Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Repentance: Back-Pedaling Under Duress

(Saddle-humping fixed-gear sex art with fascist overtones by Krzysztof)

Firstly, I long ago swore an oath that I would not let my personal non-cycling hobbies contaminate this blog. However, when you're a carcake-spotter and you see a formation like this you can't resist sharing it with the world:



Yes, the carcakes are often at their best two days after a snowfall, when the stragglers are just starting to dig their cars out and the snow has had a couple of nights to freeze. This car's got a neck curtain on the trunk, a nice-sized arctic ice shelf on the roof complete with widow's peak in the front, and even a snowhawk on the hood. It looks like a paparazzi shot of Antarctica just as it's stepping out of the salon.

Secondly, a number of people seemed to take offense at the fact that I took a few swipes at the NAHBS on Monday. This surprised me, and I'd like it to be known that I have nothing but respect for these master craftspeople and their handiwork. In an effort to make amends and as a gesture of goodwill, I've taken some inspiration from Barry Wicks and made the NAHBS a "mix tape." Check out the cover art:

It's short but I think they'll enjoy it. Here's what I put on it:

1) As an homage to the traditional framebuilder's material of choice, and as a symbol of the fact that it's in the midst of a resurgence--nay, a revolution!--the mix starts off with this.

2) But the NAHBS isn't all about steel. There's also titanium, and everybody knows that the ride quality of titanium is sublime to the point of being mystical. So, even though it might be a bit predictable, I went with this.

3) While there are custom framebuilders who work in aluminum, the true lug-slobberer knows that the ride of an aluminum bicycle is impossibly stiff, and that they fail catastrophically in weeks. This classic conveys both aluminum's jarring ride quality and short life.

4) Then I put this on, because it's the most beautiful song ever written and it makes me cry.

5) This one's a shout-out to Serotta.

6) Finally, NAHBS always features lots of singlespeeds and fixed-gears. So, as a tribute to the Zen quality of both, I finished the mix with that John Cage composition that's just four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence.

I hope they like it.

But while North America's custom framebuilders have not been idle, neither have the Forces of Evil. Readers from far and wide have been forwarding me signs which can only portend one thing: the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse.


In Skagit Valley, Washinton, one rider has come upon an infernal farm that is giving away alpacas. Not many people know that the "Book of Fixed-Gear Revelation" is actually encoded in Jobst Brandt's gripping classic, "The Bicycle Wheel." Using my Ovaltine secret decoder ring, I've extracted this text, and it warns that "in the fifth year of the exhibition of the bicycles wrought with hands, the Alpacas shall be freed, and they shall lay waste to the land." It then goes on in mind-numbing detail about stress-relieving and the evils of paired-spoke technology, but clearly free alpacas are a bad sign, and I have no doubt that they will turn on and devour their new owners.

No sooner had I received this information than another reader informed me of the existence of a fixed-gear recumbent:











As the "Book of Fixed-Gear Revelation" states, "To the decimated land shall come a rider who reclines while in motion. His feet shall come before him as like unto a breech birth. His helmet shall bear a mirror, but he shall coast not." Sounds like a fixedcumbent to me.

But perhaps most horrifying of all were these photos, forwarded to me by another reader:



It seems that a drought has forced these poor koalas to seek water from humans. I have absolutely no doubt that this drought has been caused by demon Alpacas who are already becoming a scourge upon the land. Notice how the koala gratefully hugs the merciful geared rider's leg:

If the sight of cuddly little koalas coming forth from the wilderness to seek human aid doesn't horrify you, then maybe this will: these photos were taken in Brooklyn.

Koalas aren't the only things suffering, either. The Fixed-Gear Apocalypse has also laid waste to at least one professional road racing team, and yet another reader informs me that the now-defunct Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team is selling off its equipment. This would appear to come as good news to former United rider Ivan "The Cuban Missile" Dominguez:


Until you realize that he's being forced to model bib shorts:


In the end, our only hope may be anti-fixed-gear vigilantes. The Alpaca-hastening, tight-averse, bumblebee bike-riding proprietor of 718 Cyclery has forwarded me this photo of a Pacific mountain bike equipped with a fire alarm and an extinguisher. My guess is the owner has equipped it this way because he is certain that Armageddon is at hand:


This bicycle also is very much in the spirit of the Finlandia bike:


It could be that, after the Apocalypse, low-end mountain bikes and cockroaches will be the only things to survive.

That and cheese.

118 comments:

jeff said...

Last!

mary poppins said...

holla

agent detroit said...

podium!

Lucky 7 said...

Gaspacho!



A

Lucky 7 said...

Gazpacho!



A

John Michael Swartz said...

Casu Marzu!

Anonymous said...

First!!

Haha, not really.

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

Anonymous said...

While you routinely spell crabon correctly, I am baffled that you continue to misspell tit-anium. It's a hyphenated word, dammit.

Bill said...

typo alert #1 - predicably

Surly Bastard said...

Whoa!

Bill said...

er - predicable

stuggy said...

Bill 1:09-

Predicably is fine. It's an adverb referring to what its like being in a predicament.

Anonymous said...

dude, do you read XKCD?

Bill said...

tiny bit disappointed you didn't go for the obvious ' i've got a bike, you can ride it if you like,' or 'i want to ride my bicycle', or maybe even little 'braking up is hard to do'

Anonymous said...

top 20

Bill said...

I see! very interesting, thanks stuggy

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Mister Grammar said...

#2
breach birth --> breech birth

Anonymous said...

Sweet Caroline ... Top Twenty !

fernando llamas said...

is that an alpaca undershirt under neal's blue shirt ?
oh the horrors...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Mister Grammar,

I actually looked that up to double-check it yet still misspelled it.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

back on top! new jokes and baby animals

Udder said...

That drawing looks like the work of the acclaimed Wisconsin-French artist Toulouse LeTrek.

test tickle said...

WEAK post.

Anonymous said...

what kind of wheels are yoo rawking, dru?

bikesgonewild said...

...does anyone over in the "food & whine" section of bsnyc/rtms know where to purchase a nice tasty 'smooth on the palate' alpaca milk fromage ???...

Astroluc said...

top 30... not too bad for my birthday ;)

mountainbikesncheese said...

boohrah

30?

Bob said...

Neil Diamond = the Jewish Elvis

Matt! said...

Happy National Grammar Day!

grog said...

If someone had taken from you the photographs while you were in Brooklyn, then the photos indeed were taken in Brooklyn. No kidding.

Free Alpacas.

bk jimmy said...

Some nice little sideburns coming over the mirrors, too.

bikesgonewild said...

...rather disappointed, bsnyc/rtms, that you didn't feature the video of john cage's 4min, 33sec composition of silence...he does that better than anyone in the biz...

...i'd rate the 12min, 43sec 'club mix' of the same piece, while a bastardization of the theme, to still be some of cage's finest work...

drew said...

I want a koala.

Anonymous said...

Bill, 'Braking Up Is Hard To Do' would have been an appropriate comment in regards to us brakeless track bike riders, though I would also say it's not really that hard to do if you can't stop on a downhill. Then Braking Up is quite remarkably easy.

Side note, I don't know why but the Anon Woot! Woot! posting always makes me smile more than anything else in these comments, and that includes Frilly and her underpants du jour.

Russ said...

ALPA CLPS

CommieCanuck said...

I would have used the exact same playlist, except added this.

My cover art would have been Quebecois lug porn.

And sorry, the best romantic song ever written was this

or maybe This.

CommieCanuck said...

awww...c'mon, those koalas are sooo cute*


*all riders pictured died of hantavirus.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Koalas may be cute and everything, but it is clearly humping the leg of that sexually ambiguous rider, who may or may not be a dude. A hug, indeed.

Bill said...

anon 2:11 - too true, too true...
AND woot! woot! makes me smile too, in fact i think i may have to take it for my own

CommieCanuck said...

Anonymous said...
Side note, I don't know why but the Anon Woot! Woot! posting always makes me smile more than anything else in these comments, and that includes Frilly and her underpants du jour.


I know, it's crazy, ...it's like she wears a different pair of underpants every day. Guys just wear them alternating inside out every week.

db said...

No Letle Viride on that mix?

Rabbi Rabinowicz said...

Neil Diamond...Feh.

ant1 said...

Commie - Hanta is transmitted by rodents, not marsupials.

Mister Grammar said...

@Matt!
I knew that.

Snob:
I still managed to enjoy the post.

Neil Diamond said...

Snob, (ding ding ding) you'll be a wuh-man soon

Philboy said...

Snobbie, you are the ride quality of titanium.

Wes said...

No freakin' way

Here - http://www.penmachine.com/podcast/audio/AECBB94E-12DF-4588-A7A4-8889D7C55FAB.html is, and I hope youre sitting down, a little number called Alpaca Cheese. Put that on your mix tape, Snob.

Handy little site this for recipes including sauteed alpaca - once they rise up they'll be plenty to go round for us survivors.

http://www.tradicionesdelago.com/cartamenu/platostipicos.php

Or if we should be in bondage to our new furry overlords, maybe they will let us culture their lactations a la BGW suggestion - see http://www.neaoba.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_id=85 - they "needed to strip milk off a girl with huge, engorged teats".

I'll let someone else knock this one down - I haven't got the cojones today.

CommieCanuck said...

Hanta?..I meant herpes.

Anonymous said...

Commie, you're pretty funny, for a Canadian. Have you ever thought about writing your own blog?

ant1 said...

commie - the herpes thing I can agree with, although I'm not sure if some of them didn't have it before their koala encounter.

CommieCanuck said...

Nah, blogs is for woosies.

Tye said...

I should have anticipated the famous Steve Martin routine. But instead it caught me completely off-gaurd... I forgot how much I like that scene.

sum europeon said...

What's the first song? It's "not available in my country", probably because of imminent fixed-gear apocalypse.

bikesgonewild said...

...wes !!!...awesome research, sir...

...but alas, somehow that instructional piece on milking an alpaca has completely taken the romance out of the idea of sipping a fine california sauvignon blanc while nibbling on an alpaca fromage...

...erp...just sayin'....

HEYB ITCH said...

awww skeet skeet skeet skeet

Wes said...

BGW - bless you. I let my fingers do the walking.

Also, I find it essential to check the provenance of ones repast, even if, as has happened here, that provenance is a little fierce.

bikesgonewild said...

...wes...what a coincidence...

...although i've lived the majority of my life out here on california's left coast, i was born in the provenance of ontario in the great white north...

CommieCanuck said...

Isn't that the great Ontario passage?

sprider said...

Had to read the post before I went on a ride, couldn't keep that flippen' "Sweet Caroline" song out of my head. That's two hours I'll never get back!

bikesgonewild said...

...passage / failage...

...either way, it all works out, 'eh ???...(could you hear the left-over trace of a canadian accent & attitude there ???)...

frilly said...

Hey, anon 2:11, no foul. I too am a fan of woot! woot!

Closely related to Hup! Hup! Another favorite of mine.

red neckerson said...

i never listens to songs posted on the net cos to offen they is some song that 14 oxycontins wont drive out of yor head like when jolene was playing pull up the peeple by mia ill tell you what i wanted to drill out my eardrums with the ol black n decker after that one

speeking of jolene i was riding today boy howdy aint nothing like a good ride on a sunny day you know sunshine during the day and moonshine during the night

so i was running into potholes the size of jolenes ass i aint complaining its just that she had one to many moonpies and arahsees for her own good you know what im saying

so it seems to me that instead of waiting for 20 years for the kentucky department of fucking revenuers to fix the roads you yankees should send us some obamer money to get our roads fixed up good i mean if you folks is buying crabon bikes and fancy underwere you should have to pay something for us hilljacks you know what im saying

CommieCanuck said...

the woot! woot! guy is Canadian, he's really saying wout! wout!

CommieCanuck said...

Whoa.

Is that your new Japanese handbuilt TT bike or are you just glad to see me?

Mental Yentl said...

NEIL OYSH

Nice Jewish boy making money by singing Christmas songs, like Barbra and dat Stevie Lawrence did. Shame...

GrammarFreak said...

Snob,

"Mister Grammar,

I actually looked that up to double-check it yet still misspelled it.

--BSNYC"

C'mon, that's the grammatical equivalent of "I could've closed that gap ..." You either do, or you don't.

ant1 said...

69!

Anonymous said...

I'm awfully disappointed to not find a single joke about A-Rod's actual Hipster Cyst.

Bluenoser said...

Commie and bgw,

Montreal has the first locks and beigles when traveling the Ontario Passage west.

-B

Andy Pandy said...

John Kaye and crew … shear psychedelic genius and a pity that they don’t make hair like that anymore. Stated to be the original source of the phrase “Heavy Metal” and contributors to Easy Rider which completes the loop back to all things NAHBS.

Worried about stress relieving…. Wasn’t that something your mother told you would make you go blind.
And the koala was drinking beer as no self respecting cyclist out here carries anything else than a can of Vic Bitter. And BGW Sav Bland would be a little too acidic for cheese… try a Chardonnay ….just suggestin and digestin

Anonymous said...

recumbents are not bikes!

Lugs Chicago said...

Thanks for repenting, forgiveness assured. I can continue reading.

fahrrad mich... said...

BSNYC,

Are you a Red Sox fan?

I like Jack Nicholson better in that dentist role, but he doesn't sing and dance as well as Steve Martin. Although it seems Steve had been watching The Cramps perform in L.A. or something.
R.I.P., Lux.


Another one by the (Polish?) saddle porn guy.

jolene said...

bnscy cant not no about my rear red he dam ner try to mistake it fer a slot machine and put his quarters init boy howdy but thats not here nor there if ita hole for pot that hesa lookin for i gots one right now ready to get filled once the kids in bed and ricky get his dam ass of the davenport for once since he and you got hooked on them there sparks and oxycontin cocktales

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhhh, Snobby. John Cage's 4'33" is not four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. It is four minutes and thirty three seconds of not playing the piano.

The difference is quite audible.

bikesgonewild said...

...velosallersauvage said...

...andy pandy...i didn't expect anyone to 'get it' but "sauvagnon" comes from the french 'sauvage' or wild, if you will...

...i'm much better at butchering & 'frankenstein-ing' language than i am at the fou-fou art of choosing which wine goes w/ which course...sacre' merde...

bikesgonewild said...

...zut allors...that should read "sauvignon" w/ an i, not an a...duh on moi but in my defense, i did admit to being good at butchering various languages...

Andy Pandy said...

Mais je crois qu'il y a un petit sauvage dans nous tous ici attendant pour s'enfuir

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 9:53pm...

...more's the pity that a video wasn't included so that we might have had the opportunity to better appreciate not being able to view what might have been merce cunnigham's accompanying choreography were he not in tune w/ mr cage, rather than simply assuming it wasn't there...

...if you get my gist...

bikesgonewild said...

...andy pandy...

...oui, c'est vrai, monsieur...exactement !!!...or in the patois of the locals..."like fer sure, dude, that's awesomely right on"...

...ok, ok, not really any of "my" locals...

prolly said...

stroke me

bikesgonewild said...

...i doubt that john 'prolly' actually posted that but for most of us, shit 4 brains, we like the straight stuff...you know, like "two girls & a cup"...

gay submissive said...

as for prolly...

"I know him pretty well and he's a solid dude and has been stroking me for a long, long time for whatever thats worth."

bikesturnedgay said...

stroke me

hey! said...

stroke me

kevin ft myers said...

stroke me

knuckles said...

STRO KEME

basically this blog said...

stroke me

Anonymous said...

all you haters suck my balls

john said...

im sorry i though this was the msm page from casual encounters. carry on.




stroke me.

Anonymous said...

93?



stroke me.

bikesgonewild said...

stroke me.

bikesgonewild said...

watch me stroke.

sellingoneself said...

first!

Anonymous said...

what is up with these people who are supposedly into cycling yet they feel the need to be part of what is probably the lamest cultural pimple ever! Yeah! I'm talking about the lame brains who think riding a fixed gear bike with no brakes and dressing like homeless people makes them "Real"...well I am sure these...slackers, who are so easily coerced, will be the ones selling their prize possessions for pennies on the dollar. so, I guess it will work out in the end

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Bluenoser said...

Out from the back of the train and...

Bluenoser said...

100.

-B

Trisha said...

Highly original comment here: this post cracked me up.

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* said...

Technology advances at such a rapid pace: "CABON"

http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/1059168875.html

swiggco world said...

Dang, you really should have stuck to your guns about NAHMBS. I guess my respect level has slipped, like a worn chain on a cog that needs to be replaced. NAHMBS is great but,as you say-there's a lot of excess on what are supposed to be bikes. Oh, well.....

Anonymous said...

stro keme

wishiwasmerckx said...

Less "Rock out with your cock out" and more "Jam out with your clam out," please.

ant1 said...

merckx - couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

stro keme

Anonymous said...

Last!

Anonymous said...

110?

kale said...

not all haters ball suck

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