Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don't You Want Me: Salacious and Outrageous

Like most cyclists (roadies excluded, of course) I derive a great deal of pleasure from riding a bicycle. Whether it's a routine trip on the Big Dummy to Senegalese Sam's Simian Supply House to pick up a few pallets of feed for my helper monkey, Vito, or it's an "epic" ride all the way up to Niagara Falls in order to "hillbomb" the falls in a barrel, the activity somehow seems to ground and reorient me. In this sense, cycling has the same effect on my psyche as a really good night's sleep, or a cool drink from a mountain stream, or dangling from fleshooks while reading "The Bridges of Madison County." (Some prefer a hammock and a good book, I prefer fleshooks and a bad one.) As many people have pointed out, cycling is free therapy, and the best part about it is that your bike will never tell you you're suffering from an Oedipal complex. (Unless you have an articulately creaky bottom bracket that is not only "beefy" but also Freudian.)

Even so, I'm all too aware of the fact that I am a bad cyclist. I don't mean that I'm slow (even though I am), or that, like a Vancouver messenger, I'm unable to stay on my bicycle. No, what I mean is that I don't get excited about the stuff that, as a cyclist, I'm supposed to find exciting. Consider classic road bikes, for example, of the sort you're likely to find on sites like "Fyxomatosis:"

You may recall that, some time ago, I "curated" a Fyxomatosis photo contest, which yielded a variety of images from the innocuous to the pornographic--including this salacious shot of a woman posing next to a track bike while exposing her vulva:

(Click here for the uncensored unsafe-for-work version.)

By the way, if you click on the uncensored version as linked above, you'll notice insightful viewer comments such as "nice pussy" and "rad biscut," proving that this was very much a "thinking person's" contest.

In any case, all of this is to say that, while I respect the work of Mr. Matosis and consider him a blogular colleague (or "blogleague"), I am also unable to get excited about classic road bikes or pictures of classic road bikes. I realize, of course, that the fault is all mine, and that as a cyclist I'm supposed to fawn over Colnagos, and lugs, and gaudy paint jobs. I'm also supposed to go to bike shows clad in a wool hat and "shants" and slaver all over artisanal bespoke bicycles while appreciating whatever "boutique" beer I'm drinking. However, I just don't seem to be able to do this, and I seem instead to be afflicted with "bike porn impotency." And it is porn, too. In case the subtleties of the above Fyxomatosis Colnago crotch shot eluded you, it's supposed to look like a reclining person presenting the genitals:

Critics of regular porn warn that it can cause the viewer to become desensitized to "normal" sensual contact. This may or may not be true, but I do worry that consumption of too much bike porn can lead to an inadvertent "Clockwork Orange" brainwashing scenario in which people become unable to look down at their bicycles without thinking of genitals and unable look down at their sexual partners without thinking of bicycles. Right now, in a bed somewhere beneath a poster of Fausto Coppi, a "vintage" bike enthusiast is absent-mindedly reaching for a nipple thinking it's a downtube shifter. Meanwhile, who knows what's going on during those "group rides" nowadays, or what they're doing with all that Rapha unguent. To complicate things further, we also get images like this:

I get the "pretty lady taking a bath" part, but why the wrench? I guess it means she's about to do something really painful to your nuts.

But not all bike porn is of the "it looks like a penis or vagina" variety or the "I'm holding a giant tool" variety. Some of it is of the simple "you know you want it" type, like this:

I don't mean to single Mr. Matosis's work out here, but the fact is that he's probably the preeminent bicycle pornographer working today, and as the Larry Flynt of bikes his work covers the entire range of styles. I also know the reason I don't get excited by the "you know you want it" pictures is because, again, there's something wrong with me. Some people see an exquisitely restored classic, but all I see is a blue and yellow bike that could use some clipless pedals and a pair of integrated shifters. More than that, the truth is that I happen to resent anything that expects me to simply look at it and want it. I hate Apple ads for exactly the same reason, since it's usually just a picture of the product with no additional information:

The implication is that the product is so elegantly designed and inherently desirable that it merely needs to bat its eyelashes at you to get you to buy it, and I find this sort of salesmanship unbearably smug. I'll take an old-timey huckster in a straw hat flogging a bottle of snake oil or a desperate Jack Lemmon in "Glengarry Glen Ross" any day--at least they seem like they need the money.

Then of course there's the "highbrow bike porn," like Rouleur, and I happen to have received the latest issue recently:

Rouleur is less about the "you know you want it" aesthetic and more about black-and-white pictures of machines and getting way too into the way things smell. Also, just as there's usually a self-satisfied Malcolm Gladwell article in The New Yorker, there's generally something in Rouleur about the romance of tubular tires--which is another thing I'm a bad cyclist for not caring about. Tubulars certainly have their advantages in certain situations, but judging from the typical question posed to Lennard Zinn of VeloNews, helping their users maintain a grip on the road of sanity is definitely not one of them. Then again, clincher users can get pretty crazy too. Consider this recent question:

Dear Lennard,

Typically, I use a standard air pump to fill my clinchers to 100 psi in front and 110 psi in back. After about a week, the air pressure drops to approximately 70 psi. When I have a flat on a ride, I use a CO2 cartridge to fill the tube. I don’t know the psi as I don’t have carry pressure gauge, however, the tires feel harder than 110 psi. For tires that are filled with CO2, the pressure remaining after a week is about 50 PSI. In other words, the CO2 filled tires seem to lose CO2 more quickly than tires filled with air (78% N2, 21% O2, 1% Ar, and 0.039% CO2). Does CO2 escape more quickly from an inner tube than air? One would think that CO2 would escape more slowly as it is 1.5 time denser than air.

Gerald S

I can't begin to answer Gerald's question, but I do think he may be obsessive compulsive, and I also suspect he may have an Oedipal complex.

Anyway, I guess my inability to appreciate the more rarefied aspects of cycling is why, when it comes to bike porn, I've always preferred the cheap and sleazy stuff. For example, some people like to look at the pro bikes on CyclingNews, but when I want to see a professional road bike I seek out something like this:


PROFESSIONAL ROAD BIKE FOR $250 ASAP - $250 (QUEENS)
Date: 2010-10-26, 1:46AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

PROFESSIONAL ROAD BIKE WITH FIXED GEAR, 56CM..I AM ASKING FOR $250 . CALL ME ASAP 347-608-[deleted] CARLOS

Yes, all the pro roadies are "running" filthy Oury grips that are migrating inexorably stemward.

Also, I'm not just into cheap road bike porn; I also like to "get dirty" with some department store mountain bike action. Fortunately, a reader recently forwarded me this ad for the world's most expensive Pacific:

>>> Mountain Bike Blue wheel caps barely used Lights dynamos extras < - $545 (Saint Paul)
Date: 2010-10-22, 9:39PM CDT

Reply to: [deleted]

Price Reduced. Make me an offer before I move it to storage! I am moving. For sale is a barely used mountain bike. In addition to tons of extra accessories, I will throw in a newer Free Bike Rack for car / van.



The bike is worth around $300. The blue discs, especial lightings, electrical bells + all the extras + labor cost me way over $600. Discs + some parts imported from abroad. Everything cost me for a total of around $1000. I can let go for half. All accessories are not on the Bike. More Pictures of the bike and all the accessories + Bike Rack at: [here] If you are looking just to buy a Bicycle, then this is not for you. You can get a much better deal at your local bike store. But if you like what you see, the colorfulness, the wheel caps, the lights(when you brake, the tail light lights up, it has turn right/left signal lights, Head lights, clip on blinking light, electrical multi tone buzzers, etc), Pump, dynamo sets, then you are the right person and email me. A bike that is cool and dashy and that is for adults and kids. And will make an excellent present. 26 " wheels including the tire and the height is adjustable by about a foot to accomodate any height. Aluminum Frame. Several speeds.

I'm guessing he dumped most of his money into those wheel covers.

But even more dangerous than excessive bike porn consumption is excessive bicycle accessorizing, and even more dangerous than that is when you can no longer fit any accessories onto your bike and so you start putting them on yourself instead:

There's a world of difference between liking to look at bikes and dressing up as them, just as there's a world of difference between liking to watch "Star Wars" and actually dressing up as the characters:

Then, after that, come the tattoos:


It's enough to make little Eddy want to crawl back in.

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boom!!

innerlighter said...

winner?

Anonymous said...

WOOT WOOT

innerlighter said...

eat steak this morning anon?

Anonymous said...

Man, fuck yall

Ed said...

Top ten

Desert Rider said...

top tennish

samh said...

> Everything cost me for a total of around $1000.

Wow, I'm really sorry to hear that. So, so, so very sorry.

Anonymous said...

BRAK LITE

Anonymous said...

There's no shame in dressing up like Obi-Wan Bikesnob.

SmugSeattle said...

Top 10? AYHSMS (all you haters suck my smug).

Anonymous said...

"Help me, Obese One Canobie, you're my only hope!"

SmugSeattle said...

Dammit. Smug power has failed me. Off to curate my rooftop herb garden and sulk.

crosspalms said...

Cool and dashy

Anonymous said...

Reposting this from the end of yesterday. Hipsters buld a mini velodrome in their backyard, and it ride it very poorly.

http://vimeo.com/16194328

Bad Lawyer said...

rad biscuit?

Anonymous said...

creepy post today

Concerned 2.0 said...

Are you alluding to your new child being named Eddy? Did I miss something here? If so, you beat me to it you bastard! Now I guess it will have to be little Mark. Hope he pops out with a indecent victory salute.

mnmlst cmmntr said...

gnarly muffin

awesome cookie

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

fantastic cracker

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Impressive Wafer

MyWorld said...

It's so nice to see a Glengarry Glen Ross HERE-who woulda thought the Snob was so cultured to know great film when he see's it. Gerald has the rare Peugeot Simplex Complex.

Anonymous said...

Your explanation of the Colnago crotch- er bottom bracket- picture left me strangely unsettled and, to be honest, a bit randy. Several more months at the shrink, I fear.

Jay said...

Several speeds!

OBA said...

If I see you enjoying anything artisinal, boutique-y or handcrafted at your BRA in Philadelphia, I WILL be calling "shennanigans" on you.

Anonymous said...

Cracking Clam

G-ziz said...

Are motherfuckers still waking up real early to be the first to post on here? How utterly, utterly fucking sad.

Maybe disable comment function, Snob. Do us all that one favour.

wishiwasmerckx said...

After seeing the NSFW picture, I have this sudden urge to have clams for lunch.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to pornography, some of us prefer the damaged goods.

hillbilly said...

fyxedmytosis

wishiwasmerckx said...

If you ever see one of those guys dressed up in a Darth Vader costume, point to his breastplate and ask him "So, which one of those buttons do you push to get your mom to come pick you up?"

Ann said...

Thank god I'm not the only one who looks at vintage bike porn and just sees overpriced old bikes. I can't help myself. I'm reading the local CL ads, and see a vintage something or another, and realize that it's a used piece of crap with Christmas decorations attached to it, and the guy wants as much as my partner's brand new Cannondale hybrid cost. The Cannondale might not be sexy, but it rides fine, and my partner's not riding down the street with a pine tree attached to the basket in October.

Anonymous said...

Like your work, dude. But this was an un-inspired rehash of pot shots aimed at easy targets. We all (those who produce something daily) deserve a chance to "mail it in" from time to time and I don't hold it against you. I just hope subject matter isn't waning (could the pedantic be the new edgy?)

I suppose your second point about obsessives is why "you know you want me" marketing works. And I thought your "dead panning" (not overtly speaking to) that fact was a good mechanism and served the post well. But I would think there would be updated/new/different support for this than the ones mentioned.

Sincerely,

Respect that Bloggers have priorities too/ Still Reading

mikeweb said...

wiwm,

Classic!

BTW, it's usually the yellow one.

Anonymous said...

The Hillman: "Bespoke leather straps." ?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I'd hit it.

g said...

I really don't remember a 300 lb. Samoan in any of the Star Wars movies...

innerlighter said...

Oh if they would only turn Triumph on fixie freestylers.


meh

Krosey said...

I think I'll be the 39th post here, and that's pretty close to the highest placing I've ever had in any kind of race on any kind of bicycle. Yeah-yeah!

The vintage bike thing hurts me because I had a couple of those things, 25 years ago, and, of course, like my Star Wars toys, I got rid of them when they were clutter and before they became valuable to someone with a void to fill.

F-uuck! If only. Most of the traffic that trickles into my shitty blog ends up coming in searching for 'miyata 512', 'cause I had one of those, once upon a time. It was purple with that white seat everyone likes now.

Anonymous said...

i'm loving the daily commenter who pops in to practice their creative writing critique.

usually people will solicit you for their input, like signing up for your tuesday night class at starbucks.

more than anything today i'm loving that MTB with the wheel covers. how DO you quantify the cost of labor and the love that went in to that beast? well, it's exactly $245

mattchew said...

not that anyone cares, but i believe i can answer gerald's question (and thereby establish myself as superior to the bikesnob). the rate at which tires lose pressure has less to do with the "density" (i believe he intended to say molar weight) of the gas used, and more to do with the permeability of that gas in butyl rubber. co2 alone, if i recall correctly, is more permeable than air, which is a mixture of gases. therefore, tires filled with only co2 will lose more gas to "seepage" through the rubber than those filled with air as co2 passes through the inner tube rubber more easily than air.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:00pm,

Your comment would have had more gravity if it had been posted first.

--BSNYC

crosspalms said...

I asked my dentist about molar weight and he told me his Serrotta was lighter than any of my teeth.

CommieCanuck said...

Maybe disable comment function, Snob. Do us all that one favour.

Too late.

If you are gouing to be the asshoule Canadian, at least try tuo hide it.

CommieCanuck said...

Toronto elected Rob Ford as Mayor!

This is the massively obese dumb fuck who wants to get rid of mass transit, tear up the bike lanes and ban bikes altogether. LANDSLIDE.

It would be like a fatter, dumber Rush Limbaugh elected Mayor of NYC.

"cyclist are a pain in the ass".

ervgopwr said...

No favours four the wicked.

Vegas said...

I hate the comments, that's why I keep reading them.

Vegas said...

...and posting them.

FRUM UNDA said...

I want a Nokian Mount & Ground studded belt. Maybe some Finnish trashpicker makes those?

mikeweb said...

Rob Ford?! Well, it looks like he did a job on their cafeteria.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

lame comments today,
except for crosspalms and his molar weight.

PawnShop said...

Thanks for all the responses, people - and especially all thew new swear words I've learned in them. But I won't be dropping the price on the bike just 'cuz you know me from here.

This ain't no freaking Schwinn ( ducks )! What part of Pacific don't y'all get? It's the MOST AWESOME ocean on earth, and so's the bike!! And Great Olympia No. 1, too. Need I say more?

Oh yeah, it's "dashy".

So there.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Commie,

How bad was the opponent?
I mean, c'mon, never mind the politics, the guy can barely put a sentence together!

Anonymous said...

#52

And I got a permit so we're legal..

Anonymous said...

#52

And I got a permit so we're legal..

le Correcteur said...

Fleshooks? Fleshhooks!

le Correcteur said...

What's a flesh ook?

clamming up said...

It's a response to the nsfw photo. "Flesh? Ook!"

"Guppy" Honaker said...

Hey there Bike Snob - been a while since I've been here but have enjoyed catching up. Yeah, what about that lady in the bathtub holding a wrench? Were I her husband/boyfriend, I think I'd run in the other direction!

- David

Aloe Vera Juice Benefits
Holistic Nutrition and Health

Anonymous said...

“people become unable to look down at their bicycles without thinking of genitals and unable look down at their sexual partners without thinking of bicycles”

The reason for this is not bike porn but nuclear physics.

"The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles...when a man lets things go so far that he is more than half a bicycle, you will not see him so much because he spends a lot of his time leaning with one elbow on walls or standing propped by one foot at kerbstones."
— Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)

le Correcteur said...

What's all that funny spelling four?

Salty and Sore said...

Anon 2:00-

Porn never gets old. Only the viewers do.

Anonymous said...

I went on a ride and assisted several riders with flat tires along the way. Both only had CO2 gadgetry, and I had a frame pump. They were happy to see me.

bikesgonewild said...

...crosspalms...

...as a serotta owner, i can only say "nice quip !!!"...

...but please don't mention to anyone else that i admitted to owning one...

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 4:27pm...

...i'm almost assuming that your referencing quote attributed to "— Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)" pegs him as the copper who nicked the english chap who was caught last year both salaciously & outrageously 'porking' the seat-tube on his velocipede...

leroy said...

To my shame, I know the answer to Gerald S's question to Mr. Zinn.

In my defense (and a certain celebrity blogger's defense as well), when I viewed the used Trek display at Sotheby's last year (you remember, one of them had a bunch of dead moths glued to it and had been ridden in some race in Paris by some guy), it was art not porn.

You can tell the difference. It's in the price.

leroy said...

G --

You may be confusing "Star Wars" with "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Nogocyclist said...

Anonymous @1:00PM
Your link is missing the "www." in the URL.
Here is the correct link Backyard Mini(velo)drome Video

Bobby said...

Snob, are those Colnago Yabbies I see? Oh, the humanity!! I think I need a cigarette.

Bobby said...

Snob! Are those Colnago Yabbies I see? Oh, the humanity! Think I need a cigarette.

ken (loves tofino) said...

shitty star wars tats, more "dope" vancouver references, and a moment of sunshine in otherwise torrential land. never mind the classic angles of a colnago!

(that's to say "hi everyone!")

bacycles said...

With all this commentary on 'yabbies' and 'fyxamatosis', one would deem that a visit to our Great South Land Frumunda would be approaching necessary. What say you, Snob? I can point out even more deserving and Southlandish people for your timely barbs.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Matthew, the correct answer is that the tires are to be inflated to the correct pressure before each and every ride, without exception, and therefore, the rate at which tubes lose pressure is wholly immaterial...

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Vegas said...

wiwm - Would you please keep your intelligence and practicality out of the discussion the minutiae of seeping gases and deflating rubbers? Thank you.

g said...

Leroy,
I have to admit, sometimes the two do cross. I believe that Dr. Gonzo was a large Mexican, not a Samoan, but I could be mistaken. It's been a long time since I saw the movie and even longer since I read the book. RIP, Duke.

M.Cippo said...

Riding the bicycle isa likea riding the woman.

thegock said...

DUKE ROXX

dux said...

the drool lolling off your chin is just a reward for wasting a few unrecoverable minutes from this vail of tears.

oops, wrong post.

Restart: snob you're a complete fool but having a daily deadline makes the weekends worth it.
any value found by anyone in anything for any reason is no one else's business. so shut up and clown on five days a week.

craft observed is knowledge.

Author deleted said...

This post has been removed by the comment...

ediscountbike said...

Why have Darth Maul in this fantastic tattoo. Everyone knows Mace-Windu Jedi Master is way more badass...espcially in Pulp Fiction

leroy said...

G --

It matters not how long ago you saw the movie or read the book. The main thing is how long ago you saw the sky fill up with screaming bats while your samoan attorney poured beer on his chest.

If you're going to Interbike Las Vegas for the bike porn, preparation and context are key.

Anonymous said...

In the video of backyard velodrome, are they going the wrong way round?

g said...

Now I have to read it again...


Where's my blotter...?

ringcycles said...

is that a frame pump on your top tube, or have you been looking at Colnago bottom bracket shells?

Cool The Kid said...

Mr. Matosis!!!!!

The Cheat said...

Concerned 2.0, Eddy was in the tattoo, looking like he was bursting out.

Snob, reading you in English is odd. Skip instead of dumpster? Bonnet? And is a three-bird roast a turducken?

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

High 80s today. Not too shabby.

-P.P.

Zoom in said...

that's not a vulva, it's a fixie dude with a small sack.

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Fixie Bikes said...

Those are awesome star wars tattoos.

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