And The Wind Whispers "Wednesday"

Ostensibly this is a humorous blog.  However, there are times when even the most fatuous blogger must put on his reporter's fedora and play the journalist.  So with Sandy bearing down on New York City like an EPO-addled peloton on a doomed breakaway, I set out on my bicycle to document the storm and its aftermath, and you can view all my photographs here.

Yeah, right.  If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you should know perfectly well by now that I'm the sort of person who spent the duration of the storm sobbing under a table and then only ventured outside about forty minutes ago when my cravings for fresh bagels finally became too strong to resist.  Even then, while walking, I made sure to stay as close to devoutly religious people as possible, figuring that just in case "God" exists He'd be less likely to smite the devout with falling tree branches.  (By the way, despite their many differences, one similarity between Orthodox Jews and Muslims is that they both object very strongly to being shadowed by cowardly bloggers.)

Fortunately though there was a real bike blogger imported from Portland in the form of Jonathan Maus of BikePortland to take up the slack, and while I was simpering and whimpering he was out investigating:

In fact, even before the storm he managed to take the sorts of photographs that have eluded me throughout my entire blogular career.  For example, here's a shot of Bradley Wiggins in 20 years:

A picture like this would be the culmination of my entire blogging career.  Meanwhile, this guy hops off a plane and bags it as easily as a slice of pizza.  I mean, I knew I sucked, but it's still humbling to realize exactly how deeply I suck:

Still, at least I'm enough of a journalist to visit the HarderBikes website, where I learned that this is a "prone" bike:

Here's the backstory, which reads more like a cautionary tale:

The beginning was a single-speed mountain bike geared up for a rapid commute with a little suspension, front and back. As time went on, the gearing rose, pedals clipped and softtail gave way to hardtail with a suspension seatpost. Once speeds grew to a point where the bikepath was no longer a welcome home, the bike had to be made more demanding. Thoughts wandered to charging full time and how to make a ride for that purpose. No matter how far the bars and stem were lengthened and dropped, very little weight could be shifted to the upper body with tradition frame geometry.
Hence, the project. Since the saddle wasn't necessary, the prototype frame was simple once the angles were chosen. A steeper head angle and short rear "triangle" helped balance out the lengthed wheelbase created by the elongated cockpit. The downtube was stretched 12 inches longer than that of a 21" mountain bike frame. a short headtube and mild bottom bracket drop kept the posture as aggressive as possible.

First you're "slamming that stem," next you're getting an even longer one, and before you know it you're ridin' doggy style.  Still, I'd like to congratulate the designer for inventing the exact opposite of a practical bicycle--though it's still no H-Zontal:

The H-Zontal is the "Dark Side Of The Moon" of prone bicycles.

Speaking of the storm, by about 4:00pm on Monday it was rapidly approaching full strength.  Outside the window the trees were thrashing about like mullets at a Slayer concert, and with each flicker of the lights I waited for the power outage that, amazingly, never came.  I also checked Twitter for news updates, and at exactly 4:26pm I saw this:

Good for you.

By the way, Armstrong continues to be stripped of accolades like a Bikesdirect fixie gets stripped of parts, and the latest to go are his keys to the city of Adelaide:

Which, judging from the accompanying photograph, were presented to him inside of a shoe.  However, the Adelaide City Council won't actually come here to collect the key because they can't afford it:

The website reports that rather footing the expense of travelling to the US to retrieve the key, Armstrong's name would be removed from the honour board where the recipients are listed. 

Presumably because they've been spending too much money giving celebrities keys:

Others to have received the honour include Cher, who sold her key on eBay for close to $93,000 earlier this year, the Dalai Lama and comedian Barry Humpries who is perhaps best known as Dame Edna Everage.

And because last year they went all the way to Austin to give Armstrong his key, only to find him not at home:

In 2011, Yarwood travelled to the US to hand-deliver the key to Armstrong, with Adelaide rate-payers covering the partial cost of the trip however, the American was not in residence in Texas. The key was later posted to him.

If I were an Adelaidean taxpayer I'd be really, really fucking irritated by now, since apparently this key racket is costing the city a fortune and the only person actually benefitting financially from it is Cher.

By the way, I'm also fairly sure that the Dalai Lama's key was accepted by Barry Humphries, who looks exactly like His Holiness when he's not in drag:

(Humpries as Dame Edna (L) and out of costume (R).)

Or maybe it was the other way around and they actually gave Dame Edna's key to the Dalai Lama in drag.  When you give away so many sets of spare keys it gets very difficult to keep track.

Meanwhile, the Tour de France-winningest American cyclist is once again Greg LeMond, and by now you've no doubt read his impassioned (but apparently not proofread) plea to impeach Pat McQuaid:

Can anyone help me out? I know this sounds kind of lame but I am not well versed in social marketing. I would like to send a message to everyone that really loves cycling. I do not use twitter and do not have an organized way of getting some of my own "rage" out.

LeMond is certainly entitled to bask in his moment of glory, but has anyone reminded him that he does use Twitter?

I mean, he's got the blue check mark and everything. 

Of course, one professional cyclist who is well-versed in social networking is Jens Voigt, who recently wrote a blog post assuring his many fans that he never doped:

So, to summarize, over the years Jens Voigt:

--Came up in the East German sports program alongside men who ate Volgas and women with beards;
--Turned pro the year before the Festina affair;
--Rode for Bjarne Riis;
--Rode for Johan Bruyneel.

Yet during that time he "never saw anything firsthand," which means he's somehow missed out on the biggest moments in modern sports doping history despite being right in the middle of pretty much all of them.  In other words, he's basically the anti-Forrest Gump.  

As for me, I've become jaded, which is why I now only follow bike racing for the costumes--like this one:

Now that's cycling I can believe in.

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