Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Forever In Your Debt: Putting the Car before the Horse

Firstly, I'd hate to do this, but I heard there's some video of a mountain biker getting hit by a an antelope in South Africa. However, I can't seem to find it. If you have any idea where I can watch it please click here. Thanks very much.

Speaking of things that are all over the Internet, you've probably heard by now about that GM advertisement telling college students to "stop pedaling" and to "start driving," as reported by BikePortland:

The cynical view of the American educational system is that it exists solely to make sure you graduate with sufficient debt to ensure your indentured servitude to "the Man" for the rest of your life. I know I had barely hung the obligatory John Cleese "Silly Walk" poster in my own dorm room when I was visited by a phalanx of sorority pledges who, in order to gain acceptance into the sisterhood, had to sign up their fellow freshmen for WhateverBank™ MasterCards. You've got to admire the brilliance of that bank--harness the awesome power of college students' burning desire for social acceptance in order to create a free marketing army who will in turn create thousands of new cardholders for you. Presumably, those sweatpants-clad pledges from Syossett now work on Wall Street, and the stoned freshmen with the towels stuffed under their doors who said "Yes" to the cards are now the Occupy Wall Street protesters, jobless yet still paying off the buckets upon buckets of buffalo wings they paid for with those stupid cards.

Given this, it's hardly surprising that GM would employ a similar peer pressure-driven tactic to sell cars. Sure, entering the nonexistent job market with a student loan and a car loan is like going on one of those "epic" Rapha ride with no food, water, or chamois cream, but at least you won't be some loser who commutes by bicycle. Really, the pitch is so predictable that I can't even bother to be irritated by it--it's no more offensive than those stupid Chrysler ads. What is irritating though is that they don't even have the "pants yabbies" to stand by it. Instead, they're falling all over themselves and apologizing on Twitter:

Yeah, I'm sure they're "looking forward to sharing the roads." Essentially, GM have succeeded in turning the outraged Forces of Cycling Smugness into a free focus group who are now unwittingly helping them re-draft their college ad campaign. It should be a matter of days before a new ad with a driver smiling at a woman on Dutch bike comes out, and they start giving away crappy trunk racks and Denali road bikes with the Chevy Cruze.


In so doing, my intent was to make light of the irony that, in Portland, a mobile bike shop-slash-rolling party is probably commonplace. (I know, high-larious, right? Jokes are even funnier when you explain them.) What I did not mean to do was cause offense to the entrepreneur himself, though unfortunately it appears that I may have done so:



If anyone takes the time to look through my Kickstarter campaign, they will find that in exchange for their contribution, I am offering some pretty solid incentives that are worth at least as much as the contribution itself. I’m sorry, Mr. *****, if my business plan offends your sense of what is proper and good. I suggest you do not contribute to my project.

I am not offended at all--not only do I wish him all the luck in the world, but I also have no sense of what's "proper and good" anyway. (Years ago, I accidentally flushed my moral compass down the toilet, and I have yet to purchase another one because I'm waiting for the crabon version.) I might have felt bad about all this and apologized, but then I noticed something. Before I mentioned his campaign he had raised precisely zero dollars, but since then he's raised seventy-five USA Fun Tickets, which I'll just assume came from someone who saw his campaign on this very blog:

You're very welcome, don't even mention it.

Still, it's just this sort of unpleasant misunderstanding that causes me stress--almost as much stress as needing to have today's "hottest wearable items." And when it comes to hot wearable items, nothing is hotter or more wearable than a dork-tastic pair of glasses that tells you your "wattage:"

So what inspired someone to invent "Fred-vision?" Well, it was a moment as sublime as when that kumquat fell on Sir Isaac Newton's head:

Sport-iiiis inventor and founder of 4iiii Innovations Ian Andes had an “aha” moment when running (yes, on foot). His wristwatch Garmin told him he was running seven-minute miles, a significant milestone for him, and while fixating on his watch, he tripped over a curb and injured himself badly. Similarly, riders doing intervals or other hard efforts can be assured they are working at the proscribed level without losing view of any obstacles they may be quickly coming up on.

Now, you might think the conclusion he should have drawn from this "aha" moment was that he's a gigantic dork and should probably just enjoy running instead of staring at his watch. However, that's just why his "aha" was so brilliant--it's because he realized people want to enjoy cycling just as much as he enjoys running, which is to say not at all. Instead, they want to "work at a proscribed level," and what you might call "scenery" they call "obstacles." Therefore, they buy devices like this, which help you cope with those days when you're forced to ride outside because you can't train at home:

I have no idea what these glasses actually cost, but I'm sure it will be a lot, so if you're looking to save money just get one of those P-touch label makers, print out a sticker that says "You're an enormous geek," and place it on the inside of your sunglasses. As for the audio component, just download this to your media player of choice and play repeatedly.

But for the absolute hottest in wearable items, look no further than road bike shoes with no cleats, as forwarded by a reader:

Just keep in mind this is more of a casual look, and for formal non-walkability you should always go with a pair of ice skates.

127 comments:

Anonymous said...

Firsty!

Anonymous said...

WOOOOOOOO

Anonymous said...

And all the people said "A-meh!"

Neil said...

podium?

Anonymous said...

fuckin' cars. Top Ten!

poole said...

top 10?

Neil said...

ah well, first nonanonamous...sus.

PK said...

Huh?

JB said...

top tennnnn

mikeweb said...

Gyneth drives a pickup

Eric Lowe said...

This one goes to 11

Buy-cycle said...

Ninja tuna! Top 10? 20? 50? 100?

Labia Major Taylor said...

I fucking got boxed out!!

Anonymous said...

ant1st blows goats.

Poppa Wheelie said...

I want to finance a really nice new bike with no money down and 0% interest. GM?

CommieCanuck said...

Wattage Eyeglasses -a ha! A while back, during an interval spint, I was looking at my power meter for some reason, and I inadvertently went too fast and assumed stationary orbit around the earth.

Power meters, the tachometers of cars with automatic transmissions. This message required 2 watts of finger power, -1 watt brain power.

theEel said...

WeED.

le Correcteur said...

Top twenty; half read; had to compliment WRM on this one: "(Years ago, I accidentally flushed my moral compass down the toilet, and I have yet to purchase another one because I'm waiting for the crabon version.)"

le Correcteur

CommieCanuck said...

GM should have modified that campaign to get students off their bikes, and into a GM. But, for God's sake, keep the bike, it's a GM, you need at least one reliable way to get home.

Anonymous said...

Well.

JB said...

Is that a mouse peaking out of Ruffalo's pocket, or is he just happy to see Gwynny?

Anonymous said...

THIN SKIN

offended bike repair trailer ona bike guy:

buy ticket to asia/africa/anywhere with money given to you

see the way people do things

realize that your efforts to be smug and stuff in Portland are silly

come home, get a job, pay taxes

Anonymous said...

Hooray!
Wildcat Rock Machine is reading comments!

Anonymous said...

That last pic of the cleatless couple looks as if they're trying to force each other over the bridge railing.

Anonymous said...

noticed that Gwenyth is riding a Serotta with the no cleats look

CommieCanuck said...

I'm surprised Gwenyth is not wearing some type of splatter guard or face shield or sneeze guard or something. Impossible to say her name without spittle.

Bob said...

I do not think that proscribed means what they think it does

Terre Haute Karl said...

The nerve of GM! Trying to sell cars by putting down other modes of transportation! How dare they. What's next, Anheuser Busch trying to convince people that drunk is better than sober??

hillbilly said...

goop

crosspalms said...

I like to display the intensity of my current activity with an Elvis-like sneer. Or a long string of drool and faint snoring noises.

Casual Squirrel said...

Casual Squirrel says: with a little more pressure, GM might just be persuaded into retooling its business model to producing grossly overpriced roadbikes!

Anonymous said...

GM cars are like Yugos. The best accessory to own is a bus schedule for when you break down.

cycle

Commentator "X" said...

What a totally odd picture.

Those glasses go over the strap or under?

Leisure Suit Larry said...

Ruffalo's looking real cool with his pant leg tucked in his sock.

Anonymous said...

After reading BSNYC starting around the time of the tour this year, it was pretty funny, so I kept reading. What I've learned however is that rather than ridicule others from a particular standpoint, the idea is just to ridicule for the sake of ridiculing. Sure, there's some self deprecation, but overall, the tone is not just that everyone sucks (i could get behind that), but also that everything everyone does sucks.

That's just not very funny. (yeah, so why come here? one might ask. think of this an exit interview. I stopped reading bikehugger because I thought they were a bunch of pussies. I guess I'll stop reading here because I kinda think BSNYC is just kind of a dick.)

Anonymous said...

The cleatless couple looks like they're clawing each other.

Hey wait, is this for the new ThunderCats movie?

R.White said...

nice. cycling shoes no cleats on a bike with platform pedals.

Terre Haute Karl said...

@Anon 1:06

Snob: a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:16pm,

I'm sorry I said mean stuff about GM.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Buffalo Bill said...

So, just ot clarify anon 1:06, you would like a nice comfy environment where there are no dicks or pussies? Sounds like a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon @1:06,

Laugh at the Bikesnub ridiculing the ridiculous.

It's funny because it's true, barbecue!

And a little bit sad too.

Maybe that's where your coming from - the sad?

Anonymous said...

aren't pant hems inside of white socks more offensive than cycling shoes sans cleats?

Anonymous said...

Anon@1:06 --
I think Snob would be the first to say he's sorta a dick. That's why he's so damn funny.

Poindexter T. Wiiiillis said...

More Nerds or Ima fucking kill you

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:06

meet me over at my blog: No Dicks, No Pussies... All Kosher! .com

Anonymous said...

WRM said:Anonymous 1:16pm,

I'm sorry I said mean stuff about GM.

--Wildcat Rock Machine


You better be sorry or eric holder will be looking for you.
disparaging gubmnt motors and all.

Anonymous said...

that gwyenth is a real hot piece. i can totally see what thom yorke sees in her.

ringcycles said...

The marketing geniuses at GM think that their biggest competition is yard sale 1980's ten speeds; not Ford, not Toyota, not VW, but second hand bicycles. No wonder they needed billions of dollars to bail themselves out. BikePortland just needs to wait for these imbeciles to go the way of the Edsel

I Go Around and Around said...

The reality that sucks for GM is that their cars suck. I cannot believe we bailed out those fckrs.

Let them eat cake! While riding bikes!

Cakes! Bikes! Cakes! Bikes!

What's for lunch?

Anonymous said...

I like it when Wildcat Rock Machine answers a comment that haven't been posted yet!

@1:11 he anwers a comment posted @ 1:16

Now I am going to call him Wildcat Time Machine.

ayemiller said...

A major diss to the highly respected GMC bike brand

Anonymous said...

ridicule for the sake of ridiculing, that's just ridiculous.

Etherhuffer said...

Anon 1:06----I don't know your age, but some of us are old enough to remember the days of pre-smug and pre-narcissim. Snobby is oft more kind in using "smug" where "narcissism" is more correct. A trip to Amsterdamm would inform your opinion a lot, to actually see normal people riding normal bikes with absolutely no pretense whatsoever. If you prefer dick wagging in public and smearing smegma all over the public sphere, well, Snobby is just not for you.

Concerned 2.0 said...

Snob,

You were on the front page of Wired Magazine(website) for a bit. Well more like your book. On a Kindle...However, the author gave you a shout out and a lengthy review of your book if that makes you feel any better.

"http://www.wired.com/reviews/2011/10/kindle/

Just The Messenger said...

the Gwen pic is from a movie shoot. No need for cleats if your bike shoes are just a prop...

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 1:06pm...'all you haters can suck my balls'...

...shall we substitute 'haters' for something that doesn't offend your sensibilities so that when you leave, you won't be tempted to post a reply ???...

Poppa Wheelie said...

Nice props Gwenneth. Serrotta, shoes with no cleats, which I've never seen worn outside before, and the worst helmet fit I think I've ever seen.

Poppa Wheelie said...

Ride me next,Gwen.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:18 said: that gwyenth is a real hot piece. i can totally see what thom yorke sees in her.

Funny. Like audible snort funny.

You never listened to a word that I said...

Gwyneth & company are gonna get splashed by a passing GM car.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Do the 4iiii glasses come with x-ray vision?

Anonymous said...

Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosy.

bikesgonewild said...

...gwyneth 'fucking' paltrow can wear non-cleated cycling shoes any time she likes if she's willing to hop in the sack with me...

...i ain't gonna complain...

...but i might buy her a pair of sidis because they're so much sexier...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Moar Paltrow cameltoe, please!

(hey, that kinda/sorta rhymes, doesn't it?)

grog said...

Sorry I'm late. I was attacked on the trail by an African canteloupe.
Miss Recumbabe.

Brian said...

Ooohhh . . . working out at the forbidden level! Glasses telling me that might be worth it.

Paul Bowen said...

@Poppa Wheelie:

"the worst helmet fit I think I've ever seen"

Try London some time. I'm a keen newbie/fair-weather cyclist spotter and several times a year I see helmets worn backwards! The phenomenon is 1/3 of my Perfect Trifecta of Newbitude, the other two being a respro mask and a "full suspension mountain bike" with a retail value not exceeding £125. Only seen it once but see two together quite often.

Shirtless In Seattle said...

Look, honey. NERDS.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Gwyneth's t-shirt is from a track bike company.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone else donated money to the Mobile Bike Shop. I had planned on donating a dollar, just to obligate him to pay tax on the donation & fill out the necessary IRS paperwork. He is paying taxes just like everyone else has to, isn't he? Isn't he?

Shirtless In Seattle said...

PS - That helmyth looks like it's going to swallow Gwyneth's head... must be a Giro.

Johann Rissik said...

My sincere apologies to those who noticed. The South African who rode in front of the running antelope is sadly typical of many cyclists in our country. Clearly Darwin had his eye off the ball on this one. Dumbfuck.

Johann Rissik said...

He should have known better than to shout "buck" at red hartebeest. That's an easily misunderstood insult.

Anonymous said...

Isn't 'four-eyes' a derogatory term for people wearing glasses?

Marcel Da Chump said...

Anon 1:06 the First,
it's a matter of taste, but ridiculing from a particular standpoint
is a lot dickier than ridiculing for its own sake.
I'm a happy dick. So what?

CommieCanuck said...

Would someone who has the Antelope video link please send it to me here.
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I for one find it hilarious that "Rolling Wrench" got all offended by El Snob (that's Spanish for "The Snob"). Seriously. The audacity of people to expect a handout for this type of shit is getting overwhelming. Fund it your-fucking-self! I haven't gotten a dime for a lifetime of bike commuting...

CommieCanuck said...

I stopped reading bikehugger because I thought they were a bunch of pussies.

I would have started reading a blog for that reason.

Etherhuffer said...

Anyone want to give me some Kickstarter bucks to start a meth lab? I am a pretty good chemist and I could spiff you some profit or some crystal for the donation. Free false teeth for my regular customers!

g said...

I can't imagine that someone who claims this to be
"one of my favorite cycling blogs" should be surprised or offended at a write up. I would think that if he can't take some ridicule, he's fucked.

Stupid Name said...

http://www.grist.org/biking/2011-10-12-riding-the-crimson-tide

And now for something completely different.

g-roc said...

I'm holding out for the RTMS version with the label inside the glasses that says "you suck". That is, if I get over this overwhelming doubt over my choice of transportation. Meh, forget it; I'm heading to the GM dealership.

g-roc said...

anon 2:34 - No dimes, but I've gotten a few nickels from cycling. Of course from my vantage point and velocity, I always mistake it for a quarter, so it's a major disappointment that I took the effort to stop and pick it up.

SyossetGrrrl516 said...

Ever Since discovering Kickstarter I too have been looking forward to try it out, I mean what an awesome concept- ask people for funding since my parents cut me off and I don't feel like working a full time job!
Sure I have to bend the rules a little but too but that's me!

Thank you BSNYC! Without your blog I would have never found my entrepreneurial sole mate.

CAMPIONE CYCLES CALGARY said...

No "Oregon Trail" jokes? Too obvious?

Anonymous said...

BikeSnob - please check out the attached link for a Craigslist advertisement. It's for a 96-speed, tandem recumbent trike in Missouri. You don't see many tandem recumbent trikes at all, much less one with 96 speeds.

Anonymous said...

BikeSnob - please check out the attached link for a Craigslist advertisement. It's for a 96-speed, tandem recumbent trike in Missouri. You don't see many tandem recumbent trikes at all, much less one with 96 speeds.

Anonymous said...

Ooops, I guess I was a little too high, I forgot the link.

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/2645588010.html

Salty and Sore said...

dude...

not sure which is upsetting me most as a cyclist..

1) the insensitivity to cycling by car manufacturers (really? can't I love my car and my bike at the same time? I also love walking; do you have something against that too?)
2) the fred-tastic product development of component manufacturers (really? can't I love riding my bike the way I love riding.. okay, I'll stop.)
3) debt from buffalo wings (yes, I'd love another round! here's my card.)

...sigh.

Salty and Sore said...

mmm... buffalo wings...

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

I'm gon' git me one a them 4iiiis and work at the proscribed level. That's how I'll STICK IT TO THE MAN, man!

Salty and Sore said...

Anon 1:06-

no...

wait...

don't go...

Okay, I'll say it. I love GM. I also like Detroit (yes, I'm from Seattle.) I also like people who go to a blog's comments strictly to complain with an Anonymous handle.

Anon 1:06, you are my Bitchcat Rock Mansander.

RedHeadForWorldDomination said...

From the looks of GP's outfit she's filming a movie about a t-shirt wearing retro-Frida from the planet Tri-dork! Wow!

rebel rebel said...

The OWS protestors should set their sights on Hollywood. Gwyneth, Ruffalo, and their ilk are living large off cheap entertainment. And they got tax cuts!

Anonymous said...

Nah, nothing's like Yugos! At least, nothing that I've driven; a friend of mine, however, was very scathing of a Zaphorozhets that he once had the misfortune to pilot.

I have a GM car, but it's Australian and quite old.

hey nonny mouse

cannibal said...

Ruffalo wings!

Dipped in Gwyneth sauce!

Poppa Wheelie said...

@ rebel rebel
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind 'occupying" a few Hollywood starlets.

Bisso said...

anon 5:10...yeah let's thread jack and talk about 74 Kingswoods...and shit

Yokota Fritz said...

*ahem*: SIDI knockoffs with no cleat mounts.

Anonymous said...

100!

leroy said...

Marlon Brando uttered the definitive critique of U.S. higher education in "The Freshman" when he visits Matthew Broderick's NYU dorm room, looks around and opines in his Don Corleone voice "So this is college. I didn't miss nothin'."

Of course, no one told him that offended collegiate consumers could change the course of automotive advertising.

(101)

Anonymous said...

One 't' in syoset I think and I grew up there

Maryanne Caruso said...

R.White said...
"nice. cycling shoes no cleats on a bike with platform pedals."

And don't forget the aero bars.

Anonymous said...

So....GM is all pants yabbies for apologizing, but then the Snob apologizes for criticizing the rolling mechanic guy...is that part of the joke or just hypocriticalness? Whateva.

Anonymous said...

As a former figure skater, I walked around on concrete in ice skates (with rubber guards) all over every day. I promise they are infinitely more walkable than road bike cleats. Oof.

Fran said...

WRM, we need zoom enhancement of the reflections in the Fredvision glasses. Who is that out front he is chasing? Figure on the right looks to me like a child.

bikesgonewild said...

...@yakota fritz...i wouldn't sleep with even gwyneth 'fucking' paltrow if she showe3d up wearing those faux sidis...

...ewww !!!...

...i might give her a second chance if she showed an inclination to appreciate the 'for reals' but i'd wait to see if she 'understood' the situation first...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

FIRST!

Geives D. said...

Gwen's look reminds me when I visited my sister in NYC and she took me to SOUL CYCLE. I believe her thought process was that if I like cycling- I'd love this. Soul Cycle is the weirdest (surprised they haven't been sued) work out. They give the women and men LOOK cleats and make them do yoga on the stationary bikes after 20 minutes of high cadence drills and then charge you 40 bucks for 45 minutes. And there is a wait list for each class!http://www.soul-cycle.com/index.cfm

Bike Snob STL said...

Really snob? Its easy enough to find real bike dorks to make fun of, but not having cleats on your shoes while on a movie set? Some wardrobe person gave them to you and said to put them on. I thought you were cynical, now I realize you just like to be an asshole. You're petty - a lot like the people you like to condem.

Anonymous said...

Bike Snob STL -- You're right. I'm sure Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow were deeply hurt by snob's gibe. If I were them, I'd certainly demand an apology, because this will surely ruin their reputations and turn them into box office poison, given the Snob's tremendous media reach. If he thinks he can belittle these poor, defenseless celebrities from his Redoubt of Smugness, he has another thing coming.

Anonymous said...

So, what's that buck video you're talking about???

Link please.

Thanks.

myNuMo said...

GM should include a Brompton as a recommended option for its unreliable cars and trucks. Drivers could use it when their vehicle leaves them stranded due to a breakdown.

They could call it a "range extender."

Anonymous said...

Great idea! a folding bike in every trunk.

cycle

Nogocyclist said...

What is funny about the GM add making fun of riding bikes to class is that here college kids drive their cars to college park by the dorms and then ride their bikes to class.

I am sure it is that way at most large schools in other areas also. The problem is parking, at the colleges, there is just not enough parking close to where the students go to classes.

Dumb ad any way you look at it.

Casual Squirrel said...

snobby,

what do you think of this suite tech ride? http://micgadget.com/16499/what-can-this-bike-do-with-a-freaking-keyboard-and-screen/

Anonymous said...

GBW
always over compensating
get a recumbent
got one?
okay, go ride it

Anonymous said...

GBW
always over compensating
get a recumbent
got one?
okay, go ride it

Ray said...

So now we know what Woo-Hoo! speed is for running Freds

dpdsleafletdistribution said...

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Anonymous said...

One t, but two s: Syosset. Ask Natalie Portman if you don't believe me.

Reeceloui said...

Give good suggestion to get a different types of loan.

Debts

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Fixie Bikes said...

So this is that picture that caused all that controversy!

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