It's Wednesday! Insert Your Own Title Here: __________

Riding bicycles!

This guy loves it:

You know this guy loves it:

And, yes, even this guy loves it:

("Say that to my face and I'll knock your block off.")

Sure, he'd never admit he loves it because he's a rugged New Englander who believes that acknowledging you love anything or smiling for photographs or even lifting objects with more than one hand makes you a total "nancy boy," but trust me, he loves it just the same.

I too love riding bicycles, which is why I wrote two whole books about riding bicycles even though I could have spent the six or seven hours it took to write each one actually riding bicycles instead.  However, not everybody enjoys my books.  In fact, I was browsing the reviews of my new book on a river-themed retail website when I came across one that drew the following conclusion:

"But, overall, I wouldn't recommend spending the $17 suggested retail price for this book. Just look at the website--it has tons of useful advice on bike commuting without all the lame attempts at humor."

So there you have it--if you like advice but you hate humor then read  Also, if it rains, take the bus.

(I just hope he doesn't find all the crap I've actually written for while he's over there, because he is going to be p-i-s-s-e-d!)

In any case, all of this underscores an important point, which is that even people who love to ride bikes don't agree about everything.  Some people like road bikes, other people like mountain bikes.  Some people like light bikes, and other people like heavy bikes.  Some people like upright bikes, and other people like recumbents.  And you know what?  Nobody's wrong!

Well, actually, that's not entirely true, because the recumbent riders are obviously wrong:

(So wrong.)

But as far as everything else goes, it's completely subjective.

In any case, another area in which people who love to ride bicycles disagree is with regard to bicycle infrastructure.  For example, some people think we need more bike lanes, whereas others think bike lanes "ghettoize" us and believe we should all pretend to be cars instead.  This is called "vehicular cycling."  This makes a lot of sense too, because most of the streets in this country are designed for cars, and obviously cars and bikes are very similar--apart from the weight, and the number of wheels, and the means by which they're powered, and the speeds at which they travel, and the number of passengers they carry, and the vulnerability of the operator, and the dangers they pose to pedestrians.  Other than those minor things, they're pretty much identical--I mean, they sell red cars, and they sell ride bikes, and both cars and bikes have wheels, so why not just keep the streets "One size fits all," right?  If you're not convinced, just look at this example of "taking the lane" which was forwarded to me by a reader:

Now that's how they really do it in the Netherlands.  All those pictures fietspaden and "bake feets" are just socialist propaganda.

Speaking of recumbents and bike lanes, what image of American cycling could be more poignant than this lone recumbent rider I spotted in the early morning in Los Angeles?

Well, I suppose this image might be a bit more poignant:

As might this one:

Sorry, I realize that the above image is not strictly safe for work, but I had to leave at least one nipple exposed for poignancy.

In any case, having mentioned Los Angeles I find myself growing nostalgic for my BRA tour, and prior to Los Angeles I was in San Francisco, where I sat and admired whatever that rust-colored bridge is called before heading to the Rapha Cycle Club:

True to their ethos, Rapha had planned an "epic" BRA ride with a cue sheet as long as an artisanal pickle:

Lamely, however, they failed to print it on perforated yak leather.

Once assembled, we took to the streets:

And proceeded to choke the bikeways and thoroughfares of San Francisco with our vast numbers and cloying smugness:

Before returning to the Rapha Cycle Club:

That's one nonplussed-looking crowd, and it's tough to say whether they're more disgusted by my talk or by the price of the bib shorts.  (They say Rapha's prices are more swollen than a taint after an "epic" ride without chamois cream.)

Anyway, after my talk there was a book signing given by a surprise celebrity guest:

Though the surprise celebrity guest wasn't actually the same person who wrote the book:

Nevertheless, he was so excited to be there that after signing the book he immediately adjourned to the basement, where he proceeded to give the floor the old "Piermont treatment:"

Actually, the water was already there and we simply staged the photo.  This should come as a great relief to the Rapha Cycle Club, though perhaps it's not a total relief since it means they have a leak somewhere.  (Either that, or somebody else relieved themselves on the floor before we got down there.)

Speaking of relief, sometimes when people experience relief they emit a little sound--maybe a protracted "Ahhh" or something like that.  People also make little sounds when they're disgusted or repulsed, which I'm pretty sure is what happened here:

Date: 2012-04-27, 8:57AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

You rode past me around 8am this morning and stopped ahead. Looked as if you were locking up your bike. As I approached you made a funny sound and I said good morning. Mind if I ride with you next time?

I'm not sure if the above poster is new to the neighborhood, but when a woman in Park Slope makes a sound like "Eeew" or "Ugh" it means she wants you to go away.  Also, even if you're too dense to take the hint, you should definitely not take this as a cue to ask her for her "clam diameter:"

Date: 2012-05-01, 11:21PM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

Selling my black Cinelli Mash bullhorn handlebars. The clam diameter is 31.8 with a 40cm width. 

That's one oversized clam.

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