Feelin' Cranky: It's Our Time of the Month

Have you noticed anything different while riding your bike over the last three days?  Are motorists being unusually kind towards you?  Have pedestrians been smiling at you?  Have police been going out of their way to assist you rather than harass you?

Well, if so, it's almost certainly because you're this person:

However, it's probably not because it's May, which is officially National Bike Month.  Sure, it would be nice to receive some special treatment, but the sad fact is that we don't even get a day off work.  Instead, all we get is a Bike To Work Day, which most of us are doing anyway.  Incidentally, if you want to know what sort of "bi-keen to work" stuff your local municipality is doing for Bike Month, here's your answer (assuming you live in the following locales):

NYC: Bike NYC: http://bikenyc.org/  (May 18th)

Portland: Bicycle Transportation Alliance Portland: http://btaoregon.org/  (May 18th)

Seattle: Cascade Bicycle Club: www.cascade.org (May 18th )

Twin Cities: Bike Walk Twin Cities: http://www.bikewalktwincities.org/ (June 4-12th is Bike Walk Twin Cities)

Why am I mentioning these programs in particular?  Well, apparently they'll be giving away signed copies of my book as part of their "bi-keen"-themed festivities at some point.  (Unfortunately they'll be signed by me, though maybe they can arrange to have yours signed by the woman in the above photo instead.)  Also, I find it especially amusing that Portland has a Bike To Work Day, since as far as I can tell the few people in Portland who actually do work are engaged in bike-themed business anyway so the riding to work part is just assumed.  Portland needs a Bike To Work Day the way Mario Cipollini needs a Don't Wear Any Underpants Day.  I mean, what's the point of a Bike To Work Day for soup delivery people who bring lunch to people who work at bike companies?

Incidentally, even the Smithsonian museum is getting into the Bike Month spirit, for I just received the following in my electronic mail inning-box:

May is National Bike Month! In celebration of bicycles, motorcycles and all two-wheeled vehicles, this week’s Smithsonian Snapshot highlights this 1818 draisine, the forerunner to the modern bicycle.

I know what you're thinking: these things are posed for a comeback!  Well, they certainly are, and a reader has informed me that a modern state-of-the-art version is already in existence:

If you've ever wondered what it feels like to be locked in a stockade while getting both a "wedgie" and the Heimlich Maneuver, this contraption should do a good job of replicating that experience.

Meanwhile, in other cycling-related news, further to the "epic" motorpacing video I posted yesterday, a reader left the following comment:

Ivars said...

that video with cyclist drafting behinf truck is not from Netherlands, but from Latvia, this guy at that time did 299km from Riga to Tallinn in 4h17 min averaging very close to 70km. must be funny guy to do so...

May 2, 2012 5:03 PM

I appreciate the correction, and while obviously as an American I don't understand any of that "km" stuff, I'm guessing it means that the guy is pretty fast.  Indeed, as I contemplated this, something occurred to me.  Watching the video again, I looked at the rider's near-perfect position and the preternatural effortlessness with which he seemed to propel himself at nearly impossible speeds, and I realized I'd seen it all someplace before:

So, could the time traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork Bret and Motorpace Guy be one and the same?  Well, as astute the time traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork Bret-watchers know, while he originally comes from the planet Tridork, he resides in Macedonia:

And while it's a long way from Macedonia to Latvia for a typical Earth cyclist, it's really just a quick spin for someone who's accustomed to the gravitational pull of the planet Tridork:

Clearly then, the above video is rare footage of the time traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork Bret out for a training ride.  Of course, the modern bike and wardrobe would seem to undermine this theory, but I imagine what happens is that when he hits Fred "Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed he disappears through a wormhole in time and then reemerges in the distinctively dorky livery by which we know him.

Speaking of training, a reader has forwarded me a link to former President George W. Bush's Strava profile, and it would appear that he's been logging some fairly decent mileage these days:

If you often lament the fact that you don't have as much time to ride as you like, just take solace in the fact that all you have to do is serve two terms as President of the United States and start a couple of wars, after which you'll have plenty of time to enjoy your "stable" of fancy bikes:


AC Team Parlee Z5 SL 4,174.0mi
Baum Extensa 1.4mi
Moots Comooter 53.7mi
Sycip Diesel 29er Single Speed 646.7mi
Yeti 229.1mi

Incidentally, if singlespeed mountain bikes had any remaining countercultural credibility that's obviously gone now, and it's only a matter of time before Bush's Crawford, TX ranch becomes the venue for a SSWC.  (To Bush's credit, I should also mention that,53.7 miles in a single year is probably the most mileage ever put on a Moots Comooter.)

In fact, given his fitness, Bush should really think about heading to the Gran Fondo New York, from whom I've received yet another press release informing me of the following:

New York City (May 3, 2012) – The USA Pro Cycling Challenge, one of the largest professional cycling races in the United States, is continuing its support of cycling events throughout the country by
teaming up with the second-annual Gran Fondo New York to create the KOM (King of the Mountain) Challenge. Held on May 20, the Gran Fondo New York is both a competition and a recreational ride for people of all ages. The third climb of the day, Montagna dell'Orso, known by the locals as “Bear Mountain,” will give participants a taste of what the pros experienced last August as they ride alongside the same course signage and under the same Nissan KOM arch used in the USA Pro Challenge.

Holy crap, it's the same signage?!?  I had no idea signage was so exciting.  Actually, one of the things I like best about riding up around those parts is that there isn't very much signage.  I also didn't realize riding under arches was such a big deal to Freds.  Perhaps there's a market in selling inflatable arches that you can carry in your jersey pocket.  Then, Freds could bring them to the local climb, inflate them with their CO2s, and ride through them all day long while comparing their times to former Presidents on Strava.

Really, I think the only thing that could make the Gran Fondo New York even better would be if the whole ride stopped in Piermont and flooded the town with the world's largest simultaneous "pee-in."
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