Monday, November 30, 2009

Waist Not Want Not: Excessive Wear

If you're unfamiliar with American folkways, the day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday," and on this day we're all supposed to go out and buy presents, which we proceed to exchange on Christmas or one of its "ethnic" spin-offs. Tramplings, maimings, and other shopping-related mishaps are commonplace on Black Friday, and so I instead spent the day doing helmetless bike-salmon sprint intervals on the Long Island Expressway since I reasoned it was safer. Still, I was unable to avoid holiday shopping mania completely, because companies love to harness the awesome marketing power of bicycles during the holiday season, and when I logged onto eBay to check on my Hummel figurine auctions I saw this:



This in turn led me to wonder if the Chris King Headset Composite Index is healthy this holiday season. Last year around this time the CKHCI was at 72.21, so ITTET this year's figures should be quite telling. Are cyclists continuing to spend conservatively by putting their money in "bulletproof" headsetry, or are they once again growing more confident and investing in riskier areas such as idiotic concept bicycles and amazing bikes with mind-blowing wheelsets? I'm still waiting for this year's numbers to come in, but I will analyze and report them in due course.

In the meantime, there are encouraging signs that retail among cyclists is brisk. Despite the fact that New York City cyclists often carry gigantic messenger bags, wear all sorts of holsters on their belts, and even put baskets on their Colnago track bikes, these things are mainly fashion accessories and are almost always empty. When it comes time to actually bring something home from a store, they instead choose to carry it awkwardly in one hand while attempting to control the twitchy front end of their brakeless track bike with the other, and since I've been seeing this more frequently lately I can only assume it's because they're spending lots of money this holiday season:

If this is indeed the case, then Tour de France winner and exuberant fingerbanger Alberto Contador would do well to make some of his merchandise available to the cycling consumer. As it is, he is still polling people on what products they would buy, and the hat is still winning:

But if the 2009 Tour de France taught us anything, it taught us that Alberto Contador does not like to do as he is told. When his director tells him to ride defensively, he attacks, and when his fans tell him they want hats, he gives them t-shirts:

Here, the velvet blazer, the white Sidi, and the skin-tight fingerbang v-neck come together in a staggeringly tacky ménage à fromage. As frightening as this three-way is, what's even more horrifying is the fact that somewhere in Europe someone is thinking to himself: "You know, that shirt would look fantastic under that jacket." As far as I'm concerned though, it's enough to make you want to fingerbang your own eye out, which is what Contador appears to be doing here:

Really, the only thing worse than wearing a fingerbang t-shirt under a velvet blazer is wearing a used bicycle tire for a belt. Incredibly, though, a reader informs me that people seem to be doing just that. Yes, thanks to Retired Belts, you can now wear a San Francisco fixter's used Vittoria Randonneur around your waist:

While I can appreciate finding new uses for things instead of just throwing them away, I also feel wearing used bicycle components is a form of self-expression only slightly more dignified than wearing a sandwich board or painting your face at sporting events. American Indians wearing buffalo skins shows respect for the animals they've hunted, but hipsters wearing old bike tires just makes them look ridiculous. It's especially offensive since the only reason there's such a surplus of tire carcasses is that people insist on riding around in hilly San Francisco without brakes; if this wasn't the case then maybe they'd actually get more than a few weeks out of a tire and instead of wearing them they could just keep them on their bikes where they belong. Indians killed buffalo because they needed the meat, not because they wanted to show off their mad bow-and-arrow skillz to their friends. Still, if people are now willing to wear dirty bike parts then I'm tempted to start selling my used bar tape (it's quite useful as teffilin). However, judging from the above photo somebody already beat me to it and is marketing it as u-lock wrapping.

Also, there are other ways to recycle old bike parts that don't involve wearing them. Instead, you can keep using them for your bike. For example, people have long used toe straps in order to fasten things to their saddles. In the old days, those things were often tubular tires, but now another reader informs me they're things like "Bike Burritos:"

The Bike Burrito is basically a piece of fabric with pockets, and as far as I can tell it's essentially just a rolled-up shop apron. Between this and the tire belt, it's clear that "bike culture" is now mostly about pretending you're a bike and your bike is a person. This is why everybody's wearing bike parts but putting clothing on their bikes.

These must be the sorts of things the dangling shopping bag set are buying for each-other as holiday gifts. I, however, prefer to shop on Craigslist, where the bikes are bikes and the clothes are clothes (and, quite often, the brakes are "breaks"). For example, the British person in your life will surely appreciate this Brompton World Championship t-shirt:


Brompton WC 2009 Collector's item tee-shirt - $50
Date: 2009-11-30, 12:28AM EST
Reply to: [deleted]

Straight from the Brompton World Championship 2009 held at Blenheim Palace this past October -- Only one collector's item tee-shirt left for sale.

Brand new tee-shirt is sealed in original packaging (hence, no picture of actual tee-shirt here, sorry).
Color: Black
Size: Medium (uni)
Logo: Event logo on upper-left front and special commemorative "folded brompton" design on back.

If interested, please contact thru CL email. Meet in Manhattan. Cash only.
Cheers!


That race, of course, was won by Roberto Heras, who has clearly ended his cycling career not with a fingerbang, but with a whimper (and in a pair of "shants").

Then, there are always the Pistas. However, it seems as though here in New York we're currently experiencing a Pista shortage. At the moment there's only one Bianchi Pista for sale, and it's from out of town:

Bianchi Pista 51 cm seafoam green - $500 (out of town)
Date: 2009-11-29, 10:05PM EST
Reply to: [deleted]

I've got a used Pista, seafoam green. It's pretty much bone stock with toe clips and drop bars. I'll swap out the drops for Nitto TT bullhorns if you'd prefer. Newer tires. The condition is USED. The frame has scratches and paint chips, but no cracks or dents. I will ship this bike to you from out of town via UPS, accepting payment via Paypal. This includes their fraud protection, so don't think that this is a scam. I'll email you a picture of the bike with a copy of today's newspaper. Actually, I don't read the paper, in the paperway format, so maybe I could send you a picture of the bike with a screenshot of the latest BSNYC post. The price includes shipping.


I don't know where this person is located, but wherever it is the PistaDex must be quite low, and shrewdly he or she has elected to market it here where the supply is limited. It's too bad about the "newer tires," though, since that means it will be awhile before you can wear them. It's also too bad the seller didn't watch someone build the wheels personally:

Few things would be more boring than watching someone build a wheel, and few things would be more irritating than having somebody watch you build a wheel. I've heard that serial retrogrouch and uber-curmudgeon Jobst Brandt once caught somebody spying on him as he was in flagrante rota aedificium edificium with a truing stand and a Mavic MA2, and then proceeded to savagely beat the voyeur with an Avocet FasGrip. It can, however, be quite pleasurable to watch somebody true a wheel--especially if that person is using the new "crotchal truing technique:"

You'll note that I have censored the image using the libido-dampening properties of Larry King's visage, but if you'd like to see the unsafe-for-work original it is here. Crotchal truing is a highly effective way of ensuring that a bicycle wheel is both laterally and vertically true. (Or, more accurately, labially and clitorally true in crotchal truing parlance.) Also, after truing your wheel crotchally, make sure to carefully measure the spoke tension:

Of course, crotchal wheel truing is gender-specific, and the male anatomy is simply ill-suited to the task. However, if you don't own or have access to the female genitalway, fortunately Park Tool have come to the rescue and are now selling a portable home crotchal truing stand:

With winter coming, "wheel truing" is now the perfect euphemism for what to do when there's too much snow to ride.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

BSNYC Pre-Holiday Fun Quiz!

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, which means it's time for me to make my annual trip back to the Idahoan tuber farm on which I was raised. Seeing my family is always a bittersweet experience, for my new life in New York City is in many ways at odds with that of my parents and my seventeen siblings, and I sometimes find myself chafing under their simple rural ways, conservative tastes, and strict Jainist mores. When I enter that bleak farmhouse reeking of incense, sit on that austere Bauhaus furniture, and clasp hands with my siblings as we say the Namokâr Mantra over our traditional Thanksgiving dal, I am instantly transported back to a childhood in which I was forced to harvest potatoes, watch Herzog films, and contemplate a universe without beginning or end. One year, when the harvest was particularly bad, Paw was forced to sell his favorite Francis Bacon painting. His nature has been tempestuous ever since, and the void in his soul is as palpable as the discoloration on the wall above the hot tub where the painting used to hang.

Anyway, the point of all this oversharing is to say that I will not be posting tomorrow or Friday, but will be returning on Monday, November 30th with regular updates. If you're American or you observe American Thanksgiving for some reason, you probably won't notice my absence since you'll be embroiled in your own holiday mishegas (that's a word Paw used to say; I think it's Hindi for "dinner"). If you're not American, I should briefly explain that Thanksgiving is a very big holiday here, and it's one in which people eat turkey. (Or, in California, giant turkey burritos.) Also, people--even hipsters!--engage in random acts of altruism:

Riding fixed-gears and shopping are the twin pillars of the urban "hipster" lifestyle, and when they combine them for a good cause everybody wins. But let's not forget on this Thanksgiving eve that "hipsters" can also be needy. A reader forwarded me this New York Times slideshow which offers us a glimpse into the squalid conditions in which many of them are forced to live:

Not since Jacob Riis has a photographer exposed this level of urban adversity. As you dig into your "epic" Thanksgiving burrito tomorrow, try not to choke on the fact that somewhere a "hipster" is going to sleep in an apartment without a second stainless steel refrigerator.

Incidentally, if you're taking part in one of these "Cranksgiving" things (personally, I'm waiting for my favorite holiday season folding bike alleycat, "Dahonukkah") but you don't want to suffer the rigors of fixed-gear riding, you can look like you're riding a fixed-gear thanks to coaster brake technology and "Coasties," to which I was alerted by another reader:

Once again, the great and charismatic Shane Stock of Oso Bike has proven himself to be a true pioneer. It's worth noting though that "blowing out your knees" has become the "You'll shoot your eye out" of the cycling world. I'm sure there are people somewhere who have suffered knee problems as a result of fixed-gear riding, just as I'm sure there are people who have indeed shot their eye out with a BB gun. However, if "blowing out your knees" was really that big of a problem then by now it would be an epidemic and I'd expect to see it happening daily on the Williamsburg Bridge. Imagine the horror you'd feel when you heard the twin bangs and the "shants" of the Nü-Fred in front of you exploded in a gristly rain of blood and ligaments.

Lastly, as the cycling world continues to obsess over the problem of doping, it's important to keep the whole issue of drugs and sports in perspective. To that end, we would all do well to watch this "epic" video, which I saw recently on All Hail the Black Market:



That's what I call "tripping balls."

It's now my pleasure to leave you with a brief pre-holiday quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see "The King of Customs." (He really likes purple.)

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and may your Thanksgiving burrito be stuffed full of "epic" deliciousness.

--BSNYC/RTMS





1) The new Cadel Evans t-shirt (now sold out!) bears the following complaintway:






2) To whom does this chin dimple belong?






3) This look can best be described as:






4) "If you're thinking of buying the Nü-Fred in your life one of these [hats], be sure to pick the color that most closely matches his facial hair, since ideally it should sort of look 'combed into' his beard and coiffure like a good toupee." --BSNYC






5) This integrated handlebar/stem is called the:





***Special Competitive Edge-Themed Bonus Question***


"That's the spirit!" Motivational number curation at the:


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cross-over Appeal: It Shan't Gonna Happen

Generally speaking, cyclists tend to excitable, and at any given moment there's usually some fashion, product, controversy, or event that is sending all of us into a collective tizzy. Currently, there seems to be growing fear among cyclocross devotees that their beloved sport and its concomitant affectations (obscure cantilevers, anything Belgian) are going to be infiltrated by "hipsters." If you're one of these fretting barrier-hoppers, you're undoubtedly disturbed that SICX is coming to town this weekend.

No, I'm not referring to this guy:

Though if he were coming to town this weekend I'd be disturbed too.

"SICX" also stands for "Staten Island Cyclocross," and this is disturbing to people who wear skinsuits and mountain bike shoes because the race actually takes place in New York City (yes, technically Staten Island is part of New York City). For the most part, cyclocross races tend to occur in areas which are inconvenient to "hipsters" (unless their parents have a country house there), so this means that, while they might idly discuss going to the race in the same way they talk about going to the velodrome, they almost never follow through. There are exceptions, of course, such as Portland. There, "hipsters" can easily access cyclocross races, and the results are predictably disastrous. Consequently, many people fear that holding a cyclocross race in "hipster"-ridden New York will be like putting a tweed hat on somebody with head lice, and that before you know it every cyclocross racer in North America will be scratching his or her head and wondering what the hell happened and why all the "hipster" cycling bloggers are now posting pictures of their "vintage" XTR M900 cantis.

As frightening as all of this is, I don't think anybody has anything to worry about. Some people cite the difficulty of cyclocross as the reason "hipsters" will never take to it, but it's even simpler than that. The truth is, it's too early, and no "hipster" worth his carefully-"curated" musical library is going to curtail his evening activities in order wake up in time to get to a 'cross race. I mean, just look at the schedule on BikeReg--both the singlespeed race and the requisite ironic World Championship race take place before noon!

On top of that, it's Thanksgiving weekend, when almost every New York City "hipster" has flown back to northern California in order to sleep in a clean bed for the first time in six months and negotiate with his parents for next year's living expenses. (Hint: be sure to cover up that new ink so Mom and Dad don't figure out that they're paying for your "sleeves.")

If anything, the real concern should be that a New York City cyclocross race will result in an infestation of roadies, which is far more insidious and potentially dangerous for the sport. (A single power meter will kill it faster than a thousand fixies with riser bars.) Fortunately, though, most cyclocross races are too late for roadies. Even though they're feeling guilty for that half a beer and that bite of pie they had on Thursday and feel compelled to race it off, they also like to be finished with their riding well before lunchtime so they can download their numbers and get on with not enjoying the rest of their day.

Speaking of New York City, yesterday I mentioned I didn't like any of the winners in that "Biking Rules" contest, but on closer inspection I realize that's not entirely true. I gave this one good marks, and I failed to notice it ended up winning the "Best HD/HDV Video" category:



According to my personal criteria, any video which includes a bad sitting-on-a-bike-with-no-seat joke gets automatic approval. On the other hand, according to this same criteria, anything involving a "professional bike fitting" gets automatic disapproval. As it happens, "Bicycling" magazine has included one in their 2009 list of "The Best Gifts for Bicyclists:"

While you should certainly be as comfortable on your bike as possible, it's important to remember that any kind of long-distance or "sport-oriented" cycling (basically, any kind of riding you do in lycra) is going to involve some degree of discomfort. It's also important to take the time to perform your own adjustments and figure out what works best for you, since the process of doing so can be far more useful than having somebody else try to do it. Most importantly, we all have a different relationship with pain and suffering, and each one of us needs to discover for ourselves what this relationship is.

For example, if you're the kind of person who likes to look at disgusting pictures of men with bleeding knees, enjoys discomfort and needless suffering, and indeed feels that these are essential ingredients in an "epic" ride, then you should forego any sort of bike fitting (whether outsourced or self-administered), don some Rapha and ride yourself stupid. On the other hand, if you're one of those people who's constantly whining about minor pains and thinks cycling should involve no sensation whatsoever, no amount of bike fitting and component swapping is going to make you happy and you should just grow a beard, stock up on half-shorts, and buy a recumbent.

Of course, you can always sell somebody on the notion that you can magically make their cycling experience more enjoyable, which is why I'm working on a new recumbent bike-fitting system. Here's a prototype of my "fit cycle:"

The process is very simple. If the rider is too upright, then he will complain and possibly cry, and if he's too recumbent then he'll simply fall asleep. Therefore, by gradually reclining the recumbent fit cycle, I can slowly lower the rider until I find that "sweet spot" between total absence of physical sensation and sleep in which every recumbent rider aspires to lie. A helmet mirror angle adjustment is included with every session, though soft drinks and potato chips are extra. Also, BYOS. (Bring Your Own Snuggie.)

Apart from the bike fitting, I also noticed that the editors at "Bicycling" stealthily included almost an entire head-to-toe "Nü-Fred" wardrobe in their gift guide. Firstly, there's the wool cycling cap:

Yes, you're not a real "urban cyclist" until you own a wool cycling cap. If you're thinking of buying the Nü-Fred in your life one of these, be sure to pick the color that most closely matches his facial hair, since ideally it should sort of look "combed into" his beard and coiffure like a good toupee. Be sure that he also wears it while off the bike as much as possible, so that everybody in the coffee shop knows he rides a bike. For this reason, wool cycling caps are also known as "bike culture yarmulkes."

Next, there's the "hoodie:"

While the hooded sweatshirt became popular as casual wear in part because it was an inexpensive garment easily purchased in any sporting goods or army-navy store and not at all because it was especially good for cycling, if you're buying one for a cyclist you should be sure that it's not only very expensive but also sold by a cycling-themed company. This one is an excellent choice, and is sold by Outlier, makers of fine Snapple-proof shorts.

At this point, as a gift-giver, you may be tempted to include a nice pair of pants with the "hoodie." Stop! While this is perfectly logical in the normal world to which you are accustomed, in the world of bike-themed street clothing one shan't go forth without "shants:"


And finally, no Nü-Fred ensemble is complete without the latest essential non-essential item, the cycling-specific sneaker:

Yes, the "urban cyclist" in your life needs these, because "pedal hot spots" are a big problem when riding six blocks to the bar (or other local pedal-themed hot spot).

While these are all excellent gift ideas, I was disappointed to see that "Bicycling" omitted the new Cadel Evans t-shirt, which was forwarded to me by a reader:


It bears a quote from one of his many outbursts, which is "Don't stand on my dog:"

Personally, I think he should have gone with the one about the botched wheel change:


Or else he should enter the lucrative world of "urban cycling" apparel:

It shan't miss.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Revisionist History: The Revolution Will Be Meh-ified

It can be fun to laugh at other people's bike setups and clothing choices. For example, if you're anything like me, you probably find this mudflap-to-spat conversion (as spotted on the Rivendell site by a reader) quite humorous:

Honestly, I'm not sure whether or not Rivendell are serious or if this is their stuffy, desiccated idea of a joke (or in fact what "double-cuty" means--I guess putting mudflaps on your shoes is twice as cute as putting them on your fenders) but either way I can say that this person's feet now look like the proboscis of a platypus. Yet while most of us would probably laugh at someone with mudflaps tied to their feet, few of us would say that someone should not be allowed to "run" them this way. If it works and it keeps your Wilsons clean (it's tough to "peep" due to the mudflaps, but I think those are the new Wilson x Rivendell "collabo" joints)--and you don't mind people pointing and laughing at you--then you should of course feel free to lash whatever you want to your feet and to tell the haters what to suck.

What people should not be allowed to do is just make crap up. If you want to platypusize your feet, fine. If you want to put flat bars on your road bike, fine. If you want to ride your track bike on the street, fine. You just can't reinvent history in order to do it, and sadly this is what's happening now. Last week, we actually saw a company called "Sexy Bicycles" claim in a single sentence that the Tour de France existed in the 19th century but that gears did not. This is a highly impressive fallacy-to-sentence ratio, but it's nothing compared to the information contained in this advertisement, forwarded to me by a reader in the UK:


This ad appeared in a tabloid called Sunday People, and concerns cheap bikes available in a variety of "colourways:"

It also contains a brief history of the track bike:

I was surprised to learn that "Track bikes were originally designed for the West Indian Community coming to New York in the 60's," and were only recently "optimised for competitive track racing across the World." Foolishly, I had always thought track bikes were, well, track bikes, and that the whole "riding them on the street" thing came later. I had also thought that track racing was really, really old, so the fact that the bikes were only invented in the 1960s really blew my mind. But while the ad says the bikes were "designed for the West Indian Community," it doesn't say who designed them. Was the track bike invented in the Caribbean and sold to people before they departed for the US, or was it designed by the City of New York and then given to them on arrival? If the latter, then one of these "old school" city-issue 1960s track bikes would surely command a fortune on Craigslist. Also, whoever it was had considerable foresight in naming them "track bikes," since obviously in the 60s track racing had not yet been invented.

Even so, between the British ad and the "Sexy Bicycles" website I think I'm finally getting a handle on my cycling history:

1800s

Tour de France is invented, and riders compete on singlespeeds (not fixed-gears). However, since gears had not yet been invented, the singlespeeds must have been direct drive. Therefore, the first Tour de France riders competed on pennyfarthings that could coast.

1900s

Gears are invented, and then sent thousands of years back in time to when people first started using them.

1960s

The "track bike" is invented for New York City-bound West Indians.

2005-ish?

"Track racing" is invented; Marshall "Major" Taylor lies in his grave wondering what exactly it was he had been doing his entire life.

Today


What a long, stupid trip it's been.

I must admit, though, that thanks to the British ad certain things are now falling into place. For example, I now understand how this could be considered a "track racing bike:"


track racing bike - $1400 (bronx)
Date: 2009-11-22, 1:17PM EST
Reply to: [deleted]

Beautiful track racing bike made by Kestrel , Talon , Its made of poly racin , shamano gears, well kepted bike, with extra bottle holders for those long run for more info 917 701 [deleted] Please no haglers , Price out this bike first before calling , this bike goes for over $ 2,500 This is a true marathone bike very light weight.


Clearly, before people realized that those bikes the West Indian community was commuting on would also work well in velodromes (velodromes existed before track racing and were originally used for storing grain), they experimented with other types of bikes instead. Here's how an early track racing bike looked:

It also inspired me to explore the origins of other cycling disciplines, particularly cyclocross. According to that cartoon, "hipsters" are now languidly contemplating taking up cyclocross, so I wanted to understand more about who came up with it in the first place. What I've discovered so far is amazing. Originally, I thought cyclocross was an age-old form of Mongolian horsemanship only recently adapted for bicycles, but it turns out that Lance Armstrong was doing what would eventually become "cyclocross" as early as 2003:



Actually, this moment is more pregnant than a promiscuous cat, since not only did Armstrong start what would eventually become the "cyclocross craze," but Joseba Beloki also singlehandedly started the whole skidding thing, and post-race interviews revealed that he was totally trying to perform the world's first elephant trunker--a now-indispensable move in any fixed-gear cyclist's Repetoire of Lameness.

Anyway, after Armstrong was inspired by a failed elephant trunk skid to become the first person in the history of the world to dismount and remount a carbon road bike without stopping for coffee and muffins, roadies the world over began imitating him:



Eventually, the technique was refined, barriers, Belgian affectations, cowbells, rubber boots, and Subarus were incorporated, and the sport of cyclocross was born.

As for the remaining cycling disciplines, everybody knows they were all born in Portland within the last five years, and the accompanying bicycles were invented and fabricated by Sacha White.

Speaking of copying Portland, New York City is striving to become more bicycle friendly, and to this end you may recall that Transportation Alternatives recently held a PSA contest (in which I served as a juror) in order to promote smugness in the streets. Well, the winners have finally been announced, and I'm pleased to report that I didn't vote for any of them. I especially didn't vote for the winner of the "Best DIY Video" category, because quite frankly I found it offensive:




Incidentally, the film appears to be shot in Red Hook, Brooklyn. If you're unfamiliar with Brooklyn, Red Hook is sort of like Williamsburg's basement in that it's a "rugged" (it only has like five bars) out-of-the-way place where "hipsters" and their ilk go to work on their dubious artistic endeavors, and you should be wary of anything emerging from it. At any rate, in the video, some guy who looks like he listens to jam bands drives up in what appears to be like a 1990 Toyota Camry (or maybe it's a Corolla), or, more likely, his friend or girlfriend's 1990 Toyota Camry or Corolla:

Whether it's a Camry or a Corolla however is largely immaterial, since either way it's awful casting and few cars evoke the evils of the automobile less effectively than old maroon Corollas and Camrys. Next, the guy ejects his Gov't Mule cassette, pops the trunk, and removes a hybrid with a pie plate on it:


Then, he acts like he's going to push a perfectly good Corolla or Camry (with the E-Z Pass still stuck to the windshield) into New York Harbor:


Cunningly, though, the filmmakers employ "trick photography" by substituting a toy car, though presumably even losing that will push the project way over budget, because they've tied a piece of string around it so that they can retrieve it:


Finally, the jam band fan removes his bongwater-stained flannel, turns around to reveal a "One Less Car" t-shirt, and walks over to his hybrid, which he will almost certainly pedal over to Valentino Pier where he will attempt to strike up a game of hacky-sack:

Then, it closes with a quote from the schluffer:

What offends me most about this video is that it's called "Revolution" yet I'm sure the most revolutionary act the filmmaker committed was running a bunch of errands with the Camry after the shoot, racking up a huge charge on the E-Z Pass, and then failing to fill up the tank before returning the car to his girlfriend. (It's still perfectly acceptable to wear a "One Less Car" t-shirt and drive every day as long as you borrow the car and never pay for gas.) They could have at least smashed a derelict car in a junkyard like Henry Rollins. And what is a "livability revolution?" It sounds like forcing people at gunpoint to make their living rooms more comfortable.

I guess we're drowning in a flood of mildness and "revolution" is the latest word to be dissolved.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday BSNYC Pleasure Examination!

(via "Cycle Jerk")

If you follow either the BMX or fixed-gear freestyle scene, or you're a reader of blogs such as Prolly's, then in addition to having a vast sneaker collection you may be aware of a controversial post on BMX site "The Come Up" consisting of a dialogue between two BMX riders in which they discuss their hatred of "fixies" and specifically the "gheys" who do tricks on them. Naturally, this post has sent shockwaves through the flat brim cap-wearing world, and at this point the prospects of a giant BMX/Fixie "collabo" seems more distant than ever. If you're a concerned outsider like I am and you want to stay abreast of this important issue, yet you don't want to take the time to actually read about it, you can instead watch edited highlights from the anti-fixie dialogue in this dramatic re-enactment here:



Meanwhile, as if this weren't disturbing enough, a number of readers have informed me that in Philadelphia a political movement is awheel that would require cyclists to register their bicycles and obtain license plates for them. If you're a Philadelphian who's worried that a bicycle license plate will spoil the clean lines of your "fixie" or add unwanted grams to your crabon fiber dream bike, I urge you not to panic. Mandatory bicycle registration comes up in up in New York City periodically too, and while there is always a group of people who thinks it's a good idea, ultimately it never goes anywhere. In this sense, it's sort of like disc brakes on cyclocross bikes. And even if they do manage to pass it in Philadelphia, it will at least provide the opportunity for vanity plates, such as this one mocked up by a reader:
Sure, actually going brakeless might earn you a $1,000 fine, but that doesn't mean you can't have a brakeless license plate.

Finally, Jack Thurston of "The Bike Show" in London informs me that foppish Garmin-Slipstream director Jonathan Vaughters is now using his Twitter to agonize over the grammatical construction of his "Tweets:"

While Thurston points out that the original "is" is likely more correct, to me the glaring error is the final "ARE!!!" Clearly, Vaughters is trying to evoke the exclamation of a disconcerted pirate, and a more appropriate spelling would have been "Arrrgh!" In any case, fussing over the grammar of a "Tweet" is like truing the wheels of your Huffy to within a fraction of a millimeter, and I would advise Vaughters not to worry about it. I'd also advise him not to spend his free time sitting around reading his own Twitter, which is a highly depraved form of social media masturbation.

I am now pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see a Hawaiian bike messenger gettin' it done with some jazz flute accompaniment.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and if you're in Philadelphia be sure your bicycle vanity plate matches your knuckle tattoos.

--BSNYC/RTMS



(Image by CommieCanuck)

1) According to his supporters, in France Greg LeMond is:





(Photo by billjank)

2) The "hipster" equivalent of the dropout safety tab is the:






"Some riders are clearly adepts, like the ones riding fixies — fixed, single-gear bikes. There goes one now — zooming past on yellow-walled tires, riding fully upright, texting with both hands on his iPhone as he goes."

3) Not everyone hates "fixies." Where did this lyrical scene take place?






4) There is only one Lone Wolf.






5) Recumbent riders don't have tattoos.






6) Jared Leto's cycling experience is not only limited to video shoots and "tarck" bikes with freewheels. He also has experience:







7) What is an "interrobang?"





***Special Over-The-Top-eBay-Themed Bonus Question***


Fyxomatosis.

--Oh no he didn't.
--Oh yes he did.