Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BSNYC Road Dairy: Last Stop Portland

(A gift from an Austinite.)

It was with both sadness and relief that I hoisted myself into my blogging chair this morning. The sadness was due to the fact I already miss the beautiful cities and kind people I visited on my travels, and the relief was because "blogging chair" is a euphemism for toilet and I had to "go" rather badly. Still, it is good to be back in New York, inasmuch as it is my home, but not so much because it is a pleasant place to be, because really it isn't--especially compared to some of these other places, where amazingly one can go an entire day without having one's property urinated upon.

I'm also pleased that I will now be able to resume my ordinary blogging schedule, which this past week has been upset by travels and BRAs. This blogular irregularity was difficult not only for me but apparently for some readers as well, who expressed chagrin over my temporarily altered schedule. Moreover, at least one reader was also disappointed by the content of this blog, and he had this to say with regard to my mention of the San Jose Bike Party:

Ryan said...

I'm dissapointed on your write-up of San Jose Bike Party. I don't care whether or not you like our group. In fact, I enjoy your humor and was hoping for a nice roast of our group. However, all you did was pick on a few fixie riders and completely ignored the other 3,000 of us. Being one of the largest mass ride in the U.S., I expected more.

June 21, 2010 5:40 PM

I've been trying to make sense of why exactly I don't enjoy rides like the San Jose Bike Party. On one level, it's because if I wanted to listen to music I don't like while surrounded by thousands of drunk people I could simply go to a Bon Jovi concert--at least there it's far less likely I'd get hit by a unicyclist. On another level though it's because mass attention-seeking makes me extremely uncomfortable, and I find it puzzling that this particular commenter could be among thousands of people on "one of the largest mass rides in the US" yet still be disappointed that he and his compatriots did not get sufficient attention from one single crotchety bike blogger. If it's any consolation, though, I did make a short video of the start:



Please forgive the bit where I tilt the camera vertically--I forgot for a moment that the picture would not remain horizontal as it does on a popular brand of "smartphone." Also, in case you're wondering why you're hearing a motor, it's because there was some guy riding a bike with a two-stroke bolted to it who kept darting in and out of the ride like some sort of noxious hummingbird. In any case, if I find myself getting nostalgic for the San Jose bike party I'll simply hop in a car, tune in Hot 97, and head out onto the Long Island Expressway during rush hour.

But while the San Jose Bike Party involves thousands of people acting ridiculously en masse, Portlanders prefer to sort of "atomize" their rides by humiliating themselves in highly specific ways. Portland was the final stop on my BRA tour, and my visit coincided with "Pedalpalooza," which meant that just some of the theme rides taking place around this time included:

Visions in Taffeta

Meets up at Dawson Park near Emmanual Hospital for a colorful tragic display of horrid bridesmaid outfits. This could be spectacular.

(It could be spectacular, though it could also be ridiculous.)

Bike Porn 4 PLAY

An 18 and over viewing of bike erotica at Clinton Theater. $6.

(If you can't stop thinking about bikes even while consuming porn, you have a sexual dysfunction.)

And, of course, my favorite:

NO BABIES!

Are you still really excited about your vasectomy? Or maybe you really support folks who choose to get sterilized. Perhaps you have always wanted to know more about vasectomies, but just never asked. Either way, please join our ride. Come find out how easy and cheap vasectomies can be nowadays. Come meet folks that got it done when they were 20 and some when they were 50! We will ride to the NE and SE locations of Planned Parenthood. Plenty of time for a Q&A/hang out session at the end of the ride. Myths will be debunked!


What myths are there about vasectomies that need debunking? It's surgical sterilization, and there are few procedures that are more straightforward. Myths are spurious tales such as Athena springing full-grown from the head of Zeus, or someone's steel frame going "soft." On the other hand, in a vasectomy an incision is made in the scrotum and "the 'tubes' are cut and sealed by tying, stitching, cauterization (burning), or otherwise clamped to prevent sperm from entering the seminal stream." Then, you can't make babies (full-grown from your head or otherwise). It doesn't get any less mythical than that. I admit though I didn't realize that people were so proud--dare I say smug--about their vasectomies, or that they needed to show them off to each other. I guess cauterized vasa deferentia are Knuckle Tattoos 2.0.

Anyway, it felt good to return to Portland, a town so hip they have "trackways" instead of tracks:


Here is an earnest Portlander carefully considering whether or not to sign a man's petition:

Just as it's crucial for celebrities to be seen at the right parties, it's vital for Portlanders to sign their names on the right petitions. Conversely, inadvertently endorsing a cause that is insufficiently righteous is enough to make you a social pariah--or worse, have you banished to Vancouver, WA. Furthermore, it's obvious from this particular Portlander's choice of beverage and drinking vessel (the über-"PC" water-in-a-Ball-jar) that she is no novice when it comes to "curating" her causes. In the end, I'm pretty sure she opted to withhold her signatureway, though it is a testament to Portland's geniality that they were able to share a laugh about it:

("I am laughing because I am extremely uncomfortable.")

But while Portlanders eschew waste and excess when it comes to beverage consumption, they are more than happy to ride exotic cargo bikes with $125 headsets, hydraulic brakes, and crabon fiber stoker bars:

In Portland, anything goes, just as long as it is bolted to a bicycle.

I had little time to drink from the capacious Ball jar full of smugness that is Portland, for I had to go to the headquarters of the Chris King Precision Bicycle Component Manufacturing Concern for the start of my very own "theme" ride, complete with flyer:


Incidentally, I have not checked in on the Chris King Headset Composite Index (CKHCI) in some time, though given that a used one is currently at $93 and counting I would guess that it is rather robust:

I'd like to say it was a tremendous honor to have my own theme ride, but in a town where people will organize a ride around defrosting the refrigerator or the neutering of a new puppy (or, in the case of the "No Babies!" ride, of a human) it's really not that big a deal. I'd also like to say that I was grateful people came out despite the rain, but again, this is Portland, and expecting to ride without rain is like expecting Larry King not to spit on you while interviewing you. Here is the group preparing to roll out:

Fortified by locally-grown cherries proffered by the gentleman in the foreground, we took to the streets:

There was some confusion as to whether we should stop at lights and whether we should do something called "corking," as well as use of some other use of non-competitive smug group ride jargon with which I am mostly unfamiliar, and so I did what I do on most rides, which is simply hide in the back and leave the work (or, in this case, decision-making) to everybody else.

Fortunately, we soon decided to stop for a rest:

As well as to take in some "fountain porn:"


I also gave away a few wisecrackers that were given to me in San Jose by Mike Ahrens, though I kept these for myself:

Then we headed over the bridge, crossing the mighty Willamette:

Those who attempted to forgo the bridge and simply ford the river itself met a watery demise:

Here's one rider performing a gratuitous trackstand (though I suppose most trackstands are inherently gratuitous):

And here's the canine wheelsucker (or, more accurately, "wheelsniffer") who joined us at one point, his leash trailing behind him like a "fixter's" key carabiner:


Then, somebody incurred a puncture, so we stopped at a local "brewpub":

There was also a sign for a lost cat, which I may have seen hanging from the "wheelsniffer's" jaws:

The flat victim then proceeded to commandeer multiple assistants and no fewer than three picnic tables in order to repair a single puncture:

This too is a testament to Portland's tremendous community spirit. Here, it is not uncommon for local residents to open their homes to flat tire victims, granting them food and lodging for the night while their stablehands patch the tube and send the rider off rested and well nourished the following morn.

("All You Haters Succor My Puncture")

It is also a testament to Portland's tremendous community spirit that, despite my critique and total lack of assistance, the affable flat victim offered me a drink of whiskey, which I accepted (nothing tastes sweeter than a whiskey not earned). Then, once the beverages were consumed and the flats repaired, my hale companions hoisted their wool socks, fastened their Birkenstocks, and shepherded me to Powell's:

I'm pleased to report that Portlanders came out in droves (a "drove" of course being a new ultra-smug form of bicycle that is sort of a Bakfiets 2.0):

I greatly enjoyed both my ride as well as my Powell's BRA, and I can think of no better way of ending my BRA tour (at least for now) than by celebrating with Portland, for while "Bicycling" may have ranked Portland the #2 cycling city in America, it will always be at least #5 in my heart.

Thank you very, very much to everybody who rode and attended.

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

big greasy fart

Anonymous said...

oh fuck yeah

Anonymous said...

eat my dust

Name said...

shooo! not first!!!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Ed said...

top ten

Name said...

at least got same time as winner.

Astroluc said...

top 10 for the first time in a while!

Rick Donkey said...

...which this past weed has been upset by travels and BRAs.

'Tis only Tuesday my friend

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten finish. Now back to read the post.

ant1 said...

can't wait to read the atlanta dairy.

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe you really support folks who choose to get sterilized."

What does that even mean?

Are these people who go "Yeah Dude! Get that vasectomy for us!," but won´t do it (to) themselves?

Really creepy.

10,000 Aches said...

Your BRAs are messing with my lunch hour scheduling. Bring your BRA to Mpls to make it right.

Anonymous said...

Re: trackstands

Gratis AND gratuitous!
But I start faster by about one second from a stop line.

PawnShop said...

Toe Tattoos are Knuckle Tattoos 2.0. Cauterized vasa deferentia are Scrotum Tattoos 2.0.

Anonymous said...

another chance to ZooBomb, missed....

John said...

I think the chick with the glass jar was collecting wino urine for her garden. He was in fact signing a waiver that he had only imbibed local brews and that no carbon products were used in the production of said urine.

She will then use the tangy produce to make a German potato salad requiring no additional vinegar.

She may also have a jar of mayonnaise she collected at the 'No Babies' ride for the ultimate Smug Salad.

Jim said...

I noticed that the Bakfiets cargobike "is presently available at about twoo hundred sales points in the Netherlands," according to the firm's website. Yes, that's right. Twoo hundred sales points. I hear they're looking to expand to twooo hundred or possibly even twooooo hundred sales points soon.

BTW, you get demerits for not running down any homeless street kids while you were in Portland. Very big faux pas there, Snob.

Anonymous said...

Late today. top 20!

Anonymous said...

awww yeahhh. PDX, let the smug flow.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I understand that getting a vasectomy makes a vas deferens in your ability to impregnate a woman.

Anonymous said...

AYHSMV.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does anybody else get a stiffie every time I see that blonde on the "Just Kidding" boat?

TJ Eckleburg said...

Very nice, Mercx.

and Snobby, time for a manicure.

Bad Lawyer said...

That was a refreshing and robust post, Snob!

Fred said...

Ah, that shot of whiskey explains a lot. Specifically why Snob was scratching himself repeatedly during his slideshow while mumbling about Vito's body lice infestation, and why he repeatedly tried to sign the chests of everyone in the front row. His final outburst, in which he violently removed his pants and screamed Bon Jovi lyrics in a falsetto, was particularly unsettling.

I would have raised my hand to object, but I had to keep a bag of frozen peas pressed to my crotch in order to control the swelling from my fifth vasectomy (I get one for Pedalpalooza every year).

Steven Falkowski said...

All You Haters Suck My Cauterized Vasa Deferentia

vantucky velo snob said...

and now my birth place is known to all... but I proudly call Portland home now. BSNYC thanks for the visit and the funny observations of "normal" cycling...

grog said...

NICE HAT!
Very entertaining account of the Bike Snob Signature Theme Ride.
Welcome home.

Keith Hearn said...

Hey Snob,

In general, a person drinking a clear fluid from a Ball jar isn't drinking water. That's the traditional way to serve moonshine.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that cat poster means it's lost; I think it just means that the cat is AWESOME.

hillbilly said...

anyone want to save me the trouble of googling "corking"?

Never Knows Best said...

Hillbilly, 'corking' the act of placing one's self and one's bicycle in front of oncoming traffic at an intersection so that the group can continue to ooze through an intersection without having to stop.

Or whatever it is urban dictionary says it is, really. It seems to amount to the same thing.

Daddo said...

BRA, BRA, BRA

Anonymous Coward said...

Snob: simply go to a Bon Jovi concert

BAD MEDCN

CommieCanuck said...

His final outburst, in which he violently removed his pants and screamed Bon Jovi lyrics in a falsetto, was particularly unsettling.

What? Why? I do this every day in my office while reading this blog.

I'm a cowboy, on a crabon biek I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive

CommieCanuck said...

Dunno where corkign is, but Dorking is a town in Ontario.
check out this awesome travel guide.

hillbilly said...

thanks never knows, makes sense

yogisurf said...

Looks like everyone at the BRA's and associated rides were having a great time. Would have like to get the World's 2nd Greatest Madone in on that.

SUBCONSAILOR said...

Oh, that Ryan.
AYRSMB!

Brian Schultz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

i wore an oregon tuxedo to my portland vasectomy party. because if i'm gonna be impotent, i'm gonna look im'potant!

db said...

God, that video of the San Jose ride proves that Sartre was right: hell is other people.

sufferist said...

yo

Toxteth said...

Keith - No. It's water. Trust me. It's the water container of choice for many a Portlander. It's particulary fun to watch how convenient it is to drink from when they unscrew the ring, pull the flat sealed lid off then take a sip, put the flat sealed lid back on, then screw the ring back on.

bikesgonewild said...

...wow...talk about hidden agendas...

...one new little bikesnobulette & those "friendly" well meaning portland-ers are subtly trying to induce sharp knives & red-hot metal to be introduced to your 'chamois spot'...

..."we're not suggesting anything in particular by mentioning this ride, bsnyc/rtms but we're just sayin' a nice scrotal incision, a little cutting, sealing, tying, stitching, cauterizing (yep, burning), or clamping to prevent your snobsperm from proliferating might be a good thing"...

...hmmm...mellow bike friendly portland...that's a gift horse i'd be looking in the mouth...

Salty and Sore said...

BGW-

Your sunshiney salsa concoction arrived! It's (finally) a toasty 68!

We're all so happy to be blissed by you.

bikesgonewild said...

...glad to be (sorta) accommodating...2nd day of summer & it's 68 !!!...sheesh...

...just don't go down to the "rose city"...it could be a cold day in hell...

yofilly said...

I found the cat. Now what?

I can't believe they carry bell jars around like that. How dated, and quite frankly, how anti-green. Imagine the energy used to manufacture, ship, market, store, and finally sell that bell jar. All so you can have a drink, you West Coast Earth hater.

I, personally, just stick my face in a puddle and start lapping. Sometimes I use a straw.

sully said...

I was going to comment yesterday on how you must be conflicted about commenting on fixiedouches yet they make up some of your supporters.Just like any a-hole group once you get to know someone on an individual basis they can be cool.On the other hand any one that chooses conformity under the guise of individualism is truly a douchebag.I dont blame you for talking shit on these people.

Anonymous said...

BRA VO

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

There is a vas deferens between a testicle and bukkake

livingjetlag said...

I'm not from the west coast, so the woman with the bell jar looked like a Hunter S Thompson fan with a pint of raw ether. Because once you get on a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as it will go.

The hat, of course, is a medical student's mnemonic for the layers of his/her world, concentrically:

Atmosphere, y'all, hat, skull, meninges, brains.

Fred said...

CC said: What? Why? I do this every day in my office while reading this blog.

You live in a country with much stricter labor laws than the US. Here, only a VP or higher may remove their pants at the workplace. At this point, a high ranking official from a regulatory agency will have the pants dry-cleaned and returned with a mint in the pocket.

frilly said...

bgw--68 degrees? Nice. Its 99F here today with some ridiculous percent humidity. I'm curious to see how many people show up for the Tues night ride. And, yes, I'm wearing a sleeveless jersey--deal with it.

Snob was signing chests? Damn.

caolila said...

Snob, just in case you liked that whisky and want to pick up a bottle, it was a single malt scotch called Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. And I'm pretty sure you earned it...

bikesgonewild said...

...nicer than that here...

..68* is what salty n' sore in seattle is dealing w/...

...i do know bsnyc/rtms signed a stomach in sf & i even know who's stomach it was (no, not fucking likely, it was not me...gimme a break) but if that person couldn't kick the ass of most people in that hall, on a bike i mighta questioned the call...

...prob'ly his gf's idea so she could get close & personal to snob by proxy, that night...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

BGW, some guy claiming to be Bikesnob NYC once signed my nutsack with a sharpie in a Greyhound Bus Station in Pooghkeepsie, N.Y., but that's a story for another day.

Fred said...

Anon @6:57, if that happened in the restroom of the bus station, that was Larry Craig.

downtownpdx said...

The reason caolila was able to commandeer multiple assistants and multiple tables is 'cause he's just a super nice giver--like everyone is in portland--except when it comes time to giving voter signatures to ballot measure petitions invariably crafted by haters.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Caolila,

Thank you again for that! It really was delicious, and I think it did help considerably with my presentation at Powell's.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Caol Ila; mmmmm

Richard said...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=105291&id=118224558212564

Portland. Land of unnecessary clearances.

theshepherdsdog said...

great post; i've got to go visit this portland place.

Anonymous said...

frankly i'm too lazy to email you, plus i don't want you having my email at your disposal, but check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z1fSpZNXhU&feature=player_embedded

possible link for next friday's quiz no?

Anonymous said...

The one comment you forgot to mention from Portland was the fella begging swag from you that, as he turning away with a free patch kit and new moussette in hand said "Your book is perfect for people that have a bike in the garage and only ride on sunny days."

The Kid is not my son said...

When I went for my vasectomy, I was the only one of ten scheduled for that day who showed up. Scariest part was when the doc is injecting the novacaine hits the vas deferens and its like, no other way to put it, getting a needle in the balls. Me and the boyz survived, and my partner and I enjoy our hassle-free sex.

Anonymous said...

All hail, Bike Snob is back!

And those cunts up in San Jose can shove their critical mass bike rides up their fixed gear no brake riding asses!

Velouria said...

Surely you made that up, about the vasectomy ride!

Philip Williamson said...

Great book, and it was nice meeting you on the Portland ride.
Ironically, the BikeSnob Ride spoke card is my first ever.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that chosing to have less kids is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. I am thinking that the average Portlandian has become desensitised to the feeling of smugness by repeated over stimulation to the point that to feel smug once again on a group ride they must supplement the activity with some carbon emmission reducing surgery.

Of course, when you and your partner are deciding how many kids you want, you have to also factor in the high degree of smugness felt when hauling three kids and a dog around on an xtracycle.

My advise is to say repeatedly in the pre children years that you want to have eight kids, then make the life changing and commendable decision to have less kids, say two.

You could have three but I would suggest just borrowing a friends kid on occasion to kick it up a level for a particularly high profile social ride. That way you can spend the money that would have otherwise have been wasted on bringing up kid three on hand crafted cork, leather and stainless steel accessories and you will never have too many kids to undermine the practicality of family transport by bicycle.

ce

Anonymous said...

I have heard that choosing to have less kids is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. I am thinking that the average Portlandian has become desensitised to the feeling of smugness by repeated over stimulation to the point that to feel smug once again on a group ride they must supplement the activity with some carbon emission reducing surgery.

Of course, when you and your partner are deciding how many kids you want, you have to also factor in the high degree of smugness felt when hauling three kids and a dog around on an Xtracycle.

My advise is to say repeatedly in the pre children years that you want to have eight kids, then make the life changing and commendable decision to have less kids, say two.

You could have three but I would suggest just borrowing a friends kid on occasion to kick it up a level for a particularly high profile social ride. That way you can spend the money that would have otherwise have been wasted on bringing up kid three instead on hand crafted cork, leather and stainless steel bicycle accessories and you will never have too many kids to undermine the practicality of family transport by bicycle.

ce

Anonymous said...

oh, it seems anonymous commenters can't delete there comment with spelling mistakes, sorry

ce

joachim said...

the hat is for when you go "dental." enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I curate my locally-grown vasectomy with a daily bike ride. It keeps my steel frame--Ahem!-- from going soft. Steel frame--soft--get it?

Anonymous said...

I curate my locally-grown vasectomy with a daily bike ride. Sterile is the only way to go! You save on all that petro required to fabricate condoms. Plus, the ride keeps my steel frame from going soft from all the unreleased semen. Steel frame, soft, get it?

Anonymous said...

Portlands apparent lack of wonderful female "shirt yabbies" move it right to the bottom of places my bike and I will visit.

Serves you right Portland!!

Anonymous said...

外遇---偷來的時間、偷來的伴侶、偷來的愛情
或許新鮮刺激,或許瘋狂美好,但這一切,終究是偷來的…
外遇傷害了一個幸福的家庭
或許你會說:問題其實早已存在,外遇並不是傷害的唯一因素
但是內心深處其實你知道,這只是外遇的藉口!
建築在傷害別人之下所得到的愛情,終究難以幸福…

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ToddTheWetSprocket said...

I couldn't not even ride a bike for 6 months after Vasectomy, it was the worst mistake of my life, bar none.

shelley said...

It was really cool meeting you! And omg my picture is on bikesnob -- YESSSS. Was kind of bummed that you didn't mention the father's day cards my friend and I made you, though. DIDN'T YOU LIKE THEM, COME ON.

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fixie bikes said...

cool hat.