Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Living Off the Griddle: Look At Me, I'm a Non-Conformist Too!

Like many people, I'm fairly conventional in my lifestyle, and I mostly adhere to society's conventions. I don't shoot at or stab my neighbors. I cover my naughty parts in public. I proffer money in exchange for goods and services, and I never preach loudly on the subway. I am, in short, your everyday conformist schmuck.

However, when I woke up this morning I immediately sensed that something was different. Casting aside my Transformers bedding and opening my Transformers curtains, the sun struck me in a way it never has before. It imbued me with hope, and promise, and a sense of adventure. Opening the window, I stepped out onto the fire escape still clad in my Transformers pajamas and issued forth the following proclamation:

"I reject your rules! I will not follow! There is no authority but yourself!"

Then I noticed my fly was open. Yes! Already I was sticking it to the Man.

Next, to underscore my new attitude, I clambered back inside, cued up a Crass song on YouTube, and spend the next 20 minutes shredding unsolicited credit card offers. It was exhilarating to finally be liberated from the system.

Inevitably though, after any epiphany, the exhilaration gives way to reflection, and the reflection then yields to bewilderment. "Like, so what am I supposed to do with my life now?" And that's when it it me: I will compete in the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships in San Francisco, California:

Costumes! Expensive bicycles without derailleurs! Sponsorship from Pabst Blue Ribbon! Each of these things alone is enough to strike fear in the hearts of the 1%, but when taken together they could very well bring the entire system to its knees! That was it, I was going.

But.

First, I'd have to get on a plane, and it's a long flight from New York to San Francisco--and it feels even longer when you're wearing your Optimus Prime single-speed cyclocrossing costume. And not only is the flight long, but it's also expensive, and I'd just shredded all my credit card offers. Then, I started reading the itinerary for the weekend, and there was all this stuff about qualifiers, and "feats of strength," and a "no-holds barred pre-race party," and...oy, the whole business of irreverence just seemed so exhausting and expensive and, well, businesslike. And that's not even taking into account the time difference. I start crashing at about 8:00pm these days, which is like 5:00pm west coast time, which means I'll be nodding off before the rest of the irony-mongers are even getting started. Plus, I have all this stuff to do, and the holidays are coming up, and like where am I even going to stay? A hotel? Which hotel? I'd stay with the people #Occupying Oakland, but I'm liable to take a rubber bullet to the face. And I don't even think they have turn-down service.

Sigh. I guess I'm just not cut out to be a single-speed renegade. You win this round, Society.

Speaking of irreverence and bike racing, even professional road teams are getting into the act. Consider the team formerly known as Team Saxo Bank-SunGard, who are officially changing their name to "Team Saxo Bank Professional Cycling Team:"

The addition of that second "Team" is just the sort of subtle humor professional cycling needs right now, though personally I think they should have taken it even further by calling themselves "Team Saxo Bank Professional Cycling Team Team," or even "Bjarne's Ballet Ninjas." By the way, the "j" in "Bjarne" is silent, and the "j" in "Ninjas" is also silent, but it really doesn't matter since the whole thing would obviously be just pronounced "LAY-oh-pard Trek" anyway.

Also, in other Establishment Cycling news, Specialized have finally conceded that the bulk of what they sell is disposable:

Yes, today's hyper-expensive Venge frame is nothing more than tomorrow's laterally stiff and vertically compliant crabon coat hanger. The problem isn't even crabon's durability; it's that owners tire of the bikes before they exhibit so much as a single heel scuff on the chainstay. Sure, it's good that TrekCialized & Co. are addressing the whole recycling thing, but none of this addresses the fact that their approach to marketing is basically hyping a bunch of plastic blobs for a year and then coming up with a new shape for the plastic blobs the following year which suddenly makes the plastic blob you're currently riding totally obsolete. The bikes don't have to last. If they really want to be "sustainable" they might as well cut out all the shipping and just put them in the recycling pile as soon as they leave the factory in Taiwan.

But it's wrong to blame the bike companies, since the mid-category mid-pack middle-aged American cyclist is a highly competitive athlete who demands state-of-the-art equipment that can not only withstand up to a dozen months of racing and training but that can also provide him with the technological advantage he needs to finish in 46th place because nobodyelsewouldworkigotboxedinatthesprintididn'thaveanyteammates. But it will all be different next year, because the bottom brackets will be marginally beefier, and we won't have to waste all our energy pushing those mechanical shift levers.

Of course, this is the point at which owners of custom steel bicycles start to feel unbearably smug, but from an environmental perspective the truth is they're even worse. See, even though they're ordering "the last bike they'll ever buy" they still manage to find a reason why they need a new one in relatively short order, which means they put their exotic custom on eBay, which means it gets shipped somewhere, and then the process repeats itself ad nauseum, and since the steel bike is so durable it means that within 10 years the typical custom frame will have changed ownership like 50 times and traveled via UPS the equivalent distance of going from the Sun to Pluto, and in so doing it will have produced enough carbon dioxide to choke 20,000 polar bears.

Yes, trying to be "green" can be maddening, which is why Craig Calfee lost his mind years ago and now spends all his time lashing together pieces of bamboo.

But when it comes to sustainability, you can't beat a solar panel filth prophylactic, and one man wants $50,000 to make this glorified pancake griddle a reality:

Here is his video pitch, which is what film critics call "unwatchable:"


So why would you want a solar panel on your bike? Well, to charge your smart phone of course:

Does it Work?

Last May, an early prototype of the Solarcycle Pro (without a battery) was tested on a 300-mile supported bicycle tour from New York City to Washington, DC. During this ride, the Solarcycle Pro kit kept the smart phone charged the entire trip while everyone else had to rely on finding a wall to plug their smart phone in to. Even when it was raining, there were a few hours when the sun broke through the clouds and it was enough to charge the smart phone. So the answer is, yes it works incredibly well!


I will allow that the typical American cyclist does tax his or her smart phone in a way that few people do. This is because, in order to ride a bike, you have to do all of the following:

--Take photos of the ride
--Take video of the ride
--Take photos of your bike
--Take video of your bike
--"Tweet" about the ride and your bike
--Upload the ride to Strava or similar
--Upload photos and video of the ride and your bike to Facebook or similar
--Order new clothing and accessories for yourself and your bike

I should stress that this is the bare minimum of what you must do, or else the ride didn't happen.

Still, even under this sort of heavy use, your smart phone should last you at least a couple of hours, which should be long enough to get you where you're going. Even if you're riding from New York to Washington, DC, it's not like your motel room isn't going to have an outlet in it. Do you really need to carry a huge waffle maker along with you?

And what about theft? Well, the inventor does address this concern:

Can thieves steal it easily?

This question comes up many times. Protecting any bicycle component, and the bicycle itself is always a matter of judgement. For commuting, after you lock up the bicycle, the solar panel can be detached easily and you can take it with you to charge your USB devices away from the bicycle. If the bicycle is kept in a secure outdoor bicycle facility, then the Solarcycle Delux kit can be left outside to charge the battery in the sun. On long distance touring rides, it is less of an issue because for the most part, your bicycle is with you and/or with your friends at all times.


I can charge my USB devices away from my bicycle now thanks to the miracle of outlets. As for leaving it on the bike because I park in a "secure outdoor bicycle facility," I'm pretty sure the fantasy world in which such a thing exists also has perpetual motion machines, so I'd just use one of those to charge my smart phone instead. In fact, you probably don't need to charge smart phones in that fantasy world. You probably just place them on the horn of a passing unicorn with the face of Steve Jobs and then they work forever.

Granted, though, the solar panel is perfect for my job in the fantasy world, which involves sitting by a pool in the sun all day:

The time on that phone would explain a lot.

90 comments:

Kenny said...

AND THAT'S HOW A BILL, WHICH UNTIL THIS PRESENT TIME HAD JUST BEEN SITTING AROUND WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN, BECOMES A LAW!

grog said...

Solar cycle

Anonymous said...

3rd weed

wishiwasmerckx said...

Just missed the podium.

Anonymous said...

that fuckin bill has finally become a law.
Congrats!

then the typo nazi said...

"...basically hyping a bunch of plastic blobs for a year and then coming up with a new shape for the plastic blogs the following year which suddenly makes the plastic blob you're currently riding totally obsolete."

Although "blogs" is I guess spelled correctly, I think you meant "blobs," rock machine.

That is all.

Ansel Gustafson said...

Hey there, guy. Why dontcha just launch a SSCXWC kickstarter campaign? I'd buy (into) that for a dollar. I'd pay two if you promised not to make a documentary or take a single black and white photo.

Larry said...

What a crap bike!

Marcel Da Chump said...

off the griddle

Anonymous said...

And that's how Kenny podiums by sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Top ten because I'm almost as much of a loser as Kenny with nothing to do at work but check for Snobbie's new blog post.

Lefty said...

Thanks for nothing, Larry.
Stupid teammates.

Anonymous said...

WOw I can use that solar thingy on my pissta I wont have to stop at the cafe to charge my g4 when Im out walkin my pissta..one BI question though does it work in the fog??

drooped by the break but in before the pack ..mr.pissta

Grammar Nazi said...

You "wind" this round, society?

streepo said...

I tried to be a non-conformist once but I couldn't afford the apparel I needed to fit in with the other non-conformists.

Anonymous said...

top 20?


sex goo.

Anonymous said...

who is gonna start..ummm is that curate the first world cycling championships for bloggers?

le Correcteur said...

Top twenty, and read!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Grammer Notzi,

I'm trying to run the blog off wind power.

Anonymous 11:55am,

I am going to launch a Kickstarter for the Cycle Blogger World Championships, an entire weekend dedicated to seeing which bike blogger can not ride their bike the fastest.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Wildcat:

the link for the Optimus Prime single-speed cyclocrossing costume is not here, please provide

ant1 said...

ant1st!

g said...

I would imagine if those 3 folks that pledged a combined $161 figure out how that "google" thing works and find this site they will want there money back. Lazy bastard didn't even put a clock in it or anything.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Here is where I copy and paste the part that made me laugh out loud:


you probably don't need to charge smart phones in that fantasy world. You probably just place them on the horn of a passing unicorn with the face of Steve Jobs and then they work forever.

Ned Schniebly DDS said...

I'm just curious how much that solar panel weighs. I spent 7000 fun tickets on my crabon blob and I want to finish in the top 100 of my Cat 5.5 class (In the 5.5 class there is more lycra than the Cat 6. And I think there is a minimum height on the aero wheels). I wouldn't want to lose the pack and need photos to put on my blog, so I can see how this is a necessity. Dr. Ned Schniebly DDS.

Hungry Panda said...

"If they really want to be "sustainable" they might as well cut out all the shipping and just put them in the recycling pile as soon as they leave the factory in Taiwan."

Fucking brilliant, but then the people in new york would have no reasons for design collaborations.

Solar powered smart pone charger.
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=solar+powered+phone+charger&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=8116986459&ref=pd_sl_8cci9uop87_e
OOOPS, they have a whole section on the amazon interweb with these products. So why does this guy need 50000.00 clams?

Calfee and lashed bamboo are my reason to live.

petrus said...

Plane??!? W.T.F.
Since when do you need a plane to fly to frisco?? A bi cycle works just fine, thank you. and that's $758 for my advice, but who's counting.

Bees blood.

Anonymous said...

WRM-who would have thought back in '93 that the CMC in berlin which became CMWC would be the seed for all these specialized championships.Maybe your kickstarter will have assured sucess if you plan to have it at the CMWC XX in chicago next year.. I would pledge whatever I can get for my G4 AND pissta and my ZO bag at the pawn broker for a chance to watch you and Buffallo go at it in a non riding cappachino drinking blogging event..I can see the judging form now...

BTW what is the pistadex running at..? havnt seen that or a zindex (http://www.movingtargetzine.com/article/zindex-up )in a while...

ringcycles said...

Kenny for Congress: because he's the only guy who seems to know how to pass a damn bill, no one else there now has a clue.

Admiral Longpour said...

Snob,
The SSCXWC itinerary omitted this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTwV3vG73cU

Steven said...

Brought back lay-oh-pard trek. Nice.

Anonymous said...

I am very excited. Picking up a oz of the sticky icky for $200. It is super good, piney, fruity flavor. SIKED.

PNW > NYC

CommieCanuck said...

Amateurs...I converted my cell phone to run on premium unleaded gas, which now makes it as useful for communication as a 400 hp car to drive in city traffic.

VRUM VRUM

Chris Katan said...

You can put your weed in there....

Grump said...

SNOBBY, you really missed the chance to stick it to the man. First, you need to buy a single speed CX bike. Secondly, you need to ride it cross country, to the big race. Thirdly (the most important step), you need to have your helper monkey make a video journal of your "epic" trip.

crosspalms said...

I think Ringcycles is onto something. Kenny for Congress!

Buy-cycle said...

it's tokey time. When will the cycling industry cater for the pot smoking community? Fuck electronic shifters and solar chargers, I demand a mechanism to help grind my kush! Top 34?

Anonymous said...

Sticky icky? i didn't realize snoop dogg read your blog.

Anonymous said...

solar charger is stupid

you would spend most of your time off the bike

so to have this thing work you need to leave both it and the phone on the bike, while you are at work or whatever?

might be ok if you could use it for a shelf or rack

or if it cost about $5

not
wle

leroy said...

"Why would you want a solar panel on your bike?"

Well that's easy. To power the light therapy device the cyclist uses to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Yeeesh. I thought everyone knew that.

EVIL KIWI said...

Hedley Lamarr: "You said 'Team' twice."
Bjarne Riis: "I like 'Team'."

sweatpants cyclist said...

Hey, I wonder if that solar panel makes enough juice to run a Gruber Assist. Tour de Flanders, here I come!!!

Anonymous said...

Mountain bike community has embraced the sensi for quite some time:

Gary Fisher Grateful Dead signature bike.

Some company made a replacement swingarm for the Santa Cruz Bullit that increased the travel to 8", was cromo, and had an integrated pipe.

Risse Racing made a bar end plug that doubled as a chillum.

SMOKE WEED EVERYDAY!

Etherhuffer said...

Hey! I just heard of this new device to get power from a bike called a "bottle generator". I think these things may make the solar panel obsolete!

Anonymous said...

I believe bike integrated weed smoking apparatus is as wack as integrated bottle openers.

If you cannot smoke weed or open a beer with you bike, as is, you are not a very resourceful drunkard/pothead.

Rob said...

Excellent Blazing Saddles reference!

Cortelyou Anquetil said...

I ** did ** boxed in, motherfucker!

And all this negative posting!

CHASE!

Anonymous said...

i love lamp

said bank team of team riders said...

I don't get it.

leroy said...

Conspiracy alert:

According to Elden "Fat Cyclist" Nelson, Bicycling Magazine has a Readers' Choice survey asking, inter alia, whom you would rather ride with: Fat Cyclist or Bike Snob.

It seems obvious that these two celebrity bloggers have consulted and colluded to combine their bully pulpits to cow Bicycling's editors from offering a Paul Reubens or Marty Markowitz option.

And if they didn't conspire, at least I got to use "inter alia" in a post. "Inter alia" -- it makes me giggle just typing it.

Fat Cyclist link with link to survey here:

http://www.fatcyclist.com/

CommieCanuck said...

INTR ALIA

Anonymous said...

spaced the most gratuitous mtb chron reference.

420 bikes.
hardtail frame sold by 3 Canadian shops, Red Shreds, On Top aka On Pot, and I forget the other one. Red Shreds also has matchbooks instead of business cards.

Blog Drafter said...

We are all here by Lob's will, and if it's Lob's will that we:


--Take photos of the ride
--Take video of the ride
--Take photos of your bike
--Take video of your bike
--"Tweet" about the ride and your bike
--Upload the ride to Strava or similar
--Upload photos and video of the ride and your bike to Facebook or similar
--Order new clothing and accessories for yourself and your bike


then, by Lob, it will be done.

Hilarious Snob, I knew I was doing something wrong. I need to start ordering kit mid-ride!

leroy said...

Commie --

At 2:00 in: "INTR ALIA, INTR ALIA, INTR ALIA, INTR ALIA, We love ya, amen."

At least, I think that's what they're saying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f_p0CgPeyA

(BTW -- been running my cell phone on leaded. None of that unleaded stuff for me. In a pinch, you can get a buzz drinking the leaded.)

petrus said...

AYHSMLeaded.

nuph unsed.

CommieCanuck said...

BTW -- been running my cell phone on leaded. None of that unleaded stuff for me. In a pinch, you can get a buzz drinking the leaded.

Oh no, for that, you need to use E85 Ethanol.
Filler 'up...Smirnoff Premium.
I did a similar conversion for my car, one tank holds the E85, the other, Clamato Juice.

HAIL CESR

g-roc said...

You can't spell steel without eel, so you can keep your Lob, I worship the mighty eels who gave their lives to provide me with every bike I've ever owned. Ameh.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Kenny deserves veto power:
KENNY FOR PRESIDENT

BikeSnobNYC said...

Leroy @2:09pm,

Uh-oh, "Bicycling" must be thinking about replacing me with "Fat Cyclist"

--Wildcat Rock Machine

SingleSpeedMark said...

Your fly was open on your pajamas?

CommieCanuck said...

Snob, you should be replaced anyway. They count the number of times you use terms like "beefy", "compliant" and "spin up easily".
BSNYC:
Keep if: you like humor articles you should understand, but don't really get.
Fire if: you want more stories about a housewife who found a Schwinn in her garage and became a MILF in one summer.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12.50

A zip for $200, ha. They can be had round $175 here, and most places will give you some hash or oil to go w/it. Plus we be in the middle, we get the bests from both coasts.
Colorado > the world

Ben Levy said...

In the beginning of your post I got my hopes up you were coming out to San Francisco to visit us. Looking forward to any speaking engagement you might attend in NorCal in the future.

Dave said...

Hey! not only are the Js silent but so is the T in Ballet!

CommieCanuck said...

Dave, don't get hit in the head with an artisanal Mall-ay.

It's BALL-ET, speak American.

g said...

I don't know if this is saying what I think it's saying, but it not that there's anything wrong with that....

"I noticed my fly was open. Yes! Already I was sticking it to the Man."

leroy said...

I confess. The cycling celebrity I would like to ride with is Bob Roll.

Bobke just seems to have way more fun most folks.

But if Bicycling's survey allowed write-in candidates, I would have put in Mr. DogPaw from San Francisco. Now that he's quit bike messengering for investment banking in Silicon Valley, I bet I could hang with him on hills.

Anonymous said...

speaking of transformers... fixie riding robot anyone?

http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/16/view/17651/bicycle-riding-robot.html

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:23.
"I forgot the other one"...
Thats just fucking flawless.
Rollalittlespliffandtakeawhiff.
Pow!

Anonymous said...

dogpaw investment banking? I know he did a video game in the 90's and he has a radio show but I think he is still mission local

leroy said...

Anon 5:35 --

I was just making an educated guess about Mr. DogPaw's current occupation.

It was based on one of those sketches that police artists create from an old photograph to show what the subject would look like today.

In the sketch, Mr. DogPaw is a dead ringer for an investment banker or hedge fund CEO.

Of course, my dog did the sketch and sometimes he's all unopposable thumbs.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I think I'll go make some pancakes.

Anonymous said...

Snobby,
You have inspired me to go mountain biking. On a Trek 930 Singletrack HT no less. With sweet Next rims because the stock Parallax's are grindy and crunchy. There is mild trepedation but I'm giddy.

JDH said...

More pancakes, BITCHES!? 72nd!

Vegas said...

Wow, does that mean that Kenny is now free to tackle the healthcare prob?

It's good to see that Vengialized is finally doing to crAbon what Hungry Panda has been doing to Calfees: consuming big chunks and, after some effort, excreting smaller "refined" pieces.

Anonymous said...

This is wrong, I know it.http://www.cyclingdirt.org/coverage/240442-USGP-Derby-City-Cup-2011/video/517531-The-Best-Handup-Ever

Anonymous said...

Dude,
Transformers pajamas don't have flies....

Anonymous said...

"mid-category mid-pack middle-aged American cyclist is a highly competitive athlete"

...could also be called:

MAMILs
(Middle-Aged Men in Lycra).

Anonymous said...

CommieCan-numbnuts said...
Snob, you should be newly-spangled anyway. I count the number of times you use terms like "beefy"(you), "compliant"(me) and "spin up easily"(we have both done that well).

BSNYC:
Keep if: you like random tumors you get, but don't really feel.

Fire if: you want more of a housewife who Schwinned (verb)in her garage and became a MILF in one hummer.

RemiXXed

JB said...

anon @ 3:52: Mmmm...smug nuggs...

SMUG NUGZ

CommieCanuck said...

Illiterate anon @4:28..come to think of it, my nuts are numb, feel free to suck on then to restore circulation.

steverino said...

"Team Saxo Bank Professional Cycling Team": Tonight they're gonna rock you TONIGHT!

Anonymous said...

"within 10 years the typical custom frame will have changed ownership like 50 times and traveled via UPS the equivalent distance of going from the Sun to Pluto, and in so doing it will have produced enough carbon dioxide to choke 20,000 polar bears."

GOLD SNOBBY GOLD!!! [a day late due to copious Fakebook commitments].

streepo said...

Quick,someone report Bjarne Riis to the Department of Redundancy Department, pronto!

Anonymous said...

Snob
Are you going to up your game with Bicycling magazine?
A lot less articulate and a bit more doo-shay?

Anonymous said...

I think an equally excellent sponsor for Bjarne's team might be the Danish Dept of Redundancy Dept.

Glen said...

If you are thinking of buying one of those solar cell chargers then have a good look at the plastic. The one I bought last year for a Adelaide-Darwin ride (not the brand shown by BSNYC) melted in the heat reflected off the tarmac.

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