Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moxie: Who Needs It?

On Tuesday I ran a number of cycling-related websites through the Genderanalyzer, which yielded some interesting if not entirely accurate results. Of the sites analyzed, the most masculine by a huge margin was Lance Armstrong's Twitter, at 93%. Well, I recently discovered that another cycling-related site is sitting right on Armstrong's wheel in the masculinity department, coming in at a resounding 89%:

I'm not sure what kind of e-pheromones Son of Zone Baby is exuding to elicit such a positive result (besides the fact it has "Son" in the title of course), but if you're looking to read something that will put some hair on your chest, go check it out.

Meanwhile, the blog you're currently reading is holding fast at 52% female, which while not entirely accurate is at least consistent. I for one value consistency over accuracy, which it so happens is the same rationale used by many devotees of friction-shifting. Besides, regardless of whether you're running/rocking male or female reproductive organs, when it comes to being successful the real determining factor is moxie. And like this blog, moxie is gender-neutral. Take this messenger-versus-model race, forwarded to me by a reader:


There's a long tradition of pointless, apples-and-oranges, mismatched exhibition races in our culture. Jesse Owens raced against a horse, Mario Cipollini raced against a horse (though rumors he subsequently bedded it are unsubstantiated), the TV show "Top Gear" pitted a Ford Mustang against a horse, and even I raced against a Smart (but only because no horses were available, probably because the ASPCA got wind of the Mario Cipollini incident). However, I was immediately skeptical about this particular mismatched exhibition race when I heard the messenger, Al Busano, claim that he delivers over a thousand packages a week.

This is a bold claim to say the least. Even if Busano works ten hours a day, seven days a week, he'd need to deliver over 140 packages a day in order to meet that number. That's 14 packages an hour, or roughly one package every four minutes. Either: 1) Busano is omnipresent; 2) Busano delivers mostly interoffice correspondence; or 3) Busano is inflating his number. In any case, even if he is rounding up by a factor of ten, he should have no trouble beating a fashion model on a skateboard, right?

...even if her "secret weapon" is apparently the ability to employ her legs in conjunction with her labia while riding a skateboard, and even if she's wearing the notoriously arresting Sue Ellen Mishky blazer-with-a-bra-for-a-top combo that made Kramer crash his car into a pole in that "Seinfeld" episode:
Well, if you were pulling for the mendacious messenger to defeat the skateboarding model rocking a prehensile vagina, I'm sorry to say you were disappointed. Personally, I suspect the contest was rigged, and that the people at Style.com somehow stacked the odds in favor of the model. If they'd really wanted a close race, they'd have made her race against Mario Cipollini, though had they done that there's a good chance the competitors never would have gotten on their respective forms of wheeled conveyance and the video would have taken a decidedly pornographic turn. Or else, they could have used one of the female messengers from this recent New York Times article. My personal choice would have been German emigree Carmen Burkhart, described in the article as "a slight, tight-bodied 43-year-old who smokes and drinks only hot coffee for hydration, even in the summer:"

(Carmen Burkhart: weltschmerz in motion)

In a match-up like that, the smart money would clearly be on the wiry dehydrated nicotine-and-caffeine-addled Teuton over the ditz on the skateboard. Not only that, but the video would have been way more entertaining to watch.

But competing in phony races isn't the only thing that takes moxie. It also takes moxie to maintain your bicycle's drivetrain. And since moxie seems to be a non-renewable resource in our culture, the Great Trek Bicycle Making Company is finally bringing to the mass market a drivetrain that requires no moxie whatsoever in order to maintain:


The carbon fiber belt drive bicycle drivetrain is nothing new--we've already seen it from Spot--but Trek is wisely marketing it to the commuter rather than the racer (though Travis Brown has been running and/or rocking one too). While I've been critical of Trek in the past, I have to say that I'm not only in favor of the belt drive commuter bicycle, but moreover I feel as though Trek is doing me a personal favor with it. I've voiced my irritation over the fact that so many commuters are unable to lubricate their drivetrains before, so a bicycle that will run quietly without lubrication is nothing less than a godsend to me. I can only hope that the lubricant-impaired take to this system en masse and I never get stuck behind another squeaky, rusty, non-shifting drivetrain ever again. After all, Trek's fellow Wisconsinites Harley Davidson have already successfully shown the world that when convenience and low maintenance are more important than performance a belt drive is the way to go. (They've also convinced an entire generation of dentists and lawyers to ride around on overpriced flatulent motorcycles while wearing leather chaps, but that's something else.) And the rest of us don't even have to give up our chains--apart from the metaphorical chains that bind us to our irritating noisy-biked cousins, that is.

Not only that, but while killing off the noisy chain the Great Trek Bicycle Making Company may have unwittingly dealt the coup de grâce to the already-withering colored deep-V trend as well, since the new belt-drive District comes with high-profile rims of orange:

No way colored deep-Vs can survive this with their street cred intact. I never thought I'd say this, but thank you, Trek. Thank you.

90 comments:

KOA said...

?

Anonymous said...

1st?

Anonymous said...

whoo hoooo !st

Anonymous said...

Podium!

Anonymous said...

Damn - 1st loser...

innerlight said...

meh1st!

that guy said...

Top ten! Yeah!

Anonymous said...

All you ballers suck my hate.

Anonymous said...

Topper most of the poppermost

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

mmmmm. prehensile vagina

Bill said...

top 12ish?

brettok said...

Top 20, 1st Aussie!

(I hate myself)

Pavel said...

Looks like the pedicab is getting a makeover

Commiecanuk said...

That Trek is actually a nice bike, although they refer to the color as "vintage grey". Someone should tell Trek that all that grey in the olden days is due to B&W photography. I'd get it resprayed "porn sepia".

Check out that thing above drivetrain, a guard. That's brilliant! A guard to protect your pants (or penis, or labia) from entering the drivetrain. How innovative! This is clearly sprung forth from the fertile minds of Lance's F1 team, which is a great name for a team, in a completely different sport.

America is going to be ok.

ELGEE said...

Here is the scoop, if you want a CLEAN,QUIET drive train, which is kept that way by a biodegradeable product...GET SOME SQUIRT LUBE! Water and Wax emulsion which lasts a REALLY long time between aps.
www.squirtlube.com for reviews...
I'm not shitting you, the stuff is the bomb and new in the states as of 2 years ago.

Elgee

libertyonbikes! said...

snob, sorry i disagree, a squeaky pulley is like the buzz of a bee. you know it's near, but where is it? That squeak serves a purpose, even if it's a quick snobbish judgement as you pass a school of noisy pulley salmon headed upstream
to work. as for the messenger? lost
to a mongo pushing model? is he fictional? a little more public flogging is in order....

ELGEE said...

AND....if by chance your "belt drive" fails in the field....you are screwed, try carrying an extra around in your jersey pocket. Everytime the bastard unflexes and smacks you in the back of the head you will need to go see you psychiatrist for anger management issues.

Bill said...

the idea of the race, the production of the video, the acting.....all was nothing short of brilliant. dare i say genius?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Inspired by yesterday's GI Joe post, I went shopping for some camouflage pants, but...wait for it...I couldn't find any...groan...We now return you to our regularly-scheduled programming.

Anonymous said...

I think those Trek rims are actually "orange sherbet (sherbert)" colored.

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

Anonymous said...

No way I'm googling Squirt Lube while at work...

RTMS - power steering and serpentime belts squeak. Maybe they'll have to have the cadence of Lance on a fixie in Austin, but I expect you'll encounter squeaky comuter running/rocking a belt drive by 2010.

JAT in Seattle

Cameron said...

I'm impressed they are actually using Gates belts. That's a good ol' American company---or at least the last I checked.:)

Lucky said...

The only race a skateboard would win over a bicycle is a contest to see which could send it's runner/rocker face first in to the pavement quickest.

When Miss Trumfio almost took a header they must have just cut the moment before when her labia got caught in the wheel. Her secret weapon was almost her demise.

jimmythefly said...

JAT -those are v-belts you're talking about, running at much higher RPM than this toothed belt.

I, for one, welcome our new belt-driven internally-geared hubbed bicycle overlords.

Strayhorn said...

Cameron said: I'm impressed they are actually using Gates belts.

Gates? (groan) Now you'll have to carry a spraycan of belt dressing in your jersey pocket. My commute is more often disturbed by the shriek of a power-steering pump belt than it is by rusty chains.

wishiwasmerckx said: Inspired by yesterday's GI Joe post, I went shopping for some camouflage pants, but...wait for it...I couldn't find any

Dude, even Osama can find camo pants. I'll bet he even uses BDU.com.

Mr. Hands said...

Enumclaw!

innerlight said...

RTMS,

It appears that ambiguity loves company. As it happens, coming in just behind you, at a very androgynous 51% is none other than Rock Racing's homepage. Must be all those fancy tight jeans.

Unfortunately, Genderanalyzer only does sites written in English, so Cipo's secrets will remain safe for now. The porn bass line on the homepage may be a clue, but I'm betting it's just a clever obfuscation. Too bad he and Ellen Degeneres can't get married in California anymore.

http://www.mariocipollini.eu/

meh.

innerlight said...

...um...that would be 51% female of course.

Bill said...

Al is only doing 100 miles a week, so Al is also running/rocking 10 packages per mile, which I don't quite get. He is one of those guys who always claimed to make $1000 a week as a messenger, which at my 2 buck per package rate, i couldn't understand, which is why i lasted a whole month.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snob?

What's a labia?

Anonymous said...

While waiting for the video to load, 10 minutes and counting, it occurs to me that style.com must be really grateful for the hits a BSNYC link can provide.

I guess I'm not alone in wanting to see a prehensile labia.

Jim said...

Carmen Burkhart's weltschmerz is giving me a bit of a schwerpunkt.

Jeremy said...

I thought today's post was surely going to touch on this example of Man v. Machine.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snob,

Chains? What happened to the commas?

Is your IOJB riding technique starting to influence your writing style? Though you may be losing patience with breaks in the literary action, some of your readers need an extra second of time, to complete the knowledge-absorption process. Please help.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

not only did he lose to a model, but she even had time to change her clothes somewhere along the route and still win. word.

Anonymous said...

anon1st!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jeremy,

Wow, I didn't know about that. I'm disappointed no horses are involved though. What's a novelty race without a horse?

Anonymous 2:57pm,

I had no idea I was shedding commas, though I think too few is better than too many. Too many commas is like brake chatter.

--BSNYC

Mongo Pusher said...

Skateboards are the new "push-bikes".

Anonymous said...

Honey? Your labia is a bit squeaky. How about I lift the guard and give it a shot of Squirt Lube? What? Ouch! Ow! . . . hello 9-1-1? send help.

Strayhorn, you and countless others missed the joke. Camo pants are not to be found because they're camo!

Anonymous said...

Coming up next in the long tradition of pointless, apples-and-oranges, mismatched exhibition races in our culture: Chris Hoy versus Lewis Hamilton (some kind of an automobile racer). Dec 14.

kale said...

Concrete Rodeo?

"Why bike boy, Why? Why be bike boy: The chicks man... ch... It's sexy... It's the closest I'll ever be to being a rockstar"

Critical Ass said...

Cameron,

I doubt if Gates belts are still made in the USA. The headquarters is in Denver and the company was bought out about 10 years ago. The manufacturing plant here was massive, covering several city blocks. It was closed down and the copper wiring was stolen by meth-addled white trash. Now the area is an "urban redevelopment" and will soon be home to overpriced lofts for yuppies with two chocolate labs and no kids. Like most urban redevelopments, the surrounding neighborhood sucks ass, so keep your Trek Lime locked up well.

Factose Intolerant said...

Gates was bought out by Tomkins PLC a few years ago, it's now British owned.

Commiecanuk said...

I'm still waiting for the Victoria Pendleton versus Victoria Beckham naked jello fighting.

Pay-per-view

Caaah said...

Yeah, I noticed the clothing change too. What was the point of that whole race anyway? It proves that with bad video editing you can make a really slow messenger look even slower? That you can make a model's bad taste in clothing look even worse?

kale said...

It's too bad "the District" doesn't come with the integrated coffee cup option that it's rare cousin "SoHo" did.

The question still remains:

Who's going to put an orange CKH into an integrated system?

ken e. said...

belt-drives, skateboarding models and couriers that stop in traffic! what's not to like? in a post-ironic orange julius with pizza dog kinda way...

Anonymous said...

"Too many commas is like brake chatter."
That's going on my wall at work.

Jim said...

Anon 4:01 - you can put it on your wall at work, but unless you work in a bike shop, it will be reminiscent of something I should put on my wall:

"Making arcane cycling references in non-cycling environments is like cross country MTB racing a recumbent trike while towing a BOB trailer full of weed."

Bill said...

was that kant or hume?

fibdem said...

Don't forget what was very nearly the saddest mixed-race loss for cycling:

http://www.inlineplanet.com/08/02/keys-to-speed.html

Hegg was only a perfected eagle-hawk away from ignominy.

Anonymous said...

That's the best looking Trek I've ever seen.

fibdem said...

And Bill/Jim:

It was Austin, but he should have said "road racing." In mountain bike racing we call that a "neutral support vehicle."

Anonymous said...

You know - if you want to skew that gender analysis more towards 'male' - you should try tea-bagging your top tube. When the temperature has dropped below freezing and your crotch is still warm and gamey from that blitzkrieg from the office to the bar to make happy hour. Yeah, that should do it.

Anonymous said...

it was heidegger i think.

ez said...

Gates moved their manufacturing from the plant down on Broadway (in Denver) in the early sixties, after a massive worker strike that nearly lost them the business (it's a sort of famous story about labor screwing themselves). The only thing American is their offices (now in the heart of Bro-Do here in Denver).

Surly Bastard said...

I kept yelling at the messenger, "shift up, dumb-ass, shift up, Labialiscious is kickin' your ass, you over-spinning, grandpa bike riding, wannabee-messanger, idiot!"

Too late I realized I was using so many commas he was unable to hear me over the noisome-chatter. Not to mention the clunky sound of unlubricated hyphens, typos and spelling errors.

Bill said...

damn, i gotta study up on my velosophers

Bill said...

yeah, he clearly wasn't trying, i think the fix was in, she must have promised certain "favors" for letting her win

fibdem said...

Heidegger said that the four-fold had to be rung for the BOB to BOB in its ownmost, and that arcane cycling talk only obscures the struggle between Earth and World.

Cameron said...

Critical Ass:

By gawd you're right, Gates was bought out by Tomkins plc a UK company in 1996. Tomkins is selling for $5.53 a share right now, so go get ya some in case this beltdrivenbike thing takes off...oh shit...another great site idea! beltdrivenbikegallery.com. I just can't get enough of this stuff!

Anonymous said...

Wow Trek, A Singlespeed for under $1000! What a deal!

leroy said...

I understand that Trek will soon be producing a mountain bike version of its chainless District.

It will feature RockShox up front and a Fox Float on the back.

It will be marketed as a belt and suspenders.

(Okay, okay, I apologize. Yeesh, we can't all drop witty bon mots like Larry the Cable Guy.)

AMRcyclist said...

A model that can skate... That's something. But racing, doing her her, getting changed and who knows what else... and winning "the race"!?! That is hot!!!!!

Still, I agree and vote for Carmen!

Stoled to tha IUM said...

Nice NYC bike theft...I'm on the verge of an existential crisis just looking at it

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24295774@N04/2759274862/

sine0wave said...

All I'm saying is that the girl 's wearing a Chicago Flag T-Shirt.

Makes me proud!

Hedley Lamarr said...

Red, we miss you:

Or are you playing your version of bike-polo

Anonymous said...

Anyone who uses words like "labia" has to expect that computers will assume that you are female, or at least a pussy. Unless you misspell it, and then it will know that you are a guy.

C'mon-- man up, BS, and show our new computer overlord just how butch you are.

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Anonymous said...

That Carmen chick is official. I drive 11 hours a day in the city and shes everywhere...for a 43 year old, I might have to accost her.

Anonymous said...

After delivering a thousand packages a week you would think he knows how to correctly wear his messengerbag.(padded section on your shoulder not your armpit)

Anonymous said...

wild guess is that you don't reckon this amongst your top efforts in posting.

however, for me it was. i'm sure that i will feel new peace with random secret laughings throughout the day tomorrow.

thank you: true, funny, and connected ...from top to bottom.

Anonymous said...

LUCKY, dare I link you to this video... skateboarding is fast as hell, too. Two wheels or four... both are awesome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc2eqTWc5So

bikesgonewild said...

...re: "Too many commas is like brake chatter."...& here i thought commas induced "break" chatter...
...hey, really, just sayin'...

...& re: Bill said...
"was that kant or hume?"
...i kant decide hume you are speaking of...

Puntification said...

bgw...

Heidegger sense of Hume-or.

BikeLemming said...

"even if her "secret weapon" is apparently the ability to employ her legs in conjunction with her labia while riding a skateboard"

Priceless....

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that RL Osborn (not really a good choice because he was not a racer at the time) also went up against a horse on his BMX on an episode of "That's Incredible!"

The horse won, btw.

Anonymous said...

RL Osborn That's Incredible video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn0H-po5HWY

Simon said...

That messenger was riding as about as slow as someone who would buy a Trek Soho. Not to mention- waiting at a traffic light??? Come on.

I think the airheads at Style.com took the "I deliver thousands of packages" a little too literally, he never said he delivered thousands of packages in a week.

If only the model had ridden the hipster pink Fixie at the modelling agency, then we could had a great shot of her being kicked OTB and see her facial bones (since it's 1mm below the skin) grind along the asphalt in the same way that she can't stop on a skateboard.

Anonymous said...

These guys seem to suggest that BSNYC is actually a nebulous cloud of gas, presumably genderless:

http://deadmanparty.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/lance-armstrong/

Yogi said...

http://www.sydbma.org/bikes
gives a 96 % male

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