Sustenance: We're All Cannibals

As the hour draws closer to the commencement of my BRA tour, on which I will chase the elusive burrito of literary success, I find myself deeply immersed in preparation. Primarily, this preparation involves "curating" my BRA tour bicycle, which I am turning into a sort of "DIY" coupled bike via judicious application of hacksaw and hose clamps. This is harder than it sounds, because I also have to allow for my handlebar-mounted live lobster tank, so that I may pay obeisance to the Holy Crustacean while in motion, as is central to my faith.

The first stop of my BRA tour will be Mellow Johnny's bicycular shoppe in Austin, TX on Wednesday, June 16th. I've visited Austin before, and while I found it to be disgustingly hot I also found this heat was mitigated by a naked dip in Barton Springs, followed by a refreshing 48 hours of court-mandated detox following my arrest for indecent exposure. I was also moved by Mellow Johnny's brand of Texas hospitality, which is the good kind (graciousness) and not the bad kind (shooting you with big guns), and a look at their itinerary shows just how far they're going for my visit:

I was particularly excited to learn they will be holding a "Cycling Stereotype Pageant," which I will apparently judge. (Such a contest would be impossible in Portland, where everyone is already a cycling stereotype.) While I don't want to insert myself into anybody's creative process, I will say that you might want to consider dressing as Floyd Landis, who comes in many "Landisways." There's Tour de France winner Floyd Landis:

"I didn't do it" Floyd Landis:

And of course "I did it and everyone else did too" Floyd Landis:

Just make sure to coordinate with your friends beforehand, because if there are going to be multiple "Landii" at the event they should at least be different versions.

Also, if you show up without a costume, you can always buy a bunch of stuff at Mellow Johnny's, wear it for the contest, and then attempt to return it the next day for a full refund. (This will not work if you throw up on it, as I can personally attest.) Or, if you do want to throw up on your costume, just troll for cheap attire on Craigslist. Here's an example of someone doing just that here in New York:

Wanted padded cycling shorts - $20 (park slope,prospect hts,windsor terrace)
Date: 2010-06-09, 11:08PM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

I'm new to cycling and need a ladies size 10 pair of padded cycling shorts and any other apparel specific to cycling in Prospect Park.

If you're wondering what makes a pair of cycling shorts specific to cycling in Prospect Park, it means they're so worn that they are sheer, revealing the recesses of the wearer's "butt crack." (This is how the majority of Prospect Park cyclists are dressed, complete with white sneakers, knee-high sweatsocks, and "vintage" Bell helmet from the dawn of the polystyrene era.) Of course, it's hard to imagine anything more disgusting than buying secondhand cycling clothing on Craigslist, but I'm reasonably certain that this is a man posing as a woman in a desperate attempt to obtain used cycling shorts for his perverse sexual gratification.

Also available on Craigslist is membership in a "bike crew," as a reader recently brought to my attention:

Join our Bike crew.. (Great Neck )
Date: 2010-06-09, 3:30PM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

We are starting a bike crew in great neck:
"we ride together, we die together"

Were looking for good looking bikes, front and back shocks prefered.
Must be able to ride fast down hills with no brakes.
Night riding optional.

Following the closure of the fixed-gear scene, it would stand to reason that aspiring "bike crews" would turn to other types of bikes, and this particular crew seems to have chosen brakeless dual suspension bikes. It would also stand to reason that a "bike crew" dedicated to riding brakeless dual suspension bikes down hills would not live very long, hence their motto: "We ride together, we die together." Really, this sounds less like a bike crew than it does a Heaven's Gate-esque suicide cult. (Though at least you can opt out of the night rides, which means you can put off your inevitable demise for about 12 hours.)

Meanwhile, for those who somehow managed to gain entrée into the rarefied world of fixed-geardom, the whole "impractical touring" or "fixed-gear theme vacation" thing is more popular than ever. Fixed-gear freestyle impresario and streetwear enthusiast Prolly reports that two pilgrims of pointlessness will now ride their fixed-gear freestylers from Vancouver to Mexico for some reason:

Coast No Coast - Quote edit from Brock Mitchell on Vimeo.

While "Vancouver" is a specific departure point, "Mexico" is not a very precise destination, so I can only assume their naive plan is simply to head south until the skin tones of the people match their color chart and they hear Spanish spoken (or until they are robbed at knifepoint). I'm sure this project will yield many compelling "edits," and that thousands of like-minded people will thrill to footage of the various parking lots in which they "session" along the way.

But while some people hit the road with impractical bicycles and nary a clue, others plan, analyze, and document even the most simple ride right down the umpteenth decimal place. Another reader has forwarded me this video, which chronicles perhaps the most "epicly" high-concept beer run the world has ever seen:

Have Keg, Will Pedal from marty benson on Vimeo.

For some, beer is a luxury you afford yourself in between responsibilities. For this guy, however, beer is the responsibility, and procuring it requires more calculation and circumspection than sending a rocket into space:

Rest assured, though, that the entire enterprise is "sustainable"--including the soundtrack, which is totally organic inasmuch as it is this guy:

To me, the feat is not that he managed to move beer with a bicycle, or that he did so in a "sustainable" fashion, but rather that he manages to sustain a lifestyle that gives him that much time to "curate" the transport and consumption of beer. It's sustainability in a vacuum of leisure, with a nice frothy head of smugness.

In a sense though, sustainability is the antithesis of cannibalism, and a reader in Belgium informs me that Eddy Merckx bicycles is now producing controversial cannibalism-themed advertisements. Here's Tom Boonen, watching the countless bad "Red Wings" jokes already heading his way:

According to the reader, the Cannibal himself, Eddy Merckx, had this to say:

"I find it too aggressive, way too overpowering. I was shocked when I saw the ad campaign. This is too provocative, but I no longer seem to get it. I've become too old. I also didn't have any say in it, my company has been sold."

It's a good thing his nickname wasn't the Cincinnati Bowtie.

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