Monday, January 10, 2011

Cirque du So Meh: Tripping the Light Flambullient

Last Friday, I mentioned the 2011 Pan-European Mr. Euro-Hair Pageant, otherwise known as the "Team Leopard-Trek Presentation." Well, as it happens, the hair was only the pointy and frosted tip of the faux-hawk, for I've since watched the video of the presentation and it also featured entertainment so spectacularly "flambullient" that it makes Cirque du Soleil look like a David Mamet play. At over 89 minutes the video is far too long for any human to sit through without aid of hallucinogens (which is how I assume the people who were actually in the audience managed to get through it) but here are the highlights:

At 21 minutes and 25 seconds, Thomas Gabriel Warrior from seminal Swiss metal band Celtic Frost comes out clad in a zebra-striped skinsuit and performs an evocative dance routine with a giant hula hoop:

Having been a Celtic Frost fan "back in the day" I was well acquainted with Mr. Warrior's crushing riffsmanship and punishing vocal stylings, but I had no idea he was also so lithe:


Next, at about 36 minutes and ten seconds, we are treated to an exhibition of artistic cycling performed by a gentleman wearing a greasepaint handlebar mustache like some Gallic interpretation of Groucho Marx:

Watching this, I thought the same thing I always do when I see videos of artistic cycling, which is that I can't believe people continue to engage in "fixed-gear freestyling" while knowing that this exists. Artistic cycling is so embarrassingly campy yet so technically impressive that it makes performing some kind of sloppy, half-assed version of it seem futile and pathetic--it's like being a hipster mime who can't even convincingly execute the fake trapped-in-an-invisible box thing. In fact, true artistic cyclists are operating on such a transcendently intellectual level that they even get psycho-sexual, and starting at about 38 minutes and 20 seconds Groucho starts making violent love to his bicycle:

After which he tears off his cricket sweater and reveals the iconic maillot à pois:

The entire sequence is highly symbolic, so the polka-dot jersey almost certainly represents a post-coital bicycle-transmitted STD.

By this point, whatever the audience is on has kicked in and they're clearly "tripping balls:"


So, as you can imagine, they really start "wigging out" at 57 minutes and 38 seconds when The Human Aerospoke rolls onto the stage:

However, for trademark reasons he isn't actually introduced as The Human Aerospoke, and they instead refer to him as "The World Champion of the German Wheel," which I gather is some lesser-known UCI-sanctioned discipline. Interestingly, it also turns out that, like artistic cycling, German Wheeling is also a major source of inspiration for hipster cyclists, for The Human Aerospoke appears to use Velcro foot straps:

This is clearly where Hold Fast and all the rest of them got their supposedly "innovate" idea.

Finally, at 75 minutes and 45 seconds, a bunch of shirtless men in green pants with velvet wedgies hang from stuff for awhile:

Though not, thankfully, with flesh hooks:

I'm sure this resulted in much jeering, heckling, and general derision from any audience members hailing from Portland, where flesh hooks are an integral part of bike racing.

Anyway, we'll have to wait awhile to see what any of this has to do with winning the Tour de France, a sporting event which, for most of us, it's too early to start thinking about anyway. As everybody knows, the next significant event on the Bike Dork calendar is February's North American Handmade Bicyle Show, usually referred to as the NAHBS, and generally pronounced "Nabs" because it's where the big bike companies go to nab all their ideas. Right about now, the cycling world waits with pleated breath (which is like bated breath, only with decorative folds) to find out what this year's "hot" artisanal bicycle type will be. Will it be the cyclocross bike? The porteur bike? The randonneuring bike? The exquisitely-lugged fixed-gear recumbent? Who knows, but whatever it is, people will talk about really wanting one for a few months after the show, and a few years after the show the few people who actually order them will finally take delivery, at which point they will wonder just why they wanted a $12,000 650b rear/29er front "monstercross" bike anyway.

Of course, one mainstay of shows like the NAHBS is the ostensibly practical yet fantastically expensive commuting bicycle, like these bikes from Beloved Cycles:

I appreciate a useful bike as much as anybody, but I also feel a bike's usefulness is undermined somewhat when its base price is well over $4,000:

The Beloved line consists of three city models: Morton, the porteur; a mixte dubbed Half Full, and a commuter model named Every Day (all starting at $4,195).

Instead, when I'm looking for a suitably foppish bicycle to do my artisanal cheese shopping, I prefer riding a Ticino (or similar mass-produced NAHBS-nabbed bike) with a few thousand dollars in cash stuffed into the seat tube. Not only is the ride similar, but I also get to enjoy the same thrillingly disproportionate risk-reward ratio when I lock it up outside.

This is not to say that I don't understand that some people do actually need custom-built bicycles for everyday errand-running. For example, as the photograph below which was forwarded to me by a reader shows, if you have unusual bodily proportions a stock bicyclemay not fit you and you might be a candidate for custom geometry:

I'm no frame builder, but I'd guess that a longer wheelbase would almost certainly remove her child's face from between her buttocks. (Of course, regardless of your size, when ordering a custom bicycle always opt for 650b wheels for minimum component compatibility.)

Still, it's anybody's guess as to what type of bicycle will be this year's NAHBS fodder. For all we know it could be steam-powered bikes, as in this video forwarded to me by another reader:



Given the popularity of the "Americana backwoods revival," I think this design has tremendous potential, if only because it will offer people the opportunity to stop by the side of the road and use their Best Made Axes to gather more fuel.

Or, this could be the year that America's top builders finally decide to tackle the "tall bike," which would mean jousting bikes would become the new utility bikes. This is more likely than you might think, since this article forwarded to me by yet another reader indicates that bike jousting is only growing in popularity:

In these sensitive times, there are certain things you're not allowed to say. For example, in the "bike culture," you're not allowed to say that a $4,000 errand-running bike is kind of ridiculous. (Instead, you're supposed to applaud it for somehow making everyday cycling seem more "appealing" to the "car culture.") Another thing you're not allowed to say is that people should at least make some attempt to act their ages. That doesn't mean old people shouldn't be allowed to act like children now and again (if it did then we wouldn't have masters racing), but it does mean that at a certain point you should outgrow mindless destruction. I expect teenagers to want to burn stuff and smash things, but half of these tall bike people are exhibiting classic male pattern baldness--just check out the pate on the David Cross look-a-like setting fire to the Christmas trees:

(Outlaw bicycle enthusiast admires his fire-building handiwork through a pair of bifocals.)

Everybody resents parental authority at some point in their lives, but that resentment generally fades by the time your parents are in nursing homes.

Frankly, some of these people might want to consider retiring from bicycle-themed mayhem and start sipping tea beneath handlebar sconces, like this one forwarded to me by still another reader:
The track bars are sure to appeal to the hipster set, though the first thing they'll do upon bringing them home is remove the bar tape and the lights.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

money and sex

Charles said...

Just missed.....

Charles said...

Quiet out there today

Anonymous said...

Podium!

I am the new leopard meh engine said...

What a stupid way to fuck up some good handlebars.

tymont12 said...

top 10

samh said...

...a longer wheelbase would almost certainly remove her child's face from between her buttocks

Thank you for today's LOL-moment, Snob

ken e. said...

snorkle!

hillbilly said...

ayhsms-conce

SLAM said...

where? what? eh? Was I sleeping?

JahKnow said...

so close

Nogocyclist said...

I chopped some wood for my steam powered bike last night, but it was too green. It took me a long time to get it lit. Next time I am going to beat all the Podium Racers because I am going to use dried grass instead of wood. You ought to see how fast that stuff will build up a head of steam!

RANTWICK said...

Yeah, the bar scance really pissed me off for some unknown reason. Bah. I hate everything now. Or today.

Anonymous said...

So will Rapha or Outlier be the first to capture the steam-bike enthusiast market's demand for asbestos pants?

RANTWICK said...

Scance? I guess that bar sconce was from Boston.

le Correcteur said...

Top 20!

Les Bianczik said...

Wow. It's only Monday. I don't know how you're ever going to top today's post.

I thought the woman with the baby in her ass was going to be the peak, but then you have a guy trying to roast his "pork & beans" with a steam powered bike. And if that weren't enough you top it off with some rejects from Mad Max on bicycles causing mayhem torching christmas trees, riding tall bikes and pushing other adults around in shopping carts.

I don't know how you do it snob, but keep it up!

3G said...

Hoof arted?

I am the electric handle bar engine said...

300 bucks for those handle bar lamps.
The future perfect makes best made seem almost completely insane.

OBA said...

$4,195 for a STOCK porteur-esque bike? Not even a custom build? If this trend keeps up, I may be able to quit my day job and work in the bike industry after all...

Marcel Da Chump said...

That handle bar sconce is too dada for a hipster to appreciate. Right again, Mr. Snob.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see Fabian pumping that steam-powered bike in the Spring Classics.

Clyde said...

Only a third of the way through January and bike dorkdom is at a record high! This could be the year the recovery begins after all. Maybe I'll help out by buying a recumbent cargo bike with some Christ King parts. No way I can afford a $4k bike of any sort though. Maybe I'll just get an Electra and put a foo foo headset on it and call it good.

thegock said...

BUTT OCKS

Chris said...

Fixie tricks and acrobats: the embodiment of "True Racing"?!

Anonymous said...

Who needs lights? I'm protected by my aura of entitlement.

ringcycles said...

I can hear that poor girl say: "momma says to pretend they're like airbags, for my safety. Me and bunny just hope they don't spring a leak"

Drew said...

It's all about the bum-fire in January.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Actually the Big Dummy would be an ideal platform for the steam bike. The boiler and associated apparatus could be mounted on the back instead of between the riders legs.

Just think Snob with a pair of those round pilot goggles and some tweed from back in the day you'd be cutting edge.

streepo said...

Actually the Big dummy would be a perfect bike to haul that ass around.

Oldentard said...

Thanks for telling everybody about the seat tube stash.

Paul Bowen said...

Jeez it's like she just shat a toddler.

mikeweb said...

I'm glad to see that things in New Orleans are finally getting back to normal.

mikeweb said...

My guess is that the setup on the child seat is on purpose: a few years of that aversion therapy and the child is guarantied not to grow up obese.

Degis said...

Fuck Yeah! Swedish steam-powered bikes!

Heja Sverige!!

Les Bianczik said...

Child up the woman's ass quite possibly the inspiration for this Far Side classic

Bjarn said...

The more I see of this leopard outfit, the more I want to see them get their asses kicked.

grog said...

Saddle-mounted baby bottom bracket.

CommieCanuck said...

...a longer wheelbase would almost certainly remove her child's face from between her buttocks

See, this is what happens when people don't use the "Competitive Cyclist's Fit Calculator" or subscribe to Grant Peterson's blog.

The solution to this child's problem is in the back pages of BuyCycling: the Blackburn Crabon mini-scuba mask and pressurized air canister.

Turd Ferguson said...

Hopefully, she just hadn't eaten an epic burrito

CommieCanuck said...

I can hear that poor girl say: "momma says to pretend they're like airbags, for my safety. Me and bunny just hope they don't spring a leak"

More like:

"momma muf to preteff they're liff errbugs, for ma safeffy. Muh and buffy juff hoff they don't spriff a leaff"

Stupid Name said...

Safe to say that the kid in the child seat will be scared for life, just like all of us have been on the Leopard press announcement.

Life is cruel to the young.

Anonymous said...

You can buy 20 of these for the cost of the $4k chris king/beloved fop chariot. In all seriousness, for $220 this is actually a great bike. fast, sturdy, simple cheap enough that you actually can commute on it and lock it outside. I know this blogway is not meant for sharing actual useful information on bycycles (that's why I like it) but thougt i would pass it on anyway.

http://www.crosslakesales.com/p-55-49cm-track-fixed-gear-chromoly-road-bike-bicycle-new.aspx

Called An Asshole said...

Pablo Picasso's Bull's Head needs to be electrified.

Called An Asshole said...

Pablo Picasso's Bull's Head needs to be electrified.

Anonymous said...

that poor child, someone should notify child protective services.

Anonymous said...

for $4,195 (plus tax) you get a $300 bike and this lovely prose:

A grin from the face of solitude captivates Every Day to be the best of very bests.
The town and the city enrapture its very being of existence.
A new route or a constant stream of consciousness are the dreams that lift it over a rise or river as the world changes all around.
Every Day complements this potential and greatness to come from the very legs that give it life.
Ride on. Sun. Rain. Smile. Every Day.

crosspalms said...

Wow, Leopard Trek could have had that zebra-striped skinsuit for kit? That would've been fun!

Sconce is nice but I'm really in the market for a honking big handlebar chandelier.

Anonymous said...

@Drew 1:34,

You said 'bum' -- childish sniggers all round

Anonymous said...

Commie @2:11 ...

Snob is simply an advocate of the French Fit.

Dave! said...

Are you sure that's a giant hula hoop and not a 7000mm rim ... or, as the mountain bikers like to say, a 290-er?

Anonymous said...

I though the guy in the zebra-striped skinsuit was Floyd Landis.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

benDE said...

Snobby- I visited your lovely city over the weekend as we delivered my brother in law to the alter of trust fund social circles and a prenuptual controlled marrige.
Observations: The most bikes I saw were not really bikes but rather 2 wheeled electrovehiculos 'driven' by Puerto Ricans. They did all have really cool baskets off the front though. I stood for like 2 minutes on the Williamsburg bridge and didn't see a single single or multiple speed cat 6er. Your making that part up. I found out the investment banker on the upper west side rides a siver Serrota because 'the gold was just too much'. I didn't have the balls to ask him if he know how to change a tire. THAT much money scares the shit out of me!!

Marcel Da Chump said...

DIY custom bike: 1940's Rudge frame, Campy pista crank and pedals, sturmey archer 3 speed hub, alloy rims, black chromolly seatpost, stem and bars, black Brooks saddle,
rear tire must be 28-35, front tire 23. The frame is an olive color, youv'e seen it. Get it. Put it together with aforementioned parts or things comparable and enjoy a priceless ride.

Anonymous said...

PROKREATION OV DE VICKED!
PROKREATION OVV DE VIIICKED!

Fritz Lang said...

You see, if you round up all the hipsters, then you'll be able to catch this lady who has been smothering children with her huge ass. I'll call the movie "M".

Hell, you didn't get it last week either. Fuck you.

red neckerson said...

so that big fat woman says to her kid we is going to cross 8 lanes of traffic with everbody gong at hi rates of speed

the kid says you wouldnt shit a feller would you

the bigger the cushion the better the aw fuck i dont even want to think about it

Chubby Chaser said...

Mmmmm, that ankle region tatoo gets me hot.

Sir Mix A Lot said...

I like big buns...

Indy Falconheads said...

"No Mommy, I don't want to go for a ride!"

Correct me if I'm wrong. But is it any wonder there are no women in the burning bush picture? Hmmmmm.

bikesgonewild said...

...'beloved' by many - afforded by few...

...bsnyc/rtms, you nabs-ed a cargo-bike load of zingers today...great post...way mo' better than "just another manic monday"...

...& i'm glad to see mrs snob is still riding even though she seems to have let herself go...

g-roc said...

@Fritz, I totally get it ... just kidding, I don't get it.

Homer Simpson said...

Fritz, if you call the movie "Mmm, donuts," I'll watch

Test Tickle said...

while

CLTC FRST

is awesome, i prefer the

HELL HMMR

lineup...

balls.

domotion2011 said...

Warms my heart like a child at the circus. Acrobats,flaming bikes, gymnast, a fat lady

Lobster Pie said...

While the child in the carrier is in what many would feel to be an unfortunate position, my concern lies with the well being of the pilot.

Why?

At this very moment innumerable dedicated followers of C*cle Ch*c (TM)(R)(Pat,Pending) are livid with rage at the mere thought of a woman who is not a size zero daring to ride a bike in public, let alone being seen on teh interwebz. Where's the designer labels? The high heels? The cast iron bike? The pretentious snobbery? Clearly this is a deep, deep, personal insult aimed at their danish god and cannot, nay, will not be tolerated.

Hooker-boot hoodlums across the nation are forming up a good old fashioned lynch mob to teach that...that...heretic a lesson. But not until they are finished shopping for a new wardrobe, photographing themselves and blogging about it.

john said...

I liked the circus acts, particularly the one where the performer changed his wheel while doing a wheelie. That should be a UCI rule: No stopping for wheel changes. It would make the TDF a lot more entertaining.

John said...

Perhaps I haven't been paying enough attention to prior hints about music taste, but I was surprised at the Celtic Frost reference.

On the other hand, I was not particularly surprised to see a large hipster turnout at the last metal show I attended in San Francisco.

Max said...

Why do I feel like this?

FULL C (atomic number 6) DDS said...

TREK is about to debut the planets first green friendly totally totally organic 'FULL CARBON DOUCHE' BAG*'

Marketing still hasn't name themed the product but I hear from a marginally reliable source that the choices are down to 'THE FLOYD' or 'THE TYLER'

*available in choice of english thread, italain thread, swiss thread, french thread, or full CIPO.

Thesis Writing said...

Excellent Blog! I really admire your thinking and the way you have put these information in this post. Thanks for sharing an informative post.

leroy said...

Honestly, I can't be the only one who thought the handlebar sconce was track lighting. It was the lack of brakes and shifters that confused me.

And is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the hard part about acting one's age is lack of experience? How am I supposed to know how to act my age when I've never been this old before?

ce said...

Thanks Snob, I had a particularly good laugh today. Surprisingly though, only a little of it was directed at the lady and the poor kid... the kid who may soon have to make a tough decision and throw beloved dolly overboard to save herself. It is unfortunate that the bike isn't better set up for them and I hope mum gets a clue and sorts it out, but it is one of the most humble images of cycling that I can remember you featuring on your blog. And really, the kid probably feels nice and secure tucked in there, enjoying that little bit of fresh air that makes it around to blow though her hair as the sights wizz by at 10 miles per hour.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob!

Check this out, from the Bike blog at The Guardian: "Just the other week, on this blog, I asked how we could put the fun back into cycling. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have the answer: the Horsey"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/jan/11/cycle-design-competition

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Mmmm.... DELICIOUS! Slow-smoked testicles, delivered by a steam-powered mobile cooker.

Anonymous said...

Go snob

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/01/the-war-on-the-bike-and-the-bus-toronto.php

網頁設計 said...

hooray, your writings on theater and writing much missed!

Anonymous said...

Late response, but I can only hope that our T.G. look-alike performed to the classic "Circle of the Tyrants".

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Fixie Bikes said...

This is the stuff of nightmares.