New Stuff, Old Stuff

Firstly, I’ve got a new Outside column:

Please note that when I say “new” I mean new to you. I’m pretty sure I wrote this before I took delivery of my Rivendell, which would explain a lot.

Secondly, the governor must have read yesterday’s post, because not only is the state soliciting videos telling people to wear masks, but they’re using people on bikes as their example:

Looking forward to the inevitable “Don’t be a dick” campaign.

Finally, a commenter recently mentioned this post from Cycling Tips:

The same commenter also mentioned that I was mentioned in the comments on said post–and sure enough I was:

One day, if you’re lucky, you too will get to enjoy hearing people talk about you like you’re dead. It’s like that scene in “Spinal Tap” where they hear their old song on the radio and then the DJ starts talking about how they’re in the “Where are they now?” file. But hey, at least I was a somebody once, and as Oscar Wilde famously said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is being talked about in the comments of a cycling website.”

As for the post itself, I haven’t read it yet–not out of derision or contempt, but because I simply haven’t had time. It does occur to me now that I’ve seen ads for this bike while watching YouTube videos (I always have time to watch YouTube videos), and it also occurs to me now that instead of watching it and then mocking it I simply skipped past it in order to watch rogue epidemiologists or videos on how to repair my kid’s Switch controller or whatever the hell else I watch on that site. I’m tempted to say I’m like the fat bear by the stream who can’t be bothered to swipe at the salmon, but that would imply I’ve been wildly successful, so maybe it’s more accurate to say I’m like the starving bear by the stream who’s too weak to swipe at the salmon. Either way, I did get far enough into the post to see this:

The Babymaker campaign, with 20 days still to run, has raised a cool US$4.71 million and rising, blowing its modest US$20,000 target rather spectacularly out of the water by 23,595%. It’s the highest-funded Indiegogo project of 2020 thus far, with a dollar amount that puts it ahead of crowdfunding royalty like the SpeedX Leopard, and closing fast on 2016’s MATE e-bike, which raised over US$6.8 million and was one of the highest-funded projects in Indiegogo history at the time.

There was a time when this would have infuriated me, but frankly now when I read that all I think is, “Damn, I wish I’d gotten in on that somehow!” In fact, some years back, when I used to spend a lot of time making fun of Kickstarter pitches, someone approached me to help them promote a bike they were developing in exchange for a percentage of whatever money they managed to raise. Ultimately I refused because it didn’t feel right to me, and while I did end up leaving a decent chunk of change on the table, had I accepted the offer it wouldn’t exactly have been life-altering. However, that same percentage on this project would have netted me the down payment on a very nice house, so maybe the real lesson here is that after years of mocking people for their crowdfunding endeavors it’s really me who’s the idiot.

As for becoming unfunny, I could very well be wrong here, but I can only imagine I’d be even more unfunny if I were still posting pictures of Recumbabe. (Either that or I’d get #hashtagged into oblivion.) And while I’ve tried not to get too stuffy and intolerant in my old age, there’s a negative side effect to that, which is that I’ve become less inclined to ridicule things. I once bristled at the faux pas of New York City’s cyclists; now I just feel good when I see them–even the salmon. As for the bikes I used to make fun of, I figure I’ve only got a couple more years before my son is asking me to build him a brakeless fixed-gear.

I guess the real problem is I just got more comfortable with myself. Turns out I made a huge mistake.

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