Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The contest

I hear Bicycling Mag is having a contest for best amateur bike mechanic. Since Bicycling Mag became a shill for Floyd Landis, Specialized, and the other companies that sell overpriced stuff most of us don't need, and since Bike Snob's column was the only thing worth reading in the whole mag (unless they do a nude centerfold of the Fit Chick, which technically would involve less reading and more . . . well, you know), I don't subscribe to the mag. But I would offer this advice: a contest for the WORST mechanic who nevertheless manages to keep upright and rolling would be much more interesting. Just how many miles can you ride on a worn-out chain? How many more times can you patch a tube whose surface area already has a ratio of tube-to-patch that has definitely shifted toward the patch end of the scale? Does duct tape have any useful application in the repair of brakes for fixies or other inherently unsafe two-wheeled conveyances? The answers to all these questions would be much more interesting than awarding a prize to someone who's figured out that WD40 and lemon Pledge do wonders for a bicycle chain, or at least give it that fresh citrus scent that all the girls just love.