Monday, July 19, 2010

What Happens When You Consume: Asses For You and Me

This past weekend was full of Tour de France-tastic action, or at least it was in France. Here in New York City the action was both awkward and three-fold, in that it came in the form of a "triathlon"--specifically the Nautica New York City Triathlon. While this year's event seems to have been more successful than it was in 2008 when the competitors were attacked by stinging jellyfish, it was not without its problems, and something like a dozen (that's pretentious for 12) competitors suffered "heat stroke" as well as "exhaustion:"

(Isn't "exhaustion" the point?)

Fortunately, everybody is okay, but I can't help blaming the organizers for not moving the swimming part to the end of the event when it would be considerably more refreshing. Sure, sending thousands of tired and heat-addled people into the Hudson River after running and riding might be tantamount to mass murder, and those who survived would probably not be in optimum condition to defend themselves against the inevitable jellyfish attacks, but the fact remains that there's nothing quite like the restorative properties of a cool dip in the ol' swimming hole. (Or, in this case, the ol' fetid PCB trap.) Just ask Radio Shack team physiologist Allen Lim, who makes his riders swallow expensive tiny thermometers instead of just asking them, "Are you hot?" Anyway, if the organizers are really that worried about it, they can just hand out water wings in the transition areas.

Meanwhile, Saturday's Tour de France stage was won by the always-dynamic Alexandre Vinokourov, seen here in his famously mindbending Alexandre Vinokourov jersey:

Vinokourov is arguably the most exciting rider in this year's Tour, and his exploits on Stage 13 earned him the red number of the most aggressive rider. Not only that, but word has it that Vino also presented himself with yet another Alexandre Vinokourov jersey in an elaborate podium ceremony at the team hotel. This means that, as of today, he has spent an unprecedented 348 days in the coveted "Maillot Moi" for most solipsistic rider.

Speaking of the Tour de France, one of the main problems with it is that most of the products the competitors use are also available to the public--including of course the bicycles. This means that even the sorts of people who are felled by heatstroke on 25-mile rides can equip themselves just like the pros, leaving them with few tangible reminders that they are not like the pros at all. (Unfortunately, my "You Suck" power meter designed for this purpose has proven to be a poor seller, as have my "YouSuckStrong" rubber bracelets.) Indeed, the only thing that reminds some people of their limitations is the wall they hit (physically, mentally, or just plain literally) when they attempt to exceed their own abilities.

Moreover, some people aren't content to simply use what the pros use; they need to use stuff that's better than what the pros use. Unfettered by UCI weight restrictions, budgetary concerns, or common sense, they are free to build the grotesque crotch candy of their dreams. Not too long ago I wrote about one such bicycle that I saw on PezCycling News, and so I was intrigued when I noticed that the same reviewer has now gotten himself a custom Cyfac:

The "a" in Cyfac is for "artisanal," so you know it's good--so good, in fact, that you can actually have them put "your personal pallet on board." This is terrific news for the drowsy or anybody suffering from narcolepsy, for you can finally own a bicycle with a top tube-mounted hobo bed:

I understand Cyfac will also offer crabon fribé bindles in 2011.

I admit I had a difficult time reading the review, since it focused heavily on topics that have little to do with cycling, such as color choices, "puckered" tubing, and the frighteningly intimate fitting process complete with lurid arrows:

I will spare you a discourse on bike fitting, but I will point out that the penis is not a contact point--unless of course you're having sex with the bicycle instead of riding it, which as I read the review I was beginning to suspect might be the case here. This was reaffirmed to me when I learned that the reviewer "had to hand rub the levers a little:"

Yes, when you finally get those brand new SRAM Red levers, simply rub them until the finish matches your Cyfac or you experience the less-touted SRAM design feature known as "hands-free release," whichever comes first.

Meanwhile, perhaps as a reaction to this sort of high-end cockpit component fondling, some riders are dispensing with much of the cockpit altogether. Consider this bicycle, which was spotted in Philadelphia by a reader and which features no handlebars and a stem wrapped in bar tape:

At least he's "running" a brake, though what this really needs is something that deters you from attempting to ride it in the first place, such as a sharp spike on one of the "contact points." (Though this might actually encourage some Cyfac owners.)

Meanwhile, another reader spotted this unique brake lever placement:

This lever seems as though it would be very difficult to use, unless it's meant to be actuated by the forearm when riding in the drops. Equally unique is the placement of the "hipster cyst:"

Since it is clearly not oriented to illuminate the bicycle from either the front or rear, I can only assume it serves as a spotlight for the forearm-actuated brake lever:

Clearly, there are plenty of mind-blowing bicycles out there, and if some of them are set up less-than-ideally, it could be because their owners are not listening to their "burros." Consider this Craigslist posting, forwarded by yet another reader:




In particular, note the following paragraph:

For those of you who live in Brooklyn and are between the ages of 20-35 remember that it is required by your burro that you own and ride a old bike. I will include the bike lock pictured on the ground in the first shot. Also I would be happy to ride the bike over to your place to drop it off if you live near a subway stop that will get me home. If you'd like to see it in person or give it a test ride please email me so we can set something up. Any questions? let me know.

I can only infer from this that it is now de rigeur in New York City to own a donkey, mule, or similar pack animal and to consult him for style advice. This makes perfect sense in the age of the designer axe, and it would not surprise me if donkeys were to become the new fixed-gears. Not only do the custom saddlery options far exceed what is possible with a Brooks, but donkeys also look great tethered in front of the local faux dive bar:

Before long, all the bars in Williamsburg will have hitching posts, and instead of arguing about the necessity of lockrings the hot topic of discussion will be whether donkeys need horseshoes.

As for the particular donkey pictured above, he looks rather nonplussed--though that could simply be because the bicycle he's looking at is not old enough.

111 comments:

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

feeling fast today.

Anonymous said...

Podium!

Anonymous said...

top 5?

mikeweb said...

don't step on my Burro.

Andrey said...

Top 5

Andrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
samh said...

I'll just step in for the hell of it.

Brian said...

Hey Snobby, did you see how "[f]ailed breakaway specialist Thomas Voeckler," who is, apparently "the human manifestation of dashed hopes and thwarted dreams, and especially when clad in the French Tricolore (for the past 25 years the official "colorway" of unsuccessful Tour de France attempts)" fared today?

Drew said...

Quality stuff again.

A thought, I'm reading the book just now, wondering if there is a possible documentary or something in there somewhere?

cheva said...

canadian bronze!!

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Scott Denham said...

Snob,
Today is the day. Hard day in the mountains losing chains and having fingerbangers take advantage, burros all over the place taking up the good parking spots, not enough wine bars to help avoid exhaustion. Here's the solution:
http://picasaweb.google.com/scdenhampix/Bikes?feat=directlink

Jefe said...

Asses, ha, funny.

CommieCanuck said...

SRAM Red™: the official Levers of Schleck losing the Yellow jersey due to crap shifting™.







oh, spoiler alert.

ringcycles said...

Don't you have to pay your masseuse extra for a "hand rubbed flat finish"?

Cool The Kid said...

Burro!!!! Classic!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dirk Hofman Mobile Homes !

Astroluc said...

Epic Burr(it)o

hillbilly said...

burro-tastic!!

PawnShop said...

Hands-free full release?

If not, I'm uninterested in SRAM Red shifting - I'll just do it myself.

FOFF NOFF

Disgruntl Ed. said...

I can't ride my burro because my burro won't let me. I can't ride a nice bike because my burro says I have to ride an old crappy one.

I would kick some ass but PETA won't let me.

Fred said...

Oh great, now my favorite weekend getaway will be over-run with hipsters.

Jefe said...

I know Alberto is a great rider, and I'm doing my darndest to like him, but his sense of etiquette is somewhere below Neanderthal. It was understandable that he blew off his team last year, and maybe he really needed to steal Vino's stage the other day, but one of the things I liked about the Tour was that the leaders did not take advantage of mechanical problems to win. The Tour is now both drug-free and manners-free. (The same can be said for Menchov and Sanchez, but Contador has pushed the envelope a bit more).

Anonymous said...

I'd buy a baker's dozen of YouSuckStrong bracelets. Please make them in red so they match my team kit.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Retarded Comment Generator said...

I'm sure this has been suggested before, but what about a sphincter-activated brake lever? Makes perfect sense.

ant1 said...

Brian 12:13 - he only won because he took advantage of schleck's mechanical.

leroy said...

Who doesn't covet a good Maillot Moi?

We are talking about a chocolate covered marshmallow on a graham cracker, right?

Anonymous said...

The "no handlebar" bike was so sad. I picture it with a cardboard sign saying "Vietnam Vet" in front of a hat with three quarters and a cigarette in it.

Anonymous said...

ant1 - Nah, Voeckler was in the breakaway that went early. Mechanicals had nothing to do with it. He won by digging deep into his suitcase of courage, turning himself inside out, and staying away from the front end of the main field.

Can I name my donkey "Hodie?"

Paul Bowen said...

the grotesque crotch candy of their dreams = win

Loving your work on Universal too Snobbers.

Marc said...

HeeHaw!
From the road... But still in the pack.

mikeweb said...

jefe, I have to side with Berto on this one. It was the decisive moment of the stage, he was with 2 other GC contenders who weren't waiting either. AC was just keeping pace with Menchov and the others, he wasn't attacking. I guess it makes up for Saxo attacking back on the cobbles when AC got stuck behind a crash in week 1.

Besides that, Andy only has himself to blame: shifting between chainrings when you're grinding out a cadence of 20-30 out of the saddle? Everyone knows that's the easy way to drop your chain. Shit, it happened to me about 3 times on my 64 mile hilly ride yesterday, and I'm sure Andy was putting a lot more watts into the cranks than I was.

It won't matter in the end though, because the way he TTs, Andy would've needed a 2 minute cushion over berto anyway going into stage 19, and there's no way berto would let that happen.

My guess? The next HC climb they hit, AC will drop the hammer and see who can go just to get the complainers to shut up. Or not.

I am the very angry engine said...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/columnists/ct-talk-new-brotman-bike-20100719,0,127.column

Sometimes I read something and think that bicyclists, "cycling advocacy groups and pro-bicyclist columnist, are wooses.

"For the Active Transportation Alliance, it is a positive one. The group is satisfied that prosecutors pursued the case aggressively, said spokeswoman Margo O'Hara, and the incident highlighted the issue of traffic violence."

"It's good that it gets us talking," she said — and that these victims are still around for the conversation."

Guy gets hit by dopes who thinking hit and run is like a video game.
Judge gives "stern serious" probation.

Where is the indignation, the retaliatory violence, the death threats to a useless Judge, where is the slapdown with the U-lock?

Instead we are "having a conversation".

Where is the retaliatory civil action?

Fuck advocacy groups. Useless.

3G said...

DNKY PNCH

Thomas Voeckler (clad in French Tricolore) said...

AYHSMB

Anonymous said...

perhaps mr. donkey is nonplussed (minused?) because the bike he is forced to stare at is missing it's top tube?

ervgopwr said...

BURO RIDE

Anonymous said...

charles manhattan? maneater loves writing about his ridiculously expensive bikes with motogp paint jobs and always writes as if the pricepoint is in the reader's range. this guy must have a personal bike museum going on by now and I know he's tubby and slow.

paul said...

Once again, NYC is playing catch up with PDX. You may not be surprised to learn that many of Portland's streets already have rings attached to the curb to accommodate burro parking:

http://www.horseproject.net/

http://www.thebeenews.com/news/story.php?story_id=115713424418510600

Anonymous said...

HAND RUBN

CommieCanuck said...

Well, at least Contador did SOMETHING today, Sunday's battle of the wheel suckers was tedious.

Fuck manners, this is France. If Shleck can't muster up enough strength to shift up a chainring then he deserved to get dropped.

This whole "Duchess of Queensbury" rules in cycling is boring. Bring back the team Cinzano pump-in-the-front wheels.

ant1 said...

anon 1:45 - i know, i was just making a (bad) joke.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't comment on the photos within that Cyfac review.

The only way to make a bike photo more pretentious is to put it in front of mountains and make a terrible tone-mapped HDR.

Pistolero said...

SRAM BLAM

yogisurf said...

I think we know what is underneath a man's bike shorts w/out the green arrow. I now understand the little freak bike 'Bike Friday'. Makes sense, appears to be a good design.

frilly said...

Well said mikeweb.

This isn't the Sunday morning no-drop ride. Maybe now he will remember the cobbles stage. Oops. Ahhh, paybacks--should be a great week of racing.

Sigurd said...

It would have been very gentlemanly of Alberto to let Schleck catch up. But I believe ol' Yello Money kicked gentlemanly behaviour out into the roadside gravel and spat on it, oh these many years ago when he repaid Ullrich with nothing but "The Look" and a speedy getaway, after Jan had held up while Dunce had a little mishap earlier. Dude won seven times, proving that nice guys finish last.

Jefe said...

CC, that was a movie. And the cobbles? Who dropped a leader in Stage 3 over a mechanical? I must be watching a different show. Besides it's not just one bad act. Even at the finish today Contador was shoving folks out of the way when it did not even matter.

Anonymous said...

Top hundy!

Salty and Sore said...

@Snobbie, Anon 1:32 and 3G-

[golf claps...]

Nicely done, all. Nicely done.

I'm envisioning handfuls of free release.

Anonymous said...

@ant1 2:45 -- Indeed you were! So I made an _even worse_ one.

I thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

encephalopath said...

All this talk of cockpits, I'm surprised you didn't go straight for "monocoque" to describe the tape wrapped stem.

Rick Donkey said...

Chuck Manantan probably crapped his bibs when he saw the brown skinned, non-plussed/ultra-xtreme endurance athlete getting a bike fitting. He is too accustomed to North Scottsdale AZ where it is unlawful to own a bicycle unless it is stored on top of a Porsche Panamera Turbo.

paul said...

The NYT article on today's stage said:

"Alexander Vinokourov, Contador’s teammate on the Astana team, motored by as Schleck looked down at his chain."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/sports/cycling/20cycling.html?_r=1&ref=sports

Apparently Vino is using Cancellara's bike?

wishiwasmerckx said...

If you want to devote your entire existence to winning the TdF, train for 1,000 hours, live like a monk, then lose the tour in a big ol' bucket of fail, then may I heartily recommend you equip yourself with a Specialized frame and Sram componentry.

daddo said...

his TDF viewing for the night ruined, he resolved to actually speak with his family...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Does anybody knowledgable have a theory of what went wrong with Schleck's bike? So far as I could tell from the replay, he was already in the little chainring up front, and it did not appear that he (mis)shifted at the time the chain came off.

It looked to be a spontaneous jam-up.

wishiwasmerckx said...

As for etiquitte, I think Paul got it right, and Phil got it wrong.

It was Contador who attacked. He was not responding to the third or fourth placed riders...those two came around Schleck and joined Contador.

If those two had gone it was up to Contador to admonish them and try to get them to wait. If that effort failed, and then Alberto followed them, maybe it would be a different story.

Anonymous said...

mikeweb, dumb question, but if everyone knows then how come it happened to you three times in one ride? and yes I'm sure the professional rider was putting out slightly more watts in than you. although you sound quite impressive with your mastery of the jargon, intimate first name basis with the riders and your hilly 64 miler.

Anonymous said...

Get out of my dreams and into my car.

Jefe said...

@wishiwasmerckx and anonymous 4:02,
Thanks for pulling me up that hill.

frilly said...

He's just pissy cuz he didn't have Spartacus there to neutralize the race for him. Speaking of, Vino is proving to be a good teammate. Well, you know once they got past that little incident at the finish of stage 3. Which is more than can be said for LA, who says he'll keep working for Levi. Seriously? I read he did a little better today.

bikesgonewild said...

...low class little spanish cocksucker...oh, sorry...i meant wheelsucker...

...sanchez & menchov went w/ him, yes but he initiated taking advantage of his lone rival when he stood up & attacked as soon as he realized schleck had a mechanical...

...& sigurd...i seem to recall jan ullrich misreading a corner, going off the road & down an embankment...who was it who actually stopped by the roadside & waited for him ???...

...i like that schleck was cheered when he donned the white jersey yet cuntador was receiving jeers & whistles (euro-boo's) when he smugly draped hisself in yellow...

...after listening to frankie a's post race interview w/ the prick, i've changed my mind...nothing but bullshit & subterfuge out of his mouth...he is a low class little spanish cocksucker...

bikesgonewild said...

...thomas voeckler however, was a highlight on the day as once again a frenchman rode into the hearts of the sporting french fans (& all of us, really)...

...props & glad you didn't lose it on that descent...that stone building looked hard & rough...

Jen said...

Speaking of typos, I think that's spelled "douches of Queensboro," CC. (Though is it really such a sin to sing "Life, I love you, all is groovy..."?)

Unless, of course, you meant the Marquis of Queensberry rules, which would have probably been more useful Stage 11, or maybe if you wanted your son to break up with Oscar Wilde.

CABE ZAZO

bikesgonewild said...

...hey, look...i'm learning spanish...

..."cuntador es una puta comadreja"...

...si, si...

Anonymous said...

I want one of those new Vinokourov wrist bands. It is pale in color, and says, "I doped, I dope, you are dopes."

Anonymous said...

I want one of those new Vinokourov wrist bands. It is pale in color, and says, "I doped, I dope, you are dopes."

ant1 said...

anon 3:37 - ah, yes, i see now. do two wrongs make a right?

mikeweb said...

@ anon 4:12, wiwm, bgw, et. al.

What can I say, I like Contador and I like Schleck also. It's a race. I guess I'm still in a foul mood from the Manhattan triathalon detouring my ride about 6 f-ing times yesterday morning. You know triathalons, right? Those things where everyone gets a medal, like all the kids do at field day in 2nd grade?

I guess the whole "waiting up" debate reminded me too much of that same spirit of bland non-competiveness.

And yes, chain dropped 3 times yesterday, but I don't ride a carbon bike with a 'beefy' bottom bracket for the chain to get stuck in, so I just get rolling and shifting until the chain landed where I wanted it.

If I was carrying a screw driver I suppose I just would've just gone to work on the limit screws. Of course when I got home I still didn't, cuz I'm lazy like that.

ant1 said...

i'm with you mikeweb. i like them both, and am overjoyed that they're racing one on one for the yellow jersey this year.

saying that contador is classless assumes that he knew exactly what was going on and that the only reason he didn't stop was to screw andy over. i, for one, haven't seen enough evidence to come to that conclusion. andy's post-stage comments about culture sounded a little culturist to me, if you catch my drift, but again, i give him the benefit of the doubt, he just finished a grueling stage in which he had to race his ass off to limit losses. he was pissed, at others and maybe at himself/mechanic. i think people are making a two sided mountain out of a multi-faceted molehill. samuel and denis were also part of the alleged "attack on andy" and there's no hate flying their way. i think people are just using this complex incident to confirm/extend their dislike of contador. and who knows, maybe he is a complete dick.

Anonymous said...

You know the swimming part comes first, right?

Anonymous said...

i love this blog. but can someone explain to the uninitiated why Thomas Voeckler is a "failed breakaway specialist"?

PawnShop said...

ant1:
No, but three rights make a left.

TRY THVL

Anonymous said...

http://www.guidehorse.com/

I can't wait until miniature ponies become hip!

Niall said...

Dear Snob,

Today's homophone-fueled digressions were amusing, but things cannot be "equally unique." Something can be "unique as well," but it's either unique or not. What's sauce for the goose, and all...

bikesgonewild said...

...andy schleck sez "whether it was fair or not, it's not up to me to say but i would not have attacked like that"...

...i believe him but you'd assume that from me, right ???...

...now read & listen to what cuntador had to say...then watch the tape...he contra-dicks himself at every turn of phrase, turn of the road & turn of the pedals...bullshit artist...

...he's not riding 'confident', he's riding 'insecure'...has been since he realized how serious schleck was...

James said...

I have seen that sans-handlebar bike in action around Philly.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know the New York City Triathlon was a draft legal event.

Anonymous said...

You need to get into the whole
neoprene/sillycone-balance-RipTorn-hologram-wristband-that-also-doubles-as-a-cockring-and-Knog-light-fastener business, Snob.
I'm sure it would sell by the boatload. I can already hear the Shekels tinkling.

ringcycles said...

@mikeweb: I don't understand why anyone would ruin a time trial by requiring racers to swim to their bikes, and afterward run for the cool down either.

@anon 6:15 Voekler is a so called "failed break away artist" because, like Jacky Durand before him, he tries often and wins once or twice a year. Atleast Jacky looked like he enjoyed the attempt. I do admire Voeklers ride today. Chapeau to him

Regarding AC vs. AS, if the common opinion is correct, Andy needs 2+ minutes lead coming out of the hills to win the overall. Today changed little except to give Andy extra fire to light it up on Tourmalet. I believe that Eddy and Indurain would have soft pedaled in todays situation, Hinault and Lance would have attacked harder. Any of those guys would already be leading the tour by 5 minutes at their prime.

Soon to be heard in Williamsburg, "does this ass make my ass look big?"

Anonymous said...

Snob! Juliet Macur wrote a wonderful piece on your boyfriend's publicity machine:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/sports/cycling/18armstrong.html?ref=juliet_macur

She forgot to mention you!! Boo-hoo.

Hope you're getting paid for all your hard work.

leroy said...

Oh wait, it's Maillot Moi, not mallomar. Golly is my face red.

Michael Scales said...

"YOU WILL STRIVE TO PUSH THESE WHEELS TO THERE LIMIT BUT YOU WILL NOT FIND THAT LIMIT."

http://cgi.ebay.com/VELOCITY-DEEP-V-TEAK-WHEEL-SET-PROFILE-FIXED-GEAR-HUBS-/380175689344?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item58843ca680#ht_500wt_928

Anonymous said...

snob,
you do realize that burro is like a mega burrito right?

Salty and Sore said...

@BGW and Ringcyles-

thank you!!

Schleck sounded like a wuss-bag douche with his comments about the Pave'. Contador is just a bad liar, which ads a briny coating to his already douchey veneer. (vinegary?)

Not to sound all Lemond-ish, but really Albie. If you used the situation to your advantage because you saw it as the opening you couldn't get yesterday, just say so. Then play stupid over whether it was bad form.

bikesgonewild said...

...so, ringcycles...

...your comment, "I believe that Eddy and Indurain would have soft pedaled in todays situation, Hinault and Lance would have attacked"...

...i agree hinault might have attacked but you're leaving unexplained why the lance-ster actually stopped & waited for jan ullrich when he went exploring the countryside on day...

...little louder, please...

bikesgonewild said...

..."exploring the countryside one day"...sheesh...

...hi, salty & sore...

Anonymous said...

wishiwasmerckx @ 3:47 - are you talking about Schleck or Contador here?
On another topic, it's not just Cyfac that is "artisanal"
http://www.artisanalpencilsharpening.com/index.html
Cheers
djk

yyz113 said...

^lol -- only $12.50 per pencil

I am the sleepy engine said...

http://prollyisnotprobably.com/2010/07/a_day_in_10_photos_07162010.php

The lone wolf in spandex in his native environment (venice Beach).

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Floyd (aka Anon 10:50)!

ringcycles said...

BGW: you're correct, but when Armstrong waited for Ullrich on the road to Saint-Lary-Soulan, he already had a 5 minute lead on Jan in the gc. If it had been 2003 when the race was never secure, Armstrong may have played it differently. Just speculating...

Helen said...

Pretty sure that's a mule.

Anonymous said...

Providence is way ahead of Williamsburg in the hitching-post department. See the documentation posted by my spouse here

Ron @ DubaiFunHolidays said...

i just loved the bikes in your post, they are very cool looking

USA holidays said...

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