Monday, October 17, 2011

Tolerance: Let's Talk About Your Big "But"

Further to last Monday's post, the artist known as Erik K has confirmed that he was indeed the "curator" of the pennyfarthing image that first appeared on this blog back in 2008 and has recently found new life on the Internet:

Moreover, he's also taken the opportunity to update it with the latest in deep-section "steampunk" wheel technology:

Pair a ride like this with a high-quality artisanal axe and a matching knuckle tattoo/sweatshirt combo (as forwarded by a reader) and you'll be a local celebrity in no time:

Speaking of retro-chic, another reader tells me that General Motors has attempted to redeem itself for that whole "Reality Sucks" ad debacle by traveling back in time to the 1970s and producing a bicycle-themed PSA:

Sure, this film may be old, but it's an artifact that speaks volumes ("volumes" is retro-chic for "megabytes") about how cycling in Canada's expanding waistband became what it is today. (Which is to say tantamount to a criminal act). In fact, notice that as the title flashes, a child who's just fallen off his bicycle is disappearing beneath the car's front bumper. Stupid cyclist. Notice also that the film is a "collabo" between General Motors and the Centron Corporation of Lawrence, KS:

"I Like Bikes, But..." is the final PSA in a trilogy that also includes "Some of My Best Friends Are Black" and "How to Humor Women in the Workplace." Anyway, here's the complete film, though unfortunately it has advertisements. (The advertisements I saw featured an effusive Irishman ranting about how I needed to visit the Emerald Isle, but I may just have Irish "cookies" in my browser since I've been looking at a lot of leprechaun porn lately.)


I like bikes... by yoruse

We meet our protagonist just as she's getting her driver's license. Yes, it's that tender time in every American's life just after we ride our bicycles for the last time and just before our asses start widening rapidly and we begin our losing battle with type 2 diabetes. As she begins driving, she immediately notices certain "truths" about bicyclists, such as:


Having trouble seeing this guy? Me neither. However, apparently the Centron Corporation feels he's the perfect example of an invisible cyclist just begging to be run down:

By the way, if you're wondering what the typical non-"fixie" cyclist in Williamsburg looks like today, just imagine this guy, only with a Bern helmet on crooked and/or backwards. I don't know what bottomless suburban garage all these old crappy 10-speeds are coming from, but landlords must be handing them out as apartment lease-signing bonuses.

Anyway, according to a popular user-edited Internet encyclopedia, the Centron Corporation was "one of the top producers of industrial and educational films." It's difficult to argue with this assessment. Not only do the suburban settings and hairstyles of the day indicate a subtle mastery of mise-en-scène:


But when it comes to suspense they also rival William Friedkin's work in "The French Connection." Here's our new driver wrestling with a steering wheel the size of a satellite dish:

Unwittingly on a collision course with that "invisible" cyclist:

I braced myself for the inevitable crash and ensuing race riot, but fortunately they never came--because apparently, our enlightened protagonist likes bikes too much to kill the foolish people riding them. Similar scenarios follow, during which we see various other ways in which bicycles suck. For example, bicycles fall down a lot:

And they also just plain don't watch where they're going:


Hardcore fans of the Centron Corporation's work will immediately recognize these as the same title cards from their lesser-known "Coping with Feminists" PSA , only with the word "bikes" replacing the word "women."

Ultimately though, the film ends on a positive note--with a message that cyclists are a shifty and untrustworthy bunch that should never be trusted, read by the narrator in that maddening California drawl:

I like bikes
They're number one with me
I like their style
They make me smile
They suit me to a "T"
But safetywise
Please realize
You NEVER should trust me


Basically, it's the "White Man's Burden" approach to sharing the road--drivers are the great imperialists who must save the savage cyclists from themselves--and it remains the prevailing notion in the United States of the USA to this day.

Given this, it's no wonder so many American cyclists want to flee to Portland, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the Mobile Bike Shop/Rolling Party guy now has five hundred and one more USA Fun Tickets than he did before I mentioned his Kickstarter campaign:

This means he's now 10% of the way to fulfilling his fundraising goal. Sure, accomplishing only 10% of what you set out to do may not be all that impressive by "real city" standards, but it already makes him one of the most driven people in Portland before he's even arrived there. Soon, though, he'll be in the city of his cycling dreams, and that cloying atmosphere of coffee and smugness will choke the ambition right out of him like so much chloroform. I know, I've been there. "Sleep," that eerie disembodied voice begins to intone on about your third day there. "Have another craft beer." If you don't jab yourself repeatedly in the leg with a tire lever for the duration of your stay you run the risk of succumbing to the voice and missing your return flight. Then, before you know it, you've got a Rip Van Winkle beard and 26 handmade cycling hats, and you're spending 40 hours a week fashioning bike polo mallets and posting 2,500 word comments to BikePortland about whether the Oregon Manifest bikes were "practical" enough.

Yes, it's important to maintain your "edge." However, being too ambitious also comes with its own problems, and at worst it can come at the expense of morality. Consider the problem with doping in cycling--or, increasingly, in the fiercely competitive world of goat-showing:

A reader forwarded me the above article, and while as an avowed goat show fan I find myself crushed and disillusioned, as a cycling fan it does lend some credence to Alberto Contador's story.

Sometimes, it seems the only people left with any integrity are "walk-behind unicyclists," as forwarded by yet another reader:


rare walk behind uni-cycle - $1000 (lovely Paonia)
Date: 2011-09-09, 9:35AM MDT
Reply to: [deleted]

this thing is freaking cool-i just can't keep my collection up anymore. my research found it's a rare walk behind uni-cycle for those not ready to ride one but wanting to partake in the joys. not many of them left and this one is all original. $1000 or trade for a months stay in a shack w/a wood stove---thanks...and please put "roadkill" in subject of any email response or they go to trash unopened-peace

I was tempted, though personally I prefer my walk-behind bakfiets:


It's the ultimate in bipedal chic.

86 comments:

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

yea bitches podium?

streepo said...

Ima fuckin killya.

Nogocyclist said...

I like bikes....

PK said...

Rab Rob.

Jasper said...

Early doors

Nogocyclist said...

If the winner deletes his post, does that mean the person in fourth is on the podium?

If so, I guess I'll claim my fourth place "Third!"

Anonymous said...

Only a goat shagger knows for sure!

Anonymous said...

Sadly I googled Walk behind unicycle and found this pic http://www.mrdoo.co.uk/unicycle-handlebars.jpg

So worth $1,000 I'm sure

JB said...

zip!

Justaprole said...

It's better to have a Rip Van Winkle beard than a Robert Van Winkle beard.

pebes said...

damn just missed-

West Van Forest Hump said...

Almost top 10 woo Hoo!!!

Silence!!! I KeeeL You!

ATDT

Anonymous said...

As soon as I stop laughing at the wheel barrow I'll be mid-pack turfbuilder....

Rob said...

Top 20.

luciferyellow said...

I like your blog, but...

Anonymous said...

Goats, wheelbarrows, axes, is this the Mother Earth Blog?

Hey what happened to the "Mennonite Babe"? We request more photos.

Anonymous said...

Ol' Rip has done all the "epic" Catskill climbs,,

Isolation Helmet said...

Snob:

I feel much more smug this morning knowing that I keep a walk behind bakfeets in my backyard.

hillbilly said...

duder

Anonymous said...

There aren't many of those rare, walk-behind unicycles around anymore, because the S&S company clarified their instructions.

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

The video "I like bikes...." was boring but I does lend some historical perspective to the younger readers who may have never seen a public service film from that era.

When their parents tell them about the films they had to watch in driver's education or shop class, there is no way they would believe them without actually seeing them for themselves. Here is evidence of just how boring they were.

But, even though the video was boring enough by its own right! Who was the idiot that placed THREE ads in the middle of it to make it even more boring!

Marcel Da Chump said...

That PSA aired during GIGANTOR, FELIX THE CAT, and SPEED RACER, if memory serves me right.

Kenny Banya said...

DOPE GOAT

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grog said...

GOAT MEAT

Anonymous said...

ROAD KILL

don't delete me bro

JB said...

I think he's running tubeless on the pfar. Edgy.

leroy said...

Centron still hasn't paid me for the song it commissioned for its film:

I like big bikes and I cannot lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with a vintage Schwinn
Or a Ticino instead
You get sprung, if the Brooks is broken in
No need for em-bro-kay-shin
Faux leather? I'm not caring
Cause I'm hooked and I can't stop staring.

(What? I can't recycle?)

leroy said...

Tainted by the stew of another.
Tainted, but the truth is uncovered.
What's been goating on...

Hmmm. Needs work.

Grump said...

This just in...

Floyd Landis has called a news conference about a confession that he has to make in the case against Theodore the Goat.

CommieCanuck said...

I like bikes, but...

The doping has side effects!

Theodore said...

Please give to my defence fund.

CommieCanuck said...

The goat did not dope, he's Christian and American, not like some Godless filthy European.
I will defend this goat on the interweb until he publishes a book admitting the doping,implicating the cows and the sheep.
Then, I will shit all over him in bike forums.
That's how a bill becomes law, nonny mouse.

CommieCanuck said...

Grump, the defence is simple:the goat is a cannibal, raised on goat meat, the other goats were sourced from Spain. He also has a pet dog, who is being treated with ractopamine. I believe he only intended to dope, and he gave 6 thousand euros to Dr. Fuentes for no reason.

Back to the Ferrari farm for Theo.

Theodore said...

You fuckers should leave me alone, I survived CANCER... and now I promote goat cancer awareness.

FETASTRONG

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

That's some fancy tube bending there snob. NAHWBBFS material for sure.

(north american handmade walk-behind bakfiet show)

Anonymous said...

I prefer to "walk behind" my goat.



balls.

I am the clean engine said...

"walk-behind bakfiet"

Fucking brilliant, put that on your amsterdamize picture post.

Hurt myself it was so good, but why the goat reference, the pigs are allowed to do it, so it must be good.

Where is my Clen?

Goatee said...

Since you are back to full snarkiness about Portland, does that mean you won't be moving there any time soon after all?

Anonymous said...

Gotta say both the "model" behind the p-far and goat doper look to have beefy bottom brackets.

Just a casual observation.

crosspalms said...

Glad to see the walk-behind unicycle has a brake. It'd be hell to stop the thing otherwise.

bikesgonewild said...

...what a load of goat shit...ummm, manure, i mean, you could carry in that 'walk-behind bakfiets'...

Eric Bloom said...

I'm on the lamb
But I ain't no sheep

or goat
More Cowbell

leroy said...

My dog claims no one's ever gotten his goat.

I pointed out that folks have been casting pearls before him for years, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to cast ractopamine before him as well.

(Note to self: do not step on any flaming lunch bags left on doorstep.)

bikesgonewild said...

...young lisa sez "dear grandma & grandpa - thank you for the neat new bike - i can hardly wait for summmer !!!"...

...obviously little lisa hasn't heard of cyclo-cross...

Gwyneth Paltrow said...

Keep your handth and armth inthide the mixther at all timeth!

Practically Useless said...

"posting 2,500 word comments to BikePortland about whether the Oregon Manifest bikes were 'practical' enough."

Stop tracking my every move, Bike Snob! Please?

And it was less than a thousand words you big exaggerator.

Buy-cycle said...

I like people but...I have an unquenchable thirst for blood. Top50! Take that decumbent urinators.

Meat Flavoured Soy Shake said...

AYHKMA = All You Haters Kiss My Axe

bikesgonewild said...

...in that video, as the young attractive lisa is honing her driving skills, we see images of a robin drinking from a birdbath (birds) & a honeybee gathering pollen from a flower (bees, duh !!!) & lisa backs over her bike as she comes out of the darkened garage, into the sunlight...

...the socio-sexual implications of such are much too strong to be ignored...

...the 'birds n' bees' thing, i mean, really ???...the implied "...soon to happen..." loss of virginity as she crushes her bike signifying her 'awakening' & a need to move beyond simply pleasuring herself & a driven subconscious desire to have sex, yet because she loved her old bike, it'll be with some cyclo-punk like the kid from 'breaking away'...

...i' just sayin' you can't overlook these 'messages', folks...they're all there, in black & white...

ervgopwr said...

or faded film. That was actually film.

I like bikes. (no buts)

and I like bike butt's (on ladies).

Anonymous said...

AYHQMS

Nogocyclist said...

leroy, in regards to your "Note to self". Yes it was your dog who did that. I had nothing to do with that.

Historical note of significance of my comment: As a child, the kids in the neighborhood (9 or 10 year olds) did this at the Barnett's house. Mrs. Barnett came to the door and stomped it out. She was one of the sweetest women you could ever know, so the kids who did it were a little sad it happened the way it did.

If her husband, on the other hand, had been the one that did it, we would have probably been cheered on by untold thousands. Funny thing, even though we lived right down the road from such a decisive character as recorded in history, we kids just knew him as Mrs. Barnett's husband.

television_writer said...

Ultimate Bicycle Cycling Lifestyle: Episode 4

Duder #1:
Duude! Our Ritte van Stoneygardens aren't selling because the guy I bought them from sold me some baaad frames and word got out.

Duder #2:
Duude, that sucks. My mom won't give me anymore money unless I complete my interpretive Photoshop degree at NYU.

Duder #1:
I told everyone those Dentists and Lawyers were just bitter and didn't know how to ride. Our stuff is cool and Dutch sounding.

Duder #2:
Yeah, only loosers complain when they don't buy our awesome rebranded stuff.
I know what to do dude! We start a new trend, walk behind unicycles! Give it a dutch name and we're back in business.

Duder #1:
Duude! That's great! Except, I don't want to get all dirty and stuff so where do we buy them since we don't make anything ourselves?

Duder #2:
Dude, this is 'Merica! We don't NEED to touch metal alloys and carbon and stuff. That's what poor oppressed people do in China and Taiwan! We make awesome Dutch-sounding stickers!

Duder #2:
Whoaaah. So right dude. So, where can we get some?

Duder #1:
Hey! Here's one on craigslist. A bargain too! Maybe he has more of them. It just needs a Dutch sounding name and Ritte will rise again.

mikeweb said...

@bgw,

Very astute observations.

I wasn't aware that Bergman did film work for the Gentron corporation.

Anonymous said...

@ television_writer

seriously?

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

So shoot me, but I love that 'meat' sweatshirt.

Anyone know where I can get one from? I might even go vegan - Zabriskie-style - for added irony...

bikesgonewild said...

...mikeweb...ya, that bergman guy not only had a deep twisted mind but he hadda finance those 'art flics' one way or another...

Nonny Mouse said...

Looks like "MEAT" is a lefty. He should open a butcher shop and advertise with the slogan, "Nobody beats our MEAT!" (except with their left hand.

cyclotourist said...

LIKE BIKE

GOAT DOPE

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

Maybe I told this one already. One time at work, the subject of my riding a bike to work nearly every day in all kinds of weather came up, and my soon-to-be-ex boss (fun story, but not for this forum) told me that when he was 10 years old, his mom sent him to the grocery for a bag of oranges, which he could carry in his handlebar basket. On the way home, the weight of the oranges upset the handling of his bike so much that "without warning", he went down.

Lesson learned? Not "I suck at riding a bike."; rather "Bikes are DANGEROUS!" The video reminded me of that.

Ben Levy said...

As usual a great posting.

Anonymous said...

So smug.
I've been standing on my Back-Feets every time I've ever palped my Euro-Milktruck.
And if that sumbitch deviates so much as a millimeter from absolute vertical compliance, I slap the living shit outa that muthafugga.

bikesgonewild said...

...told that guy i'd give him $1200 for that 'walk-behind' unicycle but only if it came with a fender...

...i'm no fool, winters comin'...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Boy, that goat picture sure made me uncomfortable. One little mistake, and your friends and family never seem to let it go. Believe it or not, they all still call me "goatfucker" to this very day.

PawnShop said...

That GM/Centron collabo was a companion piece to their other thriller, "I Like Streetcars, BUT..."

PawnShop said...

I like streetcars
They're number one with me
I like their style
They make me smile
They suit me to a "T"
But safetywise
Please realize
Their tracks make Fred Armisen too paranoid to ride a bike

solarpos said...

I like bikes....

but I like that bikini top strong leg woman in the PFar pic more!

skink said...

The fall/winter is the best time
to listen
to GOATS HEAD SOUP.

LK said...

I'd could sure use that walk-be-hind-bake-feets.

leroy said...

Nogo --

My dog says he would have been honored to introduce Mrs. Barnett's husband to the Tupelo Two Step, which is also known as the Oxford Omigosh or the Jackson Jitterbug.

Funny thing though, in Greenwood, he says it's just called Tuesday.

JDH said...

I am glad I waited be the third postager to post about the thick babe behind the p-far. Hommina hommina hommina.

Anonymous said...

About the Pfar babe -- my grandmother actually said, and truer words were ne'er spake:

"Boys don't like thin girls.

They're afraid they'll lose 'em in the sheets."

She was a wonderful grandma, and would be a great, great grandma now, if she'd lived to be about 115.

samh said...

Walk-behind Bakfiets: Good one, Snob.

Bumper sticker said...

Goat dopers need love too.

bikesgonewild said...

...wishiwasmerckx...my, what an insensitive family...

...i'll bet that goat practically seduced you with those big clear, pleading eyes, that soft, gentle provocative bleating, that smooth, silky hair running through your fingers...those cute little cloven hooves...

...'goatfucker' indeed !!!...i'd suggest, sir, that goat only got from you what she asked for...& you lovingly gave her what she needed...

...your family owes you an apology...

ce said...

EPIC POST

ce said...

Snob, I like it that when you Glooble image searched "wheelbarrow"... er, I mean when you went shopping for a walk -behind bakfiets... you didn't settle for the first one you came across, but rather, you thoroughly sifted through the options before finally settling on one of the older, less common, square sided wheelbarrows (walk behind bakfiets) in order to more closely approximate the cargo hull of a traditional bakfiets.

Little details like this really help to clearly crystallise a joke. We do notice and appreciate this, we who over analyse.

JB said...

SIDE BOOB.
STRG LEGS

Anonymous said...

That GM movie is dead right, and I'm surprised snob's so upset with them -- mostly they are making the same complaints that snob regularly makes of the unwashed cycling masses but couched in early 70's prejudices

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Fixie Bikes said...

old psa's man.

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