Thursday, May 6, 2010

Intangibles: Steel is Real, but How does it Smell?

Every profession has its busy season. For accountants, it's the weeks preceding April 15th; for florists, it's the days preceding Mother's Day; for astronomers, it's when Halley's Comet rolls into town; and for dorky bike bloggers, it's "Bike Month."

Yes, May is National Bike Month, that puzzling time of year during which we're supposed to celebrate cycling even though motorists are trying to kill us just as assiduously as they do during the rest of the year. (I guess to them "Bike Month" means "run down cyclists" in the same way that "rabbit season" means "shoot at rabbits.") Also, the "mainstream media" likes to feign interest in cycling during Bike Month, which is why I'll be appearing on the NPR radio show "On Point" (or "On Pernt" in old-timey Brooklynese) this very morning at 11:00am (ET):

I honestly have no idea what we're talking about, but judging from my fellow guests and the fact that it's Bike Month I assume it will have something to do with cycling. Furthermore, the photos would indicate that we're going to focus on "fixies" and bicycles adorned with MetroCards. I must admit that I'm a bit nervous about appearing on this show--not because I'll be speaking live to literally dozens of people, but because one member of the "Twitteroni" says that the show's host, Tom Ashbrook, is a "total tool:"

Then again, I'm also a tool (inasmuch as a "douche bag" can be considered a kind of tool) so it could be an excellent fit. Hopefully I do not expunge my bag of douche completely in the course of this appearance and have at least some bloviation left in me for this evening's "Bike Culture Summit."

Speaking of NPR, you may recall that yesterday I mentioned the quote "These fools be swerving, and they be doing their little texting thing," and then expressed a wish to hear it in song form. Well, it just so happens that one esteemed reader of this blog makes music under the name "The Abrahammer:"


And I was ecstatic when he sent me his latest work, entitled "These Fools Be Swervin' (The Abrahammer Remix.)" I'm not exaggerating when I say that having played just a small role in this production is one of the high points of my blogging career. For best results, consume some "purple drank" and listen to it while staring at the mesmerizing visage of the Nonplussed Journalist:


Now that is what I call "bike culture."

Speaking of so-called "bike culture," an essential part of it is slavering over handmade bicycles and getting really excited about things like lugs and welds. However, a new film called "Of Steel," featuring renowned builder Dario Pegoretti, is about to drop, and the preview indicates that looking at bikes is out and smelling them is in:

Pegoretti's obsession with steel's distinctive scent indicates we may be entering into the era of the "olfactory custom:"

Now, I have nothing but admiration for Dario Pegoretti, and I certainly appreciate that he's passionate about his work. My real problem with this whole smelling thing is the "trickle down effect" (in as much as a smell can "trickle"). It's bad enough going to bike shows and watching clueless people in cycling caps, shants, and messenger bags staring at welds or lugs from a centimeter's distance and pretending they know what they're looking at--now they're going to start smelling the frames too. Really, the last thing we need is a whole convention center full of people sniffing butts. I guess we can now also add "smell" to the increasingly esoteric list of ways to quantify your bicycle, which also includes milk, babies, and sunglasses. It also adds a whole new sensory dimension to the age-old practice of ascribing mystical properties to steel bicycles--which we all know "draw a circle" when you ride them.

Speaking of mystical properties, on Tuesday I mentioned the "Burrito Project," and at least some viewers of that video detected a religious undercurrent. Well, a reader has forwarded me another video by the same filmmaker in which the "spiritual" content is far more overt:

1 CORINTHIANS 9:22-23 from Jon Chou on Vimeo.

I suppose it was inevitable that one day we'd witness the advent of the fixed-gear missionary. "Kind of crazy how it happened," says the subject of the video about his trip to Mexico. "I kind of just ended up there, and I was there, and I didn't really know what I was doing, but it was...God's plan...and He provided for me, He gave me the money, and it's crazy how if we just trust in God he'll provide and he'll give us what we need." (Incidentally, many non-religious "hipsters" often say the same thing about moving to Williamsburg, only they say "Dad" instead of "God.") This profound faith, of course, is why "fixionaries" don't need brakes:

Just have faith in Him and he'll give you the stopping power that you need.

Here is the "fixionary" doing a no-handed trackstand in silent contemplation, being held upright by the invisible hand of the Lord:

And here he is wearing tight pants, thinking about God:

This film brings new meaning to the phrase "fixed-gear conversion."

146 comments:

Austin said...

pod?

David Dawson said...

second?

northtexan said...

hi

Krys Hines said...

Just off the podium...I hope doping infractions will retroactively improve my placing though...

thatdude said...

These Fools Be Swervin cost me the podium.

Astroluc said...

top ten... #3 second podium... what the hell is it so early for? ;)

mothgraphics said...

Early post - thanks Snobby.

waxmouth said...

Oh my good gravy. Top ten

Anonymous said...

ich liebe Purpur trank

landis in 06 said...

damn foiled again

adamdoesit said...

Snob, you're not a douche. You're my adenoidal hero.

Bad Lawyer said...

Steel is very real!
BL

Anonymous said...

worrying about what "place" you are in response to a bog is gay

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I like the smell of steel early in the morning.

Anonymous said...

the early bird...

Anonymous said...

sooper early

Eric Lowe said...

Can you smell what Pegoretti is cookin'????

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

hackneyed sojourn said...

Phone it in and you got street cred lower than the PistaDex.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

sufferist said...

WTF with the way early post....perhaps a multi today?

Erich said...

I stand by my tool assessment of Ashbrook, and if Snob is a douche bag, then Ashbrook is the plastic tampon applicator of NPR.

ringcycles said...

Damn, my DS and my soigneur failed to tell me about the early start time for today. When's the next rest day?

OBA said...

That's early!

Crank said...

It amazes me when christians, covered in their largess of materialism, pontificate about how in step with giving they are. He will walk away from that experience, never look back, and consider himself absolved in his "god's" eyes. Merchants, retailers, and stock brokers. Soul snatchers extraordinaire.

Anonymous said...

CRIS TFIX

RGHT WING

MORE MON!

Mark said...

You switched from "inasmuch" to "in as much." What gives?

Anonymous said...

why does everyone have to be so bizarre to ride a freakin' bike nowadays? And making the bicycle into some odd & frankly ugly contraption.

Ronan said...

Is being high on god's love a form of doping? I like to think it is, for no reason other than it massages my own smug theist-teetotalitarianism.
In fact, I Propose to the UCI, here and now, a new theological passport taking into account minor fluctuations in divinity vales.

grog said...

Good.
You're up.
Now get out and ride.

Doug said...

I saw God once on my bike, briefly....but the bike stayed upright, I didn't crash and die after all, and now I can't remember what He looked like.

Lantern Rouge said...

Finished safely in the pack.

"he'll" Snob?
Shouldn't it be "He'll" when referring to God?

SD friend said...

Nah,

It should be "he'll"

Inverse Relationship said...

@Anon 10:40

Welcome to World 2.0 where being the same is all about looking as different as possible. The more outlandish your appearance, the more mediocre you really are. Think David Clinger.

Jacobius said...

Religious people are such self-congratulatory delusional assholes. Larry David says it best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BDj7GIo6Yg

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! What is up with all the helmet nonsense the callers are spouting? They don't save lives. They lessen bumps on your head. The last part of your body you are likely to injure. Ease up folks.

leroy said...

I didn't realize NPR had programs other than Car Talk.

Anonymous said...

Helmets are not a nonsense. Helmets themselves obviously don't make you safe, but they are added insurance. You can pretty much lose any kind of limb or organ, but if you hit your head on concrete falling off a bike (the speed at which you are riding is pretty much irrelevant) the effects might be devastating or even fatal. So no matter how careful you are, why not get that added insurance? It might speak to the hubris (or lack of understanding of head injuries) of some cyclists that they feel like they don't need a helmet. As with any insurance, you're fine 99% of the time, but you will regret not having it when something happens.

Anonymous said...

EW is early because he's busy on NPR talking about bikes or some other nonsense. Or maybe his intern has taken over and is just more efficient.

Just The Messenger said...

What's with the post unrevealing name coverup? Is it a form of self-deprecation, thinking that those of us who read your blog, don't care enough to read news stories about the blog?

Just The Messenger said...

What's with the post unrevealing name coverup? Is it a form of self-deprecation, thinking that those of us who read your blog, don't care enough to read news stories about the blog?

detayinProv said...

I just listened to the show. Amazing how folks say that for a cyclist to be safe among cars they need to obey traffic laws, be polite... and wear a helmet. Good job, expecially explaining fixies.

Fingerbang Assistant said...

PLZ SNOB
TWOA DAY?

Anonymous said...

You seem to demean people who ride recumbent bicycles. At least that's how it sounded on NPR this morning. You might consider that for some people that is the only kind of bike they are able to ride. My husband had disabilities associated with a stroke, and his recumbent bike was a great way for him to get around and be free. I thought 'snob' was just a clever blog name.....maybe not.

gregoryyy said...

NPR? Ugh..wait, I get it.Your next show on NPR you are going to totally pull a Jonny Rotten and smash the smug bitches to next week. Give that jerk the ReSkin Salute for me haha...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Wow, a post at 6:28 Pacific Daylight Time! No west-coasters on the podium today. No matter hov dedicated you are to avoiding your real job by foffing off on this site, there is no way you are gonna catch a 6:28 a.m. posting.

velobabe said...

WOW did i just find heaven or what?
thanks tom.
Giro d'Italia
can't wait.
wish i could post a picture of my track bike i just got. so sexy, stripped down in black.
guess what, i ride my bicycle with my golf clubs on my back to the golf course every day. 8 mile round trip in boulder. totally seamless bike path, not one light or car.
people snarl at me and literally stare with mean faces. what have i done to you†
pfuck you, if you say i am stupid to not wear a helmet. i came out of the hairnet era. mine was patent leather, though. still have it.

Rich said...

"Fixionary". I love it.

www.lifebyrich.blogspot.com

James said...

Speaking of smugness, today is the National Day of Prayer. Earlier people were blasting tepid praise music outside of my office as some sort of psychological.

Unfortunately, no one was doing an epic track-stand to Praise the Lord.

James said...

oops blew my load too soon and didn't complete my sentence. Meant to say psychological warfare.

Anonymous said...

The Dario Pegoretti quote "it's its own smell" succinctly illustrates the exception to the apostrophe rule.

debichan1a said...

back of the pack. i knew i should have used a reskin as i read the post today.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ May 6, 2010 12:20 PM

BSNYC addressed this issue ages ago. You should go to the archives and start reading from the beginning. If I recall, he expressed that recumbents are OK for folks that have medical issues. The rest are dorks. Recumbents seem to be popular with Boeing engineers.

Daddo said...

Macadam!

xyxax said...

I just ordered a steel road frame. Can I expect a new frame smell, like a new car smell? If I add non-steel components (like the seat), will I lose the steel smell?
I smell of remorse.

Tony I said...

If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will have a brakeless fixie.

cat chemist said...

a recent altercation with a steel steertube reminded me how pleasant liquid wrench smells too. however, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth (or maybe that was from licking the flea medicine off the cat).

CommieCanuck said...

worrying about what "place" you are in response to a bog is gay

Commenting about it is even gayer. On a scale, it's 10 milliEltons versus about 200 milliEltons, The Elton being the universal standardized measure of gayness. The most gay you can be is one Elton.

Pegoretti is just responding to the "steel is real" idiots by trying to actually come up with a reason why steel is any good for a bike frame. We all know the smell of steel, if we've ever had a gun barrel shoved up our nose for failing to pay a bookie. Aluminum? smells exactly like a Boeing 747's toilet. Crabon smells like pencils. We have to go by smell, as all three frame materials taste exactly like chicken.

Buffalo Bill said...

First!
Praise the lord! I owe all my success to jebus... oh wait, what?

hillbilly said...

hate being late and having to solo to catch up.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

-Anon 12:20 Throughout history people have mocked and ridiculed that which they do not understand.
This explains the Boeing engineer connection.

-And Tony, You've seen the pictures- with that epic beardway it's obvious God rides a recumbent. Probably that boy of his too.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Xyxax, which lasts longer, the new car smell, the new steel frame smell or the new wife smell?

mikeweb said...

hillbilly, don't feel bad, I'm getting yelled at by the team car.

team car said...

mikeweb - enough with the chit chatting at the back of the peloton already. get those bottles to the front ASAP!

CommieCanuck said...

You've seen the pictures- with that epic beardway it's obvious God rides a recumbent.

or he drinks a lot of beer.

Besides, everyone knows god drives a Hummer with 22" spinners, good for trollin' da hood and Smitin'.

Homeless biker Dude said...

Steel... Smeeel ...I need to curate an epic buritto, to fix my monster Cinco d whatever hangover. Where are those hipsters when u need one? An another thing, what's with the early sprint today, I never blog post race before 2, especially after a Mexican holiday. Damn it!! Going back to sleep now...

Ok, sorry I'm done now. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I HATE PEOPLE WHO WEAR BEANIES LIKE THAT

Sir Pedro said...

I love this blog and have been a reader for some time. With that being said, I've done the burrito project before and despite their religious affiliation or their mode of transportation, these guys are just trying help some people out. I didn't think anybody can hate on that, but I guess you can. I'm just glad the Bike Snob can admit he's a douche bag. Apparently a douche bag writer will attract douche bag readers (myself included). I guess everybody on this blog just needs more hugs "karate hands".

Anonymous said...

You cannot smell metal, instead; you are smelling the reactions of a persons body oils with metal.
http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=2879

michael b said...

The only reason the recumbent is not the prevalent frame style, is that that those damn Frenchie Industrialists making the triangle frame, didn't like the fact that the 'bents were faster. They banned recumbents from racing in the Tour, thus killing any hope of widespread adoption. The same BS continues today, with silly rules about frame weight etc.
(The Industrialists then went on to make Citrons, and you know how popular they are in North America...)

grog said...

Thanks Snobbie,
No more morning wood for me.
Now it's morning steel.
Love the smell.

ayhsmS

michael b said...

Henry Ford started to manufacture bicycles, stealing the design of the Frenchies. He couldn't be bothered coming up with a design of his own, because he had more sinister plans.

ant1 said...

when life gives you citrons, make citroens.

leroy said...

Anon 2:10 --

I believe your views and Signore Pegoretti's are consistent.

Indeed, they both illustrate the axiom "He who smelt it dealt it."

xyxax said...

WIWM,

until the first punch in the nose.

p said...

"citron"

citroen

wishiwasmerckx said...

Xyxax, is that you, Lawrence Taylor?

xyxax said...

wiwm, take 2:

the new wife smell lasts...

Anonymous said...

meh today.

Paul Bowen said...

Snobbers, one of the funniest ever, many thanks. Fixiejeebus will be upset if he reads it, but once he gains wisdom he will know you were right.

...posted by a guy w/ a familiar name but google seems to be screwing up his account so he has reverted to this cheap tactical maneuver... said...

...smells don't trickle, they waft...

...thus 'waft' is nonplussedly introduced into the daily cycling lexicon...

...just sayin'...

xyxax said...

Yes, it's me.
Something smells like prison food.

Anonymous said...

Let us all join together in prayer now.
Hey Lord PSSSST! Can you hear me?
Lord I want you to provide for me, to gimme some money. I know it sounds kind of crazy but I'm a good white family kid, not the kind of guy who spends his days putting together Crunk tracks and sending them over the internets.

Anonymous said...

haha "old timey brooklynese" that's how my parents speak. I recently saw a post on craigslist looking for people who are fluent in "brooklynese" but can also speak properly. it seems they need interpreters for out of towners who have trouble understanding local folk. hahahahahahaaaaaaa.
"yaseedat! ma' day needs intoipitas tundastanges"

michael b said...

Doh!
And that Interweb thingy right in friggin'front of me, too...
No poly voo francis...
Damn Frenchie names, anyways...

3G said...

(I guess to them "Bike Month" means "run down cyclists" in the same way that "rabbit season" means "shoot at rabbits.")

on point!

3G said...

Abrahammer you are the SHIZZNIT!!!!

David said...

Pojum, again!
If a bike butt makes a smell and there's no one there to sniff it, does it still have anything to do with bean burritos? Seriously. I cannot ride until this issue is resolved.

Anonymous said...

"citron"

"citroen"

Ah, try "Citroën", perhaps?

What's the French word for Umlaut, and why's it hanging out over an "e", anyway?

Salty Seattle said...

My, my. Is there a full moon today, or something?

Salty Seattle said...

Sir Pedro-

I'm the resident hugger.

Come here..

Salty Seattle said...

michael b-

You sound smart.

I wish I could be more like you.

I'm guessing you've never been behind a recumbent while climbing a hill, though.

CommieCanuck said...

What's the French word for Umlaut, and why's it hanging out over an "e", anyway?

C'est une tréma.

It's to pronounce the "e" as in citro-enne.

It's also there to piss-off Americans in retaliation for bastardizing French all over the country with mispronunciation of Beloit, Detroit, and foyer.

Salty Seattle said...

Posted by a guy...-

MISSED YOU!!!!!!!!

CommieCanuck said...


I'm guessing you've never been behind a recumbent while climbing a hill, though.


It's hilarious when they fall over, like Arti Johnson in the yellow raincoat on the tricycle in the old "Laugh-in" show.
Recumbents, the U-Hauls of the cycling world.

Salty Seattle said...

Commie-

Laugh In. Love it!

It's a good day, after all.

...posted by a guy who's picture is up on judi's post on drunkcyclist.com today...just sayin'... said...

...thanks, salty seattle...

ant1 said...

bgw...what's judi's blog url? i can't find it anywhere on DC. love the jersey, btw.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Looks left, looks right...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Zips up jesrsey...and...100th!

xyxax said...

Podium for a New Century?

To be clear: I was the punchee.
Anyway, the new wife smell is soon overpowered by the old husband smell, which is a combination of socks worn to bed and the sofa cushion in front of the teevee.

One ringy-dingy.

Anonymous said...

Sofa cushion suffused with beer farts!

Anonymous said...

as I said before. All these fixed gear wannabee's need to continue sucking giant cock like they did before they found fixed gear bikes

...posted by a guy who is still bikesgonewild in certain places but not so much in this kind of format for reasons only known to google from what i can understand... said...

...http://milesandmadness.blogspot.com/ is judi's personal site & as you've prob'ly figured, she's now a part of the regular rotation @ drunkcyclist.com these days...

ant1 said...

thanks bgw, and happy birthday. i hope i look that good and still ride when i reach your experience level.

yofilly said...

One hundred and four comments, and only ONE gives props to the Abrahammer. A work of genius.

...posted by a guy who'd be handing out a prize to ant1 if he had any to hand out... said...

..."experience level"...nice...best euphemism appropriate to the situation...

Larry Craig said...

CC:milliEltons

Fuck that metric crap. How much is that in American?

Anonymous said...

I listened to the NPR show and I really enjoyed your comments Bike Snob. I purchased your book.
-Adam

leroy said...

Uh oh, I'm stuttering.

...posted by a guy who sez "nah, it just sounded so good i hadda hear it twice... said...

...

...& i'm lookin' forward to having bsnyc/rtms sign my 'advance' copy of the good book...mwaha, don't ask...

..now i gotta get back to work...

posted by a guy who thanks leroy & sez, no problem...it just sounded so good i hada hear it twice... said...

...

...looking forward to having bsnyc/rtms sign my 'advance' copy of his book when he gets to sf...mwaha, don't ask...

...now, i gotta get back to work...
...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Miss ol' BGW.

You do know that he was actually communicating with extraterrestrials through morse code, when all we suspected was ellipsis abuse. I have long suspected that we do not hear from him anymore because he was abducted by aliens.

This comment board is lessened by his absence.

hillbilly said...

happy bday bgw!!!!!


dotdotdot, just sayin'...

Salty Seattle said...

WIWM-

Yes.

Happy Bday, BGW!

May we all be so lucky.

Bluenoser said...

Wrun you wraskal wrabbits... wrun.

-B

Bluenoser said...

I'll raise a glass to you at Peggys Cove bgw.

-B

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Wow! Aliens and Morse Code! You guys are weird. Bikes Gone Wild. Glad that mystery is solved.

Bluenoser said...

Snob,

God would not create a bicycle because he has already created one.

And If you have to sniff a frame at least you don't have to swish it around your mouth and swallow, roll your eyes, put your finger to your temple and say, Dario Pegoretti 2006... but with a fork hint of 2007.

-B

Martin McFly said...

I wonder if jesus rocked a pista concept?

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

The dude formally known as Andy Pandy said...

I want cake and candles but would that add to the crabon foot print of this site

heath said...

All Your Heds Spin My Booty

youth minister said...

that he gave his only begotten son

cyclotourist said...

Kill the Wabbits

sully said...

testing

sully said...

I knew something was up with the Burrito project.You have some asian kids from U.C irvine LOAD up and DRIVE their fixies and unload their fixies only to cycle around handing out homemade mexican food to homeless white guys in Santa Ana.The irony of globalism is astonishing.Call me a douche but theres something fishy.Maybe its the religous motive?Maybe religion inadvertently enabled these people to be homeless because "god works in mysterious ways"and "god has a plan for all of us" and "only god can judge me". I know Im a cynical prick.But Im usually right.Dont judge me only god can do that.

sully said...

Smell the steel,Wasnt that a Rob Halford album?

cyclegoddess said...

I thought Clinger was vastly more attrative with those face iguana tattoo things.

cyclegoddess said...

They drove from Irvine to Santa Ana? What a load. I have chronic fatigue so bad some days I cant even clip out of the pedals - and my ride is the same distance!!
Plus Im about 15 years older.
AND there are NO HILLS THERE.

But nice one feeding the homeless. Wish I had thought of that at that age.

joel said...

Tell drivers not to run you down in May:
http://www.ShareTheDamnRoad.com

yofilly said...

Sully-Maybe you are thinking of Spinal Tap's "Smell the Glove"??? An album which could be none more black.

Christopher said...

"Fixed gear conversion"...Priceless

Scott said...

A bit late, but substituting the words "Fixie" or "Hipster" for "Religious" in "Religious people are such self-congratulatory delusional assholes" would also be pretty accurate.

Anonymous said...

Listened to the NPR interview...

... yep, Tom's a tool.

H

Anonymous said...

LAST! Where's today's post? It's past noon. You're getting lazy or something...

Ramona Q. said...

Jesus, Beezus!

free dsi said...

Sweet post

Anonymous said...

There are Asians at UC Irvine?

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