Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coming Back to Haunt You: Scary Faces and Spiky Bikes

In case you're keeping track, here's the Official BSNYC Pro Cyclist Retirement/Comeback Status Update (brought to you by the American Cheese Society--now celebrating 25 years!):

Lance Armstrong--coming back
Viatcheslav Ekimov--not coming back
Bobby Julich--retired, comeback pending
Dmitry Fofonov--missing, presumed pleasuring himself
Mario Cipollini--contemplating comeback to finance new bathroom vanity

Thanks American Cheese Society!

Of course, there are two types of retirement: there's the voluntary kind; and then there's the compulsory, drug-related kind. However, there's only one kind of comeback: the voluntary kind. Until now, that is. With all eyes on Armstrong it appears that there is a magenta-hued groundswell to bring his arch-rival and comic foil Jan Ullrich back to the peloton as well (not to be confused with the magenta-clad swell that is Ullrich's stomach):


I'm not sure Ullrich actually wants to come back, or if they'd even allow him to if he did, but I do like to imagine that one day we really could have a system whereby any retired cyclist who gets enough votes from the public would be forced to return to racing, no matter how long they've been out of the game. Just imagine an arthritic and very reluctant Eddy Merckx swinging a leg over the bike once again and dropping through the peloton and out the back like a hex bolt through a hamster's digestive tract. Imagine also the excitement of forcing Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon to square off against each-other one more time. (An idea all the more appetizing to many since LeMond/Fignon sounds like a particularly succulent cut of meat.) As of right now the Ullrich petition already has 80 comments. I feel like 100 should be enough to require him to put his juicy LeMond/Fignon sandwich down, saddle up, and start training for Le Tour '09.

Meanwhile, when Lance Armstrong says he's coming back, he means it. After yesterday's press conference he busted out of his suit like Party Boy, shouldered his Trek, hotfooted it to the Jet Blue terminal, deplaned in Vegas, and rolled right up to the Cross Vegas cyclocross race, where he finished in 22nd place out of 69 finishers:

Some may scoff, but in my book 22nd place is a solid "pass" and therefore an excellent result. 21 guys may have beat him, but more importantly he beat 47 guys, which is more than double the number of people who beat him. Also, one of the people he beat is Carl Decker, who is the reigning Singlespeed World Champion. (I am the World's Worst Bike Racer but the World's Best Rationalizer.) Moreover, Armstrong was battling not only lack of sleep, exhaustion from a day of press, and a stacked field, but he was also dogged by the haunting visage of doping expert and Carl Reiner stunt double Dr. Don Catlin:

Catlin's constant presence must be irritating to say the least. As Armstrong noted at the press conference, he must do whatever Catlin asks of him, and I can tell by the piercing look in his eyes (if you're not sure which one's Catlin, he's the one with the glasses) that his testing methods probably go beyond simple diligence and cross over into maliciousness. I can imagine Armstrong striking up a coversation with an attractive woman, and then, just as they're about to hit it off, a jealous and vindictive Catlin approaching and demanding he provide a urine sample on the spot. (In the medical profession, I believe this is called "cockblocking.") Just imagine stepping out of the shower, wiping the condensation off the medicine cabinet mirror, and seeing not only your own face but Catlin's as well. That kind of shock can't be healthy. Also, he's getting paid but Armstrong's not. I think that puts the 22nd place into perspective. It wouldn't suprise me if Armstrong also had to pit every lap at last night's race--not to switch bikes but to produce urine for the insatiable Dr. Catlin. I bet Ryan Trebon doesn't have to do that.

And let's not forget the other visage Armstrong is doubtless haunted by, that being the one belonging to Nonplussed Journalist Looking Straight at BikeSnobNYC:


Plus, from Armstrong's vantage point on the podium, he was confronted not only by Nonplussed Journalist Looking Straight at BikeSnobNYC, but also by BikeSnobNYC him(my)self, who was wearing not only dirty cycling shoes but also a sweat-stained cycling cap. It must have been like looking at a two-headed Medusa.

But as I said yesterday, cycling is full of irony, and apparently it's not "cool" to be down with Armstrong's comeback. I mean, he won the Tour seven times--how lame is that? Victory is sooo tacky. You're only supposed to win it like once and then get implicated in a scandal. What is "cool," of course, is all the cutting-edge stuff happening in the world of fixed-gear riding. Check out this Bianchi Pista, which I saw over at Trackosaurusrex:




This "artistic interpretation of a track bike" indeed captures the contradictory nature of the fixed-gear scene in that it not only appropriates the Crass logo (fixed-gear fans just love the way that logo looks, don't they?), but it is also, quite literally, unrideable. I was curious about the artist, so I popular search engined him, and came upon this article in Time magazine from way back in 2002:



"'Takahashi doesn't think about originality,' carps fashion critic Takeji Hirakawa, 'only about copying.'

Five years ago that may have been true. But with age and experience, Takahashi's work is growing beyond simple expressions of rage and becoming more sophisticated and nuanced. "

Yes, it's nice to see that his work has continued along that trajectory of sophistication and nuance during the six years since that article was written.

93 comments:

Eudocimus albus said...

#1 f yah

Anonymous said...

screeeech

BurnFromWithin said...

podium!

mander said...

Close!

Anonymous said...

totally.

Anonymous said...

podium (5th?)

urchin said...

Yeah, I'm lookin' at you.

Punk.

--NJLRABS

Self-appointed expert on the subject said...

wow, top ten...

that's the stupidest pista i've ever seen.

why does jan look soooooo uncomfortable up in that photo?

frilly said...

slip sliding into 9th!

KOA said...

top ten

Brian said...

Oh my gosh, that line about Merckx is hilarious.

Commiecanuk said...

They list Lance as "unattached", so I guess its splitsville from the Olsen Twins..frilly, take note...talk about your day-old danish.

The ACS 25th anniversary is coinciding with the surprise comeback of 2008: the exhuming of Fausto Coppi, racing for no money, just to raise awareness for cheese.

While Catlin's surprise pee pee tests can be unnerving, apparently he used the preferred "reach around" method of sample taking. All your homosexual Carl Reiner fantasies come true.

Johnny Tuna said...

Fish

Anonymous said...

Raclette!

BunE said...

It is very cool that lance is back and fixies are for little girly boys.

Weekly World News said...

Olson twins? that was so two years ago. He's humping Kate Hudson now.

Frenchy aka Bike Boy said...

"Victory is sooo tacky"- My new mantra.

Jim said...

I was going to point out that I'm the worst racer in the world, Snob, but you beat me to it.

And what's up with the obsession with that "Carl Reiner" guy? I have no idea who he is, but he looks like he's at least 2000 years old. A real doofus. I bet if he had a kid, the kid would be a complete meathead.

Anonymous said...

3 better than Armstrong!

Daddo said...

i'm giving you a warning, jim:
this isn't the borscht circuit

Anonymous said...

WOW. That pista is not stupid it's genius! I want all fixie riders to be forced to ride a pista with spikes everywhere except for the seat and handlebars and maybe this way they can actually develop some bike handing skills! or else....

Also, yes Jan should come back but this time they should let him drink beer and do recreational drugs like ecstasy during the race.

Rick from Little Pwagmattasquarmsettport said...

"Seven tour wins? The whole thing smacks of effort, man."

kale said...

NJLRABS: A study in the Journalist's Condition in the early 21st Century.

After studying the photograph (staring) I get a feeling reminiscent of the Mona Lisa. There's just a hint of a smile there the longer you look. It's like he's finally happy that, after a life dedicated to being a surrogate for the public, someone has decided to photograph him. Notice the pensive look in his eyes, a silenced scream to be heard. His mouth, straining to open and scream his deepest fears to the audience. But no, he musn't. He has a job to do...

Pappy said...

Snob, you missed some people -

1.Laurent Brochard announced a comeback and 2. Ivan Basso's comeback starts at the Japan Cup, one for your 'forced return' category perhaps.
Ftr, Ulle has been asked and so No thanks, but wished Armstrong the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

No more Jordan, Tiger's hurt, hockey's been asleep since #99waved bye bye. Gimmie a superhero story before I fall asleep.

Commiecanuk said...

Kate Hudson, yet another blonde? holy oedipal complex, batman. I really should set my blackberry for daily updates on Lance's sex life. It's far more interesting than the Canadian election campaign, which took a nasty turn in negative ads when Jack Layton called Stephen Harper a "meanie". Harper's sex scandal continues with the press simply not believing his two children are actual proof he ever had sex.

If you guys are interested, I'm selling wristbands for Coppi's cheese awareness foundation: Formaggiostrong. They are made of smoked provolone.

Anonymous said...

Dear fixsters with newfound bicycle love overheard talking about RTMS,

Mountain biking was a little harder than you thought, eh? awesome parking lot trackstands though.

Mongo Pusher said...

Grabinger!

frilly said...

JACKPOT!

Ding Ding Ding

Anonymous said...

first...and I read it

broomie said...

Well shoot, I used make bikes out of pipe cleaners all the time.

Of course, they were 3 inches tall and laterally compliant.

jelliot said...

If you could see me now, I have my arms up in the air as I cross the finish line, and my cleanest and tightest Astana jersey on.

Strayhorn said...

Lance needs a Twitter account so we can keep up with his female accessories.

Meanwhile, the shark of cycling has been leapt as designers adopt the retro look of banana seats and mythical creatures called "couriers" have apparently discovered bikes without gears.

Kevan said...

I predict multiple references to NJLS@BSNYC in future postings.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

bikesgonewild said...

...speaking of retro...

...i think carl reiner oughta pop up on the occasional podium in a lab coat w/ a frothy beaker in hand, quaff it down, lick his lips & say "mmm, nothing here but dom perignon & a hint of kate hudson"...

...talk about a comeback & a career revival !!!...& it would keep that dr don catlin on his toes...

TJ Eckleburg said...

Carl Reiner doesn't wear glasses anymore because he got crosseyed with those glasses that rest on your nose, that Navin Johnson invented.

oh and the post was funny today.

Der Blaue Reiter said...

Wait... you were in the cyclocross race too, snob?

please tell me you're Brandon Akers, Jason Siegle, or one of the other jewishy packfills :)

bored stiff said...

no joy in these posts today...

frilly said...

bgw-it would have to be just a hint of kate cuz they broke up too.

Like I always say, the ProTour is better than a soap opera.

erik k said...

I hear Lance has been training on a fixie

Lance Strongarm said...

Erik K has some mad Photoshop skillz...

kale said...

Dr. Reiner is helping Lance find his special purpose.

kale said...

...with a spikey bike.

bikesgonewild said...

...i think a little bit of kate hudson would go a long way & probably last a good while...

Anonymous said...

Erik K: sooo disturbing.

AH said...

Y'know (and I can't believe you didn't realize this, RTMS) that Spiky Pista is actually pretty brilliant, 'specially for NYC:

The spikes keep pigeons from perching on the parked bike, thereby avoiding any nasty guano stains on your oh-so-precious pista.

Unless of course you're trying to look like a coprophilic fixie-riding Jackson Pollack.

frilly said...

Not a big Lance fan, but mmmm, mmmm on the hot bod. Although it seems a little risky, he's one quick stop away from sounding like Cadel.

AYHSMB said...

Stand back,
thisisgonabgugly

First: I'm going to grab the negative shit by the nape of the neck and slam its face into my knee..

Secondly, for the posers sitting in climate controlled boxes be it liberal or illiberally playing whinolins of conjecture concering whether or not one out of the six billion chaps here on the planet is allowed to ride bicycles in events...

here lemme reach through the screen grab you by the face and slam said face into your monitor.

whew...there I feel better.

ayhsmb

viva le verde rueda

Pinhead said...

ah-

So that's what the top-tube pads on Pistas are for. I thought it was just to appease us Cenobrites.

Strayhorn said...

AH said: The spikes keep pigeons from perching on the parked bike, thereby avoiding any nasty guano stains on your oh-so-precious pista.

Pigeons? I thought the reasons spikes were so popular in NYC was to keep the bums, er, the sainted homeless, from sitting down.

Anonymous said...

Did you Photoshop the schnoz on that angry journalist photo?

Rai Dordai said...

FIRST!

AH said...

Strayhorn said: Pigeons? I thought the reasons spikes were so popular in NYC was to keep the bums, er, the sainted homeless, from sitting down.

To-may-to, to-mah-to.

Mongo Pusher said...

"Jewishy packfills"...Funny!

Gerchof Sirdribeldik said...

Is only matter of time before Armstrong dates Maria Sharapova. First he must kick ass of her father. Maybe Anna Kournakova be a better target.

If you to notice, all our blonds are cooking woamen until we make them take steroids.

Jim said...

Unless of course you're trying to look like a coprophilic fixie-riding Jackson Pollack.

And who, among us, has not tried that? Of course, some of us have tried to be coprophagic fixie-riding Jean-Michel Basquiats, but that never ends well.

g said...

Based on the overwhelming success of the Letle Viride signature campaign, it's just a matter of time before we see Jan all puffy eyed and getting dropped on the first day in the mountains.

michael said...

Must be his artistic interpitation of riding a poor fitting bike!

KanyonKris said...

"... dropping through the peloton and out the back like a hex bolt through a hamster's digestive tract."

Where DO you come up with this stuff? Regardless, that simile made me smile.

wishiwasmerckx said...

The things you learn on this site. The phrase "shit-eating grin" is now abolished from my vocabulary, to be permanently replaced with "coprophilic rictus."

veloben said...

Hex bolts are bit much for Hamsters. Now Labs, well even a 13mm hex bolt is nothing and it will come out all perfectly packaged with everything else. Just like milk from a goose.

Anonymous said...

So did Lance lose to Ryan Trebon by 0.001875 days (2'42"), or wtf do the times in the results mean?

Tompain said...

LeMond/Fignon sounding like succulent meat was the funniest line in the piece. Best laugh I had all week.

Camp Cupboard said...

What a waste of spikes.

O' Bama said...

whats wrong with LA coming back, jan, or lemond/fignon ?
hell, even Marco 'Il Pirata', dig it ?

it is good strategerie.

joeB is back @ the race.

Andy Pandy said...

Unattached or playing the field. I thought one of the Olsen Twins was on the menu , or have I been out of the loop. Maybe Mellow Boy had scoffed his way through sweet carbo loaded trash French pastries during that boring press the flesh thing, and could not get his cadence up later that day. Would Catlin appear all ghost like a’ la Obi -Wan Kenobi “Resist the temptation Luke/ Lance, feel the force grow within you “

Anonymous said...

Seattle's PistDex may be dropping.
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/855388943.html

Anonymous said...

They should have a race where only dopers, retirees and celeb fuckers can enter... now that's a big field !

dailydesignspot said...

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2008/sept/3/JohnCooke.htm

only used the brake 3 times.. and each of which saved his LIFE

love visiting once and a while for a great experience.. thankyou.

frilly said...

Not another sexual reference Andy Pandy, don'tcha know this is a bike blog?

Anonymous said...

Lance has indeed been training on a fixie.
http://mashsf.com/videos.php
check out the "austin" video

leroy said...

I believe the spiked fixed gear is an ingenious device designed by Dr. Catlin to adminster blood tests throughout the ride.

Good thing Lance likes to suffer on the bike.

Andy Pandy said...

Could not see anything remotely refering to that Missy Frilly, says she who blogs in her lace under garments. Anyways the only thing I would lust after is a Pinarello Prince.. full of all the right curves.

Critical Ass said...

WTF? I thought fixies were not supposed to be good climbers

Pack Phil said...

CritAss, that didn't happen climbing. That's the 4th time he needed to use the brake, but he forgot he moved the lever over to the right side of the bars and was squeezing lots of air with his left hand while crashing into that tree.

The best crashes into trees like that are the ones when a wheel is still spinning...

Richard gere said...

"... dropping through the peloton and out the back like a hex bolt through a hamster's digestive tract."

I know EXACTLY what you mean.

kale said...

pack phil-

What's the deal with putting the front brake on the right side? Has anyone noticed that >50% of the fixed gear bikes with brakes put them on the rear brake side? Has this been addressed already by BSNY? Am I asking too many questions?

kale said...

...of course I do mean brake lever. I'm more than a little hung over after the OSU/USC game last night. FTD!

Anonymous said...

I heard lance was assaulted by some douchebag at the race in vegas. i'm sure bsny could find out more about this.

frilly said...

I have a question too. I watched that mash video & actually found it quite entertaining. The way they rode through traffic was a bit assinine but other than that, sorta cool. My question is how was that guy doing that 'drifting' thing? Is that what happens when he quit pedaling?

ben said...

you'll simply love this pbr fixie... http://www.flickr.com/photos/2kings/2888422722/

Lucky 7 said...

I'm pretty sure the seat angle on that Pista had some part inspiring the bedazzlement of spikes. Oooof! That particular seat angle for men is known as the "turn your head and cough" hernia helper. For the ladies, it's simply known as "the speculum."


A

Anonymous said...

BSNYC - can you repost the Hincapie jean girl in sepia? Thanks.

Marrock said...

That non-plussed journalist looks like he'd just as soon kill you and leave you in a dumpster somewhere in greenwich village just for being in his face with that camera.

Watch your back out there, RTMS.

Maggie said...

All Cycling Fans should sign this petition. Leave the past behind. Let riders move on. Give everyone a clean slate.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/procyclistsnotpenalized/

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Support the Savestrong Flashdrivecampaign!

Skidmark pdx said...

I put the front brake on the right on my fixed gear so I can signal with my left hand. Also, motorcycles have their front brake on the right, and in the UK bicycles have their front brake on the right. So in actuality having the front brake on the left is an American anomaly.

Anyone notice the CRASS logo on the disc?

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