Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Uncommon Valor: Protecting Humanity for Flock's Sake

When it comes to standing up for what we believe in, few of us have the determination, bravery and strength of character to take action. Sure, Al Gore may preach environmentalism, but he consumes more energy than the state of Delaware in order to travel around the country lecturing, and he leaves behind a bigger carbon footprint than Magnus Backstedt walking through the mud in his cycling shoes. And yeah, Mother Teresa may be a world-famous humanitarian, but what has she done since like 1997? Oh, I suppose the world's all better now, right Terry? Even I myself could stand to use a little less talk and a little more action. I may whine with the strength of a thousand Joy Behars, but for all my ranting about things like pie plates what have I actually done about it?

Fortunately for humanity, some of us still know when it's time to walk the walk--or in this case waddle the waddle. And sometimes, humanity must look outside of itself for protection. Indeed, Bryan Redemske of Omaha, NE informs me that there is a goose in Traverse City, MI who is attacking cyclists who ride with pie plates:


Now, I'm not a sentimental person, but I'm also not ashamed to say that when I first set eyes on this photograph I was moved to tears. Actual tears. This shot captures the sort of bravery that has heretofore only been conveyed by things like the Iwo Jima memorial and that painting of Washington crossing the Delaware. If only I could paint I would render this image in oils and give it pride of place above my television set (which is the most sanctified non-wheeled object in my home). The majesty of the goose's outstretched wings juxtaposed with the look of abject horror on the rider's face as he realizes that it is indeed too late to repent for his pie plate-loving ways makes me as proud to be a pie plateless cyclist as it's possible to be.

Lest you condemn me though for not empathizing with the cyclist, let me just say that I do feel for him. I've never been attacked by a goose myself, but I would imagine it feels something like being scraped at with a pair of emery boards while getting beaten with a couple of flannel shirts. (I suppose there might even be some carpet tacks involved as well--I don't know if those webbed goose feet have claws at the end of them as few have seen a goose foot up close and lived to tell about it.) But as cruel a fate as that may be, he knew perfectly well when he swung a Docker-clad leg over that gel saddle, flipped up the kickstand with the heel of his Rockport, and set out on his way to the comic book store that he risked feeling the cruel sting of Anserine ire.

So rather than mourn the fate of our wayward brother, who doubtless wound up laying on the ground in the fetal position moments after this picture was taken as the goose pecked violently at his pie plate, let us celebrate the worthiness of this water fowl. Let us also imagine our hero standing atop the now-pie plateless Bianchi, beating the air with his (or her--I know nothing of goose-sexing) mighty wings and honking in triumph. Thus, I am proud to confer upon this goose, for rising above the gaggle and displaying bravery in the face of extreme dorkiness, the BSNYC/RTMS Medal of Honor:


If anybody in Traverse City can get close enough to this thing to slip it around his neck I'd really appreciate it.

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

Umm where is everyone. 1st?

podium slut said...

podium

Anonymous said...

yeah, where?

AMIR said...

Amir. number three on the day, number one in your heart.

Anonymous said...

$ and points!

Anonymous said...

6th!!!

Anonymous said...

three-fiddy

Anonymous said...

goose was also going after the reflectors

Anonymous said...

top10
gonna read it now

Anonymous said...

The comic book store?!?

I too am moved to tears.

Anonymous said...

Hope the goose got caught in the spokes, cooked and served on the pie plate

Anonymous said...

just out of the front pack...

Anonymous said...

11:25 am

Traitor!

Theresa said...

Yes, I admit I've been sleeping on the job, but hey, everyone needs a little time off now and then.

Mother Theresa

Dr. Logan said...

Here in Sacramento there's a beaver that attacks cyclists on the bike trail who have mail camel-toe.

Anonymous said...

Writer's Block today, Snob?

Anonymous said...

What is Weird Al doing in Traverse City? He's straight outta Lynwood.....

rideBikes ATL said...

a pie plate AND a Greenfield kickstand.

Ti( * )( * )ies said...

Slow news day I guess....

That the fowl clearly took umbrage with the Hawaiian shirt/yanko-mullet combination rather than rather diminutive pie plate.

thefutureofamerica said...

Who delivers mail on camels? And why would beavers object to their toes?

I was nearly mauled by a buzzard whom I distracted from his meal of opossum on Sunday, but I was riding my road bike, not the pie-plated commuter.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

BSNYC/RTMS you probably remember the mallard duck that attempted an attack on the 3/4 field in Prospect Park Spring series last year. Sadly it flopped out of the tree and the fast moving peleton only to be struck by several riders and limping to the edge of the road.

Considering there were several new cat 4s in the field could this have been a earlier unsucessful attack of Anti-Pieplate Waterfowl Front (APPWF)?

Anonymous said...

Anserine = Goosefoot bursitis.

That's a fairly obscure but well-tuned reference for a cyclist, but a totally well-known one for a RUNNER!!!

Snob, the veneer is starting to crack. It is only a matter of time before we cross reference the cyclocross registry with the Tri-dork and 10K dockets. Your little slip-ups are helping us tighten the net.

Muuuwhhaa ha ha ha!!!


A

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:27,

I have no doubt whatsoever you are on to something big. The APPWFF is clearly on the move. "Slow news day" my pie plate!

--BSNYC

erik k said...

I nominate this heroic goose to be our national bird

bother yam said...

A Gøøse once bit my sister.

Mynd you, gøøse bites kan be pretty nasti...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Erik K,

Seconded.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

"But as cruel a fate as that may be, he knew perfectly well when he swung a Docker-clad leg over that gel saddle, flipped up the kickstand with the heel of his Rockport, and set out on his way to the comic book store that he risked feeling the cruel sting of Anserine ire."

god that was good

Commiecanuk said...

While I commend this waterfowl on it's efforts, I agree with Ti( * )( * )ies , that the likely target is the Hawaiian shirts, which frankly, belong in one place, ..on Hawaiians. This is confirmed by the scientific fact that this species of waterfowl, (Branta canadensis), cannot see 'clear'.

This reminds me of a joke I heard at my monthly anti-US sleeper cell meeting run by our local religious clerics, the Caliban, so named after our prophet, Cali Timmins of 1990s Ryan's Hope fame.
Q: what do you call an American tourist without a hawaiian shirt, docker khakis and white nike runners?
A: naked

Death to the infidels!..ulahulahulahulahulahulah!

smartypants said...

Anon 12:34:

Two things:

1) Could it be that myself and the other tridork regulars are merely props to provide comic proof that someone as brilliant as RTMS could not be a tridork himself?

2) I am envious of your integrally sequential timestamp.

Anonymous said...

Anserine = Goosefoot bursitis.
That's incorrect.
Pes Anserinus= Goosefoot.
Would be correct. Your Pes anserinus is located on the inside of your lower leg, just under your knee.
Just FYI

sexdeathrobots said...

As a resident of TC, I will attempt to draw this hero out by REATTACHING MY PIE PLATE and riding around the Open Space so that he/she may receive his/her medal/medalette.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! That was one of the funniest things I have read lately. Including my resume...

sdc said...

top-notch work, rtms

Anonymous said...

If Patrick O'Grady was such a "average 54-year-old fat bastard", he would have a triple on that bike of his.

Anonymous said...

SmartyP,

Indeed, the overwhelming criticism of Triathelete enthusiasts suffered at the keyboard of the Snob has been mighty, but a clever ruse nonetheless. It seems he doth protest too much though, and a runner he must be.

Ever notice the minutia he's able to dredge when he's on one of those Tribashing rants? Of course, he pretty much nailed it on the description of today's beflogged pie plater, so I still have doubts.

A

Karl Rover said...

Great advertising for Bianchi. Maybe they could name next year's singlespeed the G.O.O.S.E. (good old opinionated singlespeeder enterprise)?

Anonymous said...

I want a medal like that!

BicyclesOnly said...

Okay, I did it. After two posts from BS railing against pie plates, I removed my pie plate.

Now you can stop posting about pie plates. How about a post on

Commiecanuk said...

how about the IBIS Hakkaluggi with free hand job?

bikesgonewild said...

..."best post ever, snob"...
...see how i'm recycling someones old response to something you once said, so that it looks like i'm kissing ass to make up for my unenthusiastic response yesterday...i'm a team player...

...but erik k's photo of a 'branta canadensis' in resplendent display of the bsnyc/rtms medal of honor & the thought that you'd consider said canada goose as the american national bird, kinda brings a tear to this old canucks eye...

...what goes around, comes around, so gosh, maybe this really is the best post ever...

Commiecanuk said...

BGW...

Best blog comment ever!

Anonymous said...

BicyclesOnly

Please don't attempt to use HTML tags until you learn how to use them properly. You did the same thing yesterday.

bikesgonewild said...

...hey, there may not be many of us, commiecanuk, but remember...

"the few, the proud, the canadians, eh !!!"...

...& i think bluenoser is in hiding cuz nobody made it into the conference finals but don cherry (secret canuck reference)....

BicyclesOnly said...

I'm learning, give me a break. The html tags I use look just fine when I preview my comment, and I don't have problems on other blogs. Is blogger somehow different?

mojito said...

And people ask why I wear a yamulkelmet and a face mask when I ride. I guess I could just remove the pie plate instead.

Geoff said...

Where can I get an aftermarket pie plate, preferably in titanium?

bikeslob 80220 said...

Isn't Traverse City the site of the annual Fixed Gear Symposium? Maybe the goose is just practicing for that. Attendees with brake levers mounted in inappropriate places may be suject to this type of treatment by the local waterfowl.

Commiecanuk said...

Geoff..see old entries under "Pieplaten Rot"

lorna doone said...

Hey Snobby, you sure those are Rockports'? Might be Ecco's, and the (Canada) goose has Scandinavian envy.
Ya never know.
By the way, great funny post.

Anonymous said...

bicycles only

you're not closing your tag

bracket backslash a bracket

Must be an Apple user.

Marissa said...

Holy zoinks! I just bought a vintage road bike and it has a pie plate. If I get attacked by a goddamn goose, I will not be happy. But I guess I'll understand...

Anonymous said...

Two great posts in as many days, Snob!

quaffimodo said...

Iwo Jima? You clearly haven't a clue.

smartypants said...

Marissa,

You will likely be safe. The goose responsible for policing vintage bikes is still trying to figure out how to adjust the gap on his Record Delta brakes without making them dangerously powerful. Hence, he's not really keeping up on his APPWFF duties.

smartypants said...

quaffimodo?

You clearly haven't a funny.

Bobbo said...

rising above the gaggle...

excellent

mamsterla said...

Marissa - just be careful if it is a swan. That means Zeus wants to mate with you.

iron fish said...

In one of those weird coincidences of life, I was doing a couple of loops of the Bear Mountain race course when I heard a nasty hissing noise. Looking over to the side of the road, I saw a goose rearing it's head back and looking in my direction. I think I also saw several other goslings and a second parental sized bird as I sprinted away pondering what sensory stimulations a goose bite to the ankles might provoke. I must say emery boards, flannel shirts and perhaps carpet tacks did not spring immediately to mind, but such are the perils of a weak imagination, and I now feel as though I might have had the experience of actually having been bitten, thanks to your insightful prose. Anyway, heads up to anyone doing Bear this Sunday, pie plates notwithstanding.

iron fish said...

(The reason this is a coincidence is it just happened about 2 hours ago. Sorry for the omission.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Snob,
To my knowledge,'anserine' is a perfectly respectable, albeit uncommon, adjective in our language. To capitalize and italicize the word seems overly cautious--a sort of compositional pie plate, if you will. But perhaps you were hinting at a deeper meaning. Perhaps you know more about goose-sexing than you are willing to let on.
Sincerely,
An Oft-Entertained Reader

leroy said...

Dear BSNYC --

I ran the goose-remonstrating-cyclist photo by my cousin, Charles Parker, an ornithologist.

He explained that goose vision being what it is, it is possible that the bird's eye view is focused on something we can't see in the photo.

Charlie inquires if the bike raising avian ire has a sticker advertising frame size or caps on the valve stems.

Charlie says that would explain a lot.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Oft-Entertained Reader,

I'm shocked and horrified that I may in fact be using textual pie plates, and I sincerely appreciate your pointing it out.

Though isn't it OK to capitalize it and italicize it if I'm talking about the scientific classification? Help!

Scared and confused,

--BSNYC/RTMS

BikeSnobNYC said...

Leroy,

I sought a second opinion from a Dr. Lester Young who surmises that perhaps the bird was looking not at a pie plate but a pork pie hat.

--BSNYC

I never said...

Bianchi must have a different image in USA, in UK they only sell medium to high end road and track bikes. If that was an Italian goose it was angry to see the name on a pavement (sidewalk?) bike. Probably just a Canada goose, noisy and full of white excrement.

bikesgonewild said...

...i am so jazzed to read this exchange that i need to take five...

wishiwasmerckx said...

BSNYC, you asked for help, so I asked my old friend, Carolus Linnaeus. He said that italics were just fine, but that he thought that you were one word short. He also said that before bed, you should always Branta your Canadensis, whatever that means.

mr.complaint said...

Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe brings tears to my eyes.

http://tinyurl.com/523orj

Impressive "Hawaiian" shirt. All those hula girls hangin' out at the comic book store must be pretty hot!

I wonder who cleans and irons this guys pants? Mom maybe?

Goose in cherry sauce is a local delicacy in Traverse City. They also serve wild duck, venison, bear, raccoon, and a mean coho salmon all in cherry sauce. Unfortunately the smelt have been pretty much fished out.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Snob,
I'm happy to offer what little help I can. If you will consult your copy of White's 'The Elements of Binomial Nomenclature' you will recall that it is customary to italicize (or underline, etc) genus and species names and to begin the genus name with an uppercase letter, as in 'Homo sappypants' and 'Flopsy mopsyensis', for example (just pretend they're in italics, please).

The higher categories, such as family, are capitalized but not italicized, as in 'Godzillidae' and 'Anaplidae'. Adjectives derived from any of the names are not capitalized. And so, when the 'Homo sappypants' on the fixed gear bike ran over the 'Flopsy mopsyensis' because he couldn't stop in time it was an tragedy of godzillidine proportions.

-- Oft-Entertained

P.S. How does one make italics in one of these here text windows?

lepeloton said...

Ride on canadian feathered friend, and remember: one that pecks the plate, deserves a pair of lightweights

Pedal Strike Force Agent Down said...

you actually just have to be pure of heart, and then it's just like this

Anonymous said...

anon 6:04

italics are easy, however if I just write out the HTML codes the great google will hide them so here it is in English:

left angle bracket letter i right angle bracket, the text you want italicized, left angle bracket, backslash, letter i, right angle bracket.

or

< i > italics < / i >

just remove the spaces to get italics

Anonymous said...

anon 6:46

Thanks!

anon 6:04

Kenneth Buttercup said...

You are fine and helpful blog commenters.
BSNYC/RTMS should be proud of you.

Well... most of you.

Anonymous said...

Hey snob,

Speaking of dorks, I wonder what you have against "tri-dorks". I have recently developed a huge crush on a fine tri-athlete, who also happens to be the manager of the local discount grocery store. Your resentment of the species has me slightly concerned about my mental state.

Should I be scared?

Andy Pandy said...

Anon 7.32, relax he has a day job which means he cannot be out on the pavement all daylight hours hence not serious enough. As such the tridorkiness will pass like an indian curry.

And geese have nothing on a stealth magpie attack, you never see or hear anything until the vengeful little bastard is flying off

Anonymous said...

I nearly pissed my pants reading this. Thanks for the laugh

Anonymous said...

anon 6:04

You're welcome.

6:46

Grump said...

This is some serious sh*t.
In Illinois, we are infested with millions of "stay at home" geese. They are too fat and lazy to fly south in the winter, and too well fed to fly to Canada in the summer (damn you Canada).
Besides fouling the road with goose crap, they chase anybody on two wheels (pie plate or not) Since they are migratory birds, if you touch them, you will be sent to a certain location in Cuba for reeducation.

Anonymous said...

Andy Pandy,

Thanks for the reassurance. I might just be temporarily dazzled by the "How about a threesome?" decal on his back window. And, I don't like indian curry so there's hope yet.

Anon 7.32

leroy said...

Dear BSNYC --

I ran Dr. Young's opinion by Professor Charles Mingus, who responded "Ah Um."

He then noted that Dr. Young makes a valid point.

The fact that the rider in the photo is sans helmet or any other headgear, suggests that the noble water fowl may well be bidding "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat."

Chris O'Hearn said...

Mamsterla

She would probably only be attacked by a swan if she was wearing a race leda's jersey.

Philip Williamson said...

Hey... this explains the time I was chased by two wild turkeys.

"Haha, those turkeys are chasing me! That's so funny... hey, fuck, they're serious!

Fixed gear, speedblend tires, blue rims... what's the problem, officer?

Anonymous said...

'i never said that' said: "Bianchi must have a different image in USA, in UK they only sell medium to high end road and track bikes."

You would be shocked travelling in Italy, then. When cycletouring in Northern Italy for 5-weeks in 2006 we (Aussies) saw good number of Bianchi 'shopping basket' bikes and hybrids in some cities; my Bianchi-owning gf was somewhat disappointed to witness this.

Also saw Pinarello 'shopping basket' bikes, hybrids and kids bikes in Treviso (near Venice), where the family-owned brand originated and is still based (and has a retail shop).

In general, a wonderful sight of large numbers of cyclists riding low end bikes through (and parking in) towns & cities that have restricted traffic in the medieval centre. And vast bike parking lots (incl. commercial operations) near the railway stations in such towns (Ferrara is a great example of this).

Single-speed rules! (though not fixed-gear & brakeless!) Can't remember re pie plates, though.

Hank Devereaux said...

I will kill a duck a day until we get a budget.

Anonymous said...

Umm...Wierd-Al Yankovich anyone???

Anonymous said...

It is wierd al, I was about to say that!

Anonymous said...

Being attacked by a goose feels a lot like having someone grab you with a pair of vice-grips and squeezing...

db said...

Funny, I was thinking that the rider was from the contemptible Biker Fox family.

John said...

I have to add to the alarming news of APPWF. While (ahem) competing in a off-raod triathlon last year, the lead swimmer strayed too close to a small island in the lake.

A mother goose, perhaps sensing a pie-plate on his bike awaiting him across the water, mercilessly attacked the smooth shaven, neoprene clad speed demon.

This offender also paid a high price, being beaten so severely by the APPWF that he was forced to abandon the race and was carted off in the aquatic equivalent of a sag wagon.

bryan said...

must ... destroy ... BikerFox ...

mw said...

in tears...

Anonymous said...

I have just had the horrible experience of learning that my formerly beloved cross bike is sporting a miniature, "stealth" pie plate...unseen until a hub rebuild! I must now burn the bicycle in effigy , hang my head in shame, and offer my pinkie toe to the Anti-Pie-Plate Goose of Vengeance as penance.

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