Thursday, July 15, 2010

Parroting: Continual Conversations with the Road

With "Bike Month" having long since dropped back to the "autobus" of memory, it's been quite some time since a mainstream newspaper has published an article about "cycle chic." This is of course a matter of some concern, since consuming this sort of easily-excreted intellectual roughage is essential for maintaining mental regularity. Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal has come to the rescue with a great big bowl of "bike culture" bran flakes:

Interestingly, though, the headline refers to "biker chic" and not "cycle chic," presumably since Copenhagen Cycle Chic proprietor Mikael Colville-Andersen has trademarked the phrase:

As an introverted lurker and surreptitious photographer myself, I find it tremendously inspirational that Colville-Andersen has parlayed into a global movement the act of skulking around his hometown and taking pictures of women in short skirts for his blog. Indeed, thanks to Colville-Andersen's groundbreaking work in the field, it is now acceptable to slide on a dolly under the skirt of a "Beautiful Godzilla" like you're an auto mechanic examining the struts on a Monte Carlo, just as long as you invoke that alliterative phrase and take plenty of pictures.

Of course, the "cycle chic™" (or "biker chic" if you can't afford to pay Colville-Andersen a royalty) concept is especially important for Americans, who have an extremely difficult time shopping for activities and lifestyles that don't have catchy names. Whereas some cultures might find the concept of simply hopping astride a bicycle and riding it in regular clothing so simple as to not even warrant discussion (much less additional purchases or a newspaper article), here in America we need an attitude, a philosophy, a style--and, most importantly, a bunch of new stuff we can buy. For example, just riding your bike doesn't require buying anything (except for perhaps a bike), but "biker chic" allows you to buy a helmet that looks like a hat:

This is why it's essential for "cycle/biker/whatever chic" articles to treat competitive cycling and attire with a mixture of befuddlement and disdain, as though it has anything to do with everyday cycling in the first place. For some reason it's okay to write about, say, minivans without once mentioning Formula 1 or flame-retardant suits, but an article about everyday cycling has to include plenty of mentions of "handlebars curled low like a ram's horns," "seats so hard that people wore foam-padded bike shorts," and looking "like a refugee from the Tour de France." (I'm not sure what a "refugee from the Tour de France" looks like, and I can only guess that the author is referring to Raimondas Rumsas.)

I certainly don't mean to suggest there's anything wrong with reminding people that they can use bicycles without sacrificing their personal ideas of fashion. I also realize plenty of people do think you need to wear a full racing kit in order to get anywhere near a bicycle. Still, it is worth noting that, to some extent, the American interpretation of "chic" cycling is buying a whole bunch of stuff in order to ride a bike so that you can look like you don't ride a bike.

In any case, the standard-issue mainstream periodical "cycle chic" article is far more edifying than the standard-issue mainstream periodical "fixed-gear" article. Speaking of fixed-gear articles, I noticed the following comment on the New York Times "Midnight Keirin Club" article I mentioned in yesterday's post:

One of main lures of cycling is to have FUN. The races look like a BLAST.

George’s comment, “They could work within the system but choose not to do so.” reeks of what was frequently said to those who engaged in civil disobedience during the Civil Rights movement.

— warrior ant press


Yes, people who don't want to be hit by brakeless "hipsters" racing each other for $30 and the world's lamest "bragging rights" are exactly like the Klan, and racing your bike around a public park mere miles from a velodrome in a city that is adding new bike lanes for you almost daily despite vocal and powerful opposition is exactly like Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus because she was a black woman in the racially segregated south. Convincing yourself that your own form of inconsiderate recreation is an agent of social change may be the final frontier of self-importance, and between the "hipster culture" and the "bicycle culture" I'm sure it won't be long before the simple act of waking up in the morning and defecating while smoking your American Spirit is considered a revolutionary act. (Actually, I think it already is.)

Also, in the comments to my own post yesterday someone posted a link to a near-perfect example of an article that follows the fixed-gear journalistic template. Frankly, I thought the traditional fixed-gear article was now extinct, like marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is apparently very much alive in Calgary, where a healthy and robust specimen appeared just last month. You can read the complete article here, but I think it's even more enjoyable when you read only the quotes:

“It’s the bike stripped down to its bare bones,”

“There’s less going on, less moving parts, less to fix,”

“They’re unique and identifiable,”

“And not anyone can just hop on and ride off, so they’re less likely to get stolen.”

“It’s 50 per cent about style and 50 per cent about riding,”

“It’s also a throwback to extreme sports, not just using a bike for commuting.”

“You need to be physically fit, because you have to pedal the entire time.”

“You almost superman over the handlebars,”

“It is safe, some just choose to be unsafe.”

“feeling more connected.”

“It’s a continual conversation with the road,"

“It’s a Zen sort of thing.”

“You really have to be in touch with your speed and predict everything up ahead,”

“It’s way more involved.”

“Fixed gears have definitely been made out to be a trendy thing to try, like big sunglasses.”

This article contains more "greatest hits" than the Neil Diamond Collection (or his infamous "Storytellers" appearance). It's certainly been awhile since I've heard the old "fixed-gears are harder to steal" rationalization, which is of course based on the hubristic belief that only those with esoteric and Zen-like bicycle mastery are able to ride them, yet is totally at odds with the fact that they're stolen all the time. I was also fascinated by the claim that riding a fixed-gear is a "continual conversation with the road," as though bicycles with freewheels or multiple gear ratios somehow hover above the pavement. Perhaps there's something to this claim, though, for yesterday I noticed the following poster:

Subsequently, I checked out the video, and Jamil Kayin does indeed not only a track bike, but he also maintains a "continual conversation with the road" in rap form:



Far more fascinating though is his song "Bike" from 2008:



Not only does he ride a road bike in it:


But it turns out that he's also a road racer, and this is almost assuredly the first hip-hop video ever to include footage of the artist competing in what looks very much like the Grant's Tomb Criterium in New York City the Philadelphia Phlyer circuit race (thank you "Matt's Library" @12:34pm):

The potentially dangerous urban cycling advice contained in the video notwithstanding, I enjoyed this considerably, if only for the novelty factor of a road-racing rapper. Of course, we've seen road-racing rappers before in the form of the popular "Performance" video by MC SpandX, but that was parody. Plus, a reader recently forwarded me his newest song, in which he announces he's moved on to mountain biking:

I predict a randonneuring parody by 2020, which should give him plenty of time to compile a bunch of words that rhyme with "brevet" and plan a "collabo" with Velo Orange.

But what do you do if you're unable to hold a "continual conversation with the road," either because you don't own a fixed-gear or because you lack sufficient rapping "skillz" and "flow?" Well, I saw one rider yesterday who has found a creative solution to this problem:

As you can see, he has a loquacious conversation partner in the form of a macaw:

I'm sure someone in Portland will criticize the rider's bird-portaging technique and point out that the acceptable methods are either shouldering the bird cyclocross- (or, in this case pirate-) style, or else employing some sort of handlebar-mounted perch, which I'm sure you can buy from the same people who make that leather jar cage.

In any case, I'm not sure about the rider, but with his magnificent plumage that bird is certainly the height of "cycle chic."

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

first. good running into you yesterday snob.

mike said...

woo hoo!

Anonymous said...

SOUR MILK

Anonymous said...

podium?

P & S said...

I so wanted to say all you haters wanna wipe me yesterday but was beaten in the sprint

Anonymous said...

Dang Brah! Missed again.

Tapper said...

Headbutt!

mperrone said...

I didn't shut the door on ant1st! Seriously! The headbutt? I was just tired!


...what? Kicked out??

Fine, I'm going to race Roller Derby then.

Matt's Library said...

That is actually the Philadelphia Phlyer circuit race put on annually by Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania. Jamil won the 4/5 that year (2006/2007?) and is now a Cat 1.

cheva said...

RIDER Heshdal, fck hesjedal ?
Missed top ten by now anyway....

Norman said...

All You Parrots Nibble My Basket

cheva said...

woohoo!
10th - the new Canadian bronze

grog said...

Life Is Sweet

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hey is that short round from indiana jones all grown up in the first couple pics?

Em Aye Kay Aee Ee El said...

It's Mikael, dammit!
I'm gonna trademark "Bike Snob" too if you don't watch it.

David said...

RTMS, I suppose you've seen this already, but if not check out the "Bike Tab" video that "dropped" recently. Social networking at its finest.
http://vimeo.com/13151382

Cav Not said...

I'm more of a Giro refuge; I will only commute to work in my Acqua & Sapone zebra striped kit.

Eeek! said...

"Jamil Kayin does indeed not only a track bike, but he also maintains a..."

renshaw said...

HEADBUTT HEADBUTT HEADBUTT TO PODIUM

Cycle Sheik said...

The Velo-ORange link is broken and I need a decaleur for supporting my sustainably harvested reed basket.

Daddo said...

"This is why it's essential for "cycle/biker/whatever chic" articles to treat competitive cycling and attire with a mixture of befuddlement and disdain, as though it has anything to do with everyday cycling in the first place" True true true, but c'mon it's as hilarious to see a guy in full kit riding downtown onhis way to the office as it is to see him getting ready to "throw down" at the charity ride. 99% of days, I've done my spandex ride beofre my commute and commute on my 48 year old raleigh in jeans and a t-shirt. But even on days when I need to ride my "road whip" to work for an afternoon ride, I'm not gettig into the spandex until it's workout time

JTK said...

Loved the saltiness today, Snob. You get 'em.

Wiped your crotch said...

Loved the saltiness today, too.

PawnShop said...

Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue - beautiful plumage

Buffalo Bill said...

Cool, a cowtown reference from RTMS. And during stampede week to boot! We gots lots of messengers here but I see plenty of them riding bikes with gears. Calgary /= a hip town.

Oh well, at least we're close to the mountains.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Green Ale Jet said...

Fantastico!

frilly said...

Blech. Somebody @ work brought that WSJ article in for me to read. I know they meant well & only wanted to take an interest, but I could barely contain my contempt. 1) You can't clip in wearing 3" wedges. 2) StL is far too hilly to ride some 80 friggin' pound Dutch city bike to work, unless you are only going 3 blocks downtown.

I will say that I wear 'normal' clothes & shoes when I'm riding the steel beast around the neighborhood. And, shhhh, don't tell anybody but a couple of times last week when it was 100F, I didn't wear my helmet. I know, I know.

hillbilly said...

and i thought people were racin clean these days...

Test Tickle said...

"I also realize plenty of people do think you need to wear a full racing kit in order to get anywhere near a bicycle."

so true, so true.

bikepathletes can blow me.

balls.

Neil said...

Re: the fixed gear journalist-
Because it's colder up here in Canada, it takes longer for invasive species from south of the border to gain a foot-hold (e.g. killer bees, fixed gear journalists).
Also, to be fair to Holly, she didn't make all of those statements herself - she's simply curated a collection of clichés (now that's alliteration!).

Keith Hearn said...

Does anyone know what plug-in on eneeds to watch the Robin Moore video? It crashes my Firefox, and on Chrome I just get "Missing Plug-In" with no hint on what plug-in I need.

Anonymous said...

i stopped smoking about 6-7 yrs ago, but i was smoking american spirits when i quit and they were hands down the best cigarette eaily available. for anyone smoking out there, i highly recommend them.

i am under no illusion that this comment has any relevance to anything.

Anonymous said...

I saw a guy with a parrot and handlebar mounted perch just last week

Anonymous said...

When fixies make it to Yellowknife I'll be impressed.

Anonymous said...

Em Aye Kay Aee Ee El, when your little brother has figured out how to annoy you it's best not to let him know it. he'll be calling you "micky" next.

Anonymous said...

my commuting garb consists of a rolled up pant leg. Sans helmet of course. Those things are for frillies and they mess up my hair.

CXXIII said...

It is posts like this one that keep me reading your blog. Excellent work.

Mr. Grumpy said...

>Cycle Sheik said...

>I need a decaleur for
>supporting my sustainably
>harvested reed basket.

That's what the parrot's for man. Decaleur du Squawk.

202 said...

Alright, how hot was the chick on the bike in the WSJ article? JUST kidding peoples...

Anonymous said...

Calgary must be a trendy town ... the 'chucks' don't have brakes either. Maybe they're the next evolution of the e-bike since they have 4hp.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9ZHLAQzZ_4

ant1 said...

ant1st!

sherpa said...

You even worked a reference to Raimondas Rumšas in today. Hot damn, that takes me back.

Nogocyclist said...

Keith Hearn The plugin for the Robin Moore Video is quicktime. For some reason I was linked to a different video than the one mentioned. Get dirty was at this address Get Dirty

Anonymous said...

WIN

Ahab said...

I saw a guy with a parrot and handlebar mounted perch just last week

Yarrr, that be me, but ye can't recognize me behind me big sunglasses. Yarrr.

Anonymous said...

"That is actually the Philadelphia Phlyer circuit race put on annually by Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania. Jamil won the 4/5 that year (2006/2007?) and is now a Cat 1."

OMFG! Jamil's girlfriend has been put in charge of polishing up his online street cred.

Jesse said...

I moved from New Jersey to Calgary last year (a bit of a homecoming since I'm originally from Edmonton) and I have to say that I've noticed there are an increasing number of people riding fixed-gear bicycles. Unfortunately, they seem to be about as good at riding them as people in the NJ/NY area. I must confess that my current bicyle is a fixed-gear I converted from and old 12 speed, but it has brakes, fenders, and a rack so I guess it's not really the norm.

It always takes time for trends to filter up to Canada from the States so I'm not surprised that such a pure fixed-gear article was written here. Most of the fixies here aren't as "ornate" as the ones I've seen on the east coast, but give them some time. I'm sure there'll be alley-cats and fixed-gear freestyling here soon enough too.

Calgary is great for cycling because it has a lot of mixed use cycling/walking/jogging trails and a fair number of bicyle lanes. The city also operates a nice outdoor velodrome. That being said, many cyclists here are absolutely awful. Many ride on the sidewalks or against traffic and they often disregard traffic lights, stop signs, and just about every other rule of the road. I guess this just means that no matter where you go, there will always be be bad cyclists making life difficult.

Cool The Kid said...

Was that Calgary article a cut and paste job

It felt like a time warp to about 4 years ago in NYC

Anonymous said...

I feel like I should mention, as a Calgarian, that I've never actually heard of "The Calgary Journal" and am not sure if it's a real newspaper or whatever they're pretending to bet. Kind of cool to see my hometown mentioned here, though.

Anonymous said...

Those rapping cycling are in need of some Acqua & Sapone themselves.

I occasionally smoke while I defecate, but I try to keep it balanced by wearing arm warmers with a tank top when it's warm.

innerlighter said...

Left side of the screen shot of the MC SpandX video;
Frilly doing a cameo?

Frilly, could you re-post your road rash photo so we can straighten this out?

Um, I didn't mean it to sound like that.
:o)

Keith Hearn said...

Nogocyclist: Thanks!

Shouldn't Mark Renshaw have won the "most combative" award for stage 11? :)

yogisurf said...

Convincing yourself that your own form of inconsiderate recreation is an agent of social change may be the final frontier of self-importance.

Name said...

What increased considerably my admiration for Jamil was to know that he wakes up to classical music. Cycle chic indeed.

theshepherdsdog said...

what is going on; you are much needed snob

mojoaugogo said...

The helmetless-gearless-brakeless-brainless riders
are necessary for a good source of needed body parts.
What is important to remember is for them to sign their organ donor cards and to display these cards for the EMTs to direct the body to the proper organ harvesting
venue.
Non smokers will be given first consideration....

LaDeDa said...

90 degree heat plus 80% humidity plus normal clothes = giant sweaty wedgie.

If you're gonna try and pull it off at least wear dark clothes. Seriously. There's nothing chic about wet beige slacks that deep in crack.

I guess that's why they don't call it Wisconsin chic.

I am the very sedated engine said...

Breaking news for all you nu-Freds and nu-Bettys.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/columnists/ct-talk-0628-brotman-fixie-20100628,0,1109524.column

The age of the "Fixie Culture" is officially dead.

That's right you are now riding what suburban middle america moms are riding. That can not be cool.

Now what?

Cycling Sheik (I know its "shake" ) said...

Mr. Grumpy,

The decaleur is for the cold weather. And I hate cleaning the parrot droppings off the headset.
They can also ruin the finish.


Although I do like the idea, it's nicer than the dog fetching my newspaper. I still subscribe because it makes her feel useful.

Anonymous said...

WIPE ME??

Everybody's a critic said...

Jamil clearly rides a lot better than he can stay on pitch.

AUTO TUNE

Anonymous said...

Dude, really, the bicycle vase?
Along with cycle chic and no cycles.
I guess he is branching out to include anybody who buys expensive shit and walks.

Stupid Name said...

http://fourteenteeth.com/
the Readers digest version of Cycling Blogs.

Look all the same to me, even use the same videos stolen from the Snob.

Universal Format = Universal content

Fred said...

I guess it's only a matter of time before we see the top-tube mounted cuttlefish (TTMC).

Perhaps the uptick in demand for marine life skeletons will be a silver lining for the Gulf.

Anonymous said...

ladies and gents, i give you: TBAG

http://www.biketempe.org/

Anonymous said...

Just gotta say, fixies are in Yellowknife, the green one parked by Bullock's and there is another one I've seen around.

CommieCanuck said...

It always takes time for trends to filter up to Canada from the States so I'm not surprised that such a pure fixed-gear article was written here.

Jesse, people have been riding fixed gear bikes on roads in Toronto since the early 90s. They don't do it as much in other cities because few are as flat as Toronto. What's truly ridiculous is people riding fixies in hilly towns.

You're only hearing about it from Calgary recently because prior to 5 years ago, no one lived in Calgary.

Anonymous said...

mojoaugogo, over the past 20 years or so I've been a bike messenger, commuter and weekend warrior and rarely wear a helmet (unless sanctioned in a race or ride) and my brain, while cellularly depleted, is not damaged and I don't consider myself brainless. You might recall that only within recent history (I think after 1995 following fabio casartelli's unfortunate accident) did even the TdF start requiring riders to wear helmets. So for the rest of us who don't ride hairpin turns down the side of mountains at 40mph, a helmet is not really necessary. For children (or adults) just learning to ride, probably a good idea. Good sense, not being a total spaz and a solid grasp of road rules will have a much greater impact in reducing bike injuries than will wearing a helmet. If you opt to wear a helmet that is a personal choice, no matter how dorky you look I won't hold it against you. So I would request that you and others refrain from your the glib condescension against us who opt go without one.

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

@Anon 4:40 PM

By saying "no matter how dorky you look I won't hold it against you", you're engaging in "glib condescension" (towards cyclists that do wear helmets) yourself. That directly contradicts your plea for a refrain from "glib condescension" toward helmet-less riders. Doesn't it? It's like a motorist yelling at a cyclist for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, while rolling through a stop sign themselves. In other words, it's über douchey.

Tex said...

The last time I saw someone tempt fate like that, well, fate obliged. Yikes.

frilly said...

Mikeweb, that's not me. I have curly blonde hair. And I would never wear a trucker's cap. Pfft.

Jesse said...

@CommieCanuck

I agree on both points. Cycling in Toronto is very different than in Calgary. Although, I think the hills aren't too bad here depending on where you're riding. And yes, Calgary was a backwater until the most recent oil boom.

Perhaps I should have been more specific and said American trends take a while to reach Alberta. In my defense, I lived in New Jersey from 2003 to 2009 so my knowledge of the recent Canadian cycling scene is limited.

Jesse said...

@CommieCanuck

What's even more ridiculous is that I've seen more than a few store bought fixed-gear bicycles here that have had the brakes removed by the owner but not the freewheel on the other side of the flip-flop hub. A recipe for disaster if someone is enough of a jerk to flip the wheel while the bicycle is left unattended.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links to Jamil's music. Super fun!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha... "Convincing yourself that your own form of inconsiderate recreation is an agent of social change may be the final frontier of self-importance" Loved it! Besides funny, you're also a good writer. Thanks for continuing this blog!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:24 -- The proper description for BSNYC, based on his own self-evaluation a while back, is "a (sexually active) good writer." If he were a lesser writer, or less genuinely self-deprecating in all other contexts, this would be a sign of insufferable conceit, but it happens to be true -- so true! This makes it more than OK in my book. Crafting humorous writing that is both graceful and -- well, humorous -- calls for stupendous talent, and he's got it!

Now you have the pleasure of reading the last three years of this blog to find where he says this. You'll also find out what 'RTMS' means!

livingjetlag said...

Birds are best portaged in a very large hat.

Alarming Yellow Hat Secures My Bird!

If I still lived in Buffalo, NY, I would definitely consider a fixie, or at least a single speed, because there is a ton of salt/ sand on the roads practically year-round, and I'd save millions of dollars in bike parts annually.

I do like brakes, though. Being able to stop when I want to is a zen thing. I don't want to feel my face connected to the road.

Anonymous said...

How about having a continual conversation with the deraileur and aiming for a zen-like mastery of fixing all those moving parts.

ce

Anonymous said...

Not directed at you livingjetlag, you must have popped up while I was writing.

ce

Anonymous said...

Obviously, there is a time and place for all bikes - except for recumbents.

ce

Megulon Five said...

In Portland, riding with a bird is a little more
rustic.

Anonymous said...

The Renshaw vs Dean incident should have been assessed in the context of the age old (at least a whole 100 years) culture of sporting rivalry between Australia and New Zealand and the customs of Renshaw's homeland.

It is customary for representatives from these countries who meet in any competitive arena to begin exchanges with wild accusations of sheep molestation, elaborated upon until a dominant individual is established. If unresolved, as is common where strong headed professional athletes are involved, it is expected that the representatives engage in further formalities such as the display of head butting witnessed in the latest stage of the TDF. Australians and New Zealanders share the ANZAC spirit, something to do with a mutual contempt for England perhaps. This bond counters the rivalry and a healthy relationship is maintained.

In Australia cycling helmets are compulsory in response to wide spread acceptance of head butting for dispute resolution and I expect Renshaw misinterpreted the TDF compulsory helmet rule as a sign that the traditional behaviour expected of him in his home country would be accepted in the TDF.

ce

Julian Dean said...

That's the macaw what head-butted me while we were sprinting for a green light.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to seeing Robin Moore's musical interpretation on recumbent cycling.

Jace said...

Recently overheard conversation between three hipsters, call them Beta 1, 2 and 3:

Beta 1, locking his artfully crafted machine to the fence. His one time ten-speed features no less than three of the four brake pads installed, a tail like rear brake cable that doubles as a fender since it is no longer shackled to the brake and instead points assuredly over the rear wheel and handlebar tape that whimsically mimics a waterfall as it hangs from the drops: a new bike! I've never ridden one of these before. What makes it better than what I ride?

Beta 2 who is so cool he never sweats even on the hottest days despite riding a mile across the neighborhood in his trademark jeans and t-shirt: it's fast, he says between puffs on his cigarette, wanna race?

Meanwhile Beta 3 is pouring over the details of this finely-marketed fixed gear machine: ooh look! Straight fork blades!

At this point I went inside, dazed from the awesome power I had just witnessed.

leroy said...

How can the WSJ publish an article about biker chic without mentioning the Rapha cycling thong BGW touts so highly?

Anonymous said...

Another Calgarian, year-round commuter here. I confess my summer bike is a single-speed (not fixed though; I like to go down hills) and I enjoy it a lot. I liked the price and simplicity. But I am afraid I am considered extremely lame as I have brakes, wear a helmet, have lights, etc. and very boring "colorway" to boot.

My winter bike is a genuine "Cheap Mountain" variety as the salt/grit render the drivetrain annually disposable. Lots of the messengers here do ride fixed, but from my informal survey (using my eyes) I would say most use a freewheel.

For the record, though, Calgary has a relatively large base of year-round commuters: my building has underground bike parking and showers. The multi-use pathways are cleared quickly if it snows and we don't get that much precipitation (but it does get danged cold at times).

Anonymous said...

Dear Bike Snob,

I've read many of your articles but unfortunately still have some individuality left. How can I ensure never come under your scrutiny? I've made sure my bike has gears, lacks any personal flourishes, has some branding but not too much, wear a generic helmet, make sure I don't bike to a coffeeshopBikeraceCarryanythingusefulHavesomeflowersonitLockitcorrectly. I've also successfully avoided living in bike friendly communities, goodness forbid a biker lives in a city that promotes biking, what would we mock ? Just a few more steps to go and I'm sure I can meet your lifeless bike only for a purpose or for racing mind set. A few months ago after really enjoying a good ride I almost joined a bike group, but thankfully I stumbled onto your book and was successfully scared away from that. My wife was interested in riding but using your techniques I mocked her desire to look good while riding so she gave up and cried herself to sleep, mission accomplished buddy. Keep up the good work ! Soon we can be safe riding in soulless individual purposeful riding, looking exactly like whatever perfect image of biking you have mind. After some analysis seems to be a commuter from the 90s.

Salty and Sore said...

Anon 2:45-

Thank you for blowing my mind. This is going to take me a full minute to absorb!

I'd always thought that douchebaggery should be left to the experts, but you've shown me differently.

Douche on, brother.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 2:45, I think the best way to deal with Mr Snob's snobbery is to think of it like pain.

Pain can be cruel and sometimes undeserving people will stumble into its path. However, pain seems to be a necessary evil, waiting in the background to strike when something might be going a little bit wrong, it sounds the alarm and helps avoid catastrophe.

All I could suggest would be to take heart in the old truism that if you are in pain you know you are still alive and there is still hope. Some of those poor hipsters are so far gone that they can't feel the pain anymore.

ce

Anonymous said...

Seriously though, in a world where we are constantly bombarded with advertising in one form or another from every direction, all aimed in essence at manipulating our lifestyles and choices for someone else's gain, it is refreshing to read thoughtful opinions put forward without much to gain from convincing anyone. Sure, Mr Snob is milking his success a little now, is worth at least $124, has a free bike to ride, is getting a name out there for other job opportunities and is advertising his book in the process but none of that relies on you buying into anything that he is offering an opinion about, only that his opinions are interesting enough to read. And entertaining, it's all a bit of fun. I imagine most of the readers out there are fashion conscious hipsters, aspiring racers, proud environmentalists and eccentrics who are interested in laughing at their own quirks. I know I fit into at least two of those categories.

ce

Anonymous said...

"...laughing at their own quirks or the hype that they have been sucked into."

ce

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:45am,

Well done. Now just stop taking any of this seriously and you should be in good shape.

--BSNYC/RTMS

Shaun said...

@ Anon 2:45 AM

You seriously need to lighten-up a bit. It never ceases to amaze me that some people take themselves so seriously that they actually take offense to writings such as BSNYC. Unbelievable! I fit into one of the categories that BSNYC takes the occasional shot at (I won't say which, although I WOULD like to clarify by saying it's not bearded recumbent riders) and I find it completely hilarious. The same is probably true for most everyone that reads the blog. For the love of Lob!

Bearded Rivendell Owner w/Helmet Mirror said...

Why would anyone read this blog if they didn't want to be in on the fun by being made fun of along with everyone else? That would be rather pointless, and hopelessly humorless. Yikes!

ant1 said...

the green jersey is won in the intermediate sprints.

ant1 said...

ant100st!

Anonymous said...

Bike Snob! You made a little girl cry! How dare you!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:45--
Dude,take the stick out of your ass and sniff it. Then look in the mirror at a man (or married lesbian?) holding a poopy stick to his/her nose. You'll get a good laugh at yourself, which we all need from time to time. Thanks, Snob, for helping me laugh at myself. (No, I don't ride a recumbent, though I want one like the one in the energy drink commercial during TDF on Versus, the one that looks like a UFO. I'm collecting my beard hairs to make the shell. Couple more bushels ought to do it.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 4:40--
The good thing about morons like you not wearing helmets is that it lessens your chances of living long enough to reproduce (or reproduce again, if you already have). So keep going helmetless--you're doing your part to improve the species by increasing the odds of removing your stupid DNA from the gene pool.

Stranded said...

Speaking of composting toilets–-is there any way to keep what goes in a toilet from eventually composting itself? As for fixies being harder to steal-–balderdash! It’s just that all but the dumbest crooks are too smart to want the things, he said, feeling smugtastic about the originality of his observationways. About the new non-fixie single-speeds that look old-fashioned, I have to admit I want one. The only thing that stops me from buying one is the thought of pushing it up the many hills I have to ride. As for cycle-sheek--take a look at my blog and you'll see what all the hippest cyclist are wearing (yes, I'm very ashamed of shamelessly promoting myself this way.)

Anonymous said...

Immediately came across this - http://www.blog.designsquish.com/index.php?/site/bike_fashion_cycle_chic/
after reading your post today. Copyright laws people!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:05PM, too late, I already took a few laps in your wife's gene pool.

Anonymous said...

shaun, I was being sarcastic. get it, asking someone not to be condescending while being condescending myself? oh, never mind.

Anonymous said...

Great Post.

Anonymous said...

From Anon 2:45

It was in jest (...tough crowd) - obviously I'm reading The Snob's musings on a regular basis. I do like the stick idea though, thanks for the tip. Do I have to buy a new stick or will just removing my seat and using the seat tube suffice ?

JK

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