Thursday, October 30, 2008

Moral Fiber, Not Carbon Fiber: Doing the Right Thing

This morning, as I commuted on my Ironic Orange Julius Bike in the ironically-named "bike lane," I came upon a truck. (What else would one expect to find in an ironic bike lane?) It was one of those big oil trucks making a delivery. On the left side of its bumper was the word "Pass," and on the right side was the word "Danger." As a cyclist and as a human being, I do my very best to stay on the path of righteousness. I never inflate my tires past the maximum pressure rating, I never exceed single serving sizes when consuming snack foods, I smoke only legal substances out of my three foot bong, and I always follow washing instructions to the letter when I pay other people to do my laundry. As such, I realized I was in quite a predicament. Passing on the left was impossible, as there was no space between the truck and the parked cars, and passing on the right was indeed dangerous, as I'd have to ride outside of the "bike lane" and in traffic--which of course as an urban cyclist I never, ever do. However, after straddling the IOJB for nearly 20 minutes, I realized that I would need to confront my fears and court danger. So I closed my eyes, grit my teeth, took a deep breath, and walked my bike safely on the sidewalk and around the obstruction.

So as a person who strives for good moral character, I was very pleased to learn of this book from a reader in the Netherlands (which is that country bordering Holland) who is justifiably concerned about our own national character here in the United States:

"Originally published in 1910, Alfred Rochefort's HEALTHFUL SPORTS FOR BOYS is an optimistic 'Can Do!' prescription for the kind of vigorous, competitive, yet thoroughly wholesome boyhood that for more than two centuries has reliably bred great American men of character, courage and good common sense. In our 21st Century, 'post-modern' era of video games, virtual reality and 'couch potato kids,' Rochefort's vision of active boys creating fun with their own minds and muscles is a reminder of everything great about boys and about America, and a Clarion Call to a new generation to 'get up and get great!' -- Before it's too late!"

I could not agree more, and I'm glad to learn that my firm belief in camping/boating/swimming/cycling/skating/sledding/sleight of hand magic septathalons is not only validated in print but also taps into a heritage that is nearly 100 years old. I'm also glad that "Rochefort's vision of active boys creating fun with their own minds and muscles" was published way back in 1910 and that he's probably no longer among us today, because if he were his vision would almost certainly have landed him in prison by now. I suppose the narrowness of his vision is why there's not also a girls' version of this book, though I suppose if there were it probably would have involved a lot of ribbon tying, fabric mending, and doll hair brushing.

If still you're not ready to buy it, this sample chapter on the Amazon entry for this book should be enough to convince you. It starts thusly:

CHAPTER III

KITES: WHERE FOUND; HOW MADE;
THEIR PRACTICAL USES; CLOSELY RELATED
TO AEROPLANES– A GREAT SPORT

Spring winds favor kite flying. This is another world-wide sport, and it was popular with old and young in China – the land of the kite – at the time when the Egyptians were cutting stones for the pyramids. Everybody knows, or should know, what the great Ben Franklin did by means of a kite, though the kite through which he learned the nature of lightning was of a model that is not often seen at this time. This was the old bow kite, the kind that every beginner learns to make, and which needs no detailed description here.

Ah yes, I'll never forget learning to fashion my own bow kite as a child, nor the character-building beatings that ensued when I flew it incorrectly. I can only imagine what "Healthful Sports For Boys" has to say about cycling. Rochefort's feelings on Campy vs. Shimano are no doubt as compelling as they are insightful.

Unfortunately, not everybody is as morally upstanding as I am. The city, and indeed the world, is rife with bike thieves. In fact, I just received this plea from yet another victim:

Hi snob,

I have never written you before, but I have been an avid reader since the beginning. I am reaching out to you today because my bike was stolen. I know you can't post something every time some jackass gets thwarted by the bike thieves, however in seeing the attached picture of my bike you will see it is close kin with the ironic orange julius bike-- and that may (hopefully) pull at your heart strings

yes it is a "hipster bike" with the white deep V's and the white ourys- sans brake. however it is just my city bike- my commuting bike and I love it with all my heart. I raised it from a trash heap in southern california nursed it back to health, and the rest is history.
it was stolen on broadway in front of the Shakespeare and co book store between west 4th and washington place

The frame is an orange celo europa road frame from the 80's
It had risers with white oury grips and the front brake which is in this photo is no longer there. The wheels were white velocity deep v's the rear hub was a phil wood.
There aren't alot of these around. And being an orange and white "hipster bike" it should be easy to spot.
Thanks for your help
- joe gunn

Ps. I'm willing to pay a handsome reward.

I'm posting this because not only would I like to see this person get his bike back (and if you have any leads, please send them directly to the victim at joe@joegunnphoto.com because I can't be bothered) but also because his plea did indeed tug at my heart strings. That's not because this bike shares anything with my own IOJB, though. The two couldn't be any more different. Not only does the IOJB have a surfeit of brakes, but it's also not even remotely orange, which is a crucial component of its irony. No, it tugs at my heart strings because I too was raised back to health from a trash heap, and I'm also orange in hue. Most importantly, though, the victim promises a "handsome reward." And that can mean only one thing: he's prepared to give whoever finds the bike former "Wonder Years" star Fred Savage:

It doesn't get much more handsome than that.

But the most important gift a theft victim can give his fellow cyclists is knowledge, and I strongly believe that when you post a cry for help you should also explain how your bike was locked (or wasn't locked) so that at least others might learn from your misfortune. As it turns out, Mr. Gunn's bike was locked, however it was locked to a scaffolding. And unfortunately scaffolding can be unbolted. Mr. Gunn knew this, but then he made his second, fatal mistake--he figured it would be fine because he would "only be five minutes." And as soon as you think that to yourself, you've lost your bike. When it comes to bike theft, always remember that five minutes is four minutes and fifty-nine seconds too many. Which is why this Craigslist posting is irritating:


Firstly, the lock's only as good as the object to which it is secured. Secondly, even if you didn't lock your bike at all, you can still blame bike crooks. One doesn't have to have read "Healthful Sports for Boys" to know that it's wrong to take something that belongs to someone else. The smug nature of this posting leads me to believe not only that it was written by a Kryptonite employee, but that perhaps Kryptonite themselves are behind many bike thefts in the same way that anti-virus software makers are probably creating all those computer viruses.

Then again, people do lock their bikes poorly, as you can see from this picture sent to me by a reader in San Francisco:

I guess orange is striving to be the new stolen.

Then again, there are other ways to lose your bike besides getting it stolen:



Missing!!! Redline Conquest Pro!!! (Bike Kill!!!)
Reply to: sale-898166508@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-10-29, 4:03PM EDT

Hey there,

I crashed my bike on the way home from Bike Kill knocked myself out and had to be taken to the hospital in a ambulance. Unfortunatly they left my bike on the side of the road.

The bike is a black redline conquest pro with white bar tape and a silver arione saddle. It has oval handlebars with a fsa stem and seatpost. It is set up 1x9 with dura ace components a mavic front wheel and shimano rear wheel.

If you know anything or have seen this bike please let me know!

Dave Osterbeck
206.930.3418

I'd hate to make assumptions, and I'm sorry to hear that this person had to be taken away in an ambulance, but since he was coming from Bike Kill I think we do at least have to consider the possibility that he was blind drunk. Also, riding a cyclocross bike with Dura Ace components and an Arione saddle to Bike Kill is kind of like going to see a GG Allin show in a Calvin Klein dress and trying to catch his feces in your Louis Vuitton handbag. Then again, none of this makes the loss of his bike any less tragic. (Well, maybe just a little less tragic.) In any event, if you have any leads give Dave a call, because again, I can't be bothered. Much like the author of this post:


I'm sorry too.

Speaking of cyclocross, I was reading HTATBL recently, where I came upon these:

Now I admire Sacha White's framebuilding skills as much as the next person, but I have to say he really missed the mark here. Not only are these expensive, but they're obviously terrible for racing cyclocross. You've have a hard time even riding a bike in these things, much less dismounting and remounting it at speed. They're not even compatible with clipless pedals! The only use I could possibly see for them is standing around in the mud. And of course you can just as easily do that barefoot for free. (At least that's what I do.)

Indeed, we certainly have grown soft. Whither Alfred Rochefort?

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

POD to tha IUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


1

Mark said...

I am a PODI UMHO today!

leroy said...

Podium, Schmodium. Immodium.

mendacity said...

podium

wishiwasmerckx said...

fourth again?

Anonymous said...

top 10

bloodline said...

top ten

worm irks said...

Satisfied with this result after my two year ban.

Anonymous said...

top 10?

bloodline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

The bike is a black redline conquest pro with white bar tape and a silver arione saddle. It has oval handlebars with a fsa stem and seatpost. It is set up 1x9 with dura ace components a mavic front wheel and shimano rear wheel.

Hey, tell that guy I saw his bike at DCCX this weekend. Matter of fact, I must have been drunk or something, because I swear to God it looked like there were 30 of them in the Men's B race, one after t'other. Gotta cut down on the Chimay.

If he's looking for it, I suggest he go to the USGP / Mercer Cup, or to Whitmores in a few weeks, and bring a sock full of quarters. When he sees the guy on the Redline Conquest Pro, white tape, silver Arione seat, he should cold cock the SOB, grab the bike and run like hell.

That's what he deserves for stealing a unique, and uniquely accessorized, whip like that Redline.

Anonymous said...

so I guess because it's chilly out you're taking a short lunch and posting earlier these days?

Anonymous said...

I would be on the podium had i not been busy combing my doll hair and polishing my pit boots.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that sledding made the list, but masturbation was left off.

AH said...

I always love the GG Allin references.

And barely tangentially related: I saw the Dwarves play 2 night ago. So there.

leroy said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for misspelling "imodium" in my earlier post.

With all this talk of fiber, it just slipped out.

Anonymous said...

Is "Joe Gunn" his porn name?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

kale said...

I've never had a bike go missing before, and I hope to god it doesn't happen. I hope that guy gets his grip on reality back, because it's obviously not coming back, it's stolen and you should have had your "friends" take it.

But, it's probably more likely that he didn't have any friends if he went to Bike Kill with a stock $1300 CX bike. Sorry for your loss BSNYC...

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with brake hoods?!?

roomservicetaco said...

Hal from Bicycle Habitat and the famous bike lock grading videos says that anything not locked properly in NYC is community property. Seems profound in both it's appropriate- and inappropriate-ness.

JoeGunn said...

anon 1:01-
not my porn name

isn't it supposed to be your middle name and the street you grew up on?

so that'd be.... Rex state route 525

Luis Molina said...

Thank goodness ribbon tying, fabric mending, and doll hair brushing are boys sports today.

bikesgonewild said...

...holland ???...i thought the netherlands was next to the nether regions & speaking of "healthful sport for boys", i grew up playing in my nether regions...

...as far as rochefort is concerned, isn't he the guy who invented the salad dressing ???...sounds like he's more interested in 'fiber' in your diet than 'moral fiber OR carbon fiber'...

..."doing the right thing" in alfie rochefort's book (if you will) is probably taking a good poop before you make a sport of playing in your nether regions...

...just sayin'...

The Woulfes said...

i think you missed the point on the boots, they're pit boots, as in for use by the mechanics, not by the racers,,,

streepo said...

Isn't the Netherlands in western Canada? With a name like Rochefort he is probably a typical Quebecois telling everyone to poop on the rest of Canada.

Jelliot said...

And I wasted all that time looking for an orange bike in Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

Would have read the post but I'm still stuck on the first paragraph -- can't get my head around the spacial relationships of you, your bike, the truck, the parked cars and the street. I mean, how are the parked cars to the LEFT of the parked truck? Is the navigational center of the Snobish cranium on the fritz? Please resolve these mysterious geometries for me.

frilly said...

JoeGunn, you're about 3 months late but since this is a bike blog it was decided bike porn names only-your pet's name and your brand of tire. For example, I would be Taffy Armadillo.

Sorry about your bike.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:57,

3 words:

one way street

JPB said...

Sucks to have a bike stolen, regardless of the circumstances. Last time I had a bike stolen, I was trying to trap a large heron to remove fishing line from around it's neck. After finishing with the bird, I got to walk home. Yay, karma!

I'd forgotten about that particular Porn Name formula; not sure how well it works either!

Ladies...meet Pogo T-Serv! Maybe Meatloaf Nevegal is better?

joegunn said...

thanks frilly

ya know... that pet+ bike tire porn name thing does ring a bell of past comments

I got fred savage zip-tied in the back of a van for any one with information...

-theodore Vittoria

bikesgonewild said...

...re ::: the woulfes...

...ummm, like wow...ah, truly insightful, dude...

Mark said...

Not for nothing but c'mon, you are in NYC, shame on you for not locking your bike or using something strong enough to prevent theft.

This ain't Kansas, Dorothy, where you might be able to leave your house or car unlocked and you don't have to worry.

That said, having a bike stolen sucks and I hope that cat get's his back. Lock it or lose it.

Anon 1:01 said...

Joe Gunn, are you an action figure?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Frilly, I had forgotten about that post. Guess I'm Cosmo Gommitalia. Sounds nasty, huh?

BikeSnobNYC said...

The Woulfes,

Thanks--I realize that, and also that I should have used a more sarcastic font.

Joe Gunn,

This is my personal porn name formula.

--BSNYC

kale said...

Damn, I guess I'd be one of those homeschooled hyphenated pornstars - "Porter Schwalbe-Gatorskin, I'm here to fix das plumbing."

ant1 said...

That's why they sent me, I am ze expert.

Boz said...

Dollarhyde Iron Cloak Kaliente. Nice ring to it.

joegunn said...

Anon 1:01-
w/optional kung-fu grip

Bikesnob:
thanks for clarifying

yours truly
-mustached woody

R. Zach Thomas said...

Next time I'm in a road race and I can't get rid of some wheelsuckers in the last mile, I'm going to pull a GG Allin on 'em.

Rivendell Esplanade said...

Perverts!

Critical Ass said...

The best theft deterrent out there is "Schwinn" on the down tube. Theives equate my Super Sport commuter to the bum bikes from Wal mart and never fuck with it.

Suzie Fortezza

Anonymous said...

Kira Highroller.... but I'm a man, mang.

Anonymous said...

Hey wait, if I use my childhood pet and road bike tires:
Bambam Everlast!

Anonymous said...

my name, per frilly's formula is Smelly Small Block 8

Obamacampaign said...

Vote Obama Vote Obama for change....change the nation!!!! Time is running out!!!!

Obamacampaign said...

Vote Obama Vote Obama for change....change the nation!!!! Time is running out!!!!

Stuggy said...

Bike porn name:

Mo Roubaix

Or, if you go with childhood pet:

Saffy Roubaix

Or, choose road or MTB tire, that could change to Mo Komodo or Saffy Komodo.

I guess that works, Mo Komodo for the butch MTB movies, and Saffy Roubaix for the metro road movies...

Claude Road Winner II Duro said...

GG Allin... sigh.

They just dont' make feces like they used to.

leroy said...

BSNYC --

Unfortunately, you never considered a porn name formula for recumbent riders.

I'm sure the love-lorn Tour de Bronx rider identified in your pages recently could use all the help he can get.

(I confess I saw the photo shoot in question. It was shortly after the start of the ride and way too cold for any sane person to entertain amorous thoughts.)

So what formula to use?

I propose that all last names be hyphenated and begin with "Bent-".

I'll leave it to better minds for the rest of the formula.

But one could do worse than using a place one once lived as the first name and the color of one's bike as the last.

I could be Bennington Bent-Blue. But only if I were to engage in acts polite people don't perform in public. Like recumbent riding.

(Now that I think of it though, "recumbent porn" seems a category tailor made for a supporting actor award.)

kale said...

leroy-

There's already a mag full of positions for 'bent porn.

I think the jilted green 'benter could use one of these babys.

I almost had to gouge my eyes out due to the lack of sepia toning.

Critical Ass said...

Leroy said: "I propose that all last names be hyphenated and begin with "Bent-".

I think that would pretty much limit you to gay porn

frilly said...

Kale, I saw one of those in action last summer & I kid you not, my first thought was, "Hmmm, doggy style."

Critical Ass said...

...and it combines the awkwardness of a tandem with the freakishness of a recumbent

kale said...

It's great from the stoker's point of view!
-comfortable seating
-clear view of the scenery
-easy communication with captain
-handcrank, other options available
It's great from the captain's point of view!
-conventional riding style and position
-clear view of the road and the stoker
-easy communication with stoker

...Sounds more like 69.

Daddo said...

Lynskey Newton!

Anonymous said...

Those are the best tandems. The stoker has a freewheel, so they don't even have to pedal. Let's face it, most tandems are purchased by male cycling enthusiasts who want to drag their wife along. The old lady doesn't find out that she has to pedal synchonized to her man at 90 rpm while staring at his ass sweat stain the whole time. I would guess that most tandems get ridden twice before the woman vetoes.

Anonymous said...

Ah-ha. I'm visualizationingly stunted. Was (see former anonymous post) confounded by the Snob's conundrum -- couldn't see the parked cars on left and truck and bike -- all easily resolved by putting bike lane on LEFT. In the mighty city of Brooklyn, most lanes hug to the right, and so this was, for a time, the only way my brain could construct the scene. This is what people mean when they say, "you're a fucking retard."

Gnarles Darwin said...

Alfred Rochefort went on to found NAMBLA and also became a world renowned bike dance choreographer.

Anonymous said...

those boots are ridiculous

Anonymous said...

I always put me family coat of arms on me Wellingtons I do...

Gnarles Darwin said...

My Mountain Bike Porn Name:
Blur, Blue Mountain

leroy said...

Kale --

Arrrghhh! My eyes, my eyes!

Andy Pandy said...

In New Zealand,( a place far oft from that manufacturing giant of the U S of A but adjacent to the Land of Oz,) and riddled with sheep, there is a connotation about a man who wears gum boots , irregardless of how much they cost, and a social stigma is assigned. Think Red Neckersen may have some relatives there

Cocky Buggerton said...

Crikey! I lawst me gummy cleah aptha sheeps arse!

Andy Pandy said...

Has any one got access to RTR #30 as mine has gone missing in the post or stolen from my letter box by that pimple faced self abusing adolescent down the road. Will pay top dollar as I am lost , confused and frustrated without it and need to know exactly how to perfect “ Hase KettWiesel Style”. Frills given you are the “Style” Kitten , could you fill me in???

wishiwerepithy said...

deVinci Simcoe.

Is that too boring?

I only last 20 minutes.

Commuting sucks.

Mark said...

Speaking of tandems, anyone ever try hooking up a Burley to a Trail-a-bike to an adult bike?

Of course, a more of expensive option would be to get a KidzTandem?

wishiwasmerckx said...

DeVinci? You feel compelled to call me out on my spelling, then you spell your pet's name "DeVinci?" Sheesh. Are the DeVincis the northern cousins of the DaVincis?

kale said...

mark-

The KidZTandem looks conspicuously like something an overbearing father would make his kid ride. I bet Ricardo Montalbán has one and makes Hervé Villechaize ride in the front while he barks: "Cadence, Tattoo, Cadence!!!"

Anonymous said...

having your bike stolen sucks and it's a shame about joe gunn, but why leave a bike with expensive phil wood hubs locked on the street?!?!? i have my bike that i love (with phil hubs), that always comes in with me, and the beater that i could bear to lose that i ride when i have to lock up....

sprider said...

kale,

"And last, but not least - "The Captain is in back, upright, with a clear view over the head of the stoker who is in front, recumbent. Yet the captain's head is close enough to the stoker's head that it's possible to kiss while riding."

Is that "bent porn"? Why does it stop there? My imagination is going wild!

It's cross season, I could be "Juicy Remount", but I prefer;

Willie Houffalize

red neckerson said...

i aint voting for change im voting for large bills like 10s and 20s im voting for whoever is going to give me the most money now somebody hold muh beer while i go beat the shit out of some canadian

anybody seen any canadians i havent seen one since i left the country music hall of fame good thing there aint no canadian country music singers ill tell you what

skippy continental said...

yep, that's me.

HAHAHHAHAHAH!

obamanation said...

Obama the choice for change. He will put the world back in order.

Obama! Obama! Obama

Philip Williamson said...

"the woulfes":: uhhhhh...

That front-kid tandem is awesome! My son rode in a bobike front seat for a couple of years, and it really was the best(I think you can get them from Cleverchimp now).
They never do let the kid steer, though. Hmm...

This was a really funny post. I laughed out loud a couple of times ("lolled"), and just figured that BSNYC tog tfel dna thgir dexim pu.

-"Pippa Smoke," AKA "Tiger Blade" AKA "Chick Jones" AKA "Pancake FireXCPro"

Yes, we do let the kid name the pets.

evan said...

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2008/oct/2/GayleLutz.htm

The top pic is quite strange...

kale said...

evan-

haha more "gears are for queers" / "Fuck Gear$" esque thing. But the owner lives in Eugene, so it's definitely meant to be a statement about gender identity and gear-ratios.

46:17 is the golden ratio in the LGBTQD community.

Anonymous said...

obama the choice for a new generation

Anonymous said...

Candy Gran Prix!

wishiwerepithy said...

wishiw...merckx

It isn't a pet's name. I think it's spelled wrong too, but I like the bike otherwise.

http://www.devinci.com/

Also I realized my girlfriend would be called Opus St. Joseph. Wow. That wouldn't move my blood to the right place at all. I'm getting out of the p0rn business.

ant1 said...

All the bullshit political comments just reminded me I saw a dude riding a bike with an obama disc front wheel last night (Atlanta, by piedmont park). Does that make it 3 or 4 obama bikes?

frilly said...

AP, I think you may have just cured me of my small crush. Say it ain't so.

wishiwerepithy said...

Perhaps BSNYC's road naming rule is the problem. By Frilly's rules I can be Liz Quick Roller.

Maybe I have a future in porn after all.

Jimbo Motovader said...

PORN NAME

Anonymous said...

"the woulfes": hmmmm...you are quick. The force is strong with you... Stick to writing about 1000 dollar steak dinners.

CameltoeAnne said...

I hate to be a huge geography dork, but Holland (north and south) are provinces in the Neatherlands. The two are used interchangeably (Just like America and the United States!)

To learn more about the world we live in and not look sound like you failed geography in middle school: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands

db said...

While you're in Wikipedia, Camel, you might look up "humor".

BikeSnobNYC said...

Cameltoeanne,

I was being sarcastic about the Netherlands bordering Holland. I'm well aware it's an island and doesn't border anything.

--RTMS

Matt said...

They have lots of dykes in the Netherlands. Sometimes people put fingers in them.

Matt said...

They have lots of dykes in the Netherlands. Sometimes people put fingers in them.

Karen R said...

Bike Snob, not all smug comments are corporate and not all corporate comments should be smugly dismissed...:-) We at Kryptonite really do care if people's bikes get stolen. There may be a few heartless drones among our ranks, but mostly we're just cyclists that work here because we care.

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