A day at the mall

January 8, 2023 Comments Off on A day at the mall

My girlfriend and I went to the South Bay Bike Mall yesterday, behaving badly as is our wont. When we go to the bike mall we usually do it for intervals or for climbing, but just like at shopping malls, most of the other people at the mall aren’t there to shop, but rather to do anything but shop. Here’s what we saw:

  • Showing off Christmas gifts to self. Our first sighting was a portly fellow in a Rapha matchy-matchy costume that coordinated arm warmers, jersey, shorts, socks, gloves, and helmet with the color of his bike frame. This $1000-plus ensemble was something no one could have gotten for him, and he couldn’t have been happier showing off his gift to himself, pedaling slowly up the tenderest of grades.
  • Looking at each other. Our next sighting was a group of four riders from Klub Badass, pedaling slowly up the tenderest of grades, as they chatted gaily and cast admiring looks at each other’s bicycle costumes. No one was sweating, or, because it was the mall, had sweated, or was going to sweat.
  • Late-day cruisers. Two mall boys, clearly having slept in and scarfed a 5-pancake breakfast, pedaled slowly up the tenderest of grades as they made a reconnaissance of the bike mall, taking their obligatorily bored pedal through the neighborhood before they returned home in time for the main afternoon events of TV and alcohols.
  • New fashion trend. A couple of short years ago you couldn’t go to the bike mall without seeing hordes of cyclists wearing The New Bike Costume Brand That Was Going To Dominate The South Bay And Change The World And Be The First And The Last Word In Bicycle Badassery. However, TNBCBTWGTDTSBACTWABTFATLWIBB was no longer in fashion; now no one was flying its colors and its costumes were now all relegated to the discount 99.99%-off rack.
  • The formerly popular group now seems leprous. A couple of short years ago, the hordes that weren’t wearing TNBCBTWGTDTSBACTWABTFATLWIBB costumes were wearing chub club Team Little Fuschia costumes. A quick canvas of the South Bay Bike Mall, however, showed that hardly anyone belongs to Team Little Fuschia anymore. More startlingly, the Team Little Fuschia costumes aren’t even fuschia; they’re mauve. Is there a new costume designer over at Team LF?
  • Effort is for losers. The only people who were racing up the tender grades and positively flying up the steeper ones, were old and young riders alike who had dumped the work-intensive, old-fashioned bicycle in favor of the Electric Motorcycle With Optional But Never Used Pedals. We surmised that the reason for their roach-like ubiquity was the total absence of effort required and the Smug Face Kit that comes with each elecrtrocycle purchase. Also, they don’t have to wear bicycle costumes and can enjoy motoring around in pj’s and a motorcycle helmet.
  • New Year resolutions. We saw lots of these, squeezed into lycra straitjacket-costumes and positively busting out all over, especially in places you really wished they wouldn’t be. Pedaling slowly up the tenderest of grades, the mall was alive with suffering riders who wished that all the things they’d said yes to over the past month would somehow go away by simply putting on a new costume and riding slowly somewhere. #sadface #theywont
  • Cute boy at the mall. We saw one Cute Boy arc, wearing his finest Saturday bike mall costume as he cruised slowly down the tenderest of grades, likely coming home from the mall’s Donut Ride shop. He gave us that look: “You Freds have no idea what amazing stuff happened over there an hour ago. It was truly historic and life-changing and will never be seen or experienced again in the history of bike mall riding. Until next week.”


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