Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some Assembly Required: Group Rides and Product Development

Like many cycling New Yorkers, I'm still reeling over the recent decision to uphold a law requiring groups of more than 50 riders to apply for a parade permit. Sure, our area group rides all start outside the city limits, and sure, I'm not even capable of assembling 50 people for a ride since my number of friends is in the low single-digits, but it's still disconcerting to know I'm now a mere 49 wheelsuckers away from being a criminal. Plus, even though I really don't need to ride with 49 people, it was comforting to know that I could do so if I wanted. For example, I've always fantasized about producing a "Tony and Tina's Wedding"-esque musical about life in the professional peloton, but now it looks like I can air-kiss that Tony Award® goodbye.

Indeed, the more I think about this whole parade law thing the more despondent I become, and it seems as though one by one my dreams are now falling like those little rectangular things with dots on them that topple over and in turn knock down the little rectangular things standing next to them, and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, etc., and so forth. Besides my musical, something else we may never get to experience in New York is one of those spontaneous Lance Armstrong "Twitter rides" where he summons a bunch of "Freds" with his BlackBerry like Ace Ventura summoned his pets:


("Come to me, jungle Freds!")

Armstrong's Twitter ride in Los Angeles last September reportedly drew something like 700 riders, which is 14 times the legal limit here in New York City. This data is important, because dividing the number of riders by the number of Twitter followers (I'm estimating Armstrong probably had around two million at the time) yields .00035, or 1 (one) Fred-Summoning Unit (or FSU), which in turn allows us to determine which other professional cyclists may still be able to legally orchestrate New York City Twitter rides in Armstrong's stead. Just choose your favorite rider, multiply the number of Twitter followers by .00035 (or one FSU), and you'll know immediately how big his or her Twitter ride will be. Consider Cadel Evans for example:

26,710 followers at press time means that a Cadel Evans Twitter ride would consist of about 9.3 people, and thus be perfectly legal. Tour de France winner Alberto Contador could also theoretically visit us and administer a quick fingerbanging:

With 12,583 followers his Twitter ride would be a very manageable 4.4 riders. (I like to think I'd be that .4, since I'm slightly less than half as strong as the average "Fred.") Even retired champion and unctuous sex symbol Mario Cipollini could pay us a "booty call:"

With a scant six followers, Mario Cipollini's Twitter ride would draw only .0021 riders, which essentially means he would be by himself--and which, if you think about it, is appropriately onanistic. Interestingly, Cipollini's Twitter consists entirely of a single "Tweet" made back in October 2009 in which he announced he was "eating pussy." Having not heard from him since, we can assume that either he is still at it, or more likely that some tragedy befell him in the process. Since it's been over four months now, I think it's safe to assume the worst, and I'd like to suggest that all of cycledom join together to memorialize him. I'm envisioning something simple and elegant--perhaps a bust somewhere along the Milan-San Remo route, with a small plaque beneath it bearing the words, "Mario Cipollini: Lost at Cunnilingus."

Speaking of professional cyclists, ITTET even they are being forced to perform tasks that fall outside of their traditional job description. Consider the Cervelo TestTeam for example. As their name indicates and as this video which was forwarded to me by a reader shows, in addition to racing and training the riders are responsible for product development. I watched this video with interest, and from what I can tell it's Thor Hushovd and Carlos Sastre who are the joint foremen of this whole bike-testing operation:

Now, both Hushovd and Sastre are great riders, and I have nothing but respect for them as athletes and as people. However, after watching this video I must admit that I do have some reservations as to their qualifications in the areas of engineering and quality control. Here's Sastre staring down the seat tube as though it's a can of nuts and he's afraid one of those novelty snakes might pop out of it:


And here he is awhile later, still trying to make sense of the thing:

("If the seat goes in there then what goes in here?")

While Sastre's testing method mostly involves staring at the frame in a nonplussed fashion, Hushovd is clearly the more cerebral of the two. Here he is explaining that the frame is lighter than milk:

Again, very few people in this world know more about riding a bike than Sastre and Hushovd, but I still can't help wondering how useful some of this dairy-related feedback actually is. Then again, perhaps it's incredibly useful. When a six-foot Norseman storms into your office, grabs you by the collar of your fleece pullover and says, "The other day I bought milk and I want my bike to be lighter than that," then by golly you make a frame that's lighter than milk. Meanwhile, as Hushovd continues to reminisce about his trip to the store, Sastre has begun to sniff curiously at the chainstays:

Mercifully, the video ended before Sastre went all "2001" on what is undoubtedly a very expensive prototype, and I guess I'll just have to take Cervelo's word for it that they know what they're doing.

Opposite the Apollonian world of crabon fribé Pro Tour race bike construction is the Dionysian realm of custom steel frame building. Whereas Cervelo engineers work well into the night on such problems as: "Which weighs more, a pound of milk or a pound of crabon?," framebuilders are a whimsical breed, guided by emotion. This is evident in the little baubles they like to produce in addition to frames and which are becoming increasingly de rigeur. For example, the other day I wrote about Mike Ahrens's WiseCracker integrated headset spacer/bottle opener. Additionally, another reader informs me that Sacha White of Vanilla is now making $90 ironic brass knuckles:

So ironic are these that the proceeds are actually being donated to "organizations for non-violence:"
Unfortunately, though, we here in New York are among those who will not be able to purchase them, which means I will have to find another way of frightening off that 49th wheelsucker. Even more unfortunately, it seems that White has made a tremendous engineering mistake. Clearly, the word "Speedwagen" should be backwards so that the impression will be legible on your victim. Even Thor Hushovd wouldn't have missed that. This is exactly why you won't see mistakes like that coming out of Cervelo--if they did Gerard Vroomen would look like this:

Regardless, once trendsetting custom builders like White start doing something you can bet that the mass producers will follow. In fact, budget mail order outfit Bikesdirect is already offering its own exquisite plastic spatula:


Don't worry, 50% of all proceeds will go to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Pancakes. Even triathletes are getting in on the novelty accessory trend, as yet another reader informs me:


Catheter and waste reservoir for Triathlon Racers - $60 (FallsChurch)
Date: 2010-02-17, 5:07PM EST
Reply to: [deleted]

Perfect for the triathlon geek in you desperate to come out! Need to pee while riding? No problem with the secret-pee system! Discretely fits right into your Bento Box! Never stop and run off the course again while losing valuable seconds, or corrode your fancy components with free running wild-style pee drippings. Brand new, never used. Will trade for fake tattoo arm warmers or energy gel mini bottles with belt.


Like fresh urine from a mankini, the novelty accessory is hot, and it's trickling down.

103 comments:

Nogocyclist said...

It is now Lent.
What should I give up for Lent?
Steamed Lobster dipped in drawn Butter.

Have never actually had that, so it should be easy to give up for Lent.

My item for Lent is therefore Steamed Lobster..... that is unless someone offers to buy me one.....

Astroluc said...

podium!

Nogocyclist said...

I think I got on the podium

Astroluc said...

when I was younger, I always thought it was "Lint" ... but not like "Lindt"... perhaps I'll give up Winter.

Anonymous said...

yep.

ringcycles said...

Town Line top 10!

Kimbo Monkey said...

DICKTATS

hillbilly said...

boo-ya

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

Anonymous Coward said...

Top Ten!

ERLY RLSE

Anonymous said...

boo yah

mikeweb said...

Thor Smash!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

wishiwasmerckx said...

There is an obvious Cippolini-Hairy Vagina Ball joke in there somewhere, but I will leave that to the professionals.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Welcome back C.C.

Out on parole already?

Don't they have a three strikes rule up there in the Great White North?

Paul Bowen said...

top twennee?

Nogocyclist said...

Wow! I am one of the people who got on the podium. What is amazing is that I did not use my Catheter and Waste Reservoir kit to win this time.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

mikeweb said...

Maybe what Cipollini meant was that he was dining on Chinese food?

Wednesday Weed on Thursday said...

there is no snob but snob

and lobster is his name-o

b-i-n-g-o

b-i-n-g-o

b-i-n-g-o

and snobo is his name-o

MINGUStheMECHANIC said...

FSU's, $90 dollar brass knuckles, frames lighter than a gallon of milk and trading a catheter for fake tattoo arm warmers, Snob you is on fire this week!

Anonymous said...

You f0ckers have too much time on your hands.

"Podium".

Bunch of Freds.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Hardly surprising that the craigslist posting mixes up discreet and discrete, in the context of excreta. But defiling bento is going too far.

youaretheengine said...

Anyone notice one of the Cervelo riders had the visor clipped to his helmet?

Amazing.

Jefe said...

Oh, Snob. We are such loyal followers, we will gladly divide into groups of 49 to ride with you and stage Tony-winning shows each day.

George Not Hincapie said...

TWEETING FOR TWAT ON TWITTER

Nogocyclist said...

The bicycle frame from cervélo cost $9600 US. I guess this is not a bad price for a frame that weights about half the weight of a carton of milk.

Cervélo is making one mistake they probably do not realize they are making. The frame is being designed in California. Even though many Republicans do not really believe California is part of the United States, it is part of the USA. Here a common carton of milk is one gallon, not one liter. Half a carton of milk is about 4 pounds. In Europe a carton of milk (1 liter) is about 500 grams or around 1.1 pounds.

They are trying to make a bike frame that weights 700 grams, but because of the difference in milk carton sizes, the frame will weigh closer to 2.5 kilograms.

You can buy a bike frame that weighs this much from Performance Cycling, or maybe even down at the Target. I will never pay $9600 for a bike frame that I could buy for so much less.

George Not Hincapie said...

All true, Nogocyclist, but the Cervelo frame has less fat.

Paul Bowen said...

Do Not Put Any Pee In My Bento Box

ringcycles said...

I'm never taking a bottle from a tri-geek again. Who knows whats been in that bidon. Can't they just learn to ride side saddle?

Anonymous said...

Missing the point of brass knuckles? I am not sure what else the point would be but to crack some one hard in the noggin! MAybe I have missed something.

dignan said...

HYPE TOOL

ringcycles said...

This might not make it on the great white way, but what about an operetta in which Ricco and Rossi hash out their differences. Call it "Richie and Vania's CAS hearing"

Stupid Name said...

" 1. Of or pertaining to masturbation
2. In a manner which suggests masturbation; hence, fruitless, self-congratulatory, self-absorbed, pointless"

Thank you, now I have a word for mello fred, the safron king, cycling new york city, and specialized director of marketing.

rezado said...

hi-rez

I am the engine. said...

Are brass knuckles legal in Nyc?

I bet not.

Let lance organizxe a ride in NYC, and see if the cops bust that up.

I bet not.

edom bin necker said...

i dont care if you dish out shit on them catholics but if you start ragging on mooslims some ayertoller feller might cut a fartwa on you

brent said...

speedvagen not speedwagen

Test Tickle said...

MANN KINI

LITE MILK

TEST TEAM

balls.

Fred said...

The best way to summon a Fred is not with a Blackberry.

Freds are best summoned by respectfully lighting a small puddle of chain-lube and beard hair on fire in front of a Lite-Brite portrait of Sheldon Brown. It also helps to sing excerpts from Jobst Brandt's "The Wheel" in a high-pitched, Gregorian-chant songway.

Gets me every time.

Anonymous said...

U-lock better than brass knuckles.

As alton brown would say, multi-tasker.

Anonymous said...

Snobby-
FSU's? onanistic? B knuckels? Who do I send the repair bill to for the damage spitting coffee onto my keyboard caused laughing so frigging hard?

Brilliant ...

Anonymous said...

Surprising to see that Mario is a NPR fan, the chicks on FOX are much hotter.

Maybe Cervelo should consider crabon hair pieces?

Catheterized Tri-Geek said...

The brass knuckles should read "BANDWAGEN" (backwards, of course).

Catheterized Tri-Geek said...

Sorry, should be "BANDVAGEN"...

sufferist said...

wait for it....

sufferist said...

wait for it....

sufferist said...

wait for it....

sufferist said...

one more....

sufferist said...

1st un-permitted commenter!!!!!! It's the new podi-yo!

grog said...

Answers:
1.dominos
2.tastes like chicken
3.reagonomics

You're welcome.
EATN PUSS

Anonymous Coward said...

@sufferist I like it!

ONAN ISTIC

sufferist said...

Anon Coward: thanks, BTW, do you have 5 knuckles on your right hand?

CommieCanuck said...

Wow. Sastre can lift that 840g frame with ONE hand. Now tell me he isn't doping.

Pro cyclists. pfft.

Anonymous said...

Does the 50 rider rule apply to gangbangs?

CommieCanuck said...

Out on parole already?
Don't they have a three strikes rule up there in the Great White North?


Parole/rehab for milk bag dependence.

We have a 12 strikes rule, after the 12th offense (usually weed) were are politely asked to stop, unless we feel the need to do it again.
At the 13th strike, we lose our license to carry staplers.

CommieCanuck said...

Anon Coward: thanks, BTW, do you have 5 knuckles on your right hand?

Welcome to Florida.

Anonymous Coward said...

Why yes, yes I do

thegock said...

LEFT HAND

CommieCanuck said...

I'm really enjoying these winter Olympics in Vancouver, between men's figure skating and short track speed skating relay, these sports make road cycling in lycra and shaved legs look like Aussie Rules football.

Salty Seattle said...

Happy Friday Eve, Everyone!

Thank you, Snobbie, for all that you do, and for all that you make me think of doing...

Maybe someday I'll get to join in on a rogue, Fredtastic, New York cyclegasm...

CommieCanuck said...

I mean, what the fuck. The black lycra with feather cuffs wasn't enough, he had to accent it with a pompadour and pink shoulder tassels.

You could only get away with this in Canada. This is why there is no winter Olympics in Texas.

sufferist said...

CC: he's sure got a pretty mouth, eh?

ant1 said...

CC - i think the pink means he's the current GC leader.

sufferist said...

yes, my bad, left hand...

You killed my father, now prepare to die!

sufferist said...

Gayest Contender?

nard hipples said...

TĀST TWAT

ant1 said...

nice call sufferist.

Anonymous said...

I think you miscalculated Armstrong's FSU, he recently called a ride in Adelaide before the TDU and got 3000+

Fred said...

If you must summon a Fred using a Personal Information Device, it's more appropriate to use an Apple Newton (which is what we used to call an iPad, back in the day).

Fred said...

CC: there are no winter Olympics in Texas because the Olympics involve "other countries." Texas has neither the inclination nor the educational system needed to recognize other countries.

Super Fred said...

Fred, the real reason there are no Olympic events in Texas is the cow chips. The wimpy pink wearing skaters hate to step in them.

Anonymous said...

C'mon male figure skaters, butch it up just a little. Please. I have a 9 year old son I have to explain your outfits to.

Anonymous said...

honestly those so called knuckles would hurt the hand of the person wearing them more than the person hit because they lack a palm brace, as seen in this photo:

http://www.martialarts.com.au/images/weapons/brassknuckles.jpg

BTW as a kid riding the L train to Stuyvesant High in the late 80s, i always carried a roll of quarters for protection (adds weaight to the punch, and it doubled as entertainment in the arcade too...

Fred said...

I did not have to google long to confirm my suspicion out that Texas has a cow chip based sporting event.

Bubba said...

Ya'll come down to Texas with yo' fixed bikes and have ya one of those thar Critical Mass rides thru here. While ya'll are down here, we'll rustle up some show 'nuff good BBQ. If you don't mind, we will have a chip toss'n contest first, then you can ride all over anywhere you want.

If ya see a chip pile, just put on yo' brake and they will be no prob'm.

Anonymous said...

They shoot song birds in texas too.
Fucking uncivilized spur wearers.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that texans play with the holes that the chips come from.

paul sadoff said...

79th!!!!
v funny!
not only that but I crushed R Sachs at CX Nats!!
LUG THIS

Ray said...

Snob,
Caught this while trolling the SeaTac Craigslist. Thought you would enjoy this masterpiece. http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/1607449606.html

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Frank Eeckman said...

not only is a carton confusing, but so is milk itself. Does he mean fat free, 1%, low fat, or regular vitamin D enhanced? Perhaps he is referring to soy milk?

Ronsonic said...

All You Haters Drain My Bento Bag

Nicholas said...

All You Haters Sculpt My Bust

Anonymous said...

Actually Cippo's .0021 of a human being could include an entire cunni with which to linguis. Think About it?

SD friend said...

well i can climb like a at 3 track sprinter

dwelltimer said...

Crabon Fribé is the offspring of an over amorous Crustacean Deity, and a toy dog. The actual act itself is Crabon Frisée.

PCLA said...

Compared to Cippolini, I am nonpussed- it's been so long that yesterday's lobsterboob chick is starting to look hot to me. Damn this recession.

Big Mike said...

I'm a little concerned that your FSU calculation is a little arbitrary. Or at the very least, NYCentric...

Lance's twitter ride this year at the Tour Down Under attracted over 3000 Freds. That puts your FSU out by a factor of 4, which in turn puts Cadel on the cusp of a criminal career, should he so tweet.

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If the knuckle words were reversed then the knuckle head couldn't read their knuckle tat in the mirror. You have to choose wisely: readable for others, of readable for them.

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