Monday, June 29, 2009

Veloship of the Chainrings: Riding on Water

Last Friday, I criticized the people of Portland for their flamboyantly ebullient (or, as I prefer to think of it, "flambullient") approach to cycling. Subsequently, I was pleased to see that they received this criticism with good humor--a quality which appears to be typical of them, and which is no doubt a product of light workloads, bicycle-friendly streets, and a wholesome diet of locally-grown organic foodstuffs. Meanwhile, here in New York City, cycling is all too often a dour business consisting of many insoluble subsets, each of which refuses to acknowledge (much less ride with) the others, regardless of whether theme costumes are involved.

However, there are some riders in this world who transcend these subsets. They even transcend the very notion of the theme ride, since their entire lives are theme rides, and that theme is cosmic oneness. They are simultaneously soluble and insoluble, as all of cycling exists within them. I'm speaking of course of cycling's Lone Wolves, who occasionally deign to take human form and ride among us:

I've been criticized in the past for posting images of the Lone Wolf, despite the fact that I do so with genuine reverence. Frankly, if revering the Lone Wolf is wrong, then I don't want to be right. The truth is that I am always simultaneously excited and envious when someone spots the Lone Wolf, as was the case this past Sunday, when a reader was fortunate enough to encounter him at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix:

As you can see, the White Lotus bicycle is manifest here. Needless to say, it's no coincidence that this is what the Lone Wolf rides. According to that irrefutable authority, the "internet," in Buddhism the White Lotus "symbolizes Bodhi, the state of total mental purity and spiritual perfection, and the pacification of our nature." Note in particular that the USA decals on the twin disc wheels are in harmonious alignment. However, in stunning contrast to this is the Lone Wolf's countenance, which instead of its characteristic beatitude appears to be fraught with concern. While at first glance the source of the Lone Wolf's consternation is not apparent, the scene directly across the street from where he is sitting makes everything immediately clear:

Who would dare to display a lesser white bicycle in the presence of the Lone Wolf? This no doubt is the object of his lamentations. Of course, the Lone Wolf's expression should not be mistaken for anger, as he is above anger. Rather, he is simply in a state of deep compassion for this poor being. Clearly, this person is attempting to take a shortcut to enlightenment, and putting together a bicycle like this and taunting the Lone Wolf with it is like assembling a plastic Christmas tree next to the Bodhi Tree, napping under it for 20 minutes, and then springing to your feet and announcing, "I've attained enlightenment!" It just doesn't work that way.

Still, this does not prevent people from making premature pronouncements of cycling gnosis. A reader recently alerted me to these knuckle tattoos, with which the wearer claims to have attained a state of "Veloship:"

Apparently, "Veloship" is defined as follows:



veloship

noun, verb, Wes-ism, -shipped or -shiped, -shipping or -shiping

-noun
1. the condition or relation of being a fellow velo: the fellowship of cyclists.
2. friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship between riders.
3. community of interest, feeling, etc.
4. communion, as between members of the same bicycle gang.

5. an association of persons having similar tastes, interests, etc. in cycling
6. a company, guild, or corporation.

–verb (used with object)
7. to admit to fellowship, esp. bicycling fellowship.
–verb (used without object)
8. to join in fellowship, esp. bicycling fellowship.

- Wes-ism
9. The fellowship of the bicycle. Basically what it comes down to is fellowship on bikes. You
ride with someone and talk about life, God, whatever... And that's what I'll be doing for
the rest of my life.

Synonyms:
1. velo-radeship, cyclo-camaraderie, friendcycle, velo-society, intimacy.

However, when I see a pair of hands that say "VELO SHIP" on them, I think of only one thing:


Since it now rains All The Time in New York City, I have a feeling that the "velo ship" conversion is going to become the next big thing. Forget horizontal dropouts and fixed cogs; soon it's going to be all about the pontoons. Not only will this come in handy for flooding, but it will also mean that you won't have to use any of the bridges; instead, you can just ford the East River wherever you feel like it. Actually, it looks like it's taking off already, since "velo ship" riders are beginning to organize alleycats:




That must be the post-race trackstand competition.

Not only that, but "velo ships" are also great for time trials, as the video page shows:


Aerobars Aweigh!

Fortunately, though, some riders are still more humble about their places in the universe, and as such they choose asceticism as the path to spiritual transformation. Here's one such example from the Fixedgeargallery:



While the rider's asceticism is not apparent from the Iro above, it does become clear when you see his second bike, below:

Clearly, this rider has divested his bicycles of unnecessary ornamentation to such a degree that he has but one saddle and seatpost, and he switches them from bike to bike as necessary:


ITTET I applaud such frugality. Really, if you think about it, what's the point of having a seatpost and saddle on every one of your bikes? You can only ride one at a time after all, and most people have a particular saddle they prefer anyway. You've only got one crotch, so why do you need five seats?

But while asceticism and a lack of attachment to material possessions can be spiritually healthy, that doesn't mean that you should invite theft, as is the case with this Bianchi spotted by Daddo One:

This may not be the key to enlightenment, but it is the key to a free bicycle as well as possibly the contents of the owner's home. Perhaps the rider is testing the "veloship" of his or her fellow riders. Personally, I think it's about as "bulletproof" as an R-Sys.

87 comments:

Fred said...

Podium Fred?

bobby g said...

contador's still gonna get me booted off the team...

Bivalve said...

top ten!

mikeweb said...

top 10?

with a mullet.

Anonymous said...

huh

Anonymous said...

top ten!!!

Chris said...

Lone Wolf takes 6th!

ken e. said...

pack fill!

Pete said...

hi

rezado said...

Hi, I'm Billy Mays here with my new product...head trauma.

mikeweb said...

Notice the IRO/Cannondale seat swapper is also sporting the latest fashion statement in fixie circles: the arm cast.

ken e. said...

oh yah, let's hear it for cultural diversity...

PONT OONS

rightsaid kev said...

I'm working on a Billy Mays memorial ride/vigil. Expect a dazzling 21 gun white-bib-salute. Feel the power of oxy clean!

ringcycles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred said...

I just want to thank Specialized, makers of the sweet Expedition I used for this auspicious win and Bob Roll and the whole Seven Eleven team for the amazing lead-out. Props also go to Ex Officio, Wigwam and Bell for providing my team kit.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

that sweet black cannon sure has disproportionally long valves stems (DLVSs)

mikeweb said...

Fred, I tried to grab the rear rack of your Expedition as you flew by me like I was standing still, but missed.

Great job!

ringcycles said...

"Who would dare to display a lesser white bicycle in the presence of the Lone Wolf?" I think the answer is clear in the picture of the pretender bike; the leggy blonde holding it, the Rock Racing team cars, Michael Ball! Once again Ball is trying to buy and swagger his way into a first class birth on the "veloship" (whatever that is)

Anonymous said...

Key left in lock?

As a thief I avoid such obvious booby traps -- clearly that lock is rigged to explode at the slightest touch.

hillbilly said...

donkeywootwoot

I got nuttin today, hope yall had a good weekend.

Jim said...

Veloship? Wasn't the Veloship of the Ring a pack of short guys who had to ride bikes to Mt. Doom (located in the heart of the Trek factory) to destroy an evil Biopace crankset or something that could take over even the strongest minds that tried it, such as Sheldon Brown's?

As for Bhodi, that was a Keanu Reeves character in a really bad movie about saying, "whoa! Dude..." Come to think of it, maybe that really doesn't narrow down which Keanu Reeves movie it was.

Christian, in SLC said...

Snob,

The saddle was worn out from the epic LATOJA ride, duh...

rezado said...

SNOB,

Holy sheepshank. You are going to get all the sailors panties in knots after reading this post.

MJ Klein said...

Snob, are recumbent riders Lone Wolves?

Velogre said...

I have no fellow feeling, unless my disgust is shared by others.

On your left!

kale said...

Checkpoint off the larboard tack!

Whar be the hipster wenches!

Astroluc said...

I weep for the forlorn lone-wolf.

crimerider said...

the whole impromptu michael jackson memorial ride here in portland, or. unfortunately overshadowed my own, less well attended, slightly more somber, "wear your farrah wig" p-far ride and bar b que. really a shame.

jolene said...

i does it for the lone wolf dick

Isolation Helmet said...

Snob:

I have spotted the lone wolf of Marin County and hope to have some pics to you soon. He moves quickly so my cheap and slow digital camera has not been able to capture his image.......yet~!

Other Side of the GW said...

Snob, thank you for correcting me. I was wondering why I had not attained enlightenment after sleeping under the Bodhi Tree for only 20 minutes. Next time I'll set the alarm for 25 minutes.

Maybe Portland can arrange a bike ride all in one from all the celebrities we have lost lately. The women can sport Farrah hairdos and everyone who makes a joke will hear McMahon's ha-ha-ha while Michael Jackson music plays in the background and reruns of Gale Storm's My Little Margie play on a video screen as Billy May's voice yells at everyone to ride.

sufferist said...

As a transcendent entity the Lone Wolf needs no pity felt for himself. No doubt he would ask that your energies be redirected to your own transcendence and the common good that would come about from all sentient beings working together to lift the universal consciousness to the full realization of it's potential.

May the pure love and light of the Lone Wolf guide you on your path.

Wickham said...

http://wickhamsbiking.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I hear Portlanders are organizing a "Sanctimonious Effete Douchebag" themed ride where everyone dresses up as Sam Adams, complains about the state of the world while doing blow, rides to Holocene and, then goes to Sassy's for cheese fries.

Justin said...

Does the IRO have a handlebar? That just seems annoying to have to switch between bikes.

Anonymous said...

Veloship?
http://www.buddybike.com/

Anonymous said...

What happened to Mr Donkey? Was he banned for doping?

Anonymous said...

Jim -- Biopace is Shimano, not Trek
Ring -- birth?
Maybe you two should do a collabo...in Portland

Luck E. Seven said...

FAIL!

Anon 1:11: Admitting to a life of crime here is likely to get you stomped, virtually that is.

Wickham, we get it already. No one reads your blog, so instead of actually adding anything here, you just use this board as free advertising for your tales of wattage.

Doing my best to channel AnnaZed, but am falling well short of the mark today. Grrrrr.....


A

ringcycles said...

Anon 1:58: My typo, I meant "berth". But somehow "birth" fits, it could mean that Mr. Ball is hoping to be reincarnated as someone who actually understands bike racing and/or has a higher velo-consciousness.

grog said...

Arrr, we be wanking a velo-uber-ship. Twist your nipple wrench and dive, dive, dive.

bikesgonewild said...

...those yellow pontooned 'veloships' remind me of that great deep purple song "spokes...on the water"...

Anonymous said...

The criticism of the Snob’s mocking the Lone Wolf and encouraging his confederates’ picture snapping emerges from the disconnect between his own closely protected privacy (and pathological fear of others’ judgments) and his relishing the snotty obliteration of another's comfortable anonymity. The Snob may be slow (in more ways than one), but even he (she? transgender?) must be able to see the hypocrisy.

The "Lone Wolf is like totally awesome, for really real" argument ... ugh

Anonymous said...

Why do other bloggers feel the need to feed off BSNYC? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

I am soooo looking forward to the Tour this year! I dont want lance to lose misserably. I want him to know the bitter sting of second place.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:41pm,

I do see your point. Not to argue with you, but remember that, this blog aside, like the "Lone Wolf" I am a person out in the world who rides around the city, goes to races, and so forth. Should my appearance or demeanor catch someone's eye they're certainly able to photograph me. In fact, the local races are quite photographer-heavy and like most local riders I occasionally appear on the local racing website. If someone came across a photo of me and wanted to comment on it they certainly could--they just wouldn't know it's the person who writes the BSNYC blog.

So I'm not hiding at all--I just don't put myself out there as the author of this blog.

Respectfully,

--BSNYC

bikesgonewild said...

...very eloquent & even wonderfully tactical revelation, bsnyc/rtms but the bottom line is that anon 2:41pm is spending too much time w/ the ol' psychology texts & not enough time on the bike (or pontooned veloship)...

...just sayin'...

sab said...

I actually did the key thing this morning, I locked up my gf's and my bike outside the DMV in downtown manhattan, after waiting for an hour on line, my gf pointed out that I never gave her the key back. it was just laying in the ulock for an hour or so. I was probably just horrified at having to go to the DMV that I wasn't thinking clearly.

CommieCanuck said...

Lone wolf..aka Doug, the bounty Hunter: sad truth this was likely stolen bike from a race and this guys bought it for $100 on Craigslist because it had new bar tape and a sweet knog light.

As for the Veloships -this is just the bike engineers attempt to get the ultimate vertically compliant ride and prevent erectile dysfunction.The biggest fad since water beds for swingers, both fads with the same result: ...herpes.

VELO SHIT

CommieCanuck said...

Veloships better be careful of the U-boats of dorkitude.

CommieCanuck said...

.and in other NYC news, Bernie Madoff gets 150 years.

His lawyer, an investor, did as promised and prevented a life sentence.

kale said...

Anon 2:53-

Oh Cadel, you're such a card!

Zombie Sheldon Brown said...

Anonymous Brains!

Jim said...

>>>Jim -- Biopace is Shimano, not Trek Ring -- birth?

Anon 1:58 - you got me there. Please, please don't fact-check my joke about the Rabbi, the Priest and the Irishman walking into the bar. I'd hate it to be found out the Irishman was actually from Southy, the Priest defrocked, and the Rabbi reformed (so technically some sects don't recognize him as such...)

theshepherdsdog said...

I've noticed Dennis (who runs the fixed gear gallery) has instated a strict policy that no person is to be in the photos. I guess it's not being properly enforced. Personally, I hate it when I subjected to seeing the person as well as the bike.

hillbilly said...

Yes, but snob, what us inquiring minds really want to know is whether you were there for the hubub at floyd bennett field last tuesday?

Anonymous said...

Austin Billy Mays memorial:
http://www.atxbs.com/?q=node/1849

red neckerson said...

jolene lets fuck this shit and go bowling

frilly said...

Oh great. So instead of getting to run up Rocky's steps, I'll be at a Billy Mays grotto instead.

I had to switch to Team Fatty Austin cuz of a scheduling conflict. Anybody else gonna be in Austin?

Anonymous said...

I remember back in the 70's seeing a Playboy layout of two girls playing with a giant inflatable penis. Those pontoons bring back fond memories...uh...for the girls, not the inflatable penis. I was mostly just jealous of that...

Todd said...

here's a knuckle tattoo that I was thinking of getting...

tattoo

I'm sure the irony of it will earn me a lifetime supply of street cred.

Richard Irvine said...

I like the look of the Lone Wolf, he's got a friendly face and lovely ice white trainers.

jessica said...

Perhaps what we fear is not the wolf, but the wildness in ourselves.

sprider said...

Great, just when I spring for a new seat for my new ride, I find out it's so wrong to splurge like that ITTET.
Frills, see you in Austin!

frilly said...

Excellent Sprider! Glad somebody I 'know' will be there.

Ordered a Team Fatty jersey today. Just happened to notice the Bad Kitty sock will complement it nicely.

Anonymous said...

enjoy the austin you two. getta room. poop with the door closed next time.

sailor42 said...

I think that the guy using one saddle and seatpost is also swapping his handlebars!! HAWT frugality

sailor42 said...

Nope, I can tell I'm wrong already. Maybe, he maintains such a high level of street cred that he doesn't need handlebars. (maybe that also explains the broken arm..but hey that must be an automatic +10 street cred points)

Anonymous said...

didja know you got da sixtynine? shox, pegs, luckeee

jessica said...

p.s hey snobradon i am suprised that you did not take offense to portlanders calling you a famous blogger/comedian. i mean blogger is embarrassing enough, BUT COMEDIAN?!?!?!?!
thats harsh
sad clowns
total dismissal and disregard of the literary architecture and satire we are so lucky to enjoy each and every day(barring shabat and reshoon)
enough foffin off for one evening though

leroy said...

Is it just me or does the word Veloship make you think of the P-Funk Mothership?

And when you think about it, isn't Cipollini kind of like the George Clinton of cycling?

Okay, maybe it's just me.

innerlighter said...

Isn't a Flambullient some obscure, high end randonneuring bike?

Ah Pook (Eric S) said...

The Wolf leads a double life... world-class athlete by day, tattooed devil-may-care rockster by night


http://www.knuckletattoos.com/lone-wolf/

Anonymous said...

whatever

Anonymous said...

I can't what when the lone wolf puts his Olympic whip on E bay or craigslist.

dogboy said...

"Synonyms: 1. velo-radeship, cyclo-camaraderie, friendcycle, velo-society, intimacy."

Was he going for "companionship" with that first one? If so, he missed bringing together a variety of disparate groups with "velonionship". Along the same lines, it's not hard to come up with "bikeraderie" -- or he could have gone multilingual and just left it at "raderie".

Really, though, the suggestion of a "friendcycle" sounds a little too much like a "friendsicle", which was one of Vlad the Impaler's winter treats. (It's how you knew he loved you.)

John Thompson said...

Does the wrist cast on the aesthete (and the presence of a front brake on the seatless bike) suggest some enlightenment was gained after the original brakeless bike was ridden?

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