Beckham’s Boyzilian mainstreams bloke’s leg waxing

Funny, but there’s not one mention of cycling in the Guardian’s recent leg waxing article for men.

However, those male cyclists who want their quad and calf muscles to look their best can rest assured that their desire for depilatorial perfection is now almost normal.

According to The Guardian, more and more men are wandering into salons for wax treatments.

Full on Brazilian waxes – a bikini-line wax with knobs on – are not yet popular with men (why ever not?) but clean legs are definitely in, says The Guardian.

“Most of my clients are men…They come from every walk of life and profession – accountants, stockbrokers, teachers, boxers, models – but I’ve noticed that a lot of my clients are in the building trade…A year ago I was doing three men a week. Now I am doing three men a day. I don’t know why it has suddenly become more popular, but when people come in they do mention David Beckham. Now that celebrities like him are open about waxing, it makes other men feel more comfortable about it.”
Kim Lawless, Brazilia Waxing Studio in Upminster, east London

RANDOM CYCLIST LEG WAXING VID (warning: includes grown man cussing, he should have sugared, instead):

Pix: Taken at the Cape Argus Pick N’ Pay Expo in South Africa.

Touchline dads watch their soccer sprogs from turbo trainers

OK, I admit it. One of these football fathers is me:

My kids are sport mad, which is good. But it means I spend a fair bit of time outside watching dull training sessions. Matches I like, it’s the training sessions I find less than stimulating. And when it’s blowing a gale off the North Sea, even that second set of thermal undies isn’t enough to fight off the cold. The kids are running around, warm and toasty. The dads are stamping their feet and hiding under fleecy hats.

One of the other dads just so happens to be a cyclist, and we’ve long joked about bringing turbo trainers to our Saturday morning football sessions to do something warm and practical. It would be a major undertaking to get kids out of bed, dress them in their football kit and then pack a bike and turbo trainer, too. But with a move to a new footballing venue – which just so happens to be the site of the relocated Newcastle Phoenix junior cycling club – it’s now easy to fit in a turbo session.

I ride to the venue with my son. He does an hour of cycle training and then gets changed for 90-minutes of football coaching. While watching him I can get in a quality hour of going-nowhere-cycling. Class.

Forget the ing, we need to become an ism

Matthew Parris may be scolded by the Press Complaints Commission – a slapped wrist, at best – but those cyclists asking PC Plod to take a look at his “incitement to hatred” are barking up the wrong tree.

In February some new laws come into operation in the UK. There’s the new incitement to homophobic hatred law (oops, I’ll get knobbled there, then, apparently I’m an American homophobe obsessed with sex), and the linked religious hate law. But cyclists are not all homosexuals (there are some fine gayand lesbian cycling clubs, though – Dykes on Bikes, love it) and nor is cycling a religion.

In order to nail Matthew Parris – to coin a phrase – we therefore need to formalise what we all know to be true. That cycling is a religion.

It’ll help if we agreed to a slight name change. So, it’s not cycling that we worship, it’s cyclism.

Our Founding Father*, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily Shimano.
And forgive us our footpath trespasses,
as we forgive them that force us off the road.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the powermeter, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

* John Kemp Starley

4cms tall? You’re needed for a micro Critical Mass

There are roads, petrol pumps, train stations, airports, harbours and town houses. But no bike paths. Exactly what kind of retrograde conurbation is Lego City? It’s no Plastic Portland.

Lego, the Danish plastic extrusion company founded in 1934, produces a large themed play range called ‘City’. In this City, the company has found space for a recycle truck, a street cleaner and a corner cafe, but there’s no bike shop.

In a City playset titled ‘Community workers’ there are three cyclists out of 31 minifigures. But where’s the cycle infrastructure for these cyclists?

The roads feature single carriageways with pedestrian crossings but there are no dedicated cycle lanes, not even a splash of white paint.

The service station has petrol pumps and a car wash. But in the whole of Lego City there’s not a Sheffield stand for love nor money. Covered cycle parking? Forget it.

If ever a community needed an active bicycle advocacy group, this is it. Lego City is crying out for a micro Critical Mass.

The Lego Group produces over 306 million miniature tyres each year, more than any other tyre manufacturer in the world but not enough of them are bicycle tyres.

Lego is clearly missing a trick here. Denmark is extremely pro-bicycle, so why is the country’s most famous export so poor at providing decent cycling infrastructure for its City minifigures?

Visit Denmark says: “A bicycle is perhaps the ideal way of getting around Denmark….Denmark’s provision for cyclists ranks among the best in Europe. The Danes are a nation of cyclists and pride themselves in an outstanding network of cycle lanes and paths.”

Perhaps the way to go will be for anarcho-bicyclists to create their own infrastructure, their own Plastic Portland? Amazingly, it’s possible. Lego Factory is an online bricks ordering tool with a downloadable program to create bespoke lego creations and then offer them for sale to all via the Lego shop. Members have created barber shops, internet cafes and Dutch-style townhouses…but’s there no bike shop yet. It’s criminal! (As luck would have it, Lego Factory members have created jails…).

Grand Theft Auto: Lego City

Masiguy moonlights in fetish cycling gear

He claims he’s just been to Taiwan and Japan but can reveal that Tim ‘Masiguy‘ Jackson has, in fact, been Rasmussing around in the Netherlands with Bio-racer, a custom latex clothing specialist.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and here’s the pudding:

Full-size pic here.

The photoshoot for a rubberised clothing ad includes the first known photograph of Jackson not on a Masi bike, although, if you look closely, Jackson can be seen mouthing the words ‘Masi…must ride Masi’ through gritted teeth.

The god-like figure on the chariot is, of course, David Bernstein of The Fredcast. Why’s he so mad? One of Jackson’s fellow riders has ridden off with Bernstein’s latest item in for review, a Garmin 705 GPS unit.

Both Bernstein and Jackson are members of The Spokesmen podcast and it’s believed they were enticed to the Netherlands with the offer of “ja, boys, you can take home as much kinky cycling clothing as you like.”

The deal was nearly scuppered when Jackson refused to wear the Bio-racer branded socks supplied by the Dutch clothing company. However, Bernstein saved the day when he said he’d wear two pairs for the shoot, leaving Jackson free to wear a pair of SockGuy ‘I’m a bike fetishist’ socks underneath the slinky black booties seen in the photo, biggerised here.

Jackson, 65, has 12,318 pairs of SockGuy socks.

World peace thanks to bicycle kit

Oddly comforting, isn’t it? World peace was guaranteed by a hex wrench and a bike lock key. Until recently, these were the tools needed by the custodians of the British nuclear bomb deterrent, reports BBC’s Newsnight.

Until the early days of the Blair government the RAF’s nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.

There was no other security on the Bomb itself.

While American and Russian weapons were protected by tamper-proof combination locks which could only be released if the correct code was transmitted, Britain relied on a simpler technology.

To arm the weapons you just open a panel held by two captive screws – like a battery cover on a radio – using a thumbnail or a coin.

Inside are the arming switch and a series of dials which you can turn with an Allen key to select high yield or low yield, air burst or groundburst and other parameters.

The Bomb is actually armed by inserting a bicycle lock key into the arming switch and turning it through 90 degrees. There is no code which needs to be entered or dual key system to prevent a rogue individual from arming the Bomb.

Want to play guitar music while the key turns? Learn chords and stuff here. Need to learn how to bivvy? Great book here.

Craiglist bike sellers: fool Bike Snob with paint trick

Bike Snob NYC is famous for his critiques of fixies sold via web classifieds. He has a point, there are some truly awful paintjobs out there and some weird combinations of equipment.

But if trickle down technology could speed up a bit, Craigslist bike sellers could protect themselves from BSNYC’s barbs. Tech and auto blogs are currently going mad over a colour changing paint. Car owners will soon be able to switch paintjobs at the push of a button:

“[A] special polymer containing paramagnetic iron oxide particles [is applied] to the whip’s exterior; an applied electric current then adjusts the spacing of small crystals within the iron oxide particles, and therefore affects their ability to reflect light and change color. Essentially, vehicles could rock a default color when turned off, and then your imagination could go wild once you turned over the ignition.”

So, fixie owners who wanted to use future-tech to their advantage could choose a boring default frame colour for web listings but one that could switch to trademark garish awfulness once Bike Snob has passed on by. Just a thought.

Thief uses getaway bike to steal 2-ton* aircon unit

It’s good to see bicycles used for everyday transport.

But David Earl Newsome of Greenville, Texas, may want to upgrade to a beefier bike the next time he takes a fancy to some heavy electrical equipment.

Greenville’s Herald Banner reports that Newsome has entered guilty pleas in District Court following his attempted felony on May 2nd.

Newsome was alleged to have stolen a two-ton air conditioner condenser unit from the Greenville Community Health Service Agency on May 2. An individual with the organization spotted Newsome and another man riding away from the building on Wesley Street on bicycles while carrying the air conditioner. The two men dropped the air conditioner and fled after being confronted by a Greenville Police Department officer.

Reports that Newsome has been eyeing up a Yuba Mondo Utility bike have yet to be confirmed.

However, for anybody else wanting to tow some serious kit, use this calculator for weighing up the pros and cons of cargo carrying.

Someone in reasonable physical condition can generally pull a 300 lb load at 10 mph (16 km/hr) on level ground if there’s no wind. A person exerting the same effort could pull a load of 600 lb. (275 kg) at a speed of about 8 mph (11-13 km/hr), and a 1000 lb load at about 6 mph.

* Note: as reader Marc points out, the two ton isn’t a weight, it’s an air conditioning measure.

Dutch MPs want kids to get free bikes

Primary school pupils should be given free bicycles, argues the Dutch Socialist Party (SP)

The party will present a motion to that effect today, reports the Dutch-language section of the SP’s website. According to the party, half of primary school pupils in the Netherlands cannot participate in school bicycle tests because they have no access to bicycles or do not know how to ride one.

Really, in the bike-mad Netherlands?

SP’s Meta Meijer said:

“This bicycle plan offers many advantages. Children get help riding a bicycle, which is good for both the environment and their health. By doing the exam, they learn how to participate in traffic safely. Finally, young people can gain valuable experience repairing bicycles in practical lessons.”