Monday, May 12, 2008

Harshing My Mellow (Pt. I): Austin Power!

In response to last Thursday's post, at 8:04pm on May 9th, "Anonymous" wrote:

Bike Snob,

I'm surprised you didn't catch that "Mellow Johnny" was Lance Armstrong's nickname during his Tour de France heyday. It's a play on words from maillot jaune, or "yellow jersey" in French. Got that? Now I'll stop pretending I'm more of an authority of cycling than you are.
Peace..

"What?!?," I thought to myself. "Could this be true?" Internet research revealed that it was, and also that "Maillot Jaune" refers to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France--a race that Lance Armstrong has apparently won. Unwittingly, I had stumbled upon the vital lead that I had been looking for in the missing fixed-gear case. So I removed the duct tape from the suspect I had been interrogating (I'm sorry to report there was some skin loss), bought a plane ticket on closeout from Nashbar (at an additional 15% off with the coupon code), and headed to Austin for the Mellow Johnny's shop opening immediately.

Upon deplaning, the first thing I discovered was that Austin was in the grip of a heat wave--it was like 100 degrees and humid. The next thing I learned was that the Cure were not scheduled to play Austin until June 8th. This meant that my heavy long-sleeved black Robert Smith outfit was doubly inappropriate. Embarrassed and perspiring badly, I headed to my hotel:



Ah yes, South Congress was indeed the vibrant cultural center I had heard it was. I was conveniently located close to Hudson Sausage, Jerky, and Deer Processing:


I was also handy to a cleverly-named hair salon, which was fortunate because my Robert Smith coiffure was wilting badly in the heat:

And, most importantly, I was near a warehouse of a church which I believe may be storing geared bicycles in anticipation of the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse:


Speaking of the Apocalypse, during my visit the only thing higher than the temperature (and many of the residents) was the PistaDex. It was (and is still as I type) at an ample 575. Indeed, it seemed that everywhere I looked, people were enjoying themselves on their fixed-gear bicycles:


Though when they tired of them or got too hot they simply put them in their cars:



Oldtenspeedgallery fans will be pleased to know that their kind were also represented in Austin. Though instead of stowing their bicycles in Honda Civics, they seem to prefer public transportation:

Ah, yes, Austin. It's a magical town where the buses have Schwinn moustaches and the porta-potties wear Cones of Smugness:


And also dispense cash, apparently:

Of course, you're probably wondering at this point if I actually made it to Mellow Johnny's. The answer is yes. Here's a shot of it from my internment camp:

And yes, I was ultimately released and even permitted to attend the Saturday night opening party, where my entourage and I drank alcoholic beverages and roamed about the shop largely unsupervised. So if you haven't had enough of Austin yet, stay tuned for Part II. In the meantime, I invite you to contemplate and fear the Austin Apocalyptic Death Cattle:

More to come.

81 comments:

bother yam said...

In moo-ney...

Anonymous said...

win?!

Anonymous said...

Podium!

Anonymous said...

4th is the worst place

Anonymous said...

joop zootemelk

Anonymous said...

Topten!

abelgus said...

God!!! You were in my hometown - at Mellow Johnnies?? Nice shots of the neighborhood!

Abelgus

abelgus said...

I covered that Mollow Johnnie / Maillot Jaune thing in a previous post. BTW top ten**

Anonymous said...

ha! I probably made you coffee, I work in the cafe, "juan pelota". also, the weather became a lot cooler the following day.

Erik said...

top 10!

Anonymous said...

number 10

Jonathan said...

damn! so close...

Pappy said...

Snob,

You left NYC! Incredible. All it takes is L. Armstrong to invite you somewhere. Now we know what we have to do to get a MRR-esque scene report out of the Snob.

(Unless this is all another great deception as per usual.)

Strayhorn said...

Austin? Gaaa. If this the start of a tour of all the truly smug towns in the US, Chapel Hill is probably next.

Let me know beforehand so I can go to the coast that week, lest I be severely mocked.

amir said...

first!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Snob, I don't know if you noticed, but in your picture of Mellow Johnnie's, there was a Porsche Cayenne and a Range Rover parked out front. Yep, just your usual LBS, eh?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Snob, I seem to recall that over time, you have made an unkind remark or two about Mellow Johnny and his Olsen twin. Did Lance try to punch your lights out at the grand opening party? I sure hope that this is the topic of part two of this post.

Anonymous said...

Now you're hitting close to home Snobby (I'm on the north side of the river). Thank you, I am glad some one is pointing to the emperor that is Austin's new clothes, especially his lycra shorts. Austin fancies itself a good bike town (see this week's Austin Chronicle) when in fact it is Wichita with an occaisional white stripe to highlight the stuff in the gutter the street sweeper didn't get last time. And while it is true we can't do much about the 100 degree heat & humidity, we don't admit it; thus the necessity for air-conditioned cars, busses, & bike shops (in Austin, it's still OK to leave your four door diesel pickup idling with the A/C on while you sidle into the ubiquitous ghetto-mart for another Lotto ticket) and the city seems to have a policy of removing any tree over 10 feet tall to make room for yet another high speed cable network, shade being such a "19th century" concept.
Thanks for telling like you saw it, Anonymous in Austin

bricoleur said...

points?

pista index temporarily hits $1000.

leroy said...

Mellow Johnny is Lance Armstrong?

OMG, what next?

No, don't tell me about soylent green. I don't want to know.

BSNYC -- great post, sounds like a fun weekend.

I can't explain it, but somehow the post reminded me of Slim Pickens' line from Dr. Strangelove when he's reviewing the B-52survival kit: "a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

Must have been the apocalyptic parallels.

bricoleur said...

also, you'll find the andrew eldritch look far more appropriate in texas than smeared lipstick and mascara.

OpenYourEyes said...

Sweet! Is the pharmacy at Mello Johnny's all it's cracked up to be? The idea of a bike shop with a pharmacy is really going to take off...

techb3 said...

i noticed that yet another bike boutique has po(o)pped up on the lower east side. "chari & co." i know you guys hate me already, but i couldnt help passsing this one along for it truly takes the cake. diamond accents glued to the lugs razorapple.com...track frames on clothes hangers...red carpet. plenty of fodder for another post i am sure, and you know what, great! too much.

Tex said...

Ya ever notice how much "Austin, Texas" sounds like "ostentatious?"

ijones said...

Nice article :)

Your Cones of Smugness link is broken, though.

Anonymous said...

cool. hipster kids with super tight girl pants and chubby midsections. driving around their bikes. it's become a common site in austin. it wasn't even really that hot yet. it gets worse.

Pedal Strike Force Agent Down said...

Ha!

Those guys drove their bikes somewhere to ride them. What are they, mountain bikers?

Oh, snap! ...Burn on mountain bikers.

wishiwasmerckx said...

So Snob was in Texas this weekend for Jenna Bush's wedding, and was kind enough to detour for a moment to share this post with us. I think Snob might be Donald Rumsfeld.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Are they opening a bar next door called "Juanita Cuervo's?"

Commiecanuk said...

I don't see how one could rest comfortably in those porta-potties.

frilly said...

Any Ashley/Tory/Sheryl/Matthew sightings?

BGW-Not to worry, cool as a cucumber. I saw Contador standing outside of a Mexican restaurant in Branson, MO last year. My first thought was to go for a quick grapple, but I checked. The lad is so diminutive, I was afraid I might hurt him thus ending his Tour of Missouri run. Although his fate for the week could have been worse, waylaid by a groupie vs serving as bottle boy for Hincapie & Leipheimer.

Porta-potty/ATM combo--Brilliant!

tex said...

Shoot, people think all the innovation happens in Californy, but we got lots of great inventions like the rentacan-atm. If you ever use one of those, be real careful with your wallet when you stand up. Don't ax me how I know.

Anonymous said...

second ten!

Cycle Jerk said...

Top 35!

Anonymous said...

Hmm...strange, the humanclock.com guy was at Mellow Johnny's this weekend too. There is a photo of Lance holding up a cardboard sign reading "2:09". Is here something you aren't telling us?

bikesgonewild said...

...a quick mellow johnny's shop stop was the obvious tax write-off subterfuge to help defray cost of trip to jenna's wedding...rtms/bsnyc is now famous enough to run w/ the big dogs of cycling & we know george w is a peleton unto himself...

...atm/porta potty idea came about when the houston oil market went south & had everybody's money going straight into the toilet...some smart enterprising texan figured that this was a good way to recover it...

...the other porta potty wearing the jaunty 'cone of smugness' had to be at the bush wedding to keep drunk guests out a' the house during the festivities...a classy sorta 'party porta potty'...bet some vote buying/illict sex went down in there over the weekend...

...& frill(y)s...that is so, a classy move compared to the rock groupies tactics...no "doing" the mechanic to get to the designated rider b.s...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Given the choices this weekend, I thought for sure you'd be at this event...

Anonymous said...

I've been telling people that the US Dollar is in the toilet... now I have visual proof!

Jim said...

I hear the pharmacy there is really good, but nobody has been able to detect it, or at least the Spanish Policia Nacional have not been able to, and that's what counts - though there are rumors that the Italian sporting union, CONI, is thinking about banning Mellow Johnny's based on... wait for it... rumors, just like they do with their other suspensions.

There is no Olson twins. There's just Ashley Olson, and Mary Dorian Gray-Olson. Beer goggles wouldn't cut it with her, you'd need heroin goggles over the beer goggles, maybe with some special polarized Jack Daniels lens inserts.

Anonymous said...

Is BSNYC Lennard Zinn? Oh NO!

Fritz said...

I'm pretty sure the Snob is not Zinn, but I have my suspicions. Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Dang. I was gonna go to the opening, but the express bus from my part of town (far northwest Austin) doesn't run on weekends, and there's really no safe route to ride.

Bu then again, I wasn't invited to the after-party anyway. Guess that wasn't for locals. Talk about harshing a mellow.

bikesgonewild said...

...come on, guys, pay attention...if there's a quiz on current events, you'll end up in the party porta potty...read the trades, be informed...

...zinn is in italia, on the island of sicily to (a) follow il giro & (b) to use his technical expertise to help solve the problem of an erupting mt etna...

Jim said...

BGW - that's not Mt. Aetna, that's Magnus Maximus belching after his 19th Birra Pieroni. It's okay tho... common mistake.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! LOL at putting the fixed gears in the car trunk.

Anonymous said...

@ pedal strike force...
what are you? oh tired cliche how i embrace your shitty renown of hipsterism. your scorn and powerful sarcasm cup overfloweth. what are you? from portland? roll the expletive dice and win a cruel prize. roll again, because you're obviously a winner

Anonymous said...

you were there?!?!?!?! i knew i saw you hiding behind the $548 rapha jerseys. it was a spectacle to be sure.

did you notice the best part? the coffee shop inside the store is called "juan pelota." pelota is spanish for ball, and juan (phonetically) sounds a lot like one. juan pelota = one ball!!!!!

too freakin' awesome.

bikesgonewild said...

...ah, see...that's #1 point to jim, #0 points to zinn...

...either way, it took a cyclist to offer an explanation...

...& poor ol' dave z shudda had a birra pieroni before the stage...it seems inevitable he's gonna fall down but at least he'd be loose that way...

Commiecanuk said...

Hey , what's up with Zabriskie's mustache? He looks like either this guy, or this guy.

frilly said...

What is up with these Slipstream boys that they can't stay on their bikes?

I would feel really bad for Zabriskie except he made that snarky comment about being glad he didn't get the pink jersey so he wouldn't have to deal with the press. Not to be mean, but...guess that took care of that.

And, yesterday when Phil and Bobke were talking about Alberto looking fatigued on the last climb. I beg to differ -- that was pure panic. He caught a glimpse of argyle in his peripheral and thought, "Oh dear God not again."

Emily said...

Schwinn moustaches. Hilarious.

mr.complaint said...

Snob,

This place is no longer recognizable as the home of the Butthole Surfers.

I wonder if you were even there. I bet you got all these images from erik k and his photoshop puppymill. They are hard to believe.

First off Don-Mar is on the Jersey Shore.

2nd - Hudson is in Hudson, which is on the Hudson River.

3rd- On Saturday the sun was here and therefore not in Texas.

4. God is here with us also and not them godless, soulless automobiles triangle lovers.

4b. Those fixed-gear riders are in White Plains. I've been there recently enough and that looks like White Plains to me.

5- Capital Metro is in Washington D.C. which is the "Capital" of this here United States.

6. The only believable image here is the Texas ATM, where money is crap. Maybe you could paint the thing Yellow for me.....

erik k said...

mr.complaint, for the record I had nothing to do with anyone of these images, all though I cannot guarantee that they will not be showing up in future work. I'm especially fond of the porta potty of smugness

bikesgonewild said...

...sheesh & ouch...today was the real crash-fest...tons a' guys went down including magy & millar of the slips but the real losing team was csc w/ bradley mcgee & stuey ogrady both down & out w/ broken clavs in the same crash...

...& i absolutely believe dave z when he sez stuff like that...he likes to cover his honesty by being droll & it's almost like he really wants to be somewhere other than where he is, most times...

...& anon 2:56pm...the 'juan pelota' thing is great...maybe our boy is learning to become self-effacing...that's worth a mellow johnny in & of itself...

Anonymous said...

BGW, no Giro spoilers please. I'm on a strict cycling media blackout until I get home tonight and watch the race, and this is just about the only cycling related blog I can waste my employers time at while I wait for the big whistle to blow. Please don't take this place away from me also...

bikesgonewild said...

...4:16pm...hey, what giro ???...

...a girl named maggy millar slipped & crashed into her computer today & a couple a irish farmers cleaved a bale o' hay...

...see, now ya don't have any clue, it will all be fresh & all is good...

Tyler said...

I live in Austin off of South Congress. These photos are all authentic.

Anonymous said...

Tyler, you think?

Fritz said...

Anon 1:52 -- any route's a safe route. I rode my bike down Lamar to downtown from Palmer Road and I'm still alive.

Anonymous said...

Nothing proves that RTMS actually took the pictures. Other than they are all kinda shaky and out of focus like someone on a oxygen bender after clearing out of NYC.

I was hoping the Hairy Situation shot might reveal the Snobby One's general outline, but extensive photo manipulation makes it look like the outline of some Irish farmer whacking a bale of hay.

Andy Pandy said...

Foiled. None of those pictures have a date stamp on them. Could have been taken before the Ice Age for all we know. It is all just a Trojan Bunny to throw us off as the RTMS makes haste before the Alpacalypse descends, to safe a haven ….Portland
And soylent green is the mashed up remnants of the Phonie -ak Floyd business.
Zabriskie is looking to the future and developing the Pool Boy look so that he and Cipo and ride tandem in naughty films… just sayin

OSTX said...

Thank you, BSNYC, for posting unflattering pictures of Austin and talking about the heat, the smugness, the hipsters, and all the other reasons why every asshat in the universe should stop fucking moving here at a rate of 6000 a week. We 'preciate it.

Jack said...

Industrial. Austin looks.

anonymous said...

This weekend, I happened to have seen that very same schwinn with the very low seat riding on the front of the cap metro bus.

fixedfortworth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fixedfortworth said...

We had just driven 3 and a half hours from FW and were getting our bikes out of the car to go ride austin.
you got it backwards damn it!

Anonymous said...

Fritz @ 5:22 - Pa(r)mer to downtown on Lamar? That's crazy, but I get the point. Maybe I'll try the Jollyville-Shoal Creek Blvd route to downtown one of these days. Just gotta gather up the gumption.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss the time cutoff? Hello?

andy said...

anon & 11:58p - jollyville to shoal creek is an easy ride. cross 360 at the 183 light. for downtown, cut to lamar at 34th after ducking under 38th on the bike path.

sd said...

OSTX-
Doesn't it suck when you can't be the very last hipster to move someplace? Maybe you should check out Omaha.I hear theres a cools scene there.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so you didn't just drive across town to ride a bike, but in fact drove 3 hours to ride a bike. On the road. In a car. With your bikes in the car. Car.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Fixedfortworth,

You guys were definitely loading, not unloading. Maybe I caught you after the ride, not before...?

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Bikesnob,
Had i known you were at this event, i would have got Your autograph!

Anonymous said...

Snob,

In retrospect, it was great to see you at Mellow's. Of course, I didn't realize it was you either.

I just thought it was cool that Lance knew Robert Smith well enough to lure him to his supa-exclusive shop opening.

Great disguise. Your anonymity remains in tact.


A

Anonymous said...

Snob,
Did you see the tall dude in the pinstripe suit, half-unbuttoned white shirt and diamond-shaped glasses that everyone was introducing themselves to? Who was that metrosexual man?!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't there, but if the guy in the suit was also wearing lizard skin boots,many necklaces, and sporting a major tan, then it must have been fabulous Mario C.

aubrey said...

Glad you got to see Hairy Shituations, maybe next time you're in town look us up. We'll share our beer, but we probably won't be drinking top shelf martinis along with it.

Anonymous said...

Snobby, I was recently removed from Portland to Austin. I have a few comments to add to your penetrating observations: 1. 103 in Austin isn't a heat wave, it's summer. It is ALWAYS too freakin' hot here for a human to ride a bicycle between May and October. 2. This is the only city I've lived in where average professionals joke at cocktail parties about running over cyclists. And I mean Volvo drivers. 3. All bike lanes are either very close to the U, or they are wide shoulders that the feds made them build on superhighways with stoplights (e.g., Parmer), singularly oppresive places to ride. Cycling in Austin sucks, and Mellow Johnny is lucky he ain't Flat Johnny.
4. 20 miles outside of Austin, it becomes Texas again, and Texans are required to kill anyone who isn't wearing cowboy boots and jeans, no matter how hot and humid it is. Lycra? Instant death.

Texas, schmexas. Give me the drizzle in the NW.

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