Heading into the weekend, ready for action?
We’re here to inspire you.
Let’s start with the lycra brigade. Next time you’re cursing your hi-tech steed, mid-headwind on a hill, you might want to click through to this feature in The Washington Post, which charts the 200 years of bicycles.
That’s right, the Velocipede was invented in Germany in 1817. Sure, it didn’t have pedals, making it more Flintstones car than bike, but it was a start. Boneshakers, Penny Farthings, Tandems, Cruisers and the Flying Pigeon. They’re all here.
Or perhaps it’s better to look to the future. Introducing the Stromer ST1 X (main image above, with moody lighting).
It’s the latest and, according to Wired magazine, the greatest in ‘S-pedelic’ bikes, which is shorthand for ‘pedal electric cycle’. (The S, incidentally, is from the German for Schnell, or ‘speedy’. Presumably because they invented the Velocipede, as above, the Germans still feel like they can just throw random letters and words onto bike invention titles.)
If motor-enhanced pedalling sounds like Tour de France cheating, then you’re right. It totally would be. These bikes, where your pedalling can be artificially assisted by an electric motor kicking in, can push 30 kph and are apparently officially classified as mopeds in Europe. Wired explains the whole thing here.
For us non-competition cyclists, the bike sounds astonishing, from its specs and performance to its price tag ($US 10,000 for the ‘sports’ model). Everyday commuter versions can be had for more like $US 5000, which probably becomes less scary for the GiantsAmongMen crowd who already spend small fortunes on their two wheel fetishes (you know who you are).
We don’t claim to be cycling Jedis in the Giants office (in fact, my beaten-up Avanti city cruiser is embarrassingly old, but sturdy. I like sturdy) so we’ll leave it to Wired to explain the regenerative braking system, the 6061 aluminium frame and all the other drool-worthy features of the Swiss Stromer. Although we can confirm that yes, of course the bike has its own smart phone app, so you can check by Bluetooth that the lithium-ion battery has enough juice for the ride home. Like, what century are you living in? Jeez.
The bottom line is that if you like riding to work, but don’t want to turn up sweaty from over-extending yourself on the hills or distance, this might be the pricey but gorgeous solution.
For the rest of us …
And for those of us still saving for our Stromers, but wanting to lose weight, then, hey, maybe we should just go on the same diet as Eddie McGuire, which recently saw the Melbourne-based TV and radio personality, and Collingwood FC President, reportedly lose 15 kilograms in three weeks. According to doctors interviewed by The New Daily e-paper, the diet, Dr Shuquan Liu’s ‘The 101 Wellbeing Program’, can be ‘very dangerous’.
At GiantsAmongMen, we’re not doctors and certainly haven’t interviewed anybody about this diet, not having had our second coffee yet on a Friday, so we’re not offering an opinion.
All we know is that the diet, which PM Malcolm Turnbull, also endured to quickly shed 14 kg a few years back, involves not eating for two weeks. Instead you apparently drink three cups of Chinese herbal tea, and drink unlimited water and black tea to survive. In the third week, you’re allowed to go crazy and have half a cucumber before 1 pm every day, and have 50 grams of chicken. Party time.
Patients are told they’ll lose between 5 and 8 kg in the first two weeks of the program which technically runs for 101 days but The New Daily says not everybody finishes it.
The cost? Only between $4000 and $9000.
Hang on, wait. Back up.
Four to nine grand to be told to drink herbal tea?
Four to nine grand?
EXACTLY THE SAME COST AS A STARTER STROMER.
The world, my friends, is a strange and confusing place. I’m going for a ride.
(In case you were wondering, our heart-wrenching but beautiful Stromer love story was constructed entirely from the bike’s publicity photos. You’re welcome. Movie rights remain available.)