Hot Days, Hard Seltzers

Forgive me for re-purposing a Twitter observation, but the more I think about this the truer it is:

And please note I have nothing against gravel bikes–or even hard seltzer for that matter:

Also, speaking of gravel bikes and strained analogies, Campagnolo Ekar is totally the “Delta Variant” of gravel drivetrains:

They keep trying to make a big thing about it, but the truth is nobody cares.

Oh, and coincidence?

I think not.

But I do think it’s remarkable that there’s an inverse relationship between bicycle brake aesthetics and performance. Disc brakes? Ugly. Spoon brakes? A study in duck-billed elegance:

It’s enough to make you want to ditch the pneumatics and go back to solid tires.

Meanwhile, in sporting news, French authorities have finally found Waldo:

According to L’Equipe, a charge of involuntary injury caused by a lack of prudence would entail a fine of 1,500 Euros, provided the injuries sustained by those affected do not lead to more than three months of inability.

However, the consequences could be more serious if individual riders choose to take action. Soler has already hinted he could look to sue the spectator.

I can’t imagine there’s much money to be made in suing someone who appears to be a part-time mime student. However, it’s always possible Opi and Omi are rolling in it, since anybody who studies mime is bound to come from a wealthy family. Therefore, Soler would be wise to name them in the suit as well.

As for the race itself, as usual my attempt to follow it is very much like my approach to long, hard climbs, in that I start out by making a solid effort but I quickly lose momentum. It’s not like I don’t want to watch it–I very much do–but even when you’re a semi-professional bike blogger it’s just hard to find like nine hours a day to watch other people ride bicycles. I was pleased to see that Mark Cavendish won yesterday though, and it make me nostalgic for the victory salutes of his prime years:

Call him what you will, but he’ll always be the “Man Missile” to me.

My own recent rides have been distinctly non-Tour de France-like, mostly because it’s been like 90 American Freedom Degrees™ every day, and so I’ve been content to ride my Platypus slowly in flip-flops. If a gravel bike is a hard seltzer, then a Rivendell is probably some artisanal whiskey made under contract by a big distillery:

There are some who think riding in flip-flops is dangerous or even downright foolhardy, and while I’ve always been inclined to scoff at that sort of sphincter-clenching the fact is I did have a brush with flip-flop disaster today. See, I was making a hard left with the light in my favor, and as I did I clipped a pedal, which in turn almost caused me to lose my flip-flop. As this happened, the light began to change, and there I was, clenching my flip-flop by the strap in between my prehensile toes in a truly simian fashion as the oncoming traffic began to bear down on me. Indeed, had you been driving a Hyundai in that direction, you would have seen a hirsute and slovenly creature on a bicycle with his left leg extended ahead of him and a flip-flop dangling from the end of it. Fortunately I am a seasoned flip-flop wearer, and so I managed to get it back on my foot with a quick wiggle. This in turn allowed me to begin pedaling again, and I soon found myself out of harm’s way, my breathing only slightly heavier after this Jimmy Buffett-esque brush with disaster.

Besides my own podiatric dexterity, I also credit the bicycle itself for the favorable outcome, since when you’ve got a wheelbase of like 14 feet it takes more than a little pedal strike to bring you down. Sure, you could question why I struck a pedal in the first place, and maybe even blame the bicycle’s geometry for it, but I admit the fact I’m using “skinny” tires by Platypus standards could be a contributing factor:

Not like you get a Platypus because you’re looking to pedal through corners (if anything the Platypus reminds you there’s great dignity in coasting), but maybe something with a little volume would jack the bike up a little more. Hey, what can I say? I like to live dangerously.

Hopefully when I finally do go it will be in a more dignified manner, like getting taken out by a porta-potty truck:

I should be so lucky.

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