Monday, May 3, 2010

Keeping Up Appearances: Filling the House, Clearing the Bike Lane

This past Saturday morning, I awoke with even more anxiety than usual, for that very afternoon I would be putting on my very first BRA (or Book-Related Appearance). As I went about my morning ablutions, I attempted to calm myself. "It's perfectly normal to be worried about your first BRA," I told the reflection in the mirror as I watched it floss its eyebrows and pluck its teeth. "But you'll get through it. Just think of it as a training BRA." Still, I was nervous, and even my customary three hour bubble bath did little to calm my jangled nerves.

Eventually, the time came for me to head to the venue, and I loaded up the Big Dummy Surly has loaned me with various BRA-related items (including a 3-foot tall BMX trophy I won sometime during the 1980s, and which I brought with me strictly as a confidence-boosting totem) and headed down to the Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn. (At some point I will examine the subject of living with and operating a large utility bicycle in New York City in greater detail, but in the meantime I will say that it was extremely helpful this past weekend.) At first, Powerhouse seemed relatively empty, but after awhile more and more people seemed interested in getting into my BRA. Here's what the audience looked like when I accidentally video"taped" them because I still cannot operate a simple, pocket-sized digital camera:



If you look closely, you'll even see the era-defining Mongoose Cachet fixed-speed bicycle in the foreground, which my ironic intern Spencer Madsen brought at my behest. (I didn't really need it; I just wanted to make him "schlep" it all the way to Brooklyn since it seemed like an appropriately intern-y thing to do.)

Lacking as I am in BRA experience, I knew I would have trouble filling my BRA, and so I endeavored to "stuff it" by preparing a slideshow using a popular computer presentation software. This slideshow featured embarrassing photos of me from the past, including an especially humiliating one in which I have "epic" hair and am attempting to mount a personal watercraft. I may expand this presentation in the future. Also, I gave out some prizes from tour sponsor Knog as well as others. Speaking of Knog, in addition to sponsoring dorky bike blogger BRAs, they're also apparently scoring prominent product placement in Hungarian rap videos, like this one currently in rotation on MTV in Europe:



Inasmuch as I understand Hungarian (which is not at all) I'm pretty sure this video is about jacking unwitting "fixters" for their "hipster cysts" on the mean streets of Budapest. In any case, I'm proud to share sponsorship with Buppa, who is universally acknowledged to be the fifth-best ironic MC in all of Hungary.

By far my favorite part of the BRA though was meeting people like the great Erik K and the estimable Leroy and all the others who took the time to attend and allowed me to pretend to be an author by scribbling in their books. In all sincerity, it was an honor. And if that wasn't enough, somebody even arrived via p-far and allowed me to ride it:

(Photo via Robert Gorell)

That's me mounting the p-far, and as you can see I've donned a period-correct mustache for safety. (Before polystyrene helmets, cyclists wore waxed mustaches to protect their heads from injury.) In the background, the p-far's owner (shockingly bereft of tweed) looks on with amusement. Amazingly, I actually managed to ride the thing, though I did botch the second dismount and one of my toes is now a beet-like purple. This, of course, is the common late-19th century cycling injury known as "P-Far Toe," and I look forward to "taking the cure" later this afternoon, which involves a musket ball, a rusty saw blade, and a bottom-shelf whiskey "anesthetic."

Thank you very much to all who attended, and I hope you enjoy the book. I also assure the rest of you that I have learned much from my training BRA, and I hope to enhance myself so that my future BRAs are fuller and more robust.

Speaking of full BRAs and giving people what they want, VeloNews has apparently figured out that by far the most interesting aspect of the Tour of the Gila was the podium girls, and so they finally wrote the article everybody was waiting for:

(Levi who?)

The podium girl with the tattoo to the left of the guy in the black shorts who nobody cares about is Alexis “Lexy” Brown, and it turns out she's actually a Cat 4 road racer herself. While this is tremendously exciting news to most of bike dorkdom and the thousands of randy coaches who are now sending her unsolicited emails, it's bad news for Liz Hatch, since it means Brown is only a few upgrades away from challenging Hatch in the competition for the coveted Maillot Cleavage. (That's pronounced "MY-yo CLEE-vage.")

Amazingly, though, there are apparently some cycling fans who think a busty Cat 4 is less interesting than an aging professional sandbagging in a low-key domestic stage race. Said one irate VeloNews commenter:

I remember when Velonews reported about cycling...erasing my bookmark now...

Then again, I could be misinterpreting this comment. Perhaps "erasing your bookmark" is yet another euphemism for "foffing off," and the commenter is actually posting in flagrante suffoco pullus.

I must admit, though, that I was also a bit upset about the article--not because of the subject matter, but because it was woefully underreported. For example, why nothing about the other podium girl? Also, what is the tattoo on Brown's arm? It looks like it could either be Jerry Garcia, or a naked woman's torso:

I don't know whether to be intrigued or disgusted. And, perhaps most importantly, is there yet more ambiguous ink peeking out from the hem of her dress?

I guess we may never know, since as I type this VeloNews seems to have moved on to Franco Pellizotti's "abnormal passport" and bookmarks everywhere are returning to half-mast.

Meanwhile, in more serious news, you may have read about that foiled bombing attempt in Times Square this past weekend:


Well, it may not surprise you to learn that, prior to being discovered, the combustible SUV was just sitting there smoking in the bike lane:

It should come as no surprise to any New York City cyclist that a terrorist would choose to plant a bomb in the bike lane, since ours are littered with idling SUVs as it is, and it would be nice if the fact that any one of these vehicles could contain deadly explosives might inspire the NYPD to actually start clearing them. Living in a succulent terrorist target as we do, it seems absurd that giant, illegally-parked vehicles are still simply accepted by many as normal features of the urban landscape. My hope is that, going forward, clearing the area and pre-emptively exploding the offending vehicle becomes standard bike lane violation protocol. (I would give anything to watch someone emerge from a SoHo boutique with a bag full of designer clothing, only to find the smoldering remains of their Range Rover.) As it is, right now unfortunately bicycles seem to arouse more suspicion.

In the meantime, since we're clearly in danger, I may switch to a more "survivalist" bicycle, like this one which was forwarded to me by a reader:

I plan to launch those rear-mounted water bottles at my pursuers as I flee.

81 comments:

mikeweb said...

Hi

Anonymous Coward said...

Podium!!

Nogocyclist said...

It's about time for the return of your intern. More Spencer.

yofilly said...

Podium? Hot dog!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

JTK said...

number 8!

Franklin Pierce said...

Actually, since the great advent of spoke cards, I can carry 20 or 30 fruit-roll-ups in my spokes without incurring the sort of disdain one normally gets for carrying food (as opposed to "goo").

Bad Lawyer said...

top ten?

yofilly said...

Seriously? You floss your own eyebrows? Isn't that Vito's responsibility?

Amazon has informed me that my stickers are on the way. Can't wait.

thegock said...

SHVD PKGE

Bad Lawyer said...

Liz Hatch can ride me anytime!

Bad Lawyer said...

er, I meant ride with me...

Angry White Guy said...

I didn't do it!

mikeweb said...

I don't erase bookmarks as often now as when I was a teenager.

Anonymous said...

Yes, what about the other podium girl! Lexy Brown looks like she could snap me in half with those arms... On second thought, might be fun.

dignan said...

with the pack

Anonymous said...

Lexy Brown is my muse or maybe just my musette

JTK said...

" plant a bomb in the bike lance..."

methinks the man-crush is revealing itself through typos...

ant1 said...

anon 1:08 - are you saying you'd like to wear her like a feed bag?

le correcteur said...

Ah, missed top 20 by one or two!

--le Correcteur

Anonymous said...

Snob,

Check out the new development in fixed gear riding: 2 HOODs 1 BRAKE (MASH Crew pics)

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?641885-2-HOODs-1-BRAKE-(MASH-Crew-Pics)

Nogocyclist said...

"It should come as no surprise to any New York City cyclist that a terrorist would choose to plant a bomb in the bike lance,"

It is now official. Lance Armstrong has been honored with his first name becoming the new word for "lane" in the term "bike lane." In New York City cyclist can ride in the "bike lance."

Snob, your fans who are almost a thousand miles from anywhere you will appear want to see that Power Point presentation too.

hillbilly said...

mikeweb ladies and gentlemen!!!!!

congrats on your first BRA, RTMS!

Eric Lowe said...

The tattoo appears to be a finely-rendered cleavage-way. Stopping at the neckline of her top.

TQuid said...

Yep, agreed on the cleavage-way, with an apparently zombified face/head. On reflection it might even be a reference to John Carpenter's fine schlock sci-fi film They Live. The aliens in the movie had horrible faces but their bodies looked like ordinary peoples'.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Speaking of Lance, his Michelob Ulrta billboard went up last week along our local interstate, right in the middle of town.

xyxax said...

Glad to have attended your Saturday BRA-mitzvah. The crowd was flatter than day-old PBR, so not to worry.
The Norwegians were from Queens, by the way.

ant1 said...

about the specialized demo survivabike; it's got one of those new 4 arm cranks apparently. some people like having the varied foot positions on long rides. oh, and it's never been "riden". go figure.

g said...

Was it last year or before that the podium gals weren't so good at keeping their skirts down in the the wind (not counting Mrs Hincapie, of course). I would agree with Nogo, that those of geographically-way challenged should get to see the show as well. Can someone bring their own video camera to the next BRA and let us get a shot? Double points for upskirt images.

rezado said...

Purple Podium Mazster

rezado said...

Oh Maillot Cleavage is hangin' out

THAN KYOU

Anonymous said...

Lexy's tattoo is what we in the business like to call a butterface.

frilly said...

You got to meet Leroy?!?

Well, aren't you a lucky ducky.

db said...

"We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint"

Anonymous said...

Snobbie, you are an urbane wit and gifted writer, but a clothes horse you are not. You wore jeans, a t-shirt and sneaks to your book signing? Really?

We know that you own a suit and tie; you showed it off here a few weeks ago. You should amend your "marrying and burying" category of suit-wearing occasions.

And while we are on the topic of fashion, there is a clear joke in there about the prohibition of exposing your BRA in public, but I will leave it to those wittier than I.

Anonymous said...

So did you ride the five burrah amateur hour or bail and go hide?

jimmynuetron said...

There is no "bike lane" on 45th st. I think it's time to start looking at the T-shirt vendor as a possible suspect. He who smelt it dealt it!

Marrock said...

You mean you can't tell that Lexy's tat is of Zombie Marilyn Monroe?

Salty Seattle said...

The podium girl had a tattoo?

Gila Monster said...

Ahem...

leroy said...

Well I'll be darned. Levi and me get our pictures in the same cycling blog and I'm the one whose head isn't cut off. Lucky for me, no one is looking at either of us.

I can report that BSNYC was engaging and entertaining at his BRA-mitzvah.

I still can't figure out how he arranged to have someone wander in to the bookstore with an undemarcated Dachshund of Time.

Salty Seattle said...

I feel like the video is a bit of a class photo.



Missing you! Stay sweet! Let's hang out this summer!

ken e. said...

less than 50! hi kids!

TOFI NO!!

hugs!

CommieCanuck said...

"We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint"

Ooo.how very complex. Why not just pull out and come back home?

General: "Who's gonna get rich from that?"

CNN reports NYPD are now on the lookout for anyone in Times Square Saturday night, especially some guy on a p-far with a Snidley Whiplash mustache. Nyah-ha-ha.

grog said...

Thanks leroy for that report.
Wishiwasthere
Snobbers can scribble in my book anytime.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know whether to be intrigued or disgusted"

Why choose between one and the other? You can be intrigued and disgusted at the same time, and the Hungarian hip-hop(?) Knog-sponsored and Liz Hatch MissTeenSouthernCarolina-like videos are just examples of that. You can have it all, baby.

Salty Seattle said...

Ha! Look at that.

Blogger wiped the digital tear I shed, in the middle of that last comment.

Which reminds me...

[sniffles..]

I love you all.

Fergie said...

Hey Snobby!

Just wanted to say you did great on your first P-far ride. Although technically "paved" that section of road was much rougher then most MTB trails I've ridden. Speaking of MTB and P-fars, everyone who wants a go on her can try this June, at our local Fat Tire Festival. More info to come.

Anonymous said...

yesterday on 2nd ave a cop car was idling at a red next to an unattended car blocking entire bike lane. i asked the officer inside why he wasn't ticketing the vehicle for clearly illegally violating the bike lane and he said "because it's parked, have a nice day". I asked him for his badge number and he got PISSED. Made some vague threats about my bike being up to code. I had my detatchable front light in my bag so I scooted along.

Anonymous said...

"low-key" domestic stage race?

Harrumph. Apparently the Tour of the Gila is sufficiently groovy for Lance, et al. to attend. It might not get a lot of attention, but it is a grueling stage race. Give it some respect, man!

Sean Lynch said...

Snobby,

You always seam to find strange juxtapositions, as well as other positions, in your articles. I was really struck by a very strange coincidence in this article about bike races in New Mexico and terrorist bombs.

My alma mater, New Mexico Tech(NMT), teaches a DHS sponsored class on terrorist weapons just like the one used in New York. The branch of NMT that does this research even re-created the very similar bomb used at the London Airport a few years back. Going to school there you get used to a blast rattling the windows during classes from the testing going on in the desert nearby.

Now, I don't want to accuse any of the riders of the ' Tour De Gila' of using their New Mexico trip as an opportunity to learn how to blow things up. Then taking that knowledge back to New York and using it in a bike lane there. However, if anyone from DHS is reading this they might want to cross check the race entrants versus the flights back to NYC.

There weren't any images of WMD's in the pictures at the podium you showed, but I'm sure that the officers of the DHS will make a long and carefully study just to make sure.

Stan said...

take all of the extraneous crap off of that Demo seven and it's such an awesome ride. Those totems are awesome forks and the paint jobs only got uglier from there.

Furious Kitten said...

THANKS FOR THE STICKERS! LOVE THE BOOK!!!!! I put the stickers on my bike. They add a touch of class to an otherwise boring commuter.

Anonymous said...

I concede that Lexu is hot and all, but I'm watching the Tour of Romandie and the Swiss podiumgirls are generating wood the size of a Sequoia.

ringcycles said...

I can't believe no one has done this yet:

SEXY LEXY

Anon:108, I think you want her to wear YOU as her mussette, assuming you are of the male genderway.

David said...

Considering she's somewhat of a competitive racer with a tattoo, it totally looks like a T-800 terminator with a wig and giant cleavage-way - obviously a representation of her badassedness.

Also sorry I missed the training BRA, any other appearances in NYC?

Anonymous said...

liked snob better anonymous

Anonymous said...

Yawn

Anonymous said...

shame on you bike snob for using the term 'going forward'...

Mic said...

Hey snob, it's me, the Asian guy in the suspenders from Powerhouse. I read your blog all the time and I had hoped you would mention me in today's post, partially because of my outfit and partially because I was the one to get the last copy of your book at P-house (better late than never?)
In any case, I'm pleasantly surprised at how entertaining your book is. I didn't know how you would fill a whole book since your blog is mainly about making fun of people and getting mad at SUVs. Come to think of it, that IS what your book is about and it's actually quite entertaining and informative. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Huh, those Hungarian hip-hopsters seem to be practicing some form of "finger banging". It seems a little hard to understand their gestures since I'm used to seeing the "finger bang" with a Spanish accent, not a Hungarian accent...

Nogocyclist said...

Snob, For some reason the guy with the two podium girls got his head cut off in the photo. I found the actual photo without his head cropped off. If you need to show Alexis again, here is the correct photograph.

cyclegoddess said...

How do these chicks manage to have such cleavage, while riding hard?
Damn,I just cycle it all off!!

cyclegoddess said...

A SUIT?!! Come on, how boring can you get.
Why not something good, like a gimp suit or a wedding dress?
A suit.For christs sake, the guy escaped that crapwe call corporate mcjobs and you want to drag him back towards it?

I would have prefered bike shorts:D

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, the girl has great big zoobies. Ben Day had a 4 foot tape worm. Surely that was yesterday's lead item.

gih said...

That a cool tattoos. I like ladies who have tattoos.

Stupid Name said...

Your clothing-collabo is disturbing. I hope your excuse is that the chicken suit was at the cleaners.
Nobody else see the irony of snob at the "Powerhouse"? Pick venues at bike polo garages in the future.

I am the engine. said...

Snob, your job is to have an in depth interview with Lexy. We need to know details on both tats. Again the cycling press has let us down. I have real questions about how she can possible swim.

CommieCanuck said...

That bike...I know who owns that bike.
This guy owns that bike.


Or maybe this guy. Stay thirsty, my friends.

Charles said...

"bookmarks everywhere are returning to half-mast"

Just caught this, nice....

Anonymous said...

Yet ANOTHER gyro-gearloose take on an electric bike... This one from the VW volkspersons. Dig that butt flossing saddle!
http://www.likecool.com/VWs_Folding_Electric_Fits_in_Your_Spare_Tire--Bike--Gear.html

Anonymous said...

where's today's post, foo?

Anonymous said...

oh, and LAST!

Nogocyclist said...

Lexy has many more tattoos. If you go to the actual site of the Tour of the Gila you can see different shots of her. There is a full view of the large tat but it is a little blurry.

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