Monday, February 13, 2012

Beauty: It's All in the Wrist

Waking up with the sun yesterday, I ingested an "epic" breakfast burrito the size of Cadel Evans's head. "Which ride will it be today?" I asked myself as I carved into Cadel's cleft chin. "The gravel-and-dirt road 'epic?' The smooth-tarmac 100-miler with the panoramic views, winding climbs and sweeping descents? The sublime singletrack sojourn subsumed in the symphonic sounds of nature?" Deciding upon that last scenario, I next adjourned to my bicycle room-slash-workshop-slash-wardrobe (or, if you prefer, my "douche cave"), where I swaddled myself in the very finest cycling attire and selected the appropriate custom made bike. I then rolled to the trailhead mere yards from my home and embarked on one of those rides so pleasurable that it borders on catharsis.

Click here to view my ride on Strava.

Of course, I can't fault you for suspecting that the above scenario is mendacious. But what am I supposed to do? After all, I'm a semi-professional bike blogger, yet my reality is at odds with my vocation. (Assuming you consider dictating bike-themed wiseassery to a touch-typing helper monkey while you wait for your Froot Loops® to get all nice and soggy a "vocation.") What am I supposed to do, tell the truth? How do I admit that I don't have a "douche cave," and that my apartment is so small that I have to take both wheels off my bicycle in order to close the bathroom door? Am I supposed to confess that there is no trailhead mere yards from my home (though I do live in fairly close proximity to a subway station, several manicurists, and a halal butcher)? Do I come clean about the fact that I don't even use Strava, and that if I did last weekend's ride would only look like this?

Then again, it was snowing, and I also got some windburn on my inner thigh, so I suppose it was technically an "epic."

At this point you may be wondering, "If you like to ride your bike and go bicycle cycling so much, then why do you live in New York?" Well, quite frankly, there's more to life than just great weather and easy access to beautiful rides. There's also a little something called "culture." See, New York City is one of the great cities of the world, and while it may not be a cycling paradise we also have stuff like theater, and art, and music. Do I avail myself of any of it? No. Could I afford to do so even if I wanted to? Also, no. Would it be cheaper and more enjoyable to just live in some other city with great riding and visit New York City once a year for an "epic" first-class luxury culture binge? Yes.

But I'm not just talking about "high culture." (I mean "high culture" in the academic sense, not in the Wednesday sense.) There's also the culture that comes free with living in a vibrant and dynamic city. For example, yesterday I boarded the subway with one of my 17 children. (I'd have taken the Big Dummy, but I believe in sparing children from the sorts of "epic" riding conditions that result in crotchal windburn. Also, kids love choo-choo trains, even ones that smell like pee.) As it happens, on this particular trip we were fortunate enough to share a car with an insane preacher. (Yes, I realize that all preachers are technically insane, but in this case I'm using it as shorthand for the ones who don't restrict their insane behavior to churches, temples, mosques, and mental hospitals.) As the door closed behind us and escape was no longer possible, the preacher began to shout at top volume about the following subjects, in no particular order:

--How we all need to stop being evil;
--How men need to stop "going with" men and women need to stop "going with" women;
--How women need to stop raping little boys and men need to stop raping little girls (same-sex child rape was, oddly, not among his concerns);
--China, Israel, the United States, and the complex nature of global politics;
--Rainbows.

Put a suit on this guy and he could have been a presidential candidate--that's how crazy he was.

So, sure, I could move to some other part of the country, but there's nothing quite like the look of delight on your child's face as a deranged individual screams about baby rape.

Speaking of public transit, there's a centuries-old saying coined a few months ago that goes like this:

"If it rains, take the bus."
--Guy who hated my book

Well, "Serial Retrogrouch" informs me that now you don't even have to wait for it to rain in order to take the bus, thanks to this brilliant new invention:

a blue folding bike from espergaerde on Vimeo.

So basically, the idea is that you're riding along on a perfectly nice day when you see an attractive bus stop and think to yourself, "Wow, I'd rather stand around waiting for awhile and then finally get on a big smelly box with a bunch of strangers and--hopefully--a freelance preacher shouting about the finer points of baby rape." So you fold your bike up into something that's only slightly less unwieldy due to the 700c wheel size and before you know it you're on a crowded bus wondering where the hell to put the thing.

Really, I'm not sure why you wouldn't just opt for a Brompton or a Dahon or some other folding bicycle. Sure, I suppose some people are overly self-conscious about looking like a circus bear while riding, but it's certainly no worse than showing everybody your stripy underpants:


Meanwhile, from elsewhere in the world of cycling innovation comes this wrist-mounted rear view mirror, which is being funded via the "Kick Starter" and about which I learned from the inventor himself:



So why a mirror on your wrist instead of on your handlebars or your helmet? Well, to quote the film "Modern Romance" on the subject of wrist wallets, the inventor seems to feel that "It's better to keep it on your wrist." Nevertheless, I must say I have some reservations about this product. In particular, notice the arm motion necessary to use the mirror:

Which just happens to be the same as the hand signal for a right turn:


Or, the hand signal for "flexing your guns," depending on how you execute it:

Clearly then, when using the wrist-mounted mirror, the potential for misunderstandings between cyclists and motorists abound:

(Signaling a turn? Flexing his guns? Asking for the time? About to flip you off? It's anybody's guess.)

Moreover, the gestures vary from person to person. Consider this rider:

Who appears to be making the universal signal for "foffing off:"

Just imagine the consequences when the driver of that pickup beeps his horn at you, you raise your wrist-mounted rear view mirror to see what the fuss is about, and before you know it Cooter's coming after you with an adjustable wrench because he thinks you're throwing him the old "wanking" sign:

Or, consider this scenario, which is even worse:

Trust me, the last thing you want to do when you're wearing full Fred gear and being tailed by an impatient driver is to make the international "tiny pee-pee" sign:

That always ends badly.

Worst of all though, moving the rear view mirror to the wrist greatly limits your creative cockpit expression. Consider the following cockpit spotted recently by a reader in London:

This is the Crown Jewels of cockpits, and what you can't see are the Yeomen who flank it on either side:

The reader was also kind enough to point out that this cockpit has appeared on this blog before, though in that instance the antennae were lowered into the "submissive" position:

Like wine tasting, cockpit-spotting is something of an art, and if you're a beginner you might find yourself confused by such an exquisitely complex setup. To that end, here's a tip: start by following the brake cables, which are really the key to understanding the functionality (or lack thereof) of any cockpit, and which I've color-coded here for your convenience:

See how the brake levers are mounted precariously on the auxiliary stalks? Notice also the handlebar-mounted bottle cage, as well as the downtube shifter which adds a subtle flavor note of retrogrouchery. However, it's the stem (or stems, I count at least four) which are at the heart of this cockpit's beauty:

Just imagine being able to gaze upon this as you ride:


I'd never be able to move my wrist mirror from it.

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

whoopdee dee

theEel said...

weed1st!

Anonymous said...

oh whitney!

Anonymous said...

top 5!

Anonymous said...

4

cycle

Dr. Feelgood said...

Did something happen to Whitney Houston? Top Ten!

Etherhuffer said...

Yowsa!

Name said...

Godammit! Lost the sprint looking at the podium girls!

me said...

Top 10!

Anonymous said...

dude!

Jasper said...

Early doors - not

Anonymous said...

damn. top 12 for huggy?

Kenny said...

WHEW!

For a few seconds there, I thought the blue folding bike could only go west!

Anonymous said...

yessirree!

balls®

4fuxake said...

Not to belabor the point, but...



...scranus!

Quilled and Lugged said...

That single-spacing is hard on the eyes

Anonymous said...

balls™

BikeSnobNYC said...

Quilled and Lugged,

Sorry, I don't know what happened and I don't know how to fix it.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

acquiesce808 said...

congrats on your Malliot Douche.

Quilled and Lugged said...

You can try hitting the HTML box instead of the Compose box above the text writing-space, but only if Vito can decipher the very small wierd stuff that shows up then. Otherwise anything could happen. Or highlight the bad stuff and hit the button that says Tx.
But what do I know, I'm a techno-grouch.

D said...

Top Twenty?
THanks for the post.
Sorry for the shouting.

Vito Bandito said...

MOBZOOTS!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Wrist mirror (roll eyes) When will people stop trying to re-invent the wheel? Every fred knows the mirror belongs on the helment.

Bandobras said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many people find solutions to problems that don't exist. But then again with the wrist mirror you could have a mirror with you when walking too and that could be handy any number of times.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

it's always a pleasure to send you a link and see how you take your metaphorical cleaver and dissect it for us.

Buy-cycle said...

'I realize that all preachers are technically insane'. Amen brother. I also saw a creative cockpit of note last weekend. It had an auxiliary stalks and an integrated crank shaft, but I'm not sure if it was functional because I'm a noob cock-spotter

Dr. Feelgood said...

I am dumping my dentist mirror company's stock in light of the wrist mirror as that device will surely spell the end of the bike helmet division!

McFly said...

I am not saying the sailing lady in the JUST KIDDING caption is MILF, but I also ain't saying she ain't MILF. You heard me. IT might get lonely on that boat. She gets a little hotter each time.

Anonymous said...

That mirror would allow oneself to view one's own 'O' face whilst foffing. Perfect minimalist gift for Valentine's day.

Doug said...

Cat6 1st!

Anonymous said...

Wooo, snub. Roller coaster of a blog today.

From describing your archly hip but severely vexing existence in NYC to wooping ass on oddball bikes and bike accessories.

I am whipsawed, laughing then terrified. Or maybe I'm laughing and confused at the same time. Or maybe just proximately confused and amused.

So did you actually get to ride a bike this past weekend?

bikesgonewild said...

...thank you google, you fucking wads...

...i was safely in the top 20 as a tribute to uncle tullio & fast freddy mertz & google decided to 'relegate' me in their own little e-way...

top 33!!! said...

PODIUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Marcel Da Chump said...

That wrist mirror should catch-on with coke heads.

Vegas said...

COCK PITY

Anonymous said...

Guide to looking cool when adjusting your mirror...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnkefjCES-4

Anonymous said...

Craaaazy Cooter comin atch you

grog said...

Wrist mirror simpler than ceiling mirror. Say hi to the babe for me.

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Blog Drafter said...

A Jamaican guy cornered me in the parking lot/loading area of the local trailhead a couple weeks ago. I had been saying hello to him for a while in a polite, non-comittal way but he decided it was time to play me a "self-curated" song on his truck CD player about how much he loves Jesus. Then he told me how good Jesus makes him feel. It was a hoot; he was totally sincere and totally deranged at the same time, like all sky-god adherents.

McFly said...

That Raleigh is pretty bithcin'. Auxulary Stalks, BikeSnob you have a way of coupling words that is unlike no other, which, in turn, makes you one funny mofo.

McFly said...

Also, I canot spel gud.

Merlin said...

More recumbabae and less cockpit please

Otherwise very funny.

Anonymous said...

Wrist mirror? By the time you lift your arm and adjust the angle of your hand to get the view of what you want, you coulda just glanced over your shoulder. If you need a mirror it's because you DON'T have time to do all that.

Balzac upon Scranus

Anonymous said...

Got a freight train running parallel to the road to sound the horn with that arm motion.

Mirror/Dash said...

If Horses Tire You What Will Footmen DO?

Bill Smith said...

I assume the mirror-adorned cockpit is an homage to Quadrophenia (http://www.quadrophenia.net/).

yogisurf said...

Wrist mirror...phftssssss. A hood mirror I use. I did the epic, extended (16miles) ride to work ride. Extended, since it's gonna rain and I'll have to ride the bus home. No filth condoms...for my wheels.

crosspalms said...

If I had that wrist mirror, every time I looked at it I'd think "wow, time for a shave, and maybe some less stupid-looking sunglasses." Who needs that?

Scranus said...

Cooter

Cooter said...

Scranus

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:22 I'll have to get a wrist mirror for next year. Also one could use the wrist mirror to properly examine one's scranus!

Scranta Claus said...

scrandemonium? scrodium!

Charlie Didrickson said...

If I had one of those wrist mirrors, I would be totally stupid.

Nebraska Bike Commuter (non DWI edition) said...

Dang; I needs to curate me a couple o' them mirror trees for to put on my Scott AT-4. That be stylin'.

loser said...

I'm surprised some loser hasn't mentioned that mounting the wrist mirror on the top of your shoe would allow you to see the underside of people's (ahem) bottom brackets.

Anonymous said...

Wrist Mirrors first appeared during the Fred Revolution of the 80's and quickly disappeared. But now,with a sexy new wrist band, Kickstarter, and a lot more fools in the world; the market might be ready. Wish I would have thought of it, but I've been obsessed lately with perfecting my carbon fiber kickstand.

mr. Wookie said...

The wrist mirror could be used as a toe mirror for a-peaking up metro riding clergy skirts. Sacrilegious subway scranus spying! Oh teh noes!

Anonymous said...

Greetings,buy my lame exploitation
fuel middle aged experimentation

Surely, I may not use it much.
Your coin's mine, now try to touch

That point, Easy picking it doth be
find a spot for an emergency pee

Epic handlebar setups be grim
homemade craftsman unknowingly sin

Cooter for beaver be a nickname
actor nor animal hath no shame

FAQinc said...

Ha as I person that serves douchy freds all day it's good to see a familiar bike on this blog. The bike in question belongs to a very peculiar Mr Johnson who comes in our cycle establishment on a monthly basis to replace broken spokes on his rear wheel which not only supports this set up but also his small(130kg or a 3256lbs pounds converted) frame. On a recommendation that he should purchase a new wheel his reply was that it will ruin the ''look'' of the bike. I think that says enough.

Bob Ryan said...

The wrist mirror combined with the right angle of which the sunlight hits it, could be used to blind motorists anywhere near the cyclist, thereby causing the said vehicle to mow your ass down, dragging you underneath its carriage and into the gas pump at 7-Eleven where you and the vehicle start a catastrophic explosion in which tens of people die. Sounds like a great idea to me...

Would that be something you're interested in?

Anonymous said...

Outta my brain on the 5:15!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Nice map graphic Wildcat.

Toucan Sam said...

Thanks.

w said...

In last Friday's quiz, Dr. Eddy Merckx made the international tiny pee-pee sign, although it was unclear exactly how this would help eradicate the scourge of polio.

crosspalms said...

On the other hand -- or, better, both hands -- wearing those wrist mirrors in the house would be endlessly entertaining for my cats.

The King of Park Slope is not amused said...

Insane preacher posse?

Would not want to meet his juggolos.

Pass the grey poop on.

Alfonzo Cocksuck said...

Are Joe and Barack fuck-buddies?

Cyber bob said...

http://nashville.craigslist.org/bik/2850287570.html

Dooth said...

I'm looking at the man
in the wrist mirror
he needs a shave

Anonymous said...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017493611_greenways13m.html
Notice the picture of Bob Edmiston and his truly seattle-rain-proof-cockpit-o-glory (and motorcycle helmet)

Krys Hines said...

I AM the C...
K

leroy said...

Whenever I'm in a subway car with a mega-decibel preacher, the strangest thing happens.

My cell phone rings. It's God. (Well of course it's God, who else could get through on the subway?)

Invariably, God asks me what the racket is in the background. God then asks me to ask the Preacher to keep it down so that folks can engage in quiet contemplation.

I find this works better than my friend's response which consists of reciting "Highway 61" at a volume and cadence that would do the Rev. James Baker proud.

Oh well, to each his own. Faith is funny that way.

leroy said...

Well of course I meant "Bakker" not "Baker".

It's so easy to confuse Reagan's Chief of Staff with a disgraced televangelist.

Goodness, I can't be the only one to have made that mistake.

crosspalms said...

Speaking of being trapped in a train with a crazy preacher, is Santorum actually in the lead these days? Please tell me the guy doesn't ride a bike; I'd feel dirty commuting tomorrow.

Colnago/Campignolo Poser Duche' said...

So do I only use the alternate right hand turn gesture when I'm riding in the alternate universe. Or can I use it in this reality?

bikesgonewild said...

...is this reality ???...i better start paying attention...

BikeTode said...

Brilliant, sir. Absolutely fecking brilliant.

bikesgonewild said...

...mirror, mirror, on the wrist,
who came up with this new twist,
a worse idea i couldn't resist,
please take this concept & desist !!!
...

Anonymous said...

Could you finally post a blog with a bunch of hot chicks on bikes?

Anonymous said...

Yeah let's hear it to some Daisy Dukes and some crazy Cooters!!!

jimbo said...

All Hail Presidente Rainbow!

Anonymous said...

The jack off hand turn signal is purely the best way to tell those in the posterior position to foff off.

Anonymous said...

Hot chicks stealing bikes would be sweet and I could sync it to my Drive soundtrack.

ce said...

And, the word of the day is... Mendacious.

So there you have it, Bodacious has a shifty coward of a half brother living over on the wrong side of the tracks.

Well, at least this Mendacious character isn't still living in 1989.

ce said...

scranus

Anonymous said...

Snobby
You might have hit the cooter in the right spot.
Plenty of orgasmic pie plates at Park Slope.
Take the kid to get shots *wink* it works well!

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Anonymous said...

I'm a semi-professional burrito eater. The disturbing thing is, there are one-hundred-percent professional burrito-eaters.

Anonymous said...

halal = Islamic for kosher. Who knows that if you don't live in Jew York City?

Anonymous said...

"Slightly less unwieldy"? How come nobody ever says "more wieldy"?
I'm going to ride my bike now, and then look at one-speed t-shirt girl's hooters and wank off. Just thought everyone would want to know.

Translator said...

Like a movie scene,
一枚一枚の写真から、 From the photo one by one,
写真に写っていない写真が直接頭の中に映し出されてくるんです! Photos are not reflected in the photograph is not projected to come directly in the head!

何ということだ! For God's sake!
非常に驚きです。 Is very surprised.

Anonymous said...

Word to the wise: Cockpit-spotting is one (very, very small) step removed from cock-spotting. Whatever gets you off, I guess. I prefer to think one-speed girl in the see-through t-shirt is making that WTF face because she just spotted my cock, not my cockpit.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, when Levi Leipheimer and Bob Roll start telling us incessantly to wear our Road IDs and wear our wrist mirrors while drinking light beer from our Clean Bottles and pretending we, too, could ride Le Tour if only we had a twenty-thousand dollar bike and Lance's chemist and bribe money to beat the doping tests/raps, well, then, we'll all rush out and buy wrist mirrors!

OMR said...

Lovely shoes ! It's perfect for the summer

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

Robert said...

Cooter looks silly.