Monday, October 31, 2011

BSNYC Field Trip: Philly Bike Expo

(Gmail: A disturbing and unwelcome window into the self.)

As you know because you either live in the Northeast, watch news about the Northeast, or know a person who lives in the Northeast who won't shut up about it, we here in the Northeast received something of a freak snowstorm this past Saturday. It just so happens that this past Saturday was also the day I was scheduled to visit the Philadelphia Bike Expo and bore the attendees right out of their "shants." Naturally then, as the forecast grew increasingly dire, I worried that travel to and from the City of Brotherly Love might be difficult.

Sure enough, it was cold and rainy on Saturday morning, and snow was clearly on the way. But was I daunted? I was not. "The people of Philadelphia must be bored!," I announced to Toucan Sam, who was staring at me skeptically from a box of Froot Loops. Finishing my morning repast, I packed my bag, applied embrocation and chamois cream liberally, slipped into my finest Rapha, gave my bike a final going-over...

...and drove to Philly.

Sure, traveling by means of a four-wheeled internal combustion recumbent is not "epic," nor is it "smug," but I was wearing Rapha pants, and I was also using a David Byrne Air Freshener™:

(The David Byrne Air Freshener™: Smells like Smugness.)

Just because he doesn't own a car doesn't mean he doesn't want yours to smell nice. Especially since he probably needs a ride.

Sure, I would have liked to have utilized some sort of bike/train "collabo" to get down there, but I also didn't want to spend the night in Philadelphia should rail travel go awry due to the weather. It's not that I don't enjoy visiting that fair city--in fact I admire it very much. It's just that I'm something of a homebody (or, if you prefer, a "woosie") and every night I spend in a bed other than my own I lose a little piece of my soul.

Of course, the other non-"epic" option is always "If it rains take the bus," but buses in and out of New York tend to flip like pancakes. Also, I have a fear of motorcoaches that dates back to my "teen tour," during which I was trapped on a bus for two whole months with a bunch of children who had had incredibly lavish Bar Mitzvahs. (You don't know the meaning of perdition until you've seen a teenager rapping while wearing a leather Louis Vuitton cap and gold chai medallion.)

And then there was all the free giveaway crap I had to portage schlep, and as I motored along the Turnpike being pummeled by what amounted to a sampling platter of every type of popular frozen precipitation, the trunk of my 1967 Corvette Stingray (converted to run on vegetable oil) full of blinky lights and designer "taint cream," I imagined that, should the state police have to extricate me from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life, in my last moribund act I would produce a "hipster cyst," switch it on, and utter the words, "May this weigh heavily on your souls."

Fortunately, none of this happened, and I made it to and from the Expo smoothly and without any sort of problem whatsoever. I attribute this to the David Byrne Air Freshener™, which doubtless served as a talisman.

Anyway, when I got to the expo, I savored the irony of the fact that, even though I had been invited down there to talk to everybody, I didn't actually have any friends to hang around with since nobody likes me, and so I bided (bidded? bade? bode?) my time by lurking in the rafters like the Phantom of the Opera:


From there I surveyed the proceedings, including the "epicness" that was the Rapha booth:

Speaking of Rapha, they were one of the three concerns generous enough to provide stuff for me to give away, the others being Knog and the Just Coffee Cooperative. I'd like to give them all my sincere thanks. I'd also like to thank Bilenky for inviting me. Most of all, I'd like to thank the people who actually showed up to listen to me for actually showing up and listening to me, and here's picture of them that I found on the Internet:

(They're only smiling because I haven't started yet.)

Thanks very much to all concerned.

Then, after my talk, I stopped by the Brooks booth:

Where I had a disconcerting conversation with one of the freaky hallucinations from the 1990 psychological thriller "Jacob's Ladder" starring Tim Robbins:

This sort of thing happens to me more than you'd think, since it turns out the councelors on my "teen tour" were putting some sort of experimental drug in our frozen yogurt.

By the way, if you want to style yourself as a dashingly cosmopolitan urban cyclist, you can do no better than getting some Rapha jeans, a Brooks jacket, and then riding around on a "smugness flotilla" that's powered by a leafblower:

It's the only look that shouts "class" loud enough to be heard over the flatulent din of a 50cc engine.

In any case, even though my visit to Philadelphia was brief I enjoyed it quite a bit. In fact, it was exactly like racing cyclocross, inasmuch as I drove a car 200 miles round-trip just to make a complete fool of myself for 45 minutes.

Speaking of Brooks, back in January they sent me a sample of their wares:

And I'm pleased to announce it's been sitting atop my Big Dummy since then, where it's been both serviceable and comfortable:

It's also become all tanned, smooth, and shiny, like Mario Cipollini after a two-week vacation in the islands of Greece. (Every morning, he pours three liters of olive oil on himself and then lies in a hammock for 14 hours.) Oddly, this didn't happen gradually. Instead, it seemed to happen all of a sudden after I rode home from the beach one day in soggy salt water pants. I can't explain the reason for this since I'm not a scientist, nor am I versed in the subtleties of having a dead animal's hide bolted to your seatpost, but it looks good and it feels good and so, like most consumers of animal by-products, I'll just switch off my brain, absolve myself from any responsibility, and enjoy it.

In other saddle-related news, I also saw this Fizik display at the expo:

And I'm not sure I've ever seen anything that begged so plaintively for a Richard Gere reference:

(Richard Gere says: "It's gerbil time!")

I'm happy to oblige.

As it happens, I find Fizik saddles comfortable and have for quite a number of years, which is why I have one on my Ritte von Finkelstein:

(I very much enjoy riding my Ritte von Finkelstein roadening bike.)

However, I've been increasingly uncomfortable with their evolving marketing technique, which now involves categorizing people (or, more specifically, their crotches) as "snakes," "chameleons," and "bulls." Evidently, which one you are depends on how your pelvis moves while you ride or something like that, and then you're supposed to choose a saddle accordingly:

This is both creepy and ridiculous, and categorizing people as "snakes," "chameleons," or "bulls" based on the way they wriggle and writhe while they straddle something sounds like the way Mario Cipollini probably categorizes his various sex partners. Can't they just call the saddles "soft," "medium," and "hard?" I guess that sounds sort of dirty, but it's positively chaste in comparison. Still, it's great that Fizik have managed to bring the irritating Starbucks sizing concept to bicycle saddles. Hopefully one day I'll be able to go into a bike shop to buy a cyclocross tire, and when they ask me what size I can say "sawtooth eel."

Lastly, for decades, people have argued about the point at which a pop-cultural trend is officially dead. Some say it's when it's used in advertising campaigns for mass-market products. Others insist it's when the trend is available for purchase in "big-box" stores such as Walmart. I suspect, though, that the true sign a trend is dead is when white people start rapping about it non-ironically, as in this video that was forwarded to me by a reader:



In it, this guy makes contorted hand gestures and says things that rhyme:


And my favorite part is when he says, "Fuck that fixie hipster shit we ride fixed gears" and then gives us the finger:

I realize that, as the father of 17 children who owns a luxury cargo bike and who drives to Philadelphia, I've officially reached the point in my life at which I'm hopelessly pampered and "out of it." Nevertheless, I can't possibly be alone in hearing a line like "Fuck that fixie hipster shit we ride fixed gears" and then wondering, "What could possibly be the difference?" It's like saying, "Fuck that hippie shit we listen to Phish." Evidently though, according to the video, the difference between "fixie hipster shit" and non-"fixie hipster shit" is doing this:

Though somehow now I'm even more confused.

105 comments:

Spokey said...

first sprint - yahoo

Rob said...

Moving to philly...meh


Podium!

GhostOfTyrone said...

Top Ten

JB said...

Woot?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No comment.

Anonymous said...

Six

Kenny said...

AND THAT'S HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW!!

Anonymous said...

Whatever thaat guy is doing in the last photo looks a lot like one of the There Will Be Action Wipes submissions...

Anonymous said...

snob I couldnt weight I got the topeak Iphone holder for my pissta I will link you my review after I go out for artisnal caffee

Shawn said...

You had me at skeptical Toucan Sam.

Anonymous said...

splat

Anonymous said...

snobby-could you PLEASE post a link for those motor conversions I think it might be perfect of a giant revive or stiletto..

Anonymous said...

Blue bar tape fails bad, its poorly wraped. Get a new monkey

SLAM said...

where am I top twenty? Get me Joe Papp's web site quick. Need a refund.

Marcel Da Chump said...

the Phantom of the Snobera

Artisanal Pain... said...

Bungen Oven

Make mmnaroma

Hair a phy!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

Top wtenty?

GhostOfTyrone said...

Apart from David Byrne, what does smugness smell like?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 11:51am,

That's just because there's a sub-layer of $100 bills. Takes the sting out of the cobbles.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

'67 Stingray -sweet!

I pictured you as a Corolla driver, or maybe a ratty old Cavalier.

That Cipo stuff never gets old.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I wish Fizik would get Peta Todd to be their x-ray model.

Kirklandish said...

Thanks for the coffee! and thanks for making me laugh (at your jokes, not at you)

p.s. what's up with those porno patches?!

OBA said...

Philly was fun - thanks for the epic crotchal unguents!

Anonymous said...

That fellow like to rap about his cycling has a bit of a belly. He needs to yak less and ride more.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

fuck that bike shit, i ride bicycles

streepo said...

Heard of a van,
its loaded up with weapons
packed up and ready to go.

JDH said...

28th? Another personal best!

David Byrne said...

I was going to have the Air Freshener have that new car smell, but I have no idea what that is.

Etherhuffer said...

Fark that di-ethyl ether shit, I huff Ether

Anonymous said...

Snob, so YOU were that guy at my bar mitzvah taking notes!! Chapeau !

hows yr edge said...

Shout outs to Soul Search and Floorpunch. That's about the best that video has to offer. Bootleg x-rated swatch??

Anonymous said...

The Fizik Aliante with CRABON shell (not rails) is a great goddamn saddle but their recent marketing blather has been pretty ridiculous.

120 mm stems FTW-- or is that a 130?!?!

Buffalo Bill said...

I bet a sawtooth eel would make an excellent cross tire.

Anonymous said...

SNOW SHOW

FIXT SHIT

SEAT CRAP

XRAY POSE

leroy said...

My dog wants me to ask if anyone else smells cheese steak and cream cheese.

I don't know what he's talking about.

I told him he can't handle the onions on a cheese steak.

From the list at top of today's post, it looks like BSNYC knows a dog that could have used that advice.

More Vanilla Ice Or Ima Fucking Kill You said...

There seems to be very little difference btw those "Fixed Gear Hilpsters" and the "Juggalos" in that ICP video from a few weeks ago...

crosspalms said...

If I had a car, I'd want an air freshener with new bike smell.

Buy-cycle said...

I can't believe it isn't sung ironically. 'Ride hard, don't worry about any flats, stay strapped with tools and tubes in the backpack'. Good boy! Top 50?

Terre Haute Karl said...

Attaching a gas motor to a bicycle? Hasn't that already been invented? I think they call it a "motorcycle".

InsaneFrownPosse said...

F-ck them Juggalo's we roll buzzed white trash all tatted out style!!!

For your Consideration.. said...

PETA TODD TUESDAY!!! If it pleases the panel can I pleave get a second?

Anonymous said...

Snobby - If I'd have known you needed a friend while in Philly...

cycle

Joe said...

Holy sheepshit. I'd like to think that rap video was just satire so incredibly dry that I'm too old to get it. But I don't think so. I think I might stop riding bicycles and take up rollerblading. They aren't making rap videos out of that, are they?

Burt Reynolds 531 said...

Git the hell offa my lawn!

Anonymous said...

"If it ain't fixed it's broke." That's original, I think i heard it the first time about ten years ago.

Poor kids look like they're living in a planned community outside of Scottsdale Arizona or something. Never encountered a trend that wasn't filtered through MTV and five years past its freshness point.

Anonymous said...

cool video, thanks snob

wind in my face
cards in my spokes
you know what i say
more peta todd or ima fucking kill ye.

Big Charlie said...

Epic trek and epic post!

Thanks for the report on the Fizik saddles. I looked at their website a couple of weeks ago but gave up since I didn't understand what the hell they were on about with the animals and I still don't.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Can somebody call Child Protective Services about that disembodied baby hand in the Brooks saddle picture?

wishiwasmerckx said...

WTF?

David Byrne doesn't own a car?

Since when?

Why am I only hearing about this now for the first time?

Valley Boy said...

Fuck that Rap shit, I'm MC YT.

tobese said...

Anon 1:40,
They claim the "I.E." that's Riverside/San Bernardino which is even worse than Scottsdale because they should know better.

I am confused engine said...

The "city of brotherly love" in combination with RAPHA, Cipo, Richard Gere, and Gerbils.

It is a good start of the week.

Blog Drafter said...

I guess I'm a Snakeleon. Or a Chamelenake.
Got an Arione and an Antares. Anyway, since I'm all lizard my brain is full of emotions about both, but can't think too clearly about why.

Anonymous said...

Always imagined snobby rocking a 78Dodge minivan with an expired registration sticker.

cycle

CommieCanuck said...

80's bands... girl bands.. all causes of diarrhea in my dog.

L'il Eddy is just making sure you put that saddle in your last will and testament.

Nibbles said...

The Gere story is true, I was there, and I can prove it: it was burrito night at the Gere's.

me said...

I love the disembodied hand on the Brooks saddle. Brilliant!

CommieCanuck said...

I have one of those Air Fresheners, I can't remember what it smells like, ..wait..this is not my new Air Freshener...this is not my beautiful car... and this is not my beautiful wife..my God, what have I done?

Oh, I see... the DB Air Freshener is really just a large acid tab.

ringcycles said...

WildCat Rock Machine: I think you are looking too hard for meaning in that rap video. When Mr. Memento says "Fuck that fixie hipster shit, we ride fixed gears" He means he is going to sodomize his bicycle stem & handlebars. Then he demonstrates it.

All this is clear by listening to the entire album "Straight Out of San Clemente"

g-roc said...

Epic post Snob! Take the rest of the week off, it's only downhill from here.

Anonymous said...

Something is really wrong with that x-ray of the fisik guy. His arms are solid bone, his legs are opaque and boneless, and I swear I see a gerbil up his ass

Pugsleymike said...

At 3:07 of that memento fixie rap video is the real confusion; the guy grilling. I want to know his back story. Did he forget his bike and thus punished to food detail or just the enthusiastic "bat boy" who hasn't earned his place on the fixie squad? Whichever, he made me LOL.

Salty and Sore said...

Now that I've spent some time, living in the neighborhood best known in this town for its hypsteria, I can offer, Snobbie, that you're hearing the message incorrectly.

It's not: "Fuck that fixie hipster shit we ride fixed gears"

It is properly punctuated: "Fuck that fixie, Hipster!

Shit!

We "ride" fixed gears.."

Once you reach a certain point in a loving relationship with a hypster, it's important to understand, that they're going to want to take it to the next level. It's all very natural, as I'm sure they'll tell you.

Fizik's marketing is spot on, really.

...chapeau..

grog said...

you drive an old Chevy?
got gears?

ervgopwr said...

That video was one of those painful times when the justificaiton, "but there's more people on bikes and that's a good thing, right?" Gets trottted out...

Anonymous said...

the "Stainless Snob" is looking good. you need a new water bottle. a $5000+ bike and a shitty bottle like that? WTF WCRM? You don't get enough free crap? Also the blue tape is appalling, change it.

bikesgonewild said...

...somehow, i missed that...

...ritte actually calls their all stainless steel model 'the stainless snob'...

...wow, a tribute in metal sculpture, riding through city streets & back country roads, all over the world...

...nice !!!...

Ben Levy said...

Great Post. Your insights and humor are unrivaled. Thanks to you I can't read the words laterally stiff or vertically compliant anywhere without doubling over with laughter. I wish I could have been at the bike expo. Hope one day you make it out to San Francisco.
Good health to you BSNYC

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

I think those rappers learned their shit from these guys

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

@wishiwasmarx 1:15

I figured it was Bobcat Rock Machine's dear little mitt. The sleeves had blue stripes. If pink, then Kittycat Rock Machine.

Either way, it is commendable that Daddy Wildcat has thus far refrained from playing the Kid Card, although it is only a matter of time. Probably around Christmas.

One Who Knows said...

Get off Snobbies blue tape. While not my personal preference, bar tape can be any color that a body prefers. It ain't your bike.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5:04pm,

Ritte actually put the blue on there. I'll replace it with black when it wears out, but in the meantime I actually don't mind it.

As for the scuzzy bottle, I use those until they no longer hold liquid or grow some unstoppable type of mold, whichever comes first.

--Wildcat Schlub Machine

Anonymous said...

74.
Great year.

Anonymous said...

I say keep the blue tape!

I like it.

Vegas said...

It's obvious to anyone with a current optical prescription that the blue bar tape is the same blue as the Ritte logo. Snob clearly needs to not only keep the bar tape but to also get blue anodized everything to match.

Vegas said...

And of course a custom furry Luck Dragon, I mean blue Troll doll, seat.

samh said...

I need Kenny Banya to tell you that video is "Gold, Snob! Pure gold!"

Anonymous said...

Ultimate fixie Williamsburg bridge racing douche story today:

Going into manhattan near the apex of the bridge, I hear a funny ice-cream truck like horn ditty...another one of those electric/motorized moped scooter racal things comes slowly by (as I am slow). I laugh. It's some old guy and it's Halloween an it was kinda adorable. But there's something else I recognize....

There's more. The sound of the fixie drive train and a hipster huffing his way in chase! Spinning like the mad circus bear (dork) he is, the struggle to overtake the geezer is in full flight. After the S-curve I figure the fixter will clumsily pass him....

But no! Wheelsucking on the downhill comences! Of all the absurd things I've seen from fixie trendoids on my commute for the last 10 yrs, this was up there. Slow-speed moto-pacing. Fucking epic. I'm sure he bragged about it at the coffee shop.

The other great part was when he almost got killed in traffic 3x "racing" the casual commuters to his imagined finish line. I guess he was new to riding in traffic in the "big city", but speeding up on the right side of turning cars is not so smrt.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I am puzzled by the uproar over thee Ritte bar tape. The blue is from the Belgian national team kit of the same shade with the red/black/yellow trim of the Belgian flag.

Every Ritte has that Belgian blue as some part of it's color scheme, evocative of its Belgian roots.

Anonymous said...

Not so sure about blue tape, but I like fresh wet pussy.

Anonymous said...

Get a smurf conch pedestal and stay classy Doctor Emmett Lathrop "Doc" Brown.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:04

that's also not a $5,000 bike.

Anonymous said...

Lantern Rouge

Marcel Da Chump said...

Anon,
I'm really digging your " bridge racing douche" stories. Wish the fixters would read them.

Anonymous said...

MDC....massive douche closet

P. Stable said...

Good to see that the link leads to the "official" video for that "anti-hipster-fixie-shit" song, and not some second-rate rip-off.

Pop Pop goes the weasel the weasel said...

Does anyone remember the rap group 3rd Bass? I think thats his son, plus you can use the weasel reference for another segway(sic) into a good Dick Gear story.

MC HAMMER said...

I remember Third Bass.
"let's diss Hammer, let's diss Hammer"
Punk-ass peckerwoods.
At least I got on VH1 after my career tanked.

Anonymous said...

The bar tape is poorly wrapped. First day on the job quality. Colour is whatever

whatever said...

whatever is whatever

Christ on a crutch! said...

Man, I thought I didn't have enough to keep me busy! Obsessing over the bar tape on someone else's bike is pretty fucked up.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Anon 10:00,
your mom keeps cleaning it.

CommieCanuck said...

You think that's fucked up? Try Weightweenies forum, they obsess over the weight of bar tape.

Size Queen said...

Amen to that CC

Anonymous said...

Terre Haute Karl said...

Attaching a gas motor to a bicycle? Hasn't that already been invented? I think they call it a "motorcycle".


Wow, that's brilliantly clever... no wait, it isn't actually.

Should we all ride penny farthings because "bicycles" have already been invented?

Not only are they reconised by most states as a valid vehicle classification, I suppose you're unaware that motorized bicycles have been around since the 1800's - yes, before motorcycles, which according to your "logic" would mean "motorcycles" were already invented and should more properly be called "motor bicycles" right?

There's many a problem that plagues those that would commute via bicycle, motorized or otherwise, your myoptic misconcetption is unfortunatly one of them. Yet what with the economy tanked and rising gas prices, you'll be seeing more and more of them, you may wish to consider getting used to the idea.

They're not bicycles.
They're not motorcycles.
They're not mopeds or scooters.

They're also not the enemy, they're just motorized bicycles, just one less car on the road.

Artisanal Pain... said...

Idiots! Fixed gears with those beautiful Mntns in the back ground!!!

svidrigailov said...

Just for added insight, the song/video is actually anti-hipster.

"Fuck that fixie hipster shit we ride fixed gears," because hipsters refer to those bikes as "fixies." A true fixed gear biker rider would never refer to their bike as a fixie.

tubasti said...

Now that we've dispensed with recumbent proselytizers, let's go after those who say everyone who rides a bike needs a Brooks B-17.

Cheapwowgold said...

A simple Internet search shows a number of specialized online resources that sell Cheapest WOW GoldWorld of Warcraft. As a dedicated gamer, you know that the Buy World Of Warcraft Gold credit cards are used to buy stocks in order to improve your gambling skills.

ekle paylas said...

nice blog Thanks for sharing. voicesohbet was really very nice.
sesli chat siteleri sesli sohbet
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslichat seslisohbet
sesli siteleri chat siteleri
sohbet siteleri sesli siteler
voice sohbet

OMR said...

Lovely shoes ! It's perfect for the summer

http://www.xtraorbit.com/1366.html

Anonymous said...

I'm going to select some punks to light.

Anonymous said...

Deep pockets short arms. Those who care cant.

Fixie Bikes said...

That's a tight jacket.