Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Hell of the North

For my non-cycling readers, today's post title is a reference to the epic Spring classic race, the Paris-Roubaix. Spanning about 260km, the ride through France is marked by beautiful countryside, quaint farm towns, and cobblestones. Lots of them. Bumpy, gritty, wheel-eating cobbles. Typically combined with tumultuous weather,  the Paris-Roubaix an endurance test of not just the body, but the mind as well. I tested my endurance this morning by waking up at 7:00am (after going to sleep a mere five hours earlier) to stream the race live. I've finally perfected the art of watching races that are on TV delay in the US:

  1. Stream video via Steephill, typically in French, Slavic, or another language I don't speak. Turn on mute.
  2. Stream audio in English broadcast by Eurosport (also available from Steephill)
  3. In a separate Firefox window, launch the Velonews live chat updates, which provide more interesting commentary (no offense Phil Ligett) and readers can submit their own questions as well.
It's my dream to one day travel to Europe and watch the Paris-Roubaix from the sidelines. I'm a long way from being able to afford the finances involved, so I made do by hitting up some cobbled streets in Philadelphia with my tattered IRO instead.

Can you spy the La Fille Atomique spoke card?? If any readers would like one, leave a comment with your email and I'll mail you one!

Keeping everything cycling-centric, today's outfit featured a shirt from Bilenky Cycle Works, a local handmade bike welder. I usually shy away from shirts branding a company, but Bilenky creates incredible pieces of art. And the shirt is really fun and quirky. It's hard to see in the pictures, but it says "Philly Brazed" and "Born to Sweat", accommodated by a picture of Stephen Bilenky himself. It's so tacky, how can I not love it?

What's that thing around my waist? Is it...a fanny pack??? Chill dear readers, it's actually a limited edition hip pouch from R.E.Load Bags. This thing is my go to accessory during the summer, when it's too hot  or simply unnecessary to lug around my full-sized messenger bag. I love the abstract design (actually a cut-up R.E.Load banner) and hidden u-lock holster is the icing on the cake.

Shirt: Bilenky Cycle Works
Jeans: Forever 21
Belt + Buckle: Thrifted (Sweet Jane- Philadelphia, PA)
Hip pouch: R.E.Load Bags
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses: Forever 21
P.S. I couldn't contain my excitement, I just had to share a surprise thrift treasure I bought this afternoon. Ray and I randomly stopped by the Antique Mall, an indoor permanent fleamarket of antique gems. I found this Anne Klein scarf for only $5!!

The seller also had a gorgeous vintage Hermes scarf, which I optimistically inquired about, praying that perhaps it would be as cheap as my Anne Klein. No dice. Maybe I'll head back when I've got an extra $300. Another seller had a $60 Dolce and Gabanna sweater that I'm estimating was from the 80s, but luckily for my wallet, it was too large.

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