Rudolph The Fred-Nosed Reindeer

It’s the Holiday Season, which means you’ve got to buy gifts for your friends and family or else they’ll stop loving you. To that end, Osloh want you to know they’re running their $yber $avings $pectacular $ale (my name for it, not theirs) through Thursday morning, so don’t let the “November” part throw you:

In addition to jeans, they’ve also just added a couple more nifty (and inexpensive!) accessories. One is this stick-on reflector set:

And no, I don’t see any reason you couldn’t stick them on the ass of your jeans.

The other is this bike mirror:

At first glance I was like, “Yeah, okay, it’s a bike mirror”–but then I noticed it’s a folding bike mirror, which is pretty damn cool:

They call this thing “urban,” but it seems to me that you can also fold it in while you hit the trails, and then you can fold it out again for the ride home so you can keep an eye on all those drivers trying to kill you–and it’s cheap enough that you can probably afford to palp two for maximum vigilance:

I may have to try one.

Speaking of vehicles that have foldable mirrors, yesterday I brought up cars and hitch racks (specifically the Saris SuperClamp I’m currently using), which compelled someone to make an important point in the comments–that being the fact that you can get a ticket if your hitch rack obscures your license plate. To wit, this recent-ish tweet from local news institution Pat Kiernan:

His own bike-dangling-from-the-top-tube-type rack notwithstanding, some two-bike hitch racks do block your plate when you’re using them, and might also require you to swing the rack out of the way in order to access the duct-taped hostage in your trunk. (And you definitely don’t want to get a ticket for an obstructed plate while you have a hostage in the trunk, since the traffic enforcement agent might hear the moaning.) Here is an example, though of course I’m basing this entirely on one (1) product photo, I’m in no way suggesting this is anything other than a fantastic rack (in fact I used to have some Rocky Mounts roof rack trays until they got stolen), and no doubt the situation varies from vehicle to vehicle:

Still, I should note that, when bikeless and folded up, the SuperClamp remains pretty much at bumper level on my own Family Truckster, leaving my rear hatch totally unobstructed as well as rendering my ASSMAN vanity plate fully legible to both automate traffic enforcement cameras and organic carbon-based law enforcement:

Anyway, just something to consider if you like to leave an empty bike rack on your car. As for me, I rarely do so, since as you can see the rack adds numerous inches to my vehicle’s overall length–and in New York City every inch counts, since you need to be able to squeeze into tight parking spots in order to selfishly commandeer public street space by storing your car for free. At the same time, I should probably leave the rack on as an experiment, because if I could get away with a car that long then I could probably also get away with a minivan, in which case I’d hardly even need a hitch rack because most of the time I could just wheel the bikes into the vehicle:

And yes, I admit it, at this current juncture in my life I am currently experiencing acute minivan envy.

Moving on, I’ve extolled the virtues of both 20-mile rides and 10-mile rides, but this morning I split the difference and took a 15-mile ride:

To be honest I’d have gone further, only I couldn’t get past the word Yonkers:

If you’ve ever drawn a chalk circle around an ant you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, on the way home I encountered this deer in Van Cortlandt Park, flouting the city’s leash laws:

I’ve gotten used to deer since moving to the mainland, but it’s still noteworthy to encounter one within the actual city limits, and I can only assume this one is part of some kind of seasonal migration to find reindeer work in the employ of mall Santas.

The manner in which this particular one approached me as I stopped to photograph it made me worry that perhaps it was considering goring me with its antlers. Also, it was emitting a pretty foul wet animal funk which totally stunk up the whole underpass:

These animals sure do act entitled when they don’t have any natural predators.

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