Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Harshing My Mellow (Pt. II): Partying in the John

A crucial stage of decay in the shelf-life of any serialized form of entertainment is the "two-part episode." Such a gambit generally presages a shark-jumping in the not-too-distant future. As such, it was with some trepidation that I embarked on my own "two-part episode," which I will mercifully conclude with this second installment. However, I rationalize it thusly:


1) I went all the way to Austin. Texas, no less! Once there, I braved heat, trucks, and the sort of smarmy politeness from strangers that I always encounter when I leave New York and which I'm never sure is sincere or not. To do so and not post about it would be like incurring a wound and not lifting the bandage and showing everybody you know.


2) I am supportive of any new bike shop, even if it is part-owned by a celebrity and doesn't really need my support. I'm even supportive of Chari & Co., who also had an opening party this past weekend in New York City, and I wish them nothing but success. (Even though the pictures I see kind of make me sick.) So I figure a new shop in Austin that's actually well-stocked, well-staffed, and worth a visit merits a little attention. I mean, it's no Dah Shop, but it's pretty sweet. After all, where else can you not only buy bike stuff but also look at Tour de France memorabilia and modern art, drink gourmet coffee, and take a free shower all under the same roof? Just add a retired cyclist in Nikes pawing at you and you'll know exactly what it's like to be Ashley Olsen.


3) A "two-part episode" may smack of shark-jumping, but until I actually do a holiday post that starts with "A Very Special BSNYC" and involves all of us learning valuable lessons about love and togetherness I figure my skis still haven't left the water.


4) My anonymity affords me little opportunity to bask in the limelight, so I figured I'd take the opportunity to explore the way the rest of the freeloading, product-grubbing, propaganda-parroting cycling press lives.


So come with me as I take you on a virtual night on the town in Austin.





The sign's to let you know what's inside. The camera is to keep you from stealing. I would advise against any shoplifting attempts. This is Texas and they shoot people for that.


As I was with an entourage and intended to imbibe I left the bike behind and engaged a driver. Also, there was a thunderstorm. Austin's fixed-gear community was undaunted, however. I guess they only put their bikes in the car when it's dry.


As a cycling blogger of some renown I had some other appearances to make before attending the Mellow Johnny's opening. Here at Tsunami I signed stickers and read aloud from a selection of Commiecanuk's comments. Three people showed up, but only to use the bathroom, and there was chips and salsa. I guess that full-page ad in VeloNews was a waste.


I arrive with my entourage at Mellow Johnny's to find that it has transformed itself from an innocent bike shop to a throbbing neon party whore. My entry was only slightly derailed when my 80mm heel got stuck in a crack in the pavement. But I think I still managed to pull it off.


Inside the shop. Way in the background is a big arty thing by Raymond Pettibon and some other guy I can't remember because he didn't have anything to do with Black Flag (I don't think). A little to the left of that is the Naked bike which won "Best in Show" at the NAHBS. There are plenty of photos of it elsewhere so you don't need more from me. I'm not sure if the bike in the foreground with the kickstand has a story, though it may be Five Boro Bike Tour winner Lawrence Orbach's training bike. I'm the guy standing behind the camera with a broken heel.


Can you feel the hot breath of the Apocalyptic Alpaca on your neck? If so, that's because you can actually buy a top-tube pad from Lance Armstrong. Yep, MJ's has plenty of fixed-gear bikes and accessories. Behold the dreaded "Wall of Fixies!"



I was surprised that MJ's was carrying Caloi, though this was the only one they had in stock. They wouldn't let me test ride it either. Oh, by the way, if you visit Mellow Johnny's, don't lick the bikes. Gary Fisher tried it and got his crazy ass thrown out.


What says "party in a bike shop" louder than drinks on a pedal display case? Those Speedplays weren't the only things with lots of float. I too was getting pretty loosey-goosey.

Lance Armstrong's climbing bike from the 2005 Tour de France.


Mock gas tank is triple-butted for weight savings.


The Austin heat was oppressive and I had a nice set of sweat earrings to go with my heels, so I adjourned to the courtyard with my entourage in search of relief. I didn't find it, but I did find the beautiful people of Austin. Well, people of Austin anyway. Hey, I am from New York. I'm used to better-looking crowds.


Since the crowd wasn't really cutting it for me, I figured I'd try to correct things with margaritas. See that? The crowd looks better already.


Here's two more Austin porta-potties. I think they were feeling a little out of place since they weren't mixing in with the rest of the guests. They did relax enough take off their Cones of Smugness, though. I went over to talk to them since they didn't seem to be having that great of a time. And thanks to my innate charm and the miracle of the MargaritaCam...

...those porta-potties became party-potties!


Crowd still isn't cutting it. Time for the MargaritaWineWineCam.



The MargaritaWineWineCam made me very drunk and hungry. I made my way over to a bowl of dip which turned out not to be dip at all but actually a table setting full of gravel in a southwestern motif. It was delicious.


My mouth was now dry from the gravel, so I headed back inside to freshen my drink. On the way to the margarita machine, I was confronted by the shop's dark overlord, his starred-and-striped bat wings spread out menacingly over his minions.



My freshened drink, moments before I toppled headlong into a rack full of Mellow Johnny's bib shorts.


Righting myself, I headed over to chat with Lance. I spoke to him for about 15 minutes before I noticed he had his back to me, and for another 10 minutes before I realized he was in fact a headless mannequin. I don't shame easily, though, and I wasn't really embarrassed until I noticed that I also had about six pairs of bib shorts hanging off of me.


By this time it was beginning to dawn on me that I had had too much to drink. I looked at the wall and grew dizzy. There was only one Maillot Jaune up there, but I could have sworn it looked like seven! This, coupled with the bowl of gravel I had just eaten, was making me nauseous. So I remembered something the mannequin had told me: "If you're going to puke, make sure to do it on Chris Carmichael." So off I went.


I couldn't find Chris Carmichael, but I did find the bathroom. Here's the view as you walk into it. I can assure you this was not helping the state of my stomach. By the way, there are free showers in the bathroom. I did not avail myself of them, though I do think it's a great idea. In Texas, that is. In a more liberal state public showers would doubtless get a little out of hand.



OK, time to leave. Unfortunately, while I was in no condition to walk, there was no way I was going to demean myself by traveling via pedi-cab. So I looked for an alternate means of transportation...


...and found it in the form of this Oakley Death Tank. If you own a car and had it parked anywhere on or around Nueces St. last Saturday night, I owe you an apology. Don't worry, though. The damage should buff right out.

And that's the end of that. I'd just like to send out a sincere thank you to the people at Mellow Johnny's. If you find yourself in Austin be sure to check it out. Just go easy on the margaritas.

Oh, and Oakley people, if you're looking for your Death Tank, try Barton Springs Pool. Because that's where I woke up.

80 comments:

marypoppins said...

first lol

Anonymous said...

aw... second

Anonymous said...

third! (maybe?)

Rock racing is going to be doing the kelly cup down here soon...get ready for some fun pics, snob!!!

Erik said...

just missed the podium. Damn.

Erik said...

Hey Snob, Austin is actually a pretty okay city. At least compared to NYC.

Anonymous said...

erik 12:01
Putz, no place is OK compared to the City.

just saying...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Erik,

Agreed--I actually liked it there a lot.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Snob, was the funny-looking guy still there for the party? dark, pinstripe suit, glasses with diamond-shaped rims, white shirt half-way unbuttoned, balding but compensating for dagger-ended mutton shops? he seemed to think he was important, but being unimportant myself, i didn't recognize him.

Erik said...

Anonymous 12:30: Though I risk a flame engaged destructo fest, I love NYC, but I'll never live there or anywhere near it again. I'll visit regularly (cousin in Battery Park City, friends in Brooklyn, and in my defense, no one in Williamsburg). I've lived east coast and midwest, and decided that mid and west is the best. Why? sure, NYC has more culture, but I never got to it 'cause it was such a hassle. Midwest has all the same stuff, just easier to get to. Oh, and I can buy a round of drinks without taking out a mortgage.

That said, I promise to reconsider NYC's supremacy to all when I touchdown again in Newark. Newark, afterall, has the best cab stand to drive you straight to the City.

Let the flames begin.

O' Bama said...

winner

pinchfinger said...

Snob, you should have been warned, "Don't mess with Texas".
But now you've left yourself open for scrutiny: all some sharp P.I. has to do is scan the surveillance films for a New Yorker (trust me, you'll stand out) stumbling around in bibs with two or three drinks in his hands, and you secret identity will be exposed to the world.
Gads, man, what were you thinking?
So, before you are outed, let me just say, that's a damn fine job of reporting you did, even if you never did find Chris C (or that Mellow Johnny guy)!

FunkyLaneO said...

"Anonymous said...

Snob, was the funny-looking guy still there for the party? dark, pinstripe suit, glasses with diamond-shaped rims, white shirt half-way unbuttoned, balding but compensating for dagger-ended mutton shops? he seemed to think he was important, but being unimportant myself, i didn't recognize him."

you didn't recognize him because it was the Snob, he is anonymous just like you.

Peter Rant Boy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

erik,

No flames, I'm from Manhatten but have lived in Boston, Chicago (no longer an easy place to get to anywhere from) various other places. You can only find bits of NYC in other places.

It's place best lived in the abstract and not to many literalist's tastes.

Austin was much more fun in the '70s, before all the tall buildings.

Next time fly in to LaGuadia -the approach over CT gives you a complete cross section of NYC - tony homes along the bay and the Sound, crowded neighborhoods, apartments and then just before the flare, Rikers Island. Later, the cab ride past Calvary Cemetery is just the right touch before crossing the East River

Anon 12:03

bikesgonewild said...

...sorry you had to witness the gary fisher 'bike licking' incident...back when the feds got hip to blotter & windowpane, we went to bike acid & that's really the only reason a lot of us got into cycling...
...bike trippin' had a whole different connotation in those days...

...& ask gf which one of his pals he stole those 'dagger ended mutton chops' from...

Daniel! said...

It's place best lived in the abstract and not to many literalist's tastes.

Right, because it's not just a big, crummy rat's nest like every (or any) other city in the US. New York means something, and if you don't understand that for some reason, it's because your mind is inferior in some definable way.

Anonymous said...

Great post snobby, so If anyone in NYC sees someone with a silver camera strap and grubby finger nails taking a pic of a fixie we have him. Keep you eyes peeled.

O'Claire said...

If I remember correctly, the episode where the Fonz jumped the shark was, in fact, a two-part episode. I remember how he wore that leather jacket while waterskiing. The Fonz would have looked good on a fixie. Jumping a shark. After a date with the Hamilton triplets.

human powered said...

I love the big fish in the cycling pond. I mean some of these guys have companies that make literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue a year.

I recently got snubbed by an old training buddy who's a big time pro now, he makes like $30,000 a year now and is thinking of getting cable TV. These guys are big time.

A Godforsaken Wasteland said...

I wonder if you'll get a discount on the fixey bikes at Chari's since the sweet paint job (on the fork dropouts/BB shell) is marred by rubbing on the brick wall....

Anonymous said...

Snob, I have three words for you: man-i-cure.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:52,

Hey, cut me some slack. I do my own wrenching. That's why my nails are dirty and my bikes fall apart.

--BSNYC

Chris said...

INCREDIBLY SHOCKING NEWS!!

BIKE SNOB NYC IS ACTUALLY A WOMAN OR A VERY PRETTY MAN

80mm HEELS!

Cameron said...

Hey Snob,

If you ever need a staff photographer, let me know. Your time is better spent on the keyboard.:)

Daniel! said...

INCREDIBLY SHOCKING NEWS!!

NOT EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE INTERNET IS LITERALLY TRUE!!

tex said...

I'm not going to worry until the "BSNYC Goes To Hawaii" episode. Or maybe London or Paris. Oh-stin doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

Snoby, two words... rubber gloves... They come in boxes. You put them on your hands, the grease goes on the gloves, you throw the gloves away. You can even get them in black, just like all those super cool tatoo artists on the teevee use, so you can wrench your bike whilst remaining moody and all depeche mode-ey...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:14pm,

That's like showering with a raincoat on. I need to feel everything.

--RTMS

pinchfinger said...

Hey Snob,
I guess all these pretty-boy bikers out here don't ever get their fingers dirty. They sure as hell are interested in your grooming habits, the fairies.

How the hell do you think I got my name?

tex said...

Man, if I walked into a bike shop and saw a mechanic wearing rubber gloves, I'd assume the bike was suspected of carrying some awful disease, and find me another bike shop.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Chari & Co...

"The super friendly owners, Ken and Yuki, have a good-looking store with some really nice bikes in stock. They don’t build or repair bikes, but if you’re looking for a fancy Japanese track bike, it would be a good place to start.

The Alpacalypse is upon us...

Anonymous said...

daniel!
Way to bring back the bitter bro!

Still you're a putz!

The ! thing makes you such a bulvan, oy I could plotz just thinking of you!

And when did you start with the inferiority complex already?

Anonymous said...

Snob, showering with a raincoat on? You dirty little stay-out, you...

And Tex, like most people from Texas, you got it all backwards... If you walk into a bike shop and see a mechanic who is not wearing gloves, you need to leave. Because if they do not care about the state of their own hands, how much do you think they care about the state of your bottom bracket? Hmmm, answer that smart guy...

Cottered Crank said...

[i]Regarding Chari & Co...

They don’t build or repair bikes, [/i]

Wow, just like Wal-Mart!

tex said...

Sure is easy to tell who has worked on a bike before, and who hasn't. As someone who has made a living as a mechanic, I can tell you are a Pretty Boy. Yeeecch!

bikesgonewild said...

...hopefully "rtms/bsnyc gets austin-tacious" won't be like elvis doing 'blue hawaii'...after the cameras started rolling, it was all downhill & basically over...

...i hate to think of rtms/bsnyc a few years down the line, the shark well jumped by that point, sitting bloated on a fancy carbon fiber toilet seat, laptop cradled over straining thighs, just trying to squeeze out one more meaningful blog...

...arghhh...mi vida miseria...

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

BSNYC- Pulitzer material. Hard-hitting analysis and newsworthiness. Damn... I shake and bow before your superiority.

But did you notice all of "my" Masi bikes there? How cool is that? Maybe we're helping to hold off the true End of Days? I mean... maybe it could happen.

Anonymous said...

Tex, again, all backwards... I am typing this slowly so you can understand it... The amount of dirt on your hands is not related, in any way, to your bike wrenching aptitude or to your experience as a mechanic. Or even to your "manliness" or lack thereof. Greasy hands do not make your crank(s) longer. And you have no idea if I am a pretty boy, or a pretty girl, or neither. Or both.

Jim said...

Masi Guy, good to see you're well enough to type. I know the velodrome crash was just a cover story; I *so* told you not to borrow money from those guys to get a new carbon Campy wheelset. Now do you believe me?

And the rest of you, would you cut it out with the "NYC is da awesomest" crap? I live in D.C. and every time you say something like that, it makes the local inferiority complex much, much worse. How bad is it? If John Holmes had lived in D.C., he never would have taken up pr*n, fearing he "wasn't big enough." The local football team nicknamme is a racist slur that the team insists on keeping because they enjoy white guilt. And there's a guy who lives in a big white house here who could nuke the world, but doesn't because he's afraid of what some local NYC fish wrapper would say about him. So stop it with the NYC superiority talk... you're killing us here and it's making all the politicians and hookers act insane.

tex said...

Well I am glad you now realize the amount of grease or dirt on a mechanic's hands is in no way related to the mechanic's skill, or care. Progress!

frilly said...

"I wasn't really embarrassed until I noticed that I also had about six pairs of bib shorts hanging off of me."

Don't feel too bad, snob. If I had a dollar for everytime a drunken stupor caused me to topple headlong into something, I could buy a pair of those MJ bib shorts.

Or at least a moderately priced bike from Tsunami. (Love the duct tape signage.)

wishiwasmerckx said...

Jim, politicians AND hookers? You write that as if there was some discernable difference between the two.

Anonymous said...

Pinchfinger, so how did you get your name?
signed, Pullmyfinger.

gnarlygnu said...

what be pr*n?

wishiwasmerckx said...

There is a ghostly apparition behind the camera flash in the Tsunami window. If some loyal reader works for the CIA and has access to photo-enhancement software, our long task of unmasking the Snob may be at an end.

Anonymous said...

BSNYC,

I can't believe you missed Jenna Bush's wedding for this. Two fun Texas events and you chose the wrong one.

Jim said...

politicians AND hookers? You write that as if there was some discernable difference between the two.

There are three primary differences:

1) Purchasing a prostitute's services is only a misdemeanor, but it's a felony to buy a politician;

2) Once paid, a prostitute will remain bought, at least for an hour or two; and,

3) There are some things that a prostitute won't do.

what be pr*n?

It's the stuff you never look at, when you do the thing that nobody admits to doing.

pinchfinger said...

Pullmyfinger 2:15pm,

It's a long story. Buy me a beer and I'll tell it to you.

bikesgonewild said...

...hmmmm...unless this is gonna be the equivalent of a texas 3 hole outhouse w/ another hole to go, then somebody dropped, ah, the load...
...i don't see any pictures from the sunday morning invitational mtb ride & bbq out at lance's ranch...

...what...no A-list here ???...are we still pedaling 165's when i thought the whole rtms/bsnyc thing had stepped up to power the 175's...ouch...how can we live vicariously here unless the boss is on the right guest lists ???...

Anonymous said...

wishiwasmerckx,

Looks like BSNYC/RTMS is no more substantial than a point of light.

Illuminating everything within reach for others, but changing nothing himself. Brilliant, but without mass.

Like a magnesium flare over the jungle, his harsh radiance bathes the dangers for a moment then darkness.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to mention the bbq...maybe the boss was too hungover. Probably still wallerin' around in the pool.

bikesgonewild said...

..."still wallerin' around in the pool"...

...i assume by that you mean a pool of his own effluvium ???...

Nick A. said...

More drunk posts.

Bike snob is a caucasian. He is a man, or has man hands. He had some grease under his broken off, uneven nail, so probably really works on his bikes .... or?

Nick

Anonymous said...

Effluvium? Is that the latest super-light alloy? Is it vertically compliant? Can you put dimples in it?

Commiecanuk said...

Austin works on one simple concept. You always seem better depending on who your surrounded by. This works at parties, don't stand near the muscle jocks, hang out by the geeks, you look better by comparison. It's all about perspective.

Austin is much better than Crawford or Houston. See?

NYC looks awesome when standing next to New Jersey, ...I'd totally hit that.

BTW, I was at Jenna's wedding, great coke, great friends, great BBQ, GW was successful in marrying off someone that looks far too much like him and a female Alfred E. Neuman. Mission accomplished!

Anonymous said...

CC,

Is this why the US is next to Canada and Canada next to the Arctic?

And why should DC feel so poorly if it's next to Arlington?

frilly said...

BGW-

His own effluvium?

You are clever, still, despite your past trippin' ways. No serious damage done.

leroy said...

"If you're going to puke, make sure to do it on Chris Carmichael."

Oh, if only I had a nickel for every time those words were spoken.

Sounds like a great weekend to me.

concerned shopper said...

When are we gonna see RTMS stickers in the merch. store?

SkidMark said...

Not sure what it's like to shower with a raincoat on, but sex is better without a "raincoat" and I like the feel of metal and grease on my hands! Dirty fingernails are a minor inconvenience...

Anonymous said...

Once, at a similar grand-opening event, a lithesome, lycra-clad woman from New York City offered to introduce me to the wonders of compliant, dimpled effluvium. Being a Midwesterner, I demured politely (secretly hoping she would offer again). Being a New Yorker, see viewed my politeness with an unhealthy suspicion, bordering on paranoia. She called me 'smarmy' and tottered off uncertainly on her stiletto heels, followed by her entourage of poorly manicured, drunken cyclists. I didn't think much of it at the time but now I can't help but wonder...

Anonymous said...

The dumbest reason for a celeste saddle?

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/679613432.html

Jack said...

No pictures of Lance?? Whats the problem??

Snippety Gibbet said...

By far, the best laugh I've had all day.

Anonymous said...

I have a celeste saddle that doesn't match my puce deep Vs, but I'm not selling it for $1. That takes some nerve to ask that!

Anonymous said...

that made me snort garlic soup out of my nose...

Anonymous said...

Was Greg on the invitee list????

Anonymous said...

1999 Specialized FSR is Yard Waste
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/679839049.html

CrankyCyclist said...

Wooeee! Whar can I git me one a them Death Tanks? Just the thang for gittin my MTB to the trailhead!

Le Blaireau said...

I'd like to see more margarita-cam from the saddle, possible on a rock strewn 30 degree downhill

mr.complaint said...

That Caloi is just a Huffy repaint.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that "Mellow Johnny" was Lance Armstrong's nickname? It is a play on "maillot jeune". That is what the French call the yellow jersey that is worn by the rider who is winning the Tour de France.

Wunderkind said...

BSNYC Revealed:

http://danddaustinupdate.blogspot.com/2006/12/queen-of-austin-magnet.html

pedalstroke said...

anon 11:36, thanks for the ground-breaking update.

-p said...

Nothing says low impact, carbon neutral commuting machines like the Oakley death tank.

Rhiannon Coppin said...

So YOU'RE the reason my frozen margaritas weren't ready until after midnight... someone was definitely pulling from the slurpee machine too often and not giving it a chance to firm up. Tsk, tsk.

My date says he recalls seeing some guy standing outside during the party, taking photos at chest level and giggling to himself. He says you have dark hair.

PS - The burgers were amazing. So was the pool, the scenery, and the MTB track. Oh.. yes, and the people were pretty cool too.

Roly said...

"Just add a retired cyclist in Nikes pawing at you and you'll know exactly what it's like to be Ashley Olsen."

Funniest line on this site EVER.

Anonymous said...

interesting post. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did anyone hear that some chinese hacker had hacked twitter yesterday again.

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