Thursday, September 16, 2010

Putting it Out There: BRAs, Belts, and Cockies

In today's bewilderingly fast-paced world of electronic bicycle shifting systems, artisanal axes, and "Face Books," it can sometimes be edifying to reflect on simpler times. These were the days when people made an honest living off of the land and from their own labors, when neighbor greeted neighbor with a hearty "Halloah!" instead of a scowl and a foot to the groin, and when the noble art of cheese sculpting was still "keeping it real" and hadn't sold out to corporate advertising. The halcyon time to which I am referring, of course, was the spring of 2010.

I realize some of you had not even been born yet, but to me it seems as though the spring of 2010 was just yesterday--or, at most, four months ago. This is because it is the era in which my book, "Bike Snob" (available wherever books are sold or lent) was first published as a follow-up to my poorly-selling first book, an illustrated volume entitled "Lactose Tolerance: Great Civil Rights Leaders Rendered in Cheese." Reviewers panned my cheese book as being "soft and malleable," but "Bike Snob" fared considerably better. Not only did it go on to reach #7 on the Independent Stoop Sale And Sidewalk Vendors Bestseller List (right between a used copy of the February 3rd, 1997 issue of "Sports Illustrated" and a broken toaster), but it also became an Oprah pick. Granted, it was never actually selected for Oprah Winfrey's famous book club, but I do have it on good authority that someone named Oprah somewhere actually bought a copy.

Anyway, all of this gratuitous backstory is by way of explaining that, upon publication of "Bike Snob," I announced I would undergo a grueling series of BRAs (or Book-Related Appearances). The response was overwhelmingly negative, and I was repeatedly subject to the following questions:

1) So why aren't you coming to my town?

2) I thought you were supposed to be anonymous. Why don't you just stay the fuck home?

and

3) Why can't anybody make a decent toaster anymore?

Well, I'm pleased to announce that I've at least been addressing Question #1, and my ruthless publisher Chronicle Books is adding additional BRAs even as my helper monkey, Vito, types this. More details will follow, but as of now I'll be visiting Landry's bike shop in Boston, MA on October 1st; Cyclesport bike shop in Park Ridge, NJ on October 23rd; and the Philly Bike Expo in Philadelphia, PA on October 30th. I'll update you on the particulars as soon as I have them, but in the meantime you may or may not want to crayon those dates in your Just Miniature Dachshunds 2010 wall calendar:Speaking of my book, it does come with stickers (in fact, for tax purposes I'm technically selling stickers with some bonus text), and a reader in St. Louis informs me that he has actually placed one on his saddle:

While I'm deeply flattered, I can't say I necessarily approve, and I also hereby indemnify myself from any injuries caused by direct taintal application. (Though you can feel free to sue my publisher or, just for fun, Specialized bicycles.)

Having dispensed with all that, I'm now pleased to share some other publicity-themed information, which is that Gates Carbon Drive Systems is now fielding a belt-driven singlespeed cyclocross team:

Among other events, the Gates team will target the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships in Seattle, where they will presumably go up against one JT Fountain. As Stevil Kinevil of All Hail the Black Market pointed out some time ago, Fountain (who won the singlespeed race at Cyclocross National last year) believes that singlespeed cyclocross needs to "be taken more seriously," which is a bit like saying Cedric the Entertainer should stop with all the tomfoolery and apply his mind to economics. Hopefully the advent of a carbon fiber belt drive-equipped singlespeed squad helps Fountain's dream comes true. Then, perhaps USA Cycling will finally take over the SSCXWC and the riders will compete in $1,000 technical lingerie made by Pearl Izumi.

In any case, Gates claims this is "the first belt-drive singlespeed cyclocross squad in the universe," though I'm not so sure this is actually true. Just ask Stephen Hawking, who says that pretty much anything could be lurking out there:

Says Hawking:

'To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational. The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like."

Therefore, if the universe is so vast that the notion of hostile aliens is "perfectly rational," then it's also "perfectly rational" to assume there might be another belt-drive singlespeed team out there too. Moreover, who's to say they don't have designs on the SSCXWC? Certainly if this turns out to be the case and aliens on singlespeed 'cross bikes with belt drives do start attacking Earth, I would almost certainly lodge a class-action lawsuit against Gates for false advertising, and I'd probably also sue both my own publisher and Specialized bicycles for good measure, submitting a bloody sticker from my book as evidence. For his part, with everybody distracted, Hawking would probably take advantage of the situation by "running" a Gates belt drive on his wheelchair and totally crushing the field at the 2010 SSCXWC.

Of course, it's also entirely possible that cycling aliens could attack Earth on another type of bicycle besides a belt-drive 'cross bike. For example, they could show up on "bikes that close the gap between long-travel, all-mountain mashers and hill-climb savvy mile-munchers:"


If this happens, we could all be in trouble, because the only bicycle that could possibly stand up to a "hill-climb savvy mile-muncher" would be a "crotchally-savvy carpet-muncher," and to my knowledge no mainstream company is selling those yet. (Though I hear that in Portland carpet-munching bikes are already even more popular than artisanal porteur bikes.)

Or, the aliens could take the form of "sartorially inclined" dandies riding "vintage" road bikes with so-called "bum bars," as forwarded to me by a reader:

Getting your wardrobe right means absolutely nothing when your bicycle is so wrong.

Speaking of maladjusted cockpits, not too long ago I offhandedly mentioned the Cockpit of the Year Award (otherwise known as the "Cockie"), and while no such formal competition technically exists I admit that I have been playing around with a prototype "Cockie" statuette:

(Needs bar ends)

I've also been alerted to a number of stunning cockpits recently, such as this US Open-themed one, forwarded by a reader:

(It's the cockpit that launched a thousand "fuzzy balls" jokes.)

Of course, the bar end is to the cockpit "curator" what oil paint is to the painter of portraits or sugar is to the confectioner--it is the very medium that makes their art possible. And so transcendent is this one that it doesn't even need a saddle:

Perhaps he's in the process of "retrofitting" a tennis racket.

Here's another interpretation of the "homemade grips" theme, sent by another reader:

I just hope those aren't condoms.

But creative cockpits aren't just about about vertical bar ends and judicious application of prophylactics--some also involve actual fabrication, such as this one forwarded by yet another reader and presumably well-suited to extraterrestrial hands:


The pursuit of the perfect cockpit is limited only by sanity.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Winnah

A. Contador said...

yesss

Anonymous said...

top 10 ?

Anonymous said...

i winnnnn

Anonymous said...

this is dumb

Anonymous said...

ha!

Anonymous said...

Top ten!

ringcycles said...

trailing the sprint

streepo said...

I spend way too much time on this blog. Today a license plate with bgw on it went by me and I immediately thought "bikesgonewild"

Anonymous said...

ten

hillbilly said...

Yeah, but why aren't you coming to my town?

mikeweb said...

The dandy alien cyclist:

"Clothes encounters of the turd kind"?

tail said...

cockles

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No Comment

ant1 said...

ant1st!

ringcycles said...

waiting for the lude comments about "cockies" to commence.

bikesgonewild said...

...there's not a night goes by where i don't curl up in my snuggy with a big cup of warm milk & my autographed copy of "Lactose Tolerance: Great Civil Rights Leaders Rendered in Cheese." while i wait for those alien ships to wreck havoc in our little world...

ant1 said...

streepo - same thing happened to me yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Rather than SSCXWC, wouldn't that be SSWCCX?
(single-speed wheelchair cyclocross).

bikesgonewild said...

...streepo...

...they wouldn't allow me to use 'bgw' on a license plate...they said nothing 'lewd or lascivious' was allowed...

Astroluc said...

I assume the Landry's in Boston (Allston) and not any of the other 4?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

so thats the second day in a row i've seen rivendell ads sponsored by your blog, does this mean no more wool'n canvas bag jokes?

grog said...

Today's brilliant post caused my cookies to spit, thanks for that.
I put a snob sticker on my tailpiece but it dissolved in rain.
Anyway, your book is gold.

PawnShop said...

does this mean no more wool'n canvas bag jokes?

Probably. But artisanal lugged steel seat post jokes are still totally in play.

Meh.

ben said...

PACK FODR
time to get back on the trainer

CommieCanuck said...

Stephen Hawking: proof that even a genius can also a total fucking idiot. He started typing-on about aliens after he moved to Canada.

I want to win a Nobel Price in Medicine so I can have the authority to warn people of evil alien bunnies in our midst.

Or, win an Academy Award so I can smugly tell people I drive a hybrid car, and thus are better than them in two ways.

CommieCanuck said...

But, I'm liking the Frilly BSNYC crotchway.

Anonymous said...

Drop bars flipped up are also called DUI bars.

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

Bill Gates is making bicycles? Doesn't he have enough money? Hawking, on the other hand, should use his intellect to solve velo related quandries, such as determining whether the gunk that has collected in my headset really a black hole?

OBA said...

Has Snobby been reading Mark Leyner again? Wasn't his father an anatomical cheese sculpturist?

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

The real cocky http://unstandard.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/cocky.jpg

Anonymous said...

"The pursuit of the perfect cockpit is only limited by sanity"

now that's a cockie moneyshot. well played sir.

Anonymous said...

The Gates belt drive is absolute garbage. The tension has to be so perfect for it not to skip and you have to buy their stupid tool to put the cogs on anything. They can't even give the drivetrain away to manufacturers.

Buffalo Bill said...

That Dr. Hawking is one savvy feller. Seems to be getting the devout all worked up these days. I wonder if it occurs to them that all the smart folks are on the other team and they have, uh, Tim Tebow?

CommieCanuck said...

The Gates belt drive is absolute garbage. The tension has to be so perfect for it not to skip and you have to buy their stupid tool to put the cogs on anything. They can't even give the drivetrain away to manufacturers.

I believe that Hardley Movinson Motorcycles use Gates drives.

Anonymous said...

Fuzzy ball jokes and condoms!
It seems as though much like the SSCXWC, the Cockies needs to be "taken more seriously".

Anonymous said...

To my non-mathematical brain, the numbers alone make wondering why Steven Hawking still uses a voice modulator from a Speak'N'Spell. The real challenge is to work out what, in 2010, he might actually make his voice sound like.

g said...

I, personally, take my cockie and fuzzy balls all VERY seriously, thank you very much.

streepo said...

I spend way too much time on this blog. Today a license plate with bgw on it went by me and I immediately thought "bikesgonewild"

ant1 said...

streepo - same thing happened to me yesterday.

Anonymous said...

i love posts that involve the test sisal.

Oh uhm said...

All you sitters stick to my sticker.

taint it great? said...

I slapped my BSNYC sticker onto my beefy bottom bracket, right next to my pair of truck nutz!!! All you belching diesel trucks suck my balls (AYBDTSMB)!

Anonymous said...

"I believe that Hardley Movinson Motorcycles use Gates drives."

Ha! Hardly moving! I get it. Not moving too far with that crappy belt drive anyway...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Atroluc,

Sorry, yes, Landry's in Boston on Commonwealth...

--BSNYC

Neil said...

Saw this yesterday, already a month old...
http://tinyurl.com/2e4cn2y
Hipsterism is dead? All hipsters, or just the pervy ones?

frilly said...

CC-wrong crotchway: Snob said 'his' saddle and my ride is in the black cherry fade colorway. Although, I have my suspicions on who the rightful owner is.

However my crotchway appreciates the endorsement.

Stephen Hawking's brain has turned to poutine.

Lance said...

I have found a new use for your stickers, I use them to hide my crotchital testosterone patch.

ringcycles said...

as the italian engineers at Deda Elementi have demonstrated, an award worthy "cockie" is all about bar girth and stiffness, never mind the fuzzy ball or odd attachements.

Anonymous said...

mmm, poutine

Zombie said...

Mmmm, brains.

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

...btw...if anyone is hunting for a deal in order to keep track of their timeways, look into the amazon.com link bsnyc/rtms provided...

...Just Miniature Dachshunds 2010 Calendar from Willow Creek Press (Corporate Author)
...***"5 new from $6.95___3 used from $39.98"***...

...such deals...if you're a minimalist, perhaps you should buy a used one...

❦ me said...

Stickers? There were stickers?
I just bought your book last Friday and there were no stickers!

Now that just ruined my perfect day.

❦ me said...

I said that I bought the book.
I didn't say I actually opened it up and looked at it or read it yet.

Nevermind.
Back to my perfect day. :)

Anonymous said...

In the far flung, outermost outskirts of New York City where I live (Australia) this is what we refer to as a Cockie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxaD08-Fadc

As you can see from the selection of videos I have curated, Cockies are representative of, and sometimes integral to, free thinking cockpit design. Therefore, I would like to propose that a graven image of a Cockatoo, perhaps in a golden colourway and perched upon an extra long anodized purple bar end be considered as an award trophy worthy of this achievement. If BSNYC did choose such a Golden Cockie to become the official trophy I would like to stipulate this one caveat: A ceremonial tradition for award acceptance must be established which entails the recipient immediately discarding the trophy in the nearest rubbish receptacle. As we all know, the idolisation of a Golden Cockie would be an affront to Lob. ce

http://wwwar.youtube.com/watch?v=GpdMzNlmbeM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC5yQI8hodA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a8yb871k7U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvb76dpH9YU

leroy said...

Oh hell yeah, more Miniature Dachsund pin-up calendar photos please!!!

leroy said...

I apologize for that last comment.

My dog got ahold of my Google account password.

Two beers and he thinks he's the intellectual love child of Oscar Wilde and Larry the Cable Guy.

He can be such a jerk sometimes.

dux said...

Obviously the aliens have already had their way with us.
A simple drive through San Rafael will prove that the invasion from Sausalito has prevailed. Fairfax is easily
next to fall. We must fall back to the Valley and construct as many fixee/crabon belted/button down
klunkers and run away, run away..........

dux said...

Hardly-Abelson
Made of tin
Ride it out
Push it in....

State of the Art-1932.......

Cyclin' Missy said...

The dude in the grey suit on the bike looks like Pee Wee Herman. I just picture him on a red monstrosity with tassels and a headlight. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

I Deraille said...

I laughed out loud today. Are "bum bars" really catching on with hipsters?

Harrison said...

I would like to point out that the "Cocky" is also the mascot of the University of South Carolina (and therefore our cycling team). In fact, the team's official unofficial name (the Cyclococks) draws its inspiration from this animal.

However, the team's official name is the "USC Cycling Club," because that's the name that gets past our spam filter.

Rolf said...

Blah.

Anonymous said...

Desmond Howard cover FTW!

Britton said...

Excellent! I've been needing to update my bike wraps. Thanks Bike Snob!

Panzer Plan said...

Oh and Snob has visited the Rapha Cycle Club on at least 2 occasions. Just sayin.

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fixie bikes said...

that's a fancy snob sticker!