Monday, December 6, 2010

In Smarm's Way: Soul-Searching and Cheese-Mongering

A certain philosopher by the name of Socrates (perhaps you've heard of him, he's the one who's not Plato) famously said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." This has been wrongly translated and misinterpreted over the centuries. In fact, the original quote was, "The Unwashed Fruit is Not Worth Eating," and it was an admonition he penned while experiencing a severe case of diarrhea after eating a bag of dirty dates. Nevertheless, everybody now takes it to mean that you should like think about stuff really hard and stuff, or else you're an idiot.

For this reason, I used last week's break in order to engage in some "epic" soul-searching. Purchasing a Handy Home Products Montana 8'X10' shed from my local Home Depot, I erected it in an undisclosed location (hint: it was that beach "accessible only by bike" that Outlier pretends to have discovered which has a parking lot and is right near a bus stop) and, David Blaine-like, resolved not to emerge from it until I could satisfactorily answer the question that has been foremost on my mind of late: "Why do I, a person not confined to a single location by a house arrest ankle bracelet, choose to live in New York?"

Five days and nights passed, after which I was no closer to having an answer, and in fact I'd still be in there now if some off-season beachgoer hadn't mistaken my shed for a rural-themed porta-potty after eating a bag of dirty dates and fouled it so unbearably that I was forced to abandon it.

A few months ago I could have answered this question easily: "Because at least New York is becoming a better place to ride a bike, thanks to all the new bike lanes they're installing." Unfortunately, though, an anti-bike backlash seems to be wafting through the zeitgeist like the stench from a fouled porta-potty being carried by an ocean breeze. Here's an editorial from the Daily News that neatly sums up the current attitude:

You'd think the fact that "cyclists love it" would in itself support the notion that the bike lanes are successful, inasmuch as they are built for cyclists. However, this is New York, where the attitude is that anything new should work for everybody except the people who need it. Here, a bike lane is a failure if drivers don't like it, a new housing development is a failure if you can afford to live in it, and a restaurant is a failure if the people of the ethnicity which inspired the cuisine can afford to eat there. Hence, we should remove the bike lanes because people who don't ride bikes don't like them, and all they're doing successfully is preventing deaths:

The best her aides could provide were statistics showing, they said, that collisions between pedestrians and bicyclists or motor vehicles on avenues with bike lanes tended to produce fewer fatalities and less serious injuries than crashes elsewhere.

Clearly we need a new Department of Transportation commissioner, since it does not behoove New York's gritty reputation to have streets that are not sufficiently deadly. This is also why the hottest video game this holiday season is going to be "NYC City Planner," in which players compete to design streets for maximum carnage and the highest death toll wins.

Of course, the other argument against bike lanes is that they cause traffic:

That may be music to her ears, but it's blaring noise to New Yorkers who have to drive into Manhattan from Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx.

Right, because there wasn't any traffic before the bike lanes, and because you have to drive into Manhattan. That's like saying iPhones cause AIDS simply because they happen to exist at the same time--and of course you have to have an iPhone.

In any case, it's probably only a matter of time before New York ends the bike lane "experiment" and reverts to the old "all men, women, and children for themselves" approach. This will be disastrous, since we've all been mollycoddled over these past few years and have lost our "street smarts." Consequently, I fear my only option will be to leave town and go someplace else where the soft and spoiled thrive, like Portland, OR--or else to undergo some sort of intensive training in order to regain my mental toughness. Unfortunately, I'm already too late for the Saxo Bank-SunGuard training camp, where I could have partaken in some of Bjarne Riis's famously difficult team-building exercises. One of his favorite is the "aquatic gladiator" match, in which he arms two riders with paddles and pits them against each other in a fight to the death. Here he is ordering Alberto Contador to "Kill, kill!"

(Note Riis's bloodthirsty smile.)

And here's his adversary scrambling to defend himself against the "Pistolero's" clenbuterol-fuelled assault:

("Get out of my way, you meddling Water-Fred! Can't you see I'm fighting for my life?")

Sadly, the defense was unsuccessful, and the waters of the Mediterranean were red with blood. (Mediterranean Sea's suspension pending B sample test results.)

Then, later, the team engaged in some "dry 69ing" (which is dry humping's dirtier cousin) to oompah band accompaniment:

They should dominate the controversial Team Tantric Sex stage at next year's Tour de France.


Here's Vincenzo Nibali wearing a pair of pants that took a team of chemists over six months to artificially distress, and which probably still contain trace amounts of toxins strong enough to either cause a positive drug test result or else render him infertile:

And here they all are posing with the contenders for the title of "Miss Ciclismo:"


Curious about the Miss Ciclismo pageant, I consulted a popular search engine, which led me tow what appears to be some sort of "behind the scenes" gallery. Clearly, the competition to become Miss Ciclismo is fierce. For example, here are two contestants trying to intimidate each other with a silicone breast bump:

Here's one ridiculing another behind her back:

Here's one attempting to sabotage her opponent though hypnosis:

("When I snap my fingers you will wake up and think you're Vincenzo Nibali's pants.")

And here's a creepy sex-crazed Euro-stalker lurking in the stairwell:

("Actually, I'm waiting for Thor Hushovd. He makes me feel lighter than milk.")

His dreamboat has come in, and it's a Viking longship.

Speaking of Euro class, Ritte van Vlaanderen, purveyors of racing bicycles and films such as this one...



...have sent me what they claim is the "classiest disembodied hand shot ever:"

Whether or not you agree may depend on how you feel about Rivendell and their authoritatively lofty quill stems, since they too know a little something about using hand models:

Either way, though, it's certainly up there. Here's how they made the magic happen:

Judging from the hue of her arms, she must have been part of the design team that developed Nibali's pants.

94 comments:

samh said...

"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

Mongo Pusher said...

Holy Crap! Podium!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

welcome back snob.

Anonymous said...

yowza!!

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

in the hunt...

Anonymous said...

Within the top ten...
Welcome Back Your Snobbiness!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Macadam!

Anonymous said...

back in black

trained all weekend said...

boorah top 10!

frilly said...

Sweet as pie!

Missed ya snob.

Anonymous said...

toptwampeel!

ken e. said...

my favourite number!

GenghisKhan said...

Podium! Yeah, I know, not. Heck, not even really close, but this is the closest I ever get.

Welcome back, Snob, & Happy Cheese Day!

GenghisKhan said...

P.S. No (known) relationship to Jeanette Sadik-Khan...

Paul Bowen said...

Welcome back Snobbers!

jimmynuetron said...

But what came of your time in the shed Byke Snawb? You spent a week and a half there afterall.

Anonymous said...

17 not shabby

cycle

The Cheat said...

I think the bike is keeping the disembodied hand's owner from floating away. By the looks of things she's lighter than milk.

Anonymous Coward said...

"the controversial Team Tantric Sex stage at next year's Tour de France."
Snob, the time in the Montana Shed paid off with that gem, chapeau.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back boss keep up the fight it will be tough until the world runs out of cheap oil then we will all be on bikes fight the power fight the system be happy and ride your bike. Also you should post about winter riding. Do you see fewer riders this month. What are they wearing to stay warm danke Shon

Paul Bowen said...

I think we just have to accept that many (most?) people who aren't cyclists don't like cyclists. Don't know why but it's just there. They don't always come right out and say it, though often enough they will, but will come up with attempts at rationalisation of their dislike or express it through objections to cycling facilities on whatever grounds seem least spurious. It's quite sad.

Doug said...

OK, where's Super Mario in the "Miss Ciclismo" photo? C'mon- he's got to be in there somewhere.......unless he's busy judging the "Miss Gros Seins" competition again.

Anonymous said...

Anybody want an original Schwinn?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Modern-Schwinn-Mountain-Bike-First-One-/320625311837?pt=Mountain_Bikes&hash=item4aa6c2005d

The man made history

http://www.completesite.com/mbhof/page.cfm?pageid=7&categoryid=4&memberid=154

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I'd hit it.

le Correcteur said...

Missed the top twenty! And now for a few minutes of each weekday morning, I no longer have to wonder what to do with myself. Welcome back!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Blaiser said...

Top 30....?

Major Nelson said...

Honestly, Mr. Dope Tester, I must have eaten some fish who were swimming near the team's training camp when Bjarne and Albertor pissed in the ocean.

MOLY CODL

Comment deleted said...

It's good to be deleted, again.

Anonymous said...

First

Rabbi Makim ben Dover said...

So, Schnob, vas is vith the shed, nu? Succot is not until 15 Tishrei, meschugah...

hillbilly said...

welcome back

grog said...

Glad you are back! Liked your maintenance article in the mag. Good work!

Anonymous said...

hey whats snob's email address. i'm trying to contact him but when i click on his email it says, "could not perform task because default mail client isnt properly installed"

thanks

OBA said...

You're stuck here like the rest of us because NYC sucks but everyplace else sucks at least a little bit more.

Mellow Yellow said...

Time to leave NYC for sure. Unpaid anarchists do a better job of enforcing traffic laws than the NYPD.

http://bit.ly/htU4Pw

mikeweb said...

Drats! Between the underwear as outerwear photoset on the Daily News website and then Miss Ciclismo 'behind the scenes' shots, it took me over an hour to get all the way through this post. What was the post about again?

g said...

Something about a shed, I think.

Glad to have you back Snob. It was a long and lonely time....

mikeweb said...

Oh, welcome back and Happy Hannukah.

Indy Falconheads said...

Is it still illegal to carry a concealed firearm in NYC? Or what is that law??

LK said...

It's interesting that cyclists in NYC are clearly not New Yorkers like the drivers and pedestrians, and carry a citizen status much like illegal immigrants.

Here in NYC we don't need concealed weapons, just a car, or truck. Or in my case a http://bit.ly/eA0sLc

Curate some reality for a change said...

What's with all the fake jeans on those douchebags? Listen, douchebags, anyone who has ever actually worn out a pair of jeans knows you just look like morons in those things.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

That Ted Kaczynski guy had a Montana shed too.

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

All my kids wanted for the holidays was a Handy Home Products Montana shed.

But someone snagged the last one from the local Home Depot.

And a Tickle Me Cipo doll is out of the question.

As if that weren't bad enough, NY1 has a story about someone messing with the bike trails in Cunningham Park.

Worse yet, Bicycling Magazine rejected my dog's entry in its best amateur mechanic contest. Apparently, claiming expertise because one is already fixed is no substitute for opposable thumbs.

Oh well, at least he's picked out a nice Seasonal Affective Disorder Greetings card this year.

I am the "suck less" engine said...

"You're stuck here like the rest of us because NYC sucks but everyplace else sucks at least a little bit more."

As one of the Farley brothers said to Matt Damen when directing Stuck on you "Suck Less". NYC is not sucking less, it is sucking more.

That bring me to the next subject miss "12" is not taunting, she is just showing us that wonderful tongue, that is the talent part of "Miss Ciclismo".

Thank god you are back snobby.

bikesgonewild said...

...oh sure, bsnyc/rtms...

...you walk out of my life just as the holiday season is about to start, giving me the bird before thanksgiving & nothing else but a post-it note on my computer saying "later, bubba, back in december", & now you come waltzing right back in like nothing is amiss ???...

...don't think i don't know what you're up to, mister...it's written all over your face...you're gonna pull this same little stunt again right before christmahannukwanza & i won't see hide nor hair of you until after the 'new year'...

...i swear, i'm sick of this business...you don't seem to care, bsnyc/rtms but i'll have you know that there were people here every day looking for you...but NO, you'll just do this all over again...

samh said...

Recumbent Conspiracy Theorist, The Unabomber's Montana property went up for sale last week. Shed not included however.

Unabomber's property near Lincoln for sale The Missoulian

Anonymous said...

Those Miss Ciclismo pageant runner ups make my chamois rise from the grave.

Welcome back, Shnob.

SmugSeattle said...

Shed culture is not for sale.

bikesgonewild said...

...btw...speaking of montana cabins...

..."For a mere $69,500 you can own a 1.4 acre plot in western Montana previously owned by none other than Unabomber Ted Kaczynski."...

...it's perfect, bsnyc/rtms...the property is cabin-less 'cuz his humble little abode was brought, lock(s), stock & barrel to sacramento when he went on trial...

...you have a cabin, ergo, it's made for you...of course there's no electricity to fire up the ol' laptop (ted wasn't big on "essentials") but why should you worry, right ???...

...you just leave your little on-line family wondering when you go on snobbatical anyway...

...just sayin'...

de dux deluxe said...

Recent events conspire too reveal latent intentions of
bodily distress remaining from early training among
the paperless bathrooms of the Egyptian desert.

So I had too use your Montana digs for evacuations
and giggles.....

film at eleven....

PawnShop said...

Dammit SamH, stop staring at me while I type!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Easy fix- we'll just cobble up an old 12- volt alternator to a set of rollers and snobbie can get a bit of exercise while charging the laptop battery. Then upload the daily blog through a satelite isp.
Sounds great and snob should approve because he likes minimalism.

samh said...

Groupthink/type/speak.

crosspalms said...

I don't get the vehemence of anti-bike people. Maybe it's because even when we're commuting, riding a bike is still fun, and some people don't approve of fun. And there's the "bikes are toys" attitude, and the bizarre resentment of bike lanes as something "special" for cyclists, as if we don't spend a ton of money for special lanes for cars (streets, highways) and special lanes for pedestrians (sidewalks).
Oh, and welcome back!

The King of Park Slope said...

Iphones don't cause AIDS?

bikesgonewild said...

..."easy fix" you say but first, we (sniff) have to know he cares...

Ricky Martin said...

Its too darn cold to race! However Im still faster than 1/2 the field!

Molly Coddle said...

I always put my IPhone in a large latex glove so I don't catch any STDs.

Some Guy on the Innernets said...

@Paul Bowen 12:46

It's no mystery. It's a relatively few dickheads who screw it up for everybody. We don't have hipsters running lights and acting like suicidal clowns here, but we do have idiots in plastic clown suits. Just yesterday, I had a nasty encounter with some of our notorious local Pretend Peleton Posers. They were apparently without any adult supervision. I wouldn't ride with those wankers if someone paid me.

wishiwasmerckx said...

BGW, if you are dissatisfied with Snob's work ethic, you can always ask for your money back...no, wait...oh, nevermind...

As for where he goes, I thought we established that it was to Florida to visit his Bubbie and Zaydie...

Anonymous said...

I'll have the pulled pork sandwich with extra sauce please

bikesgonewild said...

...yah, nice recovery, wishiwasmerckx...

...you almost let on that you n' leroy, frilly n' commiecanuck, ant1 n' mikeweb & a few other 'ol' time regulars' including yours truly actually get paid to visit this site...

...i woulda packed up my laptop & headed elsewhere but the yearly bsnyc/rtms christmahannukwanza 'invitation only' party in the bahamas is always so much damn fun...

...besides, the free plane ticket & week long resort pass is a tax write off although bsnyc/rtms mentioned the cash bonuses would be down this year...

...something about "...those cheap bastards at bicycling magazine & the paltry sum they pay me..."...

naturaldisasters said...

I am extremely grateful to have bike lanes on 1st and second, but they could be installed with more precision. Motorists aren't usually bothered by us when we don't slow them down or cause potential accidents, but the way they are installed doesn't have that covered. Cabbies will get pissed and push us around when efficiency is compromised, but in a better system can work with us side by side.

The bike traffic lights on 2nd cause a blockage, and all I have to do is go to the right of the cars turning left, the lane should move to the right side of the turning lane at 23rd and 14th.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Jeeze, BGW, now you've gone and let the cat out of the bag...

bikesgonewild said...

...whoops, damn...i thought i had e-mailed you...

...hopefully no party crasher types saw it...but they couldn't get in without the secret 'lobster' tattoo anyway...

better red than dead said...

sixty nine?!!!!

geez what happened to 200+ comments?

call the doc, we're getting "with" the program. (i hear it cures cancer)

must post more faster dammittohell.

heard it on the radio said...

oh yeah, (and this is swamp-level humor for this crowd) but the square root of 69 is

eight-something.

yo.

George Not Hincapie said...

You actually will be leaving NYC. Soon you will realize it's not the place to raise your little bambino. Look what happened to Vito. Surely you won't make the same mistake twice!

Come ride with us in the rolling Far Hills, NJ. Then we'll talk private schools.

Anonymous said...

Panties! Erection! Podium girls! Montana Shed! Panties!

Night Watchman said...

Sure beats the heck out of working !!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snob, after five days on the beach did you realize buying a storage shed for the 'big dummy' applied to the bike and not the rider?

Wheels Of Change said...

Hey Snob,

If you really get sick of NYC I'm sure we here in Durango, CO, could use a BSDGO. Actually we already have a lot of those, but none that I know of can write as well, so you're welcome to be our official one. I guarantee the mountain riding is better. Less death-defying traffic riding, though. Think on it!

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Anonymous said...

You'll have to flick across to the picture of the 71cm 700c Hilsen to see what I'm talking about. ce

Anonymous said...

why did my comment disappear?

Anonymous said...

The original Comment 83 did not contain any information retrieved from diplomatic cable, I swear. ce

Anonymous said...

Hey Bikesnob!

I enjoy reading your philosophical, funny, clever and informative blog. Just wanted to say thanks for the entertainment.

Best Regards Michael From Denmark

Lantern Rouge said...

Nice!

Hairy-legged roadie said...

"In any case, it's probably only a matter of time before New York ends the bike lane "experiment" and reverts to the old "all men, women, and children for themselves" approach."

The safety of bike lanes is a hallucination. In LA, we have some fauxemian philosophers who think sharrows will magically keep texting drivers from hitting you. All you need for bike safety is a stencil and paint -- get cracking!

hillbilly said...

Where has the OC gone? no word in a while....perhaps TOO quiet!

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I don't dare to listen to that soundtrack.

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Aryan Smith said...

Apparently, claiming expertise because one is already fixed is no substitute for opposable thumbs.
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