Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The First (and Last) Annual BSNYC/RTMS Cockpit of the Year Award: The Finalists

I've done some very difficult things in my time: I have swammed the English Chanel; I have peddled a freewheel unicycle from Nova Scotia to Tierra del Fuego; and, as you can see, I have even completed an intensive 6-month course in Craigslist spelling. However, none of these arduous tasks has approached in difficulty what has so far been the greatest challenge of my life, which has been "curating" The First (and Last) Annual BSNYC/RTMS Cockpit of the Year Award, sponsored by the smug caffeine purveyors at Just Coffee Cooperative. Indeed, so trying has this process been that earlier I accidentally launched an incomplete post into the "Internet," which I expect even now is languishing in caches and blog readers like a virtual chunk of spinach in my teeth.

So why have I undertaken this herculean (or at least homunculean) task? Well, it's because I wanted to share with you the delicious taste of my own eponymous coffee:

Of course, I don't actually brew my coffee, choosing instead to smoke it, but I am assured by those who have actually drunk it that it is quite tasty.

More importantly, though, I launched this contest because I wanted to celebrate the ZBC, or "Zany Bicycle Cockpit," and by extension the spirit innovation, exuberance, and self-expression that these rolling freak shows represent. Alas, if only I had more gimmicky coffee, I would award a bag to each and every entrant. However, my prizeways are limited, and so sadly there must be losers--even though each and every entrant is, in my view, a winner.

Even so, for simplicity's sake, let's just call these "winners" who will not be receiving bags of coffee "losers" anyway, and here are some losers who I feel are worthy of honorable mention. Firstly, there's this cockpit, spotted in downtown Manhattan:

With Segways costing something like $6,000, it's natural that people who covet the upright, reading-at-a-lectern position but find the cost too dear would attempt to replicate it on a far less expensive bicycle. But while I find the so-called "Segway conversion" compelling, the glimpse afforded by this photograph is simply too fleeting, and so it shall not be a finalist.

Another situation I encountered often while "curating" this contest was the cockpit that was compelling yet was not "zany" in the overall context of the bicycle. For example, on any other bicycle these bars, coupled with the old-timey bulb horn, would be zany, but on a Pedersen they're actually rather conservative:

The same thing goes for this bamboo cockpit:

Which is pretty much what you'd expect Gilligan to be "rocking:"

Also, "fixies" tend to feature such ridiculous handlebar setups that the curve on which a fixed-gear cockpit must be graded is so steep as to take them out of consideration altogether:


This is also true of Serottas (and Rivendells, obviously) and really high quill stems:

As well as of mobile "epic" burrito prep areas, or taxidermy studios, or tattoo parlors, or whatever this four-person configuration is:

Then there was this sublime cockpit from Houston--which, after much soul-searching, I decided to disqualify due to the fact that the bicycle has an engine:

Frankly, I prefer my "cockies" to be human-powered.

Also, while some cockpits had a single element that lent them shock value, overall they weren't sufficiently inventive. Consider this person, who apparently rides with a handlebar-mounted--and quite real--gun:

On a freewheel bicycle, you should always "palp" both a front and a rear brake in case one of them fails. Similarly, when "portaging" a gun, you should also carry a knife just in case of jamming or misfire--so I was pleased to see that this rider has a blade at the ready.

But perhaps the most difficult submissions to eliminate were the ones that were excellent, but that also came from more than one person who happened to have spotted the same bike. At first, I considered giving consideration to the entrant who had taken the better photo, but then I realized that, as a horrible photographer myself, it would be extremely unfair of me to "curate" a contest that ultimately came down to camera skills. So, in the name of fairness, I ultimately disqualified redundant submissions--even when they were incredible, like this one:


That's a lot of hand positions:


In fact, by my count, there are at least nine legitimate hand positions on offer:

Interestingly, this bicycle was spotted and photographed by two separate people in Juneau, Alaska, both of whom collectively must represent the city's entire "bike culture."

This brilliant contrivance, complete with vibration-absorbing bar extensions, was also spotted and submitted by more than one person:

As was James's retina-searing cockpit in Baltimore:


And this double-decker in Tucson:

Like kidney stones, it was extremely difficult and painful to eliminate these, but I did so nevertheless.

In any case, so much for the losers--now on to the finalists. What I've done is broken them down into six (6) separate categories. In each category, vote for your favorite cockpit. Then, at a later date, I will take the winner from each category and from these determine who shall be first, second and third overall.

I: Best Antler or Animal By-Product


(Antlers On The Stand)



(CSC TT Antlers)



(Antlers Sur L'Herbe)



(Hillbilly "Stemie")



Which Is Your Favorite Dead Animal Bike?






II: Best Aero



(Road Only)




(All-Terrain)



Which Is Your Favorite Time Trial Bike?




III: Best Multi-Level
(The Sheldon Brown Memorial Biplanar Cockpit Award)



(Jacob's Ladder)



(Reflections in a Pond)




Which Is Your Favorite Multi-Level Cockpit?



IV: Best STI


(Upright)




("Aggro")



Which Is Your Favorite STI Lever-Equipped Cockpit?



V: Best Owner "Curated" and Piloted




(Steering Wheel Guy)




This one is very zany because it features a quick release stem bolt that allows me to change the bar position from "normal" mode to full cruiser mode for that upright position to take advantage of the abundant tailwinds Kansas has to offer.

-- Rick
Scabadeba.com





(The Kansas Sail)




Which Is Your Favorite Owner-Operated Cockpit?





VI: "Freestyle"
(Anything Goes!)




(The Schematic)



(???)



(!!!)




Which Is Your Favorite "Freestyle" Cockpit?

So there it is. I reserve the right to add or withdraw finalists at any time, completely ignore polling results, or simply sob into my own woefully unfettered cockpit. I also hereby indemnify myself against hanging chads, itchy "pants yabbies," or any other form of ballot ambiguity. Vote early, vote often, vote angry--and, most importantly, vote drunk.

--BSNYC/RTMS




91 comments:

Anonymous said...

First??

ringcycles said...

podium

mikeweb said...

Cockie!

Anonymous said...

podium for the CLT

Anonymous said...

Great post today, Snob. I really enjoyed reading it.

Richard said...

First?

ringcycles said...

sooo much sweeter on "Cockie" day

Anonymous said...

Damn. Maybe not.

Shu-Sin said...

YAY

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

Anonymous said...

cock-n-balls

Anonymous said...

cock-n-balls

Nogocyclist said...

Cyclist Stabbed
Kid riding a bike stabbed in Mississippi for riding his bike in the wrong place. It sure seems that cyclists are often the target of the Nuts.

Anonymous said...

top20eel

samh said...

COCK EEZE

MODU LATE said...

'ZBC

hillbilly said...

mikeweb is on fire!!!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Miss Muff said...

I'm coming.

old hipster said...

Almost didn't vote for Aggro (STI category), because if it wins, I may end up seeing it again. But, I had to vote for it, because it uses so few components to achieve so much wrongness.

mikeweb said...

Law & Order: UMU

(Utra Moron Unit)

Shu-Sin said...

james is disualified??? dear sir please reconsider... perhaps james himself can submit a cockie...

Anonymous said...

I wish I was an artist, cause I would get that schematic done right, in oil/acrylic on canvas.

wishiwasmerckx said...

So disgusted am I over the ongoing US Senate election battle between Harry Ried and Sharon Angle that when the stag from "Antlers Sur L'Herbe" personally telephoned me to solicit my cockie vote, I hung up the phone on him.

roomservicetaco said...

Is the CSC bike real or photoshop? Does it matter for the purpose of voting?

ant1 said...

those were some tough choices.

Dave said...

Checked out your coffee on the Just Coffee website. In reading the description, it appears to be a blend of light and dark roasted coffee, handpicked by you! Since it's fair trade, did they pay you a living wage to pick the beans ? Cngratulations!

crosspalms said...

I'm surprised the well-regulated militia guy doesn't have an antler cockie. Or at least a dead squirrel.

samh said...

Had to look up "Sur L'Herbe" on an Internet-based encyclopedia site. Lulz.

brother yam said...

I'm still puzzled by ???. The best I can surmise is that the wheel is used to put down the kickstand in the front. I'm completely baffled...

Buffalo Bill said...

I was merrily voting as I read the post, only to get to the instructions at the end - vote drunk! - I guess that means I'll have to do it all over again. Oh well, rules are rules after all..

Buffalo Bill said...

Had to vote for the schematic, but only because of the back story. The other entries in that field are probably better, but;

"Is that how you want it?"

Minimalist said...

I'm afraid to go outside now...

PawnShop said...

'Time Trial' was my most difficult choice to make - a cacophony of meh-diocrity.

The 'All-Terrain' entry had the disadvantage of being a very conventional cockpit mounted atop a suspension stem, and the advantage of a velcro bottle holder filled with tent poleage.

'Road Only' had the disadvantage of being too simple, and tacky to boot. Any wino could come up with it, and many have. What's that extra tube clamped to the left side? You certainly couldn't put your hand on it while riding. Suppose it could be used as a flag holder; yeah, that would work.

Shit, I voted wrong. Meh.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your accidentalpublishway...

Anonymous said...

Crap..
No nekkid chicks showin' their cooch like yesterday.

Meh

ervgopwr said...

So much cockie, not enough pussieway.

Maybe that should be the next contest.

Would those just be cut-out saddles?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Dave, we've been over this before. The BSNYC "Blend of Disapproval" coffee is the human equivalent of civet coffee. Why do you think he refuses to drink it?

dux said...

i almost voted but my absentee ballot was eaten by my imaginary dog.

g said...

kicked ass on the quiz this week!!

Didn't get the right answer video, though. Looked like a bunch of green sticks.

Man I love the Wednesday weed...

Billing Time said...

Snob, time to fire your lawyers (given your international fame and untold riches, I assume you have many). When you indemnify yourself, you are simply agreeing to make yourself whole for your liabilities. That is, when I sue you for failing to include my cockie in the honorable mentions, you will have to look to your own bank account to hold yourself harmless for the costs of suit, attorneys fees, and damage awards you are about to be faced with.

"Guppy" Honaker said...

"Antlers on the Stand" is kinda cool - but hope the rider doesn't lose control and gorge somebody!

- David

Aloe Vera Juice Benefits
Holistic Nutrition and Health

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

db said...

Don't Americans always vote angry? And drunk?

MyWorld said...

Wow-who knew? A Pedersen! When I spotted this, I was certain it was the result of an all-nighter at the end of the rear stay production line. To find out that it's a bona-fide oddball maker of bicycles-now I know why the Snob is one of my first stops online for real news!

Flash said...

Hands down...James wins. How could you eliminate that awesome light show but include those lame time trial bikes? Sorry, but not true to the spirit of the contest.

Did you notice how the Alaskan tandem and the giant antler bike sport the same camo paint jobs?

le Correcteur said...

Anonymous, 1:54:

You mean, "I wish I *were* an artist" thus using the subjunctive "condition contrary to fact" and keeping it alive even in English!

Salty and Sore said...

"Frankly, I prefer my "cockies" to be human-powered."

In the words of another esteemed commenter, "I'd hit it."

Bonus points to Snobbie for "Reflections on a Pond." Nice subtitling!

bikesgonewild said...

...wow...there are some truly 'epic' submissions & speaking of which, i'd like to apologize for the early one i sent in before realizing the actual nature of the "cockpit of the year award"...

...the embarrassed young lady also apologizes...profusely...

CommieCanuck said...

Damn. All those emails of my cockie to Snob were for not.

CommieCanuck said...

In the words of another esteemed commenter, "I'd hit it."

Look, with us, it's much easier and more efficient to list what we would not "hit".

CommieCanuck said...

Don't Americans always vote angry? And drunk?

Torontonians vote angry, drunk and fat. with a little wife beating, just for good measure.

Anonymous said...

but if you move on from this annual Cocckie award, then what will you do next year? will we still be allowed to submit them for your pleasure/mouth?

Anonymous said...

Best multi-level was tough for me, I listened to my ego and went with Reflection in a Pond for its evocative simplicity.

But it was hard to resist my id's attraction to the vise-grips...

PawnShop said...

bgw@4:06 FTPOTDW

Anonymous said...

Allo cocky

yogisurf said...

GREAT Cockies! Now who did not vote for 'the Schematic' as a finalist for a Cockie? Re violence against cyclists: Last night on my way home from work, a guy buzzed me (coming within 1ft) at 35mph (I was going 21). He hit a light and I rode up to his window and asked “Did you get a buzz out of buzzing me?” He cussed me out and said “the road is for cars, to get the $%#^ out of his way” and who the #@$% am I to talk %^%$# to him?” The light changed and I laughed in his face and rode quickly ahead, two lane road with lots of traffic and lights. He never caught me. I hope he parks his silver S2000 with HI plates (I’m in CA) in a garage where I won’t see it…(Not really, won’t do that).

Anonymous said...

RE:Anonymous, 1:54:
You mean, "I wish I *were* an artist" thus using the subjunctive "condition contrary to fact" and keeping it alive even in English!

Ok great, I was wishing I were an artist, so I could do something nice, but now I'm thinking that I would like to go with velvet and not canvas..that would just be awesome.

Anonymous said...

NYC: "7-foot man-bear"
I have no idea what this has to do with cycling. But it smells like Snob material.

http://www.businessinsider.com/million-dollar-idea-a-7-foot-manbear-that-comes-to-your-home-to-help-you-get-over-your-ex-2010-10?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Business+Insider+Select&utm_campaign=BI_Select_102710_Personal

Loren said...

My most patriotic day ever. Turned in my local election ballot AND bsnyc ballot. America, fuck yeah!

Anonymous said...

homunculean cockie epic.

bikesgonewild said...

...pawnshop...

...not quite sure what 'ftpotdw' stands for but i'm thinkin' i'm gonna add it to my resume...

crosspalms said...

Oh I wish I could have been an Oscar Mayer wiener,
That is what I truly wish I could have been.
Cause if anonymous had let me be an Oscar Mayer wiener,
Everyone would have been in love with me.

Samuel said...

All else being equal I went for the tallest, widest or most outrageous finalists - Antlers sur l'Herbe; Jacob's Ladder; Upright for the STI category; and of course ???.

All Terrain got my nod for sheer improbability - and the Kansas Sail, since that shit's just ingenious.

Will be interested to see the final results.

One of the Daleys said...

Chicago style: early and often.

leroy said...

Golly, we can't let a little thing like subjunctive contrary to fact conjugation distract us from the important task of cockie votage.

I've used this simple memory device to keep things straight.

Just think of that song from Fiddler on the Roof: "If I were in Richmond."

Honestly, things would have been a lot different then.

(Category III confirms that Sheldon Brown was a genius. Nothing subjuntive contrary to fact about that.)

Anonymous said...

Can you vote in Canada ?

PawnShop said...

bgw, FTW+POTD=? You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the ballot question read:
"Which is your LEAST favourite (...)cockpit?"

American Democracy - Exported Since 1917...

Mother said...

So, about all those flags that James has curated...are they attached to his bike, or are they sticking out of his butt?

Frank Eeckman said...

I think more Americans voted for cockie than will vote on November 2.

Anonymous said...

Pontius Pilate made me laugh again...

bikesgonewild said...

...pawnshop...a definite 'gracias', amigo...

...i just hope bsnyc/rtms deletes that 'larry king-able' foto from his hard drive before the young lady & i end up as a frumpy friday quiz question...

Anonymous said...

...so until today i felt comfortable knowing what a bike should look like and how it was designed to be ridden. todays cockies left me uneasy a little confused and now quite uncertain which way to go... damn it! back to the doc for more meds....

Rev. J.Jackson said...

You had better stop discriminating against James. You have been blinded by the light(s).

jdt said...

I think the contest has to come down between ??? and Jacob's Ladder. The ??? for the remarkable incorporation of front wheel drive on a bicycle, and Jacob's ladder for the apparent appropriation of the handlebars from those weird 1980s quasi-rowing gyration exercise machines. Those two creations could only occur after an incomprehensible digestion of hallucinogens or are the purest acts of insanity I have ever seen. I really don't envy anyone having to chose between those two magnificent monstrosities. God speed, Snob.

D. Hawerchuk said...

This blog was and is a pirate ship. Is it wrong for me to keep reading?
Cockie?

and as Anon 2:21 PM said:

Crap..
No nekkid chicks showin' their cooch like yesterday.

Meh

luciferyellow said...

Can James at least get a light-time achievement award?

escalante blogger said...

Wow! I can't believe that bikes. So cool huh!

hector said...

Great photos of custom made bikes! Great job!

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Anonymous said...

Since the sad passing of "Paul the Psychic World Cup Octopus" a position has opened in the esoteric field of predictioneering, and it seems I might be the man for the job (there is no pre-requisite for species type or limb count). Every cock' I voted for was the most popular choice! But, I guess I did have probability on my side there. It seems in the world of zany bicycles, I'm as mainstream as they come. ce

Anonymous said...

"Don't Americans always vote angry? And drunk?"

They might be angry and drunk, but I think voting is optional. ce

Laustin Austin said...

Love how the Pedersen is locked up to a totally stealable post.

Eric Lowe said...

Hopefully my craptastic snapshot of James' cockie wasn't the only duplicate. Regarding the flags, I think he strayed to close to the safety flag javelin-toss at the break area. It was right next to the flat-changing contest. Those things are sharp!

TheCrab said...

To my amazement, I KNOW that dead squirrel bike. It belongs to a girl I go to school with.

At least, I'm assuming I know it - how many dead squirrel bikes could there possibly be?

Anonymous said...

Mate. This blog is amazing. How can I make it look this good ?.

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Here what i found -> vision correction

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Fixie Bikes said...

That brown bike looked real weird.

Tom Reingold said...

I want to see an entire office or kitchen on a handlebar.