Monday, December 21

2010 ASSOS Catalog[ue]

This weekend dropped a whole lot of snow on the entire eastern seaboard. Also it dropped the terrible wrath of H1N1 on me from about Wednesday through Sunday. I've been mostly locked in my room, but my understanding is that it's been pretty cold, single-digit temperatures.

On Thursday, while the doom of swine-wrath was still building, I received a phone call, from the guy who lives where I used to live, in Kittery. He said "there's a package for you here; I don't know what it is." It being late December, I figured it might be something worth risking personal health for. So I head out in the Hoth-like temperatures, and across the memorial bridge to Maine. I might add that the wind on the bridge was terrible with gusts around twenty miles an hour, and the wind chill index was well below zero. Anyway I made it, and got the package. It was flat and postmarked from Switzerland. I had forgotten that I had ordered their catalog a year and a half ago, and am once-annual mailing list.

Ah, the 2010 ASSOS catalog. The cover of it has a picture of three guys drafting about five centimeters off the back of the official Assos Mercedes-Benz SaG-wagon. Attached was a cover letter. From the cover letter:

Dear Assos Fan,
The new Assos catalogue is here. Creating unique and extraordinary catalogues has always been a little passion of the Assos Centro Studio. No more two seasonal catalogues, instead, one yearly "ASSOS BIBLE" featuring every Assos Product and a large part of the Assos experience for you to be part of.

Wow, fancy. Throughout the catalog[ue] were the various product lines, geared for the exact temperature range. Assos spends a great deal of money on marketing to indicate that there is high-tech, high-precision science behind every single article of clothing. For example, there are no fewer than eight "climate range" lines:

Unfortunately the coldest one was only ready to handle 21°F, which is a high that I don't think the temperature will be reaching any time before April. These guys are from Switzerland, I guess I thought they would have bike clothes in which you could ride up the Matterhorn. But let's face it, no one here can afford this stuff anyway. Not that I know how much it costs; the prices aren't listed. This isn't the Sears catalog after all--you can't order direct. It's like when you go to a real fancy restaurant that doesn't have prices in the menu. If you have to ask how much, then you can't afford it.

assos assoss model girl babe name lady bike cycle bicycle bicycke cycling switzerland swizerland switzerladnThe famed ASSOS girl, the ASSOS Cycling spokesbabe is of course another highlight of the catalog. Here, she peeks out from between the pages. But don't be intimidated, gentlemen--she doesn't actually know how to ride a bicycle. In fact, my sauces tell me that she lives in a castle in Monaco and gets her jollies smashing fabergé eggs. The sauces never lie. No, but seriously: I noticed a lot of search engine traffic last time I mentioned Assos, trying to find out what the model's deal was. I dug around but couldn't find anything. She's a model, not an athlete. Check out that sauce link (might need to log in to facebook), has some non-Assos pictures of her. Meh.

Anyway, the catalog's full-color, full-gloss, heavy paperweight, 150+ pages of great marketing design. They call it the Assos Bible, and that's what it is. Maybe one day I'll own some Assos products, right before I get an $8,000 wheelset, and right after I get a doctorate in dentistry.

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