P(l)aying to Win: Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Browed

From time to time, I receive intriguing proposals by electronic mail. Nigerian business opportunities, discounts from retailers I've never heard of, invitations from people in Portland to go have coitus with myself... Most of the time I end up passing (except on the coitus, naturally), but recently I received a particularly compelling email that displayed considerable initiative from a gentleman offering to "put together a high-quality article written specifically for the site."

Anything I send over would be written with the site's readership in mind - as long as you're happy with the resulting material, you'd be welcome to publish it as you see fit and the content will be owned by you entirely (in that I won't send it to anyone else, either before or after publication).

Now this was intriguing. Just imagine what I could do if I were freed from the 14-17 minutes a day I spend laboring on this blog. I could take daily "epic" rides while swaddled in Rapha; I could work on my trackstand; I could finally build that urban chicken coop I've always dreamed of having and get written up in the New York Times for it--all while some schmuck does my work for me! Best of all, it wouldn't cost me a cent:

There is absolutely no charge for this and no strings attached; the only thing I would ask in return is that I'm able to include a link to a site within the article - nothing shady or unethical, just one of the professional businesses I freelance for.

After much deliberation, though, I decided I simply couldn't go through with it. Sure, I'd be living the lavish lifestyle of the 1%, and sure nobody would notice my absence, but if there's one thing I've learned over the years it's that a man without integrity is like a man without a top-of-the-line 11-speed electronic road bike component group: a total loser. So I passed, and you can rest assured that every word you read on this blog is still hand-picked and manually typed by me alone. You can also be sure that I would never, ever include gratuitous links strictly for marketing purposes.

With that out of the way, are you having trouble finding the right gift for that special man in your life this holiday season? Well, why not enroll him in the Underwear of the Month Club? With hundreds of styles from cutting-edge basics to performance fabrics, to body enhancing designs, the Andrew Christian Underwear of the Month club is a way to make sure your man never has to go back to boring underwear. Join the club and designer Andrew Christian will handpick a variety of briefs and boxers including fan favorites, brand new designs, and pre-release exclusives unavailable to the general public.

Speaking of shady business practices and online retail, eyebrowless professional bike racing person Alexander Vinokourov has been accused of purchasing his 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège victory:

Details are still hazy, but according to a Swiss magazine Vino surreptitiously purchased a membership in the Classics Victory of the Month Club. (The Classics Victory of the Month Club should not be confused with the Johan Museeuw Hair Club for Men.) For his part, Vino denies it (though he admits he did consult with Johan Museeuw on a pair of cosmetic eyebrows), and I'm inclined to believe him. Supposedly, he paid Alexandr Kolobnev €100,000 for the victory, and it's difficult to imagine Vino has that kind of money. Then again, it's possible he was flush with macaroni money after starring in a pasta commercial:

The above video was forwarded to me by Klaus of Cycling Inquisition, and could very well be that Vino is using a lucrative sideline as a pasta spokesperson to bankroll bribes to bolster his dwindling cycling career. Incidentally, it was while producing one of these commercials that Vinokourov lost his eyebrows, when a a burst of flame from the cooking range completely singed them off of his face. It was huge news in Kazakhstan at the time, akin to that time back in the 80s when Michael Jackson caught fire while filming a Pepsi ad. In the long run though the incident proved to be a boon to his career, since prior to it he looked like this:

("Old school" Vino with his erstwhile lush brows.)

It's amazing how just a little eyebrow hair can make you look like a completely different person.

Anyway, Vino is emphatic that the win was his, and his domestique Jens Floaterhoist is willing to back him up completely. If you're unfamiliar with Jens Floaterhoist, he once purchased a Dauphiné Libéré stage win from George Hincapie for $19 and half a bottle of Snapple, and he's also the inventor of the Floaterhoist horizontal bike storage hoist:

Yes, it's Floaterhoist, the flush-with-the-ceiling bike storage solution for the kinds of losers who can't afford a 22-bike clubhouse with a sauna:

Now, it's hard for me to comment on the design itself since I'm not an engineer, but I will say that the video contained some excellent disembodied hand porn:

And if you're worried about the safety of the design, you can rest assured that the inventor of the Floaterhoist says it's "OK:"

That's assuming both your ceiling height and bar width fall within the Floaterhoist's design parameters, and it's also assuming your bike doesn't come crashing down on top of you like a poorly-installed venetian blind, trapping you inside the frame of a 30lb low-end freeride bike. If this happens you're liable to languish that way for hours like a thief in the stockades, unless you're able to "MacGyver" some sort of grappling hook out of the front disc brake and retrieve the cellphone sitting frustratingly out of reach upon your coffee table.

In far more serious news, the New York Times have finally covered the sickening and infuriating Mathieu Lefevre story:

Or, if you prefer your disgusting cycling news in moron-ese, you can read this instead:

As I mentioned yesterday, periodicals love to undermine cycling-related articles by giving them stupid headlines, and I can't think of any better way of dehumanizing the victims than by calling them "hipsters"--though I'm sure "hipsters" everywhere will be pleased to know that the Daily News officially recognizes them as an ethnic group.

Speaking of undermining cycling, the Sierra Club (who brought you the propaganda video that makes commuting by car in San Francisco look better than commuting by bike) is now suggesting that you turn your bike into something far more useful, like a reindeer for your lawn:

(Forwarded by a reader.)

Sure, you could ride what they call "daily household garbage," but it's really far more useful as a holiday-themed decoration.

Also compelling was this comment about the supposed "joys of bicycling:"

Michael Sauber

Perhaps a more festive idea would be to DECORATE YOURSELF on your way to work by bike. At 5 degrees out this am, I couldn't wear my sunglasses because the balaclava shielding my nose and mouth from the cold would get steamed up from my breath. If I exposed my mouth and nose (with a red ball on my nose to keep it warm) I could wear my glasses. Of course I'd have to have antlers on my healmet so others wouldn't think I just had too much to drink. It would also provide some festive joy to the poor souls who miss out on the joys of bicycling and are commuting by car.

"Healmets" are the new "helment."

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