Fan Letters And Fanny Packs

This morning I headed out for a quick ride to the forbidding Trails Behind The Mall:

I was clad head-to-toe in fancy clothing from Vulpine

…right down to my socks:

This sort of merino extravagance is the semi-professional bike blogger equivalent of attending the Met Gala in a dress bearing the phrase “Tax The Rich,” though unlike the aforementioned politician I did not have a phalanx of masked staffers to carry my fanny pack for me:

That’s the Spurcycle Hip Pack, which I no longer see on their site, so maybe they’ve discontinued it–though after seeing it straining valiantly against my midriff they may want to consider rebranding it as the “Love Handle” and marketing it to an older demographic, because it works quite well both as a carry-all and a girdle.

Before hitting the forbidding Trails Behind The Mall, I utilized the mall itself by popping into a minimalist retailer of electronics named for a piece of fruit in order to overpay for something that even the employee who assisted me tried to convince me to purchase on Amazon. (He should have known from all the merino in which I was swaddled that, for me, money was not an issue.) As you can see, the bike parking facilities are top shelf:

Speaking of that company, little did I know that as I shopped they were announcing all their latest gewgaws, including a new watch with even more bikey features:

The emphasis on catching spills by cyclists adds to the existing fall-detection feature of Apple Watch that’s been around for a while. If the Apple Watch doesn’t detect movement for about a minute, the watch will send an alert and call emergency services if you don’t respond.

If the new Apple Watch calls 911 every time it doesn’t detect movement for a minute I’d have more choppers following me on my rides than Ray Liotta on Rockaway Turnpike towards the end of “Goodfellas.”

Though I’m guessing it works better than that smart helmet I tested:

Hey, at least I got a viral video out of it:

Why indeed.

From there I proceeded to the trails, where I tried not to consider that, should I fall and crack my head open, my inferior smartwatch would ensure that I bleed out and die. (Though I do use Strava Beacon, so at least they’d have a pretty easy time finding my merino-shrouded carcass.) As usual, I relished the nimble nature of my profoundly obsolete artisanal singlespeed:

Then, when I got home, I learned Norm Macdonald had died.

Something like 25 years ago, when I was a lowly editorial assistant at a publishing company, I thought it would be great if Norm Macdonald wrote a book. So I sent him a letter, probably in care of “Saturday Night Live.” Some time later, to my surprise, I received a call from his agent. Apparently Norm was interested, or at least his agent was, and they agreed to a meeting at our offices. I felt like a kid with a toy fishing rod who’d just hooked a striped bass. We set a time, and I arranged for the company higher-ups to attend, few if any of whom knew who the hell I even was. (They probably didn’t know who Norm was, either. You’d be amazed how out of touch publishing people were with popular culture in those days…or maybe you wouldn’t.)

Alas, before the appointed day, Norm’s agent informed me we’d have to reschedule, though despite trading a few calls we never did manage to do so. “Norm’s not much of a self-starter,” the agent eventually admitted, and that was that. While disappointed, I was also secretly relieved, since the truth was I was scared shitless and there’s no way I could have pulled it off–which, in retrospect, his high-powered agent no doubt gleaned after forty-five seconds of talking to me.

Anyway, thank you Norm Macdonald for the laughs, and for saving me from a career in book publishing. It couldn’t have worked out any better.

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