Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Epic-curious: Riding Long and Hard

As I posted yesterday, this past weekend I took the winner of the Fat Cyclist contest on a typical New York area road ride. However, while it was both typical and enjoyable, it was by no means "epic." Frankly, as a mediocre cyclist in all respects I don't possess the necessary passion, fortitude, and effortless style to lead an "epic" road ride. For that matter, I don't possess the proper clothing either. Sure, I once thought I had all these things, but then I read about the Rapha Continental:

Here is how Rapha define an "epic" ride:

No formula exists for epic. It happens when the right conditions are present and it cannot be manufactured. Mental, physical and emotional stress are all components as is suffering, which in the case of cycling, usually means extended periods of self-inflicted pain. Exposure, distance, duration, elevation, great camaraderie, road surfaces, waning sanity, exhaustion, rapidly fading sunlight, weather, empty pockets and broken chains. And competition both healthy and not so healthy are all likely a part of any epic ride. Epic is essentially the result of a series of intense experiences and hard riding.

I like easy-to-follow formulas, so I was disappointed to learn that I cannot employ one to have an "epic." Even though "mental, physical and emotional stress" are important components, as is "self-inflicted pain," these things alone cannot make your ride "epic." I know this because I recently thought really hard about the dire state of the economy while reminiscing about childhood traumas and administering a "purple nurple" to myself during a ride in Prospect Park, and while highly unpleasant, the ride was far from "epic."

Further proof of my intrinsic lack of "epicness" is my experience at the Runcible Spoon. When Rapha visits the Runcible Spoon on an "epic," everything is all sepia and "epicy:"


When I go, it looks like this and I get served a hairy muffin:


But does this mean I lack soul and "epictude," or do I simply lack epic photography skills? Is there really such a thing as a serendipitous state of cycling perfection--a narcotic cocktail of pleasure and pain called an "epic?" Or is there simply a calculated state of visual cycling perfection--an opiate haze of seductive images and words called "epic roadie marketing?" Is it possible to experience this blissful state by riding with the Rapha Continental team-that-is-not-a-team who shave their legs in cold mountain streams and who poke at their deadened muscles with pins to elicit the last few spasms and twitches that will get them over that final, nearly insurmountable 19% climb at mile 135? Or do they just want me to buy some shorts?

I don't know, but whether it's reality or illusion or some combination thereof there are few other cycling companies that could get away with it--although I'd love to see them try. One such company who might want to consider taking a shot at marketing the "epic" is Primal Wear, makers of novelty cycling apparel such as the "Crankkin' Stein" jersey:


Primal Wear are often criticized for their outrageous, tasteless, and arguably hideous graphics. However, I think they should be applauded for having the courage to produce a jersey like this one that empowers Jewish cyclists. I'm not sure what the "Crankkin' Stein" jersey says on the back, but I'm guessing it's something like "Crankkin' Stein Cranks, but Never on Shabbos."

In my ongoing efforts to jump the shark, Primal Wear represents to me the great white. Sure, I may have a column in Bicycling, but that's just hopping over a baby nurse shark on a Razr scooter compared to my actual goal, which is designing Primal Wear jerseys. To that end, I've been working on some concepts, which I'm pleased to share with you here in rudimentary sketch form:



Primal wear have demonstrated a fondness for sexually suggestive double entendre in the past, so I'm hoping this "Derailleur?!? Damn near killed her!!!" design (complete with long-cage Sora rear derailleur) appeals to them as well. Obviously it needs some heavy airbrushing, but you get the idea.


If that's too subtle for them, maybe they'll go for this "I've Got a Compact Crank" design. Because it's not the size of your chainrings; it's how you spin them.


But Primal isn't only about bad puns. It's also about references to popular culture. That's why I think this homage to Charlie Sheen's epic hair in the 1989 baseball comedy "Major League" will be a home run.

But as Rapha has proven, it's not just about showing the clothes; it's also about showing what you can do in the clothes. (And I don't mean relieving yourself in them during a triathlon.) This is why Primal also need to market their version of the "epic" by putting together a group of riders who embody the Primal spirit. This group would be called the "Primal Continental" and they would participate in charity rides across North America. Of course, they'll also need bikes. Rapha Continental has tapped the country's most respected framebuilders to construct for them some of the most pretentious bikes ever made:


Likewise, Primal Continental would have access to the finest bicycles that Performance has to offer:

Plastic, stamped steel, and aluminum play indifferently, ride sufficiently, and look acceptable together. This bike would also look great in front of the Runcible Spoon--as photographed by me, not by Rapha--during a hairy muffin stop on a Primal "epic." Actually, I wonder if Primal would be interested in making "hairy muffin" jerseys. That would be epic.

In the meantime, though, I still can't help but feel inadequately "epic" most of the time. Not only do I have a hard time getting the rarefied blend of leather, carbon, camaraderie, and self-inflicted pain just right, but I also don't have that much time. Sadly, the best I can do most days is try to make my commute "epic." Fortunately, I often succeed--as long as your definition of an "epic" commute includes the words "infuriating" and "miserable." If an epic road ride involves steep climbs, gravel roads, road rash, mechanical mishaps and inclement weather, then an epic commute includes something like this:



Not only is this car disgorging an oblivious passenger on a cell phone right in the middle of the bike lane:


But it turns out the door was also hiding an oncoming bike-salmoning "Beautiful Godzilla."

Even more irritating than the Rapidly-Appearing Bike Salmon (RABS) are the Rollerbladers, whom I've been encountering in the bike lane with increasing frequency:


I wonder if it's possible to do an "epic" Rollerblade ride:

It seems more "meh-pic" to me.

158 comments:

Tom G said...

1st!

mr donkey said...

dokey!!

Anonymous said...

Podium

Hans said...

podium!

Hans said...

darn!

Tom G. said...

I love these short stages. Don't have the legs for the epic ones.

mr donkey said...

Respect. I've been training on my donkey as promised!

Anonymous said...

top ten! and i read it

Dee Kellan said...

omg top ten hooray

rezado said...

FOON!

Never Knows Best said...

top ten!

Anonymous said...

down on the river by the sugar plant

Anonymous said...

long and hard indeed.

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

mr donkey said...

I've been trying for something epic but my legs, nuts and arms keep going numb/useless by mile 60. Maybe it's the white t-shirt i wear instead of a wicking merino wool jersey from rapha.

Or it could just be the saddle. Any thoughts?

Astroluc said...

top 20... road salmons and cars that think that the bike lane is a convenient place to double park seems to be a national epidemic; one would at least hope that the bus drivers, police officers, and other public employees of the municipality would at least set an example for the private, and otherwise oblivious, citizens... but sadly? nay.

hillbilly said...

how bout this for Primal, courtesy of mzza:
"hitting me with your car probably hurts you more than it kills me"

donkey!!

panino said...

bello di mamma.

Rantwick said...

You know what's epic? Reading this blog from beginning to now. That's epic. Wait. I didn't mean that it meant suffering, or unhealthy competition or... oh, never mind.

Anonymous said...

Apparently epic is in the writing more than the riding - from the Rapha article: "As you leave the main road the bike path grows shoulder-high walls on either side and takes a series of steep and narrow switchbacks on it’s way up to the bridge’s surface." - Woah! sounds scary and epic, but wait, that's just a bridge footpath with one 180 degree turn. Yeesh, that's almost more pretentious than their clothing...

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of deuschebagues. I can only hope they were all served hairy muffins at The Fucking Spork.

Jim said...

Crankkin' Stein Cranks, but Never on Shabbos."That's right, Snob. Those fucks down at the league office know, we don't roll on Shabbos. Shomer fucking Shabbos!

hillbilly said...

whatever happened to the south side of the manhattan bridge, still a sign saying no bikes, but i don't see any peds taking that anymore, and the north side is crawling with em!

i had slow moving guy and girl roller bladers on my way home last night, side by side, worse than a double wide trailer

Anonymous said...

Maybe, BSNYC, it's time for a Rapha Index, noting the amount of Rapha penetration into a particular cycling scene.

So far, in BC Canada, it seems like the Rapha presence is small (but growing), with most locals favoring club jerseys over high-priced bespoke merino. But will this change? Hipsters seem particularly vulnerable at this time...

rezado said...

BSNYC,

I see the jersey that you have on for your jaunt into make believe land is very multi-colored(I counted five). If it isnt a primal jersey maybe it is a canari so that you can proudly display your brew of choice. I didnt see a bag over your head although you managed to skillfully place the spork across your face.

worm irks said...

MEDI OCRE
EPIC HERO

mikeweb said...

Hung around the feed zone too long

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

"noting the amount of Rapha penetration"

which reminds me that a letter to penthouse by ralpha would be epic.

(it's spelled ralpha)

Anonymous said...

Any rational mission that step by logical step becomes stupid, meaningless and painful while taking along time to finish is an epic.

Oh, you have to live to tell the tale too. Otherwise you're just Darwin fodder.

Veloben

Anonymous said...

Nice, I know that Beautiful 'Zilla.

Daddo said...

Snob:
You've done a great job of not only evoking cycling misery but also capturing a ‘painful’ aesthetic that appeals to certain riders.

Still, while as a cyclist, I understand it, personally I find it off-putting. It’s a little rarefied for me ... I don’t want to feel like I need to be worthy of my blog reading.

Anonymous said...

Someone please enlighten me on the double entedre of the "Derailleur?!?" jersey design.

rightsaid kev said...

I see Craig Roth, to say nothing of PVB! For the record, the Rapha boys are some of the most posi dudes you will encounter on the road. Just saying. All you haters suck my hairy muff

kale said...

I don't think I want anything to do with epicity if it involves that much suffering and no mention of fun. Get Rapha some mountain bikes and send them on some trails for a weekend so they can suffer through the climb for the rewarding descent.

Primal Jersey Design:

"Merino is for Sheep - Polyester is for Wolves"

flaco said...

oh, no anon 112, did you come over from nyvelocity, bunch of wheelsuckers, why do you all ALWAYS have to call it ralpha? unlike crabon, it's just not funny

BikeSnobNYC said...

Kale,

If I understand correctly, on the Scale of Rides, only sub-epic rides can be described as "fun." Kind of like how you wouldn't call an entree at a four-star restaurant "yummy."

--BSNYC

Achilles said...

You people with your little bicycle rides and your lamentably short blog posts do not understand the meaning of epic.

I'm dead, so I wasn't going to mention it, but sheesh.

libertyonbikes! said...

funny,
all searches for
rollerblade snob,
lead back to you...
or some random german site-
and, well those guys are
still in the late 80's - early
90's culturally,
but did you secretly trademark
'snob'.
I really thought there was some parallel micro rollerblade
world where they complained about
the injustice of bike lanes filled
with bikes, and ill fitting spandex
comparrisons. nope....

"And if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his ass a-hoppin"

kale said...

Oh, I get it. Like a 5k "fun run" would be the Tour de Bronx for triathletes. Or a 2x2 would be the Central Park for overeaters.

Perspective.

Anonymous said...

Epic, Schmepic. If the Babylonians don't try to kill you on your ride, it ain't epic, it just means you're soft. Soft like the mud that lies in the Nile delta after the spring floods.

Woozies!


/s
Gil Gamesh

Pfaff said...

That "beautiful godzilla" is wearing a Canadian tuxedo on a bike in June? Does it not get hot in New York?

Anonymous said...

Rightsaid Kev: What is a "posi dude"?

hillbilly said...

Surprise, there are pedestrians crossing against the light, quick NY times, run an article about cyclists running reds!

hey, you're number 2 (number 1 in this hick's book and heart though)

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/features/top-50-cycling-blogs/

Anonymous said...

I have one of the crankenstein jerseys, even bought it myself. Guess I'm a dork - but it was 2 years ago pre-snob enlightenment!

herbstsonne said...

Everytime I read "hairy muffin" I giggle. Great post.

Eric Lowe said...

Just set your camera colorways effect to "Sepia" and rotate the frame approximately 3.5°, and voila, Epic-tures will be yours

shmaltz herring said...

Actually, the back of that Crankkin' Stein jersey contains this useful message: "While cycling on Shabbos is generally considered to be halachically prohibited, there are some poskim that permit cycling on Shabbos provided that it is done within an eruv."

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to my why the the "Runcible Spoon" sign is legible from the inside in the Rapha shot, but also legible from the outside in Snobby's shot?

Surly Bastard said...

Great post snob.

So part of a Rapha epic ride is a broken chain. WTF? Spend thousands on poofy bike clothes but too cheap to buy a new chain? Or does 'epic' mean one ride = one chain?

and "...that ride heroically ..." copy made me gag, just a little.

Don't you find those who revel in epic rides are usually just slow?

Meh-Too said...

Nice. An epic example of equal opportunity bike-culture slaying. Go epic or go home.

mikeweb said...

Kale, how did that shoe taste?

Usually my commute is not except for yesterday. Yesterday I passed by my building and continued south to Red Hook, so named by the first Dutch settlers for it's reddish sand beaches.

Tracing a sea-swept route along VanBrunt st., past the container port to my right and the Vespa Bottega to my left I found myself on the ancient weathered cobblestones at the southern end of Conover st. I then turned left onto Beard St. named for the 19th century businessman who built most of the large brick warehouses and also Atlantic and Erie basins.

I then dismounted, locked my mount and strode into the sights and smells of Fairway market, for my goal this day was to purchase a pound of what is arguably the finest whole bean Columbian coffee in all of Brooklyn. Once the precious beans were placed in my hands, I sensed that this voyage was close to finished.

I remounted and headed north on VanBrunt past the old hulking warehouses, dive bars, BBQ joints and cremation specialists of Red Hook. I was feeling the burn in my legs and the wheeze of a B61 bus trying to catch up with my swift pace.

Too soon I was home, but my mind still wandered to thoughts of my quest for coffee.

hillbilly said...

nice one Mike! no "baked" though? geez! i guess you're right, cupcakes aren't very epic, maybe a steve's key lime pie though.

Anonymous said...

death to rollerblading infidels!

bikesgonewild said...

...i gotta admit being a rapha continental rider can't suck too bad...

..."lemme see if i've got this straight...
...so ya want me to ride a bike that's hand built & custom made for me, w/ an excellent gruppo & handmade wheels, while wearing nicely styled although somewhat pretentious wool clothing as i ride throughout the united states for the summertime w/ a small group of other guys...
...you'll pay me, feed me well & cover my expenses while a team of writers manages to turn my "every turn of the pedals" into an "gentleman's epic adventure" in order to create a pretentious & over-the-top advertising campaign designed to sell lovely but overpriced cycling gear...
...nice...count me in...when do we start ???...oh, by the way...this isn't a gay thing is it ???...i mean, not that there's anything wrong w/ that...but just sayin'"
...

mikeweb said...

Thanks hillbilly.

Yes, I know Keylime Steve pretty well - now there's an epic individual!

db said...

Wow, equating Rapha with Primal is ... awesome. They're selling an attitude, just to different audiences.

Regarding the question, "What is epic?" If Rapha's narrative is an indication, it involves a not-too-difficult out-and-back broken up by cafe stops and breakfast, described with as many similes/metaphors as possible.

"Like a helmeted tornado"? Epic.

mikeweb said...

BGW, admit it, even if it was a gay thing, you'd still have to give it serious consideration.

Anonymous said...

The thing about inline skaters is that they ooze even more arrogance than club cyclists AND they take up the whole bike lane with exaggerated kicks and an apparently inherent inability to skate in a straight line.

Hate 'em.

Luck E. Seven said...

Rapha = tits on a bull.



A

Brad Wedemeyer said...

good catch rezado.

you are Adrian Monk, Gil Grissom, Lieutenant Columbo, Sgt. Joe Friday, Lieutenant Horatio Caine, Det. Elliot Stabler, Jim Rockford, Det. Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola, Detective Robert Goren, Marshall Sam McCloud, Eliot Ness, Det. Steve McGarrett, Det. Lennie Briscoe, Fox Mulder, Det. Vic Mackey, Det. James 'Sonny' Crockett, Captain Barney Miller, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, Nash Bridges, Dana Scully, Det. Dave Starsky, Det. Andy Sipowicz, Sgt. T.J. Hooker, Chief Clancy Wiggums, Sledge Hammer, and Detective Tony Baretta all rolled into one.

bikesgonewild said...

...mikeweb...hey, for all the reasons i listed, no doubt whatsoever...

...i'd just be careful of showering w/ my new found cycling buddies...

grog said...

Is there really such a thing as a serendipitous state of cycling perfection--a narcotic cocktail of pleasure and pain called an "epic?" Yes.

EPIC RIDE

aser said...

weather graphics-download here:weather graphics-download-online

rezado said...

Brad,

You must be alot older than you look. I have never even heard of some of these make believe sleuths. You should have added Jessica Fletcher. Rocket was a way better detective than Roscoe. Kind of like Inspector Gadget and Brain. That silly dog was always foiling Dr. Claws evil plans.

Kapitan said...

Anon 1:18: English is not my native tongue, so bear with me. But I believe the "derailleur" double entendre is "Did you rail her" as in ... well, bang/shag/fill in your fave sexual euphemism here. Good to see Snobby getting back into form for the riding season. Biting sarcasm, exposing rampant public displays of posing and pretentious behaviour, idiosyncratic references ... I love it. That Runcible crowd needs a fire hose taken to it. The Rapha epic story made me nauseous. What the hell is wrong with these people?

sufferist said...

Rapha jersey spotted on a cyclist in Tulsa,OK over the weekend. He may very well have been from out-of-town. From one of them far flung cities like Little Rock....damn city folk.....

Anonymous said...

germany!

Andy Reimer said...

As someone with a endomorphic body, I don't think I'll ever have an epic ride as defined by Rapha. My last 400km ride must have been most un-epic indeed, as every photo of myself shows me awkwardly pushing my 280lb frame up some hill with a sad look on my face. I can't even fool myself anymore. My minds eye knows all too well what I look like in cycling clothes. Oh well, I'll just have to settle for riding on the proper side of the road.

Anonymous said...

EPIC FAIL

Anonymous said...

Snob - Careful, you almost forfeited your anonymity with your reflection in the window when you were taking a picture...or is that you?

flaco said...

love the blog as always, but the comments are coming dangerously close to the preppy popular kids in high school - he's wearing blah, he must be a blah...i know, i know, then don't read em, go ahead flame away, in the words of the great bgw...jus sayin...

ringcycles said...

Surly: The Rapha copy made me retch until my stomach hurt. I have until now ignored Rapha's pretentiousness but Snob, you've forced me to look. I thought the only way to have a truly epic ride was to gird your loins, strap on your sandals, and climb into a chariot (ala Ben Hur). Isn't "epic'ing" singing with a lyre about slaying the Cyclops(not telling liars about slaying it on your CycleOps) Do the framebuilders for Rapha continental really employ nano-technology? That's how Richard Sachs can operate on his own! He employs thousands of microscopic welders to do his brazing! O.k. I think I've hurled it all out of my gut now. Time to go write an ode about the town line sprint.

P.S. Kev, you can munch a muffin, or nibble a muffin, but I don't think one can suck a muffin.

Harry Muphin said...

FACE

Anonymous said...

@Anon 2:01:

Rapha probably flipped the picture while electronically editing it for better 'epic balance'

It's all fake.

All of it.

Anonymous said...

Word from the Left Coast. Our ultimate bi-directional sidewalk Salmon run is the Golden Gate Bridge, featuring hoards of Blazing Saddles rental tourists descending towards Sausalito like a slow motion biblical plague while steel-hard Lance wannabees thread through them head-on like hungry barracuda. Combined with fog-fueled side winds, the potential for cycling carnage runs through the bridge like a high voltage electrical current. Micro-epic!

Isolation Helmet said...

Classic combined with nano-technology? A steel bike with a crabon fork. Wow how original. Although I would rather palp a steel fork. Of course then you can't come up with stupid ass ad copy.

ringcycles said...

BGW "So, Timmy, do you like to watch gladiator movies?"

Anonymous said...

From Rapha Gentleman's ride. Stories. Rare is the rider that doesn't have an interesting tale of things witnessed,felt or shared. I dont think I want to witness, feel or share anything with another guy on a bike ride. But BSNYC did say he slipped on wet leaves.

red neckerson said...

epic involves doing something just damm stupid like if yor riding mountain bikes and you run into a tree and get wang chung it aint epic but if you say hey ricky that didnt hurt none now watch me pound my nuts with the bicycle pump then that wood be epic thats what im saying

Anonymous said...

I just fucking hate the word "Runcible," even in the Owl & the Pussycat story. Even my gay friends think that's a gay name for a coffeehouse.

g said...

red, I have to be honest, I usually skim your comments, but this one... damn good!
Oldie butgoody:
What's are the redneck's last words?
Hey, y'all, watch this!
His brother's?
Ah shit. I can do that!

frilly said...

Snobby, how far was this ride? Just curious.

For some reason, I figured you to be low-key basic black shorts. Royal blue would not be a choice I would have expected. Not that it is really you cuz of course there would be others taking pictures of the peacocks on display. Um, btw, do you know any of these guys, particularly the dude in the Postal jersey? Hopefully.

bikesgonewild said...

...ringcycles...seriously (hah)...or something along the lines of the funky paris - roubaix shower stall scene at the end of "a sunday in hell"...

...anon 3:58pm...ain't it the truth...that wind has thousands of miles of unimpeded open ocean to race across...it hits that bridge structure & it's never a smooth constant breeze but a swirling, turbulent, buffeting mass...

...when it's really blowing, as you swing out around the bridge towers, it grabs your front wheel & pulls ya right towards the railing & that 280ft drop...

...even as an experienced cyclist, it gives one pause...& thank god they put the railing in between the traffic & the walkways...
...i rode it before they did & w/ the wind, that was truly scary...

...death epic...

rightsaid kev said...

ringcycles, so true.

"all you haters nibble my muffin!" Or, if you prefer, "I only do it for the hipster muffin!"

Renders Fenders Moot said...

I was runcible. I became irascible. I am invincible.

jolene said...

shit no my muffin aint got no hairs nohow noway but hell if it aint shaven in no mountin watter but that what they done called the ol crick whare i done lost my ladiehood to that cosin of reds that was an epic ride i done never froget

seriously i needs me a long cage to rail me

bikesgonewild said...

..."epic-curious: riding long & hard"...

..."epic - curean: eating hairy muffins, in bad company"...(other than that of brad wedemeyer)...

Surly Bastard said...

ringcycles: I too skipped the copy in Rapha catalogs until today. Whoever wrote that smarmy glop had to be typing with one hand while foffing off with the other. Probably wearing the Rapha white lambskin single speed gloves, ya think?

And Red, yeah that is the true definition of epic ...

mr.complaint said...

all rides are epic if you wear the tatoos of agreement....

frilly - muffins are 40miles round trip from the GWB. 50 rt from Central Park. 150 rt from Brooklyn, which would be epic if it wasn't so flat.

hillbilly said...

where in bklyn are you starting from, mr complaint, that's 50 miles from cp?

hillbilly said...

depending on routes, about 75 miles from snobbie's environs

hillbilly said...

sorry, that's 75 round trip, i'm still reeling from mr. complaints gps

Anonymous said...

Is Bayshore in Brooklyn now?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Hillbilly,

We did add some climbs to the ride in a pathetic stab at epicosity.

--BSNYC

ERK said...

There there snobby... The commute is epic enough what with those dastardly roller-bladers.
Interestingly, Your secret identity is being eroded, slowly, by your commute photos. I must have entered the daily king-of-the-manhattan-bridge event directly before or after you, as i nearly found myself entangled by those very same "blades". Have you ever tried riding on the south side of the bridge? I hear its more of "the pedestrian side" but is also frequented by aloof, stair negotiating fixters who scoff at the main-stream north side. interesting...

Strayhorn said...

Did those Runcible/epic/sepia riders really wear their helmets inside to order?

Jesus, what a bunch of posers.

But you will have to admit that the woman roller-blader had a nice bum.

hillbilly said...

oh, don't get me wrong rtms, i didn't mean to guess your distance, was just stunned at how far my park slope to ues commute had become apparently, seeing as bklyn had apparently moved farther away from central park.

you broke my rule = never add hills.

that and never stop at "that place"

hillbilly said...

any suggestion of "bradley" or "tweed" and I fake a mechanical

Anonymous said...

Really Frilly? Postal guy looks a little doughy to me. I like the Adidas sans-sox though...

Anonymous said...

My Epic rides always start en medias res. Half the time I don't know where I am until about a third of the way through. They always seem to involve a see voyage, not to mention the nation-states that seem to pop up when I finally dismount. Sing to me muse of Eddy's wrath.

Anonymous said...

My epic rides always end with an std.

SteveL said...

In mountaineering, "an Epic" is anything where you aren't sure if you are going to come back alive. "Touching the void" is epic. The big Everest disasters: epic. Heinrich Hammer's "The White Spider", tale of the first Eiger north face expedition: epic. A trip to a cafe. not epic. Just in case anyone was wondering.

frilly said...

anon 5:22--I think it might be the way he is sitting, kind of kicked back. But, yeah, he definitely has a little more meat on him than the typical roadie skeleton. I bet his ass is fine. And, for sure the no-sox look emphasizes the shaved leg goodness. Boy's got some legs on him. Damn. As you guys might say, I'd like to tap that. Or whatever the girl version is.

g said...

Frilly,
I believe you could use 'palp/rock/rub/run' that here and everyone would get the idea.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
SteveL, this isn't a mountaineering context, but thanks for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

Damn! Just read it. It's one of the best posts ever.

Fucking with Rapha is great too. I mean, it's great shit (got me a cap as a gift), but enough with the crap! If I want to read I go Krabbe (yes, read it a few times) or the Yellow Jersey shit.

inspector clouseau said...

fools! the clue to bsnyc's true identity is right here in this blog post. just do a little research. bsnyc is....MOTHRA!!

Anonymous said...

did you black out the "IRA RYAN" on the downtube?

Alfred E Newmann said...

http://www.rapha.cc/merino-shirt
The Rapha Merino Shirt is a modern interpretation of the classic jerseys from cycling’s post-war era, the so-called 'golden age' of the sport.
Only $265 USD !!

Once you go blecchhh, you never go back!

Johnny Sprocket said...

Sometimes just getting down to the garage and getting the bike out is an 'epic'.

Sheesh.. give me a break.

Cognorant said...

Snob,

You don't think that the multi year "ride" of creating this blog, entertaining the masses, and generally creating something that has gained you sometimes national attention is epic?

Maybe your just that humble or you don't consider metaphorical rides to be epic?

Philip Williamson said...

Any ride can be epic if you're ill-enough prepared.

Ronsonic said...

So what've we got so far, Rapha pretentiousness, Primal tastelessness, Assos fatlessness.

I'm going to have to come out with a clothing line dedicated to simply not looking any stupider than necessary.

Anonymous said...

I likes me some Rapha, I just try not to read the copy, look at the pictures nor buy at full retail.

The Quiet Cyclist said...

If only Primal would release a Rapha-inspired jersey. We can dream.

Dave said...

This is an interesting post, and so are the comments.

Me, I like pretentious writing. I like off-beat photography. I like wool jerseys. Rapha has all that, which is why I enjoy surfing over to the Rapha website.

I would wager that many of the condescending remarks about Rapha found on this webpage come from those either unable to afford Rapha gear, or from those who can't justify the expense of it, whether or not they have the money.

Every company needs a way to differentiate itself from the pack, and Rapha has done that well. Whether they are making any money, especially in a world-depressed economy, I do not know.

I do know Rapha makes the most comfortable jerseys I've ever worn, because I have two of tbem. And most of the Rapha apparel - like mine - is anything but pretentious. It might be retro, it might be understated, it might be stylish, it is pricey, and it's worth it.

I wish I could ride with the Rapha Continental "team" for a day. Oh, wait - I AM riding with the Rapha team, later this year. In fact, a preview of a part of the ride is here: http://www.icyclist.blogspot.com - and I'll have a follow-up to the "official" Rapha ride I'm on when it's over.

Ralph said...

A Rapha jersey is the cycling version of a Ralph lauren polo shirt... with the collar turned up. It just says, look at me, I'm a pretentious wanker !

bikesgonewild said...

...dave sez:--"Me, I like pretentious writing."...

...that's pretty fucking obvious, dave, 'cuz yer post is nothing but a pretentious shill job for rapha...

...& ya, right, you just "happened" to 'btw' remember yer gonna do a rapha ride...

...hey, try a site that actually gives a fuck...

Ride Daily said...

I have Kiss arm warmers, a Rainier Beer jersey and the Rolling Stones Tatoo You shorts ready to go. All Primal. I will ride my Masi (Haro) Speciale CX.

CommieCanuck said...

Dave..you're in the wrong place, we laugh at people like you.

Enjoy your Louis Vuitton pannier bags and Prada shoe covers.

I'm sure people who wear $25,000 Rolexes feel that the less accurate timepiece was worth the money, after all, they contain as much as $500 in gold.

You'll have a hard time defending a company that marketed $140 cycling gloves and $120 riding journals, make of that distinctive, exclusive, ...paper.

Anonymous said...

pfft, epic is doing the same distance without a support vehicle...

Anonymous said...

Oh well, CC, it's Dave's money. He can throw it away if he wants. May as well, with the economy going in the dumper, it may be his last chance.

I just schloffed over to the Rapha site and they have a pair of bib shorts for (drum roll please...) 130 POUNDS STERLING! That's up in the rarified air of Assos pricing!

Dave said...

>..& ya, right, you just "happened" to 'btw' remember yer gonna do a rapha ride...<

The concept of irony is lost on you, bikesgonewild, along with a sense of humor. ;-)

hillbilly said...

It's nice stuff when you get it for free, gifted or stolen, and the writing is crap, aside from being pretentious, and you can't possibly claim it's worth what they charge, the ceo more or less admits to ripping people off with his fucking mission statement about how all his friends were riding 7000 dollar bikes and wearing 25 dollar shirts and he saw an opportunity (to rip people off who felt a need to pay more to feel ok about what they were wearing)

Wes said...

Yeah bgw, Dave is right. You've got no concept of irony. All those posts on here and not once have I seen a glimmer, a twinkle, a flutter of irony. And all your comments are SO unfunny, and so obvious. I don't know why you bother.

And who would have thought that you Commie, with a name like that would be on the opposite side from Dave.
And may those Merinos keep churning out the fleece to keep the poor craftsmen at r***a in a job.

Dave. I'm right there with you, you and your "apparel".

Let us know if the Continental ride is, you know, friendly.

Surly Bastard said...

I think Dave was on some kind of Epic ride that "went so wrong" he got separated from the other lawyers and ended up here.

"Pretentious copy" Dave? Dave (2001 Hal voice) I think you've made a terrible mistake. That Rapha copy wasn't in the least bit pretentious Dave. It was unpalpable Dave. A boa constrictor couldn't swallow that swill Dave. Now get back into the air lock Dave. That's better Dave. Your merino wool is waiting outside the door, Dave. Have a nice day ....

Wes said...

R***a water bottle for sale on Ebay at moment, £18.50 plus £3.00 postage, and I'm going to need an exclamation mark here, used(!).

Luck E. Seven said...

Suck it, Dave.

The irony is lost on you, which may be a lasting effect from a heart attack. A fool and his money are soon parted.

However, I'm on the edge of my seat to read your follow-up to the "official" Rapha ride (you're) on". Will it be peppered with dangling prepositions as well?



A

ringcycles said...

Dave: I don't mind pretentious writing, particularly about something I am very passionate about like cycling. I HATE bad writing, especially about something I am as passionate about as cycling. The copy in the Rapha ride report is horrible writing. There is plenty of high tech in modern 10 speed drive trains and carbon forks of these bikes, but absolutely no nano-technology. I am glad Rapha is giving support to some dedicated and passionate cyclists on their "team" (I know a couple of them) and to some great custom builders, like Richard Sachs. But I can not imagine that a Rapha jersey is twice as nice as an Ibex jersey, or that either is much better than the old wool Castelli jerseys I've had in my drawer for 25 years. If I wear one out, I'd be happy to see if Rapha is as good as its "writers" say it is, but not at $200 a shirt. At those prices they seem to be selling "the cycling experience" more than just a bike jersey. Richie Sachs is right, forget epic, just go ride hard enough to earn your donut. He also noted that "cycling is a vain sport". I guess Rapha is just taking advantage of that. SteveL is right in origin, but following through, mountaineering first claimed sporting title of "epic" for events were one came close to death. Then mountain bikers figured any really gruelling long difficult error filled ride could qualify. Now, Rapha has reduced it down to any 90+ mile hilly ride with two cafe' breaks to escape the rain? That's like calling the latest "Transformers" movie the cinematic equal of "Lawrence of Arabia". Not even close.

kale said...

I remember the day when I got my new GT mountain bike (CroMo) back in middle school and rode the shit out of it with other kids with Mongooses and other low range bikes - then along came the pretentious weekend warriors who bought competition grade components to make up for their lack of fitness and enjoyment. It's the Bart Kaufmann and Robert Mackey generation - the yuppie pricks who think they can buy their way out of trouble or into a culture.

But that's the American Way - so why act all surprised when "Dave" flaunts his superior capital (because, when it comes down to it that might be all he's got).

AYHSMRWJ

Dave's Homey said...

Suck it Haters!

mikeweb said...

Something occurred to me on the way home yesterday about the rapha epic ride stuff: they're using the Harley Davidson 'lifestyle' marketing concept with a (very) different aeshtetic.

Think about it, instead of 'gentleman's race', 'six gaps' or 'Acadia', you have Laconia N.H. Instead of 'north Cascades' you have Sturgis. Daytona bike week? Well I guess that's in a class of it's own.

Dave said...

>You'll have a hard time defending a company that marketed $140 cycling gloves and $120 riding journals, make of that distinctive, exclusive, ...paper.<

Calling a company's marketing "pretentious" and it's products "pricey" and wondering if it's a viable way of making money is hardly a defense of something.

My intent was more along the lines of poking fun at both the company and the comments of others who went before me.

I went too far, though, with my comments and I apologize to those whom I offended.

>Enjoy your Louis Vuitton pannier bags and Prada shoe covers.<

That old stuff? Hey, I employ an army of servants who I pay well to enjoy those things for me.

It's the same when I rent a James Bond movie, watch the news or a play, or open the pages of a novel - I live vicariously, instead of experiencing life directly. Seeing myself skewered here is an experience maybe less vicarious than I'd wish, but I guess I deserve it.

Here's a place you can vicariously for a few moments, too, free of any shilling, except for a pic of me in my Rapha jersey, and I hope minus the pretension:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?p=9025080#post9025080

By the way, I actually haven't read anything here, as I pay someone else to do that for me. Nor have I written the words that appear in this space, as I've paid someone else to undertake that chore, too.

In fact, I pay the person who's writing these words on my behalf so much money that she in turn is paying someone else to write what you see here. That fact leaves me with a lot of time on my hands (at the moment I'm actually landing my private jet at JFK), as well as totally confused about a lot of things.

bikesgonewild said...

...rapha = self-righteous...

...dave = self-serving...

...together = delusional...

Anonymous said...

All that pink and no ladies on the Rapha "team"?

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

ringcycles said...

Dave: touche', though are YOU actually landing the plane, or are you using the executive "I" as when Martha Stewart says "I baked these cranberry walnut scones" when her minions did all the work and she just pulls the pan out of the oven.

Luck E. Seven said...

Nothing pretentious about that shot of Dave in his orange jersey on the canyon rim.

That's some quality humility for ya.


A

mr.complaint said...

hillbilly

I may be wrong, but Brooklyn is just sooooooo far away, it may even be like Milan San Remo everyday.

SteveL - I am keenly aware that everyday I ride my bicycle I may not get home. Epic, crabon.

bikesgonewild said...

...every day, as bsnyc/rtms cycles to work, he shoulders the weight of all these comments...

...now surely that's epic...

Anonymous said...

Instead of "Primal Continentals", why not call them "Primal Genitals".
It tracks better with Primal's style ethos, no?

Dave said...

" I HATE bad writing, especially about something I am as passionate about as cycling. The copy in the Rapha ride report is horrible writing."

My goodness - I didn't say the writing was good - or bad. I said I liked it because it was pretentious, just as I enjoy the pretentiousness of a James Bond flick. I don't imagine the dialog in a 007 film has ever won an academy award, but that's not why I see the films.

"But I can not imagine that a Rapha jersey is twice as nice as an Ibex jersey, or that either is much better than the old wool Castelli jerseys I've had in my drawer for 25 years."

You're right, Rapha jerseys are not twice as nice as your other jerseys (I have my 1976 wool jersey, but not in a drawer, because it still fits me). They are nice jerseys, though, and I like the one I have, even though I regret annoying people with my original intemperate comments.

Over the years I've purchased a bunch of jerseys; none of them, except the 1976 jersey, are wool, and they were not expensive. I enjoy my new Rapha jersey I paid for, in part because it lets me pretend I'm wealthy enough to own a private jet, that I'm 25 again, and that I can still make "epic" rides with people who are 25.

I'm sure you enjoy the jerseys you have, too, even though they sit in a drawer at the moment, and even though they cost at least twice as much as a basic lycra jersey.

As for nano-technology and bike frames and bike builders, I skip over that part of the Rapha website, which you've apparently have read. I just like reading the pretentious stories about the rides because they are, well, pretentious.

Like watching James Bond movie (or reading one of the 007 books) is for me, reading Rapha ad copy is a fun. Which I was hoping to have here, but possibly that's not the case.

mikeweb said...

for the record, when I do the "Nyack epic", I leave from atlantic ave. and the water in Brooklyn. When I return home with stomach cramps and ruined shorts from the runcible hogwich, my cyclomputer reads 66 miles.

Anonymous said...

Southside of the bridge is pedestrian only. Please don't bike on it. Just looks bad when you tell all those walking on the north side to use the other and it is full of riders of bikes that can not or will not read the signs that state no bikes.

Anonymous said...

Southside of the bridge is pedestrian only. Please don't bike on it. Just looks bad when you tell all those walking on the north side to use the other and it is full of riders of bikes that can not or will not read the signs that state no bikes.

mikeweb said...

BTW, Dave, I'm sure you're a great guy, but all your defenses, apologies and protestations here are just making it worse.

I guess your original post was like the novel, 'American Psycho', in that nobody here got the joke.

emiko said...

I love louis vuitton handbags

MINI Driver said...

What?

Andre Felipe said...

Yes, this is epic. http://www.latfh.com/post/111436486/my-goal-was-to-make-a-bicycle-that-would-somehow

RMM said...

I would be fine with Rapha if the quality was there...but it is not. I bought arm and knee warmer, only to have them start to fall apart on the first ride.

DistrictXII said...

Pretentious or not, I'd sell my soul for one of those Rapha bikes. They're gorgeous!

MODUS said...

yeah it's flipped.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=37+North+Broadway,+Nyack,+NY+&sll=31.545444,-176.418312&sspn=175.051094,360&ie=UTF8&ll=41.091999,-73.918011&spn=0.005984,0.009645&z=17&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=41.09217,-73.91797&panoid=CQ1JgxlYvwNGFQZA7vQb0g&cbp=12,261.34,,0,0.27

I'm sure they have a valid reason that's being penned onto a partchment that will become their autobiography as we speak.

"Jimmy (our 9-5 darkroom intern) muffed the markings on the medium format negative. We mark all our negatives using opaque paint, and use period symbols and markings to communicate to our man on the enlarger...."

MJ Klein said...

wtf is it with road riders and track bikes? you wouldn't ride a track motorcycle or car on the road, would you?

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Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/fashion/02FITNESS.html


In an e-mail message, Bike Snob NYC said he was impressed with a “Fixed Jacket” that Rapha sent him to try. “It’s excellent,” he wrote. “It’s durable, the fit is good, and the pockets are in the right places.” The blogger added, “They’ve done a great job of not only evoking cycling history but also capturing a ‘soulful’ aesthetic that appeals to certain riders.” Still, he admitted: “As a cyclist, I understand it, but personally I sometimes find it off-putting. It’s a little rarefied for me ... I don’t want to feel like I need to be worthy of my clothes.”

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