Monday, March 7, 2011

This Is Only A Test: Tentative Lanes, Compliant Crabon

On Friday, I incorporated a video I had found on the "YouTube" (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gungle Internet Concern, Ltd.) into a quiz I had painstakingly "curated"--artisanally, I might add, and with my helper monkey Vito's own two paws. However, shortly after posting this quiz, the people who had uploaded the video retracted it, which meant that if you chose the wrong answer on this quiz you saw this:

This was puzzling to me, for it seemed the height of folly to put on a human bicycle-themed puppet show in which one person pretends to ride another person who's holding handlebars and pretending to be a bike, videotape this puppet show, and then upload the video to the "YouTube" (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gargle Internet Enterprises, Ltd., the company who in a few years will also probably be administering the SATs) for public consumption--only to redact it like a politician redacts a racist statement as soon as people actually start watching it.

The unfortunate fact is that These Kids Today don't have the courage of their convictions, like my peers and I did "back in the day." See, back then, if you made a decision then you stuck with it. If you worked for a company, you stayed loyal to it and quietly drank yourself to death while the management squandered your pension. If you got married and disliked your spouse, you didn't run to the nearest lawyer and get a divorce--you stayed married anyway, living the rest of your lives in mutual misery. If you got stabbed, you didn't go crying to some "doctor" and start simpering about how "hurty" it was--you left it in there and you slowly bled to death. You didn't just plug a different URL into the Internet Browser of Life and point your self-delusion to a more attractive "reality."

Unfortunately, this seems to be what's happening here in New York City, for after investing much time, energy, and lime green paint in a bicycle infrastructure, the city seems poised to rip the whole thing out like so much bad wiring at the first opportunity:

“When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing?” Mr. Weiner said to Mr. Bloomberg, as tablemates listened. “I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes.”

That's a shame. Actually, I'd like to have a ribbon-cutting just before I unleash my over-amorous helper monkey Vito on Weiner and he starts violently humping the aspiring mayor's face. Sure, Weiner isn't necessarily going to get elected, but given the way most people seem to feel about bike lanes and cyclists these days I can't imagine any candidate actually expressing any support for them during a campaign. Sure, once all the bike lanes are gone there are plenty of us who will keep riding anyway. After all, we've already spent years as the rats on the subway tracks, dodging and parrying as much larger machines bear down upon us, so it won't be very difficult for us to revert to our survivalist behavior. No, I just feel bad for the regular people with no particular interest in being lifestyle cyclists or becoming part of the "bike culture" who just want to be able to hop on a bike and get stuff done. At any rate, it should be amusing in a few decades when other cities actually have modern streets and people in New York City are still dodging Lincoln Navigators. Even Los Angeles is adding a bunch of bike lanes, for Lob's sake:

If you live in Los Angeles and you're wondering how this whole bicycle network thing is going to play out, expect to be lulled into a false sense of security for a few years before the inevitable backlash comes around and whaps you in the face like Danny MacAskill's rear wheel:

Speaking of whapping off, apparently in the backward and remedial cycling city that is New York, deep inside their primitive dwellings, Homo sapiens are fashioning crude bicycles with their hands:

Apparently, word must have traveled from Portland, the Alexandria of cycling, about the mystical craft known as "framebuilding," and now New Yorkers are aping them by creating vague approximations of these "frames" in an attempt to harness their magical properties. It's kind of cute when you think about it, like when a baby starts imitating you. Here is one Homo sapien studying her own crude rendering with a mixture of confusion and astonishment:

("Seet post go here.")

It's kind of sad when you consider that, by the time some of these people actually start getting a handle on what they're doing, Anthony Weiner will be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony in which he essentially tells them to go fuck themselves.

Speaking of primitivism, I was watching "the television" recently and noticed the following commercial for some sort of telephone that you can use outside of your house:



In it, there was a person on a bike, who is apparently "you:"

Yes, if you're a cyclist in America, this is "you"--a stylized nerd with a neutered dog, a neutered race bike, and a plastic bucket on your head:

I hope you're pleased to meet yourself, and that you're not too dismayed to learn that, as a road user, people take you slightly more seriously than they do a child "curating" a lemonade stand. (Though they'll make slightly more of an effort not to run over the child.)

This is not to say that I don't enjoy using my bicycle as a toy from time to time myself--indeed, I enjoy few things more than swaddling myself in Lycra and setting out on a road bike, mountain bike, or other canonically acceptable market segment that is not a recumbent, and I put my Primal "Tribal Fire" jersey on one sleeve at a time just like any other Fred. That's why, during the week preceding the Nominally American Hand-Massaged Pretentious Bicycle Show, "Bicycling" magazine (which is sort of "Vanity Fair" for Freds) invited me to join them in their Editors' Choice testing in Austin, Texas.

I'll hold most of my "insights" in abeyance until the results of the testing are announced, but suffice it to say that the week consisted of riding a bunch of nearly identical and more or less completely interchangeable plastic road bicycles around a city that was not New York in February, and that was fine by me. Also, among the testers was not this winsome couple I met outside of a bike shop, who were riding their bicycles from somewhere in Florida to San Francisky, Californy:

I noticed them at first because the gentleman was a fellow Big Dummy owner, but given that he was riding all the way across the country with not one but two (!) dogs in tow he had me out-smugged by an almost incalculably huge margin:

(Surly Big Dummy, outfitted for trans-continental canine "portaging.")

Meanwhile, here was the crew I was rolling with, and I reckon each one of us was outfitted with something like $5,000 in equipment in order to ride for a couple of hours in the vicinity of Austin:

As I stood between the adventurers and the Freds and straddling a crabon fiber bicycle with a bottom bracket junction the size of a vinyl LP, I briefly considered abandoning the "Bicycling" editorial staff and "lighting out" with the couple (not that they invited me, mind you--in fact I'm pretty sure I annoyed them), and in fact may very well have done it if I wouldn't have had to sleep in that box with the dog.

Speaking of dogs, people in Austin are not only mad for the things, but they also use them to guard their bikes:

These are not the travelin' dogs but are in fact different, meaner dogs. Both of them were howling for my blood at this point, and this was as close as I dared to get.

Anyway, not only did we "test" various nearly identical crabon fribé blobs, but we also held a de facto training camp when we motorpaced behind a tractor:

There was also a paparazzo who took our pictures:

Here's the picture he got of me:


But the glamorous world of glossy magazine crabon bike testing isn't all motorpacing and urinating. There's also actual work, and every so often we'd stop and talk about the crabon:

Basically, it would go something like this: "How was your crabon? Did you like that crabon? Can we trade crabon? Which crabon are you riding next? Can I feel your crabon?"

This tended to alienate "Bicycling's" Old Crappy 10-Speed editor, who had nobody with whom to compare notes:

(Spoiler alert: the old crappy 10-speed won, and will be on the cover of the Editors' Choice issue.)

I also savored many favorable views, like this one of a river that is not the Big Skanky:


Not all views were favorable, however:


That nearly made me regurgitate my "epic" burrito.

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

first

Anonymous said...

second

Anonymous said...

third

Nogocyclist said...

Top Ten
Meh...

ken e. said...

duh! o

Lantern Rouge said...

Top 5!
Nice wood...

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

EEEEEEEEEEeeeee 8

Anonymous said...

Hm, no dorkopodiae today...

Hey nonny mouse

I am a compassionate engine said...

Tough post, be nice to the stupid

Dan Webster said...

Top 10!!?

Fingerbang Assistant said...

missed the stupid top ten, I need more dope

Dave said...

Hey I don't know. I think Eddie Vedder is kind of cute.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Stiveaux said...

Vanity Fair for Freds!

OMG LOL

Also good palate cleanser to see the crappy 10-speed guy

Stiveaux said...

Vanity Fair for Freds!

OMG LOL

Also good palate cleanser to see the crappy 10-speed guy

Anonymous said...

winning!

Marcel Da Chump said...

Don't blame you for wanting to ride with that adventure couple. They seem like two of the coolest people on Earth.

PawnShop said...

Rat trails.
Smelling steel.
BACK HO

grog said...

No turtle.

samh said...

Did Surly finally quit asking you if they could please have their Big Dummy back? Serves them right for mailing a bicycle to:

Vito Helper Monkey
The Big City, NY

Kenny Banya said...

Ha, you said "Weiner"

hillbilly said...

WENE RDOG

Stupid Name said...

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-02-27/news/ct-met-cycle-track-20110227_1_bikes-only-lane-cycle-track-bicycle-lanes

AYHSMCT - All you haters suck my cycle track

Now that Rahm is now in Chicago renaming shit, and swearing up a storm, Weiner must feel that he has a new duty - to be the big dick in Washington.

AYHSMDIW.

crosspalms said...

I guess I'm lucky (?) I clicked on the bicycle/human love video before they got cold feet. ding ding

I enjoyed the ad for the Victory Cross Country motorcyle that appeared in the Google spot on your site. I had to stare at it to convince myself it was actually a motorcycle.

xyxax said...

Is that really a Lance Armstrong license plate in the guard dog photo?

EPO REPO

Paul Bowen said...

Going through school with a name that means 'small penis' would make anyone bitter I suppose.

Is that a marsupial pitbull? Seems to have a pouch anyway.

Vanity Fair for Freds - lovely.

UberFred said...

That's E. Vedder's Mazerati.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

g-roc said...

thataintwinning

Weimerpoo said...

Lawson Craddock is definitely not a Fred... US Junior champion.

Anonymous said...

When did the AP start using KM instead of miles? Not sure how many people will care/understand about 2700KM of bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

Steve Tilford is not a Fred, nor does his hometown in Kansas have any bike lanes, at all.

Tyler said...

you dont have breakfast burrito's in Austin, I bet even Eddie Vedder knows that.

NYCColorSnob said...

it's not lime green

http://bit.ly/g1Gx06

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!
Ripping up bike lanes...right wing progress strikes again.

French_threaded_bottom_bracket said...

Anyway, not only did we "test" various nearly identical crabon fribé blobs

They are nearly identical because they come out of the same couple of factories.

They aren't 'bad' because they are made somewhere else. It's just that there isn't much variety in the bike biz.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Crabon cookie cutter safty bikes. True variety can only be found in the recumbent world.

Anonymous said...

Although I thoroughly enjoy your take on Hipsters and their dance with all thing artisanal, flannel, and trendy, I must admit I thought it was mostly fiction until I stumbled upon this: http://www.thrillist.com/style/pladra_button-down-shirts#axzz1FvaEX2Wr Just the thought of flannel turns my stomach with an olfactory memory of B.O. Is that BBQ or a hipster? Yuck!

g-roc said...

Probably because AP likes to be sensationalist. 2700km sounds better than 1678 miles. 8.8 million feet is OTT. I suppose they could have gone with 13422 furlongs. But I like to think the Canadians are infiltrating your press. Moo-ha-ha! America, or Canada's birdcage liner.

Effin Eddy said...

So anyway, go to pg. 93 of Bicycling Magazine and check out the woman in the PI advertisement. Is it airbrushed or is she a smoothie?

Anonymous said...

The last time I went back to Austin, one of my goals was to eat a taco any time I saw a taco stand. There were a lot more taco stands than when I moved away, so I invented the taco sit.

Great view of the Lake Austin, worth the steep climb to get there.

Eddie Vetter said...

Hey Snob - did you drink any Real Ale in Austin??? Awesome local "artisinal" brew...

crosspalms said...

g-roc,
AP should have used the standard measure of bike lanes, which is how many double-parked cars or delivery trucks can fit end-to-end.

CAMPIONE CYCLES CALGARY said...

Anyone inexplicably aroused when they see recumbent?

Friendo said...

LUVM ONKY

FACE HUMP

DUMY DOGS

RIVR VIEW

Anonymous said...

Last year ago I would have agreed with you about the lanes, Mr. Snob. But without traffic enforcement they are just paint on the ground. The chaos which would happen if they rip one or two of the major ones up might be the only way to really save the rest in the long term. Let them eat salmon!

Anonymous said...

We don't eat burritos in Austin! This is taco city.

Flatulent Ferdinand said...

I mean, Bicycling magazine is now showing more skin than Playboy did in the late 60's and nobody really gives a fuck?

Greenwich DDS said...

Looks like you need to update your spellchecker. Everyone knows its carbon fiber, not crabon fibre. Ha ha! I've got a Seven Diamas SL and its sweet.

spellchecker said...

GDDS @5:06,
it's not its

ervgopwr said...

bravo or should I say barvo?! to spellchecker about mr. green teeth.

understanding the sublime subtlties of crabon is what seperates the freds from the cat. 6 commuters. in otherwords you don't want to be either explaining any of it. just ride.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Flatulent,

I dropped my Bicycling subscription when I found an advertisement within their pages for a product that claimed to improve both volume and ballistic force of male emissions.

Chuck said...

WTF, my company now blocks the blogger.com domain so I can't easily post comments anymore. At least I can still read the blog though. I should quit.

I Go Around and Around said...

I think that Anthony Weiner's problem is his name. His chip on his shoulder perhaps results therein. Ambition makes a dagger's target. But Weiner is an honorable man. So are they all, all honorable men. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him....

PawnShop said...

Greenwich DDS,
Looks like a Serotta to me.

Anonymous said...

Fool! 'Sapiens' is not plural!

Hang your head less Erectus.

Greenwich DDS said...

Pawnshop-
I checked out the Serottas and even considered one of those crazy Renovos. But in the end the ability to get my Seven painted in my alma mater's school colors with the name of my practice on the top tube (free advertising!) Won out.

Anonymous said...

I like my crabon bike.

Anonymous said...

Interesting photo-expose of the seedy bicycling product testing process.
I always figured there would be a flock of fawning manufacturer reps throwing 'schwag' at you all day long. That actually looked kind of impartial!

Frank Eeckman said...

Serotta, it's not just for dentists anymore. Juniors will get a chance too.

http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=5960

g-roc said...

Carbon fiber is for dentists. Those in the know ask for crabon fibre by name.

crosspalms said...

g-roc,
and those in the know order crabon cakes when dining in Maryland. They're fantarckstic.

365 said...

Hi Snob,
Great post. Tomorrow, I hope that you can use the photo in this NYT article. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/world/asia/07indonesia.html

I suggest a new caption for the photo "Shut the fuck up, or else: Balinese bike police enforce code of silence."

Thomas the Tank Engine said...

Any nation that can tear up as much railway as you guys did in the last century is hardly going to be worried about tearing up bike lanes.

jet said...

the couple with the dogs are the cycling gypsies!

http://cyclinggypsies.wordpress.com

I have been following them for quite a while. It's funny when blogs you follow overlap each other!

leroy said...

My dog says Weiner's so dumb he chases parked cars.

My dog says it's true on several levels.

My dog also knows that my ribs still hurt when I laugh just now.

Nogocyclist said...

13 year old cyclist assaulted following almost being ran over WSBTV News

bob in humboldt said...

I saw the redacted video. Absurd and poignant.

Twistyface said...

Is Mr. Weiner's assistant called Mr. Hot-Karl?

The Septic Tank Blog said...

I have really enjoyed your site. Keep up the good work

ce said...

I too have been following the Cycling Gypsies (reading their blog, not transcontinental wheelsucking), and I should point out that they travelled a little way before starting that route you mentioned across the isthmus linking Canada and South America. You see, they stopped in at Europe on the way to grab a coffee. Apparently there is a good cafe there somewhere. Anyway, I am not surprised at all that your paths crossed. The massive, slow moving Crabon Super Cluster that you and your Bicycling companions formed would have been powerful enough to draw in pure anticrabon from a great distance. It is lucky for you that the cluster was a short lived phenomena. It was only a matter of time before you would have been crushed by a house moving group ride drawn off course or similar. The take home message: Don't form Crabon Super Clusters unless you can move faster than anticrabon, and consider barriers and marshalling where the risk of catastrophe is great.

Nate said...

You used "redact" when "retract" would have been much more appropriate... Yes, "redact" has three defintions, but the third and least common is to "obscure or remove text from a document". The first two defintions are "to put in writing" or adapt a text for publication.

Seeing how you referred to the "watching" (I assume listening, since we don't really "watch statements".), your use of redact is incorrect. Politicians don't redact statements when they're made aware of their gaffe, they retract them. A simple google search will show you this, as well.

Nate said...

You used "redact" when "retract" would have been much more appropriate... Yes, "redact" has three defintions, but the third and least common is to "obscure or remove text from a document". The first two defintions are "to put in writing" or adapt a text for publication.

Seeing how you referred to the "watching" (I assume listening, since we don't really "watch statements".), your use of redact is incorrect. Politicians don't redact statements when they're made aware of their gaffe, they retract them. A simple google search will show you this, as well.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Nate,

You used "gaffe" when "giraffe" would have been much more appropriate.

--RTMS

Judi said...

drunkcyclist.com jersey!!!

nikolaus said...

You've seen this (http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/pdf/PPWsuit1.pdf) right?

It's the official lawsuit against the Prospect Park bike lanes.

As noted elsewhere, it reads more like grumpy old people yelling at pigeons than a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that shot overlooking the river looks like where I used to stop to smoke a joint and watch the US Postal team go by!

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Shouldn't it be Sedans de Ville?

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Fixie Bikes said...

hope those bikers stopped by to get some mcdonalds.