.  In fact, I've been there a number of times now, and I've developed a real affinity for it.  All I'm saying is that it often transcends tacky and goes straight to grotesque--to wit, these automobiles whose owners are presumably "sleeping one off" upstairs:

Hopefully they managed to "liase" with the limousine crew from the liquor store parking lot.

Of course, with the morning comes reflection, and I emerged to find a parade:

Which, as far as I could tell, was in celebration of this guy:

The bridge was closed to traffic for the festivities, but I slipped in behind some bicycle poloists and crossed it anyway, secure in the knowledge that if I incurred a flat tire I could at least borrow a floor pump:

Here's a deluxe float complete with a map of Texas and a fire extinguisher:

And here's a more pedestrian float complete with whatever the Texas versions of yentas are doing whatever the Texas equivalent of kibitzing is while sitting on bales of hay:

Here's a man large of girth taking a photograph:

And here are some helmentless motorcyclists bringing up the rear;

The only motorcyclists who wear helments in Austin seem to be the crotch rocket riders, who festoon them with mohawks and wear them in lieu of shirts, as I mentioned earlier.

By the way, snobby easterners seem to think Texans are intolerant, but this is far from the truth, for I was in town for a good ten hours before I even saw a slur painted on somebody's car:

You might think that's just a petty act of homophobic vandalism, but you'll notice that the driver has parked outside of the lines, and in the case of parking violations the Austin Police Department actually dispenses slurs instead of tickets.  (The vehicle registration displayed in your windshield includes your ethnic and religious background as well as your sexual orientation.)

Nevertheless, there's plenty of "alternative" behavior and lifestyles on display in Austin, hence all those bumper stickers that say "Keep Austin Weird."  People take this mandate seriously too, for where else are you likely to see a recumbent rider and a rider carrying a hula hoop well before 10am?

Then again, I think it's a hula hoop, though it could just be a gigantic earring:

By this point I was hungry, and so I tethered my Detachable Travel Chariot to the ol' hitchin' post and ordered up some vittles, making sure to refer to the waiter as "Underpants" like in that scene from "National Lampoon's Vacation:"

I also made sure to put on my best authentic Texas accent, but I don't think the waiter appreciated it.  Of course, not only is my accent is dead on, but everybody knows that locals love it when you speak to them in a broad parody of their accent.  Therefore, his unresponsiveness could only have been because, like most Austinites, he had probably moved there from Brooklyn less than two weeks ago.  In any case, as I sat there eating my huevos con matzoh, I could feel those laid back Austin vibes washing over me, the heat pummeling me into submission as I was slowly transformed into an ugly, balding version of Matthew McConaughey.  I was reasonably sure that, by around 9pm that night, I'd be cycling around shirtless and yelling "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" to nobody in particular.

Eventually though, I had to pull myself together for my ride and BRA at Mellow Johnny's, and on my way there I was nearly run down by a human-powered bar:

I'm reasonably sure that these were the ladies from the limousine I had spotted in the liquor store parking lot the night before:

And they seemed plussed in a way that only people drinking beer early in the day can be:

Once at the shop, riders gathered, and we set out onto the open road, my scalp sizzling in the midday sun:

I was immediately dropped on the "climbs:"

Though I quickly caught back on during the "descents:"

Finally, we stopped to admire the capital building:

Pictured here:

Before we returned to Mellow Johnny's for the BRA proper, during which I admirably managed not to collapse from heatstroke.

From there, it was on to Boulder, though I will wait until to molest you with the details concerning that trip.  In the meantime, I invite you to ponder this bicycle, which I spotted in that city:

Now that's a cockpit.

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