Monday, May 2, 2011

BSNYC Field Trip: The New Amsterdam Bicycle Show

(Feelin' Patriotic.)

Well, it's officially Bike Month here in New York City, and despite--or perhaps because of--the ongoing NYPD "crackdown" on cyclists the festivities kicked off this past weekend with extra "flambullience." Not only did the city see the running of the Five Boro Bike Tour (which is the world's largest assembly of Freds in the Western hemisphere), but it also played host to the New Amsterdam Bike Show. Sadly, I was unable to take part in the Five Boro Bike Tour since my helmet mirror is still in the shop, but I am pleased to report I was able to pay a brief visit to the bike show. While I was there, I occasionally pointed my aging camera in the direction of stuff and then pressed the button with the grace and savoir faire of a "Bike and Roll" tourist snapping shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, and since I'm something of an amateur bicycle blog enthusiast I will endeavor to share the sorry results with you herewith.

Firstly, I should say that riding to the bike show was a bittersweet experience. It was sweet because the weather was lovely and my smugness caravan and I were able to travel almost the entire way on bike lanes, but it was bitter because here's what we encountered in those lanes:

--Pedestrians
--Illegally parked Hummers with New York State Association of Chiefs of Police badges on the bumper;
--Fish delivery trucks;
--Pickup trucks "corking" intersections for outlaw motorcycle clubs;
--Occasionally, cyclists.

The "corking" pickup truck was especially astounding since it was using the bike lane to roar from intersection to intersection at something like 50mph and had to have been running something like 20 red lights a minute. However, the police didn't seem to mind, and in fact the group also had something of a de facto NYPD Cushman escort. I guess this is because, while the driver or the motorcyclists could have easily killed somebody, none of them were doing anything really dangerous to the general public such as riding a bicycle with a tote bag on the handlebars.

Also, I did have the pleasure of riding along a brand-new, freshly painted bike lane:

Note that, even though it was only hours old, it already had a U-Haul in it in strict compliance with New York City bike lane policy.

Anyway, when we finally arrived at the bike show I knew it was going to be a good one since I immediately spotted actor and bicycle enthusiast Matthew Modine. In New York City, when David Byrne (who does not own a car) is either unable or unwilling to attend a cycling-related event, Matthew Modine (whose car ownership status is unknown) is there to fill the resultant smugness vacuum. Here's Modine outside the show, apparently attempting to "schluff" on two bikes at once:

Say what you will about Modine's performance in "Pacific Heights" alongside Michael Keaton at his diabolical best, but at least he' s not afraid to get his hands dirty. I'd like to see David Byrne (who doesn't have a car) try that.

Next, I ran the Gauntlet of Bikes (or G.O.B.) you'll find outside of any cycling-themed event, which serves as sort of a portal into the Realm of Bike Dorkdom:

There were low-locked bikes and there were high-locked bikes. In fact, there was even a high-locked Softride:

Softrides are to Y-Foils as Matthew Modine is to David Byrne.

For my part, I was having none of this "locking" nonsense, mostly because my smugness caravan was "palping" something like 300lbs of bicycle, and had I attempted to high-lock my Big Dummy I would have wound up pinned underneath it like a wrestling extra in the 1985 Matthew Modine film "Vision Quest." Trust me, the last thing I want is to be found laid out on the sidewalk flatter than Modine's performance in "Married to the Mob." Therefore, I went to valet our bikes--only to be told that the valet parking was "full:"

Yeah, right. Maybe if we had a Dutch bike or a "bake feets" or some other ├╝ber-smug conveyance like all the highfalutin New York City bike advocacy set rides they'd have found us some room:

Clearly though my caravan didn't make the grade, so we had to make like the rest of the "proles" and use the poles.

Speaking of making like the proles, after I tethered our caravan to a street lamp I took my place at the end of the ticket line:

I knew I was in for a long wait, since the guy in front of me was yawning.

Eventually, though, we did make it in, and I ascended the narrow, vertiginous staircase:

As something of a "woosie" when it comes to heights, I found the staircase mildly disconcerting, and you can bet a true professional bike show organizer like NAHBS potentate Don Walker wouldn't force people to climb a set of stairs like this--or, if he did, he wouldn't allow them to use any other stairs within a 20-mile radius.

Nevertheless, I did manage to conquer my fears and ascend the hated staircase, and when I finally made it into the show itself I saw something that made me rejoice--it was another line!

Apparently coffee tastes better when it's served out of a vintage truck, but I was in no mood to wait on another line, so instead I joined the mobs of people wandering around and looking at stuff:

I also ambled over to this panel discussion:

There were some empty seats, though I bet if the panel were sitting in a vintage truck they'd have to drive the crowd away with a fire hose.

Next I sauntered over an area that was sort of sectioned off by "DisposaCones," and I took this as a warning that I was about to enter an Extreme Smugness Zone:

If you're a part of the "cone culture" like I am, you'll want a closer look at the DisposaCones, so here you go. I also made sure to include a pair of disembodied mandals according to "cone culture" photo guidelines:

As it turns out though, it wasn't an Extreme Smugness Zone. Rather, it was a bike demo area. Here's someone trying to figure out how to ride one of those "fixie" bikes you're always hearing about:

Clearly he was trying to figure out the hipster leg-over-bar mounting technique, and I'd have showed him myself if I wasn't reasonably certain I'd pull a groin muscle.

Of course, like a pervert in rose-colored MC Hammer pants, if an event is even remotely bike-themed you can be sure that Specialized is going to come along and pitch a big red tent:

Notice how the Specialized representative proffers the frame bottom bracket shell first to emphasize it's "beefiness."

There was also the requisite "Bamboo Ghetto:"

As well as local vendors like Hold Fast:

Who doubtless spent much of the day answering the question: "And these are different from PowerGrips how exactly?" (Answer: They're three times as expensive, use Velcro, and are available in "collabo" versions.)

Meanwhile, Bike Works NYC displayed some kind of clock that tells hipster time:


Even Craigslist fixture Spaceship had space at the show:


Spaceship are so Craigslist they just displayed one of their "For Sale" posts instead of an actual bike:


Speaking of spaceships, it was time for me to ascend to the next level, which meant more stairs:


This floor had a decidedly different flavor, and it was dominated by a Terrordome of Fixies:



I assumed that at some point in the day two hipsters would enter it and fight to the death, which would look like this:



There was also an extensive smugness section:


As well as a cursed soul doomed to furl and unfurl folding bikes in front of mildly curious onlookers for all eternity:


Eventually though, it was time for me to leave, which meant more freaking stairs:


And back on the street, I found a crowd had assembled to gawk at the considerable smugness of my Big Dummy:


In Portland, I'm sure it wouldn't rate a second look, but this is New York City, so they probably couldn't believe I managed to ride a bicycle this big without getting arrested:

Here's one of the gentlemen going in for a closer look, clearly impressed by the Sportster 883 V-twin I've got hidden behind the Xtracycle Freeloader bags. In fact, he was so taken with it I thought he might try to make off with it, and so I reached inside my diaper bag and prepared to brain him with a sippy-cup if necessary:

Eventually though he simply stood up and then asked us to explain how our u-lock worked, so I just hurled the sippy-cup at a passing unicyclist instead:


I wonder if it's possible to "schluff" on a unicycle.

82 comments:

Adam said...

First

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Podium!

Anonymous said...

podium baby!

OBA said...

You missed the cigarette smoking secret hipster garden on the roof...

abelgus said...

ppoppoooodddiuummms

Pody Hum said...

Mist Agun!

Bad Lawyer said...

anything happening in the news?

Eve (bluely underlimed) said...

Second

Anonymous said...

Dang!

Poldy Hump said...

Dertie MacTowell

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Bad Lawyer said...

Thanks for the patriotic opening gesture on this day in history.

Neil said...

BSNYC....the S is for Steels.

Easton Heights Blogger said...

that would be a Sportster 883 V-twin, not a 880.
yes, I'm a motorcycle geek as well as a bicycle geek, go figure...

I am a no dummy engine said...

Bike shows are the new meh, if the most interesting thing is the "big dummy" standing outside.


"BSNYC does not own a car"?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Easton Heights Blogger,

Thanks--I knew that, I swear!

--BSNYC

ABELGUS said...

VEGANS DON'T RIDE BEEFY BOTTOM BRACKETS

Anonymous said...

I'm always intrigued by bike shoes like NABS (not to be confused with NADS) but never bring myself to go because I have a profound dislike for smug bike dorks. Your pictoral essay reinforces this view (e.g. did you see that smugged-out big dummy and i'm not talking about modine). Thanks

Anonymous said...

Michael Keaton sucked in Pacific Heights, and he sucked even more in Batman. Just saying....

crosspalms said...

Loved the Terror Dome of Fixies

Anonymous said...

I guess the collabo between Bin Laden and 'Hold Fast' is off then?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12.21: your fixation with bike shoes is unhealthy.

Twistyface said...

Biblical comments today: Adam coming first? Nice!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for gratuitous pic of Big Dummy getting a rectal exam...

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

Marcel Da Chump said...

That red bike Modine's got looks like the one I saw David Byrne riding last year...coincidence?

Twistyface said...

I was just 'checking out' those Hold Fast products: Shimano and Time must feel pretty stupid on the whole clipless thing...

I am particularly struck by Mr. I. Kapo's comment: "Dopest shit brought to the game, love them shits!!!"

I never heard that kind of ringing endorsement for SPDs...

Anonymous said...

...unless it was a 1200.....

How did they get the H van up the stairs?

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

I'm holding out for the BESTMADE version of the HOLD FAST powergrips: essentially the same, put the buckles are polished by an artisan whose only source of heat and light is a designer firepit: $125 a pair.

Anonymous said...

I was out bicycle cycling!

Did I miss anything?

Anonymous said...

PODIUM! Oops, wrong blog.

cycle

crosspalms said...

the clock that tells hipster time is pretty cool, too. I think I want one of those

ringcycles said...

Of course you can schluff a unicycle, but it looks alot like jerking off in public; so only the most ironically un-selfconscious hipsters can pull it off.

Anonymous said...

Hipster wrestling certainly has a future on pay-per-view....

Bad Lawyer said...

One of the things that's really cool about bicycling is standing around looking at bicycling stuff. It's almost as cool as driving someplace to ride your bicycle.

Anonymous said...

The tall blond girl in the photos was the hottest!
I was going to introduce myself but could not find her anymore. Write me here!

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely into 'cone culture.' I also appreciate a nice butt.

D. Hawerchuk said...

Thank Lob, you're all right. I was worried that somebody found out that you were actually in Pakistan all this time....

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

Matthew Modine will always be Private Joker to me.

Pee Pee the Sailor said...

Did you take a restroom break when you visited the bike show? Any insights?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

are we done with NSFW?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne,

If we can't look at star-spangled breasts the day after the President announces Bin Laden was killed then we might as well move to Canada.

--RTMS

fillet_brazed said...

Spaceship and powergrip2 is the perfect example of why the bike biz is so awful.

Putting a label on an OEM bike generates an AWESOME amount of profit! They can't even afford one themselves.

powergrip2 is equally awesome. A former bond trader retires at 40 after 'making a killing' riding the Federal Reserve's gravy train wants to 'give something back' while dreaming about doubling his fortunes improving powergrips.

Anonymous said...

FLAG TITS

ESHR STRS

g-roc said...

Hey Snob, we're far more Liberal up here in America's wardrobe malfunction. That's totally SFW for us.

Anonymous said...

Ahmed Bin Laden was no big dummy

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mammaries!

Rocky Mountain Chuck said...

Totally SFW, and much appreciated.

bikesgonewild said...

...obama's bin biden his time but he finally sent the seals in to get osama bin laden...

...in tribute, i'd hold that pair painted patriotic pulchritude close to my heart...& i'd be singin' 'god bless america' as i pledged my allegiance to the red, white & blue...

bikesgonewild said...

..."...that pair OF painted patriotic pulchritude..."...

...my fingers were drooling at the thought & they slipped...

Jack Flash said...

http://bit.ly/jCk0Ns

bikesgonewild said...

...& i've been riding an allsop softride beam bike while my back has been healing from an 'incident'...

...obviously that isn't my softride...i couldn't lift it that high...

Marcel Da Chump said...

bgw,
wha' happen to "poetry smoetry"?
Patriotic puns and All-American alliterations.
Yes indeed, God bless.

bikesgonewild said...

...marcel da chump...

...those patriotic ladies had me standing at attention, even sitting here...& when i stood up, ya could a' hung a flag off me...

JV said...

Hi BS-

Loved your blog today. Thanks for coming. I hope you knew you were on the non-hipster blogger list and did not actually pay to get in. HA!

Joanna Organizer of the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show

Marcel Da Chump said...

bgw,
rally round the flag, girls.

Anonymous said...

I see no locking of the Dummy's front wheel.
Is it pitlocked, or were all NYC bike thieves on strike?

Oh, and
Ding dong, the witch is dead, etc.

Anonymous said...

Of course Adam is first.

P.J. O'Rourke said...

SO, A CHICKEN AND AN EGG ARE LYING IN BED, AND THE CHICKEN ROLLS OVER, LIGHTS A SMOKE, AND SAYS, I GUESS THAT ANSWERS THAT QUESTION.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

bsnyc,

Thanks for the bikeworksnyc link. Some great old bikes in the picture archives.

BIKE ROLL

hater said...

Bin Laden, the elephant in the room.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

BikeSnobNYC 3:00,

Agreed.

And I was getting tired of that job anyway.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"non-hipster blogger list"


Must be nice.

JDH said...

Are unicycles really a sensible mode of transportaging when not in a circus tent?

PawnShop said...

All You Jihadists Suck My Bullets

Anonymous said...

The erection I've had since hearing about Bin Laden's death was only strengthened this morning with the opening "patriotic gesture". Hipster fights always happen in front of Whole Foods, video proves it.

Anonymous said...

SUPER SMUG NEWS:::

Minneapolis out smugs nation with "Gold Star" from LAB (league of Amerkan Biekfiets).

The BFC (Bike Firstly Commies) award was hugely smugnificent. And the Mayor and other smug politicians smirked. They were smug because no one else in the country gets the GSS (Gold Star of Smugness).

Stupid Name said...

"Bamboo Ghetto", priceless.

Not a ghetto at those prices, more like gentrified hell hole

Anonymous said...

Thanks Snob for your work, it's very entertaining and even insightful.
I am writing to send my condolences for your cycling angst with police and such in NYC. On the other side of the world, in Hobart, which is not a pro-bicycle city at all, we have a 'courteous' critical mass that is frequented by local council members and politicians. We are escorted by police on bicycles, only take one lane, and when red lights break up the bunch we re-group around the next corner.
I'd post a youtube link, but feeling somewhat daggy enough. How do you write such without feeling the need to purge?

Anonymous said...

I also ride a dummy, but with little muppet up front ... useful for whispering smugger than thou comments into impressionable ear that could otherwise be considered inciteful.

Cupcake Ideas said...

I was out bicycle cycling!

Did I miss anything?

Cupcake Ideas

EmCeeEscherOn-a-Bike said...

How come NYers wait on line while everywhere else people wait in line? Must be that the NY city planners (ha!) looked at too many Escher prints.

BottomRider said...

Hey all, click the "beefiness" link near the Specialized table photo to see video that's more about bottom than bracket. Spectacular bottom. I'd ride that!

BreastToucher said...

Speaking of breasts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMyrRm4yruk

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize David Byrne doesn't own a car. He is so cool. Does he let people know? Everyone should know.

MLB2k11 said...

Thanks for sharing this information about Amsterdam Bicycle show.

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Jon said...

In celebration of National Bike Month & to further support Wheels of Change (A non profit providing mobility to those that need it most), Austin-Lehman Adventures is pleased to announce that for all new bookings in May, for any 2011 Bike Trip, we will donate $200 to WoC. ALA is excited to be packing out our 2nd container of used bikes, this one going to open a shop in Nairobi Kenya. Visit www.austinlehman.com for trips and details.
This is a great cause and I would love if you could post about it!

Anonymous said...

Well, naturally, I liked the first picture....but the thing that made it truly worth reading was the DisposaCones!

(Thanks for the press guys :) )

Jon Julnes
President
DisposaCone

Anonymous said...

Oh my god you are so misguided. Where do I begin? You just see stuff and say whatever you want about it based on your whim. Retard.

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Fixie Bikes said...

That first picture with all the American boobs really confused me at first.