Monday, October 5, 2009

Drug Tests and Bell Checks: The Element of Surprise

If you follow the Tour de France, you know that one of the most compelling things about it is that it's a bargain. Whereas most sporting events last for a few hours and result in one winner and one loser, the Tour lasts like the whole summer and yields multiple winners in a variety of jersey colorways. Not only that, but after the race is over and the "final" results are in, then the various agencies start delving into all the blood and urine, which is not only a sport in itself but can also sometimes result in a whole new set of winners. Really, it's the sports fan's equivalent of shopping at Costco--you're practically buying sporting drama wholesale.


According to the article, "UCI inspectors intervened allowing Astana riders an extra 45 minutes before testing," which meant that "the unexpected nature of anti-doping tests did not exist on the Tour." While I suppose Armstrong and Contador might have used that extra time to set up their "Whizzinators," I still can't imagine how anybody would think a drug test would come as a surprise to Armstrong or Contador or really any highly-placed rider in the Tour de France under any circumstances. Contador won two stages and wore the yellow jersey for seven days; I don't think he needed an informant to warn him that he might get tested. That would be like coming home and twirling a used condom around your finger like a lifeguard whistle and not expecting your significant other to ask you whether you've been cheating. And as far as Armstrong, everybody knows he gets tested all the time because whenever they come for his urine he Tweets about it. Really, Tweeting and tinkling is all he does. So even if they did get a 45 minute warning from the UCI before testing that would just be like Larry King getting a 45 minute warning that he's ugly.

Actually, the only thing that came as a surprise to me was that Contador was sporting a "fingerbang" cap in the blue and white colorway:

I'd seen the black and yellow "fingerbang" hat during the Tour, but I hadn't seen the blue and white one, and I do think it's cute that despite the supposed rivalry between them Armstrong and Condator always seem to wear matching caps. Immediately upon seeing this photo I headed over to Contador's website in the hope that "fingerbang" hats were finally available for purchase. Unfortunately, they weren't, but there was a poll asking fans what kind of Alberto Contador items they would buy, as well as a picture of Contador riding past an extremely nonplussed dog:


I checked the results, and of course the cap was the leader by a huge margin:


Having noted this, I headed back to vote. Originally I had intended to cast a vote for the cap as well. However, my contrarian nature prevented me from simply doing what everyone else was doing (like using the word "nonplussed" correctly), and so I ultimately decided to write in my own choice instead:

Naturally, a "fingerbang" dog tag would be a perfect complement to a "fingerbang" dog sweater, but I'm sure a canny rider like Contador would want to test the marketplace before plunging head-first into the world of canine accessories.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of what I can only assume is irony, Frank Vandenbroucke is now instituting a policy of glasnost by publishing his blood values online:

If you're not familiar with Frank Vandenbroucke, he was once the enfant terrible of professional cycling, but now he's just terrible. While journalists and obsessive fans clamor for glimpses at the blood values of riders like Armstrong and Contador, Vandenbroucke must now beg people to look at his humors. Sadly, though, these days people are about as interested in Vandenbroucke's blood as they are in Bill Clinton's semen; when it comes to bodily fluids, both had their heyday in the late 1990s.

Speaking of new products, while I can't yet purchase a Contador "fingerbang" hat, I'm pleased to report I am now the proud owner of a Mavic cowbell:

(Bell is mostly in focus thanks to the reader who explained to me what the little flower button on my camera does. Apparently it's not just for flowers.)

Supposedly, the carbon fiber clapper can not only withstand forces of up to 1 Diminutive Frenchman Unit (DFU), but it can also emit a ring of up to 10 Laurent Jalabert Sweeping Indictments (LJSI):


A LJSI is a unit used to measure the intensity of a sound and is equivalent to the degree of loudness of French national team manager Laurent Jalabert articulating a scathing critique of his countrymen. While an output of 10 LJSIs means this bell is more than loud enough for general use, Mavic warns that this cowbell is for race use only, which means you should only use it for occasional cyclocross bell checks. While you may be tempted to actually put it on a cow, you should not do so, because like its cousin the R-Sys the Mavic cowbell has a tendency to inexplicably explode--and you do not want to be anywhere near the cow when that happens.

Of course, if you do inadvertently find yourself in the vicinity of an exploding cow, hopefully you will have had the foresight to don a WIT Industries waterproof bike suit, which I saw recently on fixed-gear freestyle impresario Prolly's blog:

While I suppose I can appreciate the functionality of a complete rain suit, I also can't help noting that perhaps this rider (who looks a bit like Matthew McConaughey) wouldn't have to wear it if he actually allowed his bicycle to aid in the process of water deflection by putting some fenders on it. Still, I enjoyed the accompanying diagram, though I think the designers made an unfortunate--and potentially fatal--mistake by not adding a posterior vent for flatulence:

This is especially crucial in California, the Land of the Epic Burrito.

Fortunately, if Matthew McConaughey does decide he wants to "palp" fenders on his next burrito run, WIT has also "curated" this bicycle (or at least a picture of it), complete with what appear to be crabon fribé fenders and old-timey ship wheels:

Alas, it seems the world of design will never tire of the needless crabonification and expensification of the flatbar dorkcycle.

Meanwhile, the closing of the fixed-gear "culture" has resulted in a curious phenomenon. It appears that new fixed-gear riders have now been forced to migrate from city to city by car with their bicycles in tow in the hope that they can find a community that will accept them. I recently noticed this Volkswagen in the East Village, complete with lightly customized fixed-gears and Ontario license plates:

("Z" in "customization" has been replaced with an "S" for British and Canadian legibility.)

I'm guessing that these riders are making their way south and have already been refused safe harbor in Boston, and they've either just arrived in New York where they will make entreaties to the local "scenesters" with offerings of trinkets such as "hipster cysts" and Oury grips, or they've just been rejected and are about to head south to Philadelphia. Still, they maintain hope that they will eventually wind up in some city that will welcome them, and where the local chieftains will place white Vittoria Randonneur tires around their necks like leis and grant them access to their slow rides, fast women, and Pabst-drenched happy hours.

Don't get me wrong; if it were up to me, I would welcome these refugees with open panniers. However, the decision is not mine, and the power rests with the style council. I do hope though that they at least managed to ride around a bit before they were stoned by the "locals," since they would have seen this fine art installation on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge (otherwise known as the "Hipster High Road"):

It is for sale, and it pays tribute to someone named Norm:

It's about as compelling as Vandenbroucke's blood values.

106 comments:

ant1 said...

Ant1st!

ant1 said...

alright!

ant1 said...

my weekend training is paying off.

Astroluc said...

luc3rd~

Anonymous said...

CADEL!!!!!

BadBeard said...

Go Ant1!

Badbeard3rd?

Anonymous said...

yes, yes, y'all

Astroluc said...

well... second behind ant.

Anonymous said...

flatulence!

Seanywonton said...

Dolomite!

mikeweb said...

More cowbell!

Seanywonton said...

Good job Ant1! Triple shot of espresso today?

wishiwasmerckx said...

One minute, 8 comments. Ant1 must drink a case of Red Bull a day.

landis in 06 said...

ring the cowbell for Ant1st!

Anonymous said...

smoke weed everyday

rezado said...

Guess what?

Lycra butt

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

Top 20

Brad said...

oh i see what you did there!

Anonymous said...

"...would just be like Larry King getting a 45 minute warning that he's ugly."

I just peed my pants.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to buy a Contador lanyard from which I would swing my used condoms.

spel checkr said...

Snob,

I think the audio unit you're thinking of involves sweeping indictments, not inductments.

The good news?

The acronym keeps its integrity.

ACRO NYMS

Anonymous said...

Is that Latin inscribed on the chainring of that WIT bike?

brother yam said...

I would think that in the parlance of the times, ways of winning should be phrased as victoryways...

Anonymous said...

Latin: not just for tattos anymore.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Apparently, the slave trade is alive and well in Spain. I did not know that you could buy a caddy. I didn't even know that Contador played golf.

frilly said...

Snobby, are you cyber-stalking me? Honestly, I just visited AC's site on Friday. I voted for the t-shirt.

I'm really hoping Vaughters manages to rescue Alberto. Would love to see the fingerbang done up in the Garmin colourway, especially with the argyle background. Awesome!

CommieCanuck said...

You're observing that great migration of Canadians who believe that the further south you drive, the better the riding is..that shit ends in Texas.
We get people driving up from Buffalo in July with skis asking where the snow bunnies is at. They're so cute with their excess adipose tissue and assault rifles. We play the game and beg for nickels or hard candy, while pleading for them to take us back to freedom and away from these healthcare death panels.

The man from Delmonte, ..he say yes.

Seanywonton said...

Nice, now your raingear can double as a "break"-dancing suit. He's doing some kind of hunchbacked moonwalk or Robot maneuver.

hillbilly said...

fingerbang, cowbell, an ant1 sweep, what a monday! i need a nap

flaco said...

prolly is whoring about every article of clothing ever designed, most of which are in the Rapha priceway

Anonymous said...

Too many find out too late the excesses of the West Coast Epic Burrito. Case in point, my recent acquisition of one said WCEP: a smorgasbord housed in a full 1/2 acre steamed tortilla which involved (in addition to apparently 1/4 of a 'buffalo') an entire chili relleno.
on top of the recent sf-bluegrass experience, it proved too much for me.

As I once said...

"Sweeping Inductments"

Do you mean indictments or inducements?

Those WIT wheels are for the times when the migrating bike is in the rack and engineered so the wheels will spin.

Sprocketboy said...

"I carry around the stigma of a doping rider, but this is not the case," says self-confessed doper Frank Vandenbroucke. And you would think that pro teams would leap at the chance to get a 34 year old rider who keeps forgetting to show up for races.

Mr. Snob: did it not occur to you that that the crew of the Volkswagen was actually smuggling fixies across the border after buying them in NYC? After all, you know the definition of a Canadian: an unarmed American with heath insurance and only one
colo(u)rway (slush grey).

NORM LIVES said...

NORM

Mad Jack McMad said...

Clean podium!

Anonymous said...

The VW fixie-mobile will inevitably wind up in Central Florida, where all fads and trends come to linger on forever in a haze of self-important ignorance.

jasontinkey said...

point of contention, the style council did not ride fixies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJeP3mipHQY

dérailleurs clearly visible.

Anonymous said...

It's not so bad that Canadians have to come here, I guess, but why do they have to jam up the vending machines with their phoney quarters and dimes?

youaretheengine said...

Canadian fixed gear enthusiasts are indeed starting to flee. The weather is turning, and that means they are mimicking their snow-bird grandparents by taking up residence in sunnier climes. I'm sure New York was merely a pit-stop en route (that's French for "on the way") to Miami or Boca Raton. While they enjoy longest skid competitions, they are less comfortable with the forced (and uncontrollable) black ice skids.

Too bad their bikes don't accommodate winter tires. Suckers.

mikeweb said...

A flatulence vent indeed. I can only imagine the Hindenburg-esque carnage that would ensue when a hipster lights up an ironic cigarette after the gaseous buildup brought on ingesting fried food followed by 3 hours of drinking PBRs.

youaretheengine said...

I should have read the comments. I totally plagiarized (Canadians can use the "z" if we feel like it) CommieCanuck.

FORGIVE ME FELLOW CANADIAN!

CommieCanuck said...

Florida is a hotbed of sin.

Y.A.T.E.: you're lucky we're Canadians or I would have busted a cap in your ass.

bikesgonewild said...

...wow...no wonder nyc is considered the "cultural center of the world"...

...w/ "fine art" of that quality being publicly displayed on the 'hipster high road', could there be any wonder ???...

mikeweb said...

It's good to see that we in the Northeast are merely proud and greedy, instead of wrathful, envious and gluttonous.

bike locks said...

It's not just a rain suit, it's a choice representing his authentic personal brand as a statement for impermeability.

Astroluc said...

jasontinkey:

Nice; I had forgotten about the video, but that is certainly the style council I thought of when reading the post.

bikesgonewild said...

...re:- "hotbed of sin"...

...i was in a 'hot bed of sin' myself the other night...

...sweet "degradation" too, as i recall...

Max said...

how could you forget about the "time" fork on the rainsuit dork's bike?

Asterisk said...

Ant1 sweeps.

How do you think he does it? What makes him so good?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaZLlrwvzPQ

*

Mongo Pusher said...

"...and the only prescription is Mavic cowbell."

red neckerson said...

that total body weather condome is a good ideal im thinking

two or three buritoos and if you velcro the arms and neck area and youll get some floatation

why put helium in yer tires when you can fill your body condome up with hydrogen and methane

it would sure as hell help me get up some of them hills in danel boon park

Anonymous said...

is cheaper swallow condoms with helium in

Anonymous said...

5 cross races so far, and a dearth of cowbell. what's with the silent run ups?

Brian said...

I was under the impression that roadies closed the WHOLE cycling 'culture' many, many years ago. Therefore, it is possible that the fixed gear 'culture' was never legally open for membership in the first place.

Suzee said...

Saul in the details

Gallic post content - high? Check.
Poll and related statistical analysis presentation - attractive? Check.
Graphical counter-point opinionways/illustrations included? Check.
Product potentiality and placement vectorization - identified? Check
Link to French are crap at cycling blog - provided? Check.
BSNYC/RTMS Summative Graphways?
Nope.
Not even an embryonic axis?
Nope.

HOPE DOPE

Anonymous said...

let's all vote for the A.C. dog sweater!

Anonymous said...

Forty-five minutes is more than enough time to do the following:

"Willy Voet, the soigneur, or all-around caretaker, for the Festina cycling team in the 1990s, explained how he beat the testers in his tell-all book, Breaking the Chain:

Just in case the UCI doctors arrived in the morning to check the riders’ hematocrit levels, I got everything ready to get them through the tests.... I went up to the cyclists’ rooms with sodium drips.... The whole transfusion would take twenty minutes, the saline diluting the blood and so reducing the hematocrit level by three units—just enough."

CommieCanuck said...

red neckerson said...
why put helium in yer tires when you can fill your body condome up with hydrogen and methane
.

Ha! busted! no proper hick even knows what's in fart clouds.

Cycling the americas said...

'You're observing that great migration of Canadians who believe that the further south you drive, the better the riding is'

Exodus is another word...

Anonymous said...

STND LCLZ

red neckerson said...

you damm commie commie

everbody knows whats in cow farts

hell you canader fellers want to tax the damm stuff

busted my ass

i thinks i made a joke just then

anyway

fuck you

FixEd said...

Hey Snobby, Did you see any unusual activity on North 6th between Driggs and Bedford on Saturday? My old high school was having a reunion @ 186 N6th

gnarlees said...

Could use the Mavic cowbell for my drum kit.

FixEd said...

Hey Snobby, Did you see any unusual activity on North 6th between Driggs and Bedford on Saturday? My old high school was having a reunion @ 186 N6th

Anonymous said...

did the bell arrive in a brown envelope?

Paul Bowen said...

Jeez Snobbers you're on fire lately.

That would be like coming home and twirling a used condom around your finger like a lifeguard whistle and not expecting your significant other to ask you whether you've been cheating.
10/10

So even if they did get a 45 minute warning from the UCI before testing that would just be like Larry King getting a 45 minute warning that he's ugly.

10/10

If you're not familiar with Frank Vandenbroucke, he was once the enfant terrible of professional cycling, but now he's just terrible.
10/10

Vandenbroucke's blood...Bill Clinton's semen; when it comes to bodily fluids, both had their heyday in the late 1990s
10/10

I could go on. Brilliant post.

In other news: in the first rain suit pic the guy looks to me a lot like a young Rod Stewart, although in those days Rod the Mod wouldn't have been seen dead in a rain suit, let alone shitting a bike. Nowadays he may be open to offers.

Finally, I can't believe that noone has yet mentioned the return to the podium of Robert Heras: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/399834/heras-crowned-world-champion.html

The first picture is a caption competition waiting to happen!

You win the bloggies mate.

Paul Bowen said...

Sorry, that should have been Robert O'Heras of course.

Salty Seattle said...

Just woke up from the proto-apocalyptic post-epic-burrito coma.

Hey Snob, did you say that somebody just got stoned?

Commander in the Order said...

If you aint groomed, you aint comin' in.

Pack Filly said...

Nations should remove their flags from road cycling.

heath said...

oh my god.

Anonymous said...

The fixie-volkswagon should come to Wichita. Hipsters here have only just now discovered fixed gear bikes, and would no doubt welcome the refugees with open arms.

Anonymous said...

http://www.stumbleupon.com/s/#1qZEan/www.biketree.com//

unrelated to the post, but did you see this!?

Anonymous said...

"bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com - Traffic Details from Alexa bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com is one of the top 100,000 sites in the world
www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com "

That's why I read it !

northtexan said...

Haven't finished reading yet but "fingerbang" and "colorway" are my favorite words of '09 and to see them used together is "pleasing" ('10 fav).

Jonathan said...

VLKS WAGN

FIXD GEAR

DIAS PORA

Bad Lawyer said...

Tour de France

I lived in Augsburg, W. Germany from 1972-1975 so I have a sense of a bygone era in cycling and eurosport 70s style.

While I road as a youth I resumed riding committedly sometime after my 30th. I replaced a very heavy steel Raleigh with a cro-moly Trek road bike then I lost my mind and bought two custom bikes from a great enthusiast-LBS. The LBS had a VHS library of classic and stage races and all the great documentaries. I started with LeMond-Hinault Tours and worked backwards through everything in the library and forward to all the current races. In this pre-Lance era there wsn't all that much--but, I went to some lengths to get everything. I started ordering all the Ligget and later Ligget-Sherwin narrated videos. In addition, I've read the entire library of road race coverage in English over a couple of decades with layoffs for work and brats. At supper tonight, I finished watching Stage 17 of this year's Tour.

What I'm writing, is prelude to saying: every single aspect of the Tour is soap opera. It's always been soap opera and it will always be soap opera. That's an essential part of the pain and pleasure of watching Lance triumph, and the French hating him for it. That's why it's delicious to have podium winners, and doping losers. Who has character; who can win like a champion; who will serve; and who will survive? It's all soap.

Because professional cycling is a "team sport" the spectacle is so much more; e.g. Contador vs. Armstong, Hincapie vs. Astana. What's amusing to me is Contador's cluelessness or maybe lack of grace in failing to recognize that winning the Tour is particularly significant and lucrative as existing within the context of the athletic accomplishments of Armstrong in this comeback year. These young dudes have no conception of the bigger picture.

Personally, I'm completely envious of the professional cyclist and totally enthralled by the soap opera.

Good Lawyer said...

its a bike race with tons of money thrown at it. that is all.

Anonymous said...

Rumble in the Jungle: ass kicking contest with tons of money thrown at it. that is all.

Rugby World Cup: fat lads bumping into one another, with tons of money thrown at it. that is all.

Base Ball World Series: rounders match with tons of money thrown at it. that is all.

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

is this blog still here

Fan Club VDB said...

Quit picking on Frank.

My Ever Changing Moods said...

However, the decision is not mine, and the power rests with The Style Council...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJeP3mipHQY

BISOU said...

Clint Eastwood scored a cap for Jean at a metro station in exchange for a bag of bennies and a bottle o' purple drank:

http://picasaweb.google.com/bisoubisoubisoubisou/TLHSMC#5389302707430961042

superfan said...

thought you'd like this, its the
http://urbanvelo.org/
check out this entry called
"TheFiXFiXFiX"

jim e said...

Hey Now! Nothin' left to do but smile,...
If the exodus makes to the deep South, not to worry, we will stone them.

Reed Enwright said...

CNDN XODS

Lincoln said...

Heath, while the Sartorialist is great, a bike critic, he is not.

And Snob, that Kona comes with the yellow rims. The only customization so far is the saddle.

Lincoln

Anonymous said...

someone should grab that adustable square, i think it's a Starrett

Anonymous said...

starlett, yours for 50c.

http://cgi.ebay.com/starrett-square-and-12-inch-blade_W0QQitemZ250508866115QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3a537df243&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14


Bad Lawyer.

The big picture is that road racing and doping go hand in hand, and it is becoming intolerable to watch. Contadors win doesn't count for much given the context, and he knows it. He's got a choice. Either way it involves abuse.

Anonymous said...

Wave if you get talking point from LiveStrong:

http://nyvelocity.com/gallery/image/3797?page=9

Anonymous said...

http://sbsmain.sbs.com.au/news/resize/index/id/111602/w/300/h/225/site_1_rand_787597004_contador_armstrong_2707_b_getty.jpg

CommieCanuck said...

If the exodus makes to the deep South, not to worry, we will stone them.

If they're coming from BC, they will be pre-stoned.

paul said...

Fingerbang spokecards.

Fingerbang space/rain suit...

Anonymous said...

WTF......Canadianians typically follow US spellings where Z replaces S...it's just pronounced Z-fuckin'-ed

Peep this snob...
http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm

flaco said...

unless your name is bike snob, ie, you are smart and funny and make my life better, do NOT stand in the middle of the bike lane snapping stupid ass photos.

Anonymous said...

Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead.

ant1 said...

99

ant1 said...

ant100st!

bikesgonewild said...

...cycling canadians in america...

...bgw = VANG UARD...

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