Monday, February 23, 2009

Bike Buzz: Old Bikes, New Humiliations

As a new week begins, sadly we must say goodbye to the Amgen Tour of California. Granted, I didn't really have much time to watch it, but still, it was comforting to know it was there running in the background like anti-virus software. And now that it's over, I find myself growing sentimental--so sentimental in fact that I visited the Amgen Tour of California Store in order to purchase a keepsake. At first, I thought I'd purchase a stuffed bear:

I figured this would serve as a soothing balm by giving me something cozy to clutch as I cry myself to sleep. (Currently I cry myself to sleep with an old Mapei jersey, but it's starting to get a bit threadbare.) However, as I continued to browse the store I noticed I could also purchase an entire gift bag for $50 (valued at $250!) which contains not only the teddy bear but also a bunch of other stuff I could hold, wear, or otherwise use while I cry :


This is a much better deal than the Rock Racing blanket, which costs $40 and doesn't even come with anything else (though you do get free shipping):



No, I'd much rather sob into a cuddly teddy bear's abdomen than beneath a Rock Racing blanket. Plus, I hear the gift bag is exactly like the one Levi Leipheimer got for winning the race, though he did have to share the contents with the rest of the team. (According to Chris Horner's Twitter, he actually called "dibs" on the towel the morning of the time trial.) Speaking of which, word from California is that Astana were thrilled over Leipheimer's third Tour of California win--so much so that they threw him a lavish victory party, complete with a surprise performance by pop sensation and mandolin virtuoso Letle Viride:



If you've never seen Letle Viride play, you really owe it to yourself to check him out (though Youtube footage is nowhere near as visceral as the real thing). Everybody knows that the mandolin is the "bad boy" of the lute family, and since Letle Viride is, in turn, the "bad boy" of mandolin players, this makes him exponentially bad. Time hasn't dulled his edge, either--he's just as vital now as he was back in the 70s.

But while Astana and an assortment of VIPs (Paul Sherwen is a huge Letle fan) watched a man smash a flaming mandolin to bits after covering "Sweet Child O' Mine," the general public celebrated as well. Some even did so a day early--here's one happy spectator who was photographed by a reader at the finish line of the time trial in Pasadena on Saturday:


It's rare you get to see something this sleek and aerodynamic--clearly, that baby was sculpted in the wind tunnel. (I am, of course, referring to the hairstyle, but the bike's pretty aero too.)

But let's not forget that this was California, and as such irony abounded. This was Floyd Landis's first race back after failing a drug test and being stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title. Despite his apparent transgressions, there was an outpouring of support, as evidenced by these photos taken by non-Serotta-riding dentist and gap bike apologist Dr. John Gowey:



Meanwhile, another reader informs me that Lance Armstrong, who's been found guilty of nothing except obsessive Twittering, found himself at the pointy end of either a hypodermic pitchfork or a dual crown suspension fork, I'm not sure which:


However, as the rest of the photos show, Armstrong handily dismissed the charges:









None of this is to imply that we should not support Landis, who has served his suspension and has every right to return to the sport. (Though I do feel that allegations he dabbled in recumbent riding during his suspension warrant further investigation.) Nor is it to imply that Armstrong was heavy-handed in his dealings with the heckler. After all, if I were riding in defense of the race lead and Andy Richter in a bumblebee costume started poking at me with a Marzocchi, I'd push him into a snowbank too.

Speaking of dorky things dressed as animals, the people at Renaissance Bicycles inform me that they have "dropped" a new creation, which they call "The Octopus Bike":


The Octopus Bike was "Originally a 1978 Raleigh Record Ace," but Renaissance have "updated it to be an over-the-top track bike with all new components." Well, it's definitely over the top, but it's still not a track bike--it's just a $1,850 conversion. I'm not sure why they settled on the octopus theme, but it might be because having eight arms allows you to multitask, and when it comes to being problematic this bike is working overtime. Why nothing to keep your feet on the pedals? Why no brakes? Why the bargain basement components? Well, at least they preserved the "Raleigh heritage" by wrapping the bars in Cinelli cork tape--though I'm not sure what one has to do with the other, and I wish they'd just done so by adding gears and brakes and keeping the original paint job. Speaking of octopi, if you divide the price of the bike by eight, you get $231.25, which is actually a fair price for the bike. (Though I'd still rather spend an extra $43.75 and get this instead.)

But when it comes to theme bikes, the Octopus Bike is a true work of art compared to the "Bumblebee Bike" from 718 Cyclery, of whom I was recently made aware by a reader:



Opportunists continue to start cheap bike conversion factories, and 718 Cyclery seems to be the latest in what feels like an endless procession of fixed-gear meth labs. Interestingly, the proprietor is comfortable riding around on a bike that looks like a bumblebee, but he's not comfortable with the idea of wearing cycling tights:



Not only would I recommend he purchase the tights, but I think he should take it a step further and get the whole ensemble:


Watch out, Andy Richter!

108 comments:

Anonymous said...

The air really IS harder to breathe up here...

BadBeard said...

kerching!

Anonymous said...

3rd

Anonymous said...

dammit!

Anonymous said...

so close... what a wheel-sucker. It's a good thing I didn't read the post, yet.

Anonymous said...

Filthy fourth.

Anonymous said...

Cali yo!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top Ten!

k.sawyer said...

hahaha, go lance

Team Rider 3 said...

BikeSnobNYC replies to the Team Two Wheel offer: Team Two Wheel Blog

Rider 3

ant1 said...

ant1st!

hillier99 said...

Pack filler

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

Anonymous said...

wheelsucker

ken e. said...

and i thought i was slow last week when the dude on the recumbent passed me!

Anonymous said...

1st actual comment!

Anonymous said...

Forget the post, Im here for the new Frilly pic!

stuggy said...

Anon 1:41:

No, it's not 1st actual. You didn't say a word about the RTMS post.

IMO, ukuleles are better than mandolins. But that's me, and I'm no Letle Viride...

Now, that's a first actual post!

stuggy said...

New Frilly pic!?!

(frantically clicks refresh)

protest this said...

shovetastic!

Joseph Nocella said...

bzzzzzz...fixed gear meth labs, man thats great. You should see the metal shed/meth lab I have out back where I work, pure Indiana meth lab facility.

Hey, to finally get mentioned by the man made my day!

Anonymous said...

I was laughing so hard at the end of this entry. Bike Snob, you should be on the writing staff of 30 Rock.

RM said...

25 and read. Nice fall andy.

RM

wishiwasmerckx said...

Nice shout-out to Mapei. I have a whole Mapei kit I bought off of the clearance rack at TJMaxx for a nickle.98. I look so ridiculous in it that sometimes cars run right off the road at the very sight of me.

Pack Phil said...

Hey Joe, instead of tights just get yourself a pair of long socks

bikesgonewild said...

...don't knock the rock racing blanket...that thing could be turned into a cycling 'ultra-snuggy'...wow, how cool would that be ???...
...ok...i can tell from the meh responses, not very...

streepo said...

Wearing tights makes him sperm?

Rowbear said...

I heard some hipster clothing shop owner people talking the other night and apparently the octopus and dinosaurs are the new owl. Coming soon, sewn on an American Apparel hoodie near you.

leroy said...

Are bumble bee ensembles the new chicken suits?

Inquiring minds want to know.

I can't afford to compromise the little dignity I have left by riding in Prospect Park in the wrong outfit.

The lycra mankini was an unfortunate choice this weekend.

Anonymous said...

The best part of the Lance sequence is one of the Schlecks laughing in the background.

RM said...

I kind of wish when that guy ate shit into the snow-bank he would have impaled himself with that giant double syringe. Jackass.

In all seriousness though every person that tries to run alongside the riders in the middle of the race needs to be close-lined by riders going to opposite direction, drug off to the side and beaten with whatever blunt object is laying close by.

I did see a picture on HTATBL of some orange jumpsuits and beer being sprayed on some mountain bikers. Although this is possibly as annoying to the riders as 'chasers', I am always a fan of being showered in beer. Like I still won the race even though my wheel exploded after lap seven.

Doug said...

Enjoyed!

kale said...

Tights is tight, but pink tights are tighter. Especially when you're scratchin' it (waaay harder than rubbing!) with a Mapei jersey and this.

Lance's pantomime with Andy Richter was trying to show his reaction to doping. But you're all too stupid to get it, so he had to use the shoving of the Sr. Richter as an allegory of his battle against the pressures of doping. Andy is supposed to represent Boonen, as he falls backwards into the snow...

bikesgonewild said...

...& renaissance bicycles where they can take cool old school frames & rather than searching out cool old school components, they can just slap new shit on 'em...

...wow, how cool would that be ???...
...ok...i can tell from the meh responses, not very...

...take note, renaissance bikes...just sayin'...

red neckerson said...

im jest here waiting for the next jolene pics

CommieCanuck said...

Judging by the physique of the hypodermic bumblebee, those syringes are full of whipped cream and butterfat.

I can understand getting really, really pissed drunk and saying , "fuck it, let's bug Lance", but that getup took weeks of planning and ho-hos. Imagine his wife,

"knock knock...are you in there?"

"go away, I'm busy"

"you've been in there for hours!"

"don't open the door!, don't open the door!"

Awkward staring.

I'm haunted by this image nightly.

CommieCanuck said...

forgot..results of this weekend's photo shoot with Frilly:

eH.

Leprechaun said...

I'm no Lance fan but I loved the pics. Totally agree with RM. All those douchebags should be hosed off the road. As if I'm not feeling old enough, now I find out two of my regular rides are now vintage bikes. Wonderful!!

frilly said...

ASTANA-shing!

In keeping with the theme, my fave part of yesterday was when Phil called Levi the Queen Bee.

*chortle*

jolene said...

red your sweethart but i caint final my photoes after the floods this winner i haid my bakcup floppy but i leffit in the library cupple weeks ago

my p o lented me this pic http://www.eastpdxnews.com/ktmllite/images/uploads/070323/8-4-COPWALK-Prostitute.jpg of the last time i met with him down neer the pigglywiggly in clintwood sposedly i cuddnt leaf the state wut with my duis and parole and all but fuckit anyhow

first off red you left yer gojo in the bathroom and you know ricky uses lava soap and hell hell findout expecially soon boy howdy

Anonymous said...

I think most of the jeans that fix-gear riding hipsters wear could be considered tights.

Joseph Nocella said...

Common places for meth labs are abandoned poultry houses, metal storage sheds, tobacco barns, mobile homes and abandoned houses. The labs can also be traveling labs, set up in campers, large trucks or even cars.

from "How to Spot a Home Meth Lab and What to Do About it"

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/17893/how_to_spot_a_home_meth_lab_and_what.html?cat=5

bikesgonewild said...

...next years atoc, i'm doin' my own persona-ed costume...

...'football linebacker fan'...

...scenario:- "camera focuses on lead break as it comes up the mountain road...man in 'bumblebee' suit runs next to & into the path of the riders...
...BAM...football linebacker man' flies from out of camera view & chop blocks that fuck below the knees so hard he'll hobble for a week...crowd applauds"
...

...scenario:- "gruppetto chasing hard on the climb...dickhead in texas longhorn costume prances up the road, seeking personal glorification in front of camera, fans, peloton & god...
...BAM...double BAM as 'football linebacker fan' charges out unseen, takes out dickhead w/ one vicious blow & into the guardrail for another...crowd cheers wildly"
...

...where will he strike next ???...who will he take out this time ???...the new unknown hero of the spectating fans...
...it's football linebacker man !!!...coming soon to a "tour" near you...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Speaking of which, the lycra mankini and cape seemed to be a popular roadside ensemble at ATOC. Leroy, which one of those guys was you?

Udder said...

Lance fulfilled one of my biggest fantasies. And it isn't screwing Sheryl Crow, winning the Tour De France or having adoring fans and lots of money.

It's pushing back one of those assholes in costumes who harass riders and will do anything to get on camera. If it were me, I'd carry nitric acid in my water bottle and squirt their faces, leaving them horribly disfigured for life.

Or better yet, officials should single out offenders, strap them on to a bike, and make them ride the climb themselves. That would put an end to it.

Pack Phil said...

Make them ride the climb, but do it this way: put 'em on a breakless fixie at the top of the climb, clipless petals with a ridiculous release tension. Start the camera rolling, aim them down the hill, and push.

bikesgonewild said...

...ya, be careful, leroy...

...scenario:- " 'football linebacker man' pays accomplice to shoot disgusting fluorescent green mankini wearing glory hound because tackling that dickwad is not something even he will do...crowd erupts into joyful cheering"...

kale said...

Udder -
try sulfuric or hydrofluoric; nitric is pretty benign on the soft tissues, but it does sting the eyes.

cyclingusa said...

What do you think was in those huge hypodermic needles that the ride clean devil was trying to poke Lance with?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Cyclingusa,

Judging from the look of the "needles," my best guess in caulk.

--RTMS

BikeSnobNYC said...

...uh, "is," not "in."

--BSNYC

bikesgonewild said...

...the really sad part about that guy who got "snowbanked" is that as much as he's trying to make a statement about armstrong, he'll forever in his own mind, bask in the glory of that little scenario...

...look at that last foto..."that was him...that was * * *lance* * * who pushed me...how cool was that ???...how cool am i ???...

...not very, moron, not very cool at all....

Lance Armstrong's Twitter said...

nobody puts their caulk in me while im riding!

bikesgonewild said...

...good line, lance armstrong's twitter...

...in reality ???...

...every year it gets worse...time to get a clue before a situation occurs...in litigious america, some selfish idiot will get hurt “showing off” & then sue the race organizers for his own stupidity...
...he won’t win his case but it will create liability issues for the sport here...
...how about a little common sense & self-policing ???...

...just sayin'...

Udder said...

>>Udder -
try sulfuric or hydrofluoric; nitric is pretty benign on the soft tissues, but it does sting the eyes.

Thanks. I'm all about the soft tissues, if you know what I mean.

red neckerson said...

jolene whats this about you uppen and moving to fisty thats gonna be a long way for me and ricky to come

Anonymous said...

I was thinking caulk guns but now I'm thinking turkey basters.

frilly said...

Udder, try Puffs plus. They're a godsend during cold season.

Dan O said...

Seeing Lance take out Dual Syringe Dude made my day.

Thanks for the pics.

CommieCanuck said...

so Frilly, that's the new pic?

meh.

Guys, this isn't the first time Lance has been chased by guys brandishing huge syringes..done in France.

frilly said...

Wow, such high expectations. I feel a little like Tommeke.

CommieCanuck said...

11 ways Lance will intimidate you.

ant1 said...

good one commie.

Anonymous said...

more product placement in today's post.. :(

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5:19pm,

Are you referring to the "Bumblebee Bike" or the double-barreled caulking gun?

--RTMS

m00sen said...

good thing the two dads didnt drop their babies while running up Palomar yesterday. those kids did not look too thrilled.

Anonymous said...

The Amgen Store thing was kinda pluggy.. I mean, I guess it was bound to happen.. I also could be wrong. Hope this doesn't mean a shark-jump is around the corner..

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5:28pm,

Rest assured it was merely a mock plug. I received no compensation in teddy bears or otherwise. I do, however, reserve the right to jump any sharks I may see on the horizon.

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

Remember, black caulk is bigger.

Anonymous said...

Remember, black caulk is bigger.

Bill Clinton said...

Snob, it depends on what the definition of "is" is.

Anonymous said...

Okay.. That's fair.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDthMGtZKa4

Bill said...

I started to search through 2006 posts to leap to snob's defense to prove that product placement has always been there, but then got totally sucked in to reading old posts. damn good and still is.

Bill Nye, Sceince Guy said...

You can't carry hydrofluoric acid in a water bottle; it will melt the bottle on contact.

ant1 said...

ha ha, I see you're not bill nye the spelling guy!

Anonymous said...

a lovelorn man is trying to sell his son's bicycle to his erstwhile lover over craigslist here

Anonymous said...

I finally figured out "Letle Viride".

I feel dumb that it too so long. Should fit nicely on my knuckles, though!

upperclass said...

What's up lower classes!!!

Anonymous said...

Vancouver BC says : "Wutz up the Bike Snob?"

Anonymous said...

can someone please explain how you operate the brakes on the lotus/usa bike? thx

Anonymous said...

Frilly, the new pic is very nice, I think.

But with the few pixels you are forced to work with, you have failed to provide adequate context.

It looks kinda like an old-timey lampshade. Perhaps you should really be called Fragilly?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 6:48, the picture is small and my eyes are feeble, but those appear to be Campy C-Record Delta brakes on the Lotus, so as to your question over how the brakes operate, the answer is, "Not too well."

Mongo Pusher said...

83. Tyler Hamilton (USA), Rock Racing, at 1:03:56

Anonymous said...

wishiwasmerckx,

thanks. curious as to how one would go about activating them through the use of their hands while they were on some part of the bar.

anon

Bee Apologist said...

Please be be kind to bees.
Colony collapse disorder can make some bees do some crazy ass things when they are sick and dying.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 6:48, if you are a regular reader, then you know there is a vast list of inappropriate and retarded locations to mount the brake lever, each with a confusing but corresponding abbreviation. This particular rider would be best served by mounting the brake levers on the top of his thighs, then actuating the levers by leaning further forward onto his ample stomach, here so carefully minimized by cleverly wearing black, the ultimate slimming color.

Bluenoser said...

Snob,

Go for the kit, at least you get a crying towel.

You should try watching the ToC on Cycling TV if you really want to cry.

Redneckerson is going to out banjo that mandolin.

#1 cause of car accidents in the south is due to driving while playing the banjo.

-B

Anonymous said...

The brake levers on that lotus work even less effectively than the Campy Delta brake calipers, as they are the pointy things on the end of the flat bar. They are hinged and have about an inch or so of movement, so not a lot of cable gets pulled.

And I'm pretty sure mullet man has a cup holder mounted beach cruiser style on his aero bars as well.

And Cancerman himself autographed it.

MJ Klein said...

i'd rather have the recumbent trike.... oh wait, i have one already.

Andy Pandy said...

Frills, the penny as they say in the classics has finally dropped!!!!

Frilly white undergarments, specialised bike, following around the AToC.... You are the Specialised Angel... swoon

frilly said...

According to anon 7:09, I should be following P-fars around not roadies.

Fragile? Hardly.

AP, the cami is blue in honor of the excellent weekend for Astana. AC won in Portugal too.

cyclotourist said...

Anyone have the old picture of Robin Williams in the full bumble bee kit? It's rather ironic.

Andy Pandy said...

And here I was espounging the virtues of colour co-ordination last week ( blue cammy and blue bruises) and you were just lusting after AC .. again. S'pose he does have that latino hot blood

CommieCanuck said...

no RW..but here's John Belushi.

cyclotourist said...

Close CC, but not quite there... RW had a pic taken him on his high end roadie bike & kit... all matching black and yellow. Sort of like a certain Twitter with a strong straight arm. This was a while ago, so he resembled Belushi more than Armstrong...

panino said...

bmbl beez

kale said...

Did nobody else notice the TT accessory on the "Bumble Bike"?

Must come in handy for those female elephant trunkers out there. Also, if my calculations are correct, it will resonate with the low quality steel to create a sound no eusocial Hymenoptera can resist.

Is it a light? Wtf is that?

Anonymous said...

anon 9:45,

so essentially it is a bar end shifter inside a white outer covering?

anon 6:48

Anonymous said...

This podium crap is corny.

m00sen said...

100

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