Thursday, April 29, 2010

BSNYC Scrapbook: What I Did on my Autumn Vacation

Yesterday, the Tour of the Gila began in New Mexico, and defending champion Levi "Letle Viride" Leipheimer is already in the leader's jersey. The Tour of the Gila is noteworthy in that top American pros like Leipheimer, Lance Armstrong, and David Zabriskie like to form "ad hoc" teams and ostensibly use the race to fine-tune their form. However, it's readily apparent to even the most casual observer why they really participate, as evidenced by this photo which was pointed out to me by a reader:

When you're based in Europe eating pasta and muesli day after day you find yourself getting homesick for hamburgers and milkshakes. Similarly, when you're constantly getting kissed by spindly European podium girls you find yourself longing for more substantial American fare. So, you head to New Mexico, sandbag, and enjoy the view of the sandbags from the top step. I'm sure if you asked Leipheimer he'd deny it, but his line of sight begs to differ:

(Leipheimer revels in both victory and ample stateside serving sizes.)

Speaking of traveling abroad, last fall I had the opportunity to travel outside of the United States of America by visiting Portland, Oregon. As you already know, I wrote an article for "Outside" magazine about my trip, but there's just something cold, impersonal, and glossy about magazines (at least the non-pornographic ones). Plus, seeing the article in print made me nostalgic. So, since I think of us all as family by now, I thought we could all gather around the coffee table and take a look at some snapshots. Of course, if you hate family (or coffee tables) I won't hold that against you and you're free to visit more interesting corners of the Internet, but for the rest of you who are wondering what Portland looks like in real life (inasmuch as "real life" can exist in a place like Portland) I hope you'll squeeze onto the couch, grab a handful of Ruffles® (I bought Ruffles®), and join me.

When I go anywhere, the first thing I need to know is, "Will there be Porta-Pottys?" Austin had them, and fortunately so did Portland. Here are a pair of them outside the Oregon Manifest Handmade Bike Show:

Relatively unmolested by crime, the people of Portland are free to ride around on all sorts of exotic wheeled contrivances, as you can see above. I know they are unmolested by crime, because every time I withdrew my chain lock in order to lock up the Ironic Orange Julius Bike a bystander would comment on it as though they'd never seen its like before. This happened without fail, whether the person was a porteur bike "palper" outside the bike show or a quasi-homeless guy towing a trailer with a Magna. Yes, in Portland you can just leave Rivendells sitting unattended and locked with a combination of dental floss and goodwill:

Then again, this being Portland, perhaps no thief would deign to steal a bike without bar tape.

Here's the inside of the bike show, where even non-bike dorks came to admire the local handiwork:

The cargo bike is an essential member of any Portlander's stable, since it allows them to help people move by bike, which is part of the "symbiosis of smugness" which holds their society together. I'm not sure what the people in this photo are saying, but I'm guessing the guy in the hat is asking the exhibitor: "I'm thinking of starting a human-powered organically grown fair trade pet food home delivery business. Would this be an appropriate bicycle for me?"

"Yes, it certainly would--though I should warn you that 'Coffee 4 Pets' is already doing something similar. Have you thought of delivering environmentally friendly toilet tissue?"

Also, it took a bit longer than I thought (roughly two hours after my plane landed) but I did finally see someone wearing the hoodie/flannel/elbow pad combination:

This is also known as the "Oregon Tuxedo."

Proportionally speaking, there seemed to be far fewer "tarck" bikes in Portland than in New York City, since the emphasis in Portland seemed to be more on functionality. However, I did see some impressive "fixie" specimens:

Spoke cards aside, that is perhaps the most product placement I've ever seen on a front wheel. I think when you've got more component manufacturer stickers on your bike than your bike has actual components you may have gone too far.

Another thing I noticed is that, in Portland, the saddle is the bicycle equivalent of the automotive rear view mirror in that it serves as a place to hang baby shoes:


Even when Portlanders are away from their bicycles they make sure to let everybody know they ride them:

And they do ride bicycles in Portland. Here's the rack outside of the Whole Foods, where I stopped to pick up some cockles:

Yes, that's another Rivendell (with wooden fenders to boot), which people apparently even use to ride to the store here. I don't think I've ever seen two Rivendells in a single week in New York City, let alone in the space of a day or two, and I've certainly never seen one locked up outside. (Then again, never having encountered a Rivendell, a New York City thief would probably wilt in the face of all that pretension, drop his bolt cutters, and simply run away.) If I ever were to see more than one Rivendell in a day in New York I would just assume some kind of beard convention was in town.

Here are the people who were kind enough to let me join them for bike polo:

(I'm standing behind the camera with the pathetic "Can I play too?" expression which I often wore in my youth.)

Here's me riding a bicycle with a top tube pad for the first time in my life (BMX bikes excluded):

I'll spare you my expression, which is akin to that of a kosher vegan being force-fed pork rinds.

Here's Forest Park, the official slogan of which is "Forest Park: It's Fern-Tastic!"

As a cycling New Yorker, perhaps the most attractive thing to me about Portland was the proximity to a place where you can enjoy car-free climbs, hear gravel under your tires, and urinate in ferns. (I had to urinate all the time due to the richness of the local coffee and beer.)

Not all bikes in Portland are designed for mixed terrain; some are simply built to haul irony, leopard skin, and pirate supplies:


"Where the hell are those pirate supplies?" asks an impatient tall-biker:


Ah yes, freaky forms of transportation abound in Portland. Here's someone riding an athletic field painter:


Some people don't even ride at all; they just stand around looking awesome:


As I mentioned in the article, I also visited the "Bike Shrine" at St. Stephens Episcopal Church. You can see that they spared no expense when it came to signage:

Or art:


If you want a post-nuclear religious-themed painting of your mountain bike, be sure to call Martin Wolfe:

Full of the "spirit" (as well as still more coffee-scented urine), I eventually signed the guest book and moved on...:


...to the Bike Temple, whose headquarters looked creepy in the night:


As much as I loved Forest Park, I can't say that I particularly enjoyed the cold and wet pre-Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships "Ride of Revelry, including feats of strength, daring, endurance, beauty and grandeur:"

This is mostly because I'm a weak and cautious person who lacks stamina and wilts in the face of beauty and grandeur like a delicate plant that's been doused with highly caffeinated urine. Also, I tend to get cranky on rides in which the rollout involves lots of people shouting "Woo-hoo!" as they crash their bikes one by one. And it certainly does take endurance to participate in an Ironic World Championship; in addition to the wet ride consisting of people who were way too excited about canned beer, there was also an ironic debate to decide the host city for 2010:


All of this before the actual race the following day, to which I took the so-called "MAX" train:


In addition to the SSCXWC race, I also participated in the regular Cross Crusade race, and both events were suitably muddy:

As well as muddy:


Here's a spectator dressed as a Venetian blind, which allowed him to fine-tune his irony intake:


Amazingly, though I was filthy by the end of the day, they did not kick me off the MAX on my return trip:

I did flirt with the idea of participating in "Zoobomb" later that evening, though to be perfectly honest the endeavor did not seem in the least bit appealing to me, especially after an exhausting (though thoroughly enjoyable) day of racing. Here's the scene as I approached:


I think it was the sight of the guy in the full-face helmet riding a modified child's bike menacingly around the "Zoobomb pile" that ultimately compelled me to skip the festivity, return to my hidey-hole, and pack my things for the return voyage the next morning:

It was a great trip, though in the end I was a bit homesick and ready to return to the burgers and milkshakes.

106 comments:

SD friend said...

DZ Nutz?

g said...

finger bang?

g said...

dammit

SD friend said...

LEVI!

Brian Marchese said...

Podium

LastBoyScout said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris O'Hearn said...

Vacation as art

Ron said...

Get the poison out!

Chris O'Hearn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

oh well

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Moita said...

Top something!!!!

JThorstensen said...

Slow wheel change! Where do they get these people?

"Excuse supreme ..."

Tin Hat said...

love your blog man, come to boston some time!

Paul Bowen said...

Top 15!

ant1 said...

snobby - "This is mostly because I'm and weak and cautious person"

ringcycles said...

Back to my usual spot in the bunch, oh well

g said...

Do you still get inked, big-boobed kisses for 2nd? I could use me some of them.

I am the engine. said...

I like cold, impersonal, and glossy pornographic magazines.

Now that is an article about Portland I can wrap my bar tape around.

Snob rules.

dignan said...

top 20

rezado said...

hi-rez

Stupid Name said...

On that levi podium picture.

I want a closeup of that tat.

Apparently, that white dress only comes in one size.

Thank god.

Anonymous said...

not sure if anyone noticed but the brunette in the leipheimer picture has big boobs.

Bike Slob LDN said...

O my, that dark haired podium girl! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

Daddo said...

Mmmmm......Milkshakes

ant1 said...

anon 1:21 - levi is in that picture?

hillbilly said...

temporarily speechless

kale said...

I find your review lacking in the obligate tourist visit to Voodoo Donuts and Powell's.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Kale,

I bought a book at Powell's and even operated a laptop in the cafe but I'll be damned if I'll wait on line for any type of food, especially a high-concept donut.

--RTMS

ant1 said...

did you guys, and girls, see cavendish's victory salute today?

kale said...

When u go back, at least visit The Acropolis. For a steak.

mikeweb said...

I think that's Dennis Hopper on the motorized line painter.

Then again maybe not. Hopper wouldn't be wearing any pants under the raincoat.

ant1 said...

snobby - if you ever make it down to atlanta, you need to try sublime donuts, no line, just some of the greatest things one can put in one's mouth, like the nutella donut.

IBS said...

I like chocolate milkshakes.

Tony I said...

I love family, and Ruffles® -- these aren't the ones with Olean are they?

Levi, you sly dog.

P.S. Enjoyed the Ootside article, picked it up yesterday.

ervgopwr said...

The pictures make a good compliment to yesterday's reading of the now 8 month old snobatical to PDXYZ.

db said...

"Ample Stateside Serving Sizes" = new favorite band name

joeeasy said...

12th picture me sitting in the center. i played polo with 'the' bike snob?!?!

Anonymous said...

I bet Levi was thinking "Tramp Stamp"

boys on the hoods said...

"I'll spare you my expression, which is akin to that of a kosher vegan being force-fed pork rinds."

At least your expression would not have been "nonplussed" as it appears all Portlanders, Portlandonians, Portlandites???? are.

Good on ya Snobby, great read today (as allways!)

Terry Boyd said...

The Oregon Tuxedo guy made his shirt out of the tablecloth in the previous photo. Very creative and sneaky.

Anonymous said...

The Rivendells in your photos were small ones, but I ride one to work, the grocery store, bars, etc. in part because they are just about the only non-custom bikes made in big sizes. My Atlantis is 68cm, and if I'd waited a few years, I could have acquired an A Homer Hilsen (man, that is kind of a douchey name for a bike now that I think about it) in 72cm with double top tubes. Apparently most bike racers are about 5 foot 4, judging by what they carry in the local racing shops, but not all of us can be comfortable on tiny little frames.

J-Bird said...

Today's Haiku:

Adenoidal Snob
Visiting the bike Mecca
and playing polo.

hillbilly said...

I did, ant1, what a tosser

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

Anonymous said...

I think I prefer to think of Levi in this classic photo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Leipheimer,_Levi_-_Amgen_2007.jpg

portland anonymous said...

i feel lucky to be a former nyc resident living in pdx cuz today's column made me smile at every turn

we are eminently skewerable

admitting that is step #4

DSTRONG said...

way to make fun of the blind man

Michael said...

Was that bike polo happening in Pier Park?

Anonymous said...

Get a load of those adenoids

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salty Seattle said...

ant1-

Beauty!

Nutella is the god of all Vegans.

Salty Seattle said...

except for the ones with nut allergies.

innerlighter said...

Nice to see that Bono is getting into tall bikes, and hanging out with David Clinger.
meh

ant1 said...

Salty - i did not know nutella was vegan friendly (is there anybody it can't please?). by the way, as if nutella wasn't good enough on its own, the donut has bits of hazelnuts on it.

ps. i will not attempt to make a vegan/nut allergy joke.

me said...

Great post today. I miss PDX.
I hope that you are going to give vacation columns on all of your book tour cities.

When it's over it's over, drink up. said...

it takes a total pro to hide a boner in bike shorts. Levi's a thin layer of Lycra away from tittie fucking both those girls.

DigDouggler said...

Hello fellow blog readers.

I've heard a rumor that the snob recently visited a location on the West coast and penned an article about his trip, and that said article was actually published in a physical on-paper type publication.

Unfortunately the snob is apparently being demure about the whole thing and only whispering about it under his breath to his closest confidantes.

Would anyone happen to have the world wide tube address for this mystery article? I've scoured the snob's recent blog entries and have been unable to find it anywhere.

Thanks in advance for sharing this most sacred of holy secrets.

le correcteur said...

But son,

She's got huuuge tracts o' land!

frilly said...

Ant1--There's a crepe place down the street that makes chocolate covered strawberry crepes with nutella. Little piece of heaven on Earth.

And Snobby, gotta tell you it makes me feel all warm inside that you consider us family.

grog said...

Top 61!
Enjoyed today's scrapbook Snobbers.
Put the fun between your legs.
Today I had 3 low-concept donuts.
BLUB GLUG

Paul Bowen said...

Thanks ant1 - hadn't seen it. That's the authentic face of the English smalltown boy (Cav the chav!) winning graciously, a face you can see x1000s at any football match.

Marvellous!

yogisurf said...

I heard there was quite a competition to be the first ‘rider’ to each summit in the Sand Bag range…the riders wanted to earn maximum points for the coveted turquoise polka dot jersey.

Udder said...

Based on the height of the stems from your Portland bike photos, it must be true that Bigfoot lives there.

Bad Lawyer said...

The cop that assaulted the Critical Mass douche, was acquitted of assault--despite the video but convicted of inventing false charges of assault and battery against the cyclist by a NYC jury this afternoon. Talk about jury nullification! Wow.
BL

yogisurf said...

Snob, your book officially dropped (courtesy of the USPS) at my house. I delighted at the inside cover with all the bike silhouettes. Upon closer inspection, however, it appeared some bikes were missing: tall/freak, cargo and modern recumbent. Saw the Pfar and Dutch City bike. Anyway, sorry to start off critical. I really enjoyed chapter 1. I’m now intrigued about the history of the bicycle. I want to ride Merrick Road like an 1890 wheelman on a safety bike. I’m glad the Lone Wolf is also featured. A book on cycling would be incomplete without him. And the gold BSNYC Book stickers! Four! I put one on the Worlds 2nd Greatest Madone (only one mirror). Looking forward to chapter 2 tonight.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering: did that Madsen kid disappear for good with that Walmart bike? Have the police been notified yet?

Steroids make you bigger said...

CHNK Y MNKY

mikeweb said...

Wait, Snob, the book comes with stickers?!

Damn! I definitely need to get a copy. I need another sticker to put on my deep-V front rim.

Salty Seattle said...

Anon-

I heard the Search Teams are already in service. I believe they're still somewhere deep in the Valley of the Podium Girl, and I've heard they may be there for months before our dear, brother Spenser for Hire is found.

Everyone, eat a Clif Bar for Spence.

(Note to self: start shopping in New Mexico.)

BikeSnobNYC said...

Mikeweb,

Of course my book comes with stickers!

--BSNYC

ant1 said...

no spoke card though, or top tube pad.

yofilly said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip, Snobby.

I want the pirate bike.

Daddo said...

wait, today is drop day?

MAZE LTOV

gonna go get my copy now - i hope

Shram said...

how about a link to cavendish's salute? I'm too lazy to popular-search-engine it.

Anonymous said...

"There's a crepe place down the street that makes chocolate covered strawberry crepes with nutella."

Oh my gawd! I know what I am making for breakfast come Sunday...

Salty Seattle said...

Wow!

Today is a day that the jokes are writing themselves.

Vegan nut allergies and Come Sundaes.


Oh my.

Anonymous said...

Those Rivendells are really sweet! I bet lifestyles like those cost a lot! But hey, if they were cheap then they wouldn't be unique, like me!

Cav Not said...

Salut!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:19 is unique - just like everybody else...

tgs said...

Actually in Canada it is Outside magazine. In the US it's called Otside.

Anonymous said...

i thought for sure i'd have to fly my bike to new york to get my picture on this blog! if i hadn't had the pig flu, my scarf would have been wrapped better and i would have done something cooler with my hair. love, oregon tuxedo.

Perry said...

You came all this way and there's not a single picture inside the vegan-free zone at Kells? Tsk, tsk...

Anonymous said...

At the intersection of Levi's jersey and the brunette's ponderous breast, is that a shadow of a nip-slip, or just wishful thinking?

leroy said...

The book comes with stickers?

I guess that means I have to buy it instead of checking out the library's copy.

Will you autograph the stickers?

Anonymous said...

hey snob, so you're playing polo now?

If you can't beat them, join them right?

Anonymous said...

not zoobombing was just lame

Rick Donkey said...

DSTRONG @ 2:21

Did we read the same caption? RTMS described the blind gentleman as awesome and where I'm from (not PDX) that is considered praise. However, if being awesome in DSTRONGville is a deficiency, remind me to never visit DSTRONGville.

Pigskin-n-salt said...

Cracklins are WAY better than pork rinds. Get some today!

hillbilly said...

yes, BL, not sure how you can convict someone of lying about assault and saying said assault never happened. curious.

cyclotourist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cyclotourist said...

The BSNYC coffee table book should turn into a coffee table.

I recently sold my Rivendell to someone in PDX, so there's one more up there since you visited.

Anonymous said...

of corse your book comes with stickers? meh. when are you hosting the ironic bike snob tattoo contest? who ever get's the "pee-wee herman cyclist" tattoo wins a pair of shants.

Timothy said...

you rode my old polo bike! fucking awesome! that thing has been through the ringer, to the east coast and back and is now a loaner bike for newby polo enthusiasts. HAH!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bikesnob,

First Durango, then Portland? My friends say you're stalking me. What's next? The DFL 'cross dress series in GGPark? I have something gold and sparkly that you can borrow. It might match the gold colorway on your cx bike (or was that just the lighting on the train?) See you in SF!

The Girl with the Golden Helmet

cyclegoddess said...

now I know what the guys talk about on that sat ride I am still too weak to go on - tits and pastrys!!

(I find that somewhat endearing, despite being flat chested.)

Its good to know snobby, you actually went somewhere with fresh air. I lived in NYC for 2 months.Thats not air.
Take the royaltys and wife and kid and move,to somewhere nicer. There will plenty of dorks to make fun of, elsewhere!

cyclegoddess said...

That platform byke - what the hell/You'd have to have orangatang arms to reach the stem!!

That muddy cyclecross thing looks fun. But out here in Oz,I'd have to go clear to QLD to find some mud.
Even then,it would be full of crocodiles, giant roaches and cane toads. Yuck.
I do miss innocuous USA mud and swimming in water where the worse thing that could happen was gtting hit in the eye with a floating drinking straw.

Harlan Whitman said...

That's me on the Gravity Bike or as you put it "modified child's bike" which is much closer to a BMX bike actually. Sorry your so scared of full face helmets and children's bikes you missed a truly unique cycle event ;)Only takes once to be a ZooBomber...

Cosmopoof said...

Hey there's a lot of cool bikes in this post!

yogisurf said...

Lanterne Rouge

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open face helmets said...

Oh my God... You described everything of your tour into a post. But most important things I like are the first picture and vehicle which walk after standing on it.

fixie bikes said...

i like where his eyes are going.