All Dressed Up: Pride Goeth P-Far the Fall

Here in the United Stateways, today is Columbus Day--or, as it is now called, "Columbus-American's Day." Presumably, you are celebrating this holiday in the traditional manner, which mainly involves doing a half-assed job at work since it's technically a federal holiday but nobody really gets the day off anymore, so you resent having to be there in the first place. It's like holding your own miniature Occupy Wall Street protest, only with better bathroom access.

Speaking of half-assed jobs, sometimes I can't believe I've been doing a half-assed job on this half-assed blog for over 17 years now. Of course, the key to making the time fly by at work is to be comfortable, and to that end I'm pleased to report that I've finally ditched my swiveling Eurostyle Rattan Papa San blogging chair in favor of something with a little more lateral stiffness and vertical compliance:

There are only two problems. Firstly, like most out-of-shape users of crabon race-inspired office furniture, I must now employ somewhat "kludgy" methods in order to raise my cockpit to a comfortable height. For now, I'm using this artisanal telescoping desk:

Secondly, in the time between ordering and receiving the chair, the bottom bracket interface has already become obsolete. First it was BB30, then it was BB90, and now we're up to BBBees:

The above photo was forwarded to me by a reader, and while the ubiquitous adjective "beefy" might not technically apply to a beehive bottom bracket shell it certainly does look robust. The enormous cross-section makes for unparalleled power transfer, but the trade-off is that the increase in stiffness also results in a buzzy ride. You might also want to wear one of these skinsuits:

It may look a bit cumbersome, but it's better than the alternative:

If Werner Herzog were ever to turn his documentarian lens on the sordid world of long-distance touring, I suspect the results would be pretty similar to this video. It's like "Grizzly Man" for Freds.

Anyway, for now I remain convinced of the technological superiority of my new crabon fribé blogging chair, but inevitably after a few years I will tire of chasing upgrades, become disillusioned by the mainstream cycling industry, and ultimately buy one of those Rivendell chairs:

They're a little retrogrouchy, but comfort is both heavy and timeless. Crabon, on the other hand, does not age well, as you can see from this photo which was forwarded by another reader:

Everybody knows crabon bicycles simply disappear in a puff of carcinogenic crabon dust once they reach a pre-determined expiration date, but if they didn't this is what the streets of every major city would look like in 20 years.

Speaking of timelessness, few cycling images are more enduring than the pennyfarthing, and for some reason over the last few days I've received numerous emails and "Tweets" alerting me to this image:

My recollection is that it was originally created by the great Erik K, though I may be mistaken. Either way, I'm not sure why everybody's forwarding it to me all of a sudden, though I was nevertheless pleased to see it, for it reminds me of the days when it seemed as though we were on the cusp of a p-far resurgence. This, of course, was when the "fixie craze" was at its height, so naturally it stood to reason that, in search of authenticity, so-called "fix-tards" (these were the days before political correctness) would ultimately arrive at the ultimate in retro non-coasting inconvenience. Ultimately, it was not to be, and instead once they tired of "fixies" they purchased vintage road bikes or custom cyclocross bikes they'll never use for cyclocross.

Speaking of cyclocross and reminiscence, 2011 may come to be remembered as the year that wacky American-style cyclocross irreverence officially became forced. This occurred to me as I was perusing a photo gallery on VeloNews, or Velo without the News, or whatever they're called now:

And was underscored by the no-costume relegation at the upcoming Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships in Smug Francisco:

Bring at least two ride outfits AND your BEST COSTUME for the race. If you show up in just team kit and no costume you start in the back row with a sad face!

Yes, it's essential to wear a costume, because without one how will you know you're having fun? I'm looking forward to next year, when the SSWC and the SSCXWC merge and simply become the Oxymoronic Single Speed World Championship:

Most importantly, have fun or you'll be disqualified.

But while the world of ironic bicycle racing is becoming increasingly regimented, the realm of municipal traffic statutes continues to be open to interpretation. For example, in New York City, bike lanes are ostensibly for bikes, but feel free to use them as long as you're wearing a cycling hat and have a rideable object with you that is approximately the size of a bicycle:

(Sure, you could ride that dog.)

At least he's "running" a leash.

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