Thursday, August 4, 2011

Easy Riders: Roam Wasn't Filmed in a Day


Have you ever wanted to "light out?" Just grab your Scattante, stuff a few jars of Cheez Whiz into your panniers, abandon your tiny house to the next duder, and go? Of course you have. Sometimes it's hard to not to feel like you hear the open road a-callin' your name. "Wildcat, Wildcat!," I hear it whisper sometimes while I'm watching "Judge Judy," and I look longingly at my Smugness Flotilla. Why not just load my family aboard it, leave the workaday world behind, and roam free for the rest of my days as the wily patriarch of a roguish clan of street-savvy vagabonds?

Well, mostly because I need constant access to clean restrooms, and life on the road is "grody."

Some people however are not confined by such "square" concerns, nor are they afraid to set themselves free to fly upon the capricious winds of fate. For these whimsical souls, the bicycle is their wings, the road is their home, gainful employment is their sworn enemy, and crotch rot is their bunkmate. Most importantly, though, the video camera is their constant companion. And of course the car to carry the camera. And the cameraman. And all their stuff. They're like modern-day Huckleberry Finns, forsaking the mighty Mississippi in favor of the log flume at Six Flags Great Adventure.

Yesterday, I mentioned a Kickstarter campaign in which a disgruntled MFA will draw his way across the United States of Canada's Athletic Cup. He will travel a well-worn furrow, plowed by many before him--including the members of Bandcycle, a pair of intrepid Brooklyn duders who rode across the country in order to see bands play and then made an Internet TV series out of it. Here is the trailer, which was forwarded to me by one of the members:



As a clean bathroom enthusiast and person who's always found it necessary to do some kind of "work" in exchange for the money with which I can purchase essential goods and services, I've never "lit out," and so I'm always interested in what empowers those who do. In most cases, the protagonists of these "lighting out" videos sort of skirt the issue, but the Bandcycle duders confront it head-on:

"We grew up with them telling us, 'You can do whatever you want. Any dreams you have, you can accomplish them.' And we believed it. And we, we still kinda do."

That's it! I finally understand it now! In fact, this may very well be the Rosetta Stone that explains every lifestyle trend, project, video, product, "collabo," artisanal enterprise, and social phenomenon by which I have heretofore been vexed or flummoxed. Apparently, people are actually growing up being told that they can do whatever they want! And so they are!

"I want to ride my bike and check out bands for an extended period of time instead of working."




Actually, Best Made Co. might want to rethink their entry into the fashionable extension cord business, since if the tiny house craze continues to grow then there's going to be zero demand for them.

Anyway, like (I thought) most people, I grew up being told that you can't do whatever you want--or, more accurately, that you can technically do whatever you want, but if you do you'll be fucked. It's a good thing I did, too, since even if I had made it through samurai school I don't see how I could possibly have made a living at it. Therefore, the idea that there are now entire neighborhoods inhabited by people who really do believe they can do whatever they want is simultaneously fascinating and horrifying to me. I can't decide if this belief is the secret to a new era of human liberation and fulfillment, or if it's an insidious delusion that will lead us swiftly to our own artisanally curated demise.

Either way, I'm pretty sure that the Bandcycle crew saw the wrong side of Fred Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo speed on numerous occasions:


Though evidently they also hit Fred "Oh Shit!" speed at least once:


And also fell fell victim to the "double-Fred body sled:"


And even the dreaded "triple-Fred chainring tattoo:"


Though it wasn't all bad, and there was the time they got to be totally lazy in two states at once:


In any case, I'm sincerely glad the Bandcycle duders got to live their dream and enjoy what looks like an "epic" adventure, and I'm also convinced we're now living in a new golden age of bearded American back-country adventure cycling:

If you don't believe me, look no further than Rapha, who are to "epic" as Primal Wear are to charity rides:

Rapha Continental USA Pro Cycling Challenge Prologue from RAPHA on Vimeo.

The above is their latest "Continental" video, and in it you will see untrammeled beards flowing wild and free:


By the way, if you're wondering what the "Continental" is, so are the riders themselves:

"I was asked at the start of this trip, 'What is the Rapha Continental?' It seems like no one knows."

It seems odd to me that something Rapha invented and made innumerable movies about would still be so difficult to define at this point. I mean, if you made something yourself, how can you not know what it is? Sure, there are exceptions to this, like the amorphous blobs kindergardeners make out of fingerpaint and macaroni, but I can't imagine this is what they were going for. (Though I could see Primal Wear introducing a fingerpainting jersey.) In any case, since everyone's having so much trouble, I'll take a stab at it and say that the Continental is a bunch of people who make movies of themselves riding bikes in Rapha clothes. Feel free to add something about the ineffable spirit of cameraderie that grows out of self-imposed suffering, and about how the smell of boutique embrocation mingles tantalizingly with the heady aroma of Stumptown coffee in the morning, and I think that pretty much nails it.

As for the beards, that's a bit more ambiguous. I'm guessing it's a symbol of freedom and individuality. Then again, it could also just be something the rest of the riders like to rub for luck:

(A friend with a beard: it's like a rabbit's foot for vegans.)

Of course, there's more to the Continental than that, too. There's also the bikes. The Rapha Continental riders ride handmade steel bikes in somber hues. They do not ride Dayglo plastic singlespeeds, as forwarded to me by a reader:


So what is it? It's a bike made entirely out of venetian blinds:

With bike design, it's almost impossible to produce something entirely new because the basic format has been perfected over 100 years. Leave it to a design student to shake things up with an altogether different take on the urban bike -- a groovy, multicolored ride made from plastic with shutter-shade slats.

Indeed, leave it to a design student to ignore a century of subtle refinement and build a shopping cart without the grocery-"portaging" ability. Then again, the venetian blind technology could be useful in time trialling--just open the slats in crosswinds and close them in headwinds. Perhaps Andy Schleck, who was undone by his subpar time trialling, could benefit from this innovation since I'm sure he's getting desperate:

Or else maybe Frank Schleck could grow a beard and Andy could rub it before every stage for luck.

113 comments:

Sean Yeager said...

werd

Anonymous said...

HELL YEAH

CYC said...

Third again!!

Anonymous said...

Yabbie Dabba Doo!

Paul Bowen said...

Top V?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

sex?

Anonymous said...

sprint to the finish!

cycle

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten!

Anonymous said...

top douche!

ringcycles said...

I want to see both Andy and Frank grow beards that length. They could then rename their team ZZ Trek ('cause every girl's crazy 'bout at time trialist)

Anonymous said...

Top 10.

Anonymous said...

You know the SF Giant Brian Wilson? He's got that huge beard that he dies black.

I figured that when sports stars start growing beards it's the end of the trend, but somehow Wilson encouraging the trend rather than ringing it's demise.

Anonymous said...

* dyes black

GhostOfTyrone said...

Dear Mr. Rock Machine,

This month's Clean Bathroom Enthusiast's Club (Les Nordiques) meeting has been rescheduled. We will now be meeting at Huckleberry Bar, admiring their sparkly faucets and modern urinals.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Anon - you were right the first time.

cycle

Anonymous said...

Oh god that is an ugly bike

wishiwasmerckx said...

Snob, we lawyers would never use such a pedestrian and easily-understood phrase as "shopping cart." To us, it is a "perambulating basket."

How else are we to justify charging $400.00 for a single hour of our time?

Evans, Cadel said...

Ha Schlecks. Your time trialing is sub-optimal.

Come visit my website, it's yallow.

And in it you can read my stories of me besting mean sprinters from all over the globe.

I won the Tour. The only Australian to ever do THAT.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

these days, one no longer needs to actually watch the videos

my friends and i get hours of fun riding up to eachother and simply saying "Hipster video", "Rapha Video", "Kickstarter Video", etc.

of course the biggest guffaws come from not the mention of a video but the single word "minimalist"

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

i think tom hanks made a raft out of that bike once

adamdoesit said...

Dear Snob:
You ride around NYC on a bicycle and write about it.
Occasionally, you take a vacation, during which you stand up in front of people, and listen to them laugh at your jokes.
Nah, you're not doing whatever you want.
Keep up the good "work."

yikesbikes said...

This is great...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Adamdoesit,

Sure, but if I could do whatever I wanted, there would also be a laser light show.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

crosspalms said...

Can't decide whether to grow a beard or buy an extension cord. Maybe I'll ride that plastic bike over some potholes to help me make up my mind.

Dice said...

Dat sa beefy bottom bracket

Oh!

3G said...

Duuuuuuuuuuuuder

Marcel Da Chump said...

Don't blame 'them'.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hey duders, Late to the sprint today. I was polishing my brass bicycle bell and smoking artisnal tobacco in my pipe.

Speaking of beards, http://www.ifc.com/whisker-wars/

Premier starts tomarrow on ifc.

portlandanonymous said...

does rapha transcend douchebaggery?
discuss

Andy said...

Are they riding tiny bikes in the Rapha pockets ?
"... riding bikes in Rapha clothes"

streepo said...

If I don't get to do whatever I want to do I'ma fuckin' kill ya.

frank said...

hommers, we've trialed the fredological beard approach but i kept crashing (?) and andy can't yet grow one. buggered again. meh.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to TT that Dayglo you'll need some "tubular" tubulars. You also need just the right mix of vertical and horizontal blinds to get the proper stiffness and compliance. Those mag wheels are [sic] too.

Anonymous said...

what's that you say about modern day huck fins? http://www.thespoon.com/trainhop/punk-rafting.html

Charlie Didrickson said...

Disclaimer: Dayglo Single Speed Recycle not intended for use in direct sunlight. Bikes left in sun for prolonged periods will soon appear as though in a Salvador Dali painting. To reshape melted bike, reheat with household hairdryer and mold to new again. That or just leave it on the curd next Wednesday with all your other recycleables.

Ineffable Me said...

Thanks for the shout-out.

Words could not describe:

You forgot to make pancakes!

Anonymous said...

I just decided the BestMadeDouchery people are my heroes. Take simple stuff, do something useless to it and sell it for 10 times what it's worth. Pure F***ing GENIUS! Anyone want to buy a bedazzled Coke? 10 bucks!

Fred said...

Of course a beard has many practical uses--wind fairing, electrolyte storage, neck and chest insulation--but I keep mine for the recum-babes. It's a chick magnent.

Anonymous said...

It was indeed the highlight of the tour, the day after Andy Schleck had out-douched himself by bragging about winning the tour, only to lose it in the ITT by such a large margin that he had well over half an hour to pedal away and ponder his loss.
Schlepic!

PGAtkinson said...

How serendipitous that the cameraman was rolling when they happened to crash.

Anonymous said...

That plastic bike looks like it was designed by committee; do they not remember the stunning success of the Itera?

Quite.

(The Itera was beige, too, which didn't help)

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

@GhostOfTyrone

There's a silver glittery sparkly bog seat in the bogs at the 13th Note Café in Glasgow. Bit of a long trip to admire it, though.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Wow! Stock photography and Anonymous wisdom! I didn't know there is Stock Wisdom Agency out there. Damn!

http://bit.ly/qw5M7I

g said...

"A Dayglo Single-Speed Bike Made Only From Recycled Plastic"

"Peleg placed the bearings into the mold before injecting the plastic"


Does the word "only" in the first sentence mean something else now?
My bike is made only from recycled plastic (expect the parts that aren't).
WTF?

Anonymous said...

Methinks that design student is sporting a full beard too.

I am a bearded engine said...

A friend with a beard: it's like a rabbit's foot for vegans.

My beard has drool from eating meat, no vegan is going to want to touch that, and most bearded people are probably similar handicapped.

Everybody knows bicycle racers cant grow beards, otherwise why would they be doing testosterone patches?

Now bearded clams, they are a completely different story

ervgopwr said...

why did that guy ride in the gravel shoulder? That was a gnarly wipe out, resulting in an obvious clavicle fracture.

"We were told if we follow our dreams we could do what ever we want..."

I suggest dreaming about some bike handling skillzzzzzzzz.

Anonymous said...

Don't you get it? Duders (and dudetters for that matter) ALWAYS do whatever they want

Charles said...

behold this unwieldy monstrosity, Fort Collins, CO keg delivery bike built by a father and son team. "talk about local and sustainable man"

http://www.coloradoan.com/videonetwork/1086638542001/Fort-Collins-brewer-rolls-out-custom-cargo-bike

Sopranos Script said...

- Meadow Soprano
I’m over 18 now, I’m a grown woman.
I can go where I want and do what I want!

- Carmela Soprano
All right, Jesus! God, we know that!
Is that your only point here?
Because just getting what you want is for babies, not adults!

Fred said...

In the "follow your dreams" vein, I over-heard a guy the other day pontificating that you should "Do the thing in life you most fear." And I thought to myself, "die in a plane crash?"

bikesgonewild said...

...the 'best made' comedy troupe really are hilarious...

...their latest offering proves that the joke's on you if you spend/waste your money on their hugely overpriced comedy routine...

...the 'artisanally' painted axe handles, well, o.k., i could see them getting away with that little scam but then i thought the price of their 'first aid kits' might be their undoing but there i was certainly wrong...

...if they manage to sell even one of those extension cords, life itself becomes a bad joke & human intelligence is the sad punchline...

...'best made' is a sick, sick laugh...

JB said...

"'What is the Rapha Continental?' It seems like no one knows."

Is this like the hunt for Animal Chin?

Also: loving "double-Fred body sled"

Brooklyn Refereestriped Duder said...

that face plant by way of the shoulder gravol was gruesome!

easiest faceplant to watch,though:
oln should incorporate it into
their Tour porn crashed
edititing over the johnny Hoogerlannd
stuff which is sickening to see
replaid over and over again!

Anonymous said...

Man, those Rapha guys are just Freds without helmet mirrors.

bikesgonewild said...

...even though bsnyc/rtms/wcrm didn't come right out & say it, do you, like me, get the feeling another planned hiatus is soon in the works ???...

...& did you not, like me, look at & start to peruse today's blog whilst thinking to yourself "fuck...he's leaving for the next two weeks & typical of him, he waits until the last minute to tell us ???...didn'y ya, huh ???...

...come on, i know ya did...so, i'm just sayin'...

GhostOfTyrone said...

Anon 2:42,

Les Nordiques have a strictly enforced "No Scotland" policy in place due to "the retrieval scene" in Trainspotting.

Thank you anyway.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Has there ever been a bearded pro cyclist, besides that Russian character from AMERICAN FLYERS?

yogisurf said...

Snobby, I think it’s the “Fred triple-chain ring tattoo, not the "triple-Fred chainring tattoo:"

Oh and I hear the bottom bracket on the plastic bike is laterally stiff but venetianly compliant.

Stupid Name said...

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=13217

no.

Yesterday somebody asked what a female duder was, this was a stupid question. A duder would obviously just call her by the loving phrase "yo yo bitch".

Snob, when will your next talk/laser light show be?

I will be there.

Anonymous said...

"I just decided the BestMadeDouchery people are my heroes. Take simple stuff, do something useless to it and sell it for 10 times what it's worth. Pure F***ing GENIUS!"

Now thats the American Dream... and they might even have MFAs.

Hungry Panda said...

Dude those extension cords are not UL approved, use at your own risk. Your local fire marshal will not be happy.

Best made does not have anything made out of bamboo.

That makes me sad, and hungry.

11-tooth cognescenti said...

rapha assholes : cycling

juggalos : polite society

Kenny Banya said...

BGW, I totally did, immediately thought "two week hiatus"

gold

xyxax said...

@Marcel:

Laurens Ten Dam:
he of the magnificent TdF face-plant

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=dc1_1311031944

JB said...

"..."

gold

Marcel Da Chump said...

@xyxax,
Ah, the grassy bearded face plant.
A very rare species. Excellecent work.

Anonymous said...

ervgopwr@2:52 -- I was also wondering how he managed to just fall over on a perfectly good road. Shades of the old "Laugh In" tricycle gags (da-da-dump - ta-da dump).

But what happened to his collarbone depends on whether or not he has a Well-Tempered Clavicle.

Naughty Rabbit said...

I'm still a rabbit, and I'm still naughty - and now I'm growing a beard...

Anonymous said...

great post today wildcat. I actually do subscribe to the bandcycle duders lifestyle credo that you can do whatever you want to do. for instance, I had fruitloops for breakfast today. fuck yeah, wooohooo!!!

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

@ Anonymous 2:10; They put in at Omaha? at sunset? without any boat handling experience? All I can say is that God protects fools and drunks.

From Sioux City to the Mississippi that ain't a river, it's a drainage ditch. They were extremely lucky that they went against a marker buoy and not a tied up barge.

Many bodies that get pulled under by that current are never seen again; either held under and buried by silt, or scavenged by the varieties of catfish that are common there. Sometimes a body will wash up miles downstream a few days later.

They'd have had a safer, more enjoyable float between Yankton S.D. and Ponca Ne.

Anonymous said...

Love it! The reason I come here every day is because I always know what I'm going to get. That stability and permanence has value. Like the newspaper comics. Is Marmaduke going to get into the neighbor's flower patch? Is Bike Snob going to take a crack at tiny houses, or Best Made, or hipsters, or Rapha, or time traveling retro-fred? Is Billy going to say "not me!" while a little invisible gremlin runs away giggling? Like Jim Davis, who turned a lasagna-eating cat into a multimillion dollar empire, BSNYC has managed to "monetize" maybe five or six jokes into gold, Snobby, gold!

leroy said...

I followed my dream once.

I wound up naked, taking a test on a subject I hadn't studied.

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

@ Leroy; That's another favorite quote for my Facebook profile.

bikesgonewild said...

...test results just posted & you got a passing grade...but your dog had a higher score...

...hey, sorry...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:43 -- Well, yes, in some sense, we know what we're going to get. But Snob is much, much funnier, and much, much more clever than Garfield. And Marmaduke? How can you even mention him in the same post?

bikesgonewild said...

...hey, ease up, anon 6:10pm...he threw a dog a bone...

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Etherhuffer said...

I like it here because I know the terminally smug have about as much a chance at sneaking under the radar as Russians had invading Finland. Did they try that on fixies?

Anonymous said...

BS, I'm picking some serious envy for the Rapha Continental guys,,,could it be?

Anonymous said...

Yo g,

Reading you comment, I think its's time for you to light out...

Anonymous said...

she scans the room
for a star to consume
when eye contact is made
i suggest son you fix yr grave
its lights out for you
lights out for you
theres not a hell of a lot you can do
its lights out for you

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 7:20pm,

I envy pretty much everybody.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Red Star Cycles said...

16 states, 16 bands. 70 days? I could see that many bands in a long weekend and never walk more that 200 yards. They might as well have called it a 'public rest rest room' tour as a 'band' tour.

Beards - well Marco Pantani won the Tour with one.

Williamsburg Karl said...

I just stopped off at I. M. Hipp bicycles & caffeen Ironicorama for a Kold Karl and boy is my face is killing me!

Rather Ripped said...

Anon 7:29,
please feel free
to quote Sonic Youth
whenever I'm around


Marcel Da Chump

Poppa Wheelie said...

LAZR LITE

and

KITT KATS

Poppa Wheelie said...

ROCK ONNN

warm and fuzzy said...

shave the legs not
thine chin

all clams to the
clippers
as well.


CHIN FUZZ
seeks
SHAV CLAM
for
CONT NTAL

wp

Website Domain Name said...

This is superb write up you have shared here and i learn few new things from this article.

Bobby said...

I have to point this out for our gentle readers. The minimalist house has no built in outlet, or at best, just one. That artisanal extension cord just might be the hot ticket.

Hey, let's be honest, an American-made cloth wrapped (there's PVC in the individual hand-loved wires) extension cord is so very 1956. Solid, and not farmed out to China.

Speaking of the "UL approved" complaint. UL doesn't "approve" shit, folks, the phrase is "UL Listed". Guess what that means? You are certifying that the production electrical device is the same as the SAMPLE submitted to UL. That's all. This is why we have exploding electrical crap from China that explodes just like the sample submitted, it just takes a little while.

Perhaps this is what the "UCI Approved" sticker should be compared with. Just sayin'

Benny Kanya. said...

Lead out TRAIN!

Benny Kanya. said...

Suck it WIWM.

Benny Kanya. said...

Amy. Marry me?

Benny Kanya. said...

Not a fan of the FRANDY.

Benny Kanya. said...

Top 96, and I read!

Benny Kanya. said...

I am the ant3rd.

Benny Kanya. said...

Hungry Panda's BIGEST FAN.

Benny Kanya. said...

Bob Roll is a tool.

Benny Kanya. said...

ant100th

Boooomshakalaka!

J Scott, I hope you die.

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

I wonder how plastibike handles with all that negative trail.

Bob Loftin said...

Best. Post. Ever.

Just out here living said...

Seventy days unloaded?
That's pretty luxurious.

BEAR HUGS said...

I gotta say, I'm impressed by Jeremy Dunn's meticulous grooming.

Kenneth Buttercup said...

The best made extension cords are built with one's own hands.

Seriously... if you can source the cloth-covered cable, about 5 minutes of work will yield a $34 extension cord of your desired length.

Sure it's easier than painting an axe, but it's arguably more useful.

Cartoon Cat said...

I think Snobby is more like Heathcliff.

wle said...

"Though evidently they also hit Fred "Oh Shit!" speed at least once:"

where is that guy's front wheel????

wle

wle said...

""Indeed, leave it to a design student to ignore a century of subtle refinement and build a shopping cart without the grocery-"portaging" ability. ""

ok
i think "design student" should go in quotes..

it;s not "design"

it;s just "styling"

sorry

wle

Anonymous said...

While the recycled bike represents what can go wrong when industrial designers design outside their scope of interest, I must admit that's a pretty sweet ride.

Anonymous said...

you can do whatever you want in life... as long as you can go work for daddy when your done being a selfish idiot.

Lilrippers said...

Check out our ski trip in Chile


http://www.youtube.com/user/CochranSkiArea

Lilrippers said...

http://cochranskiclub.blogspot.com/

Fixie Bikes said...

Then how long was roam filmed then?