Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Secret to Success: Crawling Before You Can Walk

For centuries, humans not unduly influenced by religious dogma have enjoyed the socially sanctioned state of inebriation that comes from drinking alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, though, humans also tend to combine this state of inebriation with other endeavors that do not lend themselves well to being performed while intoxicated. Among these endeavors are: driving cars; flying planes; making investment decisions; mating; and of course robbing banks.

The reason for this, of course, is that alcohol both increases one's sense of self-confidence and impairs one's judgement. This is a potent mix, and while it might lubricate a party and get it spinning like a freshly-overhauled hub, it's generally disastrous as soon as one actually leaves a party. Things that happen to drunk people after they leave parties include: crashing into trees; getting into fights with strangers; getting into fights with spouses; going home with carriers of "social diseases;" and wetting themselves on the bus. In short, there is no more potent over-the-counter chemical in existence when it comes to getting people into trouble.

This is not to say I'm a teetotaler; far from it. I like nothing more than enjoying a half-gallon of chilled Selvagem on my veranda in the evening. (Well, technically I don't have a veranda, so I break into my neighbor's sukkah instead.) However, I also think it's generally best to refrain from consuming sizable quantities of alcohol when riding your bicycle on busy city streets. This is why I probably would not endorse some sort of "bicycle pub crawl," though that does not appear to have dissuaded the organizers of this particular "pub crawl" from adapting my blog's logo for their promotional purposes (to which I was originally alerted by "g"):

Again, I am not a teetotaler, nor do I think that enjoying a beer or two over a leisurely span of time and then riding a bicycle is particularly reckless. Also, a "bicycle pub crawl" is certainly a better idea than an "automotive pub crawl," and I like to think that the organizers will go about their itinerary in a responsible fashion. (I realize that Harley Davidson riders also do "pub crawls," but inasmuch as the typical Harley rider is well over 100lbs overweight it's very difficult for them to reach a level of intoxication that would actually impair their riding.)

However, I'd also like to think that the organizers would, at some point in the administrative process, send me an email and ask whether I mind their using a variation of my logo--to say nothing of actually asking me if I'd like to join, since I do find myself in Miami from time to time, and as I said above I do enjoy my Selvagem. Alas, neither of these things happened.

Admittedly, the most likely reason neither of these things happened is that the organizers are familiar with the old saw, "Don't ask if you won't like the answer," and my answer to both questions almost certainly would have been, "Nah, sounds dorky." Plus, if anything, the use of the logo is an homage, and I should be honored and not irritated. I mean, it's not like they're putting it on a t-shirt and selling it for money or anything.


To echo the words of many a Miami grandmother, "What, you don't call, you don't write?" At the very least, if they're going to adapt my logo and sell it for themselves they could have offered to buy the designer of the logo (an affable and talented fellow known by the sobriquet "Dirty Greasy Country Jimmy") a beer.

Oh well, so much for the "bike culture."

In any case, I nevertheless wish the "Miami Bike Scene" success with their pub crawl and with their merchandising efforts, though I will reiterate that their logo should in no way imply my approval or endorsement--because if I were to "curate" and endorse a party, you can be sure that it would feature Uncle Magic, the Hip Hop Magician:



Uncle Magic and Shakim the Clown: accept no substitutes.

Of course, I realize that halfheartedly complaining about some harmless fun-seekers referencing my logo in their revelry sounds dangerously close to whining, and that if anything I should be thanking them. It is, after all, an indication that this blog has achieved some measure of "success," and if they can benefit from that success while at the same time enhancing this blog's success then everyone can be happy and drunk and successful. Wars will end, people of different religions will engage in celebratory mutual ambi-sexual dry-humping, and the world will become a real-life John Lennon song complete with unruly pubic bushes. Conversely, it's people being covetous and selfish with regard to their success that causes evil things like wars, and reluctance to dry-hump, and excessive pubic bush preening. Furthermore, complaining about success rivals even the most offensive "hate speech" in its toxicity--and nobody complains about success like a minimalist. Consider that "I only have 57 things" guy, who is now being forced to confront the fact that he may make over $100,000 this year:
Oh no! Confounded wealth! However will he manage to refrain from buying that 58th thing!?! And not only does he have the sickening audacity to complain that his business may make $100,000, but he's also using it as an opportunity to "challenge" everybody else, like some robber baron in a top hat throwing a roll of cash at a bum and daring him to make something of his life.

Well, I've already taken him up on his challenge, and I don't need to sleep on it either. My movement is called "maximalism," and it is a leaderless army of the millions of people who work for somebody else. (Because we all work for somebody else, even if we're self-employed.) This army will use everything at its disposal to bring the forces of minimalism to its knees. (Or, more accurately, knee--real minimalists only have one.) We will take our meager wages, squander them on overpriced Starbucks beverages, and pour them onto the MacBooks and iPads and iPhones of the minimalists, crippling their ability to communicate and to broadcast their twisted philosophy to the world. We will storm the gentrified neighborhoods of America's cities, hurling Frappuccino Molotovs into the open cockpits of convertible Mini Coopers and Volkswagen Beetles, where they will explode in sickly-sweet frothiness. We will return the world to its rightful balance of the "haves" and the "have-nots," and we will eliminate that hated minimalist construct of the "haves-who-have-not," for they are an abomination. Then, we will issue a counter-challenge to "57 things" guy: to take that $100,000 from your business and simply give it away in the name of true minimalism--or, failing that, to insert it tidily up your ass.

Also, we'll sell t-shirts:

Limited edition soy latte-stained "colorway" available soon.

But while I can't stand it when people whine about success, I enjoy few things more than some good old-fashioned bragging, and one person who has proved himself endearingly adept in this area is professional cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov, shown here in his now-famous "maillot myself:"

When this image first surfaced I relished Vino's unabashed celebration of self. Still, something about it bothered me, though I couldn't figure out what it was--until I happened to be watching one of those stupid VH1 shows where a bunch of comedians you've never heard of and Scott Ian from Anthrax (who they evidently keep locked in a closet in the studio) comment on bands and music videos. At one point, they showed a clip from Van Halen's "Panama" video, and it suddenly hit me: during the "We're running a little bit hot tonight" part, right after the scarf dancing sequence, David Lee Roth tumbles over bassist Michael Anthony and reveals that he is wearing a t-shirt bearing his own airbrushed likeness:

So I guess what had been bothering me was that Vino essentially stole his idea from David Lee Roth--though the V-brake-noodle-and-boot bracelet is entirely his own:

Still, this revelation has not diminished my appreciation for Vino's jersey, though I'm not sure how I feel about his forcing his kids to wear it (as forwarded by a reader):

Clearly though, wearing a Vino jersey will get you some ass.

Speaking of success, if you're insecure about your own you might want to consider purchasing a 24-carat gold Brompton, as forwarded to me by a number of readers:

Like all highly exclusive items, it's available on eBay:

It also boasts an impressive list of features, including red "stop cock handles:"

Here we have the ultimate Brompton on offer. 24 carot gold plated as new 2009 model SL2. It has only been cycled around bike shows where it has been on display, total mileage/meterage is 250 meters. The bike was customised as part of a competition for an insurance company http://www.eta.co.uk/2009/09/04/24ct-gold-brompton-ultimate-folder (and I bought the bike of the winner of the raffle. He collected the bike in January 2010). It was heavily customized but I felt it was too 'Blingy' and I have tried to sympathically modify it further but still maintain its uniqueness but make it a proper rideable brompton bike. So out went the white plastic bar grips and white specialised saddle, etc. Warlands of Oxford expertly improved upon the gear shifter which had the habit of changing gear on its own accord when you braked or accelerated too hard. I have added the Brooks classic tan saddle and put on another Gold finger brake lever as well as other bits and bobs.

Overall modifiactions include

24 carot gold plated frame,with copper 'undercoat' (worth £500+)

Two Goldfinger brake levers

Jagwire gold braid brake cables.

Poolball gear lever mechanism

Gold capped spokes

8 ball style Inner tube caps

Red stop cock handles on frame and front stem bolts.

Gold coloured/leather bar grips

Brooks tan B17 saddle

Skate board roller wheels

Normal 2009 model extras including, frame clip, pentaclip, alloy pedals, etc.

I have entered the 2010 Brompton World Championships at Bleinham Palace beginning of October, where I will cruise round the 13 km course on it's final swansong. May see you there. Please don't crash into me!

I am selling it because I need the cash for my baby boy and the time for me to mess around with bromptons is nearing an end (see my other listing for a brompton frame up for auction). Please feel free to ask questions and inspect before bidding. Happy to ship abroad, please enquire with me regarding shipping rates, I've put down a nominal cost of £30. Please note insurance costs will be extra. Prompt and professionally delivery promised, would however prefer collection and cash. Paypal is fine but please note I will need to add 2.5% to cover costs. (I am not a big fan of paypal, they have a license to print money!)

Thanks for looking, and happy safe cycling.


If you like those stop cocks, be sure to cock-block your fellow bidders by using the "Buy It Now" option.


81 comments:

samh said...

In many sports, results in the top three of a competition are often referred to as podiums, or podium finishes. In some individual sports, "podiums" is an official statistic, referring to the number of top three results an athlete has achieved over the course of a season or career.

Anonymous said...

Boo yah

Shu-Sin said...

bang

A. Contador said...

Fingerbang!

Astroluc said...

top 5?

I am the meh engine said...

The stupidest modifications ever on a bike. Is that guy brain damaged?

tail said...

last minute run at the line

Nogocyclist said...

Top ten.

Hans said...

top ten?

Surly Bastard said...

10!

me said...

peleton!

le Correcteur said...

Just missed the top ten! My foot came out of the toe straps!

xyxax said...

first second decile from Kampala

xyxax said...

sorry, 13th;
I was counting in shillings.

RANTWICK said...

That Brompton makes me want to throw up. I have a pretty high tolerance for maddening crap, but I honestly wish I had never seen it.

INEB RI8D said...

I enjoy sanctioned inebriation for metric centuries and for charity rides, too!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Hee Haw said...

Those Harleys are sticking in our "pub craws"

Anonymous said...

Top 50 ladies!

Anonymous said...

YOU SOUND DORKY!!!
::slams door, starts sobbing::

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Insightful post today Snob.

Anonymous said...

Podia

Anonymous said...

peleton? is that some sort of brazilian soccer robot?

PawnShop said...

Meh.

I'm no good at this, guess I'll read the post.

Anonymous said...

Smell my goldfinger!

Another bad lawyer said...

MIA is diluting your trademark. Sue the pants off of them TODAY or your mark goes into the public domain.

hillbilly said...

c'mon son

wishiwasmerckx said...

"...Complaining about success rivals even the most offensive "hate speech" in its toxicity..."

How true, how true. I learned this one the hard way, by complaining just a little too loudly in the line at Starbucks about how the elevator repairman was late to the house YET AGAIN."

Astroluc said...

something really bugs me about the "57 things" guy... is his life so morally empty, his passions so misdirected, his sight so narrow that he must begin a (holy) crusade against "stuff"?

Yeah, I think that we, as Uh'Mercans, buy too much crap... I have even tried to "streamline" my stuff... but for the love of god the last thing I am going to do is get pompous and snooty about it!

This guy thinks that THIS is a cause worth championing?? Has he no other hobbies but for his arrogance? Has he no other passion but that for his own sense of smugness?

...

Charles said...

Looks like Selvagem gets the party started!!

William H Gass said...

Gold plated bike? Now that's maximization! Goldmember would be proud !!

Anonymous said...

57 varieties guy is doing the classic: act the opposite of who you really are and do so loudly to get people to look the other way. In other words he's a junkie who's bound to go on a binge.

Anonymous said...

I revel in how annoying the "57 thing guy" is, is that wrong?

Anonymous said...

Does it count as minimalism if you sort your cashmere socks from the rest of your sock drawer?

g said...

Dang Snob,
When I alerted you to the Miami guys stealing your logo thing, I thought I would, at least, get a "as forwarded to me by a reader" shout out. You're right, someone snaking your claim to fame does sting.

Drum Brake said...

"Frappucco" terrorist (in the graphic)?

THC hip hop magician?
This isn't Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Does the "57 Things.." douchebag work for Rapha?

BikeSnobNYC said...

g,

Sorry, amended!

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

"but inasmuch as the typical Harley rider is well over 100lbs overweight it's very difficult for them to reach a level of intoxication that would actually impair their riding"

I beg to differ, Mr. Snobstein.

Jefe said...

Andy Schleck just had one beer and he got yanked. Is there something between zero tolerance and BWI?

g said...

Thanks Snob.

Who's a loser now, Dad?!

Sorry. Glimmer of light in an otherwise dark day....

Fred said...

After being exposed to the wisdom of the 57 things guy, I decided to take his approach on an extended Mobile Minimalism (pretentious for backpacking) trip. Here's what I found:
1. Even though the ads say they are delicious, iPads really are not.
2. Turns out that an iPhone needs to be connected to some other stuff, like a satellite or something, in order to serve as a reliable map and compass.
3. Purple tank tops suck as rain-gear. Also, like an iPad, not delicious.
4. Since I only had my Surly fixie to transport me to the trail-head, I had to opt for an itinerary somewhere close to home. I went with the Jantzen Beach shopping center, spending the first night at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and then enjoying a layover day at Old Navy where, of course, I purchased nothing but a replacement tank-top.

Anonymous said...

holy shit are you a cry baby. someone ripped off your logo. so what stop crying about it.

Anusonymous said...

Your comments on Maximalism (obviously a proper noun) remind me of this awesome Aesop Rock cut, nicely subtitled here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWOQHj_o6eo

He's a fine New Yawker, to be sure.

Shu-Sin said...

snob, you seem angry today...

Adam Piggott said...

I've seen worse Bromptons.

http://www.twitpic.com/2m3yl6

Shu-Sin said...

anon @2:18...

you have no tact, know not how to punctuate and can't obviously gather meaning from a few paragraphs on a single thought...

Anonymous said...

#48, sorry I'm late I just purchased this sweet gold plated brompton on ebay for under £2,000. I usurped the joint through the buy it now option, suckers! I finally found item #58. Like I always say, if you got it, spend it!

Anonymous said...

Every now and then I go back to those blogs, because I want there to be something of value on the pages. I remember how I felt when I finished a six-month long distance hike: powerful, in control, and comfortable with owning only the things on my back.

I keep thinking I can find a little thread of that in those blogs, but what a banal load of baloney they are. Truly. They're aphoristic mind-vomits. They're condescending. They're completely out of the touch with the idea that they can't play their "Oh, I'm such a nonconformist awesome six-figure earner" without all those little people flying planes, picking up trash, building computers, knitting cashmere sweaters, paving highways. And yet those wee little folks Just. Don't. Get. It.

What I don't get is how these folks exist. They post up a few paragraphs of nonsensical musings (and in Mr. Bogue's case, extremely poorly written and oddly punctuated musings) and knock together a few .pdfs and people eat this up?

Really?

God. I'm getting angry. It's intellectual charlatanism. There is no there there.

3G said...

VAN HALN
NOT HAGAR

mikeweb said...

Happy new year Snob!!

Enjoy the bike pub crawl - I actually do one of those myself a couple nights a week. Good times...

Another Canuck said...

Why is the hip hop magician pouring a beer at 0:15?

yogisurf said...

The Seal does look happier in this rendition of your logo, Snobby. I got a smile on my face thinking about a bunch of hipsters pedaling around ‘Gods Waiting Room’ in that shirt.

Anonymous said...

G:
Totally understand the prestige in having a Snob Mention. I still wallow in his mention of my e-mail back during his Bike Give-away; whenever I feel insignificant [I am, but, whatever...] I just read back and the good times return. Sometime, Lobster does smile...

cwg said...

Well he got one thing right, it is scarier than working at a Starbucks.

One may encounter something called an "ass kicking", which may require the purchase of a 58th item, called a "crutch".

Justine Valinotti said...

There's no idea so stupid that someone won't revive it. Back in the 70's, Lambert was offering a gold-plated version of its road bike.

At least the Brompton seems like a sensibly made bike. The Lambert, in contrast, inspired all sorts of jokes. Example: Lambert saved seven ounces on its new lightweight by drilling out the tires and water bottles. (Remember when components were drilled out? If you do, you're getting long in your 53 tooth!)

grog said...

RTMS,
Boozy Rip Torn: Isn't that redundantly repetitive?
Just askin'.
HAPY HASH

Anonymous said...

St. Sheldon watches over us from heaven above -- he is immanent.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lambert.html

-- notice the section on The "Death Fork"

Actually, Sheldon wasn't a spiritual guy, but surely a great one.

Anonymous Coward said...

Unbeknownst to me I already accepted Mr. 57 Things' challenge when I woke up this morning and stepped up and started creating a movement. Well I guess it was more like I sat down and started creating a movement, but that's splitting hairs really.

STRT MVMT

Jão said...

Shit, man! This Selvagem is some shitty drink we have here in Brazil! It runs for some 3 bucks (R$ 5,39) here, check it out > http://www.imigrantesbebidas.com.br/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=44&products_id=5401

Ok, the aussies apparently are having it in a glass bottle -- here it's plastic bottles, which speaks volumes about how sophisticated this crap is.

The only reason I see to charge 60 bucks a bottle is to disencourage the guy to drink the whole thing at once (as we do here) and have a major headache the following day (as we sure do here as well).

James B. said...

http://www.reddit.com/r/bicycling/comments/dbo0x/yao_mings_custom_gunnar/

PawnShop said...

Needs a 35mm diameter handlebar.
LARG BIKE

Anonymous said...

According to the book "SuperFreakanomics" you are less likely to be killed driving home drunk than if you walk home drunk. This is based on the statistical analysis of some very nerdy, academic sounding authors so it must be true - you'd have to be highly credible to have a book published. The finding challenges aspects of some road safety messages, but I suppose what the authors don't seem to consider is the relative likelihood of killing someone else. As for drink cycling, well some very limited research of my own would suggest that intoxication just makes you faster and more awesome. ce

Anonymous said...

Besides the clearly ashamed 24ct brompton owner that is trying to unload this aborto-folder to another english bike dork, is there another proud "24ct brompton owner' anywhere? is there more then one person that would buy such a thing & be seen in public with it?

cyclotourist said...

Nice thesis samh!

BROM PTON

VANH ALEN

ken e. (loves graphite) said...

"i think it's a manatee..."

and biting someone else's art so hard it's a photocopy?

PXL8 DLSR

Anonymous said...

I think samh has set a new benchmark for style on the podium. None of that award night lameness: "I haven't got anything prepared, I wasn't expecting this...". No, samh, a true professional, has come prepared. ce

Anonymous said...

meh.

Tea Party On said...

I step up and create a movement every morning, regularly.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Phil Price said...

Hey, it could have been worse: at least the pub crawl guys didn't use your drunken mug shot as part of their promo graphics. Now _that_ would have been classless.

bikesgonewild said...

...po-dium...that's the $8.00 daily food stipend the local bike shop gives 'red neckerson' when he goes to interbike in 'vegas...

...just sayin'...

Jonah Gibson said...

57 things guy accidentally manifested 6 figure income through misapplication of the law of attraction as detailed in The Secret. Few people realize that it's possible to kill yourself this way. Personally I have to be vigilant in order not to attract a collision with one of 57 things guy's 57 things - especially the Rolls Royce Phantom.

dannyman said...

Pubes grow back.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a diatribe... You should be glad that people in Miami read your blog or thought highly of you (and *please* note the past tense) instead of complaining that "your" logo and "brand" got "stolen."

For your information, it was us, the people who rode the first event who asked the organizers to print t-shirts. It's a Miami thing, we print t-shirts for just about everything.

As for the huge "profits" you're potentially missing out on, at the end of the day, the organizers probably are in the red, driving around wasting gas getting this stuff done as what we paid for them is just a few bucks. You can't blame us Miamians though, for having a better entrepreneurial mindset than yours. Maybe you should learn.

In fact, it was because of the first such event AND the t-shirts that I became acquainted with your blog and it is because of this entry that I shall never again visit this site or recommend it to anyone.

Instead of embracing the added *positive* publicity to your blog created by this event, you have chosen to embrace the negative by posting this rant and even worse, lending an ear to individuals who are obviously in this just to get a line "crediting" them for their outstanding effort to "snitch" and "spy" on Miami cyclists.

Only that they even suck at that pretty bad, because this information has been out, online, since the first ride several months ago. Sounds as efficient as a Soviet spy agency...

Oh well. Your loss and epic fail. I'm sure many in Miami will be reading this and thinking how we were able to walk while you still crawl. As one of your readers posted, even the Miami version of the logo is a happier one.

Cheers! :)

Kyle said...

@anonymous (from Miami): It's probably better that you stop reading the blog, from your writing style it seems you either have or are going to develop serious ulcers if you maintain your level "offendedness".

Anonymous said...

I met one of the dudes organizing this thing the first time around. Kind of a retard.

Better hope that nobody gets in a wreck because, as the organizers of the event, there could be liability for damages resulting from drunken faceplants.

Louis said...

Your site is amazing.I am very impressed to see this,i want to come back for visiting your site.Keep doing Good as well as you can..

Anonymous said...

we're big fans of the blog down here in miami---we actually got in touch with your agency to try to get you down here during the book tour but got no response. we'll definitely send you an invite for the next one as it would be a huge honor if you joined us..!!!

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fixie bikes said...

I like the manatee more than the gopher.