In a very short while I will be departing London for Italy. Despite the near-impossibility of finding a meal here that doesn't involve some combination of baked beans and pork products, I'm very fond of London, and I will leave with a heavy heart. I'll also leave with a heavy wardrobe, since thanks to all the rain my entire wardrobe is waterlogged.
I'm also very fond of Look Mum No Hands, which is where we had my BRA:
Though the gentleman in the helmet looks less than plussed to see me:
You know, "back in the day," if you wanted a new bicycle tire, a quinoa salad with corriander, a beer, an espresso, and a place to watch the Giro d'Italia, you had to go to five different establishments. Now, all you have to do is go to Look Mum No Hands!
Actually, come to think of it, if you walked into an establishment in most places "back in the day" and asked for four out of five of those things they'd probably tell you to get a haircut, accuse you of being one of those "hummus sexuals," and throw you out.
Yes, these kids today don't know how good they have it, what with their multifaceted bike shops and their normal-length hair and their crazy rock and roll t-shirts:
I don't know who this "Wildcat Rock Machine" is, but I bet he's one of those singers who goes on stage without any pants.
After the ritualistic Stilted Presentation During Which I Perspire Heavily, followed by the Defacement of the Books With a Sharpie (where are Sharpies when you really need them?), I lingered for awhile to enjoy the company, the establishment, and the fine art for which it is famous:
In fact, they even presented me with one of the above posters for myself, which they lashed to my handlebars with rubber bands:
By the way, if you're wondering why I've stopped, I swear it wasn't to steal this person's saddle:
Not only do I already have a very fine saddle of my own, but Eric "The Chamferer" Murray also told me reassuringly that if I ever used another one he'd gut me like a whitefish.
There's a warm, tingly feeling that comes with making lame wisecracks to a roomful of Londoners and then not having them line up to headbutt you in the teeth, and I relished both this feeling and my intact incisors as I rode back to my accommodations. I even caught myself fantasizing about living in London--though if I were to do so I'd have to affect a swashbuckling persona, start wearing a cape, and also purchase a dagger cane:
When the boutique bike shop café forgets to put the corriander in your quinoa salad, nothing conveys your profound dissatisfaction like the gleaming blade of a dagger cane.
I even enjoyed riding in London, though there are certain things that remain mysterious to me. For example, why do they make the cyclists ride with the buses?
In fact, the lit sign that I'm too incompetent to photograph legibly is ordering "cycles, buses, and taxis" to ride together:
Where I come from, buses and taxis are the last vehicles you want to ride with, and taxi drivers and bus drivers seem to have an unspoken agreement to make every collaborative effort to squash cyclists into panini.
Then again, I suppose all you have to do in London is brandish your dagger cane and everybody gives you the space you need.
With that, I am off to Italy for the fullest of bike days, Full Bike Day, where I will speak on Sunday, May 13th:
In case you're wondering, I will not be seeing the Giro, because I believe this weekend the Giro will be somewhere around here:
Whereas I will be somewhere around here:
Fittingly, I'll be the piece of gum stuck to Italy's heel.
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