Monday, July 13, 2009

Cycling on Stage: Priming the Pumps of Legitimacy

(Inspirational Nike Chalkbot message, via a reader.)

The riders of the Tour de France may be enjoying a rest day today, but here in New York City cycling knows no respite. Instead, it marches inexorably forward, charging at the mainstream culture like an army of ants towards a popsicle stick on the sidewalk. One by one, items that were once unknown outside of the world of urban cycling have become bywords for "chic:" fixed-gears; messenger bags; even Dutch city bikes have captured the imaginations and wallets of people everwhere. And a reader informs me that this past weekend yet another cycling accoutrement may have made the transition. But unlike the others, which were merely surprising, this one is downright unthinkable. Yes, it seems that cycling's de facto Maillot Gauche, the Primal Jersey, has officially gained "indie rock" acceptance:



It seems this reader was attending a "Pool Party" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn when the band Ponytail took the stage, and incredibly the singer was wearing a Primal cycling jersey in the same "Snake Bite" colo[u]rway depicted above:


Here's a somewhat clearer picture, which shows the Primal jersey set against the Manhattan skyline in sharp, horrific relief:



Even though I'd never heard of Ponytail before receiving this email, I can nonetheless state unequivocally that this is a moment of great cultural import--especially in the context of the Urban Outfitters bike. Arguably, once Urban Outfitters sells something, it is impossible to "rock" it ironically, since Urban Outfitters essentially sells pre-packaged irony. However, now that Primal wear has officially been worn onstage in an ironic fashion, we could see sort of an ironic gold rush of cycling dorkitude; in fact, helmet mirrors, lycra half-shorts, and recumbent bicycles could very well be the next items to fall. This is because, in a sense, once you've donned a Primal jersey it's impossible to degrade yourself any further, so you might as well just go with it. It's kind of like how you don't worry about getting your hands dirty after you've been wading armpit-deep in raw sewage.

Also, in another sense, this could represent a whole new era of wearing lifestyle sportswear onstage. I'm not saying anybody will ever reach the heights of Living Colour, who broke new ground in 1988 when Vernon Reid wore motocross pants and Corey Glover wore a surfing wetsuit in the video for "Cult of Personality:"


(1988: The Golden Age of Athletic Stagewear)

But the fact remains that if the singer of Ponytail can wear a Primal jersey onstage, then some other "indie" band can take it a step further and order an entire cycling ensemble complete with "Eat My Dust" socks, Mapei gloves, and SPD sandals from The Secret Website--assuming they are willing to risk the credit card theft.

Incidentally, as I mentioned, I'd never heard of Ponytail before (probably because Barry Wicks did not include them on either of the "mix tapes" he sent me) but in the spirit of due diligence I checked them out and I must say I now understand the choice of chemise since they truly are the aural equivalent of a Primal Jersey:



Really "feeling" the caterwauling. I think Corey Glover may have just soiled his Body Glove wetsuit.

And Primal isn't the only bikey thing to get a nod from the world beyond cycling this past weekend. Indeed, fixed-gear freestyling in general and fixed-gear freestyle impresario Prolly in particular received both a New York Times article and the coveted audio slideshow treatment:

While I was genuinely pleased for Prolly and his "peeps," I was dismayed to note that even in an article of roughly 350 words the Times must still devote almost a third of those words to explaining both the workings of a fixed-gear bicycle and the fact that messengers have historically been fond of them. I suppose though that this does buy the trend's underground status some time, since fixed-gears won't really have become mainstream until the Times can dispense with those formalities. Once they do, you'll know it's "arrived" After all, even the Times doesn't explain how skateboards work every time they mention them.

But while in certain respects the state of cycling here in New York City is becoming almost nauseatingly Portlandesque, it would appear that things are far worse for our siblings in Los Angeles, where a reader informs me that a cyclist was shot during a group ride:

I was pleased to read that the cyclist is in stable condition, and I was also amazed to read that he may have been saved by his own bag. Indeed, this is a dark day for for panniers. I guess now going "bareback" can be as deadly on the bike as it can be in the bedroom. It's bad enough that whenever people hear about a bicycle accident the first thing they ask is, "Was he wearing a helmet?" Now they'll ask, "Was he wearing a messenger bag?" too. And speaking of protection, another reader informs me that someone has finally invented a foldable helmet:


This is great news. Not only I can retire that honeycomb paper ball I've been wearing, but the hipsters can also keep their helmets in their pockets next to their U-locks.

Too bad it's not bulletproof.

96 comments:

speedwobble said...

contador!

Anonymous said...

Lance!

Anonymous said...

WIN SUSAN

Pontius Pilate said...

TOP TEN.

Hail Caesar!

P.P.

Anonymous said...

Boom!

Anonymous said...

Boom shaka-laka

rezado said...

Rest day. I can finally put pants on and go outside.

Anonymous said...

Huzzah! Top ten!

Anonymous said...

hah, I hate this race!

Anonymous said...

hah, I hate this race!

crimerider said...

cadel! (optimistically)

Dylan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
* said...

boonen


oh this is today's post.

Anonymous said...

LeMond!

CommieCanuck said...

What idiots race on a rest day?
This is probably what Cadel is doing right now

It should say,"all you cancer suck my ball".

This is what happens when chalkbots replace hard workin'Amuricans.
BTW: the TDF podium girls this year are also Fembots from Nike.

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't clear before, the shark has officially been jumped. Fixed gear race in Tampa, FL through the suburban streets of Davis Island. Very few helmets, even fewer brakes, but lots of slim fitting jeans.

Anonymous said...

I don't think a foldable helmet will catch on until somebody comes up with a collapsible helmet mirror to attach to it.

rezado said...

Tampa can suck my balls.

hillbilly said...

This morning at a light someone not only pulled ahead of me, but then turned his bike perpendicular to mine and didn't move once the coast was clear. What is there to do about this disturbing trend?

Anonymous said...

cadel ?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if all this fixed hoopla was followed by even just a few new velodromes around the country (it is an olympic sport). I see a few really nice track bikes around town everyday, and I would guess that the owners are not getting used to the bike to race it later, instead I think they may be just riding them around to school and using them as transportation. This is not what they are designed for so it seems dangerous.Perhaps they break so many of the traffic laws as a result of the bikes having no brakes or they are uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

RTMS?

Captain howdy. said...

Wouldn't it be BALL, singular? Seems only right.

kale said...

Snob,

I overheard many a hipster remark at the now ironically named "Pool Parties" that they were in great fear of being captured by "The New York Bike Snob". It seems as though you've attained a Batmanesque status, striking fear into the hearts of the City.

I believe your mission in Williamsburg is nearing completion, if just a slight intimation of your presence causes this much distress.

Rantwick said...

I always knew it was better to be a loner. Riding in groups can get you shot. So much for safety in numbers.

leroy said...

Congratulations Prolly!

And apologies for yelling at you kids to get off my lawn.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Capt Howdy

Commie got that, like half an hour ago.

crimerider said...

contador has proven that he has at least three balls thus putting the team's testicle count back to an even number.

Luck E. Seven said...

Jeeeez!!

I thought Ponytail was rocking the Primal Wear in an ironic tribute to the All Sports Band. However, after the "song" you featured, I can only assume that these people are just not good decision makers.

Fucking Yoko Ono would be proud.



A

red neckerson said...

i never rides without packing heat

fuckers dont mess with me

CommieCanuck said...

Contador is totally fucked come tomorrow. Astoners will not support him like they did Saturday, as it was obvious his ability to go faster pissed off Levi and Lance.

I turned into a Contador fan Saturday - you could actually see his balls from space on Google Earth.

cheva said...

ponytail puts paid to the aphorism that it's better to do something than do nothing. After watching the video, nothing would have been a huge improvement.

Matt said...

That clip from Ponytail was dreadful. That really wasn't fair, that crap is more dangerous than cigarettes, and should have an appropriate warning, ironic or not.

jolene said...

that poneytail singer is my cousin an she aint right in the haid if you knows what i mean but shes nice but got cot up in the rong crowd and they makes fun of her behind here back now here some real music by a classy lady

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_cj4mfcE5A

mikeweb said...

Thanks, Snob.

As if my Monday wasn't bad enough already, you put that Ponytail vid on here.

So now I know what a cat in a microwave sounds like.

iamameatpopsicle said...

i hope to holy hell that ALL YOU HATERS... gets painted on a road in france

crimerider said...

mattweb -

i think "cat in a microwave" was the opening band. i just wish i'd been wearing my foldable helmet when i saw the vid so i wouldn't have wounded myself so badly trying to make the sound stop.

Mad Jack McMad said...

Sastre!

CommieCanuck said...

I have all the "Cat in a Microwave" bootleg MP3s. CIAM rocks. Ponytails is just a cover band.

Cat in a Microwave opened for "Lenny Cohen Gargling Broken Glass while Drinking Iodine"

LCGBGWDI is a great Canadian band.

Zombie Sheldon Brown said...

All You Zombies Suck My Brains!

Anonymous said...

While it hasn't hit the cycling market yet, the climbing industry has already introduced a true foldable helmet: http://www.edelrid.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=268&Itemid=365

CommieCanuck said...

Anon 2:57: wow, that helmet must be GREAT on a hot day, it has almost 8 vents!

Anonymous said...

CIAM RAWWWKS!

Disgruntl Ed. said...

The retro lampshade folding helmet looks nice enough, but it has to be highly flammable to get my full respect.

crimerider said...

anon -

that is a sweet transformer helmet. it looks like i'll be able to leave the flaps up and let the sides of my ironic mullet breathe while i am rubbing/rocking/slaying/foffing/salmoning my fixie.

ponyboy

Gay Israel said...

Ponytail are an amazing band and nice kids. AYHSMP

Astroluc said...

why just the other day I witnessed an older gentleman perusing the produce aisle in my local grocery store wearing a cycling jersey... and no other discernible cycling attire. Shorts, sandles (with white socks), no helmet (no helmet hair), no evidence of exertion... dare I say he was wearing it either for fashions sake, or he really wanted people to know he is a "cyclist".

he drove away in his Volvo.

Eric Lowe said...

Uh, I hope Vernon Reid didn't just soil Corey Glover's body glove wetsuit...


...I know what you meant though.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Eric Lowe,

Oops! Thanks.

(I think that's what broke up the band...)

--BSNYC

mikeweb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CommieCanuck said...

How many helmets fold, and allow you carry nacho chips, melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa in different compartments so they don't mix, while riding.

None, that's how many.

Fuck ya'll..pearls before swine.

bk jimmy said...

I bet this guy would love one of those folding helmets.

mikeweb said...

CR and CC:

Thanks for setting me straight (or is it str8?) on the CIAM info.

I have to agree, AYHSMB MUST be painted over and over on the road up to Col de Colombiere.

what will Phil and Paul make of that?

leroy said...

Wait, In Living Color broke up?

Why am I always the last to know?

If the cycling jersey is really, really baggy, can you wear it off the bike in an ironic way?

What if it's really, really baggy and says "Fat Cyclist" on it?

I don't want to know for me.

A friend asked me to ask.

Honest.

g said...

I didn't think that anything could be more stupid than the folding bike helmet, but then I read the comments below it on the page. What a bunch of party animals that blog is...

Anonymous said...

that link to the Nashbar comment really upset our institutional explorer - warning message both time i tried, although I could read the first part.

I have a visa card I hardly use - used a few months ago at nashbar. 2 weeks ago I got a call from visa asking me about unusual activity - not mine. not saying it's them for sure, but it had only been used at about three different places.

Eric Lowe said...

I like that Lancentric message at the top, but doesn't he have only one ball?

sufferist said...

Hello-

Sk8 board = schluff deck?

ringcycles said...

I think the red folding helmet looks like a B-movie brain eating jellyfish. Zombie Sheldon will have to have one

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the note about Nashbar, Snob. Now I know how my credit card info leaked.


Hincapie!

Anonymous said...

The gangsters were throwing bottles and -vases-? Is this some kind of LA thing, where gangsters gather to do flower arrangements? Is it territorial, with some gangs designing window treatments, others arranging mantels, each venue of decor being hotly defended with fabric shears, hot glue guns?

Anonymous said...

I thought John Peel was dead, and didn't know Prolly broadcast live music during those exhibitions.

I and outside the loop and can't even find any circle of fixie friends, never mind an inner one.

Oh well, I'm still happy.

Anonymous said...

Does williamsburg's illest 28 year old architectural intern know that DOPEchyld has gone fixie?

Anonymous said...

iamameatpopsicle and mikeweb:

I agree completely.
Where's my plane ticket?

Fred said...

Chalk-bot? Double-Meh.
Podium Girl-bot? Meh.

Jens Voigt-bot? Now there's an idea with some legs.

red neckerson said...

jolene that was one of the mostest beutiful thangs i ever heard and i gots to heard it when i was at the country music hall of fame last fall when i went to nashville to see if i could gets a job as a bouncer at one of them strip clubs on printers alley and i did get to see a few bouncers if you knows what i mean but i didn't gets the job which is why sometimes i fill in at the waffle house up in hazard

anyways next time we gets it on ill be sure to put one of them contadors on my dong first so you and me dont get no embarassing social diseases

Anonymous said...

ALL YOU CANCER SUCK MY BALL. OLSEN TWINS CAN SUCKLE THE SINGLE SACK, TOO.

Anonymous said...

Okay then, so what's your take on the singer's fondness for football jerseys?

Anonymous said...

Anon 5.20

Cycling blog.

No comment.

Anonymous said...

architectural intern...right.

Anonymous said...

Staccato comments, check.

Anonymous said...

Snob -- I hate you for the Ponytail clip. I kept listening (43 painful second worth) thinking that it would, at some point, turn into music. Alas, no.

Anonymous said...

i really dug living colour.

also, my favorite socks are the mud flap girl:

http://tinyurl.com/naqxac

i don't know if im rubbin' 'em ironically or not, but i dig 'em.

Anonymous said...

this is all a bit embarassing... ines brunn has some amazing fixed gear trick videos, coreographed with music and even a costume. but in a video discussion she says that in europe many people can do similar tricks.

she is not a hipster, nor is she even american...

Anonymous said...

What's the promo code for the Snakebite jersey?

IDTHEFT

southpole said...

i followed that link to the shot rider in LA and he wore not a messenger bag but a camelbak, which is about as large as a waterbottle if i'm well informed. so the guy was lucky. there was also a second cyclist shot.
and ines is also a scientist, another profession that is less and less common in the USA.

Anonymous said...

At least Animal Collective uses words...

Anonymous said...

Commie Canucks

I think Ponytail is a Cannibal Corpse cover band, not "Cat in a Microwave".

Anonymous said...

Age of Chance video from 1986 with cycling jerseys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBgQNfOa684&feature=PlayList&p=2EEF9A86A9634450&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=38

Anonymous said...

I'd rock those mapei gloves any day, sans irony. Tony Rominger was the best in his day, forget about Indurain.

Ponyboy said...

ALL YOU HATERS SUCK MY PONYTAIL !

Fierce Panties said...

I knew slayin' panniers was a calculated risk, that's what I do these days for a rush, I rock a Carradice and go bareback.

Fierce Panties said...

And
I know that I've hit a new bottom when I hear myself laughing at AYCSMB.
I can't even make sense of it.

All You Cancer? That's just fucked up. Grammatically speaking, I'm having a hard time with it.

Anonymous said...

Fixed gear bike style image for sale on Getty Images:

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/88653849/

HollowTitaniumBallBearings said...

At least Portland wasn't mentioned in the NYT article. It's a tough battle out here, I don't know where they all come from. The war against devolution rages.

Pants said...

Under the bridge downtowwwn is where I skid and rub.

dr. schivargo said...

On a tangent: Greg Lemond helped create the very first hard-shell helmet.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before they too are ironically rocked. I don’t see much future in foldable helmets right this minute.

bk jimmy said...

I guess I had the Nash-rash a few months back. Good thing I figured it out before they got around to calling people in July.


Pants at 3:08 = funny. I feel much better now.

Anonymous said...

Uh, shouldn't that Lance graphic be the singular "ball"?

jumpy said...

Who knows, the chalkbot could have like 9 balls.

noah said...

I'm sure Molly of Ponytail found the shirt in a dumpster or borrowed it from a friend. Knowing her, she has never paid even that on-sale price for an article of clothing.

Ponytail is awesome. I'm sorry it doesn't fit into most or your narrow perceptions of music.

Anonymous said...

They should have done the one that goes "tee tum tum tee tum tum."

Christopher said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought about Lance's singular ball. "all you cancer suck my ball" indeed.

I must admit that I'm slightly disturbed by the fact that I'm aware of population of Lance's ballsack. Again, I can only hope I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Lol..!! Wondeufl ProBikeKit Code awesome....

dinoibo said...

Sesli sohbet Sesli chat
Seslisohbet Seslichat
Sesli sohbet siteleri Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli Chat
Sohbet Sesli siteler
Sohbet siteleri Chat siteleri
Sohbet merkezi chat merkezi
Sesli merkezi sesli Sohbet merkezi
Sesli chat merkezi Sohbetmerkezi
Sesli Sohbet Sesli Chat
SesliSohbet Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli sohbet siteleri SesliChat
Sesli Sesli siteler
Seslimuhabbet sesli muhabbet
sesli sohbet sesli chat siteleri
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslisohbet seslichat
seslikent sesli kent
sesli sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat sesli chat siteleri
seslisohbet seslichat

ekle paylas said...

nice blog Thanks for sharing. voicesohbet was really very nice.
sesli chat siteleri sesli sohbet
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslichat seslisohbet
sesli siteleri chat siteleri
sohbet siteleri sesli siteler
voice sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli sohbet seslisohbet
sohbet siteleri sesli chat siteleri
seslichat sesli chat
herkesburda herkes burda
sohbetmerkezi sohbetmerkezi