Monday, December 21, 2009

You Must Be Crazy: Strength of Conviction

As you may recall, last week ended on a controversial note, and a few readers were angered at my characterization of the imminent Williamsburg naked bike ride protest as "ill-advised and potentially embarrassing." As one reader said:

So theists and snarky bloggers get to determine the rule of law in Brooklyn? Direct action is bad because you went to Bard? Your hipster hate is getting a bit stale, no?

I would just like to clarify that I hate nobody, hipster or non-hipster, as my belief system does not allow it. (I believe that all humans are merely eggs lain by an all-powerful Chicken God, and when the Mixing Bowl of Truth descends from the heavens we shall be cast into it, poured into the Non-Stick Pan of Tribulation, and finally granted eternal life in the Omelette of Revelation.) Moreover, I have nothing against Bard College, which according to Wikipedia houses "the largest zine library on the East Coast" and as such is nothing less than a national treasure. Most importantly, I obviously do not get to "determine the rule of law in Brooklyn," because if I did not only would Aerospokes be illegal but failure to worship poultry would be punishable by plucking.

In any case, as usually happens with bickering, it turns out it was all for naught since a snowstorm hit and nobody got naked after all:

This underscores a fundamental requirement of outrageous protest, which is that if you say you're going to do something crazy you need to at least follow through with it. Unfortunately, though, "following through" is not exactly the strong suit of the so-called "hipster." Meanwhile, they've pitted themselves against the Hasidim, whose very existence is pretty much based on crazy behavior, and who have been following through with this behavior reliably for a really long time. All the "hipsters" had to do was take their shirts off and ride for a few minutes, yet their adversaries have been not doing stuff on Saturday, dressing like weirdos, and taking diet advice from "God" for centuries. Not only that, but the Hasidim even stuck to their crazy behavior when they were threatened with death, while all the "hipsters" were really facing was the prospect of cold nipples. Really, trying to compete with the Hasidim in this regard is like challenging Michael Jordan to a game of H-O-R-S-E. If the game is being crazy, you just can't win.

Fortunately for the "hipsters," in the larger sense they have already won, since the world of craziness in which the Hasidim live is a small one, and both sanity and a gigantic new bike lane can be found just a few blocks over. In fact, one city official calls it "the Cadillac of bike paths," which is perhaps the dumbest description for a bike lane I've ever heard. It's sort of like calling the boiled chicken "the suckling pig of Jewish cuisine." At least he didn't call it "the Mavic R-Sys of bike paths," which would mean that it was full of land mines.


I visited the shop's website in order to see if they really don't sell fixed-gears at all, or if they do sell them but only reluctantly (sort of like how Victoria's Secret will probably sell a man lingerie for his own use, though probably not with the same degree of enthusiasm), and I'm still not certain. Of course, it seems to me that it is fairly easy to sell fixed-gear bicycles that are not daredevilist hipster chariots with no brakes, though I have a feeling that it may be the Times and not Lit Fuse bicycles who are making this distinction. Either way, a Brooklyn bike shop that won't sell fixed-gears is like a San Francisco taquería that won't sell burritos, and we've reached a paradoxical new age where a bike shop now seems orthodox and old-fashioned for insisting on selling only bicycles that feature modern technology.

I do hope the shop succeeds--not because I'm against fixed-gears, but because I'm for local businesses. Similarly, I hope the "Hipster vs. Hasidim" controversy is over--not because I'm on a particular side, but because the outcome is rarely conclusive in matters like this and regardless of which side you're on you just wind up seething and angry. It's far more pleasant to follow the world of professional cycling, where (barring positive drug test results) the outcome of the races is clear, and where choosing a team to root for is as simple as picking out a pair of underpants in the morning. (In both cases, some people need to be assured of cleanliness, while others are satisfied by a quick smell test and a cursory visual inspection.)

Unfortunately, at the moment being a cycling fan is difficult. Sure, cyclocross season is in full swing (or "portage") in Europe, but following it closely still requires finding strange websites and listening to Flemish commentary. In this country, all the coverage is centered around road racing, but all the pro roadies are doing now is breaking in their new chamoises and conducting "team building" exercises (mostly a form of hazing involving practical jokes using last season's chamoises) at their various training camps. This is not exactly exciting, though I did notice something interesting at Astana training camp in Italy:

It would appear that Contador is considering finally abandoning his trademark "fingerbang" in favor of the more visually stunning and symbolic "pretending to hold up famous landmarks" gesture. And as if this illusion wasn't mind-bending enough, a pigeon is in turn pretending to hold Contador up in the air with his beak while a delighted bystander (or bysitter) looks on:

Also, judging from Contador's uniform he appears to still be using last year's chamois, though it's a good thing he's not actually on last year's team too. If he were, instead of "team building," he and Lance Armstrong might be actively attempting to sabotage one-another. As it is, this is already happening in Oakland, as you can see in this Craigslist ad which was sent to me by a reader:

Bike assassin=0, Me=1 (oakland downtown)
Date: 2009-12-14, 12:14AM PST

Me: Super cool, normal guy
You: Trying to kill me

Not to brag or anything but I have a lot of friends. I'm cool. I'm likable. I haven't wronged anyone in any serious way... recently. So imagine my surprise when I get on my bike after your average ugly christmas sweater party only to find that my brake cables have been cut. This was some serious spy stuff - the brake cables (which are really strong!) were cut cleanly enough to give out right when I got out into traffic.

Fortunately, I was able to stop without any problems (phew!).

Question 1: Who are you?

Question 2: What the hell were you thinking?

Question 3 Did you cut the cables on the wrong bike?

Question 4: Is this some weird way of flirting? (if so, I'm taken, but flattered)

Question 5: What does YOUR bike look like?

All kidding aside, I could've died. Please refrain from life-threatening gestures. I'll graciously accept such alternatives as: slashing my tires, stealing my wheels, or simply me taking you out for a beer.


I hope this is an isolated incident and not some sort of sabotage trend that is going to work its way eastward. I also hope this isn't the work of some sort of violent brakeless fixed-gear cabal who are determined to undermine the efficacy of caliper brakes by prompting failures like this worldwide while distracting us with sexy girl calendars:

Actually, the rider on the left seems to have had an accident. I wonder if her bike was sabotaged.

126 comments:

Daddo said...

winnah!

Andy said...

first comment! yay snow bikes

Wagner said...

the closer I could get

Anonymous said...

top 5

Anonymous said...

who's anne hathaway?

Fierce Panties said...

Fierce!

Bad Lawyer said...

I knew this was going to be an impossible podium today.

Astroluc said...

I rode today... like a dumbass.

top 10

Wagner said...

shoes names ending in vowels should be banned

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten?

Johann S said...

Almost first and shit.

Johann S said...

I'd like to mention that Kara Goucher is HOT!

Johnny said...

Happy holidays

Fingerbang Assistant said...

Thirteen fingers banging

Fierce Panties said...

Snob,
If you aren't determining the rule of cycling law does this mean that I can raise my Technomic back up above the saddle and wear my snowboard helmet?

And in all seriousness, who is Anne Hathaway? I lost my iphone under her Audi and I have no way to google her.

Bad Lawyer said...

I once had a pair of Sidi[s], the sensation was a little like what I imagine Chinese feet binding, must be like. I admit I was not very manly about these outrageously expensive shoes, a long ride would reduce me to tears...over the money I wasted on them.

Fingerbang Assistant said...

I mean fourteen.

rezado said...

hi-rez

Filigree said...

The brake-cables were obviously cut by a gang who wish to keep fixed gear riding exclusive. Only those who survive without the use of brakes will be permitted to ride on the streets. Otherwise, they will keep snipping cables until every last one of those wimps with brakes is weeded out.

Anonymous said...

Is Williamsburg to be the new Military Demarcation Line w/o the Kimchi?

Anonymous said...

What did you expect? Its OAKLAND, beeyotch!

Anonymous said...

I was in danger.. he could have killed me...

anne H on Craiglist LA

Anonymous Coward said...

Who knew Contador was a Whitesox fan.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I would like to correct a factual inaccuracy in today's post. Actually, the Hasidim:

"...have been following through with this behavior for a really, REALLY, long time."

Dave said...

Not for nothing but if Super Cool Normal Guy rode a fixie he would not have the vandalism problem. But it would be easier to slash his tire becasue there would be no rubber left

hillbilly said...

Happy Festivus one and all. Dr. Who spent a lot of time in the new special bemoaning the lack of bikes on Mars.

Anonymous said...

an episode known as the nagoya incident

Klaus Mohn said...

I worship Chicken too, through the ministry of Ira Glass. as on the radio a couple of weeks back.

Anonymous said...

the brakes cut light is on!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Disgruntl Ed. said...

I would have said "of" in one place where you said "to" but fine work otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Bard College (my Alma Mater) not only has the East Coast's largest 'zine library, but the nation's oldest campus BDSM club (it used to be SM-ACES, but now its called SILK.)

Plus it's very pretty and has strong academic programs. And back when I went there, you could smoke weed in the cafeteria, though I hear that has changed.

RB1 said...

wikipedia says that 'Omlettes in Iran are called Kookoo in the Persian language.' fancy that.

Bad Lawyer said...

Notice where the cop parked his SUV in the pic from the threatened-naked ride/bike lane protest.

hillbilly said...

disgruntled, how do you feel about the "i hate nobody", should this be "noone" or better still "I don't hate anyone?'

bard, yup, smoked pot in my music classes there "back in the day"

Anonymous said...

Nottawinna.

Isolation Helmet said...

Wow the hipsters didn't follow through and actually ride nude.

I always thought that hipsters were such industrious people. Just look at all the videos they make.

Anonymous said...

maybe weather is hasidim controlled...but be sure revenge is being planned behind those dreadlocks

eric said...

Direct action against oppression obviously means disrobing on your fixie and then facebooking about it. I'm going to do the same thing in my boss's office to demand a raise. The hipsters were right!

Wagner said...

maybe their cameras aren't weather-proof.. and no shooting, no ride

grog said...

I love what hipsterdom did: advertise an elicit mean-spirited event, then get a media response by NOT doing it. Maybe there's hope for us humans after all.
Happy Solstice! There will be music and cycling after tonight's bonfire.

Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer said...

They take cameras to cyclocross events even when the MASH guys aren't there. News to me.

Anonymous said...

you need giant burritos of incredible quality when you got hills so steep that they put in stairs for sidewalks.

WSTC OAST

BURR ITOS

Udder said...

Does anyone else think that Alberto Contador looks like a young Donny Osmond?

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Hillbilly:
I hate nobody...
I like the rhetorical punch and the meter of it.
I liked all the rest too. Except for that "to."

Test Tickle said...

BSNYC - ...or challenging Rodney Mullen to a game of S-K-A-T-E

balls.

hillbilly said...

thanks disgruntled, that's why I turn to you!

Jefe said...

The first dozen comments seem to be gibberish intended only to seek "top ten" status each day. Is there a prize for this? I like the blog and the more thoughful reactions from readers, but is there a new Pinerello Prince at stake here?

Test Tickle said...

Jefe, it's actually a Pinarello Lungativa.

balls.

Jefe said...

No wonder. I'm holding out for the full Campy gruppo.

bikesgonewild said...

...i'm thinkin' the hasidim had it easy when it was just a few "scantily clad" hipster babes cruising 'their' neighborhood...

...after all this publicity, come spring & bike lanes or not, there's prob'ly gonna be a lot more of what they don't want...

...& unless bloomberg really starts kissing their ass, ain't nothing can be done about it...it's just a street that a lotta folks ride bikes on...

...just sayin'...

rezado said...

Hold your breath.

Fierce Panties said...

Jefe,
Gibberish?

I don't make the rules, but for BSNYC comments it is considered proper etiquette to give mad props to the sick skillz of the podium . Example:

Way to slay it Daddo, Andy, & Wagner! Feirce showing on a cold Monday morning.

Crispy Chips said...

Bad Lawyer, re the SIDI footwear, SIDI are notorious for makking overly narrow, ballet slipper-like equipment. I've never tried on their cycling gear, but their motorbike booties are difficult to size. That said, they do make your feet more prettyier than some others.

PRTY FEET

bikesgonewild said...

...good title, "Strength of Conviction"...

...that cuts both ways...the naked hipster rebellion was quashed by the powers of mother nature & the lack of "strength of conviction" of the local hipster brigade or maybe common sense simply prevailed, as regards exposing themselves to the elements & the hasidim...

...but it still goes back to a lack of "strength of conviction" on the part of the local hasidim who're trying to 'ghetto' themselves rather than face (or just ignore) the cycling world's lascivious jezabel's...

bikesgonewild said...

...bad - bad lawyer...

...SIDI's come in different widths & man, those things (sidi's) are amazingly comfortable footwear for riding...

...well ya, it's kinda like "the gift of the magi" (how appropriate for christmas) in that you gotta sell a bike to afford 'em but they are honestly "the shit"...

The Naked Hipster said...

DAMN COLD

SLPT INSD

MINGUStheMECHANIC said...

Contador looks thoroughly bitchass, the white sidis and pointed toe in that pose scream out that many male roadies with their gentle builds (many have narrow shoulders and some even have child bearing hips) should not be photographed off the bike.

Anonymous said...

Slept in Sidis?

Fierce Panties said...

But Hipsters don't wear Sidi.

Jefe said...

I apologize to Fierce Panties. "Gibberish" was too strong a term. I will try to reduce my own writing to a series of acronyms and abbreviations, so I might win the Lungativa.

CommieCanuck said...

The first dozen comments seem to be gibberish intended only to seek "top ten" status each day. Is there a prize for this? .. but is there a new Pinarello Prince at stake here?

They fight like they do because the stakes are so low.

A Prince would be very ironic, as the Prince of bullshit bikes would hardly be a prize here. Maybe a $1300 Motobecane that does everything a $12,000 Italian boutique bike does.

C'mon son, respect the sprinters. Most have already lost, or are about to lose their jobs by hitting "refresh" for 1-2 hours mid work day.

Frankly, the fact that someone hasn't written an auto-response program to win the sprints indicates the mean IQ of Snob readers, as somewhere between Nobel Prize (peace, not the real ones) and American Idol fan.

CommieCanuck said...

I [heart] Simon Cowell, only for his bitterness.

Fierce Panties said...

Jefe,

No need to apologize to the Panties, but the top 3 are still waiting on you to recognize.

Example:

WTGYAFR (Way To Go You Are Fucking Rad)

Anonymous said...

The "overpriced" Sidis I got are five years old and running strong. Im just saying.

Matt said...

Taquerias frequently do not serve burritos, as burritos originated on this side of the border. At a taqueria, one would expect to see items that can be made with taco-sized corn tortillas (mulas, sopes, tacos, quesadillas, etc). Mind you, these items are rarely attached to the word "epic," regardless of their quality.

Anonymous said...

Bikesgonewild,

I've never had the $550 Sidi's, but their middle tier lines are pretty overpriced when compared to Lake, Specialized, etc. The $300 Specialized are waaaaaaaay more comfortable (and stiffer if you care about that) than the $300 Sidi. Ask just about anyone that works in a bile shop that carries them.

People buy sidi b/c of marketing and peer influence. Not that they're terrible, just not as good when compared
to other similarly priced shoes.

Fierce Panties said...

CC,

Using that app would be cheating.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Don't forget that the Sidis the pros wear are custom-molded for their feet, and are considerably more comfortable than the off-the-shelf ones we get.

Are Lake or Specialized more comfortable? I honestly haven't a clue, because I have never owned anything except Sidis. Your observation is absolutely correct, Anon 4:59. It would be heirarchical suicide to show up for a group ride in anything else but Sidis.

Never underestimate the power of appropriate footwear:

"Blame it all on my roots,
I showed up in boots,
and ruined your black-tie affair..."

Back in the day, a respectable pair of Sidis was less than a hundred bucks. They have now broken the $500.00 mark. For those prices, I'd rather have a pair of crocodile loafers.

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 4:59pm...

...perhaps i should have qualified my remarks regarding SIDI's by stating that, when it comes to something as personal as shoes (or saddles), everyone has there own particular fit & some shoes (or again, saddles) fit some people better than others...

...pour moi, obviously it's sidis & has been for a lotta years...

ant1 said...

CC - "They fight like they do because the stakes are so low." the ends justify the means i guess. and regarding the mean IQ thing. i'll personally take credit for lowering the mean a standard deviation or two. if only i could golf my IQ, i'd be cheating on hot swedes left and right.

ant1 said...

shoe fit is highly personal. i've lucked out with a $120 pair of shimanos i've been palping for years. if i were a rich man, i'd probably give sidi's a try. the replaceable parts seem like a great feature. and the colors are so euro-cool.

bikesgonewild said...

...wishiwasmerckx...

..."For those prices, I'd rather have a pair of crocodile loafers."...

...crocodiles just look like they're loafing, hangin' around in the water w/ only their eyeballs n' snout showing or lazing about on the riverbank but those suckers are ready to jump into action at a moments notice...

...kinda like those laconic cycling bloggers who manage to podium on a regular basis...

H. Keller said...

She spells CAKE, she gets COCK.

Anonymous said...

even the inexpensive SIDI's are still produced in Europe. Important for the new hipster road biker on a Cannondale who would rather not support communist regimes and questionable working conditions. just sayin...

ant1 said...

aren't most cannondales made in asia now?

Anonymous said...

hipster hating never gets old, as long as hipsters are so ridiculous and easy to make fun of. The abondoned naked bike ride is a perfect example. It was a terrible idea on many levels to begin with, the genesis of which probably went something like "that sounds like an incredible idea, I have these great briefs I just bought from American Apparel that I would look really awesome in. Let's do it!! what are we protesting again...,oh yeah bike lanes, cool. Ethan, can you grab me another PBR, I'm so buzzed.." And then only to abandon it? seriously how can such a typical hipster scenario be ignored and not commented on. It's not the hipster hating that is getting old it's the hipsters. a bunch of "creative individualist" who just happen to produce no art or anything good or beneficial and dress and act exactly alike and are completely oblivious to how ridiculous that is? to not make fun of that would be like passing a flaming 20 car pile up on the highway and not slowing down to take a look at the carnage. It goes against human nature.

Anonymous said...

Cannondales may be made in China, but my Guru is made in Montreal.

Sidis just plain fit my feet, and they last a long time.

Also, my cone of smugness fits my head perfectly. Time to go home for yummy beer and fiberglass insulation.

CommieCanuck said...

Oooo...Nagoya girls. Most pretty!

I can't read what's on her leg, but I think it's "repect me".

CommieCanuck said...

And it's only cheating if you get caught..has Lance taught us NOTHING?

Bad Lawyer said...

MtM says-->Contador looks thoroughly bitchass, the white sidis and pointed toe in that pose scream out that many male roadies with their gentle builds (many have narrow shoulders and some even have child bearing hips) should not be photographed off the bike...>>

You nailed it MingMech--btw,is that a little PJ Harvey allusion, "child bearing hips."

El Diablo dances the dance that dare not speak its name.

Bad Lawyer said...

BGW--

When I bought Sidi[s] they came in one width--excruciating with a cinch. No, my friend, give me Carnacs for comfort.

flynn said...

Yea pretty sure all Cannondales are made in Taiwan now, or at least moving towards that, leaving the entire town of Bedford PA jobless.

Also, naked rides are great if they meet the following criteria:
-have no agenda
-occur in sparsely populated areas
-include babes

brooklyn ride would mayyyybee go 1 for 3

bikesgonewild said...

...so you say, bad lawyer...but personally i think carnac's act went down the tubes when johnny carson died...

...but how are ya fixed (whoops !!!) for gift wrap n' wallpaper ???...

...just checkin'...

Anonymous said...

Right, the nu-Fred and hipster love Sidis b/c they are looking for authenticity, and price is not an option. If you can purchase some idea that you've been around for a long time, even though you have no idea who Indurain is, then the equipment can mask your status.

Again, there's nothing bad about Sidis if they fit you. But most people just buy them due to brand "recognition" and clueless consumption. Same thing as tattoos and fixed gears: trends masking any longevity. The "yeah, I was here first" mindset of the insecure. The thing is, it's not a big deal. Nobody cares. Just like getting RACED on your commute. Everybody had to start somewhere. Sidis always reek of that to me. Try some other kinds, just b/c pros wear them doesn't mean they're good for you.

Andy Pandy said...

Lets explore this with a sense of thoroughness yet to be applied. Given the publicity, there would be large pod of said upset Hipsters( whose parents were likely at the forefront of the sixties sexual liberalism and substance usage). As it was cold out doors, they decide to disrobe in doors ( a sensibledecision and use of their yet to be utilised university education, and not wanting their $400 jeans to be pilfered by less fortunate street souls ). Human Nature and its wont to recreate its own thus reducing interspecies mating, and being frisky at heart , cuts in and BINGO there is all kind of electricity and body parts/ fluids flying right left and centre. After said act ,and the obligatory joint,they declined not to go outside, relying on word of mouth to spirit their protest to their enemy. I for one applaud their stance and would have done exactly the same in their circumstances. Also their mommies would have taught them the eleventh commandment... make love not war

Anonymous said...

I find Lakes most excellent for my ultra flat feet. Any arch is too much.

Anonymous said...

The commenter said "theists" when they probably meant "theocrats" -- or those who believe in theocracies. And, if they really want to see one in action all they have to do it go to Utah. The city bending to the Hasidim on this is akin to allowing firecrackers on Chinese New Year -- pretty fucking small beer.

honnybucket said...

Unfortunately, we don't really have any good bile shops here in portland. They can't afford to stock the crabon bile and keep going out of business.

And I don't know how many times I've said it but them kids with the RSS feeds are compromising the integrity of the podium race. Meanwhile, I sit here on my crappy old suburban DSL line (essentially the toe-clip and converse all-star shoe/pedal combo) watching them skate by in their fancy Look/Sidi matching colorway combos.

Bastards.

cyclotourist said...

@Anon 11:00: Lakes are great. They also use real leather and their mtn. bike ones have thick rubber soles. They're still kinda' narrow around the toe, but not terribly so.

kerry said...

I have no idea what my shoes are! never even looked! But they were on sale and blue. Nuff said.

But I do admit, I bought a used Orbea Onix Dama because it was cool( and on sale and FIT me. How rare is that?)
Does smears of grease ruin the sidi effect or not? What if they are worn a bit? Is it like white sneakers and gangsters?

streepo said...

I didn't know there were bile shops. I usually just gack up my own.


CC,
It's not just the peace prize that isn't real. Have you ever read Paul Krugman?

Wagner said...

hi Honnybucket

no rss feed here (btw, what's that?)

just the old F5 buttonway

mikeweb said...

Interesting footwearway commentary.

I used to have more less original Sidi geniuses (genuisi?) and they were comfy, but eventually fell apart, the same fate as the Lakes I had before them.

These days the Adidas road shoes I have are OK, though about 40 miles into long rides, my feet often start feeling like steak tartar.

Those Specialized S-works shoes will probably be my next ones. The boa lace system looks vertically stiff and laterally compliant.

Dave said...

Hey, thought you might enjoy this:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121628758&sc=fb&cc=fp

Bad Lawyer said...

MW-->one of the reasons I like my carnacs apart from the generous "toe box" is the simple velcro, sorta like being a pre-schooler.

frilly said...

I wear the pink & black Specialized Spiritas. They match my pink & black Specialized gloves. They sort of clash with the black cherry fade paint job. However the embossing on the shoes matches the embossing on the saddle which matches the embossing on the bar tape which mimics the white flower trim on the frame. Not exactly PRO but its pretty.

mikeweb said...

BL, Yes my current Adidas shoes have that same simple triple velcro strap closure. I have to admit that 'tearing' noise is a satisfying end to a nice ride. Though it Mr. Seinfeld cringe.

Frilly, it all sounds very well coordinated. I have to admit, I find myself choosing clothing, shoes, helmets, etc. that won't clash with the fire engine red and white overspray paint scheme on my old Paramount. It's a challenge.

Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer said...

On point as always, nice to see you again snob.

Bad Lawyer said...

Oh, Frilly, could you describe that kit again, slower this time, use your huskiest voice...puh-leeze!

Nishant said...

knew this was going to be an impossible podium today.

Work from home India

Anonymous said...

Well ya see, for fixies to work as winter training you actually have to ride them all winter, and if there's anything hipsters are even more averse to than actually riding their bicycles any real distance, it's dressing for the weather.

kerry said...

Sadly, I admit to girlie colour scheme too. Mines blue and black. I dont know WHAT I will do when the new Orbea comes home( or rather the USED new Orbea). Its black and orange.:(

Santa Clara domestic violence lawyer said...

Another great article full of all the typical snobbery.

Anonymous said...

Funny BSNYC is picking on Contador. Any surprises here? He's been converted to a Lance saddle sniffer, sadly :) And he writes for Buycycling magazine! Ooo

Anonymous said...

I bet the guy that cut the cables was a liberal democrat.

They should treasure life.

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Lit Fuse Cyclery said...

It is nice to make it into this famous blog. While I am most grateful for the buzz generated by the Times article, the bike snob is correct in his assessment that we actually do repair and sell single-speeds and will surely repair and sell fixed gear bicycles. All of this comes with as much information as the client will allow us to share with them. And we are always open to listen to a client as they can, and do, share important data and new information with us every day. The most common safety concern we have is the factory installed fixed cog that has NO GREASE on the threads. This is textbook industrial skimping that should be ended. If all of the energy generated by stopping your bicycle dozens to hundreds of times daily is focused through the cranks, chainring, chainwheel screwpegs, chain, cog & lockring, 7 to 10 aluminum threads on the hub and spokes and tires, instead of being diffused through two rims and tires;(still with me?) then the weakest link is in those under-engineered thin threads on the hub. This (along with all the other links in this chain) must be protected as surely as you would protect your life or family jewels.
I want to highlight that my views of riding fixed gear bicycles come from 30 years in the saddle, 15 of which were in NYC. I have personally witnessed 3 people killed by cabs and a bus. The fixed rider I knew who I saw killed in 1989 on 34th and Ave of the Americas died because he was being a daredevil, and ate the light and a cab blocked him from getting by the bus. He was impaled by his saddle. I have heard of people in crashes in track peletons losing fingers to the chain, as well as mechanics who were more experienced than I losing fingers to spinning track chainwheels. The dirty chain oil prevents surgeons from re-attaching severed fingers. Almost like handling fire arms, this type of activity should be well-thought-out. As a young messenger, I idolized Nelson Vails and the old messengers who knew him told me he rode a track bike with a brake on the front wheel. [Mr.Vails can be credited with re-popularizing the single-speed and fixed gear bike as the standard issue of New York bike messengers.]

I am not the strong-ish rider I once was, but most gifted young fixed riders cannot stay with me and my 33 lb commuter bike in heavy manhattan traffic because they do not have the stopping ability necissary to navigate the deadly maze.
NEVERTHELESS, I applaud anyone on a bicycle from the lady on the tricycle hauling her children around in the back, to the person who has no money and rides the huffy she found in the garbage the wrong way up the Tomkins bike lane to the hip hoopty rider, to the keirin rider to the trick track riders, bmx, freestyle, mountain, trials riders, to the club riders blazing up the palisades.
All cyclists are miles ahead of the lemmings in cabs, the psychos in trucks and the cowards in SUVs. Our shop seeks to cater to cyclists.

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