Thursday, December 9, 2010

Classless Society: Pinko is the New Black

Last night, at Sid's Bikes, in Manhattan (which is an island with tall buildings all over it that is a suburb of New Jersey), The Bicycling Magazine Bike Repair Challenge, Sponsored by Park Tool "went down." In it, nine brave contestants strove to complete feats of bicycle maintenance such as changing an inner tube as quickly as possible in order to win an array of fabulous prizes, and as they did so they looked remarkably like the "upperclass twits" trying to unhook the bras in that Monty Python skit:

Of all the contestants, one fearless fumbler reigned supreme--Roy DeGuzman, Port Jefferson resident and self-admitted BMXer, shown here with his booty (as well as his prizes):

My job during the contest was to heckle and ridicule the contestants (or at least that's what I decided my job was, for all I know Bicycling may only have invited me in the hope that I'd help clean up afterwards). However, I must admit I felt guilty as I did this, since I doubt I could have out-repaired even the slowest among them (and I can assure you, some of the contestants were extremely if not preternaturally slow). This is partly because I'm generally inept, and partly because I view flat tires not as inconveniences but rather as opportunities--a chance to let that field ride away from me, or to be late to an appointment, or to just generally loiter on a street corner while a deflated butyl tube dangles from my hand and a string of drool hangs from my chin.

Speaking of ignorance, as an American I am of course completely ignorant when it comes to other countryways that are not my own, and what I do know about them is informed mostly by movies, television shows, and broad stereotypes. For example, I know that Japan is a land with a strong work ethic where everyone is a martial arts expert; I know that every man in Ireland is either one of three (3) Daniel Day-Lewis characters or else a quirky artistic type in the manner of Elvis Costello; and I know from listening to people like Michael Moore that Canada is a milder version of the United States where nothing bad ever happens, where free health care falls from the trees, and where the only violence the gentle people know is in the form of hockey fights. Also, their chief exports are maple syrup and comedians.

Of course, like any American, I also grow sad and disillusioned when I learn that one of these faraway lands of make-believe isn't really exactly like I thought it was, since like my fellow countrymen I've been raised with the notion that the world should conform to my whimsical fantasies. This is why the recent news out of Toronto has shaken my belief system to its very core. First they elected that mayor who thinks that when people die on bikes its their own fault, and then they got Colonel Sanders's more "flambullient" cousin to say even more crazy bike stuff about bikes at the swearing-in ceremony:

When I first read these comments and saw that they were attributed to Don Cherry, I wondered why the noted trumpet player and stepfather of the pop singer Neneh Cherry was so against bicycles, and more importantly, how he had channeled these sentiments from beyond the grave. Then I realized this was actually a different Don Cherry, and that he's an ice hockey commentator and some kind of "Canadian personality" (which strikes me as being something of an oxymoron, since I thought if you had a personality in Canada the government exiled you to the United States, hence the whole comedian export thing). In any case, Toronto has now catapulted itself to the top of my list of cities I'm afraid to visit, trumping even Reykjavic, which I had also resolved never to visit because I'm deathly afraid of elves.

Speaking of Nordic countries, yesterday I mentioned those Ikea holiday gift bikes, and it would seem that they are already making their way onto eBay:

As well as Craigslist:

ITTET, it's worth noting that receiving any sort of holiday bonus is impressive, even if it's a really crappy bike--especially when you consider (as I understand it, at least) that in addition to the bike Ikea employees also received a decent-sized cash bonus, with which they can presumably buy better bikes, or else "curate" fantabulous cockpits for the Ikea bikes they already own--ideally using pieces of Ikea furniture. (I'd give almost anything to see an Ikea bike with a handlebar-mounted Fredrik 11-piece workstation accessory set, and perhaps a Snöig lamp for good measure.) Still, this bicycle defaces my image of Sweden in the same way that Don Cherry has dispelled my illusion of Canada--though I also think two very valuable things have come from this:

1) Many cyclists have often wondered what the world's cheapest new bike would look like, and now we know because Ikea has finally commissioned it;

2) The socio-political implications of the Ikea bike have plunged the smug populace of Portland into a spiral of infighting and self-doubt.

Ever since I first saw the story on BikePortland I've been following the comments, and judging from the controversy it has generated this innocent bicycle may very well be the thing that finally tears their "bike culture" asunder. Some Portlanders are disgusted by the poor quality of the bike; others are disgusted with them for being disgusted; and still others are accusing Ikea of being "classist" and exploiting their workers by photographing them with cheap bicycles. It's a symphony of self-importance as delightful as anything ever composed by the likes of Mozart or Tchaikovsky.

Then again, it doesn't take too much to send Portanders into a tizzy. Even this ridiculous Chris King espresso tamper stirred up a little concerto of conceit:

Comments on that one seem to range from (to paraphrase) "You've got to be kidding me," to "How dare you not understand the tribulations of the working barista forced to handle inferior equipment?"

Personally, I'm still waiting for a decent Ikea bike "disembodied hand" shot, though I did receive from a very astute reader a photo from a Cyclingnews review of the Cannondale CarbTastic SuperX-Whatever-o-Cross in which the bike is being propped up by a disembodied stick:

Incidentally, the accompanying text is:

"The horizontal squish of the chainstays as they meet the bottom bracket shell seems to be a source of flex under pedaling."

In other words, the bottom bracket junction is just not "beefy" enough.

One can only imagine what the reaction in Portland would have been if Ikea had had the temerity to gift its employees with sub-par cyclocross bikes. They probably would have formed a mob and stormed the Ikea corporate headquarters with artisanal Chris King espresso tampers and given those "classist" Swedes the tamping of a lifetime.

Lastly, yesterday I also mentioned the Outlier "six foot scarf," and while I may scoff I'm sure Outlier are on to something big because it's no secret that the "fixerati" love to cover their faces and pretend to be bandits when they ride. Here in New York, this happens as soon as the temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is "freezing" on the fixed-gear scale. Here's another variation on that theme from San Francisco-based Martin Clothing:

You really need that for those brutal San Francisco Mission District winter nights.

Speaking of things that aren't beefy enough, the Martin model is definitely a candidate for the title of "America Next Top Fixie Model:"

Though not if Outlier have anything to say about it. There are a number of ways to approach the fixed-gear model shoot, and Outlier prefer the "story" approach. In this one, we see the model riding the bike:

And then we see him chasing after the guy who stole it:

Cadence clothing, on the other hand, appeal to fans of the "I'm in fifth grade and I walk to school all by myself" look:
Which is a variation on the non-threatening tough guy "Who you callin' a Nü-Fred?" pose captured by Mission Workshop:


And the "designer hoodlum" look embodied by the gynocentrically-named "Vag-X:"

I wonder how many Portlanders have ever received the message: "Hey, I think I left my Chris King espresso tamper in your VagX last night." Probably more than a few.

101 comments:

Drew said...

podium?

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

I <3 Pinkos.

jimmynuetron said...

Sodium?

Anonymous said...

Top 10

Anonymous said...

douche clenbuterol, and still missed podium :(

mikeweb said...

Yay Roy!!!

Boo Don!!!

Anonymous said...

topteneel!

Charles said...

Top Ten????

streepo said...

aarrgh.

Anonymous said...

One of the IKEA bikes for sale isn't assembled yet? Good luck with that. Don't worry about the extra bits you have left over, they probably weren't important.

mikeweb said...

That Vag-X bag is the perfect accessory for my new t-shirt.

Hairy-legged roadie said...

2) The socio-political implications of the Ikea bike have plunged the smug populace of Portland into a spiral of infighting and self-doubt.

What a fustercluck. Reminds me of the comment areas in the liberal blogs on the ongoing Bush tax-cut negotiations. I guess IKEA just didn't move enough votes to get Vanilla bikes for all its employees.

Doug said...

Are you sure Toronto is in Canada? I think there's a reality dysfunction, and it's actually Muskogee Oklahoma.

Anonymous said...

That's where I leave mine.

cycle

mikeweb said...

Description from Martin:

A breathable moleskin vest with extra inches of posterior tail.

I think I know where Sir Mix-a-lot is working now.

crosspalms said...

Is Vito hung over from the mechanic event?
"truping even Reykjjavic" should be "trumping even Reykjavik"
Glad to see the Ikea bike is "rare."

Anonymous said...

YOU HAVE TO TAKE DON CHERRY WITH A GRAIN OF SALTY spermatazoa. HE DRIVES A HUGE CADDILAC WITH A HUGE HOOD AND IS SOMEWHAT OF An unreknowned(or unbeknownst)CLOSET HOMOSEXUAL WHICH COULD BE BEHIND HIS COMMENT
So say he drives by a hot ass up in the air way up infront of his hood & AS he gets CLOSER HE GETS a twinge tighter in the seat belt area and as he passeS he seethes its a man!=closet darkens up. so dONT TAKe OFFENCE. heknows his hockey like you know your bikes.
Belive it or not he is a great advocate for sportsmanship and aethetics and spent his whole playing career in the minor leagues before making it as a coach in the NHL...i was just as surprized to see the news myself this morning on canadiancyclist but tenfold surprised to see it here on bsnyc this lunch hour.

Elephant Shoe!

le Correcteur said...

Top 20?

Anonymous said...

What's a pinko and does it have anything to do with "Hookers for Jesus?"

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of those department store mountain bikes, usually in a horrible state of repair.
It always leaves me wondering; "what is the unit production budget for a crappy full suspension bike?" Couldn't a really decent commuter be produced for the same price?
Something along the lines of a Bianchi San Jose (now discontinued because they were too sensible a bike), but maybe with an aluminum frame to get the weight down. Or a BikesDirect single speed.
But no, people love image over function, even at the budget level.

Johann Rissik said...

Definitely Top Ten

Anonymous said...

I would expect a simple, clean-looking 3-speed from IKEA. What a disappointment.

Dougie Gilmour said...

Don Cherry is gonna be the greatest hockey commentator this world has ever, ever seen as far as I'm concerned! And put that in your pipe, you left wing kooks

hillbilly said...

Love Don Cherry, plays the fuck out of a pocket trumpet.

leroy said...

BSNYC --

The Reykjjavic elf whom you fear now lives in Brooklyn.

She's not scary, but I don't have the nerve to ask about the swan dress she wore to the Academy Awards.

No need to thank me for the warning, I won a Park Tool pizza cutter at last night's Bike Repair challenge and this alert is the least I can do to express my gratitude. (And I am nothing if not focussed on the least I can do.)

Park Tool makes a pizza cutter and Chris King makes an espresso tamper. Is that perfect or what?

g said...

Leroy,
Don't forget that Park also makes a BBQ set with spatula, tongs and beer opener. Take that Chris King!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I thought elves had pointy ears not pointy tongues.

Nigel Incubator-Jones said...

I must say that I was disappointed to finish only third in the Bike Repair Challenge. If I hadn't stopped to share a joke with Lady Sarah Pencil-Farthing-Vivian-Streamroller-Adams-Pie-Biscuit-Aftershave-Gore Stringbottom-Smith, I believe I would placed much higher. Dash it all.

Dave said...

Snoobie, you're afraid of Iceland? I think I'm in love.

SLAM said...

top 30?

My reading speed increases every week, thank you BSNY!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I think the tamper is cool. Too bad I don't have an espresso machine...

PawnShop said...

An up-spec espresso tamper ain't easy to find, but it just got easier. As time passes, I look forward to the development of a CKET index as an economic indicator. Hellifino whether it will be a leading, lagging, or realtime indicator, and just what it will mean ( I suspect it would be a leading contraindicator for superautomatic sales ) - but Felix Salmon needs more to think about, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Tamp on you pinko Baristas, tampon!

Gourmet kind of guy said...

Belgian Biker Busted for using Crack

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or are those VajX bags almost direct ripoffs of Ortlieb messenger backpacks?

wishiwasmerckx said...

I avoid coffeehouses like the plague. Could someone please explain to me what an expresso tampon is, and what it is used for?

mikeweb said...

Gourmet, how can that article even be? My calendar says the date isn't April 1.

g-roc said...

There were what, 12000+ Ikea bikes issued? Hardly qualifies as rare. Probably one of the higher production bikes of 2010. Now, if you posess a functioning version around this time next year, then we'll be talking rare.

Test Tickle said...

BJOR KFAN

the tunnel shot ... they stole it from the WHO...

balls.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I just read the comments on the IKEA bikes at bikeportland. Well half of them anyway. Wow! just wow. Snob, this whole time I thought you were just exercising some artistic license when dealing with the PDX bike scene.

D. Hawerchuk said...

I'm pretty sure that Toronto is in line to get a NHL franchise one of these days..

Ayh Smb

Anonymous said...

So anyways, like I wuz sayin', lemmeetelya Don Cherry don't take a back seat to none of them fancypants guys ... Don tells it like it is, just like Rush and them guys so anyways, like I wuz sayin' that Fordy he's got the right idea about bikers and cars and that, you know, like I always say they just don't mix ... allowin' bikes on the street's just like havin' those Russians and them in thuh NHL ... bunch of pansies ... so all you bikers better keep your heads up, that's all I'm sayin' ...

Tom Dean said...

no horizontal squish here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZwCRgIyrX4

Anonymous said...

Elves

I'd hit it.

Anonymous said...

best part of the mission workshop photo? the fact that he has a storck. what a fine riding around town/coffee bike that makes.

Anonymous said...

why are fixters always posing with the bike slung over the shoulder?

And when will the fascination with the letter "X" fade?

grog said...

so, if you like society, then you're a socialist, if you like your community, then you're a communist, if you like breasts, then you're a pinko. Right?

SODHFMC
string of drool hangs from my chin

Anonymous said...

cocky

Nitram said...

A few days before this Ikea story "dropped," I made a post in a thread on mplsbikelove http://mplsbikelove.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=19352&start=30 in which I registered my disdain for department store bikes. The thread quickly devolved into a shitstorm between those who hate dept store bikes and those who think that you shouldn't tell poor people who don't know any better not to buy cheap bikes that break right away (if they aren't already broken straight off the floor that is).

I commend you Snob for bringing attention to this debate. Dept store bikes are an obstacle to bicycles being seen as a legitimate form of transportation by the mainstream because so many people only have experience with them, and can't imagine riding a bike that actually works and is useful.

CommieCanuck said...

Don Cherry Swearing in Rob "the Blob" Ford is a political statement for Toronto: the fucking idiots are now officially in charge.

Don't drink dee water.

mikeweb said...

Crap! I'd forgotten all about the people of Walmart site. Bye-bye to being productive the rest of the day...

Canuck Canock said...

Toronto is just upstate New York with socialized medicine and more alcohol consumption. But only a little bit more.

Pinko barista said...

So if I lose my new Chris King, will I have a tamper tantrum?

CommieCanuck said...

so, if you like society, then you're a socialist, if you like your community, then you're a communist, if you like breasts, then you're a pinko. Right?

This reminds me of a pinko joke: Name two cities in France with nude beaches:

Nice Cannes.

Gourmet kind of guy said...

Mikeweb, I thought the same thing!

RANTWICK said...

WooHoo! I Am Canadian, and a Bike Riding Pinko

Miss Muff said...

Park tools makes a very nice vaginal speculum for pelvic examination and pap smears. Vertically compliant and laterally stiff, like me.

Alexander the Douche said...

Who was Greek, conquered the known world by age 30, and sprays vinegar all over whiny liberal pussies?

Pinko barista said...

Sounds like Jimmy the Greek, but he's dead so it's probably somebody else. Golly, I'm stumped.

yogisurf said...

D*mn it Snob, glad your back. I barely laughed during your VayKay. 5th grade look....great analysis on all the pics....

PawnShop said...

And here I thought that thing was just for brake levers. Duly noted, Muff.

bikesgonewild said...

...all you smug-ass 'portlanders' with your la-di-da 'chris king precision component' "espresso tampers" are hopelessly mired in 'hipsterville' unless you've upgraded to ceramic bearings...

...facts are facts...

...just sayin'...

Cipo said...

Could I interest any of the ladies on this comment page in an organically stiffened neopolitan meat stick with just a hint of basil and garlic?

Don 'Grapes' Cherry said...

- RIPPEDLEE'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT - NORTH OF THE BORDER VERSION'

I played hockey when men were men and did not wear helmets or mouth pieces. Take that girley men!

bikesgonewild said...

...jeezus...glad some of youse is wakin' up...

...bgw's recycled comment from tuesday...

..."...as a hockey commentator, the ever stylistic-ly & verbally bombastic don 'grapes' cherry is always entertaining whether one agrees with him or not...

...but donny's 'foot in mouth' whilst having his 'head up his ass' comments in support of rob ford at the toronto city hall induction ceremonies makes me question whether he's finally lost touch with reality...

...maybe 'grapes' thinks he should be invited to be a canadian senator like the ever popular ex-maple leaf left winger, frank 'big m' mahovalich...

...love ya, donny but frank is respected for his quiet, classy demeanor...you, not so much..."
...

...just sayin' it's been said..

bikesgonewild said...

...btw, bsnyc/rtms...

...seems as if 'buycycling' was riding yer coattails on that 'bike repair challenge' like flies on, well, you know what i mean...

...oughta be a big 'christmahannukwanza - festivus' bonus for relying on the guy with the little 'comical cycling column' in the big well known national bike mag, ya ???...

Gordon said...

Anonymous @3:12 said...
"And when will the fascination with the letter "X" fade?"


It will never fade, the hipsters will always drool over something that has their signature in it....

ken (loves the PNW) said...

get the anonymous people on mr. cherry and his "friend"... great post snob!

DUMB CHRY
PINK OLUV

Anonymous said...

Bush was a badass mountain biker. Too bad Lancy Pants had to turn pinko once he started hanging with the Hollweird set.

Concerned 2.0 said...

What, you dont give credit to your readers when they give you info? Oh right im Canadian...You just wait till you step on the ice!

g-roc said...

@ Anon 3:12

Not sure why they pose like that, but maybe they were walking their bikes. I'm guessing that, after repeatedly getting smacked in the leg with the pedal of a non coasting bike, the bike gets carried on the shoulder a lot.

Kieran said...

Martin model:
Nice tatts Mr. Bean.

Anonymous said...

Fixie bandit scarf remark is funny except that you have clearly never been to the Mission district in winter. It is fucking FREEZING.

VagX said...

Hot it is in Calif, with the force in you.

The King of Parkallen said...

You have every reason to fear Toronto.

Anonymous said...

Toronto sounds like the perfect place for me if I ever feel like a change of scenery. This is unlikely I suppose given that my home town likens an island paradise. Set amidst a vast expanse of open cut coal mines rather than ocean, I am reminded daily of the full grandeur of nature, not just the insignificant veneer of nature on the surface that most people experience. Still, Toronto definitely sells itself to me. As I have mentioned previously my personal vehicle is a tank, an actual tank. It provides my family with uncompromised safety on the road, is well appointed with cup holders, and is an unsurpassable expression of the capable outdoorsy image that I like to project. How could someone who supposedly appreciates nature so much drive a tank? Well, I drive an Abrams tank and as you can easily verify with a quick search, the US Army is developing hydrogen fuel cells to power the Abrams, so it will in fact soon be the smug Priusesque status symbol of tanks. Away, Toronto would be great for me, because with most of the cyclists there too scared to ride and those too foolish to quit most likely run down, the streets will be free of these most annoying of road users. Sure, I could just crush them like I crush motor vehicles and small buildings when the traffic backs up, but the problem with bicycles is all the small components and pokey tubes that inevitably get caught up in all the nooks and crannies of my tracks. You silly Pinkos on your track bikes, I've got personal freedom and my own set of actual tracks, it works great for me. ce

Anonymous said...

Stay away from this you Lob damned algorithms! It took quite some effort for me to post this as I type with my toes to keep my fingers supple for my hand modelling career. ce

Anonymous said...

Seeing as I am already having a rant can I just say... Bloody Al Gore! He couldn't just delude the entire world, he had to go and invent algorithms as well. ce

Motorcycle Parts said...

late to an appointment, or to just generally loiter on a street corner while a deflated butyl tube dangles from my hand and a string of drool hangs from my chin.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, if I came across those filthy communists Don "Cherry Red Under The Bed" Cherry and Rob "Heartfelt Fear Of Cycling" Ford, with their support for tax payer funded public road networks, I would go out of my way to crush them inside their emasculating little sheet metal motor vehicles. For the afore mentioned reasons I might not bother if they were on bicycles, but that is unlikely as Rob Ford seems to be stuck trying to work out if he would be more or less likely to die from cardiac arrest on a bicycle if he was hauling along a heavy defibrillator and Don Cherry doesn't have time to ride due to the super human effort he is making trying to satisfy Rob's daily KFC intake. ce

Anonymous said...

Algorerhythm ce

joachim said...

you have got to get your helper monkey to seek out one of those ikea bikes for you to test.

mbshya
-yoda

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Martin is getting Polk Gulch unfortunates off the street.

LK said...

Personally I find Sag Harbor pretty frightening.

Anonymous said...

I wondered when you`d mention the Rob Ford/Don Cherry story. It was actually front-page news in Toronto the other day.

I like what Don Cherry has to say about hockey, but he really has no place to speak publicly about anything else. Seriously... no place whatsoever. Why is the host of Coach's Corner the centerpiece of Rob Ford's swearing-in ceremony? It makes no sense.

I grew up watching Don Cherry on TV every single Saturday night. He talks aboot hockey. That's it. Shit, this is so weird. Don fucking Cherry, fuck.

He was a runner-up for that "Greatest Canadian" thing a few years back. What a joke. Shit, this is frustrating. I need to get back to work.

Stranded said...

I'm feeling pink today. Preternaturally so.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Stranded said...

The Ikea bike is going for over $200.00 on Ebay. Like Ralph Nader's Corvair, its very crappiness may be the key to its popularity.

CommieCanuck said...

I grew up watching Don Cherry on TV every single Saturday night. He talks aboot hockey. That's it.

He doesn't even know what he's talking about with hockey.

His sofa budget must be huge.

Sheila said...

Don Cherry drives me nuts. I watch Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday night and one of my greatest pleasures is to hit the mute button as soon as the little arsehole gets going during the first intermission. He's an embarassment. I'd like to see him and and tubby Ford have a go on the Forest City Velodrome a la Rick Mercer!

gregoryyy said...

Every time I see a pic of some Political Troll like Barry and Don spewing out trash about bikes on camera I think of the movie "They Live".

DAIJOUBU said...

I always thought Don Cherry was Ron MacLeans clown shaped sidekick... Imagine being sworn in to office by a clown.

Runescape Gold said...

Belive it or not he is an excellent advocate for sportsmanship along with aethetics along with spent his / her total playing career in the minimal leagues prior to it as any mentor inside NHL...i had been just like surprized to find out the news myself this morning upon canadiancyclist however significantly astonished to see the idea right here in bsnyc this particular lunch break hour.


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Fixie Bikes said...

That first picture is art right?

John said...

'pinkos' sounds offensive