Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Say What? Putting the "Con" in "Context"

There are a lot of things I love about "curating" my very own "webbing logue." The suite of luxury offices, the lavish travel budgets, my sexy bikini-clad IT staff-slash-beach volleyball team (well, it's not exactly what you're thinking, but they are very good with computers and they work for tanning products)--all of these things make waking up in the early afternoon and shuffling the nine feet from my hammock to my vibrating blogging chair feel like nothing less than a dream come true.

But the best part of all--better than the dozens of dollars, and the millions of spam emails, and the "mimbo" IT volleyball crew--is the knowledge I've acquired over the years. For example, before starting this blog I had no idea that riding a brakeless fixed-gear bicycle down a steep hill and into a busy intersection was, like, a Zen thing that made you feel totally connected to the bike. I thought it was just stupid. I also had no idea people would pay many thousands of dollars for custom high-end bicycles made from bamboo, having foolishly thought it was a material best reserved for panda consumption and papasan chair fabrication. Boy was I wrong! Most of all, though, I learned that when you say things to reporters, those reporters sometimes use what you say in a disappointing manner--kind of like when you sell someone a perfectly good road bike only to see it wind up on the Fixedgeargallery in sickeningly "tarck"-ified form.

Sure, not knowing this may seem like the epitome of naivete, but the truth is that before starting this blog my only experience with newspapers was stuffing them into my shoes after a rainy ride. Plus, I suppose I also have the old-fashioned notion that answering reporters' questions honestly is an act of good citizenship, like helping old ladies cross the street or reporting that neighbor you know is a terrorist because he wears unusual shoes and drives a minivan with a little too much Bondo on it.

Such was my thinking when a reporter from The Daily emailed me recently and asked for my thoughts on the success of the wildly popular Red Hook Crit. Plus, besides getting my merit badge for helping, I also thought it was a good opportunity to put a good word in for the race, since I happen to like it. Most of all, The Daily is an iPad-specific "newspaper," which means my words would be read by literally hundreds of minimalists.

Anyway, here was my reply:

Alleycats, which started as outlaw messenger races, are everywhere now and have evolved into great big scavenger hunts. On the other hand, USA Cycling are not exactly in touch with the zeitgeist, so sanctioned racing can seem too staid and rarefied to the young urban cyclist. I think Dave Trimble's done a great job with his race in combining the best aspects of both--it's a spectator-friendly circuit race on a closed course, but it's outside of the auspices of USA Cycling and takes place at night in an interesting part of Brooklyn. It's a criterium without the stuffiness, and an alleycat without the easter egg hunt.

A couple of days ago the article appeared:


While the both the article's portrayal of the race and the quotes contained therein were unabashedly positive, I was surprised to see that mine had been "retrofitted" to serve as the exception, and that I had instead been used to fill the role of the lone crank:

The Crit, as it's known, retains the renegade spirit of street racing while demanding serious prowess. Alleycats, or "outlaw messenger races, are everywhere now and have evolved into great big scavenger hunts," ____ ______, who blogs at the site Bike Snob NYC, wrote dismissively in an email.

That's it.

Am I a lone crank? Yes. Did I type the words in the quote they used? Sure. By providing the reporter with a quote of over 100 words, had I in effect given The Daily more than enough rope to auto-erotically asphyxiate myself with? Almost certainly. Nevertheless, I couldn't help feeling disappointed.

Naturally, I expected they'd shorten my quote, though honestly I hadn't expected them to shorten it that way. Plus, having given thought to her questions and then sending her a carefully-considered 107-word reply, how could she possibly say I "wrote dismissively?" A dismissive email from me would have looked more like this:

Race sux, fuck off.

But that's pretty much the opposite of what I wrote.

I suppose I shouldn't complain, since this is what comes of being a wise-ass bike blogger. "Live by the sarcasm, die by the sarcasm," as they say. Still, I am a lone crank, so I'm complaining anyway.

By the way, I did email the reporter to ask how she could have said I "wrote dismissively." She sent me a considered reply of over 60 words, but I prefer to render it according to what I now understand are the editorial guidelines of The Daily:

"I'd...cut the entire second half of it out. I...[had]...no context or no previous understanding of this world," she wrote dismissively in an email.

Live by the edit, die by the edit.

Of course, to truly appreciate how pathetically naive I am, you have to consider that this is the second time in less than a week that I've been disappointed by a publication owned by Rupert Murdoch.

This is like renting a hotel room to Charlie Sheen and being disappointed when he trashes it.

Speaking of Rupert Murdoch rags, via John del Signore at Gothamist, it seems that the New York Post is now suggesting that bike paths will desecrate September 11th memorials:

It's terrifying to think about how horribly misquoted you could be for an article like that.

Of course, if any publication would like to know my opinion of fixed-gear hillbombing, they're more than welcome to use the following quote: "It's stupid." [Though I'm sure The Daily would render it thusly: "'It's stupid [not to ride your brakeless fixie down steep hills and into traffic, kids],' he wrote dismissively.") Further to yesterday's post, I learned that the hillbomber featured therein actually has a "tumblr" which he uses to dispense advice to hillbombing aspirants:



Emi, you're one crazy mofo. By the way I'm diggin' your style!

I've stripped and wrecked lots of hubs doing skids, how do you keep your hub from not stripping while doing those crazy as skids?

Thanks
Anonymous

Thank you, so much for being a fan! As far as hubs go and anything else for that matter, I only have one word for you!!!
Phil Wood, Phil Wood, Phil Wood!!! You will never go wrong with Phil Wood!!!
Phil Wood Bottom Bracket, Phil Wood Double Budded Stokes, Phil Wood Lock Ring, Phil Wood High Flange Hub…


My advice on how not to strip your hub while stopping would have been to skip all the expensive Phil Wood stuff and just get a $30 brake caliper, but then again I'm not a famous hillbomber. I wonder if he ever uses a CamelBak, like Frank Schleck:

It's good to see that the UCI are taking this infraction seriously, because if CamelBak use is allowed to continue unchecked it will only be a matter of time before the professional peloton are also riding in baggy shorts, growing out their leg hair, and using fully-suspended bicycles with fourteen feet of front and rear travel in order to ride off curbs. By the way, if you're wondering why you can't wear a bag of water on your back in a UCI road race, here is the reason:

The Leopard Trek rider was allowed to start the time trial by UCI officials present at the race but he may have broken rule 1.3.033 which says "it is forbidden to wear non-essential items of clothing or items designed to influence the performances of a rider such as reducing air resistance or modifying the body of the rider."

That last part about "modifying the body of the rider" also prohibits stuffing tubed meats and other phallic objects down your shorts in order to make yourself seem exceptionally well-endowed, though it's perfectly fine to do this on the podium after the race is over.

Speaking of mountaining bicycles, my esteemed blogleague Stevil Kinevil of All Hail the Black Market is spearheading (or in his case "spearbearding") a campaign to have a crappy Softride (is there any other kind?) inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Here he is on that Softride as seen in the March issue of Bike Magazine:

While I'm primarily a Y-Foil guy I would still very much like to see him succeed, so if you'd like to help you can appeal directly to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame by following the directions at the end of this post. Then, while you're at it, you can also order a stunning "Smokey and the Bandit" replica jersey from the man himself.

Penultimately, if you're in need of inspiration, my other esteemed blogleague, Lucho of Cyclinginqusition, has shared with me this moving song about the virtues of riding without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs:

6

If you've been wondering whatever happened to that Michael Ball guy, I'm pretty sure that as soon as this song came out he exploded in a wet blast of denim and hair gel.

And lastly, if you haven't gotten around to giving your bike a spring tune-up yet, a reader informs me that you can finally outsource that chore to someone who will perform it while topless:

I'm sure Kiki is quite handy with the nipple wrench.

85 comments:

ringcycles said...

Podoim Cav!

ringcycles said...

Cavendish!

ringcycles said...

And sweep?

ringcycles said...

(Wow, this Camelback chest fairing really does work.)

le Correcteur said...

Top 5!

FastEddieJay said...

Top Ten

rfalso said...

top 10?

Tyler said...

Farrar

Ouch

Matt said...

It being Wednesday and all I see Emil is using double-budded spokes.

It's always a revelation to see what you say show up in print but you think even cub reporter Maura would be able to get it right when it's already typed out for her. Does anyone read The Daily? I did, while it was free. Information yearns to be free, you know, it's misinformation you have to pay for.

Which reminds me, I wonder how Ev Bogue is doing these days?

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

I love nipple wrench engines said...

mmm.nipple wench

Brian said...

Since when did Phil Wood become one word?

Anonymous said...

Race sux, fuck off.

Should read:

Race sux, fux off.

ints said...

That last part about "modifying the body of the rider" also prohibits stuffing tubed meats and other phallic objects down your shorts in order to make yourself seem exceptionally well-endowed, though it's perfectly fine to do this on the podium after the race is over.
Based on the graphic(s) of their shorts, the team is obviously abusing polish sausages.

Marcel Da Chump said...

we are the 801

Julien Cogset said...

whatever time Schleck gained from his camel-belly trick, he certainly forfeited due to his flamboyant camel-toe.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"Vibrating Blogging Chair"!!!

-You lucky SOB.

mikeweb said...

Bottomless!

Konkey Dong said...

Wait, did the racing team really seem particularly well endowed? really? they looked like vienna sausages! y'all gotta get out more.

shlushees_for_breakfast said...

Oh snobby,

You are the 'bitter cycling blogger' to any media property that considers itself elite.

Why? The list is too long, but here's a couple.
-Your writing does not come close to the required cycling industry fellatio. See everything at velonews or Bill Strickland's hero worship for examples.
-Everyone in the media trying to make a buck hates bloggers. Therefore you are bitter, or whatever they hate this week.
-You lack vertical compliance and lateral stiffness.

Your niche as the 'bitter cycling blogger' is set in stone. Bicycling is as good as it gets for you.

Bitter!

Stupid Name said...

Good day today,

Mountain Biking Hall of Fame is an oxymoron. Sorry it just is.

Loved the satire like humor from the gothamist. First article in a long time that was actually funny when it was trying to be funny. I think.

I guess if you are an online magazine like The Daily, and hire people to write articles about which they no nothing, you will have some problems. Seems to be the problem also at Ruperts' WSJ since he took over.

Fake journalists are stooopid.

Hill-bombing is fun, but you don't see that many older hill-bombers, maybe Darwin was right after all.

Is it wrong to hate so many stupid things?

Anonymous said...

Kielbasa

Bob Loftin said...

Never trust a journalist. Ever.

Lanterne Rouge said...

Snob,
If it's of any solace your readership will always surpass that of The Daily. Plus, unlike the owner of said publication, you are only slightly megalomaniacal.

Anonymous said...

Phil Wood double-budded stokes are essential for increasing the intake of Wednesday Weed prior to hillbombing.

crosspalms said...

Maybe Kiki can explain double budded stokes. Someone should interview her at length. Maybe she can also explain pedaling with a lone crank, unless Vito counts as the other crank, in which case never mind and keep up the good work...

Marcel Da Chump said...

Goodness gracious, I'm sensing the onset of another Rupert Rage...aarrrgghh!

samh said...

TEAM LAY-OH-PARD SHENANIGANS!!!

mankini said...

Hey! Softride CREATED the vertically compliant and laterally stiff bicycle.

I'm the fastest mankini wearing Tri-dork in the entire history of the Y-bike!

Don't mess with the Softride. I may have to get busy on you with the cucumber in my mankini!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Hippy Johnny said...

My favorite song about not doing drugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_exvKnrK6g

Anonymous said...

Is any clothing really "essential"? You wouldn't even need shoes if you used clips and straps.

Anonymous said...

"bikelanesaregood"

edit that bitches!

no floor pump for kiki - she's gonna use a hand pump - here's hoping she has a good grip

hillbilly said...

some ask y foil, i ask y not?

Anonymous said...

Note to Hill Bomber Emi, "Phil Wood" is two words.

Tristan said...

What's funny about Phil Wood hubs is that they readily acknowledge the fact that they will strip their lockring threading if you don't use their fancy cogs or Dura Ace due to thread engagement. I turned a Phil hub into a single speed only hub this way. Whoops!

My crappy Formulas seem to be hanging on just fine though.

Drink said...

"modifying body parts" phshaw!
those are not polish sausages.
there are obviously "lil smokies"

Twistyface said...

Kiki has certainly caught my imagination. Can't remember what the rest of the blog covered... probably something about NYC bike lanes and tarck bikes...

Is it possible to over maintain your bicycle? Twice a week reasonable?

If only I lived in NYC.... >sigh<

Burt Reynolds said...

There is nothing laterally stiff about a Softride bike.

Just sayin' said...

"iPad specific" and "journalist" are mutually exclusive.

ringcycles said...

The problem of course, BSNYC, is that you gave the poor scrub a thoughtful witty paragraph when she wanted a snide quip. You expect so much from the limited abilities of contemporary journalists.

Anonymous said...

Phil Wood is one word when you are one with the hub.

grog said...

Perhaps Kiki is Recumbabe. Both have nipples and wrenches.

Marcel Da Chump said...

kiki specializes in Softride conversions.

mikeweb said...

@marcel:

+1

Anonymous said...

@Grog: all men and women have nipples, but they are not all the same person: fact.

Socrates said...

Anon 2:40, are you sure about that?

Rolf Harris said...

Someone's pinched me nipples!!

San Fran Nan said...

You know, boys, if it wasn't for those mother-fucking tea baggers I would have instituted Net Neutrality, and then you could safely go to sleep at night knowing that you wouldn't have to wake up to something that upsets you out of one of those so-called media outlets which are nothing more than front organizations for Murdoch and Koch.

It would work something like this:

all Net "publishers" would be assigned into one of three categories, the Yin, the Yang, and the Neutral.

If Mr. O'Rourke "wrote" something negative about bike lanes for his Murdoch-controlled "publication", it would be promptly offset by an article about Fitness and Nutrition written by Michael Moore and posted at The Nation.

However, most Net sources would be considered Neutral. Neutral ratings would go to organizations that are under the direct control and supervision of public sector unions, or that have given generously to charitable organizations such as the President's re-election committee or the Recall Walker Movement.

Neutrality would also be given to graduates of the Colombia or U.C. Berkeley School of Journalism.

Although Mr. Weiss has displayed some alarmingly libertarian tendencies, if he could produce a valid diploma from Bard with a major in Gender Studies, we'd probably just wave him through.

San Fran Nan said...

Tee hee, that should read "Columbia". I sounded like Glen Beck for a silly moment.

Marcel Da Chump said...

@mikeweb,
Isn't she amazing?
She made my Softride hard in mere seconds, and without tools!

Neil said...

Just got back from Kiki's place-the photo was touched up a bit.
He's a hairy 300lb guy...kind of looks like George 'the animal' Steel.

crosspalms said...

Apparently she's familiar with more kinds of wood than Phil's

hillbilly said...

frickin nypd. http://gothamist.com/2011/04/06/cop_nearly_doors_cyclist_then_chase.php

hillbilly said...

sorry. http://tinyurl.com/3r7csab

Arthur said...

I like your blog. Please check mine out at: www.jwanermanbikeblog.blogspot.com
It's not funny, but it has some info about my fixed gear conversion and my pleasure when I am riding it.
Jeffrey Wanerman

Aero Bars and a Basket said...

Glad to see the sausage abusing cycling team is still rocking the middle school pin-up. Ah, those were the days!

Rocky Mountain Chuck said...

Apparently the New Jersey Nets are courting the hipster fan by putting in bike racks.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806304576243280634692062.html

ringcycles said...

Neil: so much for my emailing Kiki to see if she'd be a podium girl

mikeweb said...

@hillbilly,

Now we know how the protesters at the '68 Democratic convention felt...

Hopefully we won't get to the Kent State stage.

g-roc said...

San Fran Nan: "article about Fitness and Nutrition written by Michael Moore". Now that's funny.

Marcel Da Chump said...

hillbilly, mikeweb,
That's standard NYPD practice when engaging with cyclist: contrived tickets. I was sideswiped by a cop on scooter and got ticketed, circa 1990.

David said...

@hillbilly

Seems cops, like Snobby's journalist, just make life up as they go. Wish I could do that.

Anonymous said...

Ha, the chick that got doored by the cop is your typical hipster on a brakeless fixie that had it coming.

Oh, she's a normal looking girl on a murray...I find it unlikely she was doing a daredevil inverse hill bomb up amsterdam ave.

I never hated cops until I moved to NYC (used to work with them quite often). They are super-dicks up here.

What's great is that this cop won't get any punishment for abuse of power and assault/harassment of a citizen that pays his salary.

Anonymous said...

My cat has nipples, can you milk that?

Anonymous said...

LONE CRNK

Yoda said...

Aroused I am, Kiki.

Tex said...

Cats are almost always terrible mechanics. I don't let them near my bike.

Anonymous said...

Got my clip on my hip by my sip. I am rich bitch.

Rupert Murdoch said...

Blow my jounalistic overlordnicity,you spandex clad tiny wienered bitches! Ahahahahaha!

Roger Ailes said...

You're big enough to blow yourself, Rupert. Don't forget to swallow, boss.

leroy said...

My dog says he's in therapy due to attempts to paper train him using the NY Post.

I say no one would notice a little more crap in that paper.

Now he's going to want an I-Pad so he can train on The Daily.

Rupert Murdoch said...

Curse you,Roger Ailes!

Anonymous said...

Sheesh Stevil pass the bike to the next guy or lady.
It figures that a guy with suspension seat posts on 'all' of his bikes would like boinging around on a softtail and not want to give it up.

-angry dragon

bikesgonewild said...

...absolute truth...i've been riding a softride/alsop beam road bike set up with their mtb suspension stem & a straight bar which allows me to ride while i recover from a serious car accident last year...

...kiki can wrench on my big beam anytime she likes...

...just sayin'...

ce said...

sic 'em dragon boy

Anonymous said...

There is a crap app for that.

Anonymous said...

Nonplussed has gone mainstream

I am holding you responsible, which begs the question.

The "Nonplussed" Problem
How long should we cling to a word's original meaning?
By Ben Yagoda
Posted Thursday, April 7, 2011, at 10:08 AM ET
Suppose a friend said to you, "I know you're disinterested, so I want to ask you a question presently." Then he didn't say anything. Would you be momentarily nonplussed?

http://www.slate.com/id/2290536/

Daniel said...

In re-reading the bad edit of your quote about the Red Hook Crit it sounds like you are commenting dismissively about "alleycats", not the RHC. Whether or not you meant to be dismissive of alleycats or not, a fair read of the mangled quote wouldn't infer that you were criticizing the RHC.

Keep up the good work, and stay the hell off the bus, whether it is raining or not.

Dan.

Anonymous said...

Panties! Panties! Panties!

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
post-felix said...

Nude bicycle repair?

Does no one remember Seinfield "BAD NAKED"?

Stevil said...

Angry Dragon,
The Sh*tb*ke was returned to the BIKE offices long ago. The stench still hasn't left my garage.

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Fixie Bikes said...

"Bikelyn" isn't particularly clever on their part.