Friday, July 18, 2008

Old Whine, New Bottle: Embracing Mediocrity

Recently I was thumbing through a cycling magazine during my morning visit to that last bastion of print media when I happened upon the following ad:

"Introducing the racing bottle for the 21st century. The revolutionary Podium(tm) Bottle combines the innovative self-sealing Jet Valve and a high flow rate in a squeezable bike bottle. With the Podium, drinking is effortless; no more "bite to open, hip-slap to shut." The Podium's proprietary TruTaste(tm) material eliminates plastic aftertaste. And embedded anti-microbial technology ensures your bottle will stay clean and fresh. Own a bottle as advanced as the rest of your gear."

I'm a huge fan of both the raise-your-hopes-quickly-then-dash-them approach (as in: "You're pretty smart--for a complete idiot;" or "You're a pretty good bike handler--for a triathlete") as well as the advertisement that insults you and the products you're currently using. I'm also all too aware of the shortcomings of my current bottles. Indeed, the "bite to open, hip-slap to shut" approach has taken its toll on my weary carcass over the years--my incisors now protrude from my mouth like a rodent's and my hip is so brusied and pockmarked that I can barely walk. Yet before I saw this advertisement it had never occurred to me that there might be an alternative. "That's just the way it is," I'd think to myself resignedly as I flossed my unsightly beaver teeth and thumbed through medical supply catalogs looking for artificial hips. (Sure, I could wear a hydration pack, but ever since my tragic beer-funneling incident I've had a terrible fear of drinking from tubes.) So needless to say I was thrilled to discover this product. CamelBak have not only succeeded in reinventing the lowly bidon, but they've also managed to rename various parts of it ("Jet Valve" and "TruTaste(tm)") in tremendously exciting ways. Even more exciting, it's also the official bottle of the Saunier Duval team, who were one of the top teams in professional road racing until yesterday morning. All CamelBak forgot here was a homing device, so that the riders who jettison their bottles pro-style on the last lap in the local Cat 4 races can find them again afterwards. Despite this ommision, I think I may actually be ready to accept their challenge and "Step up to the podium." (That's another good advertising tactic, by the way--dare the buyer to use your product. Much more effective than some creepy copy about the bottle nurturing you like a mother's teat or something and the Jet Valve beckoning your lips like an expectant nipple, which you'd probably get if this were made by an Italian company.)

Speaking of Saunier Duval, I've already gotten over any disappointment I may have felt about their leaving the Tour. Doping in bike racing is simply the gift that keeps on giving, in that you not only get the excitement of watching the finish, but you also get the additional excitement of a revised podium a few days later. How many other sports give you double the number of winners for your money? Also, I'm happy as long as Dmitry Fofonov stays in the race. It's important in any Grand Tour to have at least one rider whose name sounds like a suggestive verb when it's mentioned by Phil Liggett. To me his name sounds like something a parent might accuse an adolescent of doing if he's been in the bathroom too long. "Are you Fofonov in there?" [Sound of zippers and rustling clothing.] "Uh, no. Leave me alone!" Most importantly, I'm one hundred percent convinced that the "biological passport" will eradicate doping from the peloton once and for all. Of course, I'm not sure what a "biological passport" is, but if I understand correctly it's basically just a wadded-up used Kleenex. (The kid Fofonov in the bathroom probably has a bunch of "biological passports" under his bed.)

Despite the fact we're still in the middle of the Tour, the fact is that road racing season's basically over anyway. The astute rider has already written it off and begun focussing his or her attention on cyclocross. The key to a successful racing season is to always live a minimum of four months in the future, mentally-speaking. That way you can dismiss your poor performances as simple preparation. Sure, you may not get anywhere near the front of the pack in a road race this summer, but you're just trying to get some intense mileage in so you'll be ready for cyclocross season. Poor mountain bike racing is even easier to rationalize--you're just doing that to improve your bike-handling. And of course once 'cross season does begin, you're still under no pressure to get results because, really, you're just doing it to maintain your form during the off-season. With the right attitude, you can surf an entire year of racing like a great big wave of mediocrity. Winning is for dopers and sandbaggers.

Of course, as a lousy bike racer and an involuntary New Yorker I've grown accustomed to mediocrity. Forbes Traveler recently announced the top ten most bike-friendly cities in North America, and New York City only managed eighth place. (At least we beat Minneapolis and Chicago.) No prizes for guessing which city came in first, but if you still need a hint here are three: it's wet, it's in the Pacific Northwest, and it's not Seattle. Sure, they may have been a shoe-in (or, more accurately, a sandal-in) for victory, but I still would have liked to see a dark horse nip them at the line. The last thing their bike community needs is more ego-stroking. And perhaps one day, New York will know what it's like to occupy a podium spot. Until that day comes, though, I will expect mediocrity from everything except my water bottles.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

PODIUM!!!!

Anonymous said...

Numba TWO!!1!!1

Anonymous said...

podium!

AH said...

Don't worry RTMS -- I heard on "the street" that Portland is doping so expect them to be ejected from their top podium spot. It will only take 3 years when you account for the attorneys and arbitration.

FIDO said...

no way, top ten.

leroy said...

But what if I like plastic bottle taste?

After listening to Bob Roll discuss wine vintages during his tour commentary, I hoped he was going to segue into which production runs of plastic bottles have an impudent nose and rounded finish.

But sadly, no.

Anonymous said...

read post with my eyes closed and got #7

Mongo Pusher said...

Driver 8

Anonymous said...

top ten finally yesss

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for Fofonoving in the Schlecks with a TrueJet attached to my Nippled Bite Valve I would have podium'd...

g said...

What the hell is Montreal doing in there?!! We all know when we talk about North America, we really mean the good ol' US of A.

Rags said...

Maybe I'm a little bleary, but I read that thing on nacyclocross.com as "Egos of the champions" and "Amateurs will never be the same".

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis is a way better city for biking than NYC.

Less Pollution. Better roads. But no Dunkin Donuts, so you got us there.

Also, Montreal isn't really a city. And, really, Canada barely qualifies as a country.

NYC,
Suck our Bidons
MPLS

Cottered Crank said...

I guess Camelbak gave up on trying to edumacate roadies, and started making bottles. I had a couple of REI bottles a few years ago that had some amazingly innovative valve that required the user to squeeze extra hard on the bottle in order to get water to squirt out. They also leaked. Anyway, these Camelbak bottles are just the thing for your carbon fiber cages. I love watching fashion slaves.

Anonymous said...

ah-

Will Portland's doping count if it consists of a mix of heroin and pot? That might actually boost Portland's standings to first (to the nth power) due to the considerable collective handicap it overcomes daily. Y'know, trying to score before going to work and all?



A

Anonymous said...

I will always be "podium" since I live in Portland! Thanks Snob! I'm gonna go buy ten of those bottles, they look like they're cooler than skinny jeans with mowhawks.

dop said...

i want to see an ad featuring a tandem bicycle with a bbw in the front facing backwards with a camelbak bottle wedged in her camel toe as the rider on the back, who just happens to be a camel jockey, sits masturbating and smoking a camel cigarette.

Anonymous said...

Great post today Snob, I had to silence my laughing at work.

Minneapolis, the city that's like that weird cousin from Iowa that never stopped talking about how their town was getting an Arby's/Hardees/Dairy Queen/Mass transit... etc.

- Monty P

Anonymous said...

YAY PORTLAND!!!!

Gimme a P
Gimme a O
Gimme a R
Gimme a T
Gimme a L
Gimme a A
Gimme a N
Gimme a D

GOOOOOOOOOOOO

PORTLAND!!!!!!!

YAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

liz said...

(Much more effective than some creepy copy about the bottle nurturing you like a mother's teat or something and the Jet Valve beckoning your lips like an expectant nipple, which you'd probably get if this were made by an Italian company.)

creepy copy like the "buttery hand" promised to my bf on the tag of his new bike shorts.

Anonymous said...

Portland is Sooooooo HAPPY we made it!!!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY

PORTLAND!!!!!!!

ZiP said...

"Winning is for dopers and sandbaggers." haha quality.

mary poppins said...

good posts every day, its incredible

g said...

i used to use the 'buttery hand" when I was Fofonoving while my mom thought I was going Duque.

ant1st said...

First! (after you dopers that beat me are discredited, that is)

AH said...

A-
Sounds like you are describing Pot Belge, and Tornado Tom knows better than either of us that shite will get you un-invited fast!

specialrider said...

and Portland wins the Green jersey...i mean, the Green dime bag!

Ka_Jun said...

Minneapolis a better biking city? Pffffft. Maybe for the two months you can ride in temperatures above zero.

"Minnesota nice" & Pawlenty can can go take a flying Beloki.

Sincerely,

Mpls expat in PGH.

marc said...

Love the stream of todays post. Im hoping for a fun modest proposal re cycling drugs, and relative morality in cycling and marketing.

Grump said...

WTF
In 1954 riders were still using aluminum bottles with cork stoppers.
Camelbak could start with getting their facts straight.

PS. roadies will still laugh at you if you use a Camelbak product.

SMF.sportychic said...

God you are so fucking funny your words make my day, please don't go on vacation again.

Anonymous said...

portland? PORTLAND? did everyone else miss the stories this week about (1) the cyclist who attacked a driver using his bike as a weapon, or (2) the bike rider who took an involuntary ride on the hood of a car, tj-hooker style?

Anonymous said...

"Pot Belge" = Winner's little helper!



A

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how to submit a link to BSNYC, so I thought I'd just drop it in the latest post:

http://www.kr8-space.com/

It seems like highly sneerable material.

dop said...

i want to see an ad featuring a tandem bicycle with a bbw in the front facing backwards with a camelbak bottle wedged in her camel toe as the rider on the back, who just happens to be a camel jockey, sits masturbating and smoking a camel cigarette.

Judi said...

i remember seeing that ad somewhere recently, was it velo news or bicycling. i was reading both last week. my best water bottle is from twin six but i just wish they were a bit bigger.

Anonymous said...

what is it about Jonathon vaughters' cone of smugness that makes me want to reach through screen and choke him out? maybe its the matching sweater/jacket combo with glasses in an attempt to look like a american lit. teacher at the local community college.

and you know that everytime someone gets popped for drugs his condescding mug is going to be on your idiot box. either that or champion bike hurler millar, because the only thing worse than a drug user is a reformed user.

Anonymous said...

yes Portland has many bike lanes. but the bike/car hostility level is pretty high. it's wonderful to watch the beemers and fixies joust for positional dominance downtown.

frilly said...

anon 2:29-

No doubt, Johnathan Vaughters is smarmy at best. That voiceover with him saying next time you're on the highway, strip down to your underwear, & jump out of the car...what a fucking idiot.

veloben said...

OK RTMS ferrets here's a clue:

Recently I was thumbing through a cycling magazine during my morning visit to that last bastion of print media

and another:

I flossed my unsightly beaver teeth

So BSNYC is a bucktoothed librarian in lower Manhattan.

The Camelback thing looks like a baby bottle from 20 years ago. Did Sastre do the prototype testing?

Nice to have you back, overslept Basitlle day a bit myself.

Sycophantic Backstabber said...

Montréal dans la maison!

Anonymous said...

Camelback? Ca c'est du bidon.

Jim said...

I was trying to drink out of one of my shit-ass generic water bottles the other week on a long hot ride. I hoisted it up to my lips, and gave a little squeeze. Nothing happened. I gave a harder squeeze. Instead of a stream of blessed, 94' degree foamy, mild nausea-inducing Accellerade hitting my mouth, nothing. Finally I gave a mighty squeeze - and the top blew clean off. I was suddenly doused in a sticky, protein-y hot shower of sports drink, about 30 miles from home with nothing left in my bottle (thanks to some arsonist bastard torching the sole Qwik-E-Mart in that area.

After a nightmarish 90 minutes finishing the ride - during which I was enviously eyeballing the dog bowls of water on the front porches of rural houses I was passing - I'm stuck with a sticky bike, serious psychological trauma, and more protein stuck to my clothes than Monica Lewinsky. Do not let this happen to you.

Anonymous said...

it's wonderful to watch the beemers and fixies joust for positional dominance downtown.

Just FYI:

Beemers = BMW motorcycles
Bimmers = BMW cars

But if you really meant beemers, and there really is jousting, Portland is sounding better and better!

Wanna-be mediocore said...

I am proud to say that I love mediorcrity. I have accepted in all areas of my life. Why bother trying to get ahead only to die stressed out. Hey, is there a messenger job I can apply for. My life already sucks, might as well have the job too.

Leah said...

I don't get it. I grew up in san diego, and I just don't see that city being overly bike friendly. it's freaking car lover's paradise down there. has something amazing happened since I moved away?

also, the article needs to check their facts. you can't bring bikes on all san francisco public transit (buses yes, bart most of the time, light rail no). and riding across the golden gate bridge is pretty much horrible much of the time. ask anyone who does it regularly. although you could enjoy it, if you like being run down by rented tandem bikes or dodging tourists who stop in blind corners to take pictures or being blown over by high winds or blinded by fog. hmmmpph...now I'm all riled up.

bikesgonewild said...

...damn !!!...i knew i shouldn't have tried that jonny vaughters thingy of stripping down to my underwear & jumping out a' the car...

...oh, i can live w/ the road-rashed, oil stained underwear all right but the highway patrol impounded my car...

...next time i try that, i'm getting someone else to drive...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Another gem from Craigslist

Ultra Hip Hipster Bar for Your Fixie

"Make your already hip hipster ride hipper with these ultra hip short bars. 13.5cm across which is enough room for a babies hand or a little less than half an Oury grip."

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/715505172.html

I suppose handlebars, like brakes are for ironic use only.

Mongo Pusher said...

I think Vaughters got his jumping out of a car in your underwear analogy from watching his guilty pleasure, "Cops".

leroy said...

It occurs to me that you would have to be on dope to strip to your underwear and jump out of a car.

(Unless, of course, you're BGW. No offense BGW. Didn't meant to imply you were a doper.)

But just what message is Vaughters trying to send?

Geoff said...

@ Anon 4:38

Nobody outside of the smugger-than-thou BMW motorcycle community makes that distinction - or cares.

Anonymous said...

portland is a fairly boring city, aside from Powell's books.they even have boring bands, like the (ugh) Dandy warhols...

bikesgonewild said...

...leroy...i just thought it was part of living the dream but, wow, was i surprised at the wakeup call...that's not to say i won't do the jv thingy again...

...& btw, although you might like the plastic taste of old school water bottles, i've been using the new "podium" bottles for months now & whether "roadies" laugh at me or not, i give 'em my endorsement...

...water does taste like water, even after hours out there, soooo, slave to fashion that i might be...

...besides, ever gotten water out of a 'sigg' bottle on a three mile climb on a hot day w/out stopping &/or swearing mightily...no, neither have i...now, for that purchase i might be a dope...

frilly said...

Don't worry about your underwear, honey bunch, oil-stained is better than protein packed, especially protein of the fofonov variety.

T-Bone said...

I was in Portland a while back, and all I remember is the hippies. Pot-addled hippies on fixed-gears does not make for good cycling. It's scary!

bikesgonewild said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bikesgonewild said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Easy answer: New York City must begin a doping regimen, if wants to be one of the best cycling cities to travel to.

Oh sure, OBRA doping is more of a silicybin (No, I can't spell thc, either,) bent, but you get what I mean.

Anonymous said...

BGW, bad news, buddy. Those "racing stripes" aren't "oil stains."

Anonymous said...

re Beemer vs Bimmer

you say por-sha
i say porsh

lets call the whole thing off

I believe Ricco... is a turd said...

I just got one of the "Podium" bottles for my birthday and I got dropped while trying to work out how to get the water to come out. I get scared when I realise that now not only my running shoes come with instructions but my water bottles do too. No wonder why people are rebelling by switching over to bikes just like those my grandfather used to make (albeit without the ultra cool wooden tubular rims).

Mr Matt said...

No shit- there's nothing Portland loves more than to adore itself. "We're not only super progressive, but we're so emo-hipster about it"! But I can't talk shit. I live in PDX and love it here.

The Monkey said...

I Fofonoved twice today.

Anonymous said...

Yo.. Seriously. Awesome writer..

Jonathan said...

The Camelbak bottles are great!

I saw them in the store before seeing any ads when I went to replace one of my old ones that I left down in Bisbee, AZ. They don't leak all over my frame and the liquid comes out with a light squeeze, but you can turn the bottle upside down while it's turned to open without leaking. I mountain bike too in 115 degree heat in Phoenix, AZ, so I wear a Camelbak filled with water and tons of ice cubes to keep my water cold for four hours, so I guess I'm not as biased against Camelbak as most cyclists are.

Anonymous said...

Well in addition to beating Chicago for a higher spot on the Forbes list, you also have the honored distinction of being on the Forbes list of the world's worst taxi rides. Considering you share that list with such powerhouse cities as Lagos, Bangkok and Baghdad, I'll stick to my 10th place home. :)

Anonymous said...

No more ego-stroking for Portland or I'm going to get sick.

Anonymous said...

I want a water bottle that has ceramic bearings in the nipple thing, and is made of carbon fiber.

Anonymous said...

Those Portland people better stop Fofonov.

krazygl00 said...

You must step up to the podium...if you can. Say what you will, but it is my favorite bottle, the first one I've ever paid for, and the only one I've ever found worth doing so for it.

I have worn out the ears of the non-biking people I know with the praises of this bottle; my favorite part is not gulping air from a leaky spout. Anyway, when you get one, you will love it. Oh, and I have THREE floor pumps, so I know what I'm talking about.

dopepedaler said...

You're bike-racing isn't the only thing that is mediocre these days.

Kevin said...

Wasn't New York on the podium for selection for the 2012 olympics. Came in third iirc.....

Anonymous said...

i knew this year was to be a lame tour. why am i watching? said i wasn't but i am. but today brought such exciting news! Bruyneel is adding to the commentary! starting tomorrow! finally someone to shine some light into the dark corner that is doping. his sword poised to smite the next naer do well.

Barkernews said...

PDX rules.

Our greatest export, besides Vanilla bikes and a wharehouse full of unwanted Saunier Duval replica Santini jerseys, is news articles talking about how great we are.

Chris Horner lives just 3 hours from Portland, and who can't love Chris Horner after his stunt at the Cascade Classic?

Besides, we have more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the US. And who can argue with that?

Anonymous said...

po-tay-toe
po-tah-toe

to-may-toe
to-mah-toe

Anonymous said...

portland= blandular go nowhere!

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a "clean" racing cyclist. TDF is trying to kill itself, it's on the way out. Anyhow, the French invented the phrase :"it is aginst the law to be caught at it".

Anonymous said...

Porn starlet? Alternative transport? Fofonov this:

http://www.picsmaster.net/gallery/atk/e1fa2b/15.jpg

http://www.picsmaster.net/gallery/atk/e1fa2b/06.jpg

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 1:46pm...always nice to have a name professional weigh in w/ a highly valued opinion...

...& btw, ricco...can you get me a deal on a handful of those saunier duval/camelbak "podium" bottles ???...i hear they're goin' cheap...

Anonymous said...

http://www.sacbee.com/107/story/1091245.html

I'm speechless, please help.

Anonymous said...

"Bike polo players probably have more tattoos and piercings and drink more beer than the equestrian riders who drink white wine and champagne," Kennedy says.

ant1st said...

Bruyneel is a douchebag. He may be a great DS, but what he says is a bunch of BS.

gaahl said...

Uh, is that Peter North? By the look of it, this must be from his earlier acting days, before he found his own voice.

C said...

"Portland has many bike lanes. but the bike/car hostility level is pretty high."

Huh?? Clearly you haven't bothered riding in any of the other 49 states in the Union! I've ridden in OR, CA NY, MA, AZ, NM, WA and TX. Portland is about the most bike friendly city outside of Davis.

I live in Seattle now but will admit that for cycling Portland is pretty tough to beat.

Anonymous said...

Portland was cool like 1.5 years ago. It's so over.

Anonymous said...

Hey slightly off topic but not too much.I have the slight misfortune of living in Astoria and ran across the stereotyping horrible neo con shitty blog Queens crap and theres three different posts crying about the bike paths, which isnt that many.Mainly Vernon and these knuckle draggers were actually upset about that and not so joking about driving in the bike lane and hitting cyclists which many more pickup, SUV weilding Queens folks continued to make the same comments of hitting bike riders.They also made some sick comments about Hindy and Brooklyn Brewery property that was sad and assumed he was for over development.Made me miss Minneapolis if it wasnt as trendy as Williamsburg, but with better music venues.NYC is way more conservative than Minneapolis boys and its real evident unless your in Greenpoint or Williamsburg.Surly is made in Minneapolis, as well as other frame builders from 30 years ago.But give or take a few or so million people the clones look the pretty close to same from each city. FUCK Queens crap blog.

Michael Pereckas said...

I've got a pair of these water bottles (which I use when riding my recumbent bike) and they are actually pretty good. Still, the idea of an advertising campaign for fucking water bottles is crazy.

Roadent said...

1. Waterbottles that come with instructions
2. Waterbottles that don't fit in Tacx Tao Cages (you know, the ones all the cool kids use)

Fah... (or is it 'Meh'?)

Anonymous said...

It's "Feh" actually. And I've been using forehead all this time.

WHo'da thought - a hip slap?

GENIUS!

Anonymous said...

Good lord. Perhaps all of you should "get a life"

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JeFF said...

I must admit, I laughed when I first saw this ad as well. But then the shop ordered some to see how they would sell...and let me tell you, they absolutely fly off the shelves!

I bought one, and I admit, they are actually very nice...do like. Now my preferred bottle for mountain bike runs.

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john said...

I think that bike users must be used to sigg bottle , it's very safe for they , because it's have not disadvantage, it's useful products for the people.

------
Sigg

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