Still, even my glassy-eyed, slack-jawed, dribbling resolve was challenged when a reader forwarded me one of the latest Scattante bicycles. If you're unaware of Scattante, let me just explain that it's neither something to do with jazz singing nor something to do with sex acts involving going to the bathroom. Scattante is in fact a house brand of Performance Bike that is meant to sound all Italianate, sort of like Tazo tea is a house brand of Starbucks that is supposed to sound all Eastern and mystical. Well, like any line of bicycles Scattante attempts to create models that reflect the tastes and interests of today's riders. But unlike normal bicycle lines, which generally do so in a slick, smarmy, and sort of insidious way, Scattante do it in a clunky, goofy, obvious way. I'm guessing part of the reason for this is that instead of copying what riders are doing to their own bikes, Performance/Scattante is copying the other bike companies' copies of what riders are doing to their own bikes, so it's at best a second-generation facsimile. And it looks like the latest bike they're copying is the Specialized Langster:
This bike will allow you to fly across town or campus in the simple, elegant style that only a single speed road bike allows. It’s a little known fact that when William of Ockham developed his theory of simplicity, he was dreaming about a white single speed road bike.
See? They're even doing city-specific bikes. However, I'm not sure which city is "Liberty City," and when I plugged it into a popular search engine (Dogpile--what else is there?!?) the best I could come up with was that it's the city from "Grand Theft Auto." I also had to popular search engine William of Ockham (remember, I'm intellectually disabled). It turns out he's the guy behind Occam's Razor, which was the world's first disposable razor and which revolutionized the entire depilatory world. (Thank you, Dogpile! Accurate as always.) Clearly, with their references to smart people and college campuses, they are marketing this bike to smart people, a demographic of which I am surely not a part. Fortunately, though, they've got other models for other cities, so it stands to reason I can find a bike which speaks to me.
Single speed road style finally jumps the shark with the Liberty City Courier bike from Scattante. The curved bullhorn handlebars save you from having to “flop and chop” anything while allowing you to travel in a more upright position, saving your back while keeping you stylish.
Hmmm, getting closer. I got the "jumps the shark" reference and I didn't even have to popular search engine it! I also didn't have to popular search engine "Windy City," which everybody of course knows is Cleveland. However, I was still confused. Firstly, why is the bike called the "Windy City" but the copy says it's the "Liberty City?" Secondly, why would Performance/Scattante (Perttante?) sell a bike by saying that it's jumped the shark? To me, this either indicates that they don't fully understand the phrase, or more intriguingly that they do understand the phrase and are being extremely honest and self-deprecating. (And if it's the latter, then they have my respect.) But then there was this:
Looking for a sure-fire way to lower the pistadex? Ditch your old bike on craigslist to make room for the new Empire State Courier from Scattante! Watch your friends marvel at the clear-coat over raw steel industrial look of this simple yet effective single speed road bike. The riser handlebars make for a comfortable and stylish bike just begging to be taken out for a little fixed gear freestylin’.
I was now officially freaked out. Awhile back when I noticed that someone had started PistaDex.com I said I felt like I had gotten up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and found a stranger sitting on my toilet. Finding the term being used by Performance was also strange, but in this case it was more like throwing out a pair of underwear and then a few weeks later getting stuck behind some fixter on the Williamsburg Bridge and noticing that he's wearing them. Similarly disturbing was the appearance of the term "fixed gear freestylin'," though I suppose it is appropriate since it officially replaced "track bike" at the Cycling Summit almost a year ago. And interestingly, instead of naming this bike after a city, Perttante named it after all of New York State, though it does have a skyline on the top tube that appears to be either Albany or Schenectady, or perhaps even the twin cities of Troy and Watervliet.
As distressed as I was to see that I had been incorporated into Perttante's take on the "fixed-gear freestyler" though I decided I should look upon it as a "good problem." Apparently a large company thinks my words have the ability to help them sell bicycles, and clearly they recognize my integrity because they certainly didn't insult me by offering to give me any credit in return. And isn't appropriation without acknowledgment the highest form of respect? They also have as much respect for their customers as they have for me, since they've gone so far as to actually manifest a joke from this blog in bicycle form and sell it to people for $599.99.
So I guess I've officially done a "collabo," albeit totally unwittingly. And I guess by mentioning it here I've collaborated even further. Oh, well, it's a good problem to have--even though I still feel kind of dirty. I'm now going to take a searing hot shower and scrub myself clean with a wire brush.