If you’re like me, your daily encounter with the mailbox is followed, very closely, by an encounter with the recycle bin. Who in their right mind still prints things on paper, stuffs that paper in an envelope and pays postage to have a human trudge across the soggy expanses to plunk it in a box in front of your house? Lunatics do. And catalog businesses.
Of all the things I carry from box to bin, the only survivors are those bills that are not available digitally and bicycle catalogs. I get Nashbar and Performance and World Cycling Productions and VeloGear and various and sundry others. Each of them seems to sell some subset of the same array of lycra, carbon fiber and aluminum bits, but some are pricier than others. The photos are better (or worse). The models look more or less improbably like actual cyclists. They address different market segments (all of which I belong to in one way or another), and each of them gets a full flip through before being binned. I have kids. I can’t be buying every shiny bit of velophernalia that catches my eye.
Before we start let us all agree that the local bike shop (the proverbial LBS) is a grand and ideal place to spend our dollars/euros/rupees/limpira/pesos/pounds/sheckels/duckets/silver, BUT that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Probably as a result of being addicted to bicycles and all their related accessories, we have found our ways onto so many mailing lists, paper and binary, and so we find ourselves under fairly consistent bombardment by glossy shots of Assos kit and cut rate carbon handlebars.
What? Where? When? Why? How? The Group Ride starts now.
And because the pro peloton is riding rough over Italian asphalt this week, and those who are not in the land of pasta and Roman ruins are tuning up for the Tour of California, this week we will also have a little prediction action. Upcoming ToC (notice I leave out the sponsor’s name…they can have a mention when their check arrives at RKP HQ) prologue winner and GC finalist. Name both. Win stickers. Go.