Thursday, June 19, 2008

Get Over It: Surmounting the Obstacles to Cycling

Recently, while checking in on the Craigslist Missed Connections (for the blog, I swear, for the blog!) I happened upon the following post:

MC with bike partner/mentor - 25 (Williamsburg) [original URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/mis/719927591.html]
Reply to: pers-719927591@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-06-14, 4:37PM EDT

Posting here since I don't think people read the platonic section and everyone loves missed connections.

I am a 25 year old female, just bought my first road bike (!) and it should be ready to roll next Monday (getting fixed up this week). I am looking for someone to ride with at least a few times, from williamsburg to battery park (or at least to the east river green path) so I can get the hang of it since I am a little nervous, esp. about getting off the w'burg bridge in traffic and finding the green path. I am just trying to avoid doing dumb things that might get me into the BikeSnobNYC blog and/or get me killed.

I can leave pretty much anytime from 6:30AM to 9:30AM. I live near the Graham L. This is probably really uncool but I don't care... I don't know anyone else that rides a bike regularly here.

This is not a dating ad, so whoever you are: whatever, just be nice and not creepy!

Thanks!


For all my derision, the last thing I’d want to do is discourage someone from riding a bike. If anything, I’d like to think I poke fun at the things that are actually barriers of entry to new cyclists, and not at new cyclists themselves. I’d also like to think it’s a good thing that someone might be afraid of both winding up on this blog and being killed, because some of the things I make fun of actually can get you killed. (Brakeless bike-salmoning, for example.) So with the bike boom in full, uh, boom, and with as many young people as ever moving to the trendier neighborhoods of various urban centers and thinking of taking up the filthy cycling habit, I think it’s worth taking a look at the barriers of entry to new cyclists so we can steamroll right through them and get more people riding:

Fear

The new or aspiring cyclist is afraid of many things. Among them are: looking stupid; getting lost; getting harassed by automotive traffic; and of course injury. Sure, fear is natural, but when it keeps you from doing something there’s really no reason not to do it becomes a problem. Being afraid of cycling is like feeling guilty about sex, except one keeps you from getting on and the other keeps you from getting off. But how do you lose the fear?

Paradoxically, you lose it by accepting the fact that every one of the things you’re afraid of will happen to you. You know what? You will look stupid. We all looked stupid on a bike at first. We all put on a jersey that was two sizes too big, pulled on our first pair of cheap half-shorts, tied our sneakered feet to our plastic pedals with some nylon straps, shifted into the small ring up front and the small cog out back, and let our dork flags fly. Not only that, but every one of us, no matter how experienced, still looks stupid today--maybe not to our riding buddies or respective cliques, but certainly to the world at large. The fixter looks stupid to the roadie; the roadie looks stupid to the mountain biker; the mountain biker looks stupid to the recumbent rider; and the recumbent rider looks stupid to everyone. And all of us look stupid to the non-cyclist. No matter who you are or what you’re doing, you look stupid to somebody. We’re all a bunch of preening, posturing, self-deluded roosters. Embrace it.

You’ll also get lost. It will probably be raining when it happens, too. Yes, you’ll be a lost, wet, cold, stupid-looking person, and you’ll be miserable. But it’s not that bad. You’ll find your way home again, you’ll learn some new roads, and you’ll be better for the experience. As J. Peterman said, being lost is “the best way to get someplace you've never been.” And in my experience with being lost, that place is often in New Jersey.

“But what about the cars?,” you may ask. “Surely I should fear the cars.” Well, you should be aware of the cars, and you should know that many of them are driven by people so stupid they can barely operate them, but you should not fear them. Rather, you should know them and understand them. You’re at a distinct advantage because, being stupid, most drivers are easy to figure out. It won’t take you long to anticipate their stupid behavior in the same way you can usually figure out what your dog is about to do next. Oh, and don’t let them bully you. Ignore the beeping. A driver honks to express one of three things: 1) I want you to get out of my way; 2) I want you to go faster; 3) I just don’t like you. The correct response to all of these is, “I don’t give a fuck.” Drivers don’t honk when they’re about to kill you because when they kill you it’s because they didn’t see you.

“Yeah, but cars or no cars, I might get hurt.” Hey, you will get hurt, I promise. But you can also get hurt eating a bagel, watching “Night Court” reruns, or masturbating. (Especially if you attempt all three at once.) It doesn't mean you shouldn't do them. Lieutenant Frank Drebin of Police Squad said it best: “You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street or sticking your face in a fan.” So go ahead, stick your face in the fan and get on your bike.

Fitness

Another reason people are apprehensive about riding bicycles is that they perceive it as being difficult. The fact is that it’s only as difficult as you make it. Unfortunately, though, most people are completely delusional when it comes to cycling. Many cyclists think that they’re just a pair of Zipps, a Cervelo, and a few expensive coaching sessions away from going pro. Similarly, many non-cyclists don’t bother because they think it takes strength, dedication, and training to be a good cyclist. The reality is that both types of people are completely delusional—the cyclist is much weaker than he thinks he is, and the non-cyclist is much stronger than he thinks he is. So just get on the bike and have fun at whatever speed you choose. The fitness will happen by accident.

Equipment

Any long-time cyclist has been asked thousands of times by non-cyclists for recommendations as to what kind of bicycle to purchase. And, because they’re cyclists and consequently compulsive and anal, they probably gave thoughtful, intelligent, and highly-detailed responses that flew over the person’s head like a pie plate-hating milking goose. This is because buying a new bike is like sex in that it’s impossible to get right the first time. Nobody can tell you how to do it. You’ve got to make your mistakes yourself.

Of course, if you’re considering a new bike purchase, you should do your homework, you should ask people for advice, and you should shop around. But you should also realize that since you’re not a cyclist yet you haven’t learned what kind of cyclist you are yet either, so you don’t know what kind of bike you need. Just jump in, buy what you can afford and what makes sense at the time, and try to ask a reasonable price when you put it on Craigslist six months later to buy the bike you now know you need.

Fashion

If I’m hard on the fashionistas and the gear whores, it’s because I think one of the greatest obstacles to new cyclists is the uniform and equipment it seems necessary to own in order to join in the fun. From the outside you’d think you can’t own a fixed-gear bike without having full sleeves and a HED tri-spoke, and that you can’t own a road bike without having an SRM and a pair of wheels that costs over $1,000. And in either instance, it would appear to the non-cyclist that you certainly can’t be a cyclist yourself without having the right friends. As a commenter said yesterday to me:

Let's see your bikes. Let's see your face. Let's see your friends, your music and everything else. No, that would be too much. Then you wouldnt have anything to write about because people could rip you to shreds.

Guess what? You don’t have to have friends or listen to music to be a cyclist. All you have to do is ride your bike. (Okay, and maybe own a floor pump.) And the friends, like the fitness, will follow. Some people neither seek approval nor fear disapproval. Cycling doesn't have to be about who you know and what you ride. It's about who you are and that you ride. I find it interesting that the person who wrote the above Craigslist post is looking for riding partners online because “I don't know anyone else that rides a bike regularly here.” Hmmm, Williamsburg is in many ways the home of “bike culture.” Gee, could it be this “bike culture” is not as welcoming and inclusive as it thinks it is? And could it be the "bike culture" is not riding its bikes as much as it says it is?

One of the greatest things about cycling is you can do it with 10,000 people or you can do it alone. And you don’t need to engage in the “secret handshake” of name-dropping, proper equipment usage, and wardrobe in order to do it. Choose a group, choose a fashion, or don’t, it doesn’t matter.

So after all this, why would you still want to become a cyclist? Well, if nothing else, you’ll never, ever be bored again. There will no longer ever be a daunting empty window of time in your day, as you’ll always have something to fill it with. Even if you’re all by yourself.

(By the way, if you're nice and not creepy, email this person and go for a ride.)

191 comments:

AskReamer said...

this post is...wait...what?!!! Podium!!!

genersal lsmenedd said...

brnzzz

Anonymous said...

3rd!!!!

Anonymous said...

podium!

Anonymous said...

Admit it BSNYC - you're really just a big softie at heart.

provenrad said...

what a nice post snob!
we <3 cyclists.

Anonymous said...

very inspiring, I'd go ride right now if I wouldn't get fired... ohh well after work it is

genersal lsmenedd said...

if this was the post that jumped the shark by dumping the snark,
then good.
best post yet, in context.

my heart is all swelled up and warm-like.

Commiecanuk said...

BSNYC said...

"Recently, while checking in on the Craigslist Missed Connections (for the blog, I swear, for the blog!)..."

Tuesday around Central Park, me: a 23F blonde ex-playboy model with a Ph.D in foreign film history and tantric sex and a fetish for bitter jews was riding my reasonably priced, perfectly fitted fixed bike with brakes, You: riding a fixed bike in from Brooklyn with obviously more sense than money (a turn on), muttering to yourself about pies or plates or something to do with Mike's balls...I find this very sensual and need to see you again. Having your own blog a big plus.

AH said...

Knowing this dude is out there could be a huge obstacle for cycling...

Anonymous said...

mmmm, Night Court and bagels, oooo

AH said...

commiecanuk: it's comments like that that keep me coming back for more. excellent!

Kevin Jaeger said...

By the way, if you're nice and not creepy, email this person and go for a ride.

I dunno, do you have any readers that meet such stringent criteria?

Brian said...

Oh no! Snob has gone soft!

BikeSnobNYC said...

AH,

About a 1:10 in--is he being interviewd at a dry cleaners?

--RTMS

leroy said...

This morning's New York Times can publish all the Fashion and Style articles it wants about what Vande Velde eats on climbs and how he trains.

But we all know the Times would prefer not to alert its readers to the hidden dangers of Night Court re-runs.

Nope, for important health and fitness alerts, BSNYC is a must read.

It's safe to say we all learn a little reading BSNYC.

AH said...

BSNYC/RTMS--
As best I can tell -- yes. He must have been having Rock and Republic jeans cleaned. You can't just throw $300 dungarees in any old washing machine.

Aaron Edge said...

— Well said, great post!

Commiecanuk said...

Ah...the whole "Road Warrior" moniker will really only work if Clinger starts wearing assless lycra chaps.

We can dream.

Anonymous said...

Fonzie is in the air! Will he clear the tank? Stay Tuned!

Splic said...

Wow, two F-bombs in one week! How special!

...and now for something completely different:

You forgot to make your third comparison of sex and cycling, so I'll fix it for you.

One of the greatest things about cycling is that, like sex, you can do it with 10,000 people or you can do it alone.

Tony T said...

Well written. No matter what anyone says, you are a nice guy when necessary and are doing good things for 'cycling'.

Daniel! said...

You don’t have to have friends or listen to music to be a cyclist...the friends, like the fitness, will follow.

I don't know, man. I ride my bike a lot and still have--literally--no friends.

Anonymous said...

Bike Snob I love you more than my unicycle...

Anonymous said...

I agree with the post. Being a roadie I used to have a very slanted view on cycling, then I got a mountain bike and started riding both. And, as mentioned in the post, it's not about what you ride, it's just that you ride. I've been encouraging friends to get out and ride their bikes just for the hell of it, even if it's just to get a few groceries.

Anonymous said...

A pleasant tone, a welcoming attitude, a friendly theme, and several references to sex. Perhaps there is a new woman/man in Snob's life . . .

Anonymous said...

another bike/sex comparison
enjoy the ride
not the bike

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet post.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if "brakeless bike-salmoning" is anything like brakeless bike-slaloming.

SeattleM&M said...

Creepy: 1. Any guy over 40 who finds any woman under 40 physically attractive; 2. Any guy attracted to a woman who is not attracted to him; 3. Axe-murdering rapist; 4. Nice.

Commiecanuk said...

Daniel! said...

I don't know, man. I ride my bike a lot and still have--literally--no friends.


Gee... you wouldn't have guessed that from your profile.

Anonymous said...

Dear Snob,

I read your very nice post, and unfortunately you've re-awakened my post-traumatic shock from the awful downhill-over-the-handlebars accident that ended my cycling days. It's not that I haven't ever ridden, or that I don't like cycling, it's the memory of my broken tooth and gashes and flesh wounds that paralyze me with fear.

Any advice?

bikeslob 80220 said...

What a warm fuzzy post to bring the factions of the cycling community toether. Lycra-clad overweight, middle-aged accountants with full SRAM Red gruppos, homeless guys on Magnas, dorky commuters in flourescent yellow, fixsters in ass-tight jeans....at the end of the day we're all dodging the same SUV's

urchin said...

Bravo.

veloben said...

BSNYC,


Nice post. In your pantheon of gentle/inclusive posts (all 2) this is the best.

Way to mellow the coming weekend, but then there's still Friday.

veloben said...

Geez, The Clinger video made the Rain City Fix luv in seem startlingly mature and intelligently directed.

Pack Phil said...

Daniel! said...

I don't know, man. I ride my bike a lot and still have--literally--no friends.


Wash your chamois?

Judi said...

This was a great post BSNY.

You mention Night Court, holy shit have not thought about that show in years. Did you also watch The Facts of Life?

mattypichu said...

rtms- why don't you take the lady for a ride?

cd1 said...

My son, an avid cyclist, got me interested in biking. I've encountered almost all of the fears (without getting hurt). The overwhelming benefit is that I feel better. Ever the individual, I don't subscribe to the culture and don't have the bike clothes, etc, but I've started meeting some nice folks at the bike rack and making new connections. It's definitely worth a try!

mr.complaint said...

Snobbo

I knew you were a romantic. And like all us romantic guys we get duped. What newbie girl, buying her first, reads you? Do you think she'd understand what in the world is being discussed?

"She's sooooo smart, HONEST!"

Like being double booked by a hot chick....

Run it by the Lady Snob. She'll get a good laugh.

bikesgonewild said...

...fear: 'you take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street or sticking your face in a fan"...

...tom boonen stuck his face in a fan...& she was only a 16 yr old fan...then tommeke, to quell the fear & hurt, put coke in his face & in the fan...

...seemed like a better idea to tommeke than using a bagel to masturbate while watching "night court" reruns...although markie post was one 'hot' little public defender...

...just sayin'...

Jessica said...

Exactly! It's just a bike. Get on it and ride.

Jared said...

you had me at the recumbent rider looks stupid to everyone ... tear.

Great post...I think you're going soft...I want to go ride now and I'm stuck at work :(

ChrisB. said...

Grand Tours Sweep!

dwight moody said...

I don't own a floor pump. But I work in a bike shop. Can I still be a cyclist?

anatomy of a bicycle said...

"One of the greatest things about cycling is you can do it with 10,000 people or you can do it alone. And you don’t need to engage in the “secret handshake” of name-dropping, proper equipment usage, and wardrobe in order to do it."

Well said.
Great post.

Commiecanuk said...

BGW: this also works with a rye bagel and the Facts of Life (ooo..Tootie), but only if it's for Pete Townsend's 'research'.

Octopus Magic said...

Mavic's exploded, chain broke, frame cracked.

ken@42 (rhymes w/ stevil) said...

biking is for everyone, even if your jeans cost more than my monthly pastry budget (alot). issues in seattle m&m? get some therapy.

the jesuit said...

slaloming perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Anyone fancy pie plate frisbee?

Focal said...

Good post snob, I have been a long-time reader, but this is my first comment because I think this is one of the nicest, most helpful, and honest posts you have made. I can only wonder if you will wake up on the right side of the bed again tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I love the smell of unwashed chamois in the morning.

PJ said...

Yep, focal has already said exactly what I was about to say. Seconded.

vacuumrunamok said...

The group I ride with in Seattle has a simple moto: Shut up and Ride.

We rode around the north end of Lake Washington on Tuesday night. Between the setting sun, the moon on the lake, and rescuing a lost puppy in the suburbs south of Bellevue, it was a beautiful evening that contained everything that cycling should.

Nice post RTMS. Heartwarming and true.

Anonymous said...

The Urban Dictionary says this about salmoning, well the silk variety-

silk salmoning-

Having sexual intercourse whilst in red, silk boxers, holding a briefcase at exactly 62 degrees to the perpendicular, while in the middle of a large pool of salmon fishes, ignoring the life guard, all whilst dancing the highland fling.

Facelessghost said...

Salmoning = riding upstream (against traffic)

Commiecanuk said...

oh God, ...focal and Pi are coming to some kind of hippie love-in consensus about the heart of BSNYC.

Time to bring back the "Bring Back Bitter" campaign.

Anonymous said...

"A driver honks to express one of three things: 1) I want you to get out of my way; 2) I want you to go faster; 3) I just don’t like you. The correct response to all of these is, “I don’t give a fuck.” Drivers don’t honk when they’re about to kill you because when they kill you it’s because they didn’t see you."

Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

A salmon swims upstream to spawn.

Salmoning is riding in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic, i.e., riding the wrong way on a one-way street or in the wrong lane of a bike path.

Stuggy said...

Hey, Snobby! Hear hear! I wholly commend this post. As a part time cycling instructor for REI, I love your attitude of honestly breaking down the barriers to riding. That's what we try to do.

I think I'm gonna go forward this to alot of my friends who aren't "cyclists."

Sycophantic Backstabber said...

anonymous

Jim said...

Yeah, that's a really cute ad and a lovely, warm, cuddly response. I'm genuinely touched.

But in reality the ad was probably placed by Clinger, Michael Ball, the guys from Mission Bikes, Rip Torn's mug shot, plus everybody else BikeSnob ever insulted. Anybody who shows up to meet that "girl" is going to see an Escalade, and then all those bastards and the photo are going to hop out and start beating his well-meaning ass, "Warriors!" style.

And then Clinger is going to dance around wearing nothing but lime green/black Rock & Republic chaps and some red Sidis, just to sear the whole scene onto the back of the poor victim's eyeballs.

Hah. Just kidding. I'm sure she's completely legit. But if I was going, I'd keep a fungo bat on me in lieu of a frame pump. Just in case. You can't be too careful around these bicyclists...

Sycophantic Backstabber said...

Who knew clown cyclists wore sandals? Must be a closet recumbist

frilly said...

Feeling guilty about sex? Masturbating hurts?

1. your mother lied
2. call me sometime

Polygraf said...

BSNYC,
Honestly, how different would your reaction be if the helpless cl ad was posted by a guy?

bikesgonewild said...

...ouch !!!, commiecanuck...those caraway seeds are gonna harsh your 'peter townsend' if you use a rye bagel to get face to face" w/ yerself, no matter what tv show you use as a 'reference/ slash/ inspiration'...those are the facts of life, my friend...

...& hey kids...don't get yer hopes too high...bsnyc/rtms IS still the wendy o. williams of 'bike blog journalizm'...warm & cuddly, not so much...a taste to lure you in, perchance, but still a presenter of harsh reality, i'm sure...

areUpake? said...

Dwight Moody -

How do you not have a floor pump? a compressor would probably cover it but I don't see any other excuses, shop employee or not. What do you do if you get a slow leak on the way home and realize its flat the next day?

Matt W said...

Best post... ever.

No "culture" is as inclusive as it thinks it is. It's only a few individuals that make it inclusive. Like going to punk/indie shows for a year and standing in the corner until that one guy buys you an Old Style and invites you to a house show. That one guy may not be your friend forever, but he/she is warm and is really your only in.

I can remember being fourteen and an older classmate who chose not to laugh at my glasses and odd clothes and instead loaned me a Face to Face album. The guy who taught me how to ollie or the army guys who made me do my first head-high drop on my squishy bike.

Be that person to someone else, because your entusiasm and joie de vive will stick with that goofy looking kid forever.

The more you know... and shit.

AH said...

BGW--
Love the Plasmatics reference...

Although I doubt RTMS is getting banged by Lemmy Kilmister.

Commiecanuk said...

BGW: I learned this over the years with rye bagels...

You take the good, you take the bad,you take them both and there you have
The Facts of Life.

leroy said...

BSNYC --

You write that we have all of us put on a jersey that was two sizes too large.

Well of course we all have.

But some of us make it look good.

Don't think you're going to convince me the Bust Magazine article was on the level and the reason my field test failed was jersey related.

Nope, not buying it.

Anonymous said...

The correct response to all of these is, “I don’t give a fuck.”

Amen.

Anonymous said...

When is the book coming out?

bikesgonewild said...

...frilly, mi amore...baby, i could use some of yer counseling...

...i tried 000-555-1212 but hey, the line was busy...

...should i book a room ???...

Mike said...

Maybe the best thing you've ever written in a giant pile of really great writing.

Maybe pile isn't the best word.

A giant cake of great writing.

Wunderkind said...

BSNYC -

I started reading this blog for its unapologetic dedication to snobbery. Why the sermon on inclusiveness? Sunglasses over helmet straps, tire labels in the right spot and socks of the proper height - these principles form the foundation of your success. So please don't become a commuter-hugger.

Also, I got hit, head-on, by a miniature Michael Ball on steroids (and a fixed gear that had spun out of control) yesterday. He crashed into me and then threatened to hurt me for telling him it was his fault, given that he was in my lane of the bike path. I admit, this experience might be shaping my emotions right now.

Anonymous said...

anyone up in the boston area looking to get riding? this guy just posted an ad on craigslist offering to sell his fixie. in addition to your choice of different saddles, he's throwing in FREE skidding lessons. there's a youtube video link just so you know he's serious

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/725440900.html

it might be worth a $20 RT ticket on the Megabus from NYC

-mudhut47

Jon H. said...

very well said

Anonymous said...

great post snob-the resulting
love-in in the comments however is a bit nauseating. vaccuum-did you really say rescued a lost puppy? even if it happened, even if its true, its far too gay to share w/us.

Anonymous said...

well that was lovely! especially so after last night's run around my original "training loop". way back when i was 60 over and huffin along way behind, well, everyone. now i'm back, officially out of shape, and for the first time since my back-slidin began, thoroughly enjoyed the ride. i mean not just riding, but loving every bit of it. headwind. climbs. stupid gravel spilled across the road. no geese sightings, so perhaps you folks are having one of your wknds of slaughter.(?)actually can't wait to go again tonight. maybe stop by the milking fields after to tend to the gathering pools. anyho, back to the bitter. this warm and fuzzy has caused me to vomit a little into my mouth.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Polygraf,

I don't believe in "what ifs."

But yeah, I'd probably have just made fun of him.

--RTMS

AnnaZed said...

Dwight Moody - Sad to say, the answer is "no".

Cool The Kid said...

Excellent post.

Though, through my own insecurities I still scoff at SE Drafts and single speed freewheelers in general.

veloben said...

RTMS,

So what's the pub date for the watered down Velonews version?

Of course, by then everyone will have "shared" (fair use doctrine) with everyone they know and this will be old shark jumped news.

Producing for multiple outlets with greatly different release time lines can be a bitch.

Still a great post.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the softer side of snob.

The race to post first, second, third comments HAS to go. What is up with that?

frilly said...

bgw-leave the bagels at home. not needed.

bikesgonewild said...

...frilly...yum, yum !!!...

ka_jun said...

*cone of smugness off* Nice post, snob. Seriously. I'm curious how many takers she'll have after this. Hope some deconified cyclists will show her the ropes. *cone of smugness on* On another tip, after reading that I feel like I should go out and buy either a My Little Pony or a Care Bear to zip tie to my stem.

SD said...

Matt W-
"Like going to punk/indie shows for a year and standing in the corner until that one guy buys you an Old Style and invites you to a house show."
Jesus, dude. You really wanted to be in that scene. A year? Holy crap. And by "house show" do you mean "snuff film victim"

dwight moody said...

Aruepak: I pump and pump and pump with my telescoping mini-pump. Having never owned a floor pump, I don't know what I'm missing.

smartypants said...

ka_jun:

I have curious george on my stem, but alas only in sticker form. And on the bottom, so you can't really see it anyways.

thefutureofamerica said...

Hmm... part II of this week's very special episode of RTMS in the BSNYC show.

Time to kick back, pop open a Pomegranate-infused Mich Ultra, and just enjoy the jump.

commentor from yesterday said...

Touching? BULLSHIT. You are such a hypocrite.

"Guess what? You don’t have to have friends or listen to music to be a cyclist. All you have to do is ride your bike."

Just ride the RIGHT bike (according to bikesnob). Spend the RIGHT amount of money according to bikesnob's stupid graphs. Wear the RIGHT clothes so you don't get called out on bikesnobnyc.

"All you have to do is ride your bike."

AWWW. If that's the case, that's what all of these people are doing. At least when you make fun of them they are on bikes having fun. They may not be doing what YOU see as appropriate cycling but they are enjoying themselves trying to live on this earth without getting a lot of bullshit from guys like you. Where are you? At home or work typing away. I hope to GOD you are a "fucking good cyclist" as much as you are a "fucking good writer" because if you just turn out to be some punk who is guilty of everything he criticizes others for you might want to consider packing up and moving back home to your parents' basement for awhile. Karma is a bitch.

I ride alone.

Anonymous said...

rtms,
good post,
thank you for keeping it real; sorta reminds me of this thing I stumbled on a few years ago

http://www.rivbike.com/article/misc/tips_for_happy_riding

Matt W said...

@sd

A year is an exaggeration, but moving to a new (smaller city) and having no friends pretty much led to finding the local music scene and being a wallflower. It's a good example of just how "non-inclusive" the "inclusive" scenes/cultural peer groups actually are.

On that note, I was down in Colorado Springs, riding through town and up into the mountains on my fixie (yes, a brakeless fixie) when an obviously spoiled kid from Colorado College (Easton Ellis, Camden style private school in the west) rode by me with his much hipper fixie (chromed drop bars, lugged frame, deep-vs, double NJS straps, etc) and gave me a healthy dose of the stink-eye.

I guess I was too much of a bike mutt with my camelback (I was going for a little 36 mile jaunt in the hills), wool shorts, the Damned t-shirt, helmet, and Mike Giant style tattoos to be waved at (like all other bikers do).

Max said...

http://cbs5.com/local/bike.lights.stop.2.751714.html

bikesgonewild said...

...well, well, well, bsnyc/rtms...'commenter from yesterday' certainly put you in your place, didn't he/she/it ???...

...yer cover has been blown, snob...& that WAS a serious blow job...i could feel the vitriolic
hot air...

...so be careful...cuz "karma is a bitch"...& when you piss off the philosophers amongst us, the gods may be evoked...

Sycophantic Backstabber said...

hunnert!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Commenter from Yesterday,

I'm sorry you're still upset with me. If it makes you feel any better, you're exempt from the graph.

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

Commentator from yesterday:

I can see why you ride alone.

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

"Sure, fear is natural, but when it keeps you from doing something there’s really no reason not to do it becomes a problem."

That sentence is like both space and time folding in on them selves. I think I need to sit down.

Anonymous said...

this is a great post

Anonymous said...

commentator from yesterday @ 2:45

Today is a beautiful day for a ride here in Seattle... sunny and 66 degrees... perhaps a spin would help you feel better.

Anonymous said...

bsnyc how do you manage to be on point all of the time??? brings a tear to my eye some days. i hope this doesnt result in a pie chart:/

Anonymous said...

Snob,

If all cyclists were like you, I would become homeless.

I would just ride and beg for grease and tires, as needed.

Anonymous said...

commentor:

Cyclist
Off
Medication

Mentor

Johnb said...

"Bring Back Bitter", I don't like the taste of the vomit in my mouth from this chic flick style of writing. Someone please get Amir to ride with this newbie chick so we can poke fun at their matching pie plates, or something!

Camp Cupboard said...

Fear makes training less boring. Ride somewhere terrifying for a few hours and the whole time you don't notice how much your legs burn!
(That's why I like mountain biking.)

techb3 said...

Commenter from yesterday,

This is a tough group. Nobody would even come out for free beers on the anniversary. Just roll with it. Alone.

Irritable Jew Syndrome said...

Comentist from yesterdee @ 2:45...

Uhhh these are just pixils on a screen? Or did I miss sumpin...

Have sum fun willya?

Loves

The Irritable Jew

Anonymous said...

"Drivers don’t honk when they’re about to kill you because when they kill you it’s because they didn’t see you."

Fantastic. So it is more like a Great White shark rising up from the depths than anything else than being charged by a bull. The only difference is the shark will admit to seeing you.

Keep on riding.

Anon 1536

Anonymous said...

commenter from ystrdy is the little bitch of today

Fatty McBastard said...

Right on Snob...

Sure there are plenty of divisions in the cycling community but every once in a while we need to just sit back and realize... it's all about riding a bike. We're all snobs in our own right, passing judgment one everyone else from our own self-appointed position of authority... but sometimes you just need to go for a slow speed ride on a balloon tire beach cruiser with barefoot pedals and a coaster brake to really get back to the core of why you fell in love with riding a bike in the first place. Once you find that, you begin to see our collective similarities and not our differences and you gain an all new perspective from which you can continue to make fun of recumbents.

Bikeslob 80220 said...

Okay...SNAP OUT OF IT, EVERYONE. Back to Bitter. I'll even help out by posting evidence that people are mixing and matching links on their colored track chains

Anonymous said...

BSNYC/RTMS:

A Gentleman and a scholar !
Well done.

Anonymous said...

commenter from yesterday:

read the title, "get over it"

yada yada

urchin said...

commenter from yesterday--you irritably touch on one of my favorite facets of this blog and its commentors--the ridicule and scorn is fun and meant in fun. I felt a lot more comfortable at the fringe of 'bike culture' when I realized that the snobbery, if ill-intentioned, was from people I didn't care to emulate anyway. If well-intentioned, it was in fun and part of the lingua Franca of cycling. If from me, it was just devastatingly funny and insightful.

We kid because we care. Aww...

stream of nothing said...

I'm in the "Snob's got a new special person in their life" camp. Wonderful post though, on a roll of brilliance atm.

techb3 said...

anon 3:39,

Calling people bitches anonymously is a bit bitchy, don't you think?

JKal said...

I'm a long-time reader but i've never before left a comment because A. you're funny, i'm not and B. the world doesn't care about what i have to say. Putting aside all apprehentions i must say that today's post is your best. I'm surprised myself as it didn't include any references to dentists riding Serottas, pie-plates, or chrome Pistas! Nicely done

bikesgonewild said...

...a h...notice the snob didn't deny it either...

...& wendy o williams, whether w/ 'the plasmatics' or on her own was one seriously wild & awesome chick...most people never saw past the brazen sexuality & her on-stage intensity but she was an kind of an 'over the top' earth goddess...

...hard to see that fact through the fast blur of sledgehammers, chainsaws, wild costumes w/ exposed breasts, destruction & mayhem but as she said "the essence of what we do is shaking up the middle class; i think if you don't do that w/ your music, you're just adding to the noise pollution"...

...despite her apparent flesh ripping antics, she was a vegetarian because of both her concern for animal rights & the belief that a natural food diet was a healthy & intelligent way of life...

...perhaps hard to reconcile that w/ the wild image but that was wendy o williams...

...her suicide note in 1998 reflected that fact, in it's clarity, conciseness & brevity...

**********************************
...& while i don't want him to expose his 'manbreasts' & he's not likely to take his own life over this shit, the ol' snob does do a damn good job of shaking up not only cycling's middle class but everything surrounding it...

...so, while we commentators might add to the "noise pollution", ya can't accuse the snob of that particular foible...

...excuse the long historical post...

Anonymous said...

Bring back the bitter!
Repeat after me.."Love the bike, hate the biker." .."Love the bike, hate the biker."
Feeling better? I know I am.
New cyclists are only good for 1 2 things: paying full retail and making fun of.

-pathleat

AH said...

BGW--
Agreed -- top to bottom. I'd love to see RTMS drive a Pista loaded with dynamite into a stage, only to bail out last minute -- W.O.W. style. Maybe he could incorporate it into the Alpacalips-tical Shark Jump as prophesied in the Gospel of St. Sheldon...

bikesgonewild said...

...a h beautiful response w/ awesome imagery...literally laughing my ass off in agreement...

...& when the day comes, i'd hope & expect fireworks, not warm sentimental oatmeal from the snob...

geetus said...

Masturbation with a bagel? Awkward first-time sex? Methinks the Snob needs to get laid.

Also, nice to see the Snob so introspective. However, he fails to resolve the fact that he thinks we're ALL preening, pathologically self-conscious roosters, and, that some of us, actually, are quietly pedaling away, not paying attention, oblivious to the childish, am-i-doing-it-right? noise.

In the end, he's telling us NOT to be him, that he's suffering as the Snob, living in a world of constant judgement and aesthetic arbitration, thinking he's, in fact, surrounded by millions of other Snobs. Snob, we're here to help -- paranoia can be cured; we don't give a shit what you ride ... at least some of us

BikeSnobNYC said...

Geetus,

I feel insulted yet liberated. Thank you!

--RTMS

chiggins said...

Shnob,

You should get a hold of her, give her the link to the post, and offer to be her ride buddy once or twice. Knock out her two fears right off the bat (as long as yer bein' all kind and whatnot).

Unless she has a pie plate, then you should leave her somewhere unfamiliar, and then race to a computer to post the pics of it. Er, nothing, nevermind.

bring back bitter!!!! said...

Go ride with her, be a nice guy, get laid, and keep her pie plate as the souvenier. It be be how you remember her.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone feel like meeting up for a unicycle ride?

Mongo Pusher said...

Sometimes I like to ride my rusty, Diamondback Sorrento wearing nothing but cut-off jeans and a 38 Special tank top. It reminds me what ridiculousness looks like when I'm not wearing my perfectly matched Italian kit, riding my DeRosa, and rubbing the dirt of my Kangaroo leather Sidi's.

bikesgonewild said...

...sorry, bucko...but sidis have been made of 'lorica microfiber' since like forever & lorica won't become extinct until the dinosaur juice really is all gone...

...just saying...

areUpake? said...

anon 5:34

do you have a geared one I could borrow?

wishiwasmerckx said...

So which do you figure is actually worse, getting killed or getting made fun of on this blog?

Mongo Pusher said...

B.G.W...lorica microfiber is an industry term for "endangered animal skin assembled by underage Asian child."

bikesgonewild said...

...mongo pusher..."assembled by underage asian child"...well ya...there is that...but sidis are still actually made in italia so consider that young asian kid to be well traveled despite probably being underpaid...

...& anyway, dammit, nothing as comfortable as the sidis...

Anonymous said...

mongo pusher,

oh! hahahaha! You push mongo, loser. haha! I cant wait to post your photo on skateboardsnobLA! hahaha! You will be laughed at! hahahaha! All in good fun though. Seriously, do what you want, that's what skateboarding is all about. You don't need friends or music. Just skateboard. MONGO! hahahaha!

tony hawk said...

mongo pusher,

Its okay, breh, we all know skateboardsnobLA doesn't even skateboard! He's just a fucking good writer. Get over it! Push mongo. You're just gonna get called out by skateboardsnobLA, breh. That's what his blog is all about, shifting the ridicule from him to you! POSER. hahahaha!

Mongo Pusher said...

B.G.W...Duly noted that irony "cannot" contain factual errors. I'm a Specialized Pro carbon shoe guy myself.
Anon. 6:33...I'll tell Stacy Peralta, Eric Dressen, and Bill Danforth about your theories on Mongo.

ATRodger said...

This is without a doubt the least sarcastic blog I've ever read. I'm almost astonished that you wrote it! In fact, it prompted me to make my first comment, even after reading your blog for damn near the whole run.

I think I'm going to have to use your bike/sex quote at work tomorrow. Thanks for the great read that awaited me after my commute home.

Cheers!

David Flynn said...

who's the ghostwriter?

Anonymous said...

go ahead. theories on mongo? I know Danforth pushed mongo he also had/has more fire in him then you ever will. Cow skates? Dayton? let me guess you rolled there too. Unfortunately Dressen got a little bloated so did Dave Duncan, but thats a different story. Anyway, dressen pushed kind of in the middle of his board (See savanah slamma). Peralta didnt really push as much as he girated. He had "really cool" hair that stuck straight out when he did spins too. He also had his eye on the almighty dollar. maybe that's why he directs surfing videos now. he probably has a blog like this too. come to think of it, most guys didnt even like dogtown riders, did they? the only difference was that they felt threatened by an upstart group of kids doing something different with something that had been established while bikesnob just talks shit. so go ahead, tell that to dressen and the boys. I wasnt actual calling you a poser as much as i was sarcastically illustrating a point. Dropping names only makes it clear that you are way out of your element, breh.

Anonymous said...

All these "longtime readers/first-time posters" are weirding me out. Instead of all this "Kumbayah," can't we poke them in the eye with a sharp stick?

Matt! said...

Great post.
145th!

paul h said...

BSNYC,
Of course you had to submit your most inspirational post the *day* I have a wrist surgery that will leaved me sidelined for two months!!

great post regradless.

patrick said...

Anon 7:11-

Sounds like you need to "gleam" some "cube". 'Cause at the end of the day, if all you're doing is spraying, you are pretty much spraying yourself for whatever that's worth...

Arlyn said...

Hillarious post. Thanks!

Andy Pandy said...

Dumb. She should have expected RTMS to be trawling through CL. It is the equivalent of giving a vampire a lift to the blood bank, unavoidable collision of conflicting worlds.

Getting fixed in up my neck of the woods means going to the vet and getting neutered . If so I would avoid riding until the stitches come out. I imagine some wino for the price of a nasty bottle of jet fuel would grant her safe passage through the trouble wastelands of NYC

Hey Frills did you eventually get your socks as I would like you to catch cold out riding on that pink beast

bikewhorder said...

I've actually been thinking about Nightcourt a lot lately, I wonder what "Bull" is doing these days.

Anonymous said...

This link will change your life. "Once you go tarck, you never go barck." The Alpaca is at the ready. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarck_bike

kurtdriver said...

Cameron, that was a truly beautiful essay.

Anonymous said...

laughed so hard I sat on a douchebag

cyclechicny said...

Kudos BSNY--I couldn't have said it better myself!!

Russ said...

Amazed that she who placed the ad hasn't commented yet. Unless she has?

*shifty eyes*

Frank the Tank said...

Man, I missed this blog...

lizbon said...

Amen.

frilly said...

Andy Pandy-

No I never got my socks. I'm freezing.

You have a pair I can borrow?

Andy Pandy said...

Now that is mean.Would suggest putting on a vest if it were cold but that would be an eye sore..... just pervin
I have a set of Descente Eric Cartman socks that would look so sweeeeet with that big pink beast,recently washed. Will they do??

tiffany said...

thanks everyone! I have gotten some really helpful/kind emails and I really appreciated the post. If it matters: no, no pie plate...and OK, I'm over it!
-"she who posted the ad"

Anonymous said...

that shit was beautiful.

frilly said...

Eric Cartman on the pink beast? A bit of a paradox, don'tcha think?

Anonymous said...

you've gone soft. bring back the rage. you must ignore the frightened minions, it shows weakness.

Andy Pandy said...

I'll spoil you... its the Pearl Izumi BIG Bird pair then. Think that would be appropriate

frilly said...

Perfect. You're too good to me.

I feel like I should offer up a trade...how about a pink Bell Vela helmet? You could be like AC.

Hannibal said...

I'd be happy to ride with you and show you the ropes.... so to speak.

Call me: 555 chianti

Johnny Sprocket said...

You’re right! Riding is like sex, in that if you do it properly there should be chains involved and a bit of pain in the buttocks. Or is that just me…?

Bluenoser said...

Cycling doesn't have to be about who you know and what you ride. It's about who you are and that you ride.

Perfect again snob.

-B

Creep said...

Bring condoms.

Hipster Creep from BUST said...

Hey Tiffany, know where there are any dumpsters where you can help me change a flat?

K-Ro said...

Anon, 7:11.

You need a hobby - why not try cycling? Alternatively hiking is also a great way to clean out the lungs and to get away from the confines of a typical week. You'll feel great!

stevep33 said...

Everything you need to know about cycling. It's all there. Brilliant.

kyre said...

fucking Slayer siren! that's all I needed to see, I'm not even going to read the rest of the post.... my day is complete. nappy time.

Sprocketboy said...

1. Some Sidis are not made in Italia, but in Romania. Still good, though.

2. Snob, you (and all these posters) were a whole lot nicer to the CL girlie wanting to ride in Brooklyn than to that guy blogging for the Times who wants to do Tour d'Etappe. And thus it ever was in the War Between Men and Women...

Felt mountain bike said...

Dig this blog!

Exiled Boggart said...

As a long time poster and first time reader, I am getting a kick out of these replies.

Bobby said...

I took out my track bike today and rode to Coney Island for the parade. Big mistake..It seems that its fashion to heckle anyone with a track bike. I had some idiot yell "Do a track stand"..yes I can do them but thats like yelling "Do an ollie" to a skateboarder..I yelled back..do some extreme walking, fuckhead..completely unrelated story...

Anonymous said...

My personal statement video response
Video

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
velofreak said...

Absolutely classic post! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks BSNYC!

After having been pretty intense rider, and then letting myself go to seed, i started riding again, and encountered the attitude from the bike shops i was afraid i would get.

screw 'em!

it is feeling good to ride again!

still glad yer on the other side of the country however....

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katie said...

i'm late to it, but this post uncannily reminded me of a hot water music song: "southeast first"

like 'em both!

1234 said...

Aww [=
And I hope that she finds someone. I was in pretty much the same situation for a while before I decided that there wasn't quite enough traffic around here for me to worry. Honking cars still freak me out, though, so it's nice to know that I'm allowed to not give a fuck.

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