Cape Fear: Cycling Fashion's Reign of Terror Continues

(Helper monkey--the ultimate multi-tool!)

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that this spring is going to be about one thing--an unprecedented abundance of cycling fashions. No sooner did I learn about the controversial "Extra Leg" calf sheath than I discovered the "Urban Gaiter:"

Yesterday I quipped that someday soon we might see an "Extra Leg" with integrated pouches. Well, guess what the "Urban Gaiter" is? No, it's not a rapping cartoon alligator; it's an "Extra Leg" with integrated pouches:

Urban Gaiter $20.00

Black Cordora Fabric with Reflective Schoeller Fabric. Used Around Pant Leg And Has Side Pocket To Hold Cell Phone, Money and Other Items. Perfect For Quick Errands and Protecting Your Pants On Your Commute.

There weren't any photos of somebody actually wearing the "Urban Gaiter," but I'm guessing it looks like a blood pressure monitor, only on your leg. If you're riding in street clothes anyway, I'm not sure why you just can't put your money, keys and phone where you normally would--in your pockets. Why would hopping on your bike to run some "quick errands" suddenly necessitate strapping all these things to your appendages like you're smuggling them through customs? The next step can only be hiding them completely in one of those touristy money belts, or else simply placing them in a condom and swallowing them. (The latter technique works great for tools, too. "You wouldn't happen to have a tire lever on you, would you?" "Well, technically yes, but I won't be able to get to it for 24 hours.") Still, if you own an urban sombrero, I'm sure the "Urban Gaiter" would make a lovely companion piece.

I was curious to learn more about the company that sells the "Urban Gaiter," so I read more about them on their website:

I'm a bicycle commuter, and I can certainly appreciate "durable, versatile, and practical commuting gear." I have a body to keep warm and dry, and I also have personal effects I like to carry and sometimes need to access in less than 24 hours. (There's nothing worse than not being able to take an important call because your phone is still working its way through your digestive tract.) Sure, the "Urban Gaiter" wasn't for me, but certainly something else would be.

Well, apart from a few weird bags and the spoke reflector things pictured next to the "Urban Gaiter," they mostly just had a bunch of t-shirts. I'm not sure how a t-shirt can be considered "durable, versatile, and practical commuting gear," nor how it can help "get you there safely," but I do agree that they use "the highest quality and most durable materials," because some of their shirts are made out of bamboo:

Craig Calfee has been espousing the virtues of bamboo bicycle frames for years, so it's nice to see the material finally coming to cycling attire as well. This shirt may look like an ordinary t-shirt, but it's actually highly protective and incorporates the same technology used by ancient Japanese Samurai, who wore bamboo suits of armor. Also, it's got a picture of a guy riding a bike on it, which makes it cycling-specific. You can be confident that this t-shirt is all you need to protect you from either painful road rash or ninja attacks.

And Cyclelogical is not the only company drawing inspiration from the past. In London, a similarly-named company called Cyclodelic (which I learned about from Trackosaurusrex) is now making a cycling-specific cape:

If you've already got an "Urban Gaiter" and an urban sombrero, you're certainly going to want to complete your wardrobe by wearing a cape like Frank Costanza's lawyer. Just imagine how dramatic you'll look riding around town with a cape fluttering behind you. Apart from the flapping and whipping and lack of protection from cold wind and its potential to get caught on everything from car mirrors to your own bicycle, I really can't see a downside to cycling in the city while wearing a cape. Cyclodelic isn't stopping there, either. They've got a whole line of urban cycling fashions made specifically for the female rider, and you can see the clothes in action here:

In keeping with the magic theme (magicians love capes), Cyclodelic is also apparently making invisible pants. This is the only possible explanation for the fact that the models all have bare legs and pant cuff retainers:

Also, the model on the right must be riding a left-hand drive bike.

Even more exciting than invisible pants (if that's even possible) is the fact that Cyclodelic have also designed what may be the world's first female-specific fixed-gear freestyler, the "Lady Midas:"

If you're a male and you're feeling left out, you shouldn't. Just because this stuff is for women doesn't mean you can't rub it too. After all, urban male cyclists have been wearing women's pants for years, so there's really nothing odd about a guy throwing on a cape, a pair of invisible pants, and a visible pant cuff retainer, and hitting the streets--or even "killing it" on a Lady Midas:

Note that the step-through frame obviates the need for a top tube pad. Note also that the rider is wearing invisible pants without any pant cuff retention. I hope they don't get caught in his chain!

Perhaps most exciting of all, Cyclodelic will be launching their new line complete with an alleycat-esque "Cyclodelic Champagne Bicycle Treasure Hunt" in London:

I am seriously considering heading over there with my Scattante and "throwing down," since I think this is one of the few races in the world I could actually win. Spotting the "dressed up characters" alone should be a cinch, since the streets of London will be crawling with people in capes and invisible pants riding golden bicycles. I wonder if I can fit a bottle of Korbel champagne in my Gigunda cage? I also wonder if Cyclodelic clothing will be available in the New York City Topshop as well, since I've been riding capeless for far too long.

If nothing else, in theory this bumper crop of urban cycling attire should at least serve to make road racing attire seem slightly less absurd. However, in practice, you should never underestimate the roadie's ability to look ridiculous. A reader was kind enough to forward me these photos of the S.S. Capannuccia team, who, as he points out, bear more than a passing resemblance to 80s Christian "metal" band Stryper:

Besides the bumblebee-like color scheme, S.S. Capannuccia and Stryper also share in common the fact that they make you question the existence of God, since no merciful deity would ever allow a group of people to roam the Earth looking like that.

But not all roadies are taking their style cues from Christian rock bands. A reader in China has sent me this photo from a local race, which shows riders whose influences are decidedly more rebellious in nature:

The Rock Racing jersey, cigarette, and Euro-schmata are the Holy Trinity of roadie attitude. When juxtaposed with what may be one of the world's few remaining non-ironically rocked fanny packs, the effect is even more powerful.

I wonder where he keeps his cigarettes? Someone really should make a bag for that.

Accessorize to Live, Live to Accessorize: Stuff, and Where to Put It

Further to last Friday's post, I did indeed swing by New York City's newest fake bike shop, Jack & Jimbo's:

As you may know, Jack & Jimbo's is a "collabo" between man-purse marque Jack Spade and, well, some mechanic named Jimbo. Above is the sign which sits outside of the shop, proving once and for all that fixed-gear conversions are now considered as essential as flat repair and wheel-truing. I didn't take pictures of the interior because the store is very small and it would have been highly conspicuous (they were regarding me suspiciously, possibly because I was smirking), but the picture here should tell you everything you need to know.

Basically, inside you'll find the requisite NAHBS-esque townie bike nobody would ever own (in this case a titanium Independent Fabrications complete with crabon fiber fenders narrower than the actual tires) as well as a bunch of refurbished bikes via Landmark Vintage Bicycles, whom I had heretofore only heard of because they are constantly posting Craigslist ads like this one. You'll also find a few Rapha jerseys and t-shirts, a stack of skinwall tires which may or may not be only for show (it's hard to tell what's real and what's for show in there), and various Jack Spade bags. Besides me, there were two other non-employees in the store--a man who was agonizing over which Jack Spade bag to purchase, and his female companion, who was helping him make this potentially life-altering decision. Both of them were doing their very best to avoid any of the bikes or bike-related items.

To give you the context of the neighborhood in which Jack and Jimbo's is located, it's a great place to trip over small dogs on designer leashes, and the shop itself is right near the Marc Jacobs store. The window display at the Marc Jacobs store is currently a Porsche 944, behind which is a faux-punk banner which reads "Car For Sale Make Best Offer:"

If you're wondering what the design on the hood is, it's knuckle tattoos:

I find it interesting that Jack Spade and Marc Jacobs are now selling fixed-gear conversions and knuckle tattoos respectively. I also find it interesting that the new trend in high-end fashion retail appears to be interactive themed window displays that are actually also for sale. I suppose ITTET this makes sense. Why put just a bike or two in the window when you can dress the whole place up as a bike shop and maybe even fix a few flats and sell a few bikes in the process? Anyway, they don't seem to be hurting anybody, and the mechanic did have lots of tools and was actively repairing a bike--though it's always possible he was just pretending to fix a bike like some actor in Colonial Williamsburg pretending to be a blacksmith. In any case, I suppose in some way there was a need for a shop like this. After all, the male equivalents of the "Beautiful Godzillas" need bike shops boutiques too.

But Jack Spade isn't the only company advancing the cause of fashionable cycling. I recently received an email from someone in Paris, who related the following:

I got tired of facing the dilemma of looking like an idiot riding my bike (pants rolled up, pants in sock, etc,..) to avoid the grease stains on my pants, Or looking like an idiot the rest of the day (one wrinkled leg pants, dirty or ripped pants, etc, ) .

As such, he contacted a maker of high-end denim pants and came up with these:

While "Stroke's Extra Leg" may sound like a euphemism for "foffing off," it is in fact a protective calf-length pant leg you slip over your pant leg, and it may be one of the most pointless clothing accessories I've ever seen. First of all, I don't see how riding a bike with your pant leg rolled up makes you look like an idiot. Walking around town all day with your pants rolled up might look silly, but riding a bike with your pants rolled up just looks like you don't want to get your pants dirty. If this person had to roll up his pants to take a walk on the beach would he feel like an idiot then too, and instead slip on a second pant leg? Secondly, how does this help solve the problem of getting your pants caught in your drivetrain, which is the other reason to roll up or otherwise cinch your pant leg? Thirdly, how is slipping a filthy, greasy piece of denim on and off your leg going to keep you or your pants any cleaner or take any less time than simply rolling your pants up and down as needed? And where do you put your grimy "Extra Leg" once you've taken it off so it doesn't get all your other stuff dirty? Do you then need a carrying case or pouch? Where does it end?!?

Then again, he does have a compelling sales pitch:

He's right, I don't want to be that guy, but that's because he's wearing topsiders, and a denim leg condom is not really going to help that. But if you don't want to be that guy because you find it extremely difficult to roll your pants back down when you get to work (or you think a calf sheath is somehow less dorky than a pant cuff retainer or a chain guard), go ahead and buy an "Extra Leg" today.

Yes, some people just can't resist putting extra crap on themselves. If you're one of those people (or if you just need something in which to carry your soiled "Extra Leg"), you might enjoy one of these, which was forwarded to me by a reader:

Now that the fanny pack is making a return, the "Sex and the Citification" of cycling is nearly complete. The endless assortment of messenger bags, u-lock holders, utility belts, and fanny packs now on the market has finally allowed people to disguise their teenage girl-like obsession with handbags as practicality. And if you don't think people are using all of these things--at the same time, I might add--I am here to assure you that they are. I'm not sure why people need to carry so many items for local trips, but they look like urban survivalists, and between all the carabiners and nylon belts and satchels and clothing with hidden pockets all over it you'd think New York City was a mountain. I'm also not sure why whatever items these people need to carry must be kept separate from one-another. Perhaps this is part of the survivalist technique, and placing different items on different parts of your body is like diversifying your portfolio or like a squirrel burying acorns in different spots so they don't all get stolen at once. Hopefully soon we'll see people wearing "Extra Legs" with integrated pouches, and cycling specific thigh pouches, and utility belts, and messenger bags, and arm pouches all at the same time. And let's not forget the fanny pack's equally dorky cousin, the wrist wallet. Just finish the whole ensemble off with a pair of Kangaroos and there will be no limit to the places you'll be able to carry something.

Just make sure you don't put a rack on your bike. You wouldn't want to spoil those clean lines.

BSNYC Friday Non-Quiz!

(Jackalope makes a "booty call," by Erik K)

If I believe anything, I believe that rubbing books is fundamental. So I've been enjoying "The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon" by John Joseph, given to me by Stevil Kinevil of HTATBL, who foolishly left a $50 bill in the book which he's not getting back. (I already used the money to buy six pieces of Purple Haze cheese from Granted, I bought it because I thought it was a strain of marijuana, but nonetheless, it was delicious and surprisingly smokable.) One thing about the book is that it reminds you just how much New York has changed over the years. Streets that were once the domain of drug dealers and thugs are now practically brimming with artisanal cheese. This was further underscored by my commute this morning. For example, people are no longer urinating on the streets. Instead, they're urinating tidily in plastic bottles and leaving them out for collection:

Also, graffiti taggers are promoting the eating of wholesome vegetables:

But it's not all bottled urine and greens. The streets of NYC are still full of malicious robots programmed with insatiable nun-lust:

Meanwhile, elsewhere, the abuse of barends continues unabated, as you can see from this photo, taken by a reader in Washington state:

There's an unwritten rule that prohibits the use of barends with riser bars. Obviously, this is mostly an aesthetic concern, and riders should simply do whatever makes them comfortable. But while I certainly believe in comfort and multiple hand positions, there is also such a thing as too many hand positions, as you can see here. Also, theoretically, there's really no limit to the number of barends you can install on a bicycle, since you can install one at the end of another. Really, the only limit to the number of barends you can put on a bicycle is how many barends you have at your disposal. Even with hipster cysts, you'll run out of room eventually--unless you keep putting hipster cysts on your barends. In any case, sometimes rules exist for a reason, so go easy on the barends (or hipster cysts) before someone mistakes you for an elk with Christmas lights tangled in your antlers and tries to make a trophy out of you.

On the opposite end of the handlebar spectrum are these, forwarded to me by another reader:

I like handlebars that tell you where to put your hands, which is why I was such a big fan of the Cinelli Neo Morphe. I also like that these bars take into account today's knuckle-tattooed riders. And they're not just cashing in on a trend, either. It's obvious they know their customer, since the hand placement markers are only at the top of the bars. For "fixters," the drops are strictly off-limits, and are simply vestigial structures meant to keep their bikes looking "tracky." I'm surprised they didn't add something to the drops like "High Voltage: Do Not Touch."

Of course, custom painted bars don't allow for practical things like grips or bar tape, which are anathema to many of today's riders. But not everybody's leaving their bars naked. Some are actually wrapping bandanas ove their bar tape, like this rider, spotted by this reader:

Clearly, this commuter means business. Not only is he in the big ring on his triple crank, but he's also opted for the HED Jet wheelset. Once those doors open it's going to be like the opening prologue of the Tour de France. I'm sure in his mind there's a Frenchman counting backwards: "quatre...trois...deux..." I only hope he doesn't take a nose dive when the clock strikes zéro and the doors open, because there's probably no start ramp outside of those doors and he's liable to end up lying on top of a twisted mass of shattered carbon and bent Taiwanese aluminum.

You'd think that ITTET people might be passing over the overpriced wheelsets and instead rubbing simple, economical, and durable wheels that cost about a quarter as much. Not so. In fact, a number of readers forwarded me this image, which shows that the fixed-gear expensive front wheel wars continue to rage unchecked:

I don't know which Lightweight wheelset that front wheel comes from, but the cheapest pair on costs $4,500. Using wheels like that for amateur racing is stupid enough; taking one of them, putting it on your track bike, riding around town in canvas boat shoes on what appear to be $19 Wellgo pedals (with the reflectors still on), and ending up at a fake bike shop is nothing short of a wolf jump. If you want to show the world you have too much money, why not just use your ATM card as a spoke card and paint your PIN on your deep-section rim? You might as well add your SSN too. That way people can steal the identity you're trying so desperately to forge.

Speaking of theft, you might also think that ITTET people might make doubly-sure their bikes are locked up properly. After all, circumspection is free. (And a lot less painful than circumcision.) However, this is clearly not the case, as evidenced by these photos, taken by a reader in Williamsburg:

While the rider has taken great pains to secure both wheels, he's unfortunately missed the pole altogether:

While the hard-anodized rim and colored tire combo might be enough to deter Jobst Brandt (Jobst Brandt is the world's most outspoken opponent of both hard-anodized rims and silica tires), I'm relatively certain most thieves would ignore his warnings of decreased durability and simply make off with the whole bike sandwich.

Lastly, if you've been on the fence about buying the hillbilly-hipster-gun-cult-beach-sex-fixed-gear-conversion bike, a number of readers have alerted me to a new product that might make up your mind for you. Yes, drinking 40s while you ride has just gotten a lot easier thanks to the new Advent Gigunda cage:

The Advent Gigunda cage is a hipster's dream come true, as it provides yet another reason to not put something in your messenger bag. With your Kryptonite chain around your waist, your beer on your downtube, your keys hanging from your belt or bicep, and your phone, iPod, and other accessories safely holstered, you can rub your messenger bag the way it was intended to be rubbed--as a flat decorative shawl-like cover for your shoulders.

Rub your bikes safely this weekend, and watch out for jackalopes and/or callbacks!


Anti-Veloism: Weird, Creepy Bike Hate

(seen in Norwich, England)

Obviously, not everybody likes cyclists. In fact, lots of people actually hate cyclists. If you ride a bicycle you've undoubtedly experienced the sting of anti-veloism at least once. Some anti-veloist attacks are fairly straightforward, like when an irate motorist yells at you for being "in the way." Others though are downright bizarre, and can be so strange that instead of being angry you just find yourself confused. A reader recently forwarded me an instance of the latter from Madison, Wisconsin.

In this case, the anti-veloism took the form of a skit on a WJJ0 99.4 radio program, and you can listen to the skit here. Basically, some guy with a goofy Harry Shearer radio voice says he's sick of bicyclists, or "spandex cowboys." He then segues into some skit which is a parody of a hunting show, in which the host goes to the "Wisconsin Bicycle Trail of Death," where he kills bicycles instead of deer "because we feel they're flamers and they should be shot at!" He then launches into some weird homoerotic reverie in which he positions himself near someplace "gay and retarded" because that's where cyclists like to congregate. Once he spies some effeminate male cyclists, he then shoots them and excitedly declares that he "bagged me a nancy boy!" Then the host comes back and says that "if motorcyclists...if we did what bicyclists do we'd be in jail and our bikes impounded." Then they go to commercial.

I suppose on some level this is shocking, and I suppose it should make me angry, but it really doesn't because it's just so weird. Firstly, whoever made the skit seems to have some intense obsession with homosexuals, and I get the sense that he hates gays much more than he hates cyclists. So he's attempting to insult cyclists by saying they're gay. But there's nothing especially insulting about being called a homosexual. Anybody who called some punk kid a "homo" in the 80s was buying Nirvana and Green Day CDs by the mid-90s, and was flexing his brand-new tribal arm band tattoo at Lollapalooza while pretending to like the same bands that the "homo" punk kid was listening to back in the 80s. Usually being called "gay" just means you're ahead of the curve.

Still, for anti-veloists, equating lycra clothing with homosexuality is the go-to insult, so it bears examination. Obviously not all cyclists wear lycra, and those who do don't wear it all the time. But while lycra clothing certainly can look silly, I'm not sure why it's "gay." There are plenty of gay people in New York City, and some of them are quite proud of it and as such want to make sure everybody else knows they're gay too. These people do not dress up as cyclists or wear skin-tight spandex clothing. I have never seen a gay person walking around in full team kit without a bicycle in sight. But they do often dress as motorcyclists, which is what the host of the radio show claims to be:

Meanwhile, traditionally, skin-tight spandex is generally not used to express homosexuality. Actually, it's usually used to underscore heterosexuality. I'm not saying it succeeds, but take comic book characters, wrestlers, or 80s rock bands as examples. All of these things are supposed to be heterosexual:

Of course, not all 80s rock stars were staunchly heterosexual. Some actually did come to openly profess their homosexuality. But they didn't wear spandex or dress as cyclists. They dressed as motorcyclists:

So culturally speaking, it would seem leather and not lycra/spandex is the material of choice when you want to advertise your homosexuality.

Still, let's give the cyclist hunter in the skit the benefit of the doubt. Obviously there are gay cyclists out there, just like there are gay motorcyclists, and gay golfers, and probably even gay curlers (who may even curl while in full biker attire). But that simply does not explain the frequency with which this guy seems to encounter gay cyclists. After all, he hates cyclists. I like cyclists and I am a cyclist and I don't seem to encounter gay cyclists with any more frequency than I encounter any other type of gay person. Generally, when you hate something, you avoid it. This guy must really want to be around gay cyclists for some reason. And I don't think he wants to shoot them. I think he wants to shoot with them. It just makes me think of that Onion headline.

Certainly, if either the host or the guy in the skit has a gay cyclist fetish, they're not going to admit it. Certainly also neither of them ride bicycles themselves. But the host at least does claim to be a motorcyclist. And while he has no experience with bicycles, I do have some experience with motorcycles. Anybody who's spent any time on a motorcycle knows you encounter just as much crap as you do on a bicycle. In fact, in a lot of ways motorcyclists have it worse than cyclists, because when you're on the highway and a driver on a cellphone merges into you without looking, you're going 70mph, not 20mph, and the possible consequences are far worse. Nobody treats you any better when you're on a motorcycle than they do when you're on a bicycle.

So you'd expect a hard-core motorcyclist knows how tough things can be and as such might have some respect for cyclists. You'd also think that maybe the fact that The Great Trek Bicycle Making Company, Harley-Davidson, and the host all share the same home state might also help the host find common ground for his fellow two-wheeled siblings. But owning a motorcycle doesn't necessarily make you a motorcyclist, just like owning a bicycle doesn't necessarily make you a cyclist. It could be that, now that the weather's warming up, the host is just taking his gleaming Harley-Davidson out of storage. Perhaps it's even some fancy "factory custom." (I'm not sure how something can be a "factory custom"--that's like a fixed-gear freewheel.) Maybe he's even got some new chrome bolt-on accessories, like Maltese cross rear-view mirrors or knurled grips, that he's going to pay the local Harley dealer to install. Once they're on, he'll slip on his non-gay made in China official Harley-Davidson brand leather attire and ride for a couple hours on Sunday. On the way to the non-retarded, non-gay bar and grill where all the other local Harley owners go, maybe he'll encounter a hill, where he'll be forced to turn his knurled throttle grip a tiny bit to get around a group of gay cyclists who have gotten bunched up on the climb. This will obviously be tremendously frustrating for him, but he can take solace in the fact that they will be pounded by the sound of his "custom" pipes as he goes by.

Don't get me wrong--I have nothing against motorcyclists, even though when I see some of them riding around sitting on their flatulent bikes I can't help but think they're simply indulging some repressed desire to have people watch them while they go to the bathroom. And I'm not saying these radio guys are like that, but then again you've at least got to consider the possibility that they're exactly the opposite of what they say they are, which is heterosexual motorcyclists.

In any case, we all look equally ridiculous, so hopefully we can at least watch out for each-other on the way to our respective "gay and retarded" hangouts.

Cult Following: Harbingers of the Apocalypse

(Jackalope by Erik K)

Further to yesterday's post, I am still having trouble reconciling the hillbilly-esque "hipster" (or hipster-esque "hillbilly") pictured with the can of PBR. Certainly this co-mingling of styles is nothing new--it dates back at least to Bob Dylan. Still, there's just something unsettling about the current incarnation, and in an attempt to understand it I delved deeper into the photo album and found this photo of the same person in repose at home:

Scanning the room, the majority of visible elements seem to fall into the "hipster" column:

While the adjustable wrench and the PBR can go both ways, and while "hipsters" rarely wear white socks, overall I don't think it would be inappropriate to consider this person a "hipster." But the proverbial jackalope in the room is, of course, the pistol. Until now, "hipsters" resisted guns as fervently as they resisted sincerity. So the advent of a new breed of gun-toting "hipster" is a disturbing sign.

So why might a "hipster" feel the need to arm himself? Is he protecting his slovenly home from some malevolent third party's attempts to clean it? Has excessive marijuana smoking made him paranoid? Did he simply find it nestled in his beard one morning after a long night of excessive PBR consumption? No, I don't think any of these explanations are adequate. Unfortunately, the implications are probably far more insidious.

As incongruous as a gun-toting "hipster" may seem, there is certainly historical precedent for this behavior. The last "hipsters" to take up arms were the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s:

The SLA were most famous for kidnapping heiress Patty Hearst and robbing a bank. It could be then that the armed "hipsters" from yesterday's post are planning a similar caper. Perhaps they plan to kidnap Paris Hilton, go to a track bike boutique, and steal a bunch of cogs.

But probably the most famous "hipsters" to use deadly weapons were the Manson Family in the late 1960s:

Under the command of Charles Manson, the Manson Family concocted what was probably the most ambitious plan ever devised by a group of "hipsters." Basically, they were going to make a Beatles-esque album. Obviously, all groups of four or more "hipsters" attempt to record an album at some point, so this is not remarkable in itself. But the Family did not stop there. This album was going to be so great that it was going to incite an apocalyptic race war in which the blacks would annihilate the whites, which the Family would wait out in some kind of underground city. (This is not as far-fetched as it sounds, because most "hipster" music does make you want to kill white people.) But like most "hipsters," they couldn't really get the album together, and instead of following "hipster" tradition by simply ditching their plans and talking vaguely about making a movie, they decided to kill a bunch of people. The lesson, of course, is that when "hipsters" plan, bad things happen. "Hipsters" are like titanium bottom bracket spindles--put too much pressure on them and they crack.

So I'm relatively certain that the "hipsters" from yesterday's post are tragically following in the Manson family's footsteps. By selling that old Gitane conversion for $300, they hope to jump-start the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse. Once it's underway, they'll probably hunker down somewhere with a few years' supply of canned beer until the land has been laid to waste and the fixed-gear riders smote. Then, they can re-emerge as the only fixed-gear riders in the world. I only hope they don't grow impatient in the meantime and begin to kill.

Speaking of the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse, there's no shortage of signs out there--as long as by "signs" you mean weird bikes. For example, a reader has sent me this horrifying photo, which reveals what bicycle hunters call a "six-point buck":

So it is written in the "Book of Redundancy":

"There shall come a bicycle, and that bicycle's handlebars shall have barends, and those barends shall in turn have barends. And there shall be much sorrow and rending of Primal jerseys."

Then I saw this specimen, also foretold by the "Book of Redundancy":

"Atop a steer tube extender shall be clamped an adjustable stem, which in turn shall be angled heavenward. To the bars shall be clamped a mount for a GPS, or perhaps an electric shaver, and to the seatpost shall be clamped a reverse-entry clipless saddle. Its rider shall reap the souls of fixed-gear riders, and he shall place them in his Jandd bag for easy portage."

Even more horrifying was this Cervelo, spotted by

While at first glance it appears to be as fine a bicycle as you're likely to find under any dentist, closer inspection reveals this terrifying saddle:

I don't know what creature's buttocks one might find perched atop a saddle like that, but I can only imagine that it is cleft in twain to make room for the tail of Satan himself.

I also recently spotted this early 90s Paramount:

One might think the fact that it still retains its original derailleur drivetrain (not to mention its original pie plate) and has not been converted to a fixed-gear despite having horizontal dropouts is an encouraging sign. However, note the paint job, which happens to be virtually identical to Ratt vocalists Stephen Pearcy's unitard circa 1984:

Clearly the fact that a bike from the early 90s has an early 80s paintjob means it exists perpetually 8-10 years in the past. Essentially, it's an apparition, and eventually it will be converted to a fixed-gear--but by then the Apocalypse will have already happened and nobody will be alive to see it. Not even this poor, innocent Pista, with it's saggy chain and droopy saddle:

And its incongruously perky bars:

It is with this tragic countenance that it shall greet its demise.

But probably the most disturbing sign I've come across was this warehouse in Brooklyn, which appears to be housing some kind of pedal-driven contraption:

I wasn't about to run afoul of the dog, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some armed "hipsters" in there too. It's possible this is some kind of flying machine, or else some kind of "lunar cycle." In any case I think someone may be building the cycling equivalent of Noah's Ark.

I hope they can find a male and a female jackalope.