Monday, September 14, 2009

Wheel of Misfortune: Getting What You Deserve

When you commute by bicycle in New York City (or presumably in any city with heavy car traffic) you see a lot of vanity license plates. In fact, you see even more vanity plates than you would if you were commuting by car, since instead of sitting behind the same idiot contemplating the same plate while you're stuck in traffic for 45 minutes you're weaving through hundreds of stationary idiots and seeing hundreds of plates. It's kind of like watching one of those flipping train station schedules, except you're moving and the digits are not. In any case, since I'm always on the lookout for reading material, I tend to notice vanity plates, and one in particular caught my eye this morning:

I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean, nor do I see the point of ambiguous vanity plates in general. Since the point of a vanity plate is vanity, shouldn't the message be obvious and make sense to as many people as possible? As it is, I wasn't quite sure what this driver was getting at, though the perverse and juvenile AutoComplete in my mind did suggest this:

Maybe that's what he was getting at after all.

Speaking of juvenile references, last Friday I mentioned in passing that I am against urinating in the shower, at which a number of readers took umbrage. (Incidentally, while "taking umbrage" sounds like a way you'd protect yourself from falling urine, it really just means "taking offense.") Indeed, one reader forwarded me this pro-shower urination PSA from Brazil:



Even though I don't understand Portuguese, this video has been sufficient to cause me to reevaluate my stance. Apparently, not only does urinating in the shower save water, but it's also fun. I'm even thinking about installing one of those carnival water pistol games in my shower, only without the pistol. Who says being environmentally-minded has to be a drab affair? Simply turn on the shower, don your cone of smugness, and fire away.

Moving on from pissing to pissing and moaning, Cadel Evans is taking umbrage at the cascade of bad luck which seems to be falling on his head like so much urine in the Vuelta a EspaƱa:

“I don’t deserve this. I do everything right in the fucking sport and I don’t deserve this shit,” Evans told VeloNews at the Sierra Nevada summit. “(The) wheel change was the problem.”

To be honest, I haven't been following the Vuelta, since to me paying attention to a grand tour after Labor Day feels like listening to your teacher keep yammering on after the bell has rung. Still, I was surprised to see how much Cadel Evans has progressed as a rider during the course of the season--and by "progressed" I mean gone from eloquent excuse-making to pure petulance. He's no longer the John Coltrane of Excuses; actually, given all the obscenity-flinging, he's now more like the GG Allin of the General Classification. Perhaps we should just call him "GC Allin."

To me, the most irritating thing about Evans's outburst is his use of the word "deserve," which has absolutely no place in any discussion of competitive cycling. There's more to winning a bike race than simply doing "everything right;" there are also certain intangibles, like passion and luck. If Evans wants to enjoy success simply by following instructions then perhaps he should quit cycling and start building decks, though even then I'm sure he'd get angry at his hammer for hitting his thumb.

That said, I'm sure the whole wheel-change debacle was pretty irritating, especially since it seems he was undone by his own director's confusion over whether or not he was "rocking" Campagnolo's superior 11-speed technology:

That prompted Evans to take a wheel from the Shimano neutral support, but team officials weren’t sure if it was a 10-speed or an 11-speed casette, so Silence sport director Marc Wauters made the call to stop Evans again and switch his bike. They later discovered that the neutral support wheel was the correct one.

Still, you can't blame Wauters for being cautious, since Campagnolo only guarantees its 11-speed components if they are used as "part of a complete system:"

Therefore, if Evans was running a Campagnolo 11-Speed drivetrain and the Shimano neutral support had indeed mis-curated his bicycle by giving him the wrong wheel then this could have had the disastrous result of voiding his warranty. And while victory is certainly important, only the most reckless director would allow his riders to use components that are both out of warranty and not designed to work optimally with each-other. I'm sure after poring over the instruction manual in the team car Wauters made the wise decision to order the change. After all, the warranty is truly the centerpiece of any groupo.

Sadly, though, there is no warranty on Evans's morale, which by now is positively riddled with stress fractures. Really, the only thing more fragile than Evans's spirit is the Mavic R-Sys, which is "bulletproof" provided you define a "bullet" as a single diminutive Frenchman:

Well, it turns out that consumer demand for an exploding wheelset that costs well over $1,000 is considerably less than Mavic anticipated. In fact, commenter CommieCanuck recently reminded me that Mavic's parent company is putting it up for sale:

Apparently, while Mavic is still profitable, it's just not profitable enough, so they're sacrificing it so they can protect Wilson, makers of fine anthropomorphic volleyballs:

To date, though, Mavic is just sitting there unsold like a overpriced fixed-gear conversion on Craigslist. If only I had better business sense, I would put together a group of investors and purchase the company myself, and my first order of business as the new owner would be to install serial retrogrouch and uber-curmudgeon (and author of "The Bicycle Wheel") Jobst Brandt as CEO, head of marketing, and chief engineer:

(bkjimmy)

Brandt's first order of business would almost certainly be to resurrect his beloved Mavic MA2 rim. Then, he'd systematically remove every other Mavic product from the line until the MA2 was all that remained. Frankly, in an era of increasing specialization, this might be just what the cycling world needs. Instead of marketing campaigns for rims and wheelsets designed for every kind of road surface, event, and crosswind, I would welcome a single ornery man who refuses to sell me anything else--though eventually it's possible even the mighty Brandt could capitulate to the demands of the marketplace and offer a Mavic putrid milk tire sealant.

But it's a slippery, putrid milk-coated slope from there, as Brandt himself is no doubt aware, and this could lead to his offering novelty wheel accessories as well. For example, Brandt might want to sell spoke cards bearing sayings associated with him, such as "Myth and Lore!" And speaking of spoke cards, someone in New York City seems to be taking pictures of people's bikes and then leaving them in their spokes:

you took a polaroid of my bike & left it in my spokes... - 21 (whole foods bowery)
Date: 2009-09-07, 11:36PM EDT

Hi,
Sometime between 9:30pm and 10:30pm you photographed my bike outside of the the bowery/houston whole foods, wrote a note on it(that is now barely legible because the pen you used smudges), and put it in my spokes(which I didn't find until around 11:30 pm, at which point i got really excited).
That was extremely cute and sweet and now I'm curious as to who you are.
Hopefully you peruse the personals/missed connections, so I can find out who the mystery polaroid person is so I can personally thank you for cheering me up on this cold fall evening.
I think the note read "I heart your bike from melbourne, australia," however, it could have said something completely different after the i love your bike part.

xo


While the Spoke Card Bandit appears to be Australian, I think it's safe to assume that it is not Cadel Evans, as his message surely would have been much angrier. Hopefully though the Spoke Card Bandit's behavior does not go from charmingly whimsical to frighteningly obsessive. I'm sure the spoke card recipient would have been far less amused if the Polaroid had depicted her in the shower.

90 comments:

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CZSR!!

Astroluc said...

luc2nd?

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna take a dump in your shower.

Astroluc said...

PURE WHIN

landis in 06 said...

d

Seanywonton said...

Smokin'!

landis in 06 said...

well that didn't come out right

Asterisk said...

DZWI NSMO

rezado said...

pen15

Anonymous said...

top 10?!

Pontius Pilate said...

Aut vincere aut mori. Today has been a good day. Perfect weather for cycling and crucifixions.

HAIL CZSR!!

mikeweb said...

All Hail PP and Astroluc!!

mikeweb said...

HANGN Physical Education?

A possible Gym teacher?

Nah, couldn't be - the cars a BMW.

Anonymous said...

yippee!!!

db said...

If Evans wants to enjoy success simply by following instructions then perhaps he should quit cycling and start building decks, though even then I'm sure he'd get angry at his hammer for hitting his thumb.

Daaaaamn. Awesome. I am going to use this* on a co-worker in the next 48 hours.

That's "GC Ailin'".

*(with proper attribution)

Anonymous said...

GLDN SHWR
YELO JRSY

bikesgonewild said...

...could be the "spoke card bandit" was really aussie's own nicole kidman, the original 'bmx bandit', which was her first starring role...

Paul Bowen said...

GC Allin - genius!

Astroluc said...

the hammer/thumb comment is pure truth; I've actually seen it happen on more than one occasion.

SHWR URN8

Anonymous said...

OK, ads on the blog I can deal with.

Blinking ads that distract from reading are just fucking rude.

Anyway to stop this Snobby?

shmaltz herring said...

Sheets of urine.

lar said...

wheel of misfortune:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/76039319/

The Parkinsons said...

Mavic makes great rims. Doesn't it seem crazy that the division can't be profitable?

In the world of music equipment the same things happen. Right now, Ampeg (once THE maker of bass amps) is causing the parent company (LOUD) to go into bankruptcy. If Ampeg just made the same old stuff that everyone wants (perhaps the equivalent of the MA-2 or Open Pro) instead of dorking around with "exploding wheels," maybe they could turn a profit.

Of course I'm just being a blacktop living room couch professor....

Anonymous said...

HANGN PE = Hanging Phallic Excess

Anonymous said...

I would happily void urine in other peoples' showers, but not in my own.

Anonymous said...

GC Allin. Dont get it.

hillbilly said...

I don't know what this means, but the google machine came up with this:

"A hanging PE indicates hardware problems"

mikeweb said...

Commie Canuck:

Woodward and Bernstein all rolled into one.

Or maybe the Perez Hilton of the bicycle world.

Anonymous said...

Anon@ 2:21 PM: If you're palping Firefox, install the free add-on 'Adblock'.

bikesgonewild said...

...just 'magic markered' clown faces on the shower wall...havin' me a couple a' extra cups o' tea & i'm headin' in for some bsnyc/rtms inspired fun...

...& pissin' in the shower is better n' 'pissin' in the wind'...

...just sayin'...

donotfollowmike said...

Aloha and thank you. I can go deal with my day a little better now.

Anonymous said...

Hanging Professional Engineers

Mad Jack McMad said...

SPQR INRI

Anonymous said...

ABORTION

sufferist said...

Bandit implies a theft of some type and unless this person has stolen the owners heart, there is no grounds for such a moniker.

Anonymous said...

Mavic = yellow = peeing in the shower?

Or is it the other way around?

leroy said...

Well no wonder BSNYC is on Transportation Alternative's celebrity studded panel of Public Service Announcement judges.

Today's post proudly puts the P in PSA.

But isn't it enough that some of us just sing in the shower?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

bikesgonewild said...

...strangely enough, of the clown faces i inked on the shower wall for my "pissin' contest" one looks like a certain "diminutive frenchman" & another bears a resemblance to the pedantic jobst brandt...

...the third ???...the third somehow came out resembling a certain "obscured face", unnamed cycling blogger, at least from descriptions i've heard...

Brian said...

How many millions is a brazilian?

JClev19 said...

WILSON!!!!!

SL Palin said...

I'm going to fill up an innertube with milk today, leave it out in the sun for a few more days then step into the shower, give it a nick with the gut hook on my foldign knife, blade and let' er spray.

And then I'll puke on myself, clogging the drain.
Then I might as well defecate and smear that around.

All while cranking the GG Allin on the milk-proof speakers in in the shower stall..

DAMMIT!
I missed his birthday by two weeks!

Maybe next year.

red neckerson said...

whats all this shower crap you is talking about sounds like something for sissies and queers

jest stand outside when it rains you saves on yor water bill and you can pee at the same time

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the comma smeared, because as it is written, the bike smitten Polaroid bandit seems to be under the impression that the lady's bike is from Melbourne Australia. My main shock was that anyone still has a Polaroid camera. Though these were the preferred choice of the DIY pornographer up until the invention of the digital camera, they are rarely seen these days.

grog said...

pee in the woods,
off the trail.
SAVE WATR

make a photo,
make a friend.
SPOK CARD

epic ride,
shower with a friend.
MYTH LORE

Anonymous said...

i would think PE is Professional Engineer. But i still dont get the HANGN part? maybe its an abbreviation of his last name, such as...

Name : HANIGAN PETER G
Address : NOT ON FILE
Profession : PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING
License No: 016845
Date of Licensure : 04/12/37

http://www.nysed.gov/coms/op001/opsc2a?profcd=16&plicno=016845

Anonymous said...

or HANGN PE = HANH NGUYEN, PE?

Name : NGUYEN HANH GIA
Address : MIDDLETOWN NJ
Profession : PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING
License No: 068433
Date of Licensure : 08/16/91

jolene said...

jethro done took a picture of his dick in the bathroom at the perch and put it under the wiper of my eagle summit

i didnt care like that cragslist person cus i new hew dit it and ricky beat his pervy ass

bikesgonewild said...

...jolene, honey...is it true you told jethro it looked like a penis, only smaller ???...

Liquid Astronaut said...

i see a few good vanity plates. even more exciting are the cars being driven off car lots with the writing on the windshield. you that guy can't see shit.

Anonymous said...

Men pee in the shower; women lie about peeing in the shower.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:20pm,

That was my second guess after "hanging penis."

--RTMS

Meccanico di Veno said...

Our cluster goes up to 11.

Anonymous said...

Peter Hanigan must be 90 years old, judging from his date of licensure. I'm sure his penis only hangs, if it even does that.

frilly said...

Anon 4:38--Heaven help me but I'm just curious what the basis is for your statement?

sufferist said...

Frilly: I think that in this context there could be a double meaning interpreted to the word "lie".

#1.) to not tell the truth
#2.) as in to lay down

See how the joke works?

Anonymous said...

If it's this dude:

Name : HANIGAN PETER G
Address : NOT ON FILE
Profession : PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING
License No: 016845
Date of Licensure : 04/12/37

He'd likely be over 100 years old!

ant1 said...

I think snobby's hanging penis explanation is the best one so far.

HANG NPNS

Anonymous said...

So women lay down when they pee in the shower? Weird... If that's the case, you would think they would just pee on the potty - much easier...but then I don't know much about women. They frighten me...

frilly said...

Sufferist, I'm not passing judgement just wondering cuz sometimes I like to go to the gym in the morning before work. I take a shower after whatever activity I've been doing. 4:38 has hit on a fear of what goes on in there & how often do they disinfect those things. Not that I obsess on it but since this has become a topic, well y'know. And not directly related cuz I'm not cycling to work, but I can't help but think perhaps I should go to work just a little sweaty per Snobbie's seal of approval on NPR.

Anonymous said...

Pee isn't too bad, it's the bacteria and fungi that grow in showers that are bad. Peeing just gives the nasties a little food. And you thought you were getting clean in the shower...

BadBeard said...

Hey RTMS.

Our Danny has sold out to the local slave traders.

http://www.s1jobs.com/dannymacaskill/

It's both cool and a shame at the same time.

Anonymous said...

HEY ASSHOLE, RIDE A BIKE

I cannae believe nobody commented about the fixie/bmx mutants I posted earlier.

Anonymous said...

Frilly- you have this cool thing called an immune system. It protects you from a lot of the stuff you can't see. Fret not.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a reference to that last drop that just won't come off...

hangin' PEE

pre-cursor to incontinence

Yokota Fritz said...

Hey @BGW, I heard Jobst Brandt and Tom Ritchey actually worked at the same place in Palo Alto at one time. I'm sure there was some interesting fireworks that ensued. True?

kale said...

Thank god it's not David Carradine's BMW, otherwise it would be:

HANGN PEople

cheva said...

hangn price earning? Not sure why it's hanging though. PE on a BMW (as opposed to Pee on a BMW) makes me think it's price earning. pee on a bmw makes me think a show model at an auto show missed her break.

PANTS said...

Aaah Melbourne Australia, home of the whimsical street arty fuckwit. He's lucky they didn't stencil art a picture of his bike on his downtube. It's probably part of some art project there doing in their time off from their graphic design job so they can become the next Banksy.

Anonymous said...

Just for information purposes - toilet traps are designed to completely empty their contents when flushed and then refill with water. Not so with shower traps, the pee stays right there, slowly being diluted while you scrub your rear end.

Kurt Vonnegut is King said...

Timely article from Reuters today: you might be getting your daily dose of bacteria not from the shower drain, but rather the head:

http://tinyurl.com/r44oaz

HANGN PE(TRI DISH)

Anonymous said...

GOLD SHWR

bikesgonepsychotic said...

...I must be free... ...to pee as I please... ...to pee in the breeze... to pee when I sneeze...

...I must be free... to pee in a stream... ...to pee when I dream... ...to pee when I cream...

...I'm sorry... ...but Sheldon Brown was a douchebag... ...I don't give a damn if you like that or not... ...fuck you too...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

www.yehudamoon.com
I found another closet RTMS fan... check out the strip from 9-11

Death Race said...

As a liver innerer of Melbourne i feel i should defend it, at least slightly. Though it does have its share of arty fuckwits, its nothing compared to Sydney's jock like fuckw wits. That being said, taking pictures of fixed gear bikes and then putting the image in said bikes spokes, screams 'RMIT photograhy course'
So long as they were palping a front brake in their travels

Lucky07 said...

Am I wrong in thinking Evans is the latest in a long list of entertaining poor-sportsman sportsmen?

I find his whining just as enjoyable as the earnest, teeth-gritting effort as the champions who just suck it up and win.

AngryBikeWrench said...

Douchebag Will and The Milf. Only at Angry Bike Wrench

kale said...

RIP Bodhi

bikesgonewild said...

...fritz...

...i've never heard of this tom ritchey...

sufferist said...

All: here is a learning moment for every one of us. Please review the wiki article on urine and come to know our yellow friend a little better. Thanks....

link to article

Udder said...

I work in advertising, so it's clear to me that Mavic's financial troubles are the result of inconsistent product development and branding.

They clearly need to integrate the equity and incendiary characteristics of their flagship exploding wheel into their line extensions of pedals, bike computers, shoes, gloves and apparel.

Imagine the buzz an exploding jersey could generate!

frilly said...

Lucky 07--No doubt! The day Millar threw his bike over the barrier, I became a fan.

Anonymous said...

more signs that the dutch commuter has hit uber gay fashionista status -
http://racked.com/archives/2009/09/14/street_scenes_fashion_week_peter_at_milk_studios.php

kill me now

Anonymous said...

Redneckerson:

you spelt Jobst wrong.

"jest stand outside when it rains you saves on yor water bill and you can pee at the same time"

"Bat" Guano. said...

Mavic lost everyone after they started changing model numbers, with only difference in product from previous model number being lesser standards on QC. That and too many acronyms for "proprietary" technologies.

Anonymous said...

DT look like they might be taking that line now. Torx nipples no less. Like we always have problems in not being able to tighten our wheels up enough.
Surprised it's not sold as "EU standard" wheelset.

SaDE said...

Even "Mavic" is an acronym.

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