Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Touchy, Touchy: Catching Up With "The Climb"

Everybody wants attention. It's human nature. However, we all differ in the kind of attention we want. Personally, I don't like attention for attention's sake. That's why I don't celebrate my birthday, or write about my purchases, or dress outlandishly. (I do ride in a chicken suit, but I assure you that's simply a practical choice.) However, I freely admit I relish attention when it's paid to my blog. Unlike, say, being born, my blog is something in which I actually play an active role. So I was excited to learn that there's a new blog out there called "The Truth Hurts," because it talks a lot about mine.

Of course, if you're not me, you probably aren't particularly interested in reading about my blog. But I am me, and I plan to visit "The Truth Hurts" regularly, if only to read things like this:

For instance, bikesnob always complains about fixed gear riders and their lack of breaks. But why? We all know that us devout fixed gear riders hate brakes for one reason or another. Maybe he never took the time to learn to ride is bike properly. Or maybe he has a similar problem as some so called friends of mine, unable to grasp the concept of efficiently stopping without breaks.

Actually, I like to think I prefer brakes because I did learn to ride my bike properly. When you ride and race in all sorts of conditions you come to appreciate things like having as much control over your bike as possible and being able to apply stopping force to each wheel independently. Also, while I do "grasp the concept of efficiently stopping without breaks [sic]" I have yet to see it done. What I do see is people zig-zagging and fishtailing all over the place in order to do what you can accomplish with the flick of an index finger. I'm also not sure what's so efficient about using your tire as a brake pad. I was checking out the latest issue of Fixed magazine when I saw this:

"We have seen the light! Gone are the days of skidding through your Rubino's in a couple of weeks! Say nay to Gatorskins and their flimsy sidewalls! All hail the Conti Top Contact, which has two layers of Vectran anti puncture material and a large amount of rubber on the tread. Conti are so confident that if you get a puncture in the first year, they'll replace the tyre and tube, free of charge."

Hey, I'm all for durable tires (though I do get uncomfortable hailing something German), and there are certainly situations (like touring or commuting) when you want durability over performance. However, when you're using a tire on your track bike that weighs twice as much as a typical road tire just because you don't want to use a brake you're saying "I don't need to stop quickly or corner quickly." Part of being a smart cyclist is distributing weight as effectively as possible. If you want to go fast, put the extra 200 grams into a brake and a lever, not your tire. And if you want durability and couldn't care less about speed and performance, by all means use the heavy tire and the brake. That way the tire will last even longer. Using excessive amounts of rubber (or Vectran) instead of a brake is like using three condoms. If you need that much protection, maybe you should think about sleeping with someone else.

But mine isn't the only blog you can read about on "The Truth Hurts." You can also read about Prolly's:

Probablys blog is a little more interesting for several reasons. The main one being the simple fact that he posts a handful of pictures of riders doing tricks at spots that I used to frequent several years ago when I used to rollerblade.

Ah, I see. He's coming from a freestyle Rollerblading background. That would explain his firm grasp on bicycle performance.

But while "The Truth Hurts" and I may have different opinions when it comes to bikes (and to blogging) I like to think we both respect each-other. After all, a free exchange of ideas in which one party is clearly wrong is essential for the proliferation of intelligent discourse. And who could argue with this well-stated sentiment:

All of that being said, I simply want to offer a different approach then all of the previous bloggers. So I shall.

Alas, if only all bloggers felt this way. Despite the fact that "The Truth Hurts" seems to have it in for me to some degree (or perhaps because of it), I respect it vastly more than Robert Mackey's "The Climb," which you may remember from this past summer. Sadly, "The Climb" was a short-lived endeavor, probably because Mackey's interest in cycling was also short-lived. However, he's still out there. In fact, a reader informs me he was recently quoted in the Village Voice:

"A lot of those people almost ruined that experience for me," notes Robert Mackey, a writer for The New York Times website, referring to writing The Climb, a blogged account of his time riding much of the Tour de France route this summer as a novice cyclist. While the overwhelming number of comments were positive, Mackey found that a group of self-described "bike snobs" kept sparking dozens of "weird, angry" comments that he had to edit, including the bizarre contention that he had no "right" to do what he was doing, or even that he should hand over his bike to a poorer, more "worthy" cyclist—a demand made by the cyclist himself. It was a black-hole conversation, one that produced infinite heat and no light.

"It was an unbelievable experience—like editing graffiti," remembers Mackey. "It makes you feel awful about the world."


I was very pleased to read this for two reasons. The first reason is that, as I mentioned above, I like attention when it's paid to my blog. Yet despite the fact that I wrote about Mackey's blog repeatedly I never heard from him, nor did he make any mention of it. Could it be that, despite the fact that both "The Climb" and The New York Times website must have experienced an increase in visitors, they took no notice of my blog? Sure, I wasn't praising "The Climb," but I was bringing it to the attention of a number of cyclists and readers who might not have learned about it otherwise. And, amazing as it may seem, intelligent people actually do check things out for themselves and form their own opinions even after they read the negative opinions of others. Actually, sometimes they do it because they've read the negative opinions of others. I'm sure there were plenty of people who learned about "The Climb" here and then went and left some of those positive comments he mentions. You're welcome. Hey, even an angry email from him would have been nice. Well, I never got one, but finally in December I at least know he was aware of me.

The second reason I was pleased to read this is that I now know I was absolutely right about Mackey. Just like Mackey's approach to climbing the Tourmalet was to circumvent the path of pain and experience by buying a Cervelo, paying for coaching, and traveling to London for a custom insole, his approach to blogging was simply to delete any negative feedback he received like he was "editing graffiti." I'm not sure why some people have difficulty accepting the fact that some things can be painful--even the fun things, like cycling. Nor can some people accept the fact that just because you put yourself out there in public doesn't mean that everybody is going to like you. Yes, when you're eight years old you should expect to put on a show for your family in the living room without getting heckled. But once you're an adult you really should come to terms with the knowledge that when you put something out there for public consumption not everybody is going to like it--especially when that something is a blog about a really, really expensive bicycle trip. And hey, a blog without negative comments is like a 'cross race without barriers. Sure, they hurt to get over sometimes, but they're part of the experience and in the end they're part of what makes it fun. And calling someone a dilettante for spending too much money on a vacation is not a violation of their human rights.

One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy. Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don't understand this. Cycling teaches you that there's such a thing as necessary suffering and such a thing as unnecessary suffering, and that sometimes a short cut is a dead end. I'm sorry the hardships Mackey encountered while cycling and blogging made him "feel awful about the world." If he'd looked at them differently, they would have made him love it.

224 comments:

1 – 200 of 224   Newer›   Newest»
Ben said...

Last!

Anonymous said...

Winner.

Booo ya.

Surly Bastard said...

Explodium!

Anonymous said...

mofo.

Anonymous said...

yes.

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

fenriz said...

faen so close

Brian said...

It's about time Rollerblading got some props. I've been actively promoting fixed bearing rollerblading for some time. Watch for me at the Brooklyn Banks, yo.

John said...

podium?

Anonymous said...

TOP 10, KRAKA WUT

andrewflowers said...

bravo

Anonymous said...

podium?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Commiecanuk said...

Snob, you do complain about the fixies lack of breaks...I mean all they need is one chance to hit it big in the world of ironic entertainment, but who, in this uncertain economic climate (today's forecast:shitstorm), will give a break to someone with knuckle tats?.

GIVB REAK

Brian said...

Wrong. ROLR BLDE

kale said...

Freestyle skates don't have brakes either. I know this because back in middle school we used to say the same things that fgfs say about breaks on bikes. I wonder if it's these same thoughts that have carried over to the juvenile stage of hipsterism (25-40) from shredding the banks on 8 (or 4 if u rox skidplatez) wheels.

tsvidogg said...

Bikesnob, I love you dearly. But when you add (sic) to someone's quote, you should make sure you don't make a typo yourself. The original spelled "efficiently" correctly, but when you retyped it you omitted the second "i." He could just (sic) you right back. We'd all hate to see that happen.

John said...

dumb ass? I meant top ten of course, not podium?

Great post, Mackey and that other blog are lame. It's been up for all of about a week.

Anonymous said...

ROLR SK8S

mary pop said...

rather then leaving a comment on the climbs blog, I took a bus to avignon near mont ventoux and climbed it on a cracked 1984 px10. Then road down the hill and got the something past 6pm bus home. felt good

BikeSnobNYC said...

tsvidogg,

Thanks, corrected it. He can feel free to sic me with abandon. I make plenty of typos.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts

belgian.skinsuitslamz@yahoo.com said...

BSNYC must be a straight-up playa hata, yo –
and this $hit about hatas holdin the mayo? Damn, that blogga must be retardo gayo

MC Ice y Hot, now he sounds like an ese -
truth be told, he about as Latino as Super Besse

but give him a mic and he'll rock you like "Busy's Revenge w/ Kid Capri"
‘cause mowin down wack MCs with 700CCs is his mofu*kin destiny...

http://2skinsuitsandamicrophone.com/

fantz crazznapper said...

suck my podium

manicallday said...

I am not sure what I hate most about the fixed-gear fad. But if I had to choose, I think that it would have to be the awkward riding style of the riders. If most riders didn't ride like clumsy-drunken turtles then I think that I would be more accepting. But watching a fixed-gear lemming struggle up a hill is just too painful to watch. Even on flat land they tend to struggle to maintain any semblance of grace. I refer to this as the fixed-gear wobble.

Tex said...

You can't spell "skid" without "kid." Well, maybe some semi-literate bloggerz kan.

Anonymous said...

Top 28!

Bill said...

maybe it was going to france that made him feel awful about the world, i can't believe it would be just a harmless comment or 10

Team Lugged Nutz said...

So if I blog about you can I too be in your next blog? It may just draw more than one person to look at my boring arse writing........

tim bulger said...

BSNYC spotting:
http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2008-12-15#folio=C1

Commiecanuk said...

Breaks(sick)(sic)(sic for "sick").

Englush is grate.

Anonymous said...

Now I really feel sorry for Mackey. What a dink.

Lucky 7 said...

I wonder if TTH is upset because of all the grief over BREAKS, or maybe it's the BRAKES? No breaks is a union violation while no brakes is pure stupid freedom.

What a shame that Mr. Mackey (um'kay?) couldn't handle a few of the hardcores calling out his tourista status in cycling. Further proof that RM is a whiny little bitch, as if anyone was unsure.

There's no such thing as bad press, Snob. Keep slayin', chillin', rockin', and runnin' this blog thang!


A

fomenter said...

ironically, or maybe not surprisingle, the "Truth's" blog looks eerily similar to this one. he appears to be some demented stalker. or your alter ego. funny too is that the same blogs he so vehemently criticises seem to be his raison d'etre. the relationship is symbiotic. or is he just a tic?

mattoidbunko said...

Snob,

Was the other rollerblading to bike blog worth yours and our time? Please don't get caught up in what someone else has to say unless they really have something to say. Today's blog read like some third grade finger pointing. You're better than that. Would much rather have you pointing your third grade finger at pie plates and those rocking Primal jersey than rookies looking for attention by dropping anything BSNYC.

Ride on,

M.

Anonymous said...

Brakeless fixed gear riders are the epitome of "Wanker!"...they are most likely queer because they have a hard time understanding basic concepts such as men marry women not men marry men

Anonymous said...

BOBM ACKY

BIKE SNOB
INUR DEBT

CLIM BLOG
GAVE DAYS
OFSN ARKY
POST INGS

POOR GUYS
CANT RIDE
INFR ANCE

DONT TAKE
ITSO HARD

LOVE ANON

BikeSnobNYC said...

mattoidbunko,

I resent the suggestion that I'm better than anything.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

My favorite completely self-absorbed blogger:

http://sandiway.blogspot.com/

Some Guy on the Innernets said...

It will be interesting to see how your new fan will deal with the inevitable flogging he will get at his new blog. For some observers, maybe. I doubt that I'll waste the time to look myself. At least OC is funny, in a demented sort of way.

bloodline said...

all you haters suck my blog

bike snob mpls said...

damn, wrong identity last comment

Anonymous said...

all you haters boy is that getting tired

Anonymous said...

Brilliant blog today. I love this place. Despite the podium douchebaggery. - Chris

Anonymous said...

Dear BikeSnob,

I am indeed one of those people who came to learn of "The Climb" blog through yours. First, I had to read Joe Lindsay's "Boulder Report" blog (I was following the Landis case), which referred to both your and Mackey's blog.

I did agree with much of you said. I am almost always turned by the strength of your arguments. Nonetheless, I did leave positive, and I thought encouraging, messages on Mackey's blog. But he was just so sour about the whole thing...it was kind of sad really. My final comments to him were that I hoped that he would continue cycling. What else can you say to someone who seemed to get so little joy from an experience many of us only wish we could afford.

But after all is said and done, the best thing that came out of "The Climb" blog (at least for me) was that I discovered your blog. I read you every day. Often I laugh out loud. And I even have taken to writing my blog by imitating the voice of your blog. I can't provide you a link because I get paid by a publication to do it...One must always get paid.

dysirony said...

the truth rubs me wrong

Anonymous said...


Hubris, sometimes spelled hybris (ancient Greek ὕβρις), is a term used in modern English to indicate overweening pride, self-confidence, superciliousness, or arrogance, often resulting in fatal retribution. In ancient Greece, hubris referred to actions which, intentionally or not, shamed and humiliated the victim, and frequently the perpetrator as well. It was most evident in the public and private actions of the powerful and rich. The word was also used to describe actions of those who challenged the gods or their laws, especially in Greek tragedy, resulting in the protagonist's downfall.

Russ said...

If "The Climb" were still accepting comments, I'd be tempted to leave a particularly nasty one today.

Pulverized Concepts said...

What's with all this bike bullshit. Doesn't anybody ride a horse around here?

Ka_Jun said...

Dude, you should be ashamed. You made Mackey cry.

Anonymous said...

TOP 100!! YES!!

red neckerson said...

i gots to admit i read that rich yankee fellers blog and i tried to post comments and he woodnt let me do it so i made up the name of gilbert rotor, gilbert being the best graveller in the county and rotor being part of my mountain bike.

the funny assed thing is as long as he thot you was some french feller hed post yor comments no matter how stoopid they was

if you dont believe me go to the web site and look for gilbert rotor in the comment section because some of them were howlers but he thot i was french ofr something so he figured i was smart

i had some hi school feller help me with the writing and thats why i used capitals and puncuation and shit like that but i really didnt like doing it

kale said...

Pulverized-

Horses are for racing on a track. It's really stupid that these Austrian rouges are modifying them for flatland tricks.

Get a Shetland!

Commiecanuk said...

anon 2:10 (sic)..come up to Canada some time.

[blows kiss]

C.P. said...

"One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy. Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don't understand this. Cycling teaches you that there's such a thing as necessary suffering and such a thing as unnecessary suffering, and that sometimes a short cut is a dead end.

Gawdamn! If I could only find a woman that understands the same!

Thanks Snobbie :)

kale said...

Snob,

Buddhist?

Anonymous said...

I recently met the anti-Mackey. This guy is a bartender in his fifties; works in Colorado and told me that five or six years ago he and a friend decided it was time to ride in Europe. They got plane tickets. They had a map. They met people who knew the routes and, now they've done ALL the climbs in the Tour. They do them on open roads; they dodge buses making big wide turns as they descend switchbacks; they've made cycling friends from all over the world. These two guys now have a small international posse of maniac climbers who meet up each summer at a small village inn they've discovered. They learned as they went. They had a fucking sense of adventure. They didn't need anyone to hold their hands. That's what's so pathetic about Mackey: his absolute cowardice -- couldn't jump on a plane, land in a new country and have some fun. Imagine how great his blog would have been if he had gotten the wrong bike, did the wrong training, flown to the wrong country, attempted the wrong mountain, collapsed half-way up the climb -- and learned something.

frilly said...

C.P.--I swear this morning I was talking to a co-worker about riding and said, "Sometimes it fucking hurts but I wouldn't trade the pain for anything!"

We are out there, you just gotta find one.

Write on Snobbie!

Strayhorn said...

Aw, you were mean to the NYT writer. Just think - now he has a Cervelo taking up space in his loft apartment and he's faced with the question of whether to let it sit for another year so his party guests can marvel at his street cred, or just go ahead and sell it on Craigslist before another year devalues it an additional 20%.

Anonymous said...

Mackey does a track stand with a kick stand.

leroy said...

Was it just me or did anyone else wonder if The Truth Hurts was actually trying to point out that the single cog cognoscenti lacked both breaks and brakes?

But as for Mr. Mackey, I'm a little surprised.

One of his very last acts as a blogger was a petulant response to a negative comment in his comment section.

I saw that and sent him a comment -- my first and only to him -- urging him not to end his blog on a sour note. The next day he finished his blog by adding a gracious response to a subsequent comment.

Funny thing is, I found his blog only because I read about it on BSNYC.

I thought The Climb was unintentionally amusing (e.g. -- Mackey's pride at learning how to fix his very own flat just before his great adventure or his concern that numbness indicated that something was horribly wrong) and often clueless (drafting a stranger's wheel in the rain when one's bike skills can politely be described as in their formative stage is not fair to the stranger whose wheel you might hit and day you might ruin).

But I still checked in on it from time to time.

In my message to Mackey, I confessed that I enjoyed a lot of the humor at his expense.

But I urged him to keep riding.

Heck, I even told him I hoped to see him some time on River Road or 9W.

Okay, I also told him that I'd be the guy in the pace line whistling the theme from Chariots of Fire.

But that was obviously a joke.

I mean, I usually whistle Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

I don't know why he never posted my comment. How hard can it be to edit graffiti?

mattoidbunko said...

Snob,

My apologies for suggesting that you are better than anything. Very pretentious of me - been working on it.

Coexist on,

M.

Anonymous said...

"the truth hurts" is worthless tripe.
transparent need to be "real", which just means he's NOT...

Surly Bastard said...

How long do you think Mackey been writing for a living? About a day longer than he's been riding his Cervelo is my guess.

"The world's a bad place now 'cause people got some hate on for my weak shit? "

Wow, that's some journalist.

Delbert said...

No worries Snobby. You the man, TTH and NYT wannabee are the siss.

the one time I was in NYC all the cool bikes I saw were wrapped in old innner tubes. What's up with the tubes?

leroy said...

Was it just me or did anyone else wonder if The Truth Hurts was actually trying to point out that the single cog cognoscenti lacked both breaks and brakes?

But as for Mr. Mackey, I'm a little surprised.

One of his very last acts as a blogger was a petulant response to a negative comment in his comment section.

I saw that and sent him a comment -- my first and only to him -- urging him not to end his blog on a sour note. The next day he finished his blog by adding a gracious response to a subsequent comment.

Funny thing is, I found his blog only because I read about it on BSNYC.

I thought The Climb was unintentionally amusing (e.g. -- Mackey's pride at learning how to fix his very own flat just before his great adventure or his concern that numbness indicated that something was horribly wrong) and often clueless (drafting a stranger's wheel in the rain when one's bike skills can politely be described as in their formative stage is not fair to the stranger whose wheel you might hit and day you might ruin).

But I still checked in on it from time to time.

In my message to Mackey, I confessed that I enjoyed a lot of the humor at his expense.

But I urged him to keep riding.

Heck, I even told him I hoped to see him some time on River Road or 9W.

Okay, I also told him that I'd be the guy in the pace line whistling the theme from Chariots of Fire.

But that was obviously a joke.

I mean, I usually whistle Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

I don't know why he never posted my comment. How hard can it be to edit graffiti?

Matt! said...

"One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy. Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don't understand this. Cycling teaches you that there's such a thing as necessary suffering and such a thing as unnecessary suffering, and that sometimes a short cut is a dead end."

Exactly! And further proof of Snob being an ex-punk.

Brian said...

@ anon 2:10,

You should totally take up Commiecanuk on his offer. I hear they do gravy-fries up there!!

jelliot said...

Very on point BS. And to add to your point - I think you are one of the most self deprecating bloggers out there. Tell em all to grow a pair.

bk jimmy said...

Anon 2:10

Thanks for the inspiration. Here's my new movie pitch:

Brokeback Brakeless

"They couldn't stop themselves if they tried!"

Jim said...

The truth hurts, but the Truth is that a guy who can't tell the difference between brakes and breaks deserves to get neither.

The Truth is that Prolly doesn't mean probably. I think Prolly has been pretty clear about this, repeatedly. Say what you will about him, Prolly does not mean Probably.

The Truth is, the hardest part about rollerblading, whether it's freestyle or bondage style, is admitting to your parents that you're gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. Except for rollerbladers who keep insisting they aren't gay, they're just rollerbladers. Riiiiiiiight.

The Truth is I can't believe BikeSnob thinks it's news that a NY Times reporter has an insular world view and is impervious to facts that don't fit it, and to criticism. I think the starboard side of the entire political blogosphere is pretty much dedicated to that meme. The Truth is that just because something is true, doesn't mean everybody has to say it. Though it is funny that it's not just their poltical reporting that is off.

The Truth is Red Neckerson is probably the Canuck Commie's true inner self, but like they say, the hardest part about being Canadian is admitting to the other Canadians you're a U.S. redneck. Look at it this way Commie, you're still red, just on your neck instead of in your heart.

The Truth is that that is about all the Truth I can handle in one day, and unlike The Truth Hurts, I need a break now.

Commiecanuk said...

Jim...that's so fucking inspiring that I'm going to go home and touch my sister inappropriately, right after I'm done at the gun range (ok, truthfully, street signs).

Fossils don't exist.

Bill said...

I didn't really pay attention to it, but didn't mackey have to take a long break (or in today's parlance = brake) from "training" because of cat allergies or some such crap?

grog said...

Io, Saturnalia!
Enjoy your week of debauchery.
Truth and hubris.
sic
meh

Anonymous said...

often the veil of irony is lifted to reveal a maudlin and melodramatic underlying emotion. snot sounds really "hurt" by mackey's indifference. i do appreicate the blog (a really nice piece of community service) but when he gets a little serious, i fear the writing straddles irony and melodrama uncomfortably -- to quote him, the melodrama "membrane" has "extraordinary wicking properties." no one seems to heckle him in his space, any more than a parent would an 8-year old putting on a show.

Anonymous said...

matt!--why "ex-"?

Anothercanuck said...

Great post today; sorry nothing pithy to say, just praise

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:34pm,


A fair critique. I prefer to call it "Melonirony." Fragrance to come.

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

Im sorry bikesnob, but the first link you put in this entry was the most horrible link you have ever shared with us. Thanks.

Austin said...

"And hey, a blog without negative comments is like a 'cross race without barriers. Sure, they hurt to get over sometimes, but they're part of the experience and in the end they're part of what makes it fun."

Sentences like these are why I read this blog. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I'm saddened that the Snob feels the slightest need to comment on The Truth Hurts, a blog both poorly written and with no content worth noting.

Wade said...

I like the comment by Anonymous re: the anti-Mackey. Many adventures have become predictable and safe. There's no appreciation of process, of setting yourself up for some kind of failure as a kind of approach, of putting yourself out there without the perfect gear or expertise and see what happens. There's only a fetish with bagging the prize, some Cape Buffalo of the weekend warrior mind. Except for the Snob though, who seems to ride like an eccentric sentence in a great, noble narrative. Every pedal stroke is an integral part of the process, an exploration, a contemplative gnawing on some unnamable yet keenly felt existential cud. God bless him and God save Mackey.

Anonymous said...

today, on a very special bsnyc

kale said...

Anon 2:10-

Gravy fries, canti brakes, and ketchup chips, I wish I knew how to quit you!

Daddo said...

anon 2:43...

you should read French Revolutions by Tim Moore.

basically the true story of a brit who rides (albeit by cheating a bit) one year's TDF route by himself on the wrong bike with no support.
It's hilarious and puts Mackay to shame.

Commiecanuk said...

I think it's great that Bob Mackey has taken time out from his designer career to write a blog about riding a bike.

ant1 said...

Commie - It's not inappropriate if it stays in the family.

Will Handsfield said...

Hey Snob,

If you wouldn't mind doing me a favor, and criticizing a blog I write for, www.AYearOfBikeCommuting.blogspot.com, I'd sure appreciate it.

While we don't update every day, and generally talk about commuting, snow biking, and traffic on 12th street in Denver, it's thoroughly entertaining to us. Much like the other blogs you've criticized, we'd love to see an increase in readership, and per your recent post, I think a handful of people in places like Minneapolis, Boise, Ketchikan, and Fargo just might enjoy it.

Best!

Wade said...

by the way, for those of you in NYC, there are five reservable copies of French Revolutions at the NY Public Library and no holds on ANY of them. Reserve online and pick up at your local branch.

uptonsinclairlewiscarroll said...

Matt @ December 17, 2008 3:06 PM

There is no such thing as an 'ex-punk.' Only those who claimed to be, but never were in the first place.

Anonymous said...

so, upton, you are saying 'once a punk, always a punk....?'... cute, but no. and alarmingly like the marines motto

Commiecanuk said...

The only true ex-punks are dead from heroine ODs, and fresh-eating disease from bad diaper pins.

Strayhorn said...

Commie, do you get the fresh eating disease from the Fresh Market?

Or should I go to Whole Foods?

/typo subthread continues
//Rule 34

AMRcyclist said...

Podium seekers ride fixies.
If they ride at all.

AMRcyclist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jared said...

"One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy. Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don't understand this." Thank you for writing things I know but can't verbalize.

Johnny Sprocket said...

manicallday... the only thing worse than watching an out-of-control, fixie rider, is watching some dildo in a full team kit ,on a carbon roadie, struggling up the hill I live on in the burbs.
Really... the fixed guys I ride with all run a brake, and most race (or did race) either track or road. (We all ride road bikes too.) The majority of fixed riders aren't like the maca/mash crowd. We love bikes, we ride.. we enjoy riding.

And rollerblades... the only thing good to ever come from rollerblades was the scene in Waynes World. ALL rollerbladers are Wayne and Garth. They were invented for people who can't skate and were too chicken to play ice hockey.

Wade said...

"Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don't understand this."

So is this why I see so many expensive bikes for sale on Craiglist?

ant1 said...

AMRcyclist - Thanks for the unfounded stereotype. It adds a lot to the conversation. But what else could I expect from a kangaroo humping aborigine murderer, right?

ant1 said...

ant100th!

Bill said...

yeah, that was yabbie-rific

bikesgonewild said...

...jab, jab, straight right, conjugate...leg kick, jab, jab, uppercut w/ an adjective...stay on the balls of yer feet, backspin kick w/ a preposition, keep movin', adverb, 'nother right to the jaw again w/ an adverb, hit 'em w/ an ellipsis (ya know i love ta see ya using the ellipsis...), now ya got 'em both on the proverbial 'semantical' ropes...
...yer toyin' w/ 'em, yer toyin' w/ 'em, throw in a parentheses , ya, now ga' head, finish 'em both off...that's it, a couple 'a exclamation marks & you got it !!!...
...ya, ya, nothin' but tomata cans that can't spell...palookas, that have no idea of good sentence structure...

...there ya have it folks, another exciting night of 'mixed media martial arts' from the 'ultimate fixie championship' proudly brought to ya from the 'snob forum', here nyc...

...our champion, bsnyc/rtms took on not one but two challengers & left 'em both lying bleeding from their semicolons, on the mat...

jores said...

One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy.

I like this sentiment, but I think you meant "pain" rather than "suffering." Pain is a physical sensation. Suffering is an emotional reaction. It is common, when cycling, to experience pain. Suffering sometimes comes with it. When your legs and lungs are burning, but you just dropped that guy on the last climb, you're in pain but you're not really suffering. :-)

Great post today, by the way.

manicallday said...

@Johnny Sprocket
"Most people I know....blah... blah blah...exaggeration...exaggeration..bullshit, bullshit...I am hardcore bullshit."


Denial is so sad. It's just a fad and nothing more. There's nothing hardcore about it.

Bill said...

um, i don't remember him saying it was "hardcore"

AMRcyclist said...

ant1 >100th,

Shouldn't you be in bed?

What part did hurt the most?

Just wondering...

manicallday said...

I was paraphrasing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:43

Thankfully the Snob isn't too bothered with whether the targets of his posts "deserve" the attention. That kind of self-censorship would presuppose some kind of moral authority on his part, which ain't his M.O.

Not to mention in this case the Truth guy personifies a certain highly misguided, mis-information peddling segment of the fixed gear crowd that I'm sure the snob is happy to have an excuse to address.

Bill said...

i get that but we are hardcore is not a paraphrase for we enjoy riding.

manicallday said...

It is for this:

Really... the fixed guys I ride with all run a brake, and most race (or did race) either track or road....

And this:

[Rollerblades]... They were invented for people who can't skate and were too chicken to play ice hockey...

red neckerson said...

over 100 posts and everbodys talking bullshit great job snobbie

ant1 said...

AMRcyclist - I should be in bed, but your sister is running a little late this evening.

Bill said...

i'm so confused, say you don't run (or rock) a brake and be accused of pretending to be hardcore, say you do run a brake (or a break) and get the same

stoneddrunkmountainbikerstorytopper said...

I love red neckerson. i think he may be the 2nd favorite reason i have for reading this blog (after BSNYC of course). keep 'em coming fellers.

Anonymous said...

You owe it to your readers to NEVER mention "the truth hurts" again. All you do is drive traffic to his rant, and punish your own readers. Oh, the pain.

I can totally understand your sick pleasure in reading what this nob as to say about you, but try to do that privately in the future.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

that's what she said?

Anonymous said...

Snobby, you rule! You are seriously one of the best, funniest and most insightful writers I've read, and the fact that you obsessively love cycling makes you cooler by a factor of, like, five. Pleae keep up the good work, my day would be much more boring without you.
AYHSMB!!!

ant1 said...

Bill - I guess you just have to pick whom you'd like to be insulted by. Or ignore both sides and do what you feel is most appropriate. Personally, I run/rock a brake, but no lever.

obie119 said...

Thanks snob, this was one of my favorite posts - I guess I'm a fan of "meloirony."

Bill said...

no way! what a coincidence, i rock a lever and no brake!

AMRcyclist said...

ant1 (1:46;3:54;4:27x2; 4:50 and 4:58),

You must have a liberal daddy now, being up this late...

Q. Do Fixie riders ride Podium seekers?

You might know...

Simon said...

Great post Snob.

I think particular people take your blog out of context and quite possibly too literally/seriously.

It's not as if you're an Alaskan Priest with presidential candidate excorising skills and we believe that the earth is only 6000 years old. (Check out 'Living Bibically' by A.J. Jacobs- good read).

Anyway, there's not much else to expect of Fixter culture than to 'rebel' against the norm of controlled stopping. If the Pro Peleton started 'rocking' Riser bars & Oury's I'm pretty Fixters would embrace On-one Mary/H-bars or even the Multi position bars from hybrids/trekking bikes.

Rubber side down -and facing toward the machined part of your rims. Cheers.

ant1 said...

AMRcyclist - by the way, it 5pm over here. As far as your question goes, I'll answer it along the same line as your last one: your sister does not ride a fixie, so, in my experience, no.

leroy said...

I think I understand The Truth Hurts' confusion.

Anyone can figure out "rock, paper, scissors."

But what comes after "rock, brake"?

stonedrunkmountainbikerstorytopper said...

AMR - where and when the hell did you show up to expound such tasteless explication? We are on the other side of the planet ... hence the time lapse between you and Ant1. Didn't you know that?

Bill said...

i am concerned for amr, not to mention his time telling skills are certainly not up to snuff (or breath mints as known to aussies)

Jim said...

The majority of fixed riders aren't like the maca/mash crowd. We love bikes, we ride.. we enjoy riding.

That seems about right. I picked it up because a lot of my friends on the shop ride and with whom I race did it and touted the training benefits. It helps and it's made me a stronger rider. It's easy to clean off in bad weather and hard to break, and it helps develop leg strength and leg speed. Plus there's that zone you can get in on a long ride that I can't describe without sounding like a smelly hippy. I notice a lot of racers and hard core commuters riding the things around D.C. It's about the rider; if the rider is a cyclist*, then it doesn't matter what his drivetrain looks like.

*as opposed to just being a guy on a bike...

manicallday said...

You are just not catching on. Don't worry about it. Trust me, it's not that big of a deal. I am sure you have better things to worry about.

ant1 said...

Stoned... - It's much easier to just randomly throw out insults, see what sticks.

Bill said...

you're right, gotta go worry about whether i ever was a punk, whether or not i am hardcore....heady stuff

manicallday said...

Jim

That's funny, I also live in D.C. and I find the fix-gear poser epidemic is astounding. They are everywhere. So maybe you are not looking in the right spots. I suggest you take a trip to Adams Morgan or H Street (hipster ghettos) sometime if you want to witness some ugly riding.

If you really want a good laugh you should just go up to Columbia Heights sometime and watch the fix-gear fanbois try to huff it up a mild hill. Lucky they usually run a gear ratio lower than what's on my mountain bike to make up for their crappy technique and lack of leg strength.

manicallday said...

Well you probably are a punk.

Bill said...

phew, that's a relief, that upton guy had me all nervous....thanks. honestly, to get away from all the fun insults and what not, if there is a 'punk' aspect to the fixed community, it is more in the reaction it causes among 'real' cyclists, which makes them 'counter culture'...that may be bs, i don't know, feel free to continue the insults now

Surly Bastard said...

AMR@#$#%@ you're just jealous 'cause Ant1 is always...


1st!


Classic case of Podium Envy.

Dee Dee said...

Snob's an ex punk, he's got a self portrait that keeps getting older as he gets more fixed gear scenesters underoos in a knot.

Benny said...

From Truth hurts:
"and see different, or at least conflicting, information."

There are at least three distinct ways this little diamond screams "Grey Matter Not Included!" but my guess is others can come up with more.

The blog taken as a whole is a beautiful sparkling geode, every sentence a new facet, blinking out the story of the mentally challenged.

AMRcyclist said...

Stone - Any time after "his bed time" is late. Does that confuses you, too?

Bill - Wrong, it is all fun!

Surly - You will never know, that's the beauty...

Andy Pandy said...

With out brakes we would not have great little companies like Zero Gravity etc. So by having brakes aren’t we in fact keeping the wheels of industry turning. So does the wheel of industry have a brake…. Yep the recent financial melt down, so now the question begs does the recent financial “Break” Down have brakes.

Hey Red, can you play the theme from Deliverance on your spokes of your bike. I play “Tie me kangaroo down sport” on my bike pump

manicallday said...

If you wish...And you have some real issues. Actually, I really have no idea what you are trying to accomplish. I don't think that I was even addressing you. So in my opinion you are just an attention whore. Further, to be honest, I don't really understand your gripe. If you are a fixed gear rider that can ride smooth, then congratulations, the message wasn't intended for you.

Frankly, I see the fixed-gear fad being on the same level as any other. It reminds me of when I was in grade school during the Michael Jackson craze. People everywhere put special meaning in their Members Only jackets just like they do for their fixed-gear bikes. Thus, it maybe just my contempt for fads and trends, but I don't see the distinguishable difference between people's accolades for their fixed-gear bikes and girls who cried during a NKOTB concert.

And if your are implying that you are counter culture because you ride a fixed-gear then you really are knee deep in denial. The damn things are everywhere. I hate to break it to you but there's nothing special about a fixed gear. You are just one in a million lemmings. Sadly, I am afraid that you are the equivalent of a Hot Topic store. You may think you are special, but in reality you are still just in a mall. It's all just smoke and mirrors.

Matt! said...

post-punk?

Anonymous said...

Total-punk?

crispy said...

Bravo

sprider said...

Jim: "It's easy to clean off in bad weather and hard to break"

Did you mean difficult to "brake", or difficult to "make inoperable"?

Does anyone know where that cross race without barriers will be? I'm so ready for that!

stonedrunkmountainbikerstorytopper said...

AMR - "confuses" say: "oi little lady, you sure got a nice turd cutter." oh, in English (versus in Aussie) that means "nice Cervelo poseur."

Anonymous said...

29rs the FG of offroad now? Or are FR bikes still en vogue?

frilly said...

My, my, AP, you are multi-talented. Are you sure you're not a closet triathlete?

Andy Pandy said...

Tried to be but looked awful in budgie smugglers. How is the bruising going???

frilly said...

Kinda green/black. Nice of you to ask.

budgie smuggler -- *chortle*

I am slightly concerned about seeing that kind of attire come race time. It would be rude to just straight laugh in somebody's face. Although it could give me an edge, you know, a little pre-race mindfuck.

Anonymous said...

Last!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain why hipsters try to avoid bar tap or grips on their no brake fag bikes...and watching the group gays do tricks on the bikes is nauseating to the point of hurling.

Anonymous said...

anyone interest in riding from Redlands to Pasadena New Year's Day?

Anonymous said...

that is ride to Pasadena and back by the way

Anonymous said...

I love it when some asshole who just bought his fixed-gear IRO last month tries to tell me about riding a bike "properly". You would think I could have figured it out after working as a bike mechanic or commuting by bike for 10 years.

libertyonbikes! said...

'when i use to rollerblade'?

or next year

'when i used to have a fixie'

guess it's all the same for some.

AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

Surely the Pork Lips is upon us!

Kinda reminds me of a food fight in a nursing home cafeteria, for some reason.

Anonymous said...

supposedly the electric shifting can magically enable derailleur to work while under load...and cable shifting cannot? anyone who buys that argument is a friggen retard!

Anonymous said...

----------
"Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author.

December 17, 2008 4:19 PM"
-----------

Aha! I bet this comment used to be a brilliant retort from Mr. Mackey himself until Snobby chose to use his own anti-graffiti spray against him...

Peace.

Anonymous said...

hahaha! global warming my ASS! its snowing so hard in las vegas they had to close the airport...I am going to lobby for a law banning the on street use of bikes without hand or foot operated brakes and the brakes cannot rely on resistance against the rotation of fixed gear drive train and possible locking against rotation causing tire skidding

Anonymous said...

I'll ride this notoriety all the way to the white house!

Anonymous said...

"...riding much of the Tour de France route this summer..."

so how many thousands of kilometers DID he ride?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Sorry I'm so late to the party. Every once in a while, the real job gets in the way of pissing the day away trolling around on this blog.

Anyhoo -- as to these brakeless fixies, track bikes are engineering marvels for their beauty, simplicity and efficiency...on the track. Taking them on the street is another matter altogether. Sure, they will work, but that's not what they were designed and built to do. You can use your wife's vibrator to stir the pancake batter. It will work just fine, but that is not what it was designed to do, and that is not what it does best. Same thing.

Based on personal observation, the dividing line between braked and brakeless is mostly clear. If you have kids, a mortgage, or the kind of job where it actually matters if you show up to work, you have at least one brake. If not, well...

Being able to stop, eventually, without assistance from a brake is a skill akin to being able to make a jacuzzi from farting in the bathtub. It is not only unnecessarily hard on your equipment, it is unnecessarily hard on your tendons and ligaments as well, even when no panic stop is required.

Lastly, when properly fitted and set up, and in the hands of a fluid peddler and skilled bike handler, a track bike in motion is a true pleasure to watch. I cannot for the life of me understand why hipsters can not or will not ride a bike that is properly fitted and adjusted. It pains me to see them thrashing around so. It looks like they are wrestling the bike, not riding it.

I guess there is room for all of us under the big tent we call cycling, but there is more room for the brakeless at the long-term rehab facility for those with traumatic brain injuries.

urchin said...

sprider 6:51--last Saturday we had one with so much frozen boggy mud that they left out the barriers out of pity. I'm not sure that's what you have in mind...

In the interest of keeping the English language spellable for web people, perhaps week could go with a unispelling like 'brayk.' Figure it out with context.

Example: "I took a brayk from using my brayks and that's how I browk my collarbone..."

Anonymous said...

the fixies are cool without breaks. its the fluid style and total control that i like. i want to take the breaks off my motorcycle because its all about proper technique.

Prolly said...

wow! that's a lot of posts to read through.

Johnny Sprocket said...

Manicallday.. first, I never said we were hardcore. I used to play hardcore, but that was back in the 80's and has nothing to do with this. Secondly, Jim got it.. riding fixed is fun. No law against that.

We're a bunch of guys in their 30's and 40's. We don't 'rock' top tube pads or skinny jeans and we run a brake, sometimes two! We also bust out the geared, but admittedly steel, roadies a fair bit too.

And faddish? Yeah right... as faddish as a bunch of out-of-shape, middle aged, guys in full team kit on carbon road bikes on a 40k coffee ride.

You're a sad, little, conservative man who should keep his narrow minded opinions to himself.

Anonymous said...

just wondering why gay fixters think doing tricks on 700c wheels is wise...never mind, I know the answer "How can you be wise if you think riding a bike on the street without proper brakes is wise?" Stupid fixters! tricks are for kids and hookers

Anonymous said...

check out this frame:

http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/961761807.html

Sunken said...

Some more for the roaches....http://thetruthhurts-sunken.blogspot.com/2008/12/breast-of-fresh-air-vittoria-zaffiro.html

Give her a read. Thanks for letting me plug the blog bikesnob <3.

Anonymous said...

This was your best post yet, I think.

Bill said...

manic has taught me the valuable lesson that on a comments page one is only to speak when spoken to. thanks manic, your wisdom is astounding

bikesgonewild said...

...'good' & i emphasize 'good' fix gear riders are like 'good' guitar players...for every one that really knows how to handle an axe, there are literally hundreds of guys who can 'play' on a guitar, but how many of 'em do ya really wanna listen to ???...

...i've watched cats on steep sf hills & thought "cool, dudes got it & got it w/ style but i'll bet he picked up a few bruises on the way" & i've seen other folks on the flats & thought "you better develop skills fast 'cuz basically you ride like crap & yer suicidal tendencies are showing through"...

...my only hope ???...that anybody who rides a bike enjoys it enough to evolve w/ it, rather than casting it aside as a "been there, done that" experience whether it's a 'robert mackey' or an ex-in-liner ( are they really all gay, not that there is anything wrong w/ that ???)...

...it might not be about the bike, lance wanna be's, but it is about the ride...

TiLer said...

well spoken bike snob...well spoken.

Anonymous said...

exactly! that is what being a cyclist is...riding bikes just because you can ride and enjoy riding and enjoy the physical fitness gained from riding as well as the experience of riding. I ride my bike everywhere and people sometimes ask if I would like a ride which would take ten minutes and I always turn them down. I would rather take 40 minutes plus get the ride experience.

Anonymous said...

ten minute ride in a vehicle

Surly Dave said...

Well said Snob. That guy from The Climb was a precious little arsehole. I heard about him here and went over for a look. They got the hits, I made up my own mind. He's an arsehole.

focofixedgear said...

ROLR BLDS ... or even
ROLR LOVE ... or the less understood
BLDB RGDE (blade brigade)

Sunken said...

Plugging my own blog....http://thetruthhurts-sunken.blogspot.com/2008/12/breast-of-fresh-air-vittoria-zaffiro.html

Chea.

Simon said...

Anyone else think this post might break the 200 mark?

bikesgonewild said...

...btw, bsnyc's final paragraph regarding the rewards &/or rejections from suffering in cycling is worthy of serious perusal by both the initiated & the un-accepting...
...it is no less than a beautifully crafted sentiment in a well written paragraph...
...that is literature, not just cycle blogging...
...if i was writing a cycling book, i'd have to seriously consider asking to paraphrase that, to be used in a "forward"...

...i won't say you surprise me, bsnyc, 'cuz yer always "on" whether people wish to accept that or not but there are times when you stand w/ the best...

...& bk jimmy, "Brokeback Brakeless...
"They couldn't stop themselves if they tried!" "
...chortle...priceless...

Anonymous said...

regarding truth hurt's post on bsny bitchin

i long for the day when a "devout" fixie rider admits publicly that riding brakeless isn't as safe as riding with brakes and that he/she rides brakeless anyway just because they find it fun.

this is a self-defeating dream, however, in that the moment a "devout" fixie rider utters the b-word with anything short of a hateful inflection, this rider looses all of the cred he/she built up through years of mashing sans brakes. this person can no longer claim fixie legitimacy, and any positive comments about brakes won't have the same weight and effect. this person will just sound reasonable and open minded like the rest of the brake-having rabble.

say hi to your mom for me said...

"regarding truth hurt's post on bsny bitchin

i long for the day when a "devout" fixie rider admits publicly that riding brakeless isn't as safe as riding with brakes and that he/she rides brakeless anyway just because they find it fun. "

i ride my fixed gear daily sans brakes in nyc purely for the fun factor. it's not so safe, but that's why i wear a helmet and have a large life insurance policy and medical coverage. it's a little harder on the joints, but i'm a much faster and stronger rider for it. in fact, i love crushing douches on carbon cervelos in full spandex at the little hill on top of the park. i don't even get out of the saddle.

i am however, switching to my singlespeed mtb with brakes for the winter even though last time i crashed, i had brakes.

i think riding too fast, thinking i could stop on a dime just 'cause i had a few hundred grams of dura ace bolted to some carbon had something to do with it... or maybe it was the ice.

point is, i ride my fixed brakeless (and breakless) because it's fun. i heckle bad riders and hipsters daily.

Joe said...

In response to bikesgonewild...

I have to agree with your comments on the quality of writing. Some of my favorite cycling related quotes have come from this blog because they're always true, and written in such an elegant manner. The last paragraph of this post is a classic.

Take some good writing, throw in a few humorous pictures and equally humorous commentary, and you've got a great blog.

Keep it up BikeSnob.

Anonymous said...

SNob's a Brit - no question in my mind.

Anonymous said...

The mackey hate just seems like jealousy of the fact the guy is rolling in loot. I'm sure plenty of people would love to be able to drop some coin on a trip to france, a new bike and some personal coaching. And it burns them up that this dude can do it. But honestly, so what? Ain't no skin off my chin if guys like him buy 5 grand paper weights.

All that bullshit you wrote about the process of learning to suffer or whatever sounds like rapha copy for their next season's catalog.

Seems like anytime you get called on that though it falls back to the old John Stewartesque comedy/parody offense. Dont take us seriously. :p

you're too bitter to be able to enjoy riding your bike. the most chill dude I ever saw was at a local century. Guy had a mullet and on the rear rack was an old boombox blasting eye of the tiger on endless repeat. he was enjoying himself (the rest of us wanted to shove the boombox up his tiger's eye)

Go get a hot stone massage or something dude before you pop an ovary.

It's mackey's money to throw around, so who cares he spent it on a bike or on hookers and blow at Jimmy Buffet concert?

Tex said...

Hi Upper Class. Can't say I've missed you, but I liked your old schtick better.

Anonymous said...

all you woogies in the house say ohhhh ohhhh

cycleguru said...

ohhhh ohhhh

Axle Creep said...

The problem with the type of trancendental hard-man suffer-mongering RTMS/BSNYC is veering towards is that it can just as easily become a fixter grade pose in all its homoerotic Rapha "masochismo".

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:55,
Do you REALLY think he didn't expense the cash he laid out? Hell man, at worst he got a helluva tax write off as his bike/trip/training were done for a story he wrote as part of his job. Maybe he wouldn't appear to be such a doofus wannabe dentist if instead of plunking down for the Cerv he would have bought a Giant Defy or some other $1500 road bike. You know, something us plebes would be likely to go out and buy if it was going to be our first rig. Maybe, if instead of paying for a coach, he got out on some more club rides and taken a few trips to the feckin' Catskills to develop technique and talk to people. But no, he chose the stupid American-I-want-it-now path, he paid to play with cash and nary an ounce of effort. Is it any wonder his report was lame? Nope. No story, no adventure, no struggle, and no closure. At least none that some douche with a company credit card couldn't replicate any time, any where, and still, like Mackey, wonder why the world thinks they're a knob. Cry me a river of blood. And cherry on top, he edits his blog to hide the fact that folks think he's a douche rather than actively engaging his readers, which from what I learned of journalism in college is a reporter's trabajo numero uno.
Defending him is fine, trying to do it here is asinine. Here, folks will call out BS when they see it.

bikemojo said...

oohhhh ohhhh

wishiwasmerckx said...

200 is just around the bend.

Bill said...

wait for it.....wait for it...

Anonymous said...

@ anon 10:17
I never said he wasn't a Fred dude, he's just a rich Fred.

Anonymous said...

"Here, folks will call out BS when they see it."

Yep and that's what was done. The guy pointed out that some of you cry like butthurtwelfare recipients because some guy bought a Cervelo.

Anonymous said...

194

Anonymous said...

196

Anonymous said...

197

Anonymous said...

198

Anonymous said...

199

ant1 said...

butthurtwelfare? Not quite sure what that means (and neither does the google), but I like it.

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