Thursday, September 18, 2008

Slick and Attired: Wearing Whatever You Want

Yesterday, after viewing the Smart race video, a number of commenters seemed bothered by the fact that I was not only helmetless but that I had also failed to put on my bib shorts completely. Please note that this was simply a calculated and cunning psychological ploy. By showing up at the start line looking as though I could hardly even be bothered to finish getting dressed, I conveyed to my opponent the confidence-destroying impression that my victory was simply a given and that the race was merely a formality. Had I taken the opposite approach and shown up riding a road bike, wearing a full kit and a helmet, and with my legs glistening with embrocation, I would have been beaten before the word "go."

Also, my helmet was at the dry cleaner's.

Of course I realize my choice of attire was even more dangerous than the sum of its parts (or lack of parts), in that I was on a cyclocross bike, and had I attempted a dismount and remount I ran a very real risk of getting my bibs caught on the saddle and crashing head-first onto the pavement. But it was simply a risk I had to take. I was desperate for a win. And without the watchful eyes of USA Cycling or any other governing body upon me, I was free to pursue victory by any means necessary. Had I been offered performance-enhancing drugs prior to the event I would not have hesitated to use them. (As it happened, only recreational drugs were available, and they didn't help.) And in my defense, I think I did at least have a blinky-light on the seatpost which I used for the ride home that night. (It wasn't a "hipster cyst," but it might have been a distant cousin, the "nerd canker.")

Of course, I'm not surprised people were upset about the helmet. (Though I am surprised people thought I was wearing a messenger bag. Look at that thing--it's tiny and it's got a zipper! Unless your job is to deliver VHS tapes one at a time that would be a pretty awful messenger bag.) We live in a time when having a brake on your bike is seen as a matter of personal preference, but not wearing a helmet is considered suicidal and an affront to human decency. Which is not to say that you shouldn't wear a helmet. Obviously it's aways better to wear one than not to wear one, and you really can't go wrong putting one on. But I will say that in some sense a helmet is kind of like a yarmulke (or, if you prefer, a kippah) in that it tells the world you are a member of the Congregation of Safety. And just because you don't wear one all the time doesn't mean you don't believe in safety and should be scorned. Some of us simply choose to worship in our own way when and where we choose, as godless and wrong as it may be. (Sure, the fact that I'm not afraid to ride in traffic without a helmet yet I'm genuinely scared of going through those metal revolving doors in subway stations might mean my perception of danger is a bit skewed, but seriously--you could break a finger in one of those things!)

Moving on, once again I have been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of free printed matter:

In this case, that matter came in the form of The Ride Journal, and it came all the way from England--a place where "Z"s are "S"es, "parts" are "bits," and Robbie Williams is still famous. It also features a truly impressive array of contributors, as you can see from the table of contents:


I honestly enjoyed this, and I'm grateful to the editors for sending it to me. In the world of bike-related content, there's "bike porn," and then there's "bike erotica." "Bike erotica" is produced by the sorts of people who look at boxes full of greasy bike parts, grow wistful, and start photographing them, and it's consumed by the sorts of people who are similarly moved by such photographs. This is definitely "bike erotica."

This journal is nicely ecumenical in its approach to cycling, but one theme that came up and made me think was that of looking good on the bike. Not looking good in the sense of looking like a Euro-pro, but rather looking good in the sense of being able to wear street clothes comfortably while riding. In particular, in "Velocouture," Patrick Barber points out that up until now in the US cycling style has been driven by sport rather than practicality, since riding here is traditionally seen as a recreational pastime and not as a means of transportation. "In a way," he writes, "thinking about cycling in street clothes requires that you shift your thinking about why you are on your bike. Instead of being in workout mode, you are in going-somewhere-but-want-to-look-good mode: to work, on a date, to the coffee shop." Ultimately, his point is that by being a normal well-dressed person on a bike instead of a peloton refugee in lycra you inspire other people to do the same and to integrate riding into their everyday lives.

I absolutely agree. But I also maintain it's not as simple as that. Sure, you don't need to dress like you're about to start a stage race just to throw a leg over a bike and ride to your friend's house. But you also shouldn't have to feel like you need to dress in "street clothes" if you'd rather ride in cycling-specific attire. Similarly, while some people may be embarrassed to ride their bikes without dressing properly, just as many people are embarrassed to ride their bikes in cycling clothes. Certainly we've all seen the new road bike owner who's got a pair of superfluous baggy shorts on over his cycling shorts because he hasn't yet come to terms with wearing lycra in public. In many ways, cycling is about losing things, and one of the most important things to lose is modesty.

In fact, as a proponent of starting our own Nation of Cyclists, I'm prepared to go so far as to say that it's not we who must shift our thinking--it's "society" that must change! Take the workplace, for example. Hey, if you're doing your job, why should you have to do things like wear pants? If you want to walk into the office directly from a training ride and marinade yourself in your chamois for a little while as you get up to speed instead of changing into your "business casual" attire you should be allowed to do that, however misguided that might be. If you want to wear your "safety kippah" all day long as you stand in front of the copier in order to show your deep commitment to safe cycling you should feel free to do so without discrimination. And if you want to wear your Speed Vest as you navigate a warren of cubicles so your colleagues can see you distributing memos at a brisk 3mph then nobody should be able to tell you to take it off.

Would you demand that the Jew shave his beard, or the Muslim shave his beard, or the the Sikh, uh, shave his beard? Certainly not! Why, then, must the cyclist be divorced from his or her sacred vestements?

I dream of a world in which the lawyer may clomp around the courtroom in SPD-SL-compatible shoes, the dentist may perform root canals while wearing a Serotta jersey, and the investment banker need never remove his Assos. (Actually, I guess these days the investment banker has all day to pedal around in his Assos.) I long for a day when muddy-faced mountain bikers can report to work while wearing Primal jerseys and CamelBaks. And I staunchly support the fixter's right to wear a hoodie at all times, even during those rare occasions when he bathes.

Just don't ever wear armwarmers with a sleeveless jersey. That's just wrong.

161 comments:

JohnM said...

first?

pack phil said...

Podium

Treespeed said...

Podium

Lucky 7 said...

NEVER wear Crocks.


A

yep. said...

Unless youre retarded..

Dtown said...

podium!
--John

Anonymous said...

Read the post and still Top Ten!

streepo said...

last!!!

Dr Y-Fronts said...

Woohoo! Mazal Tov!

Anonymous said...

top 10 !!!

areUpake? said...

uhhhh arm warmer's with sleeveless... I shudder to think about it.

Tractor Operator said...

What about the kids, though, bikesnob? What will the kids think when they see you riding without a helmet? More importantly, what would all of us do if you contracted Traumatic Brain injury from the sidewalk, and could no longer entertain us with your wit? Helmet shmelmet. . .

TJ Eckleburg said...

HMMMM, I wonder why they think Snobby is Jewish????

Anonymous said...

no helmet ? I am dissapointed Biksnob

Anonymous said...

Maza lTov

Lucky 7 said...

Our very own Anon had a piece in The Ride. Nice work. It's not everyday that one shares a table of contents with Greg LeMond, that big pile of crazy.

How does it feel to be famous, Anon?


A

sharpE said...

Helmets are for dopers and sandbaggers.

Dtown said...

Oh crap, I accidentally typed my real name after my requisite but retarded podium post. Oh well, call me John, the Dtown tag is silly anyway and ties me slightly but unnecessarily and unwantedly (?) to C.Mass, also from Denver-town (the bad part haha, sucka). I shall heretoforth use my real name as my moniker for my infrequent and uninspired blog comments.
--John

AH said...

MESH UGGA

urchin said...

Maybe it's just my strict upbringing, but wearing the safety kippah indoors always seems over the line. I personally don't wear any form of skypiece inside, but I'm really only taken aback by the helmet transgression on others. Dorky but functional out on the bike, dorky but oh so dorky in the supermarket.

--doff that puppy.

Critical Ass said...

***Dorky but functional out on the bike, dorky but oh so dorky in the supermarket.
***

That's what I thought until I locked my helmet to the bike with my cable lock and it got hosed by a passing dog.

Camp Cupboard said...

I wish my video store had a delivery guy, ahem-courier.. How awesome would that be?

Ryan said...

I'm surprised that you could actually endorse something that has Dustin Klein's name attached to it. That's a big step BS...

Anonymous said...

Awsome the pink bike on the mag's cover has the same paint as my bike! I like my bike better thou, I use 2 brakes and my drive train is on the right side not the left.

kale said...

Sleeveless jerseys are not NJS approved, so it'll never happen.

Anonymous said...

That's definatly my new dream job ... Blockbuster Messenger. All the thrills of the Messenger lifestyle without any of those damn huge/ awkward packages

Anthony said...

i want to hate the speed vest, but i don't know if i can.

liz said...

arm warmers with sleeveless. sorry to say, I've seen this.

We live in a time when having a brake on your bike is seen as a matter of personal preference, but not wearing a helmet is considered suicidal and an affront to human decency.

THIS.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060911102200.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080903112034.htm

safety in numbers? I think not. Usually, I am stuck behind some fixtard who can't ride consistently through traffic or some moron on a mountain bike who decides to play with his phone while riding in traffic and wearing flip-flops.

Mr Wiggley said...

Get a bike!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCS_OnF2qCE

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

"recreational drugs"=dank pot




signed_

Video_Drome in chicago

JPB said...

An occasional jaunt sans helmet can be fun, as long as you don't say something stupid like, "I don't need a helmet, I don't crash" or some other lame justification.

Camp Cupboard - In a small town with the initials S.C. on the mid, left coast, there is a pizza joint that delivers videos with the pizza. How awesome is that! However, they will not pick up a sixer for you on the way.

leroy said...

Oh sure, you say you are for freedom to wear whatever we want, but there's not one word in your post defending the baggy jersey.

Hey, it's a fashion statement, okay?

Besides, it wasn't always baggy.

But yarmulkes? Really, it's just a given that no one really looks good in a kippah. Even those trying to cover bald spots.

And if you're wearing a kippah because someone at King Kog told you it's a chick magnet, oi vey.

ant1 said...

Sleeveless and armwarmers is pretty bad, but sometimes I go out wearing only arm and leg warmers and a speedo to cancel out the biker's tan.

erik k said...

I think this means blogging has now officially jumped the shark

kale said...

ant1 1:20...

Ew, what are you some sort of Fire Island triathlete?

ant1 said...

kale - I don't get the reference. Is fire island a flamer hang out?

wear a helmet! said...

A group of Denver cyclist have been doing fundraiser and taking donations over the last sevaral months for a non-profit space to fix your bike free and hang out with messengers. They are now opening a for-profit track shop where you can buy things and hang out with messengers.

Johann S said...

Last!

streepo said...

Sleeveless and armwarmers is pretty bad, but sometimes I go out wearing only arm and leg warmers and a speedo to cancel out the biker's tan.
And i thought I was the only one.

kale said...

ant1...

yes. It's the Castro of the Hamptons. I'm sure there's a lot of Dentists there in speedos on Pinnarellos.

kale said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that

ant1 said...

kale - now that I'm better informed, the answer is no, I'm just a retard.

kale said...

Then wear a helmet, too.

Katie said...

I just went to the dentist last night. He cycles. I asked what kind of bike he rides, and he said: "In the 'burbs, I ride a hybrid, and in the city I ride a mountain bike."

So he doesn't have a Serrota, but then he does have two houses.

Critical Ass said...

Wear a Helmet...

Are you talking about Derailleur Bike Collective? I just donated a bunch of parts to them at Tour de Fat. I had my kids with me and stayed a total of about 10 minutes since the place was over-run by twenty-somethings in Halloween costumes.

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that I've seriously considered trying to develop a line of (girls') datewear for bicycling? Not that I really have the skills for it, but I certainly have the need...

Critical Ass said...

Anon -

That sounds like a job for Frilly

frilly said...

Snobby--there's a reason for bike shorts, some butt cracks are just not attractive.

kale said...

Anon...

I would love it if a girl showed up for a date in this

datamonkey said...

pants at work? You east coast folks with your high falutin ways.

frilly said...

anon 1:59 & CA--

Terry makes a line of cycling skirts. Its a mini-skirt with cycling shorts sewn in. They're kinda cute but a little pricey.

ant1 said...

anon 1:59 & CA & Frilly:

There's a girl working on getting michael ball to make keirin cut jeans.
www.bethbikes.blogspot.com

Wade said...

look at all the people without helmets! I feel like a filthy reactionary.

http://video.amsterdamize.com/

Anonymous said...

The one factor that influences my bike clothing choice is distance.
Sure I will ride a few blocks or a mile in street clothes. Riding 40-60 miles on a roadbike in anything but shorts with a chamois is not fun, unless you like chafing.

SteveL said...

Over in Bristol UK we are advocating wearing cycling gear as everyday clothes, starting with bright yellow safety clothes. We already have one local politician
wearing the top over his suits

bisickle said...

I live in Northern California, and I hook up with enough group rides to fill my week. There's a guy from Ohio (and I used to live in Ohio) and he is false-tanned, and barbed-wire tattooed with highlighted hair.

I've never seen him, even during the winter months when I'm longsleeved jersey'd up, thermal vested, capped, with knee warmers or embrocation cream or both! I've never seen him wear a jersey that has not had the sleeves cut off of it.

Does he wear arm warmers with his sleeveless or cutoff jerseys? Yes. Does he wear wind vests over top of his sleeveless jerseys with arm warmers? Hell yes. Does he wear long tights, obvisouly...but never a jersey with legitimate sleeving.

I don'tknow if he's worried about the undoubtedly unnattractive cyclist's tan or if he really wants to show off his wicked cool tattoos, but I'll tell you one thing...he definitely looks like a jackass.

kale said...

bisickle-

He's too hyphy for sleeves.

thejakesnakes said...

I still wear denim so I can custom dye my Condor

Anonymous said...

je suis soixante

bikesgonewild said...

...so wired magazine informs us that a 12yr old 7th grader has developed a "three dimensional solar cell"...


...in the kids own words...“I came up with an innovative solar cell that absorbs both visible and UV light. My project focused on finding the optimum solar cell to further increase the light absorption and efficiency and design a nanotube for light-electricity conversion efficiency.”...

...in other words, here we are, arguing about what kind of "metal music" you have to listen to, if yer fix gear has one, two or no brakes &/or a top tube pad...
...are girls tight pants appropriate for hipster bike guys ???...
...is it proper to wear a yarmulke or a helmet in the office or a store (& just what are we trying to protect if we're past 12yrs old & haven't developed important scientific data) ???...
...oury's or no tape ???...
...does "jumping the shark" even hold water anymore or has that phrase mobius strip-ed itself into jumping it's own shark...
...is bsnyc/rtms wrong when he thinks "Z"s are "S"es in england ???...well, yes on that point...they're "Z"eds actually...
...will assos attired investment bankers now grow beards like jews, muslims & sikhs to hide themselves, due to the fact that they're unemployed yet living off money made off the newly poor...

...so, when a 12yr old, 7th grader is defining important scientific breakthroughs, none of this other shit means, well, shit...

...except the armwarmers w/ sleeveless jerseys thingy...now that is not just wrong, that is one egregious fucking sin...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Instead of cyclists wearing street clothes when riding bikes, I propose that the non-cycling majority be required to wear lycra around so that cyclists do not feel self-conscious. Besides, that cutie who you have your eye on? If the back of her thighs look like she's smuggling a bag of nickels, wouldn't you want to know about it now, rather than later? Or if the guy you've had your eye on lost out in the crotch-bulge lottery, isn't that important info to know that "up front," so to speak?

ant1 said...

maybe some 12 yr old will invent a armwarmers that automatically slip off if worn with a sleeveless jersey.

and now, to take this discussion where no one wants to go...

mmm... 12 yr olds.

kale said...

That's it I'm wearing armwarmers with no shirt tomorrow in protest of the public education that stifled my creative energy. And no helmet.

Anonymous said...

How the heck could anyone tell anything from that photo. It looks like you are wearing a dress to me.

urchin said...

C.A. from way back:
***That's what I thought until I locked my helmet to the bike with my cable lock and it got hosed by a passing dog.***

Nope-gotta carry the lid, no question. Helmets locked (or strapped) to bikes also = not cool.

Needless to say, I have a code of conduct and attire at least as complex as RTMS--I just don't have the talent for sharing it entertainingly...

as you were

bikesgonewild said...

...wishiwasmerckx...absolutely excellent point...

...& ant1...even if you 'backburner' those 12yr olds for 4 full years, you know, 'til they're like legal maybe, yer still gonna be a bit of a sic fuk...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Safety third!

Siked to watch this tonight.
http://bikeporntour.blogspot.com/2008/02/bike-porn-ii-bikexploitation.html

Ronsonic said...

Totally awesome bassist Victor Wooten very often shows up for work in a Primal Jersey.

Totally awesome bassist Dave Vincent of the recently discussed Morbid Angel never does.

Mike said...

BikeSnob,

I'm surprised you didn't comment on the fact that the pink bike in the artwork isn't properly secured to the bike rack its propped against. The chain is merely draped over it to provide the illusion of hipster security.

Commiecanuk said...

I like the whole "nation of cyclists" thing, we can use the old Lehman Brothers building as our headquarters. I can see it now, right over the Lb sign we can put a "cycle nation-no fat chicks" banner.

Not wearing the helmet puts you in the esteemed company of Gary Busey, the albino toothy actor was a huge opponent of motorcycle helmets until he fell off his parked bike and hit his head on the concrete curb, resulting in a coma. Upon awakening, he saw the light, and is now a major proponent of padded curbs.

I was accused of being too Toronto centric yesterday miscrediting the location of the freeing of Sniffy the rat, when it really happened in Vancouver, which I never heard of, and frankly, ...sounds made up.

ant1 said...

BGW - even a 12 yr old would have gotten the fact that it was a joke. I thought 18 was legal anyway, but since you seem to be the expert on the subject, I'll take your word for it. See you at the next NAMBLA meeting!

kale said...

NAMBLA and NORBA conference in Vancouver Oct 26th, 2008. Bring your Yankee hat and shades.

Anonymous said...

Ronsonic,

Sinister Minister likes bikes?

TheStolba said...

Sleeveless W/ Armwarmers are still alive and thriving on The Wolfpack Hustle.

I sport them whenever I CAN!

Anonymous said...

anon mous

genersal lsmenedd said...

keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool

AnnaZed said...

Dude, the helmet thing was bad because we kids were all watching. You know these things.

M. Weed said...

Snob, if you're that familiar with the convergence of grind and death metal, then you should be familiar with the godfathers of the former style... Siege and Discordance Axis. Particularly their drummers, Robert Williams and Dave Witte.

My claim to fame is that one time Robert Williams did some lines of coke off of the top of one of my speaker cabinets at a show. Two years later I ran into him again and he told me that he considers himself my "surrogate musical father" and he brought me copies of all the CDs he ever played on.

Since he is grind's godfather, when you insult grind, you're technically insulting my brother.

While Robert was in Nightstick he apparently did a lot of heroin with the dudes from Morbid Angel.

bikesgonewild said...

...oh, my, my, my...aren't we sensitive...

...let's not get ugly now, if it was just "a joke"...

one leg warmer guy said...

what about wearing just one leg warmer? . . . and not on your leg

bikesgonewild said...

...in canada, that's called a toque...

...oh, wait...i see...never mind...

Anonymous said...

berrie don't follow the snobs example...HELMETS ARE A MUST.

ant1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ant1 said...

BGW - please, I made a joke, you called me a sic fuk, I replied with more jokes. Who's sensitive and ugly?

JPB said...

Not wearing a helmet, fully aware of the possible consequences (brain damage, death) is not right or wrong. It is a choice.

Wearing a helmet because somebody told you to, and never questioning it or considering the positive aspects (sensation of wind in hair, taking a calculated risk once in a while) is just as lame as not wearing a helmet because you think it looks dumb.

To summarize, helmet or no helmet, make your choice based on what you think is best, maybe even try both!

bikesgonewild said...

... ... ... ... ... ...
... ... ... ... ... ...
... ... ... ... ... ..., ...

bikesgonewild said...

...in other words, i was "slick & attired: of our conversation...

...please be wearing whatever you want" on yer sleeve...

...or go sleeveless, as the case may be...

Anonymous said...

JPB said: "Not wearing a helmet, fully aware of the possible consequences (brain damage, death) is not right or wrong. It is a choice."

Just curious: when you splat your head on the pavement, do you expect an ambulance to show up, scape you off the ground, and take you to a hospital? And who should pay for that? You make a choice, but you don't assume all the risk and cost. Perhaps the rest of society should make a choice and not bother scraping you up...

Gerchof Sirdribeldik said...

It is important to wear clothes on bike, especially is you are large-breast cooking woman.

JPB said...

BGW - Did I just get the brush-off? Harsh!

Anon 4:28 I always wear a helmet. I also have a collection of broken helmets. You can't make somebody be safe, you can only let them know what can happen if they choose not to be.

If you ride a bike at all you are already taking a big chance with your safety. To most people riding in traffic is taking your life in your hands, but we do it anyway. Do I only deserve to be scraped up off the road if I am wearing a helmet?

Safety isn't everything, that's all I'm saying.

Mike D said...

@Critical Ass,

I think he's talking about Battlesteed / Track Shack. See here:
Cycle Jerks

frilly said...

jpb-I always figured wearing a helmet was like wearing a seat belt. Sure there are times when I don't want to wear the seat belt-they wrinkle blouses terribly & they're uncomfortable when its -10 & you've got 5 layers of clothes and a coat on-however I always buckle up. Just like with the bike helmet.
There are no gaurantees with safety but the odds can be improved.

ant1 said...

anon 4:28 - I agree with you. Everybody makes choices. People should be free to put themselves in danger (sky diving, caving, bungee jumping, diving with sharks, blah, blah, blah...). By the same token, society should be free to make its decisions. We seem to have chosen to help people in need, regardless of their choices (drug addicts overdosing, lazy bastards on welfare, drunks in accidents...). Some people might disagree with those choices, but unfortunately, we can't decide what aspects of society we wish to support. We can't do much to force others to make good choices (or ourselves even, sometimes), but we can (attempt in vain to?) change how society responds to those bad choices. It's not fair, but then again, neither is...

bikesgonewild said...

...jpb...nah, i was directing it at ant1, who i first & foremost usually get along w/ fine...

...but as regards your point, i fully agree...you can't & will never be able to fully regulate safety & therefor if we're left up to our own devices, we'll usually (not always) pick a course wherein we're safe, despite whatever we wear...

JPB said...

Frilly - I am an advocate of seatbelts and bike helmets as I am sure that they have both saved my life at one point or another. I am not an advocate of doing what you are told. I also do not like being told I have to wear a seat belt or a bike helmet. If I don't want to wear either, that should be my choice.

I also have front brake on my track bike.

Thanks for the response, I'm all tingly!

Critical Ass said...

Mike,

That's great that Denver is getting its own King Cog but has no velodrome. But there will be PBR at the grand opening do it's all good.

ant1 said...

BGW - that's what's great about the internet. You have no way of picking up on the subtle body language and intonation clues that make civilized discussion possible. Nor do you have the face to face aspect that usually keeps us civil. Misunderstandings quickly turn into stupid war of words. But given the forum, it's all in good fun as far as I'm concerned. If only we could have another iTOTM to focus/release our pent up anger on...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Commiecanuck: Toronto? Vancouver? If even our northern brotheren cannot keep it straight, how do you expect us geographically ignorant Ah-miricans to figure it out? Now go get your act together before we boycott your bacon.

bikesgonewild said...

...i'm off to work, where i'm generally angry at everyone...

...must be my nature...

sprider said...

ant1, be careful what you wish for, things are just getting back to normal here.

I always wear a skid lid, but I rarely wear a seat belt. It's mandatory here, but not a primary pull-over offense. Just my way of living dangerously.

frilly said...

'subtle body language,intonation clues'

Agreed that is the problem with the internet. And, sure, there are a couple of you, including snobby, of course, that I would love to have the chance for a face to face 'discussion'.
Now I'm getting all tingly!

Andrew said...

snobby, please wear a helmet

Anonymous said...

I was looking at the jobs section of craigslist and look what I found:

SPANDEX Model (Davis)
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/tlg/844739319.html

Dorky cycling or sports clothing can be as sexy and dark and mysterious as tight girls jeans on anorexic guys. You can even provide erotic services via email!!!
I wonder if he pays more if someone poses not only in spandex but with an aerodynamic helmet and those clicky shoes

Anonymous said...

Do you know the leading cause of head injuries? Riding in cars.

How many of the helmet police rock a helmet when they ride in a car? I, for one, think we need some new laws on the books. Mandatory full-face helmets, nomex suits and 5 point harnesses.

The second leading cause of head injuries is falling down in the shower. Please sign my petition, Carpets in bathrooms: not just for old folks' homes. Think of the children!

frilly said...

Speaking of, Sprider, did you have a chance to come down for any of ToM?

sprider said...

Frills, we got Ike'd out and had to settle for interweb coverage. Next year!

Nobody has commented on the speed vest. I can't imagine how that works. Where's a 12-year old when you need one?

vancouver (is evil) said...

until cigarettes and cars are illegal, my vote is for freedom of choice. especially the freedom to fall off my mountain bike (in front of liz) and then say "damn unicorns and faeries and their text-messaging"

frilly said...

I was just wonderin' cuz Saturday when we were waiting for the podiums to start, there was this guy who started a conversation. And, I swear, it was like he had a bsnyc/frilly checklist. First, he talked about Astana, then he talked about the Gateway Cup, and then he called me a bike groupie when I showed him pics I had taken that morning! I jokingly asked him what gave me away? He says kind of smugly, well I think its obvious why you're here. And I thought, whew!, dodged that bullet cuz everybody knows that #1 its all about the racing then, Geez, these guys are hot and I want one!
Then I got kind of pissed & quit talking to him. Anyhoo.

leroy said...

I once rode a fixed gear in reverse while wearing a Speed Vest and went back in time.

Sprider -- happy now?

Craig Giffen said...

Oh oh! I know Patrick Barber, he biked to my house and I photographed him for my humancalendar.com website, holding up #6. He is indeed a snappy-yet-functional dresser when it comes to bike commuting.

5 said...

i give up. Who's iTOTM?

sprider said...

leroy, I thought you were older.

So the speed vest works with a flux-capacitor, go figure.

sprider said...

frilly, you never know where those chance meetings can lead.

My buddy and I shared our umbrella with a couple of strangers at the ToCali this year, long story short, he's riding across America with them next summer to raise money for researching a cure for Parkinson's.

You weren't wearing a "RTMS seal-of-approval" nametag that said "Frilly", were you?

Christopher said...

I've been in a court wearing SPD-SLs!

Travis said...

Why would people wear a fish when cycling? Or even wear a fish at all?

Judi said...

BSNY - Another funny post! I love the "safty kippah" phrase. Especially cuz I get so much shit on my own blog when I post riding pix (sprider, frilly!)

AH - you spelled it wrong, it's "Meshugana".

BGW - arm warmers with a sleeveless jersey is only wrong when your a guy and have no arm muscles. It actually looks pretty good on girls with tattooed shoulders, ok?

Andy Pandy said...

Hey Frills, Could have been Yaraslav at TdM as he was staulking you over at BKW?? Always nice to have secret admirers tho. And I so want one of those vests. And could you program it to retain you highest speed on display so you could strut around like a puffed up rooster all day at work.... Look at the back, a big 18 mph today

Uncle Ted said...

Wang, dang, sweet poon tang!

POON TANG

Anonymous said...

Re: The Ride Journal: not THAT Dennis Bean-Larson!

Anonymous said...

In many ways, cycling is about losing things, and one of the most important things to lose is modesty.-you

hipsters are the polar opposite of modesty; losing modesty is one of the most important things to lose in cycling. -me

Kevin Jaeger said...

Gawd, there's nothing more tedious than the lectures about the safety kippah. It turns me off wearing one at all, though I sometimes still do.

Nice moves on the 'cross bike, Snob, you were too modest to mention you dropped those cruising hipsters on the bridge like Lance dropping the peloton on a climbing stage.

But I gotta say those hanging bib straps are just not halal, err, kosher at all.

Brendan said...

I'm pretty sure bib tights sans jersey has to be the worst offense in the world of cycling fashion. The creep factor seems to increase exponentially when aerobars are added into the equation..

Anonymous said...

Primal wear jerseys are not for mountain bikers, observational studies and clinical trials have found that it is typically dentists on there first road bikes; something modest in the $3,000 range.

Scrooge said...

not wearing a helmet is sort of like the knuckle tat "no brakes" thing previously discussed here....it's just one more indication Darwin had it right

Philip Williamson said...

Riding your bike, helmet or not, will add more more years, and more healthy years, to your life.

The more people ride their bikes, helmet or not, the safer it becomes. It's already safer than driving.

When "Society" chooses to aid junkies, drunkards and helmetless riders when they get into trouble is chump change compared to when "Society" decides to bail out lending institutions and investment bankers for their short-sighted lifestyle choices.

Anonymous said...

I don't wear helmets because I enjoy upsetting the pro-helmet brigade.

leroy said...

Sprider --

You are correct. When I rode backwards with the Speed Vest: I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

If those folks with the Speed Vest could combine their flux capacitor with a reflux incapacitator, their product wouldn't leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Anonymous said...

The only time arm warmers and a sleeveless jersey work is when a hot chick wears it.. like that hottie on the Cycle Jerks site... whoa !!

jessica said...

pretty sure helmets should only be necessary if one plans to text while riding

as for riding/date/everyday attire
they make jeans with lots of stretch in them these days, personally what i wear, tight pants are legit for bicycling as long as they have a decent percentage of spandex
just have to hope your date appreciates butt sweat
and to be more specific for those who want to appear more feminine, tights and a skirt is extremely practical and comfortable

ps id like to say something about denver here but cannot think of an appropriate and encompassing statement to explain my disdain for that city

Anonymous said...

hey snob, check this out:
http://fixedgeargallery.com/2008/sept/2/moabiker11_aim.htm
horny times!

The Grimp said...

Helmets are the fig leaf of bicycle safety. Or the merkin, if you prefer.

The Grimp

Anonymous said...

back door

superman said...

unde roos

mayo said...

kent ucky

The Queen said...

I must correct a grave error in today's post: Robbie Williams is not famous in England anymore. He lost the plot, grew a beard and is now chasing UFOs in Nevada, so technically he's one of you lot now and we don't want him back.

mom said...

time 4bed

poser said...

oury grip
rise rbar
tite jean
five gold
njss tamp
cycl ecap
jonp roly

cool guy said...

drop bars

butthole said...

assw ipes

anon 2:11 said...

I've been a proponent of the "mind your own damn business" movement for some time now. But Snobby does not subscribe, until now. Much like the Republican party, that has been politicizing family life for 30 years, you can't just spin around and ask people to do you what you say, not what you do.

Or that your lifestyle is a "private matter" especially when you post a public blog and connect yourself to urban bike races. At least when I don't wear a helmet I'm on my fixie so I can be sure nobody wants to act like me. But Snob was on a cross bike, the fastest growing segment of the sport. I'll bet half the guys in cat 4 races this weekend aren't sporting helmets because of this.

Once and again we find people guilty of the crimes they denounce others for. But Snob isn't a hipster, trendy show-off, he just knows what he is doing.

Welcome to MY church snob. Now, with your support, maybe we can get some of these other pious morons some faith.

anti 2:11 said...

nofu ture

slickened tire said...

Among the reasons for not wearing a helmet, "Nobody tells me what to do!" is right up there with "It messes up my hair," on the natural selection scale.

Back when Lance Never Tested Positive Armstrong was always winning the Tour, it was funny to watch all the local fashion slave roadies when the Tour was in the mountain stages. People who routinely carried their own helmets into bike shops in case they wanted to test ride a bike would be riding around in their full Git Kit except for being bare headed. They were everywhere, for about a week, then they put their hats back on.

ant1 said...

Ha, there's my iTOTM. All we had to do was mention 12 yr olds, and along comes anon 2:11 trying to recruit members for his church.

tex said...

Sometimes I just flat forget to put on a helmet. A couple of times in the last year, I've gotten halfway to work before realizing it isn't just a breezy morning, but I'm not wearing a helmet. Never have been a morning person.

rectless said...

nohe lmets

anon 2:11 said...

Sorry for my absence, I've been busy at work. The cash drawers at Taco Bell aren't going to count themselves.

Anonymous said...

Who's robbie willams?

coco said...

Talking about oufits... i hate the families that on Sundays, take a ride all wearing their cheap sporty outfits that only wear once a month, take over the whole lane and only slow you down. Saludos from Mexico City.

The Director said...

"Just don't ever wear armwarmers with a sleeveless jersey. That's just wrong."

I assume y'all don't get farmer's tans, otherwise you would understand the need for this "occasional" fashion faux-pas previously described.

Gnarles Darwin said...

"CHKN SUIT"

johnnyvu said...

DFL!!!! which means none of you poor bastards know that the apocalypse is NOW:
http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/848373538.html

dangerbunny said...

I thought I lost my modesty when I moved to Japan -- public bathing, karaoke, donning a black back over my head and putting puppets on my legs to entertain the local geriatric community -- but no, no, you are right. It wasn't until I pulled on my first pair of biker shorts, (and even then, it was fine until I was photographed in them).

Anonymous said...

http://theworstbloggever.blogspot.com/2008/09/im-off-to-park-now.html

patrick said...

Thanks for the props, Mr. Snob. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Cheers

Patrick Barber

Anonymous said...

Dear Bike snoob,

On occasion I have worn my tights all day. Simply got tired of changing only to change again before I went home... beside there are very comfy. Sure I got some remarks going to meeting and screening but do I care? Sometimes I ever where my helmet for a 15-20 minutes while I check my e-mail.... I could fall of the chair reading the crap that people write!

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