Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Naked Truth: What's Everybody Got Against Pants All of a Sudden?

In today's fast-paced world of instant gratification, it's all too easy to make hasty decisions. There's already an RU86 "morning after" smart phone app, and I imagine it won't be long before we're electing our Presidents in the same way we "like" or "dislike" things on The Facing Book. This is why it's more important than ever to bring back the art of good old-fashioned artisanal decision "curation" like we used to use "Back in the Day:"

(Dachshund of Time, aka the Wiener Dog of Human History)

See, "Back in the Day" you didn't just push a button to make a decision. Instead, you withdrew from society for a prolonged period of meditation and reflection. For example, let's say you had to decide on which spurious cure to take for your consumption, or which brand of pennyfarthing bicycle to purchase. Well, you took a leave of absence from your vocation, you left your family in the care of a neighbor or relative, you put on your decision-making hair shirt, and you retreated into your local Deciding Cave for anywhere from a few weeks to a decade. Then you'd reemerge. Of course, by the time you came back that bloodletting or high-wheeler was probably obsolete, but that's precisely why the old-timey method of decision-making was so effective. Just think of all the leechings and faceplants people were spared because they took the time to think things through.

Well, yesterday I announced the finalists in the "There Will Be Action Wipes" contest, and in so doing I presented you with a decision as important as any you're likely to face in your lifetime. Therefore, to turn around and ask you to pick a winner a mere 24 hours later would be to do a disservice to you, the contestants, and indeed our entire society. Instead, I am granting you an additional day to reflect, and to aid in this I am presenting you with a visual aid:

As I mentioned when I launched the contest two years ago or whenever it was, what we're doing is creating a simplified international symbol for cycling akin to the little men's room guy. So, what I've done is created five mock-ups, one for each finalist, which depict the symbol as you'd be likely to encounter it out in the real world. Here they are:

1)





2)





3)





4)





5)


I'm sure you'll agree that this puts an entirely new spin on each the finalists. In particular, #4 has phallic implications even on its own, so when placed on a minimalist porta-potty it could easily lead a traveler to believe the structure is actually some sort of public "glory hole." You should take this into account when choosing your favorite, though whether it counts as a positive or a negative depends entirely on how you feel about glory holes.

Context, as they say, is everything.

Speaking of the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork, a reader informs me that, astoundingly, "Bicycling" magazine (who have now compiled all of my Giro d'Italia blog posts in one handy link, Lob help you) is continuing to use him in their promotional materials:

I don't know if their use of this image means "Bicycling" are totally in touch or completely out of touch, but either way it's indisputable at this point that the TTTSWRFFTPTD is nothing less than a cycling icon.

Also, I got to use him for one of my Giro blogs.

Anyway, until we have a new international symbol to guide us, in many cities across America and elsewhere cycling remains a daunting process of blindly inserting ourselves into the metaphorical glory hole of fate and hoping that the world isn't in a biting mood. Yesterday I did just that as I left my little bucolic backwater and bicycle cycled into The Big City. On the way there, I passed this "vintage" BMW with two tickets and a party flyer on it:

Even though I know he drives a Jaguar, my first thought was that the car belonged to that idiot John Cassidy from The New Yorker. Not only does he have a confirmed fondness for old cars and street parking, but he's also just the sort of person who'd get so hung over after some douchey dinner that he'd forget to move his car for two successive street cleanings. I guess we'll know for sure when he publishes a screed about the evils of alternate side parking and how it interferes with his drinking regimen.

I also saw a woman portaging two (2) actual human children in a "bake feets:"

I'm still a novice at this point when it comes to child-portaging, so I'm not sure if there's an equivalent of "Cat 6" racing among the sorts of smug people who engage in it. If so, I'm assuming it doesn't work like regular Cat 6 racing and that it's not as simple as just beating other child-portagers to the tops of climbs. Instead, I imagine there's got to be some sort of a handicapping system that would take into account variables such as:

--The age of the child;
--The number of children being portaged;
--The rider's "Smugness Quotient;"
--The child's embarrassment factor.

That last one seems especially important. A baby or toddler on a bicycle generally looks either happy or asleep, whereas some of these kids I see being portaged in "bake feets" lately are almost in puberty and wear looks of profound and intense embarrassment. You have to figure it's pretty rough to show up at school in mommy's "bake feets" when some of your friends are already arriving on their own "fixies." In any case, I imagine a child portager on a $3,000 "bake feets" carrying two children with a combined age of 26, both of whom are hiding behind their "Harry Potter" novels in shame, has won any child-portaging race before it's even begun.

Anyway, I wasn't portaging a child at the time, so needless to say I totally dominated the woman on the "bake feets." However, no sooner had I begun my descent than I was confronted with a mob of bike rental tourists:

I don't recall seeing this many rental bike tourists on the Manhattan Bridge in years past, but in any case now that the weather is fair they are present in alarming numbers. Inevitably at least one of these riders does something exceedingly stupid and almost crashes me, and this time it was the guy who turned to watch a passing subway train like he was on safari and it was some sort of exotic animal. As he admired the seductive beauty of the D train, he turned right into the guardrail and lost control of his bicycle, though to his credit he was able to correct himself before actually falling off it. Still, if he's so taken with subway trains and bridge views than maybe he should just ride the actual train. I'm sure it's a lot cheaper than renting one of those crappy bikes.

Thanking the Lob above for allowing me to ford the "Big Skanky" without striking a hapless bicycle tourist, I arrived in Manhattan, only to be passed by the rider in the red helmet, who implored me to attend the World Naked Bike Ride on June 11th:

This, to me, is the worst thing about the "bike culture"--their assumption that, just because I'm using a bicycle, I'd also be interested in doing something as ridiculous as riding it naked. If I were using a weed whacker, would some other amateur landscaper tell me I should try edging my lawn without my pants? If I had been buying an avocado in the supermarket, would that woman in front of me have tried to get me to jump naked into a giant bowl of guacamole? Unlikely. Then why tell me I should ride my bike naked? Plus, even if I were actually into riding my bike naked, is it even possible I wouldn't already know about the World Naked Bike Ride? Isn't that like telling someone who's wearing a football jersey, "Hey, you should really check out the Superbowl!" Most distressing, who's so excited about the World Naked Bike Ride that they're riding around telling complete strangers about it?

Well, that guy apparently.

Anyway, at the next light he did that thing fixed-gear riders do where they start weaving like half a block before they get to the intersection and take up two whole lanes of traffic in order to perform the simple act of slowing down. I then found myself contemplating whether it would be too un-PC to start calling such people "skid-tards." Maybe so, but watching these riders bring their bikes to a halt is like watching an old dog who circles a section of floor 47 times before finally lying down.

Then I passed by some sidewalk art:

Naked cycling tip: when taking a break, avoid sitting pantsless on unfinished wooden furniture. Also, be sure to use a pie plate so your, uh, "derailleur" doesn't get stuck in your spokes:

This photo comes via Chris from Electra Bikes who spotted these aftermarket pie plates in a bike shop in Germany, and I'm sure it will please naked cyclists everywhere to know that they're available in both small and large sizes.

88 comments:

Never Knows Best said...

Oh my lord, it finally happened.

Anonymous said...

Bam

Anonymous said...

three

Anonymous said...

four

Anonymous said...

five

Anonymous said...

six

Anonymous said...

seven

mikeweb said...

Too slow

Anonymous said...

eight

Anonymous said...

ten

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

one day i will count to ten.
that will be the day that all you haters will suck my balls, suck my balls.

Anonymous said...

1st

crosspalms said...

A guy did that old-dog-47-circles thing near me this morning, but I think it was so the rest of us could admire his beard and elegant yellow wheels. Hats off to anonymous (or the anonymi) today!

thegock said...

DRPD AGIN

Anonymous said...

Fred-o-riffic!!

Anonymous said...

AYHFMGH

grog said...

I like pie plates.

Anonymous said...

Give skidiots a brake!

Paul Bowen said...

London cycling explosion continues. Numbers on the road was always weather-sensitive of course but nowadays bright sunny morning = newbageddon.

Mike said...

"Most distressing, who's so excited about the World Naked Bike Ride that they're riding around telling complete strangers about it?"

Love it.

Kenny Banya said...

"...cycling remains a daunting process of blindly inserting ourselves into the metaphorical glory hole of fate and hoping that the world isn't in a biting mood."

Gold Snobby, GOLD!

waxmouth said...

They rent out bikes right at the base of the Manhattan Bridge.

I'm kind of on the fence about it all. On the one hand, just yesterday I too almost got run into passing a person on a rental (and I wasn't even going that fast) who suddenly swerved dreadfully because she was having difficulty pedalling up the bridge.

On the other hand, just last month I had to go to Bethesda, MD on business: I took the Amtrak from NYC to Washington, and right at the train station I was able to rent one of those crappy bikes. Yes, it was crappy, but it was also terrific (and yes, a little smug) ridng out there on a bike...

mikeweb said...

"World Naked Bike Ride" is false advertising, to say the least. But I supposed calling it the "World Clothing Optional Bike Ride" doesn't have the same appeal.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

"world sausage-fest bike ride" is more like it.

ce said...

I think it was Seinfeld that once spoke of "the good naked" and "the bad naked". Bicycle bicycling is great and all, but I'm pretty sure it's bad naked.

Daniel said...

The problem isn't people who buy a bakfiets to portage their kids. The problem is people who have kids in order to justify buying a bakfiets.

Smuggily yours,
Dan.

J Scott. Mouth like a motorbike. said...

Dropped by a bearded tourist.

g said...

"What's so wrong with peace, love and wearing pants thing?"

portlandanonymous said...

we had a burley 2 yrs before it was useless (boy too big to get in)

thank lob it wasn't $3k (altho resale WAS pretty good)

Anonymous said...

Snobby, That group of rental bikers (I call them Touristas) is nothing compared to the Golden Gate Bridge. Imaging several groups two to three times that size all crossing the bridge at the same time, some stopping in the middle of the lane to take a picture, some riding to the left, straight at you. Some using the handrail to stay upright. Thats something!

mikeweb said...

I've never understood the logic of some of these people:

Sure, the last time I rode my bicycle back home was for 20 minutes 2 years ago the day that I brought it home from Costco and said bicycle is currently working great as a dust magnet and garden hose caddy in my 2 car garage in [insert random McSuburb name here]. Wow! You mean I can rent a crappy bicycle that I can barely control and ride it around one of the densest urban pedestrian/ vehicle environments in the world?!? Where do I sign??

Lob bless 'em!

Anonymous said...

That guy - sounds like the kind of guy that would let you know there is a train going on at party & invite you to get in line behind him.

Chazu said...

What Kenny Banya said.

Marcel Da Chump said...

If you're skid-tarding and 47 circling, your bike is too heavy to be brakeless.

crosspalms said...

If I take the fenders off my bike, does that render it naked for the purposes of the world ride? And if the bike is naked, why do I have to be?

ce said...

I think it would be more like shaving the eyebrows off your bike. You'd still need to go naked.

Anonymous said...

Well, if nobody else wants it, I'll have the 3.0 CS BMW please......start looking for Batmobile bits!

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

@ anon 1:00

That's the first thing I thought of. But you forgot to mention the gusty 20mph wind.

On the plus side, Blazing Saddles equips their tour bikes with logo emblazoned handlebar bags so you can spot the trouble well in advance.

The owner of the deli at 2nd and Richardson (on the descent from the bridge) told me a meat wagon has to come out at least once a day to scrape a tourist off the pavement. Blazing Saddles must have a pretty good liability waiver.

Brown Skid-Turd said...

Consider the alternatives: Naked vs say everyone in tighty-whiteys. Oh the horror, the horror.

Leonard Skintard said...

who ya callin a tard?

Marie Callender said...

Pie Plate? WTF? What's your problem?

4 and 20 Blackbirds said...

Fuck Pie Plates.

John Holmes said...

Hair pie.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Can I get my pie plate in crabon fibre?

hillbilly said...

no legs today

Anonymous said...

This contest is uninteresting.

Twistyface said...

@RCT - you could be onto something there - it is what NuFreds have been waiting for...

And I'm with the Mouse as far as the BMW goes - then you wouldn't need some whacko patent to enable you to get to 120mph...

Anonymous said...

+1 on the gg renters. it's an absolutely terrifying thing.

an armada of twitchy handlebars heading straight at you....

Simple Simon said...

Let me taste your ware

Pieman said...

RE Simple Simon 2:26

Show me first your penny!

Simple Simon said...

RE Pieman 2:27

Sir, I have not any :(

WorldNekkid said...

dont forget to get your latest WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE NYC info at http://bit.ly/Bi7aY
follow on Twitter @wnbrnyc
hashtags #WNBRNYC #June11
http://wnbrnyc.tumblr.com

love, and more butts on bikes!

Jay Hallinan said...

The aftermarket pie plates not only protect your spokes from the chain, it will protect your hoo hoo dilly when glamourizing a glory hole. Next thing there will be a code requiring glory hole sanitary protection; much like the toilet seat protectors or condom vending machines.

Broken Spoke said...

AYHSMPP

All You Haters Suck My Pie Plate

Leonard Pie-tard Hoist said...

So, with all this pie plate fetishing, why not this?:
http://www.hokeyspokes.com/

wishiwasmerckx said...

Speaking of pie plates, I remember last Thanksgiving. I had already retired for the evening when my wife came into the bedroom wearing nothing but whipped cream. I said "Damn it, you ate all the pie AGAIN!"

Johann Rissik said...

My only concern is that the NekkidRide advertiser might take off his clothes and scare half the bloody city into the sea. Jesus, imagine that with no clothes....

Jan! said...

"is it even possible I wouldn't already know about the World Naked Bike Ride?"

Why, yes, if you live in a country where people simply ride their bikes without all the fuzz. You know, cycling for fun and profit, instead of for an All-Out Balls-Out.

Cunning Linguist said...

Toilet seat protector = Ass Gasket

Bearded Clam-Hair Pie Plate Protector is hopefully crabon free!

GLRY HOLE

crosspalms said...

There's one here, too, and its web site (chicagonakedride.org) claims "This and other massive local rides tangibly show Chicago's ongoing commitment to being a leading bike-friendly U.S. city." The video shows people being much friendlier to naked bike riders than they usually are to clothed ones. The alcohol probably played a part, but nipples and body paint seem to bring out the friendly in people.

Anonymous said...

Those aren't pie plates, they're portable glory holes for the Naked ride.

Burt Reynolds 531 said...

So there is a Holland Tunnel according to the green sign in that photo of they guy that hit on you. (You really should post a missed connection on CL.) Anyway, there is a tunnel to Holland? To and from Holland, presumably? Well there is your problem, right there!

Tetra Hedral Canalicular said...

The Hollandaise are a saucy bunch. Now, if their ladies rode nekkid in a parade, I would surely bring my portable and visibly transparent glory pie plate hole with me. I'd drink their dirty canal bong water in heartbeat.

Creampuff said...

PIE PLATE

Jasper said...

Well, they may have curated all your Giro postings into one place, but it takes way too much effort to read them all in the right order rather than reading from the end of the race back to the beginning, which just doesn't make any sense.

Coconut Cream Pie Plate said...

Lordy, Snobby's reach is far and wide. PI PLATE: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110409214839AAKeXxf

Bobby said...

I spied the RetroFred in Bicycling's ad. Here's an interesting thought: don't you think Bicycling would have plenty of bicycle photos on hand, with the assiciated rights, that they wouldn't have to resort to the RetroFred? I think the editors are enjoying your blog, Sir Snob. Long live TriDork!!

PIPE LATE said...

"jump naked into a giant bowl of guacamole?" Makes sense. The avocado gets its name from the Aztec word for scrotum.

Tortilla Cipollini said...

Mind if I dip into your guacamole?

crosspalms said...

I think TTTSWRFFTPTD's mothership was hovering over Chicago at lunchtime -- saw almost a dozen bikes with downtube shifters.

Cycle Tourist said...

1st!

Vegas said...

Yeah, finally the Giro blogs together and in order. I stopped trying to read them because it was so difficult to navigate and find them. Guess Bycyclyng was too busy recycling TTRFFTPTD images to actually put your blog on the page that comes up when you click BLOGS.

Anonymous said...

CCPP.....

Pi plate; are there 3.14(etc) of them?

hey nonny mouse

Vegas said...

Oh, and BS, fitting post today I thought since TOSH.0 just had the Coachella "Naked Wizard" on. He developed his grudge against britches after ingesting 60's styled chemicals. Even multiple security guards and repeated taserings couldn't convince him that his interpretation of "Free Willy" was not condoned by other festival-goers.

TTTSWRFFTPT-Quincy Chapter said...

SEVN TSVN !

Sam said...

wait...what's the answer to the panrs question? Did I miss that?

Sam said...

erm...pants

leroy said...

Honestly, when Anthony Weiner said he wanted to hold ribbon cutting ceremonies to commemorate ripping out NYC bike lanes, it never crossed my mind to say "What a dick."

Now,thanks to Twitter, everyone can make that joke.

ce said...

42 years ago today John Benton and Yoko Bento's famous "Bent-in" took place. Their message to the world: "Give Pants a Chance".

ce said...

g 12:58, going around saying "Give Pants a Chance" is all well and good until one day you find yourself in a situation where your entire minimalist collection of clothing is in the wash and you've got a ride to be at. See if you remember your precious ideals when it's time to make the hard decisions.

There is no room for dignity on my list, not even bundled in with the miscellaneous toiletries.

Tom said...

At the '07 Tour de France Grand Depart in London, there were lots of outdoor exposed urinals like that - - except they didn't have the door to cover your 'modesty' and were only like four feet tall so you could see across the top of them - - so all several-thousand passers-by could be seen and they could see you (and there were literally several thousand people in a packed crowd about twenty feet away). An odd experience.

Anonymous said...

Three

Anonymous said...

Three

Anonymous said...

there are lots of exposed dicks in London, not only during Tour de France...

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Fixie Bikes said...

Just looking at that urinal makes me uncomfortable.