Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Transcendence: Where There's a Quill There's a Way

In yesterday's post, I included a picture of a woman in Portland whose "coin slot" was obscured by a copy of the book "Ceremony" by Leslie Marmon Silko. Here in New York, however, the weather is far less conducive to paperback portaging or exposing the small of your back. Indeed, the only "coin slot"-spotting to be done around here these days is this:

Notice that the meter is enshrouded in ice, due to the freezing rain that is falling upon this miserable metropolis even as I type. The sidewalks are faring no better than the parking meters, either, and as I set out this morning to procure diapers for my helper monkey, Vito, I derned near slipped and busted my "coin slot:"

There would have been small change everywhere. I really should put some tampons on my shoes like the mountain climbers do.

With walking this treacherous, and conditions generally this unpleasant, even the most smug and dedicated commuter could be forgiven for leaving his or her bicycle at home and instead dreaming of better days while rubbing thighs with the rest of humanity on the subway. Hopefully these better days are not far away, either. As it happens, today was "The Groundhog's Day," a holiday that commemorates the day almost 20 years ago now on which the groundhogs of the world rose up against their human oppressors and emerged from the resulting bloodbath as the supreme beings on the planet Earth. Of course, before our groundhog overlords start getting drunk and throwing bottles at us, they like to tell us whether or not we will have an early spring, and this year it seems that two out of three "groundhogs of record" agree that we will:

Puxata Punksa Pennsylvania Phil:

Early spring? Yes!

Staten Island Chuck:

Early spring? Yes!

Cincinnati Frank:



Early spring? Unnnnnnnghhhhhhhh...

By the way, if you ever encounter Cincinnati Frank while you're out on a ride and he tries to "prognosticate" on your head, you might want to defend yourself with a "vintage" French Velo Dog revolver:

I was informed of the above by a reader, who mentioned it subsequent to Jeff Underwood's somewhat distorted claims about cockpit-mounted turrets or whatever it was he was talking about. It seems to me that vintage bicycle-themed firearms are ripe for hipster appropriation, and are the perfect accessory to complement that French porteur bike and that artisanal axe. It's only a matter of time before someone in Portland starts fabricating a modern version to market to the "bike culture," though obviously it will have to have a bottle opener on it since apparently bottle openers are the new "lawyer lips."

Fun legal fact: If Clarence Darrow sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of jury deliberation.

Speaking of prognostications, I'm what they call a "realist," and as such I don't buy into pagan myths about rodents seeing their shadows, or lightning happening when Thor Hushovd does intervals, or "evolution." (All Lob-fearing Crustaceanians know that the Almighty Lobster created the Earth in two and a half minutes while watching "Three's Company" and killing time during the commercials. A-meh.) I do, however, believe in the Lone Wolf, and a reader recently sent me actual video he captured of the Lone Wolf himself in full flight astride his White Lotus of Truth:



Notice how our cinematographer struggles valiantly to get on his wheel, though of course he cannot, since even Fabian Cancellara couldn't hope to catch him. The Lone Wolf's minute man is the speed of light, and he runs with the power of a billion Gruber Assists. To actually ride on his wheel would be like staring into the "Coin Slot" of the Universe and suddenly grasping all its secrets. Also, if he sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of suspension for Alberto Contador.

Certainly then the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork is like unto the Lone Wolf as the snowflake is to the Antarctic ice shelf, and ubiquity cannot compete with omniscience and omnipotence. (Omnipotence comes from riding a bicycle with a poorly-positioned saddle.) Still, the retro-Fred is a compelling figure nonetheless, and the proprietor of the esteemed blog Cycling Inquisition has actually uncovered the man behind the camera in front of which the retro-Fred posed:

He is Ljupco Smokovski of Macedonia, he is the Annie Liebovitz of stock Fred photography, and he likes hats. He is also not a prognosticator of anything, because oddly he casts no shadow whatsoever.

Speaking of miserable weather, it seems that "NYC's Direct Action Environmental Organization," Times Up!, as they put it, "gathered on the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges to give cyclists 'Token Tickets of Love' for braving both the weather and antagonistic conditions to ride their bikes to and from work:"



I think I'd rather be stopped by the NYPD than accosted by a bunch of self-satisfied smug-mongers handing out "love tickets" or repurposed chocolate Hanukkah gelt or whatever it was they were doing. I didn't cross the Big Skanky on Monday, but I imagine if I had and had run into this scene it would have felt like what Cincinnati Frank was doing to that other dog's head. This is of course the same organization that held the "funeral" for that Williamsburg bike lane:



And who gives fake tickets to drivers in the bike lane while dressed as clowns:

If acting like a total buffoon had the power to transform society than Ernest P. Worrell would have won the Nobel Prize by making movies like "Ernest Goes to Somalia." If Time's Up! are looking to land a cameo in the next installment of the "Scary Movie" franchise then they should keep up the good work, but if they're looking to change the world they might want to try a different approach. Anwar El Sadat, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King were from different cultures and fought for different causes, but they all had one thing in common: not one of them wore clown pants.

Anyway, thanks, Times Up!, for ensuring that when police and irate motorists see me riding in the city they'll think of annoying clowns. That ought to put me on the receiving end of some real respect.

Speaking of respect, I have immense respect for the people of Norway, who may very well be the most innovative cockpit curators in all the world. For example, you may recall the amazing "puppeteer" setup that was the catalyst for the "Cockie" awards. Well, further to yesterday's post concerning the "Quillinator," another reader in Norway informs me that it is not in fact "the one, the ONLY," as Soma claims:


Note how the curator has modified a threadless stem to accept a quill of truly Rivendellian proportions:

Clearly when it comes to cockpits, Norwegians are simply operating on another level--and it's at least three feet higher than their saddles.

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey It's the SNob!

oldentard said...

Argh!

Kenny Banya said...

Yeah

oldentard said...

This is what clean living brings!

Kenny Banya said...

G.C. Contenda!

hillbilly said...

fuckin clowns.

Anonymous said...

Bing

SLAM said...

Right-ish said Fred.

My quill is not compatible

livingjetlag said...

It's not The Groundhog's Day, it's Saint Groundhog's Day, named for Saint Groundhog, the patron saint of really long naps.

Kenny Banya said...

"To actually ride on his wheel would be like staring into the "Coin Slot" of the Universe and suddenly grasping all its secrets. "

...and a Lone Wolf vid to boot, gold Snobby, GOLD!

SLAM said...

I bet you Staten Island Minimalist can't swim with this quill stem around his neck.

Desert Dork said...

Top Ten?

Desert Rider said...

KWIL STEM

Anonymous said...

Eric 'the chamferer' Murray was on TV the other night. Check out 'Ride of my life' on the BBC iPlayer. An over-enthusiastic guy curates an expensive bike.

Opitmus Maximus said...

I am a Maximalist.

I own 57,000,000,000 thingies.


I want to own YOU!

How much?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:15pm,

It won't let me watch it, presumably because I'm here in Canada's gaudy medallion.

--BSNYC

SLAM said...

Hey snob, try it on You Tube
or on my blog (posted in 3 episodes around Nov 27

Og LoneWolf said...

Aren't most people scared of clowns?
FTW

Buffalo Bill said...

I wonder if Ljupco Smokovski loves Wednesdays as much as I do?

mikeweb said...

Fly like the Wolf!

Anonymous said...

All you haters finger-bang my coin slot!

mimi said...

I suggest you buy a pair of Yaktrax when you are not on your bicycle with ice like that.
Makes walking on ice much safer and easy!

Or put some studs on your tires and get on the bicycle.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Times Up Clown: Stop! I'd like to give you a Token Ticket of Love.
NYC Cyclist: Blow me.
Times Up Clown: Oh, do your tires need air?

xyxax said...

Playing the slots on the subway might get you a stretch upstate

LK said...

Quackenbush! Quackenbush Bicycle Rifles! Made in the USA! Shoots real bullets or potato ones!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

I was having a bad day here in Boston.. but the sight of the Lone Wolf plying his trade, left me feeling that there is a Lob after all

I am the sad engine said...

Coin slot, made me snort my juice box up.

http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-01-bike-plows-new-fixies-but-well-never-be-as-cool-as-the-danes

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

Groundhawg panties!

OBA said...

Appropos of bikes & guns, Gary Klein -- he of the fat-tubed aluminum Mt. bikes w/ garish neon paint -- was known to ride with the straps of his bibshorts worn over his jersey and a Glock 9mm pistol in a fanny pack. That is all.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Having been raised in the Queen City, I can state that you would have to look far and wide to find a more morally conservative place, so I love it how every deviant sexual practice on here gets labelled "The Cincinnati ________."

etherhuffer said...

Mange Takk!

samh said...

So many zingers today. Thanks, Senor Snob.

Anonymous said...

All you haters, suck my cockpit!

wishiwasmerckx said...

And I'm pretty sure that "Hot Karl" lives in Cincinnati, too...

Anonymous said...

Send in the clowns.

Don't bother they're here.

cycle

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

A-meh.

crosspalms said...

It's just about stopped snowing here in Chicago, so I'm headed out to shovel. Drifts to the tops of fences and gates. Took the bus yesterday, and what would be a 40-minute commute by bike took more than an hour. I saw a few cyclists downtown (including a lone salmon), but they were having a hard time of it. I think I'd rather have snow than ice, but I haven't actually shoveled yet...

Anonymous said...

What would 'Eric the Chamferer' Murray say: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matt_and_vic/3467303585/

CommieCanuck said...

What's a ground hog? You mean those Whistle Pigs?
Vermin.

I doubt any of them have a deVry meteorology degree, ...maybe small engine repair.

Why do they call it meteorology anyway? are meteors involved in controlling our weather?

Anonymous said...

Podium!

xyxax said...

I smugged it across the Big Skanky on Monday, but there were only a couple of people at the bottom handing out what I thought were chinese menus.

Little did I know that the Village People would be showing up later.

Anonymous said...

How much love did Times Up! show for all the pedestrians who use the Manhattan bike path? Did they get a chocolate, or a fake ticket?

Workings stiffs trying to save a buck on MTA fare or willfully oblivious biking hazards?

This is one of the great moral gray areas of my life. I wonder if clown pants would help me see the light.

One fire today, Mr Snob! Thanks for warming my freezing wet socks!

mikeweb said...

I too crossed the Big Skanky on Monday via the Manhattan Bridge-way but didn't see any Love Token dispensers in the morning or evening. I guess before 8 and after 5 are the clown-free hours.

Tom Purvis said...

True Crampon Story:

Here in Colorado we have a mountain called Mt Sneffels. When I was working in a bike shop a few years ago, a tourist told me:

We wanted to climb Mt Sniffles, but they told us we would have needed clampons

Salty and Sore said...

Slow comments day.

Maybe it's because the Lone Wolf was actually captured on video. First Snobbie on film, and now this.

And next year is that 2012-thing that all the remaining Mayans are in a tizzy about... Maybe the meh-pocalypse is already under way?

Aaacckk! And I still have bike sins I need to confess!

db said...

Anyone else have the "Rocky" theme blast through their head when they watched the Lone Wolf video? Chills, man, just chills.

Fred said...

The fashionable Fred knows that for walking on ice, put socks on the outside of your shoes.

Works well, looks sharp.

Anonymous said...

i have to admit i kind of like the idea of the times up people giving out fake parking tickets to assholes who block the bike lane. that drives me nuts. If the effect was nothing more than to embarass or annoy the offending motorist, it's still worth it. who cares if they are wearing clown pants. I would certainly suggest harsher methods such as hiring these gentlemen to keep the bike lanes clear. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/42043/insane_car_catapult/ but I'm not as nice as the timesup folks.

PawnShop said...

S&S,
Maybe like me, other readers are late due to getting scalp massages. Sooo relaxing, and Frank always finishes by applying moisturizer.
DOGS EMEN

Anonymous said...

Is there any repurposed Hanukkah gelt left in the fridge?

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

I think it's possible that Time's Up!'s strategies will do some good. Look at the Mayorship of Antanas Mockus of Bogota: he achieved substantial social change with mimes, public showering, and soccer-style penalty cards for everyday douchebaggery. Check him out.

I Go Around and Around said...

I think the Lone Wolf is motor-assisted.

Also, I resent how I was misquoted out of context about a situation of which I have no memory and therefore could not respond to the event directly without first seeing the documents first hand in the Landis interview.

What'd I miss?

bikesgonewild said...

...is that '"vintage" French Velo Dog revolver' for shooting french dogs or frenchmen you consider to be dogs ???...

...either way, ant1 ain't one who's gonna be happy about this...

...jus sayin'...

Hot Karl said...

Aw shit.

Anonymous said...

I've a suspicion that the iplayer isn't available to those not resident in the ConDemnation.....

Sorry, chaps.

hey nonny mouse

crosspalms said...

Is there such a thing as a quilling bee for cyclists who want to get together and play with headsets? Who brings the snacks? And will it involve a headless spork? And if nobody's called this blizzard Snowgasm yet, let me be the first.

Jym said...

=v= One of these days, love is going to find you. It's the flip side of AYHSMB. Time's Up!

my2hands said...

I use a Taurus Judge to kill rabid dogs, Saint Louis Rats, and drivers that feel it necessary to show me that I don't belong on their road by passing me at a 2 inch interval, even if there is no other car in the other lane, as they speed past me.

Do you think a big ass revolver strapped to the side of my leg would prevent such close encounters?

Anonymous said...

K9HE DFUK

FOTO HOMO

LOVE TICS

CLWN PNTS

Anonymous said...

Shirley that can't be the Lone Wolf: he's riding in a somewhat-crouched dare-I-say-it Æro position ? NAh

Anonymous said...

After catching up on reading the past couple posts I have come to the disapointing conclusion that I in fact am a Fred.After almost 40 years of cycling in most of its disciplines except track I have to accept that I am one.I use hi viz jacket, I also use spd pedals on a "racing bike".I'm also guity of wearing sleeveless cycling jeseys.Lately ive taken to wearing lights on my helmet because having lights on your bike doesnt send a strong enough message of dont hit me!All these years I thought I was cool as far as cycling goes but common sense and being a function victim I must admit I am ultimately a Fred.Not a new Fred but a fred nonetheless.Oh well.

Anonymous said...

artisinal pencil sharpening

http://www.artisanalpencilsharpening.com/

wishiwasmerckx said...

My2Hands, at least you won't be in violation of any concealed-carry permit laws, but I wouldn't want to shoot myself if I accidentally
crashed on the revolver strapped onto my thigh.

I also advise caution with use of the term "strap-on," as to many it carries an entirely different connotation.

See you at the firing range...

Marcel Da Chump said...

Salty...
check out Gregg Araki's film,"Kaboom". Very meh-capolyptic.

bikesgonewild said...

..."i'll take early american history for $400, please, alex"...

..."Transcendence: Where There's a Quill There's a Way"...

..."what was the motto of the original signers of the 'declaration of independence', alex ???..."...

my2hands said...

wishiwasmerckx, very true on both accounts. Nonetheless, you might be on to something. If I did ride with a strap-on, then drivers might avoid me all together for fear that I might tap that tail pipe. However, in some parts of STL the prostitutes and drug addicts might start chasing me.

Since I do have a CC, I might just bring my 9mm through Soulard on the way to work. Dare I say "Shoot on" wishiwasmerckx?

my2hands said...

wishiwasmerckx, Oh and go Bucks!

Anonymous said...

With the roads being as hostile as they are, I would think Blackjacks amongst cyclists wouldnt be a bad idea.You know those collapsable batons that start about 10" and end up being 20" inches of hi velocity a hole motorist neutralizer.Any entreprenuers would be wise to create one in Crabon fibre for the weight weenie roadside pugilist.

mediumtedium said...

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mis/2192617334.html

"I'd love to give you a tune-up."

Kapitan Ahab said...

Break out the carbon piercing harpoon ... It's a full carbon White Whale ... Moby Dork!

g-roc said...

Between the true meaning of The Groundhog's Day and the White Lotus of Truth, my head is spinning. Oh wait, it's Wednesday. A-meh.

Find missing DLL said...

Well, I am so excited that I have found this in your post because I have been searching for some information about it almost three hours.

ce said...

Lone Wolf captured on video... and the identity of the TTTWRFFTPT revealed in one groundbreaking post! It would seem that Snob is not running short of material. However, the post was actually Snob's dying gift to the world... the last weak signal to emanate from his home, sealed in ice, before the stale air could no longer sustain him. Soon to be dramatised in James Cameron's big screen depiction of epic coin slot survival "Sanctum". Spoiler Alert: Snob does survive thanks to the courageous actions of a Rescue Wiener Dog Team - the only rescue dogs specialised for coin slot operations.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the ironic sign at :47 in the Token of Love video?: "Screw Haters." They be hatin' on the haters.

SLAM said...

nope

yogisurf said...

Great to cover a Lone Wolf sighting. He's a classy rider on the White Lotus of Truth. I was totally shocked to see that he had either removed his water bottle tree or had failed to stock it.

yogisurf said...

Anonymous February 2, 2011 7:13 PM - "Not a new Fred but a fred nonetheless.Oh well."

Hey Anon, you are a CLASSIC Fred. Join the club.

www.cyclingdeal.com.au said...

Love the pistol. But it is not a pistol brake, it is...

Anonymous said...

Steve Tilford rides in the snow.

Amita said...

hello
Amita
===
bike

MajorMantra said...

"Anwar El Sadat, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King were from different cultures and fought for different causes, but they all had one thing in common: not one of them wore clown pants."

Classic.

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Fixie Bikes said...

It's a sad day in brooklyn now that they're getting rid of the old coin operated parking meters.