Thursday, June 18, 2009

Effetes of Strength: The Dandies of Cycling

Sometimes the world of cycling can seem elitist and unwelcoming. Certainly, this is true in certain cases. For example, in roadie circles, matters as seemingly trivial as incorrect sock height or inadequate leg hair grooming are enough to earn you derision and scorn from your peers. However, when it comes to being rarefied, the world of cycling has nothing on the snooty and effete world of literature. Roadies may be a bit stingy with their approbation (not like you should even want it), but the so-called "literati" won't let you in at all.

That said, there is one occasion on which the "literati" allow you to don your Primal jersey, clip into your SPDs, and ride with the big boys, and that's The New Yorker magazine caption contest, which I was recently contemplating in the restroom:



I find The New Yorker caption contest extremely irritating, since to me it's the literary equivalent of a rock band throwing their guitar picks and drum sticks out into the audience, and the notion that I'd want to play with someone's cast-offs is insulting. Plus, they're clearly choosing lame finalists on purpose in order to make their own jobs look harder, since the correct caption for this particular cartoon is glaringly obvious:

"Well, well, well. Look what the Lord dragged in."

Insert groan or polite titter here.

Yes, cycling is elitist, and literature is even more elitist, but sometimes the worlds of cycling and literature collide like two tweed-clad Dutch city bike-riding scintillating constellations in the night. However, unlike a cosmic collision in which diamonds can form, the collision of cycling and literature creates a much less valuable by-product. I'm referring of course to that unique literary gem, the Pretentious Cycling-Related Craigslist "Missed Connection" (or PCRCMC):




We Shared a Bike Route - 29 (Midtown)
Reply to: [deleted]

Date: 2009-06-17, 10:10AM EDT


You rode an old world bicycle and carried a weathered tan leather bag heading over the Williamsburg bridge. You had small zippers open at the end of your stone grey denim that left your feet dangling onto your pedals that had no use for cumbersome toeclips. We rode together up Elizabeth St. I smiled at you in quiet Greenwich Village. You knew the perfect route to coast into midtown. We both forgot to wear our helmets but made it safely to 42nd st where the bustle of midtown and the workday's sudden reality distracted me from you.


I hope to share another commute.

-Red Wheels



Yes, the evocative world of the PCRCMC is full of weathered leather, chance encounters on quiet Greenwich Village streets, woodcuts, and sometimes even weary Portuguese friends. The truth is that there are at least as many wistful, bookish, satchel-toting cyclists in New York City as there are trendy fixed-gear riders; however, instead of posting videos of themselves on Youtube doing tricks to stoner doom metal, they simply scribble quietly in journals or, very occasionally, timidly share their observations and longings with the outside world by posting them on Craigslist.

Furthermore, like any group of cyclists, the introspective, wistful PCRCMC author has an ideal to which he (it's usually a he) aspires, and that ideal is of course William Forrester as played by Sean Connery in "Finding Forrester:"

Even though the reclusive cycling novelist William Forrester is himself a work of fiction, he nonetheless stands as the Eddy Merckx of wistful cyclists. If you haven't seen "Finding Forrester," I wouldn't exactly recommend that you work quickly to rectify that. Really, all you need to know is that in it Sean Connery is a J.D. Salingeresque writer who mentors a prodigy, and he finally hops on his old Raleigh or whatever it is to save the day:


I'd wager that nary a tweed-palping PCRCMC author alive hasn't fantasized about the same scenario. This is true regardless of age, for no matter how old a PCRCMC author is he always imagines himself as being distinguished and gray. It's just not the same if you imagine yourself as the younger Sean Connery, which is obvious from this image (via HTATBL):


This Sean Connery is not literary, nor would he ride an appropriately literary bike. Instead, he' probably "rock" something like this:


Probably most appealing of all to the PCRCMC author though is that on top of being both literary and distinguished-looking, Sean Connery as William Forrester also has "mad skillz." Check out the confidence with which he dives into that corner. Even as an older man he's got the bike-handling skills of a youngish serial retrogrouch and uber-curmudgeon Jobst Brandt:


With the Bicycle Film Festival officially underway here in New York City, I think it's finally time for someone to produce a Jobst Brandt biopic, and I'm pretty sure that Sean Connery would leap at the opportunity to play present-day Jobst. Maybe by the time the 2010 festival rolls around there will be a line of PCRCMC authors and Rivendell-riding retro-grouches three blocks long waiting to see "Myth and Lore: The Jobst Brandt Story." Gus Van Sant would no doubt do a wonderful job with it, and I can't help thinking that Vincent D'Onofrio could play Sheldon Brown to critical acclaim.

Indeed, trolling for idols is something we all do. This is also readily apparent in the behavior of fixed-gear riders, who, just as soon as they hear about some legendary cyclist or company for the first time immediately render it and sell it in t-shirt form. The most recent legendary cyclist to receive such treatment at the hands of the "fixerati" is Tom Simpson:


As you may know, Tom Simpson was the British pro cyclist who died on Mont Ventoux in the 1967 Tour de France. At the time he died he was apparently riddled with amphetamines, and one of the last things he said was purportedly, "Put me back on my bike!" Not to belittle the tragedy of Tom Simpson's death, but it's hardly surprising that a story like this would immediatly be appropriated as "fixie fodder." Firstly, it involves drugs so it's totally a "rock star" way to die. Secondly, what fixter hasn't at some point botched a red light track stand, fallen over with his or her Vans inextricably stuck in his or her MKS toe clips, and implored some bemused onlooker, "Put me back on my bike! On, on, go on!"?

Personally, I have a suspicion that the next legendary cyclist to be appropriated will be Jobst Brandt. As such, I'm already working on a design, and plan to "drop" a shirt soon. Here's the graphic for the front:




I'm still thinking about the back, but at the moment I'm partial to reproducing this "epic" Jobstian tale:

"When I was riding my last Clement tubulars, that had poor stitch protectors that caused many pin hole leaks, my tires kept going flat. Knowing about the ability of the butterfat in milk to plug such holes, I poured a few ounces of milk, from a dairy on the Klausen pass in Switzerland, into my tire pump and pumped it into my tires. This solved my problem, but a few weeks later, back home, while riding to Santa Cruz with a bunch of bikies sitting on my wheel, I had a rear blowout and sprayed them with putrid milk, while I had a hard time controlling the bike as it slid around on the flat tubular like ice."--Jobst Brandt

Then again, that might be a bit long. I may paraphrase it thusly:

All You Haters Drink My Milk

I think it's got a certain putrid ring to it.

131 comments:

Anonymous said...

woo hoo!

Anonymous said...

AYHSMB!

Brandon said...

w00t

Anonymous said...

Boom Shanka!

Anonymous said...

yeah!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Other Side of the GW said...

I think the guy from SNL's Jeopardy spoof should play Connery instead. He's even better than Connery.

Never Knows Best said...

Top ten! Pass and dope free.

Except for the coke.

But that was just that one time.

Luck E. Seven said...

Putressence!


A

A Bike Commuter said...

BSNYC is going global! Check out #6 -- the Fixie Pixie -- for some snobby goodness!

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2009/06/kenny_bes_guide_to_summers_ter_1.php

A Bike Commuter said...

Whoops, the link should be:
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2009/06/kenny_bes_guide_to_summers_ter_1.php

rezado said...

A-ha-ha. I finally caught you. Now get your ass back to class before I dig into this nylon bag and pull out a doughnut to smoke on...you.

ice cube said...

top 20!

Test Tickle said...

balls.

holy shit, have you guys read this:

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/melissa-missy-giove-facing-prison-22073

legalize it!

Anonymous said...

Snob,

OT, but when are you going aim your swizzle stick at what's going on over at CyclingNews?
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=1128&page=51

Smack

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

Test Tickle said...

snob,

more material to scorn, if you so wish. (i can't believe you didn't mention the big pot bust yet).

http://www.baubike.dk/

balls.

Anonymous said...

last two posts were weak, but this one makes up for it

Rantwick said...

Putrid milk. That Sean Connery picture. Tweed. I'm going to have nightmares about the Lord dragging them all into my bedroom. Thanks, snob.

OBA said...

ZARDOZ!!!!

Rantwick said...

Hey Anonymous 1:26 - If you're gonna be a critic you should at least get a name.

Better yet, start a blog and see how you do...

RM said...

Nothin about Melissa Giove?

Luck E. Seven said...

Those PCRCMC postings drip the WORST of the J. Pederman-wannabe swillists. Maybe Blanca Brava wants a hit of that?

Missy Giove is my Wednesday hero.


A

Ronsonic said...

Downhill mountain biker busted with pot. Like THAT is big news. Okay, so it was a lot of pot, still.

Isolation Helmet said...

How long before the literary cyclist look jumps the shark?

rightsaid kev said...

Young Connery should have opted for the full bro-zilian, a la young Lance. That's obscene.

Anonymous said...

10

Anonymous said...

Anyone see about that bike chick with the dope?

What does RTMS stand for?

martytardy said...

HILLARIOUS!!!!! That's all I can say!

Test Tickle said...

damn you guys are slow. or maybe too self absorbed to read comments before yours?

...just slayin'

TheTye said...

or maybe- "AYHBFMP" All You Haters Butter-Fat My Pinhole???

TheTye said...

Oh, and also... UnW00T

libertyonbikes! said...

yeah, a little late you guys.
this would be the first link
to missy g's bust - upstate ny

http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2009/06/18/news/doc4a398ee6a7dd5239619529.txt

i'm sure snob will have plenty
of material on this......
friday fun quiz:
po(s)t retirement - 10 ways to
put the bike trailer to work.

has missy become the female version of cheech, no maybe more like Tommy.
maybe her bio title will be
'Up in Smoke'....

rightsaid kev said...

"Can't go on, must go on."

bikesgonewild said...

...after all those miles & all that churning i can't believe it's not butter...

...just sayin'...

CommieCanuck said...

Oh sure, make fun of the New Yorker, you Philistine. It's simply sad when the unwashed, non-Presbyterian masses can't understand the intellectual prowess of those cartoons. My friends from Skull and Bones and I had a fine guffaw at that contest.

My own caption entry, "oh dear, must be the work of filthy Mexicans", was just ranked below the top three.

chiggins said...

The T-shirt company is called GAGE&DESOTO? So they have to rip off EMERGENCY! now too?

Fuckin' Dix.

Anonymous said...

I am not so sure that the Sean Connery images are that mutually exlusive.

A Webley-Fosberry self loading revolver would be just the thing to carry while on an old Raleigh.

Not sure how comfy the red leather diapers would be on a hot day however.

bikesgonewild said...

...missy "the missle" giove finally jumps the shark, ooops, i mean piranha...

CommieCanuck said...

ah, liberty, check yesterday's comments on Missy "the Missile", and of course, here.

Seems like Tommy B is getting off scott-free.

Poetry ...FACE!

Anonymous said...

". . .a doughnut to smoke on..."

Noob.

Anonymous said...

What is shark jumping?

How do I palp?

What does RTMS stand for?

mikeweb said...

Pack fill.

I blame Bloomberg - it's a long story...

Paul Bowen said...

"the only reason people turn to drug trafficking is to make a profit from the sale of illicit narcotics"

Thanks for that clarification, Special Agent Dope.

kale said...

Anon 2:13-

You can find answers to your problems at BSExplanation

Except for the shark jumping, that's just pop culture.

kale said...

It's just a matter of time before Tinker Juarez gets busted... DAMN THOSE FRENCH PROHIBITIONISTS!

CommieCanuck said...

Rare Jobst Brandt Tire Test Fail Pic

rezado said...

ANON 2:11

You are a moron.

Bloviator said...

Instead of Vincent D'Onofrio, I nominate David Malki's friend Aaron to play the great Sheldon Brown. Here's a pic.

CommieCanuck said...

Tinker needs to join the Canadian Olympic snowboarding team.

I think Missy's excuse will be something like, "Pot? what? me? no..no no no no..I was just bringing some raw material over to Craig Calfee's for a new bike."

CommieCanuck said...

Unless you don't stop ridding a bike to work every day, you are bound to grow a white beard and ride a mint 70s-era ten speed, with chrome lugs, it's only a matter of time.

mikeweb said...

Niice, CC!!

Jobst maintains an aero posture even as he's losing ouces of flesh to the tarmac.

Paul Bowen said...

Anyone else read the review of the Globe Roll linked to yesterday? I liked this bit:

"Launched just this week in Minneapolis, the new Globe is build [sic] on a vision of inspiring others to ride bicycles through solid design from both an aesthetic and functional end."

Well now (and I hope you'll pause to admire here how I manfully spurn any cheap gags about having a fully aesthetic and functional end but it never having produced a bicycle design) this reminded me of London's New Globe, which is build on a vision of inspiring tourists to hand over the readies for an aesthetic and cultural something or other.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

I hope it only bothers me that "putrid" refers to the sense of smell and "ring" to hearing. Unless you meant a ring of putrid dairy residue, which,

oh my, that trips pleasingly off the tongue.

CommieCanuck said...

Mike..that's how you did it back in the day, today, riders are too doped up to keep that aero tuck while scraping along the pavement.

Pussies.

Ralphy said...

you mention

'trolling for idols'

but forgot

'idling for trolls'

missed wordplay opportunity, snob

db said...

Vincent D'Onofrio could play Sheldon Brown

You know, I'd probably pay to see that.

Mad Jack McMad said...

I wonder where Connery/Brandt would find the buttermilk for his tubular?

...probably from your mother, Trebek!



Boom Shanka.

Anonymous said...

Rezado: Everyone needs a hobby.

Anonymous said...

P.S. All you haters suck my cruller.

libertyonbikes! said...

CC- that's the local paper link.
they tailed her after being pulled over in Illinois driving a box trailer 'that seemed suspicious'.
Was it because it said Cannondale?

Mr. Donkey said...

More practical than fenders and baskets!

"The World's First Fixie Cargo Bike"

http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/06/fixie-coolville-goes-to-stockholm.html

d fofonov said...

Ms. Giove is having enough psychoactive substances to supply half of Minsk and everyone is fussing at me because of natural safe and should be legal substances to enhance performance and harden erections. Ms. Giove is always looking like Free Germany's swim team women who enhance their performance and grow beards.

Babushka is correct. But someone is explaining to me please: licking carpets is a phrase that is not translating on Babelfish.

bikesgonewild said...

...basic tommeke non sequitor:-- "The UCI Management Committee has decided not to institute disciplinary proceedings against Mr Tom Boonen for having allegedly taken cocaine out of competition, after the Belgian rider supplied a number of elements in his defence."...

...defense element #1 - "young chicks dig the coke, dude"...

...defense element #2 - "i like fucking young chicks, dude...plus i dig coke too, man...i can drink & fuck more, dude"...

...defense element #3 - "what the fuck, dude...my bosses don't care as long as i get the right wins every season, so like, so fucking what ???"...

...defense element #4 - "dude...did i mention young chicks dig the coke ???...just sayin'"...

..."thank you for speaking on your own behalf, mr boonen"...

..."ya, no problem...so like, the defense rests, dude"...

rezado said...

Word to your mutha.

ringcycles said...

Snobbers, can we come up with a term (similar to a Fred) for anonymous commenters who post pedestrian questions or reactions. (i.e what does RTMS mean?, what is palping?, why do you hate fixies?, ect.) I realize many/most of these posts today are meant as irony, but come on. Stop being a, a, 11:58 perharps? Or an Antoine? Just ideas.

P.S. Tye: that tag line is even more homo-erotic than a Missy Giove prison shower, more than Sir Sean in a mankini with a pistol, more than any Effetes of Strength in cycling. So much that I'm humming YMCA as I type this.

Anonymous said...

My Mutha is busy saving yo ass from Grudzilla.

Matt Boulanger said...

Oh, woe is me, has common usage finally crept up and clobbered "effete?" It used to just mean barren, but looks like the Snob is at the fore, with several dictionary sites putting the "weak and decadent" meaning as the first or second with "barren" down at number three...

Anonymous said...

on the homage to Tom Simpson, David Bowie did it first, and David Bowie did it better.
Surprised the shirt didn't say "better not mess with Major Tom."

grog said...

Wankers on training wheels are best ignored. Certainly, this is true in certain cases.

FREE MISY

veloben said...

ringcycles,

You seem to have picked the perfect name. Why not just tag them 'Ped'?

Anonymous said...

What is ped?

g-rock said...

AYHDMM

ant1 said...

veloben, I like that idea. That way, we can save the term "antoine" for someone who regularly posts some great comments, and does so with a speed that leaves many wondering if PEDs are used in the process.

ant1 said...

...sort of like a lifetime achievement award.

Anonymous said...

CC: My my mint 70s ten speed with the chrome lugs "lost its mint" under a mint 80s Lincoln Continental because I didn't stop riding it to work every day. Bummer.

Time to restore the Zeus I guess. Anybody got a handle on 118 BCD chainrings and/or the equally obscure gum hoods? Maybe some Akront rims?

Then everyone will know I slay a bad boy bike - because it's SPANISH.

Wes said...

Ant1

My ears are burning...

Anonymous said...

so no one's getting that globe fixie then? specialized's tombstone on the grave of the fixie culture.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else have trouble finding out what a ghost bike is? I've tried proprietary search engines :-) lol

Anonymous said...

they'll innovate next.

Wes said...

How about calling them deds - short for retardeds?

Anonymous said...

anonybots

Anonymous said...

". . .anyone else have trouble finding out what a ghost bike is?"

Seeing as the first hit on a Google search is a dedicated site - no.

Actually saw my first one about a week ago; up here in Adiredneck country. Pickup trucks, gingham dresses, Mormon missionaries and now ghost bikes.

The neighborhood's going to hell.

Anonymous said...

nice weather out.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so shy? How come all the anonymity?

Anonymous said...

What in God's name is a fixie?

Anonymous said...

what's this bike thing everyone's talking about?

Anonymous said...

I post everyday as anonymous. The reason you ask? Because the content is so scathing and insightful all at once? nope. It's because I'm retarded, or RADTARDED iffen you will. why just yestersday I asked "whats RTMS?" (note the missing apost, so you know its me) Also, I like to use the 'blah=meh' two-word posts, and this goes waaay back.

-rucksack out

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous

I think I get why you do it now.

Still doesn't explain what RTMS is.

Richard Ball Sachs said...

Dont ask me.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Disgrunt Ed.,

Don't blame me. Believe it or not, those are actually Jobst's words, not mine.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

ok lookit anonymous, see here, RTMS is uh, frilly is the thing you invent when you are a kid, a room full of lovelies having pillow fights and talking dirty so on and so forth nudge nudge wink wink, and RTMS similarly exists in your mind's rucksack, but not in a hot way.

Robert Baden-Powell said...

What do you filthy minded people mean when you say rucksack anyway? It is a useful article that you can use to carry other useful articles on your back. Why has this device become an object for your puerile amusement?

Anonymous said...

RBP: Stick my cruller in your rucksack, baby.

rezado said...

TARDS' OR DOWNYS' WOULD SUFFICE

db said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm not anonymous, I just play one on BSNYC.

d. fofonov said...

Babushka demanding apology for suggesting Missy Giove a pervert.

She saying that Giove is not "carpets licking" but "Karpets liking".

Still I am thinking that mountain biker liking road cyclist is not normal.

Wes said...

d. fofonov

There's been so much ridding of bikes that I would have thought licking and liking would also be interchangeable.

Anonymous said...

babushka demanding apology:
'normal' and 'Missy Giove' not normally associated. see dead pet piranha bling.

Wes said...

I think I'll take this one on my ghost bike - 100.

Wes said...

Dang

Anonymous said...

jeez wes, man, I'd give it to you if I could.
That sounded dirty.

Anonymous said...

AaaaaHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .


I just did #3






Hand Solo

Anonymous said...

"small zippers in your denim that let your feet dangle" "elizabeth st in... greenwich village" is thursday the new wednesday? is that picture really included? CL provides bsnyc with nourishment...brains BRAINS !!

Anonymous said...

WOW!

http://blog.taragana.com/sports/2009/06/18/ex-mountain-bike-champ-giove-arrested-on-drug-charges-nearly-400-pounds-of-marijuana-seized-4832/

Missy Grove was my dealer.

Whats Tyler Hamilton up to these days? Anyone have his cell number?

Anonymous said...

It is a known fact that most all Anonymous posters posting on BSNYC 'Comments Section' are serious pot heads who are suffering short term memory loss and therefore are rendered incapable of remembering their own names.

Bike Rider Guy said...

If hipsters idolise drug using British guys that make outlandish comments. Does this mean in 40 years there will be t-shirts of David Millar?

hempropeenema said...

go brad go

Dang Ol Eroc said...

Hey Mr. Snob! Maybe it is just me, but lately I feel that drivers are becoming more and more impatient and irrational on the roads towards cyclist. Just today on a group lunch ride, we were yelled at, and almost ran into by a lady in her 80's running a red light! I have a theory on why drivers are acting so ridiculous, but I am curious to hear any thoughts you might have on the subject. And I will give you an example of some of the craziness we are feeling out here in Colorado...http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/jun/16/boulder-drivers-blockade-sunrise-century/

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob,

So where can I pick me up one of those red pleather euro-trash mankinis?

Anonymous said...

Wow, the first (and familiar) fixed gear bike tricks from 1899!

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/varstg:@field(NUMBER(0836))

via: http://www.kottke.org/09/06/19th-century-bike-tricks

bricoleur said...

nice fuck me pirate boots, sir sean.

Anonymous said...

god your "graphics" blow (note the quotations

Bobbo said...

dz T - Wut Game Play?

BIG HONKIN' PETE said...

Matt Boulanger:

Usage changes. Please adapt.

CommieCanuck said...

And I will give you an example of some of the craziness we are feeling out here in Colorado..

dude, the problem is, YOU'RE IN COLORADO.

rezado said...

Yeah Colorado sucks lets all move to Canadia.

ken e. said...

and you would all be welcome too!
where do you want to be when low-lying north america sinks below the sea?
(rhymes with bc)

just cross your fingers about mt. baker...

CommieCanuck said...

That's ok Ken, I hear mobile homes can float.

frilly said...

So I guess we're all going to Viper?

grog said...

need
friday
funk whiz

Wes said...

Logged in and ready to go.

seth said...

i recall that somone once said that the answer to every new yorker cartoon contest is :
"Christ, what an asshole"

Pretty much works well with every cartoon.

kale said...

Seth-

I believe it's:

"Christ! What, an asshole?"

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:02, I just sold some Zeus chainrings on Ebay - those things fetch a pretty penny these days!

Comment Deleted said...

This post has been removed by the author.

asutrane said...

man i kno what u mean about the rain! im getting tired of it and just wanna get out and ride.

ive gotta mtb blog about western north carolina, u should check it out! http://wncbiking.blogspot.com/

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