Survey Says: Bad Things Come in Threes

Internet surveys: for me, they've always been something to ignore, like gender-specific restroom signs, random tooth pain, and homeless people. Recently though I was forced to pay attention to one. This is because I'm currently a choice in a "Bicycling" magazine "Readers' Choice" survey:

Hilariously, "Bicycling" seem to think that both Frankie Andreu and I are "personalities," though at least Andreu actually knows how to ride a bike:
As Fat Cyclist rightly points out, if you're going to ride with any of these people you should probably ride with him. In fact, I'm probably the second-lamest choice on that menu after TdF devil Didi Senft, who is clearly a bona-fide lunatic and, by all accounts, smells. I wouldn't even want to ride with me, and in fact I often show up late for solo rides in order to avoid myself. Really, the only reason I could possibly imagine anybody would want to ride with me is that they might get to see me slip and fall into my own pee, which I do more often than I'd care to admit.

Anyway, I wouldn't even have bothered you about this survey at all. However, I'm an intrinsically negative person, and it suddenly occurred to me that "Bicycling" must be this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to getting rid of me so they probably need some hard numbers so they can say, "See? People really freaking hate you, go take that crap to 'VeloSnooze.'" I mean, what other reason could there be? If they liked me and wanted to keep me they'd instead have included a question like this:
(If you want to know which I'd like, it's a toss-up between the Rollerblades and the Uberhood.)

As it is, all I'll probably get for Chrismas from them is a card that says, "You suck. Love, 'Bicycling'," and then one of those subscription reply cards will fall out of it. This hardly seems fair, since last year I bought each and every person at the magazine a Polaris personal watercraft.

So now you see just how stressful a virtually stress-free life as a semi-professional bike blogger can be. Not only that, but I was unable to take the survey myself because my answer to every single question was "Mario Cipollini" yet amazingly he was never offered as a choice. (By the way, if you ride on Mario Cipollini's wheel you should always use fenders or else you'll get a really oily skunk stripe up your back.)

Moving on to far more pressing matters, someone in Brooklyn is missing a cat:

Do I like cats? Sure I do. Do I feel bad for someone who loses theirs? Absolutely. Why is this news, even for "The Brooklyn Paper?" I have no idea--especially since the cat was a stray to begin with:

BeeBop, a feisty feral tom who loves bacon, went missing on June 28 after a mover left the door open. A few days later, he was found at the Heights Players community theater on Willow Place. A member of the troupe kept the cat there for several days, but before Sheehan could retrieve her beloved, someone else freed the cat so that he wouldn’t urinate on the costumes.

As you probably know, some time ago I changed my name to Wildcat Rock Machine, and thanks to this article I am now extending it to "Wildcat Rock Machine, A Feisty Feral Tom Who Loves Bacon." However, you can keep calling me Wildcat Rock Machine for short. (Or, if that's still too long, just call me "Douchebucket.") Anyway, it seems to me that a feral tom who loves bacon is not a pet but a prisoner, and that as soon as the mover opened that door he simply returned to the life he knew and loved. As for the guy from the community theater, he was just doing the cat a favor by releasing him again. Sure, you can vilify the actor if you wish, but the fact is that the feline was urinating on the costumes and you can't have Willy Loman's suit or Joseph's amazing technicolor dreamcoat reeking of cat pee.

More to the point, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with a bike blog, and to that I say:


2) As a blogger I am also a student of "comment science," and I was amazed it took a full nine comments before a reader of "The Brooklyn Paper" came in with a bad Chinese take-out joke:

Sun Yet Sen from Red Hook says:

BeBop with noodles 4.95

Bebob with white rice 4.95

Bebop with vegatables 4.50

Bebop with brown rice 6.00

Bebop Fried rice 4.95

Nov. 15, 7:45 pm

That any cat-themed story will eventually evoke a bad Chinese take-out joke is of course a corollary to Godwin's law. In any case, I'm sure that BeeBop is just fine and is out there with a little kitty bindle and a banjo. He's probably on a freight train right now, traveling the country in search of bacon, adventure, and no-strings cat sex.

Speaking of adventure-seekers, can you believe people still make fixed-gear videos? Well, they do, though increasingly you have to go beyond the United States to find them. Here's one that was forwarded to me by a reader in Olso, Norway:

Grind Pt.1 from Andreas Kleiberg on Vimeo.

Amazingly, this is merely Part I of a four-video series, and it sets up a number of compelling questions that will presumably be answered in final installment, including:

--Will they keep skidding for no reason?
--Will the guy in the flannel get a cool new hat?
--Will they figure out that this whole Mash-a-frama fad is so dorky it makes this guy on roller-skis look edgy by comparison?

By the way, I watched the whole video, and from an athletic perspective roller-ski guy was by far the most impressive thing about it. That's not to say I doubt these riders' "street cred," since it must be difficult to ride in an urban environment in which luxury taxi cabs follow you at a safe distance:

Remember the scene in "12 Monkeys" where Child Bruce Willis watches Adult Bruce Willis get gunned down in the airport, and the guy with the virus escapes, and you know the world is doomed and that the cycle will repeat itself infinitely and Bruce Willis's curse is that he must watch it happen again and again and again? That's what it now feels like watching fixed-gear videos as the trend replicates itself over and over and over in cities all over the world. I've already seen their future, and I weep for them--soon they'll be onto "vintage" road bikes, then they'll start flirting with Lycra, and before you know it they'll be ordering custom cyclocross bikes from the framebuilder du jour and not racing them. Maybe one day Terry Gilliam will make the ultimate fixed-gear video and we can finally at least get artistic closure and move on.

Of course, by perpetuating an attitude of "been there done that" curmudgeonliness I'm doing pretty much the same thing, but frankly I'm old enough to remember when all this stuff actually meant something. For example, I remember when if you wanted to find "hipsters" you had to go to a funky part of town not too far from an expensive art school and visit a faux dive bar--and even then they wouldn't come home with you unless you plied them with drugs and conversation about Miranda July. Now, though, a reader tells me that you can buy them ready-made in three-packs at Marks & Spencer in the UK for only £17:

At £5.66 per hipster I'd argue they're still overpriced, but I suppose it's easier than making your own.

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