Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Indignity of Winter: Sights Repulsive and Glorious

One of the most rewarding aspects of maintaining a humorous (or ostensibly humorous) cycling blog is that even people who know me in "real life" think of me when they see disgusting bicycle-related things. Not only that, but they also take the time to photograph those things for me. So you can imagine how much pleasure I felt when one of the first items I saw upon checking my email this morning was this saddle, which is covered in what appears to be tuna:

("Bella Gella?" Or "Bella Tuna?")

As rewarding as it is to know that you're the first thing someone thinks of when they see a bike seat covered with masticated tuna, this was very nearly enough to cause me to relapse into the illness with which I began the week. Speaking of that illness, I am feeling much better now, but please don't tell that to the people who continue to send me inspirational "get well" cards. In addition to Erik K's heartfelt sentiment, I've now received this one from the proprietor of the "Old Ten Speed Gallery:"
As you can see, I have rendered the image "safe or work" via the addition of a pair of giant cockles. If you would like to see the original either because you don't work, or you work at home, or your workplace is amenable to the perusal of images of naked people testing the structural integrity of their bike racks, it is here. (Just kidding. Actually, it's here.) By the way, if you're expecting any lewd puns about cockles, or clams, or even tuna on saddles, I'm sorry to tell you you're reading the wrong blog and you're simply not going to find them here. (You will, however, be able to find them on my new website, "," just as soon as that $1.6 million in venture capital comes through.)

In any case, having recovered to the point where traveling by bicycle is now possible again, I was "palping" my Scattante (that is not a pun) to the WHHBSP loft space this morning to see how our new office space is coming along when I found myself longing for warm breezes--as are many other cyclists, according to this post on the New York Times "Spokes" blog, which also mentioned road salt:

In any discussion of cycling in winter, it is inevitable that the subject of "component-eating road salt" will come up. Yes, winter and road salt go together like cockles and clams, or like saddles and tuna, and whether the publication is the New York Times, or Bicycling, or VeloNews, you will eventually find some mention of how it is essential to clean your bike constantly during the winter lest road salt dissolve it like a glass of tap water dissolves a tablet of Alka-Seltzer, or like the Tour de France dissolves Cadel Evans's resolve.

Frankly, I think this fear of road salt is excessive--especially when it comes to commuter bikes. Sure, you might want to protect your dentist bike from the worst conditions, but if you're worried about road salt damage to your commuter bike then your commuter bike isn't crappy enough. Also, perhaps we use some kind of "woosie" road salt here in New York City, but I consider cleaning my commuter bike during the winter a craven act of capitulation, and when I finally do give it its annual rinse sometime in the spring the bike is still there and it looks pretty much the way it did the last time I saw it back in late November--which is admittedly crappy, but really no crappier for having been packed in salt like a baccalau. I mean, I know the stuff is bad, but I don't think it's as dangerous as they say--especially if you have bike that is strong like Russian bear:

Still, it would be nice not to have to think about cold or road salt at all, and the post went on to recommend a trip to Morocco:

To me, "the rub" with regard to a trip to Morocco is not so much the $300 it could cost to fly with my bike as it is the cost of the entire rest of the trip. If you really want to go to Morocco and the only thing stopping you is the $300 bike fee then just leave the bike at home and figure something out when you get there. Then again, I just checked the Morocco Craigslist, and unfortunately there are no bicycles for sale there at the moment.

Before reading this post I had absolutely no intention of visiting Morocco, but by now I was irritated that I couldn't go, and thanks to the Times my trip home from the WHHBSP will only feel that much colder. Not only that, but as if to rub salt in my components, the post also offered a sorry "plan B," which was to head to the "Hipster vs. Hasidim" bike lane debate in Williamsburg on January 25th:

I'm glad to see that things have moved past threats of naked bike rides and into the realm of discourse, though Pete's Candy Store is a "hipster" stronghold and not exactly neutral territory. It's sort of like the Olympic water polo team challenging the "Milwaukee 11" to a match in a swimming pool. Still, I suppose it's a good sign, though I will be nowhere near it, for fear that David Byrne or some other member of the "cultural elite" might drop in and use the controversy as an opportunity to expound on all that is wrong with the world. Anyway, it's quite a choice the Times is presenting: Go to Morocco, or stay here and argue with the Jews.

In any case, while I may seem cavalier about road salt damage and the state of our bike lanes, that doesn't mean I'm not making provisions--at least for the former. In the unlikely event that my bicycle does fall apart I have already picked out a possible replacement in the form of this "Cicco" (which I assume is pronounced "Chico"):

New Cicco 54 cm frame fork and Ultegra grouppo (Battery Park)
Date: 2010-01-13, 7:13PM EST
Reply to: [deleted]

Brand new Never used or build up 2002 Cicco Allumino fame and fork with an Shimano Ultegra 9 speed grouppo full set

Frame is Aluminum with carbon set stay and fork 54 cm
Cicco Challenger Allumino

Crank Set 39-53 (172.5 mm)
9 speed chain
Cassette (12-23)
Brake Shifters (STI)
Break Calipers
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
Head Set
Bottom Bracket (Italian Threaded)
Front hub and Read (36 holes)
All new in box

I'm in lower Manhattan
Dont make me put this on eBay

Make your best offer

As much as I've always longed to own a genuine Chico, I suspect flim-flammery as the bicycle pictured is clearly a Ciöcc--which looks like it should be pronounced "Crotch" but which the cycling cognoscenti know is actually pronounced "Cockle." Falling victim to such a scam would be almost as regrettable as the theft of a Softride:

black SOFTRIDE bike stolen (East Village)
Date: 2010-01-13, 8:56PM EST
Reply to: [deleted]

my beloved black Softride tri-bike was stolen from my building's basement on 1/12/10.(yes it was locked)
It has Mavic 650c wheels, aero-bars on bullhorn, Planet Bike computer, black cranks, black pedals (toe cages), a single FSA chainring, dura-ace rear derailleur, Selle saddle, Fizik bag, etc., etc.

Look for the Pinhead locks on the hubs and the fact that in order to remove it the thief (s) would have had to snip some front spokes, but they won't have the key to remove the wheel. It also has an attachment on the rear wheel where I clipped my dog's wagon to it to ride with her over the W'burg bridge to work.

Now we're sunk!

PLEASE help me recover this adored bicycle. Any info, any questions, please let me know!

Most regrettable of all, though, is that the theft of this bicycle means I may never get to see somebody using a Softride to tow a dog in a wagon across the Williamsburg Bridge. I implore you if you know anything at all to help reunite this person with his bicycle so that he may tow again. A more glorious sight I cannot imagine.


Jefe said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Rocks Not Dead said...


Anonymous Coward said...

Damn, missed the break

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

we got a situation, top 10

Unknown said...

still hungover from new years

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten?

Anonymous said...

top tizzie
fer sures

thegock said...


ATX DAN said...

mama mia!

Anonymous said...

Snob says, "By the way, if you're expecting any lewd puns about cockles, or clams, or even tuna on saddles, I'm sorry to tell you you're reading the wrong blog and you're simply not going to find them here. (You will, however, be able to find them on my new website, ',' just as soon as that $1.6 million in venture capital comes through.)"
Hilarious, Snob! It's the classic rhetorical two-step: "I could say my opponent eats shit sandwiches, but in fact I know he doesn't like bread, your Honor."

Great post, today.

samh said...

Ugh, thanks for the Rick Roll, Snob!

Jefe said...

Tell the "Softride" victim that if he will send me the key, he can have the dog wagon back. It really slows down the Mavic wheels.

sufferist said...

close but no blunt....

Fearful said...

Too scared to pack sprint..

kfg said...

It might well be a fake Chico, but as long as the Allumino fame is lasting, I'm in.

Beside, you can't fool me, there is no Sanity Claus.

libertyonbikes! said...

650c wheels
pulling a dog wagon?

it's like the yin
to the Lone Wolf's yang.

Could you imagine if they were to meet? Maybe bike town MNPLS?

There's your apocalypse!

Fixed gears were just global warming.

Anonymous Coward said...

nice kfg -- palping "Night at the Opera"

Anonymous said...

It's always nice to have some sort of professional alibi for all the shit people email you and other, um, questionable materials you may have collected, er not thrown out, yet. But be very careful, I had occasion to blawg about the evangelist/founder of Feed the Children--you don't want to even think about what they found in his offices after they tossed his criminal ass out.

grog said...

"coming from someone who obviously spends most of his days trolling this page instead of riding a bike, your opinion doesn't really hold much validity."

wishiwasmerckx said...

That's the problem with the @#$% Russians. Even the very good ones steal your bike.

hillbilly said...

c'mon son!

Isolation Helmet said...


Anonymous said...

In communist Russia, you do not ride bike, bike rides you!

ringcycles said...

Snobbie, you have a soft spot for soft rides? perhaps you also have a yen for y-foils? Could it be that despite your vocal support for practical bikes, you yearn for frame design oddities. Before you know it you'll be rocking a recumbent. Perish the thought

Anonymous said...

Dentists provide a service the world needs. It's a skill that takes years to acquire, and has little status if you're under 50.

What service do bloggers provide? To help sell ads?

sufferist said...

'Bent Snob NYC?

Reflections on an ass-level view of the world.

Let's hope not.

sufferist said...

Oh, BTW --- good show Jefe! You are the newest pheenom in the BSNYC peleton/group/pack/bunch/collection of other participants.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:02pm,

Entertainment--and quality dental care, if they also happen to be dentists.


ant1 said...

anon 2:02 - i'm going to let you in on a little secret here. nobody (excluding the british, of course) thinks dentists don't provide a service the world needs. we might like to clown around a bit more than the average russian bear, but we're not as stupid as you just made yourself appear. if you have no clue what the hell people are talking about, please refrain from criticizing. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Salt colludes with water to destroy your bike. Salt alone is harmless. Two ways this brine ends up in the sensitive parts of your components 1. By spraying water on a salty bike 2. Brine from the road. Again it is better to be lazy...


Anonymous said...

I wanted to comment yesterday, but was to busy putting in road miles on the bike,,, so MY opinion matters. Roadie and Waffles, Brillant, best video EVER. Chicks, bikes, NYC,kick ass sound track, and Waffles. Fa get about it.

ant1 said...

that's why i only ride bikes made of salmon in the winter. the salt actually preserves them. that and it gives me the right to go the wrong way down one way streets and spawn with the first person i find when i get to my destination.

Jefe said...

Thanks, sufferist. Today's win is my most cherished victory since the "Tour of Utica," a stage race in which you can place if your bike is not first stolen from under you.

sufferist said...

BSNYC colludes with words to provide entertainment.

ringcycles said...

Before anon 2:02 gets all frothed up and contacts the ADA, perhaps we can call Serrotas "investment banker bikes". I am certain no one in this industry would take such umbrage at the moniker. Its that or call them "Conan O'Brien bikes", and he has enough trouble right now dealing with some biker egomanic, so I'd refrain piling on from us fellow cyclists. Besides, must of the dentists I know ride Calfees.

HHF3 said...

You should check out the 9th Annual Road Salt Symposium:

Anonymous said...

roadies = cranky type A-holes

fixsters = hipster posers

cxers = too much free time

recumbatants = lonely

softriders with a dog in tow = cocky mfers

db said...

... but if you're worried about road salt damage to your commuter bike then your commuter bike isn't crappy enough.


mikeweb said...

I dunno, I've driven in Morocco in a rental car that was only slightly larger than an Xtracycle, and I wouldn't recommend cycling there unless you want to want to be centrfuged into the wheel well of a gigantic tour bus. I mean this is considered a major highway there.

Anonymous said...

salt doesn't eat components, it likes to poop on dry chains. it doesn't eat the plastic or anodized alloys which comprise even the crappiest de-whalers

Todd said...

A prankster once stuffed an entire can of tuna between a tube and tire on bike. Months went by before I finally got a flat and got to experience the most disgusting thing of my young life.

cheva said...

In a sort of 45th kinda way.
This is a test to see if such a posting is as meaningless in 45thish position as it is in 1st.

Anonymous said...


i missed that one, we need a glossary

Salty and Sore said...




Your precious as usual.


Thank you! 4 out of 5 dentists agree.


About that commenter that said: Two ways this brine ends up in the sensitive parts of your components-

Really? only those two? You must be a roadie.

Anonymous said...







Anonymous said...

* Cost: $125 ($85 for seniors and students) includes continental breakfast and hot buffet lunch
* Please register by January 20, 2010

Who Should Attend

Those interested in discussing the impacts of road salt and other deicers

daaaammmnn, $125 bucks for a buffet lunch!

CommieCanuck said... know this one, I know this one...

Ciocc is actually pronounced "chee-ock", and is Northern Italian slang for "drunkard" or "jackass", referring to the apparently infamous father of the original owner of Ciocc bicycles.

Chico is the guy who used to hang out with the man.

CommieCanuck said...

$125 bucks for a buffet lunch!

I bet it's bland, bring salt.

sufferist said...

or deicer of your choice

Anonymous Coward said...

@anon 2:55


Test Tickle said...

hey anon 2:02:

coming from someone who obviously spends most of his days trolling this page instead of stealing softrides, your opinion doesn't really hold much validity.

just sayin'


Casper said...

BSNYC accused of being anti-dentite? That reminds me of a joke...

Pontius Pilate said...



Fuji the Whale said...

The "rub salt in my components" line got me where it counts. I didn't even know I had that spot in my language center.


grog said...

coming from someone who obviously spends most of his days trolling this page instead of testing tickles, your opinion doesn't really hold much validity.


Free Spirit said...

Hey, kfg, are you a fan of The Damned?

SteveL said...

1. Shimano Deore parts melt in light rain, so the salt doesn't do much worse.

2. but my commuter bike's frame did rust through at the BB, after 10 years use and about 50K miles. So no, rust isn't a real risk.

3. Morocco is excellent for mountain biking. Atlas mountains. Fun.

Oldentard said...

cockles 'n clams

CdP said...

I've seen a guy towing his dog over the WillyB on a trailer several times, but never noticed that he was on a Softride - how many dog-towers are there out there?

Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...




El INDIO said...

so true on that salt subject! I leave my bike out in the snow for days out of laziness and I swear to god once you bash the sheets of ice off, it runs probably still at like 87% capacity! Except for the chain... that thing is rusty as all hell.

streepo said...

"bring salt"

That made me snort up my coffee!!

Anonymous said...

Can one not both go to Morocco and also argue here with Jews?

Anonymous said...

maybe someone should start a bring an argumentative jew to morocco movement.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying Anon 2:02 eats shit sandwiches, because I understand he doesn't like bread.

ant1 said...

Meredith Miller is going to CX worlds.

check out my fancy html

CommieCanuck said...

I'm not saying Anon 2:02 eats shit sandwiches, because I understand he doesn't like bread.

Sounds like a customer for the epic shit burrito.

CommieCanuck said...

""When you're getting pelted with shitballs, you gotta get a shit bat."

--Mr. Lahey.

CommieCanuck said...

Dentists provide a service the world needs. It's a skill that takes years to acquire, and has little status if you're under 50.

It's such a skill, it takes a whole 24 months to become a DDS.
"ohhh..see that smuge on the x-ray? yer gonna need a Mercedes payment, er, root canal."

Don't forget the lead all professions for suicide and drug addiction. It can be depressing waiting on that Serotta list.

CommieCanuck said...

ant1 said...check out my fancy html.

Very good grasshopper, but only use this new skill for good, and not evil.

ant1 said...

giving you up would be evil.

ben said...

The road salt was precisely the reason why I added internal gearing to my old touring bike. You can also use a hebie chainglider to keep salt off the chain. It's still kicking through two winters of complete neglect. Don't get me wrong, I love my bike, I just don't feel like doing so much maintenance.

kfg said...

@AC 1:42

". . . palping "Night at the Opera"

Beats hell out of riding a moped or Margaret Dumont.

@Free Spirit


Corn Flake said...

Next to chuck holes, corrosion from road salt is the # 1 problem for bikes here in New York. I know cuz the guy from Bicycle Habitat told me so. I also know I'm protected - I bought an extended warranty for my crabon frame.

Anonymous said...

Mr. DRIFTwood!!

CommieCanuck said...

Don't get me wrong, I love my wife, I just don't feel like doing so much maintenance.

Some Guy on the Innernets said...

I usually sneak over to the neibhor's house some dark night in April and slosh my bike around in his pool (he happens to be a dentist). Then the bike has a chance to build up a good protective coating of road grime by the next sloppy winter. I thought the chlorine might not be good for some parts, but it doesn't seem to cause any trouble.

Anonymous said...

CC, do you shave her "bottom bracket?"

Isolation Helmet said...


Anonymous said...

not a mention of taint, conch, chode, durf, grundle or nifkin?

Chode (not to be confused with "choad" meaning a penis that has a width bigger than length)

Anonymous said...

rick roll'd ?

et tu CommieCanuck?

Fred said...

Well, I guess this is the end of the line for ol' BSNYC. Turns out the bike actually does make you faster.

I'm stuffing my frame full of Zertz immediately.

Anonymous said...


Fierce Panties said...

In life, we all have eaten the shit sandwich and luckily for me a like bread, and a little salt helps too.

The important thing is to remember to floss.

Fierce Panties said...

All this shit-talk about dentists and I may wake up with a hole in a molar.

leroy said...

You know, I thought my dentist was looking down in the mouth.

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

disrespectful douchebag, or a guy who just didn't get the memo?


mlliu said...

"Just kidding"? Snob, I can't be your only female reader who would appreciate more pics of attractive men on bikes. (I assume your gay readers might also enjoy such diversions.) Please?

leroy said...

I know I've seen the tuna adorned Bella saddle before.

It's driving me crazy that I can't remember where.

Oh well, could be worse.

It could have been lutefisk.

Stupid Name said...

"Most regrettable of all, though, is that the theft of this bicycle means I may never get to see somebody using a Softride to tow a dog in a wagon across the Williamsburg Bridge."

I would pay to see that. It must be the right tool for the job. I have not done that since I did not know you need 5000 worth of components to tow a wagon.

Could you tow the wagon on the hipster silk road, or would you need to upgrade.

vineshkumar said...

Nice post. Keep up the good work
website design nyc

Carp said...

Its pronounced "Choch". Two Ch (like chutney) sounds on each end with a long O in the middle.

ant1 said...


Anonymous said...

The Ciocc bit -- that's a lot of play for a typo. I don't get it.

Velocodger said...

My mother-in-law says;"la vie est une tartine de merde, on en mange un peu tout les jours" Loosely translated; "life is a shit pie we eat every day".

Lord Skankypants said...

The cognoscenti know Ciocc is pronounced "kiosk." Get with it, posers!

jolene said...

its pernoused shevv eee u should know that by now fuckin city folk dont know what u dont know like how to pernounce cheese cheveeeeerah like a bunch of kansas city faggots haha i jest saw blazing saddles on tnt where the dark feller is a sherrif

SE13 said...

I havent laughed this much in ages!!

Softride = soft-in-the-head

Yann G.S. said...

that last bit was great, thanks

old_roadie said...

the tuna is the center piece of the gruppo

Toby said...

So do we take it that the Softride was "locked up" only through its spokes? That's not good enough... obviously. Of course, without a main triangle, there isn't much to lock to on those frames (their designers much have thought that they were strictly for sport use, and no dog-towing commuter would ever need to lock one up).

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