It's For My Cat: Absence Makes the Fred Go Fondo

So, like, what are you going this this weekend?  Really?  Shooting at pigeons out your window with a slingshot you made from office supplies?  OK, gross, but whatever.  Well, if you want to know what I'm doing (which you don't, but I'm going to tell you anyway because there's nothing between me and the Internet except a Commodore 64 and my total inability to self-edit) I'll be unleashing my inner Fred at the Bicycling Fall Classic, presented by Sp[mumblemumblemumble]:

Ordinarily at this time of year I'd already be deep into sucking at the cyclocrossing.  However, this year I've been especially busy and so I haven't gotten around to it yet.  "How busy are you?," you're not asking at this point.  Well, I'm this busy:

(Willem Dafoe as Jesus indicating how busy I am by holding his hands apart as far as they'll go.  Any implication of martyrdom on my part is purely unintentional.)

Or, if you prefer, I'm this busy.

Either way, the simple fact is that all those episodes of "Homeland" and "Boardwalk Empire" are not going to watch themselves.

Given all these demands on my time, I recently made the stunning discovery that instead of spending like five hours in a car to suck badly in a race for 45 minutes, I can instead just hop on a bike outside my front door, ride wherever I want for as long as I want, and lose to nobody but myself.  Therefore, I have yet to hoist a cyclocross bike onto my shoulder this season, though that may change in the coming months, or it may not, and I'm pleased to say that I've finally reached the point in my life where I just don't care anymore.

So why then am I traveling all the way to Pennsylvania (eeew!) to take part in a giant Fred ride?  Well, not only am I eager to find out why the Lehigh Valley is known as "Pennsylvania's vulvanus," but as a Bicycling columnist I'm also getting $100 (pro-rated) per mile ridden.  That means, given my current physical state, I should be returning to New York with about $246 in my pocket, which is isn't exactly chump change.  (It's more like "douche change.")

In any case, I am in all sincerity looking forward to it, and if you too would like to ride the undulations of "Pennsylvania's vulvanus" and allow me to sit resolutely on your wheel for the duration of the ride, you should register from the Bicycling Fall Classic today.

Of course, I believe this ride is technically a "Gran Fondo," and as far as I know there's not going to be any drug testing, which means I'm free to dope like that guy who got busted in New York.  Fortunately, I've found a website where I can score some EPO, and they even offer overnight shipping:

Unfortunately though, there's one small problem:

Which is that it appears to be for cats and dogs:

What is Epogen?
Epogen is a prescription medication used to treat anemia associated with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

Who is it for?
Epogen is for dogs and cats.

Then again, I'm sure it doesn't really make a difference and they just have to say that to cover themselves.  I mean, I eat cat food all the time and there's nothing wrong with me, apart from the fact that I feel sick all the time.  I've also added a half-bath to my apartment by putting a litter box in the closet, thereby increasing the value of my apartment by about $20K.  (And it's not just for show, either.  I actually use it.)  Therefore I'm sure a little pet EPO won't hurt me, just so long as I consult with a veterinarian:

Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian. This medication should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.

"Uh, yeah, how much Epogen would my cat, Noodles, need for a 90-mile bike ride?  He's 5'10" and weighs about 180lbs."  Yes, I realize that's a little heavy, but that's what happens when you stop racing and watch TV all day while gorging yourself on cat food.

Speaking of cheating, no less a personage than "CommieCanuk" recently informed me that the editor of a journal about cheating in sports was in fact cheating at writing a journal about cheating in sports:

Ah yes, plagiarism: the heterogeneous blood doping of academia:

I tried using plagiarism detection software to determine whether publishers’ articles I was examining contained plagiarism, but it didn’t work. The best programs had already indexed the articles I was checking, so they came back as 100% positive because they were already in the database.

Evidently the plagiarism test seems about as unreliable as the EPO test.

In other news, a reader tells me that the mayor of Reykjavík has publicly apologized for "depicting cyclists negatively:"

Evidently he plays a character who's both a cyclist and a jerk, and the people of Reykjavík won't stand for it:

Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has apologised for potentially depicting cyclists negatively in his role as one of the main characters of the Icelandic situation comedy Næturvaktin (Night Shift).

Jón's character on the show, gas station manager Georg Bjarnfreðarson, is a self-aggrandizing intellectual wannabe with a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth and being generally clueless about how to talk with people. He also rode a bicycle.

Here's the shocking footage:

Between the hyper-sensitivity, the mayor who's also a sitcom character, and the bleak attempt at humor, life in Reykjavík comes across very much like "Portlandia" if it was directed by Ingmar Bergman.  I think the guy in the blue jacket should also apologize for looking like the offspring of Jack Black and Björk.  Then maybe I'll finally be able to watch "Næturvaktin" again without crying.

By the way, remember the cockpit contest?




Well, I've been too busy to "curate" it properly lately:


Plus, I have a Fondo to train for.  But I assure you I'll get around to concluding it eventually.  Then, maybe after that I'll have a "Best Triathlete Crash" contest, and this one that was forwarded to me by another reader would be a formidable contender:

In fact, it's part of a series, which you can view here.  I apologize in advance for the "spoiler," but here's where he winds up:

In addition to illustrating the triathlete's unique ability to crash himself or herself without the slightest intervention from any outside forces, it also shows the triathlete's ineptitude when it comes to taking evasive action--note that the rider behind has unclipped both feet in response to the incident and his legs merely hang there useless like sausages in the window of a charcuterie:

The inevitable result is the "crotchal endo," which occurs when the rider straddles the top tube and places both feet on the ground while slowing as the rear of the bicycle lifts up due to the frontal weight distribution.  It's a maneuver unique to triathletes, and if you've ever seen it you know it evokes some dorky animal presenting itself to a mate.

It's only a matter of time before triathletes finally adopt the recumbent trike. 
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