Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Taking a Beating: Literally Stiffed, Vertically Complaining

Further to yesterday's post about "ax bedazzlers," I was reading the New Yorker recently ("reading the New Yorker" is a euphemism for visiting the restroom) when I came across another article by my favorite cultural "ax bedazzler," the magazine's pop music critic and token "hipster" Sasha Frere-Jones. While I have nothing against pop music (apart from the fact that I hate much of it), I also believe that for the most part there is little place for pop music "criticism" beyond the letter grades ascribed to it by magazines like Entertainment Weekly--especially when the pop musician makes music like this. So I was particularly amused by this passage from Frere-Jones's "review:"

I think when a New Yorker writer is having "tween" listening parties and writing about them it's time to at least take stock of the current state of the magazine, if not actually call the authorities. At this rate, food critics will soon be crashing 9-year olds' birthday parties at McDonald's, writing about Happy Meals and critiquing the latest artery-hardening sandwich. (Moreover, Sasha Frere-Jones is now officially the Michael Jackson of music critics.) Meanwhile, we're already at the point where magazine editors are amazed by pencils and paper clips, designers are spraypainting axes and reselling them, and New Yorker writers are listening to music with "tween" focus groups and then parsing it for...who? Parents, so they can intellectualize their childrens' tastes? The parents themselves? Really, the music Frere-Jones writes about in this article could only appeal to either "tween" girls or the sorts of European pro cyclists who wear faux-hawks and body spray--neither of whom form the bulk of the New Yorker readership. (The New Yorker readership is in fact comprised mostly of bloviating douches, to which my own subscription attests.)

Of course, I'm just as deserving of castigation as anybody, and indeed I was taken to task in yesterday's comments by an angry Norwegian (or Norwegian sympathizer) who was rather nonplussed that I did not mention yesterday's stage winner and current green jersey wearer Thor Hushovd in my Universal Sports Tour de France blog. Rest assured that my omission was in no way intended as a slight to the great Thor Hushovd (inventor of the lighter-than-milk road racing bicycle), nor did I mean to snub the great nation of Norway (which, I confirmed with a quick visit to a popular user-edited online encyclopedia, actually exists). The simple truth is, it's rare that the third stage of the Tour de France has such an effect on the overall classification, and so I chose to focus on Alberto Condator's surprisingly good performance on the cobbles, rather than on Hushovd's impressive though (given his well-known abilities on the pavé) relatively unsurprising win. (Plus, reading my Universal blog for race results is like reading Mad magazine for political commentary.)

In any case, by way of apology, I'm pleased to offer this short video of Thor Hushovd attempting and failing to open a can containing a popular soft drink:



I'm surprised he didn't just tear it open with his teeth.

Shortly after drying my tears, I checked my "Twitter" (I live and die by which death metal album fixed-gear freestyle impresario and streetwear enthusiast Prolly is listening to) and read this:

(Use of simple letter-grading system makes him a better critic than Sasha Frere-Jones.)

Once again, I'd like to apologize, this time to Ryder Hesjedal as well as to his native Canada, a country which exists even more surely than Norway does. I hope those of you who are denizens ("denizens" is pretentious for "hosers") of the Great White North will accept this moving video tribute to "Great Canadians" as a token of my esteem:



Hesjedal is not in there yet, but I'm sure one day he will be.

Speaking of Tour de France riders formidable enough to bite the tops off of cans, one of the most formidable of all is Jens Voigt. Jens Voigt is the Shakespeare in the Park of the peloton in that it's basically de rigeur to get excited about him, even if you secretly don't care. This is because he's undoubtedly one of the selfless so-called "hard men of the peloton," and he's usually affable in the face of adversity. However, VeloNews has released this revealing video in which he complains (some might actually say whines) about the inclusion of cobbles in yesterday's stage:

While I can certainly sympathize and don't hold it against him (especially given his severe crash last season), this video will also leave many an adoring Cat 4 feeling disillusioned and betrayed. After all, Jens Voigt is supposed to say things like, "I love cobbles and pain, ja?," so that forumites will have new signatures for their postings about how Johan Bruyneel is the devil. So for Jens Voigt fans, hearing him complain about some pavé is surely like going to see Shakespeare in the Park only for the guy playing Hamlet to announce, "It's too damn hot for this shit, you can all go fuck yourselves."

Of course, the fixed-gear equivalent of getting really excited about Jens Voigt is getting really excited about some guy who decides to ride a fixed-gear in an inappropriate fashion, and naturally with the Tour de France in full swing the videos of these rides (all fixed-gear rides must be documented on video, it's in the "fixie" rule book) are increasingly Tour-themed. Here's one I noticed recently on the "Trackosaurusrex" blog:

mont ventoux fixed - the film from Free To Ride on Vimeo.

In summary, it's someone riding up Mont Ventoux for awhile while being filmed from a car, set against the plaintive warblings of somebody on Thorazine:


At roughly an hour and a half, this is certainly the longest fixed-gear ride anybody has ever successfully completed anywhere on Earth:


I'm totally psyched for the Tourmalet "edit" to "drop:"

Speaking of riding Tour stages on inappropriate bicycles, another "Tweet" alerted me to the following image of a rider devouring the Stage 3 cobbles on a recumbent:

I must say I'd have to disagree with the caption, since from a comfort perspective a recumbent is probably a pretty good bike for the cobbles. (While lying on that cushy rolling beach chair, the only pounding you'd feel would be caused by the convulsive sobs of your dignity.)

Hopefully Jens Voigt doesn't see the smile on this rider's face and get any ideas. Granted, a recumbent would be somewhat less suited to climbing Mont Ventoux, though with an electrical assist you can make up lots of time on the descent:



Now I know what Fabian Cancellara will be riding when he retires.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

suckers.......

Anonymous said...

i should very much like to be the first commenter. once.

Anonymous said...

wheres my #1 ... gimme gimme gimme

Bad Lawyer said...

Great post, today, Snob!

ringcycles said...

On it like Julian Dean!

Anonymous said...

Lost my train at the end, but still top 10!

Visegripmikey said...

Damn!

Overheated and Bonked

Anonymous said...

un autre bon classement

Charles said...

Top ten. Early finish today.

rainer said...

Top tenè

rainer said...

Top tenè

Anonymous said...

Second group. That effing Vino dropped me on the last km ...

brother yam said...

That music video sounded like the plaintive warbling of Kate Bush on Thorazine. I could not imagine sitting in a room of little girls listening to that album.

With or without Thorazine...

Andrey said...

Fine, top 20

Visegripmikey said...

Wait, so Cancellara going to be riding an electrified recumbent?

Anonymous said...

and they're off!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

thegock said...

AUTO BUS!

Anonymous said...

19th! yeah

Cyclorama said...

Laughed at the video of Jens Voigt - don't think sucking a can of coke is going to open it :/

Shu-Sin said...

20? CRASH HURTS

Stranded said...

The good thing about riding a recumbent is that you can read the New Yorker while pedaling and avoiding lawn furniture left in the road.

samh said...

I think an entire post needs to be devoted to the ever-growing length of "death metal album fixed-gear freestyle impresario and streetwear enthusiast" Prolly's name.

lokesh said...

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hillbilly said...

smashed

Marc said...

Dear Robyn,

The Flock of Seagulls called. They want their hairstyle back. While you are at it, send those shoes back to Men Without Hats.

Anonymous said...

Frist!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Snob
Your tour de france blog is my sole source for tour info. I especially liked this: "Fabian Cancellara- who rides like his bike is a lint roller and the pave is velvet." Great! much better than those 2 stuffy brits and that dancing on the pedals nonsense.

Oh and whats really wrong with getting political commentary from Mad magazine?

Anonymous said...

Robert (we Canadians call him Bob) L. Borden is my hommie.

Anonymous said...

what cycle computer is that guy using? The white one.

Brian said...

Cavendish!

Anonymous said...

what faunt is that fixedd clo de toormallet intro?

leroy said...

Strange how one person's art is another person's whinging.

Compare

"O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!"

With

"Hey, can I get a Fresca over here? I'm schvitzing."

Discuss.

grog said...

NICE RITE
COKE FAIL
FEMM BOTT
PMLA ANDN
2HOT 2RYD

Jefe said...

That guy is impressing nobody in Williamsburg. He had a front brake, and he probably cannot even track stand at intersections. I'd like to see him use his sneaker bottoms to slow on the descent like real hipsters.

Buffalo Bill said...

I dunno, I've been following your Universal blog and it seems like you're just mailing it in this week. Maybe there hasn't been much to mock in this years tour yet, but I thought your work on the Giro was more entertaining. Perhaps I'm expecting too much from a column about a race you watched on tv.

More snark!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Buffalo Bill,

I actually email it in.

--BSNYC

theshepherdsdog said...

snob, I definitely read your tour blog for nothing more then entertainment.

Three Toed Sloth said...

ALE JET

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone is jealous of a certain New Yorker writer. She got the job but what about me?

Joachim said...

ventoux-fixed-rapha guy is...pretentious.

CommieCanuck said...

I'll note that Mike Barry has not made the list of Great Canadians yet either, and while Pamela Anderson is on that list, most of her recent body parts were made in the USA. Frankly, I'm amazed that given the number of crashes this year, Barry hasn't broken something yet, as crashing seems to be his forte, "le maillot Gauze".

Thor Husvold is in that emerging category of rider in this year's TDF: the whiny bitches, which include Lance, Farrar and most of all, Andy Schleck, who wants to be a famous rider, but can't seem to make the time to stop his bike during and interview with American TV. He's obviously on his way to barf in the Saxobank motorhome, as he feels fatter after every stage.

The best part of the finish yesterday, the guy in the crowd with the hand painted "DIRK HOFFMAN MOTORHOMES" sign. Genius. He's boosted his international business in motor home sales without paying a penny to those TV advertising vampires. My next motor home, a Dirk Hoffman Motor home.

Anonymous said...

umm...Great Canadian John Candy? Still waiting....

Anonymous said...

that guy climbing mt. whatever on the fixie was shite. My general experience is that people who are crap at a certain sport performed in the traditional way try to put an esoteric twist on it, usually making it unnecessarily difficult and almost completely unrelated to the original sport (e.g. kite surfing, cyclo-cross), only so they can feel special. Glad there are blogs like this one of poke fun at such inanity.

CommieCanuck said...

umm...Great Canadian John Candy? Still waiting....

No Sir Ed Grimley Jr. either, for shame.

Anonymous said...

All You Heaters Suck My Balls

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob, not sure if you care but cycling blogger "cozy beehive" seems to be implicating you in a "clandestine alliance" to protect the doping habits of LA...

Fingerbang Assistant said...

"It's too damn hot for this shit,
you can all go fuck yourselves."

Um, is that like iambic pentameter? radness...

bikesgonewild said...

..."...would be caused by the convulsive sobs of your dignity."...

...whatever the accompanying statement, it matters not...this part of the quote has me pegged on a daily basis...

SUBCONSAILOR said...

All You Recumbents Feel My Cobbles!

CommieCanuck said...

Cozy beehive wrote:These two cycling blogs, who command a wealth of American readers, have revealed quite ostentatiously that they are friends of L.A. Their blogs, like Rick Reilly's unpopular ESPN columns, could potentially become a tool to brainwash people. At the other end, a single link from Armstrong on his Twitter account could divert millions of people to read the blogs.

Just because we all moved to Snobbie's commune in the Bronx and wear identical sneakers and jumpsuits does not mean we are brainwashed by the great leader. WTF.

Millions diverted, yet still only worth $127.

Tune into tomorrow's blog on how to fit foil on your helmet to keep WADA from reading your thoughts.

ringcycles said...

BSNYC; I am surprised that you didn't call out Sasha Frere-Jones for failing to credit the author of "fembot", that maven of pop culture and great Canadian, Mike Myers!

ant1 said...

CC - wada's developed a test for foil hats.

Hey nonny nonny said...

@Anon1:35 -- Actually, it's the ease with which SF-J apparently undergoes sex reassignment on a regular basis that's enviable.

Flip-flop hub, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Jumpsuits? Did I miss a meeting or something? Damn, I bet it was that sarcastic comment about LA that I left a few weeks ago. I was just trying to be funny. Really! I want my jumpsuit.

bikesgonewild said...

...always been a fan of thor 'smash' hushovd but his attitude & whining about the stage 2 finish just knocked a few points off his rating on my personal "esteem-o-meter"...

...the ensuing 'crowing' by he & his lutefisk loving followers over his stage 3 victory was a bit much...the only time fresh air crossed his brow yesterday was in the last 20 meters...

...@ ringcycles...i caught that...yep...good larf...

Karstan said...

"But still, I am not happy tonight. I remember when the Tour went up the Tourmalet Pass for the very first time in 1910 and the riders called the organizers, “Assassins!” Well tonight I call the race organizers the same thing. I revive it and I say it with all my passion. This was a wrong decision, simply wrong!" -Jens Voigt (apparently, really, really, REALLY old) http://www.bicycling.com/tour-de-france/tour-features/carnage-and-mayhem

bikesgonewild said...

...fingerbang assistant sez...

..."Um, is that like iambic pentameter?"...

...few people know this but when 'iambic' folded as a bike company, pinarello bought the rights to the pentameter & evolved the design into the quirky shaped 'pinarello dogma'...

...now, you don't read facts like that in v or c-news, do ya ???...

...just sayin'...

Tex said...

I used to read the New Yorker but the douchey bloviation finally got to me. Now I prefer the stolid nonplussitude of the Atlantic. Kind of like a Time Magazine for folks who stayed too long at college.

Anonymous said...

you really taking shots at an 80 year old on a lawn chair bike? i hope I'm pedaling around at that age.

Marc said...

Anon 12:44

The computer is a knog. Duh! They make the only fixie-compatable bike computer.

Onward through the fog...

Anonymous said...

That "Robyn" video ripped off George Pal.

Anonymous said...

So thats the view from a recumbent huh? I'll pass.

The Pineapple said...

Why would somebody ride a bike up a mountain with a backpack when there's a chase car right behind him the whole time that could be carrying whatever is in that pack?

bikesgonewild said...

...pineapple...

..'member when you were a kid & you used to play 'pretend' ???...

...that's essentially what's going on here...only now, big kids have friends w/ cameras & egos big enough to think "we" might be interested...

One of the voices in my head said...

The subhead beneath the title (below the photo) at the Universal TdF webular log has a typo:

Now that the clatter of carbon fribé racing bicycles

Didn't they get a copy of the BikeSnob style sheet before proofreading the posts?
That "crabon fribé" is a valuable catchphrase.

And this got Reiemed at the end seems to have an extra e in it.

You are a published author, dammit!
Your work should be respected!

Visegripmikey said...

No wait edit that - When Cancellara retires, you're suggesting he'll use an electric assisted tricycle recumbent...ouch...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:04pm,

I think with that, Lance Armstrong-themed conspiracy theories have officially jumped the shark.

--BSNYC

bikesgonewild said...

...word is the heat's so bad in nyc that leroy is riding around in nothing but a thong...

...a rapha thong...

Marc said...

The Pineapple,

The only time it is appropriate to ride a fixie without a bag is when doing BMX style tricks or playing bicycle polo. Am I the only one paying attention here!?

Fixie Climber has really ventured into a no-man's-land. Climbing on a fixie... backpack rather than a messenger bag... very bold. But seriously, how many gears was he going to use on that climb anyway?

Onward through the fog!

wishiwasmerckx said...

One of the voices in my head, you are complaining that a bad geographical pun was mispelled?

Metz the matter with you? Now get outta here Strasbourg I kick your ass.

Toilet Reader said...

Anon. 1:35, FYI, Sasha (aka Alexander Roger Wallace) Frere-Jones) is male.

Music criticism is a special category of writing which in most cases sucks. I don't know if RTMS would want that gig.
The paycheck, sure.
And it would probably suck a bit less.

Anonymous said...

@ringcycles
I admire your promotion of Canadians, but I think Mr. Myers was just making yet another pop culture reference.

fembot

ringcycles, I watched shows with fembots, I knew fembots from syndicated repeats, fembots were (imaginary) friends of mine.

You sir, are no fembot.

bikesgonewild said...

...a fembot, even on electrical overload is less dangerous than some of the chicks i've dated through the years...

red neckerson said...

aw fuck you look at the new yarker for the same reedon everybody else does. to look at them pointing headed intellectual cartoons

one good dump and you can gets thru the hole damm magazine

Internship gone bad? said...

...Still waiting for the "Walmart" review...

Kevin said...

Why is the dude on the beach chair recumbent wearing padded cycling shorts? Just wondering

Spicoli said...

people on 'ludes should not drive.

Anonymous said...

Craig Hummer is worse this year than last.

Anonymous said...

trying to find tour on web... went to velonews and then got whooshed over to something called competitor . the duffus on the left is simply the best. i think i have seen this guy somewhere like wrestling 'cept i've never watched wrestling. what a total wanker. if you need a laugh check it out

Anonymous said...

AND they have the gratuitous dimwit 'spokesmodel'. harhar. too funny.

Fabian said...

AYHFMTWDRAFUABH

"All You Haters Film Me The Whole Day Riding A Fixie Up A Boring Hill"

Vegas said...

Anon 5:17: thanks for the fembot correction, well put and with a link even!

And BS I'm having trouble deciding which vid you posted today is the worst one, it's making my head hurt.

frilly said...

Welcome to the other side, Snobbie!

leroy said...

Bike path grilled cheese recipe:

1. Between two pieces of Wonder bread, place one slice Kraft American single processed cheese product.

2. Lay bike on side in the sun, place sandwich on spokes.

3. Turn sandwich to grill on both sides.

4. Garnish with energy gel of choice and enjoy.

Note: leftovers can be used as picnic themed spoke cards.

Honestly, those folks who say it's too hot to ride don't know what they're missing.

Anonymous said...

茜茜知道他有了外遇
他變得春風滿面,嘴裡總是哼著歌曲
他開始變得有耐心聽她說話、會買禮物給她、甚至帶她出遊
茜茜知道這是因為他對外遇有愧疚
她沒有揭穿丈夫的外遇,甚至享受這樣的生活
茜茜偷偷的跟姐妹滔說:感謝老公的外遇帶來更美好的夫妻生活!

Anonymous said...

明知道他有婚姻,筱蝶還是陷進去了
他告訴筱蝶,不是不願意離婚
只是孩子還小,他不忍心孩子這麼小就面臨父母離婚的難題
他告訴筱蝶,他有多麼愛她
他多想馬上離婚光明正大和她在一起
他告訴筱蝶,她值得更好的人,但是他捨不得放手
只要給他兩年時間,他就會馬上離婚
多麼動聽的話,為了他的承諾,筱蝶甘心傻等
一心等對方離婚、一心想要成為他的太太
然而當兩年的時間過去了
男人還是沒有離婚
他淡淡的對筱蝶說:我配不上妳,所以我要放妳自由!

Anonymous said...

During the hour and a half ride up Mount Ventoux he crashed three times, broke two chains and had fifteen flats. The backpack was full of spares, and a bedazzled axe.

ce

Anonymous said...

I own a bedraggled axe.

Andy Pandy said...

Over paid rickshaw drivers.

Bout time they toughened up. Beats the hell out of watching the first two weeks being on freshly steam rolled pavement and the favorites sitting mid pack sucking down cans of flat coke as they did the last few years.
PS I cannot bunny hop a curb so I do actually admire some of them

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn29DvMITu4

YouTube's BSNYC soul brother.

CommieCanuck said...

Craig Hummer is worse this year than last.
That's because he's a generic TV sports commenter.
"I really love [insert sport] this time of year!"

Billy Reid said...

commie - I lost all respect for Hummer when I saw him doing commentary for cage fighting.

Eric said...

Jens when asked by a reporter if organizers should do away with race radios retorted "Sure,and while we're at it, why don't we remove helmets in all races too"

The man is class! If I have a son, he will be named Jens.

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fixie bikes said...

how can that be vertical.