Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Exhume to Consume: Survival of the Flushest

Do you like "bi-keen?" Of course you do! It's inexpensive, healthy, and clean. When you get around your gentrified neighborhood by means of "bi-keen," you feel good--not only because it's fun, but because you know what you're doing is helping to save the Earth. Like, you know those people who go to awful countries and give vaccinations to starving children? You're as good as they are, if not better! How many CGI polar bears have they saved recently?

But you know what the best thing about "bi-keen" in Uh-merica is? It's that, when you do it, you're just a traffic cone!

You know how, when you're driving, you're theoretically not supposed to run into the traffic cones, but if you "accidentally" do anyway nobody's really going to give you a hard time about it, even if the traffic cone flies out into traffic, gets run over by a bunch of other cars too, and is mangled beyond recognition? Well, here in Canada's underbite, it's the same thing if you hit a cyclist! Somebody from the Village Voice sent me this article awhile back, and I didn't really have the stomach to look at it, but now I have and I feel compelled to share it even though it merely serves to reaffirm our collective status as road furniture:

...even though the ditched car was found within 24 hours, a 1990 Nissan Maxima abandoned two blocks southeast of the accident scene, the police would never make any arrests. And that the detective assigned to the case would tell James, as the victim has consistently recalled for months, that the vehicle owner claimed he'd lost his keys at a local bar that same night and walked home—and that without an eyewitness putting him in the driver's seat, there was nothing that could be done. When James or Michelle asked what drinking establishment the auto owner had patronized and whether the police had questioned anybody there or if there were any clues in the car, the officer would become dismissive. They eventually stopped calling. According to the official police complaint, the unidentified hit-and-run driver's highest offense would be categorized a misdemeanor, which seemed preposterous, all things considered.

See, car sales are an important economic indicator, so it's really important that we don't make it too difficult to obtain them or burden their owners and lessees with too much responsibility. That's why, when someone gets mangled by your car, you can make up a story about how you got wasted in a bar and lost your car keys and then someone else "borrowed" your car to go run down a cyclist. I wonder if I could shoot somebody and then tell the police I was drinking and accidentally left my gun on the bar. Either way, if you're a sub-Canadian like I am you should feel comfortable knowing that, provided you're a consumer of durable goods (especially durable goods like cars, which also require you to buy lots of that non-durable good known as "gasoline"), your freedom and safety are guaranteed.

If, on the other hand, you're a cyclist and you don't contribute to the robustness of the economic indicators that encourage investment in our financial markets, and you should one day find yourself lying beneath one of these economic indicators in a bloody clump, then you really should have been wearing a helment. Because if they take the car owner's license away, he won't be able to buy another one to replace the one your head so inconsiderably dented, and we'll never get out of this pesky recession.

Of course, what "the system" (which naturally I don't need, along with your "society," which is why I used to draw anarchy symbols on my desk in school) fails to realize is that cyclists are also good consumers. In fact, I'd argue that we're some of the best, and if we were actually afforded protection and allowed to live out our full lifespans we'd eventually mature into gushing revenue streams ourselves.

See, bicycles too are durable goods (at least according to Sheldon Brown, and at least the non-crabon ones anyway) and when you buy one you need all manner of soft goods such as clipless sneakers, stretchy technical jeans, complicated luggage, cycling-specific fanny packs, t-shirts with clever cycling references on them, and of course tattoos, though I'm not sure if those are technically durable goods or soft goods. Yes, "urban cycling" has truly come into its own--so much so that a reader tells me there will be a whole "Urban Yard" at this year's Interbike:

As far as I can tell, this "Urban Yard" will be a miniature indoor climate-controlled Williamsburg (or Mission District, or [insert your local trendy neighborhood here]) and with its abundance of "urban cycling and culture magazines," visiting it should be remarkably like an appointment at a hipster dentist's office. (Hipster dentists ride Serotta track bikes with riser bars.) Naturally, as the "bike culture's" answer to Abercrombie & Fitch, Chrome will also be in attendance, and I deeply regret that I will be continuing my streak of 100% Interbike non-attendance because nothing is more edifying than experiencing "an incredibly dynamic landscape of products and lifestyle identities." Actually, there should be a sign that says that when you head over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn:

As inviting as this sounds, just remember the veneer of bike-friendliness only runs as deep as that lime green paint, and the streets beneath still belong to the cars.

Speaking of veneer, do you find yourself craving the artisanal smugness of alternative frame materials such as wood and bamboo, yet unable to break your addiction to the lateral stiffness and vertical compliance of sweet, sweet crabon? Well, now you won't have to, because another reader tells me you can buy a faux wooden crabon road frame on a popular Internet auctioning site:

It's laterally faux and vertically deciduous.

Or, if you want an inherently contradictory bike that misses the point in a more roundabout way, you could get one of these belt-driven two-speed "fixies" to which I was alerted by a reader in Denmark:



Oh, how we consumers want it all: vintage, yet reliable. Simple, yet modern. Fixed, yet geared. One speed for the fast, another for to make with the tricking. It's fascinating to see how desperately some people will cling to the notion of a fixed-gear despite their clear need and desire for qualities that fixed-gears simply don't have, and to see how ridiculous the bikes become in the process. They want to be riding regular geared bikes but they just can't let go.

Meanwhile, here in Canada's chamois, gears have been the new fixed for quite some time now, and the tide has turned so strongly against them that you can now by a "Thruster Fixie" at Walmart, as spotted by the august (like the Caesar, not the month) commenter Leroy:

Yes, we are a nation of labelers, and rebranding is our art:

To survive long enough to see your "lifestyle" become a brand name: that is Immortality 2.0.

92 comments:

brad said...

FIRST

GhostOfTyrone said...

Toppish

Anonymous said...

In an America Without New York, the country would effectively become a giant college town.

WHAT'S SO WRONG WITH THAT?

Anonymous said...

Ridin' a bike to just below the podium

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Top 10 I suppose.

Bike Fail said...

top 10 maybe?

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

Another top ten.

petrus said...

5 minutes, 5 comments. Not bad, kids.

petrus said...

X

petrus said...

X!

Anonymous said...

hey nonny mouse...

CommieCanuck said...

meh.

hillbilly said...

does david byrne own a car?

Hungry Panda said...

"Lifestyle"

Another way of saying you need a life, you moron.

Faux wood?

Just a cruel joke, at least it wasn't Faux bamboo, then I would be really pissed.

petrus said...

Dang, even the readers are posting already! SBM will overcome, All ye fauxsters eat my wheels.

CommieCanuck said...

Faux wood? Dammit Snob, the internet is America, speak American. I bet you park a car in le garage, not in a red-white-and-blue car hold.

Tabernac

theEel said...

weed.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, had a look at the Wal-mart website and couldn't see the bike - plenty of other fixed wheels, though, including a Mongoose with a time-trial frame crank around the back wheel (look at me, I'm fast!).

There was also a Hollandia City Leopard (or is it lay-oh-pard?) Dutch style thing.....which led me to thinking....if douchebags ride fixed, are hilpster stadfiets riders then dutchbags?

hey nonny mouse

g said...

I went to the Walsmart site and found
this
but am confused as the the name. I don't see what a fixed gear, flop-n-chop bike has to do with the Tour de France.

Anonymous said...

I kind of like the Bedovelo two speed, does that make me a bad person?

napalm said...

+10 for the Carcass reference

Anonymous said...

sounds like someone is a little bitter because they just dropped several thousand dollars on a artis-anal road bike when they could have gotten a sweet, sweet Bedovelo two speed in its stead.

grog said...

Deduct 10 for no Babe.
FAUX SNOB
FAUX WOOD
MORN WOOD
NWGN WOOD

wishiwasmerckx said...

"Car hold?"

Didn't Phil and Paul teach you anything?

It's a "car park."

Don't be daft.

Anonymous said...

i got nuthin'

and all the people said "a-meh!"

sweatpants cyclist said...

BSNYC,

When you review these videos, articles, etc, do you ever get a similar feeling to drafting off a stranger's bicycle?

I mean, yeah, people get excited about dumb things, and then get the idea that they are "original", but weren't we all there once? I remember getting excited about assembling a bicyle for the first time, and color coordinating it, and riding it to the public market. I felt so "cool" and unique. Now, I look back and it's sort of embarrasing, but I think it's sort of futile to take that enjoyment away from newbies.

Sorry for rambling, but I think the main problem with the internet is there is no privacy. You can't just tell your friends about your cool new fixie; you also have to tolerate that weird guy you don't really know making sarcastic remarks after everything you say.

So, similar to surruptitious commuter drafting, your blog gives me the sense of unwanted "tagging along" on what may be a private activity in a public forum.

Don't get me wrong: I enjoy your blog, and I don't think you are doing anything wrong, but don't you ever feel just a little bit creepy?

mikeweb said...

A crappy fixed gear called the Thruster?? Very subtle.

Etherhuffer said...

@Sweatpants.

"private activity in a public forum"

If you post video on the internet, its not private anymore. In fact, its often narcissism or just plain dick wagging in public. If people have private activities the best way to keep them private is......not to share them in public!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Sweatpants Cyclist,

...don't you ever feel just a little bit creepy?

Only when I blog naked.

Though I am also creeped out by:

--Las Vegas
--Phrases like "dynamic landscape of products and lifestyle identities"
--Hit-and-run drivers who run down cyclists with no consequences
--Revolving doors

And yes, blogging definitely involves media drafting.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Marcel Da Chump said...

"the terrifying sensation of his body hurtling through the air"...I empathize: felt like it was happening in slow motion.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Ah good recumbents don't creep Wildcat out anymore.

GhostOfTyrone said...

That hit and run case sounds like a job for Hightower.

Anonymous said...

For awhile there I thought you were going to make it through the entire article without a stab at Best Made axes. Denied!

In the same way that republicans like to turn on all their lights and appliances during Earth Hour, I find myself wanting to buy a $300 axe, not because they are trendy (they aren't) or because I need to chop wood (I don't) but just out of sheer SPITE. It would become my SPITE AXE. I've blown $300 on far worse.

CommieCanuck said...

I found the fixie on the Walmart site, right here. Sweet tires in white colorway and I'm liking the handlebar end air turbulence buffers and aero disc inserts.
Anyone rubbing this in public would feel the inner princess in them.

skink said...

SPITE AXE: great name for a horror movie.

Plot: disgruntled Best Made employee hacks his way to the top.

beckerkm said...

Dear Bike Snob,

I live in Longmont, a town in Colorado just a short jog down "the diagonal highway" from the smugness capital of the state- Boulder. Our sweet little town on the train tracks supports all kinds of "bicyclers," as can be noted by this sentiment printed in our local paper:

"Bicycles

There's an awful lot of accommodations to the bicyclers, including the streets and, of course, the sidewalks of Longmont. Do they have to buy license plates, and if not, why not?"

I understand that perhaps you are not acquainted with Colorado-specific laws, but you are the only person I can think of to ask: Where do I go to get my bike license plates?

I look forward to your response.

Hailing from the foot of the rockies ~Team Krusti

Anonymous said...

Grimly I dig up the turf,
to remove the corrupted stiffs.
Trying to contain my excitement,
as I desiccate graveolent crypts.

UrbanRidingTips said...

My milkshake brings all the boys to the urban yard. You wouldn't want to drink it though. Too grey and gritty.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else just happy to see a Sheldon Brown reference?

CommieCanuck said...

Things that make me feel creepy:

1. Republican names: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, etc. They all sound made-up.
2. Drinking water fountains.
3. Eating a banana in public, or on a Youtube Video.
4. Women with hair high-lights AND low-lights.

crosspalms said...

I clicked on the Imprint article, and one of the illustrations is a graphic showing vegetables. In German it asks "How often do you masturbate each month? (79% of those questioned admitted to masturbating)" The banana's the winner: 7% said they masturbated 21 to 30 times a month. Not sure what this has to do with anything but it's a colorful graphic and I can see how it and Best Made belong together.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Dear Mr. Weiss,

Of all the many and various monikers that you have assumed or had thrust upon you in connection with your blogular activities, "that weird guy you don't really know" has to be my favorite, and for that, sweatpants cyclist, I thank you.

Anonymous said...

HITN RUN:
SAD STORY
NOCO MENT

mikeweb said...

Some serious Cat 6 action up in Toronto recently. Plus some bonus footage in the slideshow below.

grog said...

Ah, Recumbabe lives!
Next up: Faux crabon wrap for your bamboo frame.

Psyclemania said...

I looked at the posted pic of the WallyWorld fixie, and the so-called mountain bike hung next to it to the left, seems to have the fork installed backwards!
Anyone else notice that?

skink said...

The main problem with privacy is there is no internet.

How can I share weird things with my friends without some guy we all know making fun?

I am a twisted engine said...

Proves again that new yorks finest hate us commie bicyclists. Thats because we are stooopid.

bikesgonewild said...

...ah yes, 'the urban yard'...coming to a bike show near you...

...thought you were cool, a sorta 'under the radar' subset of the cycling culture but radically hip enough to be your own entity, separate from all those freds, bike geeks & flashy lycra boyz n' girls ???...

...think again, my little ultra-cool hipsters...the mainstream cycling industry is about to pay you the ultimate tribute by giving you your own area at the big industry show, 'interbike'...

...despite the disparate nature of both wal-mart & the north american hand-built bicycle show catering to your tastes, you are now an official percentage (%) segment of the big dollar ($) cycling lifestyle pie graph (visualize pie graph) & along with that comes the responsibility of buying stuff to support your new found industry acceptance...(visualize 'pecentage (%) segment')...

...hipsters were once the 'grunge rockers' of the cycling world but it's now official...welcome to the 'urban yard'...your lifestyle in lights, welcome to the show...

CommieCanuck said...

Mike, they refer to it as a "platonic" bike ride.
Not with me, Jessica Biel comes on a ride with me, she'd better be prepared to get it on.

ringcycles said...

"Sweatpants Cyclist,

...don't you ever feel just a little bit creepy?

Only when I blog naked."

But, BSNYC, isn't that almost every day? At least if we are to believe Vito's camera phone twiter pics?

Regardless, your creepiness is very entertaining, much like John Waters. Who unlike his fellow Baltimore born doppelganger, does own a car.

So, Rock On, Wildcat Rockmachine.

Anonymous said...

things that make me feel creepy:

- noticable bike short genitalia-scapes

- unnoticable bike short genitalia-scapes

- sleeveless bike jerseys

- Primal Wear bike jerseys

- bike themed tattoos

- The Lone Wolf (because we are all just a few bad decisions and a radical haircut away from becoming him)


- blogosphere philosophers (that would be you sweatpants)

- Tom Cruise

Fred's dead baby, Fred's dead... said...

There was a kid in high school who swore he had a girlfriend who he was getting... erm... "bizzy" with on a regular basis.

He was like, 11 or something.

We called him 'Thruster' because of the rhythmic pelvic motions he made when he proudly proclaimed that he'd 'boned' her.

Somehow the idea of riding [a] Thruster fills me with a certain amount of disgust, but also a perverse pleasure.

Anonymous said...

WCRM, "And yes, blogging definitely involves media drafting."

However, that said, you fully attribute the "leadout train". Renshaw gets his props. And if any author publishes ANYTHING these days, they don't EXPECT to be blogged? Sorry, it's the expectation to be left alone and not wheel sucked that is violated by being Cat 6'd...and not by blogging.

henry gibson said...

a poem

tell the lassie

i dig her chassis

thank you

Pablo Cruise said...

"...and all your friends
they're calling you a fool
( you're such a...)
'cuz you don't recognize
what everybody knows"

...that the internet is creepy...
...so whatcha gonna do?
....log off...
...or log on and have fun...
...and maybe learn something...

J Mertz said...

2 speeds on a fixie...now I can cat 6 everyone in town!

Poesy said...

pull up to my rear wheel, baby

suck on my slipstream

pull up to my rear wheel, baby

saving you some steam

pebes said...

of all the " i used to think your blog was funny until you lampooned me" posts- sweetpants cyclist's is a bit perplexing. which are you sweetpants? the geared "fixie" enthusiast? the admittedly-drunk-and-probably-guilty-of-manslaughter motorist? The best made admiring, "graphic design" fanatic? i have to admit though, i like the old comedic routine you employ: "i'm not saying you're creepy, im just SAYING that you're creepy, don't get me wrong."

crosspalms said...

If I were a graphic designer, I'd ride as close to my drafting table as possible because that's what it's for. Then I'd go paint an axe.

Matt said...

Hey, I live in the Twin Cities, and I'll be able to go and visit the Best Made axes as often as I like through January! Awesome! Maybe they'll be for sale in the Museum Store and I can get me one for Christmas!

Anonymous said...

live like dirt...



dirtbag

philip williamson said...

The bedovelo bike is cool. But not as cool as my SIX speed fixed gear.
It's two chainrings and a dingle cog on a Sturmey S3X. The gods are punishing me for it with flats and broken parts, though.

Etherhuffer said...

One cassette
One tube J_B Weld
One squeeze of JB into the cassette and onto the pawl: Voila! A twenty-three speed fixie! God, I am so a genious. But please, don't look at me or invade my privacy please. Please!

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob,
You had this comment posted while you were away last week.

I am re-posting it here, without the permission of the writer:

Blogger Amanda Adams said...

Maybe you will respond to this, maybe you won't.

I've read your book and I still don't know what I should do: Today was the end of the first week of school (I'm a senior at the University of Florida). Needless to say, traffic was heavy and people were in a hurry. To get where? Not sure, since Gainesville is so friggin' small.

Anyway, I was riding in the road where there is no bike lane and got honked at continually by an angry college student. I decided to shake my head in disdain at him and say, "I belong on the road." He swerved around me and immediately after that, a guy wearing a wife-beater and riding a chopper yelled, "You tell 'em, Sister!" Well, the biker chased down the aggressive driver and caught him at a red light. "Holy shit" was all I could think to myself.

The biker started yelling and cursing and kicked the kid's car, leaving a large dent and boot mark on its side. The tiny kid got out the car, so the biker got off his ride and ran up to the kid. The biker started screaming, "Why you tryin' to run bitches off the road?" The kid, clearly smaller than the biker, ran back in his car as the motorcyclist took off and the light turned green. Well, I had no idea what to do, so being the hippie type that I am, I tried to calmly explain to the motorist (as he was trying to start his car again) that I do, in fact, belong on the road. He didn't want to hear it. He sped off.

Five minutes later, a college girl in an old Mercedes started beeping at me, too. She rolled her windows down and started yelling as she passed me. All I said in response was, "I belong on the road."

Snob, I don't know what I should do. I'm starting to feel really fuckin' unsafe on the road, yet I want people to understand that I have a right to be there. Should I just ignore them? Even my own mother said she didn't know bikes were allowed to be on the road.

I realize this blog isn't an advice column, but I'd really appreciate some wisdom for an experienced cyclist.

August 26, 2011 7:33 PM

PatrickBateman said...

I actually DO need a new ax and I actually DO chop quite a bit of wood in the fall and winter, but frankly the Best Made Ax looks a little too gay. Which is kind of the opposite of how i'd like my ax to look. I don't think they should look gay.

I'm not kidding. I have a lot of wood left to chop and am looking for new ax options.

Anonymous said...

"as I desiccate graveolent crypts"

Desecrate, perhaps?

...and...

"My milkshake brings all the boys to the urban yard"

I saw a rather fine t-shirt which read, "My Marxist-Leninist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard"

Been out for a pint with a mate who has moved from Scotland to Delaware (for his wife's work); he finds US cycling culture very different.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Patrick Bateman -- I'd recommend a nice plastic handle 'cause they don't break. Plastic handles are the only way to go on splitting mauls (you do have one, don't you?)

I got a pickaxe with a plastic handle the other day and used it to cut side drains in my long gravel driveway. The driveway is still there, even after all that rain we got up here in V'mont.

But if you're really serious, get a chainsaw. Those are totally non-gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). But beware -- there is no minor accident with a chainsaw.

david B said...

When I rule the planet, an event that will occur very very soon, everyone will wear all white. Everything will be all bambooey and velvetty. There will be no cars. The air will smell like lilacs, honey and artisinal organic hamster milk cheeses. Everyone will be free as a bird as long as they follow 'THE RULES'

PS - NO CARS

Anonymous said...

Bedovelo, "the first two speed fixed gear on the market..."

er, yeah, apart from all the ones they had in the 1930s...

http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hsasc.html

Anonymous said...

Thruster? I hardly know her!

Anonymous said...

sweatpants cyclist = newb

chain line shot or GTFO

Android Tablet said...

Your bedovelo bike is pretty cool. But not as cool as old school 1 speed bike :)

leroy said...

My dog has been razzing me all day, calling me august.

So I pointed out that if I'm august, that makes him Auggie Doggie.

That shut him up.

screaming skull said...

There was a time in NYC when you could have a "private activity in a public forum"...in a Times Square porno theatre.

Jennifer on Piedmont said...

Canada's chamois. Top notch post. Enjoyed it thoroughly, despite the scary opening story.

Ayasha Kieth said...

Bi-keen is fun and exciting to do. Through biking you save the earth by not adding pollutions. You can also bike any where you want. Bike to relax...

-----
If you have a truck we have a Fender Flares Bushwacker for you. We also have Best tops for your jeeps.

Reggie said...

I went shopping for an axe yesterday. It cost $44 and it chops wood just fine. If my neighbors in Maine were told of $300 bedazzled being made and sold in NYC to make-believe lifestyle tourists, they might poop their pants.

Johann Rissik said...

Bidet-Valet is where those two speed fixies are headed.

Anonymous said...

if you get the kickstarter going now, you could raise enough to get to Interbike! I would fund, with full confidence that some epic material and a few collabs that would help the economy.

Anonymous said...

Reggie --

Your neighbors undoubtedly would rather spend $300 of their wood processing budget on something like -- I just got one before the hurricane, but thankfully didn't need it.

http://www.etpetersen.com/ope/stihl.htm#ms25016

Rips through an 8-inch log in maybe 10 seconds.

rachellaurenmarie said...

and now people are getting arrested for letting their kids bike to school... http://bikewalktn.blogspot.com/2011/08/arrested-for-riding-bike-to-school.html

makes total sense... they should either be riding their bikes to mcdonalds or driving cars to school!

Benny Kanya. said...

Amanda Adams. Intercourse me?

Suck it, WIWM.

buy cycling jerseys said...

quote of the article "Either way, if you're a sub-Canadian like I am"

BUHHAHAHAHA

The People of Detroit. said...

This kind of story makes me appreciate biking in Detroit - not alotta traffic here, believe it or not :|

:)

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