Untenable Positions: Contortionist Cockpits

Firstly, at the risk of being even more irritating than usual, I'd like to gratuitously remind you once again that this Friday, October 1st, I will be visiting Landry's bike shop in Boston, MA. Normally, a bike shop visit means trying on a bunch of shoes and sunglasses, asking a bunch of stupid questions, and then ordering the stuff online, but in this case it means I will be having a "BRA," or "Book-Related Appearance." (Though I might also try on a bunch of bib shorts and not buy them, in which case you might want to thoroughly wash any purchases you make at Landry's after Friday.) If you want to get into my BRA on Friday night, it begins at 7:00pm, and here are the details:

Not only will there be "light refreshments" (please RSVP so they can make sure to have enough soft cheeses or whatever they're serving) but there will also be a pre-BRA ride at 4:00pm. If you're considering taking part in this ride, I've gone ahead and "curated" a brief "FAQ:"

What is the route?

Why are you asking me? Ask Landry's. I don't know from Boston. I'll be following you.

Will it be a hammerfest? Should I "run" my Zipps?

No! The organizers of this ride are under strict instructions from me to make sure this ride is leisurely and that there is no undue physical exertion. Feel free to "palp" your Dutch bike, recumbent, or cargo bike full of borrowed children. If you're looking to go fast, I hear there's some kind of "cyclo-cross" race that weekend up near the Gorton's fish stick factory.

Will it be a theme ride like they have in Portland?

No! This is New England, where people are dour and hardworking, and where people race the "cyclo-cross" in gender-appropriate clothing. However, if you'd like to dress as your favorite "Good Will Hunting" character and/or Larry Bird you are more than welcome to do so in the spirit of religious freedom upon which the Pilgrims founded this great nation.

What happens if it rains?

New England weather is famously predictable, especially at this time of year, and rain is extremely unlikely. Therefore no contingency plans have been made. However, in the unlikely event of adverse weather, we can always go to the real-life Cheers bar and reenact our favorite scenes.

What does "FAQ" stand for?

Feeble-Assed Quakers.

Secondly, last week I implied that there was nothing of real interest at Interbike. However, clearly I was mistaken, for Campione Cycles has informed me that one exhibitor has finally solved the age-old problem of digital and genital deafness:

While sufferers of genital deafness in particular are often too ashamed to discuss their problem openly, it is far more common than you might think. Genital deafness can occur in both males and females, and anybody who's ever experienced it knows how difficult it can be. Indeed, in severe cases you're sometimes forced to put your genitals right up to someone's mouth in order to hear them, which can cause additional embarrassment as well as possibly STDs and even inadvertent orgasms.

In fact, the very same person who spotted the genital deafness cure also spotted everybody's favorite affable German masochist, Jens Voigt, signing a woman's posterior:

At least, I assume he's signing her posterior, though it could simply be that she's suffering from genital deafness and has asked Voigt to kindly speak into her crotch. Notice also that she's attending Interbike in a skinsuit for maximum mobility and aerodynamics. You don't want your billowy jersey to get snagged on the latest laterally stiff and vertically plagiarized Specialized design rip-off while rounding a tight corner.

Speaking of rounding tight corners, the Daily News reports that some messengers attempted to promote cycling in Queens this past weekend by holding an alleycat called "BLVDS of DEATH:"

Yes, the best way of raising awareness and encouraging cyclists to ride in Queens is by promising the participants that they might die:

"We want to show people the wild side of Queens. We want to show you the crazy, fast roads that Queens has that a lot of cyclists would like if they ventured out of Manhattan," said Negron.

You sort of have to feel sorry for bike messengers--and even more so the people who still imitate them. Not only is the demand for messengers disappearing, but thanks to this new wave of bike-friendliness so are their dangerous streets. As a result, it's becoming increasingly difficult for people to sell themselves as outlaws, since they're now grossly outnumbered by people in sundresses riding Dutch bikes. They're like a bunch of self-styled piranhas in a rapidly-evaporating pond. This is why more and more people are getting on bikes and enjoying the new amenities, while they're desperately looking for places where they can still get themselves killed. This prospect is especially irresistible to NĂ¼-Freds, even though it's like taking a vacation to India based entirely on the fact that it's one of the few remaining places where you might still catch leprosy.

Meanwhile, in terms of image and risk, the antithesis of a messenger-organized Queens death ride is a popular search engine-"curated" human-powered monorail, to which a number of readers have recently alerted me:

Of course, Wired's cycling coverage is notoriously short-sighted, and it's readily apparent that they've missed the project's enormous potential for awesomeness:

Can you imagine how sweaty and stinky these things would become? If I’m going to pedal something to get somewhere, it’s going to be using a bike that can actually turn and take me to my destination. Moreover, these things are bound to be slow, and will probably need a large staff of attendants, like a theme-park ride, to ensure that people get on and off safely.

That’s about the best one could hope for.

Really, that's the best one can hope for? Frankly, I think this is a great idea. Not only does the "Schweeb" human-powered monorail promise to solve the problem of drinking and cycling once and for all, but it also opens up all sorts of new and exciting "hotboxing" possibilities, and I predict every college campus in America will be equipped with a "Schweeb" system by 2020. Also, you don't need to be some sort of popular search engine-employed genius to know that our Earth's atmosphere will be toxic in the near future, and that we will need Plexiglas shells around our bicycles to protect us from noxious gas, the carcinogenic rays of the post-Apocalyptic sun, and the flesh-ripping claws of the undead.

Speaking of mutants, last Friday I announced that I would be holding the First Annual BSNYC/RTMS Cockpit of the Year Award (otherwise known as the "Cockies") and I'm pleased to announce the competition is already off to a rollicking start. Consider, for example, this perky-eared number:

The barends allow for the non-aerodynamic and not particularly comfortable "Crocodile Dundee" hand position:

From another contestant comes this minimalist cockpit design:

"Halve-and-chop" bars are clearly the new "flop-and-chop."

Also, from "Slice Harvester" comes this decidedly more performance-inspired setup:

The STI levers are positioned ideally for on-the-bike bicep-flexing:

Though keep in mind riding in this position for prolonged periods can cause genital deafness.

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