This Week's Going To Be Fantastic, I Can Feel It In My Scranus!

Some people may thrive on little virtual gold stars from Strava, but for me the best rides are the ones with a compelling narrative structure, and I went on one such ride this past weekend.  Indeed, the route could have been devised by Robert McKee himself.  First we crossed the Foggy Bridge Of Mystery:

Then we passed over the Mighty Falls Of Despair:

And finally we basked in the azure splendor of the Blue Beacon of Hope:

Owww!  Talk about sitting on the fence!  [Kindly click this link now.]  Of course, as always, feel free to leave your own intriguingly disgusting theories as to why that iron rod is wearing a prophylactic in the comments section.

Speaking of the comments section of this blog, you may have noticed that in recent weeks it has become rife with what tech geeks call "spam."  This saddens me.  In "real life" I believe we should all carefully consider what we say, but on the Internet I believe there should be as few steps as possible between having an inane thought and publishing it online.  That's why I've never moderated comments or required logins or anything like that.  Sure, some bloggers like to sit around plucking and preening their comment sections like Mario Cipollini tending to his pubic hair, but I prefer Internet interaction to be wild and woolly, and to reflect sort of a 1970s personal grooming (or lack thereof) sensibility.

Also, I'm lazy as fuck.

Nevertheless, it's gotten to the point that the sheer volume of spam has become onerous, so by way of doing something I've switched on this thingy that makes you type in characters to prove you're not a robot.  Hopefully it works and it isn't too tedious, and of course if you've got any better ideas I'd love to hear them, but I'm telling you right now they better be very easy to implement because I didn't become a bike blogger in order to work.

No, I became a bike blogger in order to get a free Scattante, which is why I should have quit years ago.

The other thing that sucks about spam is that it winds up on old posts too.  Sure, I could close the comments after a certain amount of time, but the fact is that people still weigh in with important insights months or even years after a post is published.  For example, I was manscaping the comments section for spam this morning when I noticed a comment from yesterday on a post about top tube pads from 2007:

Anonymous said...

Not sure anyone mentioned protecting your top tube against dings on parking meters & bike racks? Seems obvious.

JANUARY 14, 2013 AT 3:23 AM

Nothing more heartwarming than an earnestly condescending comment about a trend that's been over for at least four years now.

Anyway, this whole spamming saga (when you're a blogger with no real job dealing with spam actually qualifies as a "saga") has brought me to an important realization, which is this:

If you could remotely kill a spammer with the click of a mouse I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

However, if after clicking the mouse there was a pop-up that said, "Warning: Killing this spammer will also cause his entire family to starve to death.  Do you want to continue?," I would not.  Instead, I'd just call out, "Honey, I have Cheetos all over my fingers.  Can you just hit this enter key for me?"  That way, I didn't do it and she didn't know, and everybody's happy.  (At least everybody who matters.)

So basically, I have no problem with my actions resulting in awful things happening to people, just as long as there's a middleman.  That's why I buy gasoline and Apple products.

Meanwhile, remember how disc brakes were supposed to be the new awesome thing for cyclocross?  Well, it turns out they're not, at least when it's muddy:

Which isn't really a problem, since cyclocross races very rarely involve mud--just like professional road racing team presentations rarely involve bad taste:

In true Hollywood fashion, the team, which included home favourite Ted King, Damiano Caruso and neo-pro Guillame Boiwin, entered the fray from a hummer limo, making their way to the auditorium via a black carpet.

Was this a team presentation or a Long Island prom?  I'm amazed that in 2013 companies are still launching professional bike racing teams with such fanfare. If anything, I'd think they'd want to let the teams pass unnoticed, like a fart on an airplane.  Plus, between all the doping scandals and the fact that it was the same weekend as the Golden Globes it's hard to imagine that any media in Los Angeles would come out to see a bunch of European men in sickly green Lycra.  I'm even more amazed that Ivan Basso is still racing at all, and apparently even he was embarrassed to be there:

Either that or it gets very cold in Los Angeles.

I wonder if Basso is part of that "new era of transparency" all the teams are talking about these days.  You may recall that years back Basso was suspended not for doping but for "attempting to dope," and I'm not sure how it's possible to fail at doping when your own sister is a drug dealer:

(Ivan Basso's sister being transparent.)

That's like failing to get groped at a Mario Cipollini training camp:

(Taking one for the team.)

Or like failing to get stoned while hanging out with Woody Harrelson--who, I was surprised to learn, is also a cyclist.  As it happens, I was watching an interview with him last night in which he mentioned he likes to ride his bike in New York City.  So I took to the Internet, where I discovered another older interview in which he tells an amusing antidote (that's stupid for "anecdote") to David Letterman about engaging in some Cat 6 racing antics and then crashing into a tree:

I was entertained until I actually saw Harrelson's bike, which retroactively ruined the story:

That's like replacing the car in "Bullitt" with a Hyundai.

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