Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Financial Cycles: Bikes is Big Business



Hi, everybody!

Do you like "bi-keen" in New York City?
Do you like receiving stuff for which you don't have to pay?
Are you proficient in the maintenance and repair of German made air-cooled automobile engines?

If you answered "Fork yes!" to two out of three of the above questions, I should remind you that later today I will be dispensing free Knogstuffs (while supplies last) at a secret time and place which is as follows:

5pm-6pm
Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge

Also, I found a few t-shirts, which I'll give away too:

The catch is they're all size XL, which means you either have to be a size XL, or else willing to wear a t-shirt that's way too big for you, or else an able seamster or seamstress who will fashion the t-shirt into a pillowcase, tapestry, or punk rock butt-flap.

I'm not sure where exactly I'll be on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge, but just look for someone who looks slightly addled and extremely disheveled who's sitting in a folding chair next to a Surly Big Dummy with an Xtracycle PeaPod LT and loaded with Knog products.

Then give him $20 and he'll tell you where I am.

Lastly, remember, while everything's free, you must (must!) present a coupon in order to receive anything. Think of it as organized looting.

Speaking of looting, a reader informs me that, in the United Kingdom, cycling generates three billion sqiggly "L"s with lines through them for the economy:

Three billion whatevers-they-are is something like US$5 billion, which is a lot of of bike stuff, though it will only cost you $4billion if you order everything from Nashbar between now and Sunday and enter coupon code "PLUMMETING-GNP." Also, sales of bike stuff is only part of the story, since it turns out that people who ride bicycles are more productive in the workplace:

The report says that regular cyclists take 7.4 sick days per year, compared with 8.7 sick days for non-cyclists, saving around £128m through reduced absenteeism, with projected savings of £2bn over the next 10 years.

See that? Cyclists aren't shiftless non-conformists looking to subvert the system, smash capitalist greed, and undermine the status quo. We're actually good little consumers, and we also give more of ourselves than non-cyclists to the soulless corporations for whom we work. This allows them to extract that much more of our hearts and spirits, which they can then render into more profits for themselves so that their executives can receive bigger bonuses.

Yay, "bi-keen!"

So, like, maybe we can have a few more bike lanes now? Or not. Sorry, I was just asking. I'll get back to work now.

But if cycling is big business in the U of K, it's even moreso in Croatia, where a reader tells me riders are so flush with cash that they are "rubbing" Mercedes cockpits:


Not only that, but they've got matching Mercedes leg shields too:


Notice the exquisite hand-stitched artisanal curation of the Mercedes logoway:

And since cyclists the world over have such formidable buying power, this entrepreneur should have no problem whatsoever raising the quarter of a million dollars for his self-inflating bicycle tire:


Here's the pitch:

Imagine taking your bicycle out of the garage and never having to fill up the tires or even check the pressure. Or imagine yourself being able to change your tire pressure on-the-fly with a simple adjustment from the handlebars. Our project is to bring two self-inflating bicycle tires to market, the City Cruiser and City Pro. Both tires are intended for the urban cyclists and both tires incorporate the patented PumpTire technology.

Gosh, yaaah! That would like totally make bi-keen even more ahsome! Can you explain it to me in greater detail in an video?



A number of people seem to think that there's one crucial obstacle keeping people from riding bicycles, and that if they can remove it then millions more people will ride and then they will become rich. Moreover, every one of these people seems to have a different idea of what this obstacle actually is. Some people think that it's the greasy chains scaring people away, so they market bikes with belt drives, shaft drives, no drivetrains at all... Others think it's the Lycra or fixed-gears or general competitive vibe that's so off-putting, and so they sell comfy bikes in pretty colors and invent imaginary countercultures like the "slow cycling movement." For this guy, though, the big obstacle is pneumatic tire maintenance, which ironically has not prevented the entire Earth from being overrun by automobiles. Anyway, with his invention, you'll never have to go through the huge inconvenience of topping off your tires every month or so ever again:

Why Bicycle Tires Lose Pressure

Bicycle tires lose pressure due to air molecules diffusing through the rubber sidewalls. This requires cyclists to fill their tires on a fairly regular basis due to the high operating pressures (up to 120 psi) and thin sidewalls of most bicycle tires. PumpTire solves this problem by incorporating a pumping mechanism directly into the tire. And this means ... fewer pinch flats, no more pumping, hands stay clean, less time getting ready and more time on the saddle.


Of course, what he fails to take into account is that most people can figure out how to put a little air in their tires if they feel squishy (triathletes excluded, at least based on what I've seen), but what they do have trouble with is repairing punctures while they're riding--you know, the nails and pieces of glass that cause all the air to escape. When this happens, regardless of whether they're riding a regular tire or a "self-inflating" one, they're going to do the same thing they do in their cars, which is stand there looking helpless until someone comes to help them. Plus, the sorts of people who don't know how to top off their own tires are also the sorts of people who leave their bikes sitting so long that the tires go totally flat between rides, and I doubt even a "self-inflating" tire will inflate itself if the bike is unrideable to begin with.

This is not to say his invention is not clever, but it does seem to be a rather complicated solution to a highly specific and extremely minor problem. Then again, just imagine how smug you'd feel if you knew your tires were topping themselves off as you moved your neighbors by bike--especially if you were also the first Clevelanders ever to undertake a bike move (as forwarded to me by another reader):

Mazel Tov, Cleveland, on this, the occasion of your Smug Mitzvah. Perhaps PumpTire guy should create a special bike-moving tire, which would allow the mover adjust the blow-off valve depending on what he or she is hauling at any given moment. "Hold on, I think I just bottomed out! Can we stop for a minute? I need to set my valve to 'ottoman!'" Sure, stopping a smugness convoy like that can be irritating, but it does give everybody time to drool over each other's cargo trailers:

This was an obstacle for us, because as much as excitement is building around biking in Clevelandtown, there still aren’t a whole lot of carfree Clevelanders, and those are the types to have the fully-loaded drool-worthy cargo trailers.

It's a good thing the sorts of people who drool over cargo trailers also tend to have highly absorbent beards, or else they'd get saliva all over the furniture.

Speaking of body hair, yet another reader tells me that the Movistar professional bicycle cycling team has recently signed a new rider, though apparently his kit is not ready yet:


Forget low spoke counts and crabon rims; he's such a retrogrouch he thinks the entire concept of the wheel is gimmicky.

126 comments:

MLD said...

Yellow Jersey!

shu-sin said...

bang.

One Who Knows said...

Podium!

Kenny said...

AND THAT'S HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW!

Anonymous said...

ANAL FIST

Ed said...

Top Ten

Anonymous said...

boom! podium

pebes said...

top ten

ken e. said...

me and coffee!

Anonymous Coward said...

Captain & Top Tennile

Anonymous said...

Hey, that "bike move" was to my neighborhood. How smug-I-am!

Bad Lawyer

theEel said...

wEEd.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous Coward said...

From the article "Ten cyclists moved one Frank Lanza..., completely by bicycle!!"
followed by "for the sake of honesty and professional ethics, we must admit, there was a truck involved for moving a bed, couch and giant antique radio"

So they are to moving someone completely by bicycle as Dave Z is to riding the Tour completely Vegan.

hillbilly said...

flibbity jibbity doo

oba said...

SMUG MOVE

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

movistar link is broken - can someone 'splain what that pic is all about?

shu-sin said...

WCRM,

do i need to bring my trailer to carry the booty from the bridge?

and if yes, what pressure should i set my tires to?

mikeweb said...

Neanderthal! My man!!

Anonymous Coward said...

@DaddoOne
Link

Caption says something about the Museum of Evolution

wishiwasmerckx said...

The new Movistar rider is named Fontechevade.

JB said...

Anonymous Coward said: So they are to moving someone completely by bicycle as Dave Z is to riding the Tour completely Vegan.

And 33-1/3 things guy is to having 33-1/3 things.

Anonymous said...

My dad asked me if my sister's wal-mart bike might have tubeless tires since they wouldn't hold any air. I told him he has a puncture and needed a new tube. He then asked if he needed to take it to a bike shop to get it fixed. I told him he could, but he'd get laughed at and pay an extra $20 for the privilege.

This is the bike that was $40 new, but she sank $125 for a new wheel and a set-screw adjustment single-speed "conversion."

For Lob's sake...

I am a sad engine said...

They still make things in England?
They make thing like bikes?

I think they buy stuff from China (Just like here in UH-meaaric) and sell them. As much as that is exciting for economists, it dont mean shit for real people.

Except that it means less gasoline consumption.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No comment.

grog said...

ugh. get rid of that guy and bring back the babe!

bikefixins said...

Is that the wiki guy without his bib shorts?

Grump said...

The report that you mention about sick days is faulty. Every cyclist knows that you "save" your sick days for those "epic" three day, weekend training binges. To make up for this, they go to work when sick. This causes the other employees to become sick (as if they matter), and causes a total loss, countrywide of 500 Billion whatevers.

leroy said...

My dog ate my coupon.

He was bonking.

crosspalms said...

I (cough) plan on taking my 7.4 days (cough cough) starting next Friday.

Anonymous said...

Grump - you are sooooooooo right. I save my days off for epic rides.

cycle

Udder said...

No wonder the guy marketing the Pumptire has trouble with his tires. He pumps them up to 120 psi!

Opinionated Cyclist said...

See you at the bridge!

Etherhuffer said...

Snobby, you said "regardless" instead of "irregardless." The Lob of Grammar and Spelling shines over you!

petrus said...

Ugh. Really, Snobby?? Do we really need a primal man in Edenite glory??

Naked face former glory
Gory guy present chain
Next

Anonymous said...

First ever "bike move"?

Wrong. This may not be first but is earlier:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9IlQbPTN6s

BTW, Feldwegvergnügung

Anonymous said...

more hilpsters

Rocky Mountain Chuck said...

I am nervously setting a Google News Alert with the keywords "New York" "giveaway bike crap" "riot" "crush of humanity".

holy morningtimes wildcat, said...

WADE1st!

wp

studioe said...

Snob,

My GPS says 193.6 miles - is there parking on the bridge? Never mind, I'll just park in the bike lane.

Anonymous said...

That was NOT recumbabe. Unsee! Unsee!

all the people said "A-meh!"

CommieCanuck said...

US $5Billion? What's that in CDN$, like 20 mooseballs?

Chris said...

5-6pm? quick! to the bat-jet!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Don't you just hate it when naked cavemen get their disgusting ballsack sweat all over your new Movistar team-issue saddle?

I know that I do.

CommieCanuck said...

WRM, that new hire by movistar was the only guy they could find who could provide a clean biological passport. Nothing cleaner than Pleistocene piss.
Grog ride fast, grog no suck new-fangled wheels.

leroy said...

They say animals have a sixth sense about certain events.

I should have known something was up when my dog started humming Carole King's "I feel the earth move under my feet."

Some warning.

mikeweb said...

Jeez, WCRM gives away Knog swag and makes the Earth move.

If there's ever a Ritte give away, I'm hiding in my cellar.

The King of Park Slope said...

When I unplug my monitor, the coupon disappears.

Nogocyclist said...

My coupons have expired!

Buffalo Bill said...

I had no hope for the sprint today, that hypnogif caught me before I even read the title. Fortunately my beard is sufficiently absorbent that I didn't get any drool on my shirt.

Anonymous said...

What advantages does a bicycle offer for a 1.4 mile move? I imagine one could easily walk everything over to the new house (even the bed) with a suitable cart or hand truck.

Anonymous said...

I was actually more impressed with the video camera / pressure gauge setup they came up with than the worthless self inflating tire.

The whole thing is quite "penisinal," with the constant pumping and consternation over potential flaccidity, not to mention the gauge to set the pressure actually makes it look like your wheel has an inconcealable erection.

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

@MLD

You're mistaken - you took the stage win but not the Yellow Jersey. If you were to have consistently high placings over the past few weeks I might have supported your claim to the Maillot Jaune.

I will assess your performance and finishing times and advise you of your GC position presently.

I myself have far lower aspirations, as you can see.

Ryan said...

I may be wrong here, but I don't think BSNYC wrote this one. It has bits of a typical BSNYC post, but sounds like someone was trying. Also the "voice" was a little off.

fred said...

is the pump tire suitable for spirited club rides? and does it come in 650b?

Anonymous said...

Snob, my friend from Seattle is in nyc and will stop to get me free goodies but he doesn't have a computer there or a smart phone to print th coupon! Can u give him a break? Thanks
sinc;
"El Jefe" kickass

CommieCanuck said...

Ryan, if you hear voices while reading BSNYC, see a doctor.

CommieCanuck said...

I tried this self pumping tire on my ride through Virginia today, after 3 minutes, I hit 52 psi, after an hours, I hit 1,200psi, and 2 hours both tires let go with a huge blast.
I hope nobody noticed.

petrus said...

%(&)#@, Commie Canuck!! I got all shook up, and landed near the White House!! Last place I wanna be!!

Country road, take me home.

Anonymous said...

I love the smell of Knog sweat in the morning.

CommieCanuck said...

"... fewer pinch flats, no more pumping, hands stay clean, less time getting ready and more time on the saddle."

Exactly what it says on the label of this bottle of little blue pills. It also says if it lasts more than four hours, see a doctor.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:33pm,

As the fixie rider said to the pedestrian, "No breaks!"

He must present some sort of coupon, if he has no access to a printer I will accept a hand-drawn version, doesn't have to be too accurate.

All of this is contingent on structural integrity of bridge of course.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

petrus said...

The prophet says:

Bridges fall.
Spring bicycles!

Anonymous said...

the new rider for movistar is going to have a hell of a time shaving his legs. hi-yooo!

henry gibson said...

a poem

they treat us funny

they take our money

they call us honey

thank you

PUMP MEUP said...

@ Fred's dead (2:26)

it's not a motorcycle baby, it's a chopper...

with auto-flation? wait, that sounds soooo wrong!

wp

bikesgonewild said...

...i don't wanna be a bummer, man but it's not even wednesday & i can't stop groovin' over the top of the page...

...i wish my ol' lady was here trippin' on this shit with me, dude...

...wow, man, that's far out !!!...look at those colors...that's so groovy...ohhh, yaaa, way cool !!!...

...hey, dude, be cool...are you tryin' to bring me down ???...now i'm like freakin' out, man & that ain't cool...

...this is some bad acid, dude...that wcrm gave me some bad acid...

Anonymous said...

5-6PM! wtf? I have a real job. would you mind mailing me some knog SWAG?

Anonymous said...

Ok folks,

Guest what?!? I am in forking Pittsburg!!

I left Montreal last night so I could make it in time to get some of the free stuff tonight at "The Knog Fest on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge".

But no, I ended in forking Pittsburg!

So folks, let me tell me one thing: never ever sleep while you're pedaling at night because you may end up in a very very strange place.

Have fun. (Because I am not.)

hillbilly said...

Wildcat, that was the great and powerful Lob warning you to stay away from bridges.

g-roc said...

I was going to pedal over from the west coast, but I forgot to factor in the 3 hour time difference. There's no way I'd make it in time, even at WOO-HOO speed. Just as well, I suppose. I'm pretty sure Knog products are incompatible with derailleur equipped cycling bicycles. Keep bi-keen everyone!

crosspalms said...

New Movistar rider was just offered a better gig with Apple. He'll be spokesguy for their new Planet of the Apps.

Marcel Da Chump said...

I was having lunch at a sports bar near Times Square when I heard the news of the earthquake. I sat next to some tourists from Scotland. One of them asked me: "so, do these earthquakes happen all the time around here?".

acquiesce808 said...

two words: book signing! (that is if the bridge is still standing after the massive earthquake that shook the eastern seaboard)

Nerdus Maximus said...

Looks like Commie Canuck is moving to Holland ...

http://gamingzion.com/gamblingnews/dying-gambler-fights-to-repeal-dutch-bestiality-laws-2175

LK said...

3 billion pounds(£)is a lot to throw around, I'd say.

BIke Fail said...

Does the Mercedes bike have an airbag?

Anonymous said...

Snob, I am that guy who owns the coffee shop and you made fun of the documentary made of my love for track bikes. See you At the bridge jerk-off.

Bennnettt Surf said...

Snobbie

Speaking from experience I cannot help but think that had you included several strategically placed photos of 'Recumbabe' your book would have sold several millions more copies.

Never underestimate the testostoation of the Amerikan Velo Smerf.

screaming skull said...

WCRM, you might need security for the Kong fest. Not to worry.I got your back.

Bobby said...

A bit testy, are we? Here, Mr. Coffee Shop Hipster, read my knuckles:

KNOG SWAG

Somebody needs to back off the caffeine, Sir Snob.

Canuck, wonder what kind of pressure the auto-flate man-cessory gets if you combine those wee pills. Is there a relief valve for that?

Bobby said...

One last thought, if something is going on for more than four hours, don't call your doctor- call an agent and a camera crew, you've got it made.

Just sayin'

Test Tickle said...

all you haters can kiss my

BUTT FLAP

balls.

bikesgonewild said...

...@anon 3:58 sez "...See you At the bridge jerk-off."...

...no, no, dude...today, bsnyc/rtms/wcrm is doing a friendly 'knog' & t-shirt giveaway...

...however, if you go back to the area in the dark hours 'round about, oh, say 1:00am or later, down under the bridge, that's when all the sleazy the 'jerk-off' action occurs...

...there's a whole group of perverts hopped up on viagra & speed down there...enjoy yourself @ the 'bridge jerk-off', jerk-off...

self-obsessed and sexee said...

There's going to be a jerk-off at the bridge? A critical mass circle jerk? Woo hoo!....I'm so there!

Cherry Garcia said...

I'll be at the Schwagfest. Being that I'm dead you won't see me but I'll be there. Leave my XL tee dangling from the bridge railing on a 30 foot piece of florocarbon fishing line. At least 60 pound test. I will float by and pick it up later as I'm quite busy right at the moment staring intently at your opening HI SIGN!

CommieCanuck said...

cross.. get yer hands off me you damned dirty app.

CommieCanuck said...

Bobby, Mrs. Canuck does not appreciate being known as the "relief valve".

Test Tickle said...

"Portland and Davis, California..."

WAIT... Portland is in California. I am so confused.

balls.

Anonymous said...

< They still make things in England?
They make thing like bikes? >

Yes.....and again, no....

You're right, a lot of the bikes are bought in. Same as elsewhere, though, there are low volume/high quality bikes made; Mercian, Hetchins*, Pashley, Bob Jackson, Dave Yates and so on. I work for a bike shop with its own brand bikes, they're bought in, always have been - the only difference is that now we buy them directly from Vietnam or Korea, whereas before the company in England that we bought them from bought them in...

* I think these are available again.

hey nonny mouse

PawnShop said...

If that Mercedes bike doesn't make Martin Erzinger drowsy, IT'S A FAKE!

PawnShop said...

Moving by bicycle is SO not new. I did it thirty years ago, moving from a college ghetto hovel, into another college ghetto hovel several blocks away. The secret to a successful move was not a bunch of trailers, it was a LOT of trips. And borrowing the neighbor's skateboard.
"Get off my lawn!"

ladymtbiker said...

@Etherhuffer-- in addition to using "regardless", Snobby (Lob bless him) wrote "whatevers-they-are" rather than "whatever they ares", (or, heaven forfend, "whatever they are's"). Lest this shining moment be lost amidst the neanderthal jollity and geologic hijinks (not to mention upcoming knog-fest and brawl), it merited mention.

Sorry I can't be at the knog-fest; I'm still standing in my doorway in Boston, waiting for the all-clear signal.

Anonymous said...

Who's the new guy with the hair covering his body & the exposed pinky?
And I thought I had hairy legs.. The budget is very short this year they're bring in indigenous men to fill up the gap.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Did somebody say something about an earthquake?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

1:51 pm I was back to work and not reading bikesnobnyc. I did not feel any shaking. My office has a cement floor so I'm sure I would have noticed.

The Cat Whisperer said...

Gosh Snoblet, maybe you should employ or possibly "curate" a proof reader. The grammar Nazis abound!

Anonymous said...

you can call old crap new, and sell anything apparently:

http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20110810-norwegian-outdoor-living-friluftsliv

“The magic is in new experiences, so do something you’ve never done – go out in a kayak, camp in the wild.”
In her two years at Volda’s university, Randi Ødegården has not seen a great deal of the town. Her bachelor course has largely involved hiking, skiing and paddling through its surrounding mountains, forests and deep blue waters. At 23, she is just one exam away from qualifying with a degree in friluftsliv.

Euro foffer said...

So, how was the jerking-off?

skink said...

100 jerks in four hours.

Anonymous said...

Awesomest thing about the Manhattan bridge give-away (besides the free tshirt thanks) was the fixter skidding out on the commuter race once he saw a bunch of bike dorks huddled around. Like "hey, what's going on?! Is this something cool i should know about?". No, just a bunch nerds looking for free swag.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

skink is ahsome!

Frobac said...

Weird, I don't recall signing with a pro team.

i am a sad engine said...

"there are low volume/high quality bikes made; Mercian, Hetchins*, Pashley, Bob Jackson, Dave Yates and so on. I work for a bike shop with its own brand bikes,"

You have confused bicycle manufacturing with frame builders.
That is what makes me even sadder, does nobody know how to spoke a wheel in the western world?

All fine bikes, but do they really account for more thant 1 mil pounds together. The rest is barely a boon to the anemic economy.

ladymtbiker said...

@Catwhisperer: you mistake the comments; we are grammar-o-philes (as it were), and are genuinely complimenting WRM on his fearsome and mighty command of the English language. Proof reader? He don't need no stinkin' proof reader.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wildcat,

I'm right fucking there right now with my coupon... Where are you man!?

ev bogue said...

my company does blogging activities on minimalist urban planning activities and can consult city planning departments on how to move 10 apartments with 10 cyclists.

cleveland, call me. untether and wear scarves....

ps-- busy with burn planning, so leave a message.

Anonymous said...

ladymtbiker @531 (tubing?) --

"whatevers-they-are" reminds me of The Onion's news brief of the (now departed) famous grammar maven William Safire walking into a Burger King and smugly ordering two "Whoppers Junior".

Anonymous said...

So would that tire deflate itself if you flip (or flop) your rear wheel without re-installing the tire?

The Cat Whisperer said...

@ladymtbiker:well excuuuuuse me!

Anonymous said...

What if you're XXL, in which case the shirts would be too small? My wife thinks I'm drunk.

nanutak said...

The last photo is taken in the Museum of Human Evolution in Spain in my city Burgos. I can´t believe I found something like this in this blog jajajajaja.

wannabeuk said...

Actually, at current exchange rates and the general state of the US economy, £3bn now equals approximately $76.3quadrillion USD.

SLAM said...

!!

Jon Banks said...

Bike Snob, I thought you should know that your smugness flotilla has nothing on this bike camper:

http://www.kevincyr.net/index.php?/project/camper-bike/

Charles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles said...

I did not meet you at the other side of a bridge but can I have some free gear?

Charlie Didrickson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fredshark89 said...

check out the nails on this cyclist.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2011-New-Bike-Cycling-Bicycle-Gloves-Half-Finger-BLUE-L-/270807460686?pt=AU_Cycling_Clothing&hash=item3f0d61eb4e

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