Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Insulated Panel: Cresting the Summit, Jumping the Shark

Like a banana, since peeling my yellow cloak of anonymity awhile back I have begun to grow purple, gooey, and unappetizing with exposure. However, if you have a strong stomach and a fondness for banana pudding, you can come to the "Bike Culture Summit" tomorrow, where I will serve as a panelist:

With water flooding Nashville, oil flooding the Gulf of Mexico, and combustible SUVs appearing in Times Square, it's a good thing a bunch of bike dorks are getting together to ignore the world's problems and focus entirely on issues like brakeless fixies and the cultural significance of "shants." If you're considering attending but are teetering on the fence like Danny MacAskill in the opening scene of that famous video, perhaps this recent local TV show will whet your appetite and help you make a final decision. (Of course, I sincerely hope you will attend. However I should warn you that the "epic" hair with a host underneath it will not be part of the summit, so I realize that leaves little incentive.) Assuming you ultimately decide not to attend but would still like to know what happens at the summit, here's an advance transcript of my contribution to the panel:

Do cyclists need to rehabilitate their public persona?

Yes.

To what extent should safety trump convenience and style?

Until someone invents some kind of lever-actuated contrivance that supplies additional stopping power to the wheel of a bicycle, cycling will never be safe.

Will protected bike lanes segregate cyclists?

Only if they're racist.

Is Critical Mass a boon or a liability for the bike movement?

Liability.

What can be done about sexism in the cycling community?

I don't know, but I'm sick of being treated like an object.


This may very well be enough for you, in which case you can stay home, but if you do attend I will also devalue your copy of my book by writing in it:

I'm looking forward to hearing a whole bunch of this tomorrow night.

Speaking of issues confronting cyclists, I only recently noticed that a few weeks ago NPR aired a little segment ("airing your little segment" can get you arrested in some states) on texting while riding in California:

I must say I'm squarely in the DeAndre Sims camp when it comes to my feeling about texting and cycling. By the way, the printed word does not do Sims's quote justice, and for the full impact you need to hear it live (at 0:28 seconds):



If only I had musical production skills I would sample and build an entire song around what is undoubtedly the most engaging cycling-related quote ever aired on public radio. Maybe Abdominal and I can "drop" a "collabo:"



If this were to happen, I'd probably adopt a new moniker for the project and call myself "DJ ReSkin:"

Subsequent to yesterday's post about hemorrhoids, a reader alerted me to the above product, and here's how the website describes it:

ReSkin® is applied to the perineum. The perineum is the piece of skin between the anus and the genitals. The perineal area contains sweat glands,hair follicles and sebaceous glands that can often become irritated by rubbing, leading to an infection.

In other words, it's sort of a Breathe Right® strip for the "taint."

Of course, the reason ReSkin makes an appropriately "street credulous" DJ name is that, for one thing, it suggests that you're "skin friendly, painlessly removeable, washable and reusable"--all of which are prized qualities in the rough-and-tumble world of bicycle-themed hip-hop. Also, it implies you get into people's pants.

Indeed, I think most people would agree that texting while riding is a dumb thing to do--almost as dumb as spending over $4,400 on a pair of wheels:

According to the review, "they're incredibly fast wheels, being ridiculously quick to accelerate and giving you the feeling of a constant tailwind on the climbs," and believe it or not there really are people who will read this and believe it. Wheels cannot be fast. Riders can be fast; wheels can be round. As far as the "tailwind on the climbs" thing goes, promising that a piece of equipment will make you climb better is the bicycle marketing equivalent of selling "natural male enhancement."

Unfortunately, though, given the increasing cost of equipment, the average amateur racer is becoming inured to ludicrous prices. When the Mavic Ksyrium first came out it cost something like $700 and was the pinnacle of exotica--now a $700 wheelset is considered a "training wheel." To put the price of the Lightweights in proper perspective, consider that for the same price you could buy almost nine fixed-gear Softrides (as forwarded by another reader):

Fixed Gear Softride - $500 (oakland north / temescal)
Date: 2010-05-01, 4:51PM PDT
Reply to: [deleted]

Black fixed gear Softride

Facts:

-Fits someone between 5'7" and 6'1". There is no down tube to measure, but I ride 51cm and this is just barely fits. The carbon fiber seat stay can be adjusted another ~1.5" higher. The manufacturer's sticker underneath the seat says that it can handle a 200lb rider at maximum on flat roads and 180lbs on "all-terrain"

-700c wheels

--Front wheel: Spinergy Rev X tubular carbon fiber

--Rear wheel: Purchased separately from a wheel builder. Paul hub with 32 DT spokes and a 16 tooth cog with lock ring. Velocity Deep V rims. The rear wheel has only been ridden 50 miles tops.

-110mm 48 tooth Beck Single Speed chain ring
-EPXtras fork

-ITM 90mm stem

-White single-speed chain

-WILLING TO SELL ALL BUT THE WHEEL SET FOR $300

Don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have. Feel free to call between 6-10pm on weekdays and anytime on weekends. You can text or e-mail me anytime as well.

858-663-[deleted]



With nine fixed-gear Softrides you could assemble the most effective Burrito Distribution Force "hipsterdom" has ever seen. Thanks to the carbon beam, you could keep a safe distance from the homeless and simply catapult the burritos in their general direction. Sure, there's a 200lb rider weight limit, but given the fact that few "hipsters" weigh more than 100lbs that leaves an additional 100lbs for burrito-hauling.

Speaking of "bike culture" (I was, earlier, in terms of the "summit"), as most people know by now Minneapolis has defeated Portland and now occupies the top podium step in the fierce "Bicycling" magazine "America's Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities" competition. Not only that, but they've also got their very own "Streetfilm:"



I enjoyed this video. Not only did it include footage of a GTSNF (or "Gratuitously Track-Standing Nü-Fred):


But I also learned about Minneapolis's "Trail Watch:"

As Laura Kling explains it, "We look out for litter, drunks, and suspicious characters. If we see any of those things, we just move them off the trail." This is exactly the sort of thing we need here in New York City; just add "beards" to that list and a local "Trail Watch" program would finally render the Williamsburg Bridge bike path 100% "hipster"-free.

In the meantime, though, New Yorkers are not interested in getting rid of "hipsters;" instead, they're hitting on them:


GIRL IN ACID WASH JEANS, SHORT HAIR, COVERED IN TATTOOS ON BEDFORD AVE - m4w - 25 (willamsburg)
Date: 2010-05-03, 3:07PM EDT

You - short dark hair, acid wash jeans, and a shirt that showed off your back piece..

Me - black skinny jeans rolled up, stripey shrt, black bike, sittiing on a stoop.

You are soooo gorgeous! Can I take you out for a drink?


Inasmuch as this post describes every single man and woman in Williamsburg I don't expect these two will find each-other.

By the way, we can now officially welcome a new member to the "bike culture"--the "hipster roadie:"

While there are some variations among these riders, common elements include vintage road bikes, tight jeans, visible butt cracks, and a penchant for late afternoon training rides.

I hope they're "rocking" the ReSkin.

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

big greasy fart

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

yeah that's right

Anonymous said...

where u at?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Just missed the podium. Oh, well.

Dr. Feel Good said...

Would feel better if I made the podium!

Latter day saint said...

Top fucking 10 baby!

Chris said...

top ten

Chris said...

top ten

dignan said...

top ten

Anonymous said...

well

Fingerbang Assistant said...

Low watts, recovery in the peloton.

Suzee said...

Loud hissing sound of escaping air from lob knows where...

hillbilly said...

I'd like to see Brian Fellows host that show.

kale said...

For a tailwind on the climbs I just do what anon 12:56 does, basically.

le correcteur said...

Wow! get caught up in the news, and lose not just the podium, but the top 10 too!

Anonymous said...

"not that the subway isn't awesome and the bus isn't awesome"

yeah, they aren't awesome.

that video is all kinds of boring

OBA said...

Hipster roadie: hairy legs, hairy face, never rides in a sanctioned race.

wishiwasmerckx said...

New candidate for worst job ever:

ReSkin washer.

Really, wouldn't some disposable product be preferrable?

Pantiliners for men. Now I've seen everything.

Come to think of it, it's a surprise that somebody hasn't tried to make a buck off of appropriating feminine hygene products for men sooner.

Look for my line of male anal tampons coming to a store near you soon, with discrete disposable applicator.

debichan1a said...

nice to be chewing my food as i got to the Reskin part of todays post.

Taint said...

Top 20 at last?

wishiwasmerckx said...

I guess i'm no fashionista. Can somebody tell me what a shirt that shows off your "back peice" is? Is that back fat? Back hair? Bra Strap?

frilly said...

That ReSkin thing is frightening. Painlessly removeable--yeah, right. It looks like a d-i-y Brazilian kit. Ouch!

Taint said...

LDS- shd Ladder Day Taint?

Anonymous said...

The notion of 'bike culture' is white elitism at its best.

Buttinski said...

Wow, this gives a whole new meaning to the term 'roid rage

mikeweb said...

Just say no to Crack!

Anonymous said...

Snob- how about a new racing club called ....... the "Perineum Falcons"? Catchy or just scratchy?

Daddo said...

"...it's sort of a Breathe Right® strip for the "taint.""
mwahahaahahahaa!

ringcycles said...

Here's how to market it
"ReSkin: the sanitary pad for your chamois pad".

Come on Frilly, lets us know what your really think of this "product".

It has to be the most douchey cycling accessory ever.

Astroluc said...

archipelago

Cyclotographer said...

gratuitous dramatic zoom in for BSNYC's nonplussage at 4:37 of Intersect.

mikeweb said...

That guy commutes to work 365 days a year? Wow, there's some super dedicated employees in Minneapolis.

10,000 Aches said...

Thats right, Mpls represent'n.

All you haters watch my trail.

MPLSJOSH said...

Holly shits minneapolis, we made it to the biketime. Love the mplsbikelove.org shout out in the streetfilm!

Chris said...

"Carbonsports assigns a 120kg (265lb) rider weight limit across the board."
Because what riders over 200lbs (like me) really need is $4,000 wheels to go faster.... Perhaps that should read "Carbonsports assigns a 120kg (265lb) rider weight limit across the board, as people over 190lbs are more likely to be people with disposable incomes high enough to throw $4,000 at some wheels"
It strikes me that the price of wheels must be approaching the cost of liposuction. Perhaps this would be a better option for us heavy weights as it would make all our bikes lighter.

Grant said...

That bike advocate lady in the video is pretty annoying. She's pretty much a walking cliche, yet she has a way of presenting all of "her ideas" as though they're super profound with all of the up-talking. I bet that the two biggest "holidays" on her calendar are bike to work day & solstice.

g said...

Don't forget her cat, Mr Snufflicans', birthday.

sufferist said...

Waiting for the dance mix of the NPR quote.

Grant said...

Oh yeah, forgot about her cat's birthday.

I bet that she's the one who requested that "gender issues" be discussed at that forum. Every time I hear the word "gender" used in reference to anything other than romance language articles, I automatically disagree with whatever the person is saying.

Anonymous said...

caroline samponario is way hot

Anonymous said...

We have gender in German too: masculine, neutered and little girl

3G said...

promising that a piece of equipment will make you climb better is the bicycle marketing equivalent of selling "natural male enhancement."

It's statements like that that make me come back day after day to read the column.

That, and the frequent use of the word "taint"

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Snob, You're not just a bike snob, you're a total bore/boar/boor.

yikesbikes said...

This is great...

Tony I said...

Will the ReSkin enhance your 'tailwind'?

yofilly said...

Oh, Snobby, its like Christmas on Cinco de Mayo! I received my book today! And thanks to you, I will be sure to "avoid some current cycling fashions that Don't Always Make Sense". Many thanks for the capitalization. It caught my eye right away and saved me from an awful fashion fauxpasway.

You are the best!

Bad Lawyer said...

Suspiciously great post today, Snob.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 2:33, Kara Goucher is way hot.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 2:33, Kara Goucher is way hot.

Anonymous said...

Reskin sells breast and nipples patches.

7sp said...

Those Lightweights are actually japanese porteur/poseur wheelbrows, according to the specification. Since those are usually like $5,000 (or €60) they may not be such a bad deal.

Salty Seattle said...

OMG, everyone is on fire today.

Cinco de Spicey-o?

urchin said...

As for the ascendancy of MPLS as the cycling city of the US, I'm a bit confused. Just what kinds of favors did the august editors of Bicycling receive on their tour? Just came back from a three-day visit, and I was wondering where all the cyclists were. Maybe I was just in the wrong part(s) of town. Maybe May 1st is the wrong time of year since it's only cool to do your biking when there's ice on the ground. Just didn't see that many bikes.

On the other hand, I think I'd rather ride in springtime Minneapolis than in Portland any time of the year, just given the mileage it puts on my patience with 'bike culture.' Perhaps the best place to ride isn't necessarily where there are a lot of people riding.

Okay, Minneapolites, flame away...


I remain,
NPJ

Salty Seattle said...

urchin-

You're spot on.

I'll offer, however, that Minneapolis is totally flat, therefore reducing the wheel-cost required.

Anonymous said...

the BIT video was pretty good. Buckwheat, Bill Mahr, Henny Youngman and a hot chick. The transportation alternative girl, while annoying, was quite attractive. I have to ask Snob, did you hit that? You could have. Just saying.

ringcycles said...

BSNYC, can't you get the organizers of the "Bike Culture Summit" to address any of the important questions, such as:

How long does it take for a defunct pro team's jerseys to go from Fredley to Vintage/Retro?

Can tri-geeks and mtb bikers successfully mate, or is cross cultural dating always doomed to fail? I mean true tri-geeks, not xterra halflings.

Since white is the new black for roadie shoes, saddles, bar tape, everything; will black ever make a come back? And if it does, when you go black can you ever go back?

These are the topics that need your attention.

brother yam said...

We in 612 are as confused about the rating from Bicycling as the rest of y'all. Nary a mention for years and then, WHAM! #1. Not that I really give a hoot at what the folks at Bicycling say about much anyway. Remember, these are the guys that ignored mountain bikes until it was too late and then ignored utility cycling until just about breakfast this morning.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing worse than sore nipples or taint!

broomie said...

I used the BIT piece as a soundtrack with my daughters barbies. We had a great time, although Malibu Ken as BSNYC was a bit of a stretch....

Shaun said...

Obviously Minneapolis is a progressive cycling city. Did you not see the clean-shaven recumbent rider?

Shaun said...

Anyway, I'm in the Minneapolis area. AYHSMT(All You Haters Sheathe My Taint)!

yogisurf said...

Bike Snob The Book, Chapter 5, “Why is everyone trying to kill me?, really hit home with me. I’ve lived all of those emotions, after 10 years and 28,000 mile of commuting. I’m using ‘I don’t care’ and ‘I REALLY don’t care’, counting to 10 and deep breaths. The one time I loogied in a motorist’s face and then punched him, made me feel bad and take a different route for 2 months. I don’t alley cat, but I did that day.

Anonymous said...

TAPE WORM

address my post

Anonymous said...

that npr bit is better (@:28) at half speed

Keith Hearn said...

If you are at the level of cycling where $4K wheels will actually make a difference, you probably don't pay for your wheels.

leroy said...

It is my sad duty to warn that hipster Visible Butt Crack syndrome is not bike specific.

I was stationed in a trendy part of Brooklyn for the 5 Boro Tour this past weekend.

Around noon, a pale barefoot urbanite emerged from his apartment building wearing only skinny black jeans and ironic eyewear to ask how he could sign up for next year's ride.

Cleary, he had been preparing. He was already displaying substantial VBC.

Thankfully, the bike cart pole dancer passed by shortly thereafter. Talk about a sight for sore eyes.

leroy said...

I dunno Grant.

If I learned anything this weekend, it's that opinions are like butt cracks. We all have them. The real issue is how you air them in public.

I thought the TA spokesperson did fine.

Anonymous said...

Wow, interviewed by THIS guy http://www.firstgiving.com/brianvineson TV, he is definitely rocking ReSkin in everyday life!

stream of nothing said...

nice inner sleeve....

Anonymous said...

TA spokesperson said @ 9:54,

"Especially in a city like New York where there's a real grind, most people have to work to live here."

Ummm OK...as opposed to everywhere outside of NYC where the entire population is afforded food and shelter but still toil at meaningless jobs just for the fuck of it.

Salty Seattle said...

Oh yeah, Wiwm-

I've been missing the Kara Goucher comments. I was starting to wonder if she'd taken ill or something.

Hugs to Kara, and her hotness..


So, if I may, the question about, "is cycling sexist?", just strikes me as silly. The answer is yes, but it's the wrong forum.

Maybe, I'm just not understanding it the way others do, but it's kinda like asking, "why is there dirt on my fresh spinach?" With spinach, it's because of where it comes from: the dirt. By turns, 'bike culture' may come across as 'sexist', for the simple fact that it is a product of American society as a whole.

Sadly, American Culture is still sexist. It works against women most commonly in the workplace, and most commonly for men, at home.

Off the soapbox. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

gonna go douche now. i feel so, um, dirty.

Anonymous said...

Gonna ride with an epic burrito stuffed under my taint for fun.

Anonymous said...

David Herlihy is a very kind and sensitive human being.
Be kind to him.
Or you'll need a LOT of Re-Skin.

PANTS said...

What happens if you're wearing a Re Skin and you get taken out by a car. You know how they remove your clothes when they get to the hospital and put you in a robe?
Well when the nurses find that in your pants you're definitely going to get a nickname for the duration of your stay. Or they might put you in the urology ward with a catheter.

urchin said...

Salty,
The pervasiveness of sexism aside, I do feel that the cycling world (ok, by that I'm meaning mostly media that covers cycling, but also the general feeling I have from groups of cyclists I ride or race with) is especially backward when it comes to including, nay, even simply accommodating, women and men equally.

Maybe I'm being optimistic, and it's really that the cycling world just isn't as good at pretending.

Either way, the 'women specific' strain of cycling advocacy is a double-edged sword (oops--phallic symbol--see what I mean??).

I've seen great results from women-only cycling clubs, but the 'women-specific' marketing crap most advertisers paste onto some of their stuff can fall far short of inspiring at best, and be kind of insulting at worst.

Then again, this is just some guy talking. The fish never knows that it is wet.

Your Dad said...

Uh, hipster road biking is so last decade: http://bikefag.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/hipster-road-biking/

Anonymous said...

Here's a cautionary tale for lever actuated contrivance lovers:

http://www.spokemagazine.com/2010/04/hand-brake/

hackneyed sojourn said...

On Point? Congratulations! As you're riding that new gold plated bike up the Commonwealth Ave. bike path to the studio (I hope you're not phoning it in), please take notes so we locals can enjoy the scathing review.

Frilly's Cami said...

Taint no brazilian around these neck of the undergrowth

ben_de_garçon said...

I love my afternoon training rides...

ben_de_garçon said...

I love my afternoon training rides...

etsipatpusa said...

you might want to use reskin if you plan to do cycling like Katie

cyclegoddess said...

I beg to differ. Far from being sexist, I have alway had men stop to help fix a stranded bike.

Anonymous said...

$20 to listen to TA's Caroline Samponaro?

Anonymous said...

I read your whole book last night. The whole time reading it I thought these are all the questions I try to answer to my friends who think I'm crazy.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

"Hipster Roadie." Nail on the head, Snobbie! "Hoardie" for short, perhaps?

Anyone else find it ironical that the same dudes who used to swear by fixed gear bicycles (to the annoying point of hipster martyrdom) have now sworn-off fixies in favor of vintage road bikes? Did they do this in order to not be considered "trendy"? Well hey, at least this scene is still dedicated to their clothing.

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis, the scrodium (way down low) of biking. Man, it must suck to be Portland.

Anonymous said...

They have a trail watch in Minneapolis (or MPLS, kind of YWHW in Minneapolitaneese) because they took a popular bike route, sunk it into a lonely ditch and locals have jobs shoving stuff into a passing bikes spokes, stealing from the bleeding dazed and crashed rider and occasionally beating the daylights out of them. And it is not just the cops that do this, like in NYC.

This is called "bike friendliness" in MPLS.

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fixie bikes said...

what kinda summit was this?

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