Enter Sandman (And New Outside Column!)

Do you struggle to hoist your leg over the top tube of your road bike? Are you pricing carbon fiber helmet mirrors? Are you finding it increasingly difficult to cling to the embrocation-slathered Leg of Fredness? Perhaps my latest Outside column will help:

You’ve got to be a member to read it, at least for now, but people gotta eat so pay up Grandpa!*

*And no, I’m not trying to alienate the Grandmas out there, I just think “Pay up Grandpa!” has a better ring to it than “Pay up Grandma!”…though now that I think about it “Cough it up Grandma!” may be even better than both.

So cough it up, Grandma!

Speaking of getting old, cyclists and non-cyclists alike will no doubt remember when, back in June, the president of these Untied States fell of his bike. Well, they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But the Commander-in-Chief is a very, very old dog and he nevertheless seems to have completely reinvented his riding style:

In case you don’t recall, here he is moments before that fateful fall, which was caused by his inability to extricate his foot from his stupid and pointless toe clip:

Well, he’s now removed the toe clips–or “toe clamps” as one media outlet put it:

This may sound like a mistake, but top track sprinters do in fact clamp their feet to their pedals:

Just kidding!

…at least as far as I know, anyway. If they’re Gorilla Gluie-ing their feet to their pedals and then applying c-clamps for good measure I’m sure someone will track-splain it to me.

Besides unclamping his feet from the pedals, Biden has further pivoted from the standard-issue old-guy charity ride uniform by dispensing with both the Lycra half-shorts and the helmet:

And he’s also riding an updated Trek bicycle (no doubt Trek CEO John Burke was mortified by the pathetic footage of the president falling off one of his dated mid-tier artifacts and arranged for a replacement post-haste) with what appears to be a single-ring drivetrain, though it’s safe to say the bike is not equipped with a dropper post given the extremely high potential for slapstick, with a rider who’s experiencing some “mental chain-stretch,” if you get my meaning:

No doubt he’d inadvertently and repeatedly pulverize the presidential taint like we was tenderizing a raw chicken cutlet–especially if he’s used to a triple and keeps trying to use the lever to shift

Alas, while all of these are improvements, unfortunately none of them can make up for the fact that he’s riding a bicycle on the beach for chrissakes:

Sorry, but that’s just a weird place to ride a bike. You ride to a beach, or even along a beach (like on a boardwalk), but not on a beach. Not only do sand and bikes not mix from a maintenance standpoint (I cringe every time I see the Brooklyn hordes dragging their bikes out onto the beach with them), but they’re also mutually exclusive recreational activities. It’s not that mixing the two is deeply offensive on a visceral level, like, say, masturbating at a funeral, so much as it’s just kind of pointless and gross and at odds with itself, like eating a sandwich on the toilet. Really, they only reason I can come up with for this ridiculous behavior is that his handlers figured if he took another header that at least the sand would help break his fall.

And yes, I know beach racing is a thing, but this is AMERICA DAMMIT, and we shouldn’t be copying a bunch of Low Country weirdos:

Though arguably it’s just gravel racing on really, really fine gravel.

And I guess it’s still better than driving on the beach, which I really don’t get:

People who drive on the beach are just boat-curious but too afraid to act on it.

As for me, I’m back to my weekday morning road bike regimen, clampless pedals and all:

Though this weekend I did take the Homer for a pre-vacation system check ride:

I also put in a little Jones time:

As I mentioned, I’ve fitted the Jones with a Silver2 friction shifter, and it shifts across the entire 12-speed Eagle cassette, even though it’s not “supposed” to work:

This requires pretty much maxing out the lever’s throw so it’s quite a reach to get into the very largest cogs/lowest gears. However, most of the time when I’m in the “meaty middle” of the cassette the ergonomics are perfect and it feels much better and smoother than sequentially clickety-click-clicking your way through all those gears with an index shifter–so much so that for me it’s worth the inconvenience of having to stretch in order to get into that 50-tooth (!) cog.

Then again you never have to shift that low on the beach, and the Jones would probably make a fantastic sand bike. But I would never. NEVER!!!

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