Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sacrifice: The High Cost of Fred-dom

The McRib sandwich:

Offered for sale only periodically from the McDonald's chain of poison dispensaries, its reappearance is always cause for great rejoicing among the sandwich's many fans.

As for me, I don't get excited about a food that's probably made from carcasses scavenged from animal testing labs.  However, there is one greasy, rubbery, orange-hued slab of meat whose return always delights me, and that glistening patty is Mario Cipollini:

Cipollini's return to the sport is the best cycling-related news I've heard since the last time he returned to the sport, but despite his resemblance to a McRib (right down to the fake grill marks) he wants you to know he's fat-free and has a trunk full of muscle:

“I weigh 90kg, 8 more than when I was in top condition, but it’s not excess fat, just muscle, especially in my arms and trunk. My legs are perfect. I have some little pains in my knee and back, but my motor is good, and capable of standing up to this gamble.”

Translation: "the Cipollini performs flawlessly, with only occasional creaks".

And if you think Cipollini is returning to the sport for his own financial gain, you should be ashamed of yourself, because the fact is he's doing it in the interest of medical science:

Cipollini also grandly explained that he would make himself available for scientific research, “to understand what changes there are in a high-level athlete with the passing of years.”

Though it really doesn't take a scientist to figure out that those changes mostly involve dramatically-increased oil production:

(Cipo's constantly increasing unctuousness flies in the face of the "peak oil" theory.)

Of course, Mario Cipollini is best known for two things.  The first is on-the-bike suntanning:

And the second is sprinting.  However, with the selflessness of an olive oil-drenched Buddha, Cipollini insists he will act as a leadout man for his teammate--though whether or not he actually sticks to that promise remains to be seen:

(Who's leading out whom here?)

Speaking of creaky old Italian things that are way past their expiration dates, not only is Colnago still selling bicycles for some reason, but they're now going to offer a bike with dicks breaks:

Unfortunately, this may be too little too late, for Colnago lost their Fred Appeal years ago at the dawn of the Oversize Era when they resisted the move to 1 1/8-inch head tubes.  Nowadays the discerning Fred prefers brands like Scott, Cervélo, and BMC, as you can see in this Wall Street Journal article that was forwarded to me by a reader:

Indeed, it's hard out there for a Fred.  First, you've got the grueling race schedule consisting of four to six races:

...Mr. Nicholas trains for four to six USA Cycling-sanctioned races per season, with the goal of placing in the top five to 10 in his 45-50-year-old age group.

Which of course requires dedicated overtraining:

At least three mornings a week, Mr. Nicholas is in his basement by 5 a.m. riding on his trainer, a piece of equipment that makes it possible to ride a bike while it remains stationary. He rides for an hour while watching financial news. Two days a week, he takes an hourlong spin class at the gym during his lunch break. On Saturdays, he rides his mountain bike on the trails by his home for about two hours. On Sundays, he rides his road bike for three hours, covering between 50 to 60 miles.

And then you've got the expenses:

Mr. Nicholas owns three bikes, which he has augmented with add-ons like a Garmin 500 bike computer and racing wheels. Including the extras, his Scott Addict R3 road bike cost $6,000; the Cervélo P2C time trial bike cost $5,000; and his BMC mountain bike cost $3,000. His CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer cost about $300. Mr. Nicholas spent $250 on each of his two helmets—one is more aerodynamic for time trial racing. Road bike shoes cost $350 and mountain bike shoes $200. Jerseys run about $150 a piece, bib shorts are about $200 each and winter tights cost $250 each. Mr. Nicholas spent $300 on his winter biking jacket. Race fees are usually around $30.

But while all of this may sound like a lot of time and money, it all adds up to results:


At this rate he'll get that automatic Cat 4 upgrade in about two more years.

Of course, you could always just ride and even race your bike without worrying about all that "training" stuff, but then how could you be sure that your ride actually happened?  At the very least, you need GPS data, wattage data, and video evidence, as in this photograph via the Twitter:

("Wait, what forest?  All I see are trees.")

I wonder if the Fredericks of the 19th century used to ride around with sextants and those old-timey accordion cameras on the cockpits of their pennyfarthings--though I suppose it's it's not nearly as excessive as a water bottle cage that costs over $8,000:

At first glance that may seem like a lot of money for a water bottle cage, but it's really not when you factor in the free shipping:

Plus, you can always finance the cage with a bike loan, as spotted by a reader at the NAHBS:

This really puts the "American" in North American Handmade Bicycle Show, since there's nothing more American than a vehicle that's owned by your bank.


Dr. Feelgood said...

Podium, scranus!

grog said...

need a bike loan.

Doug said...

Cat 6 1st!

petrus said...

Top Fred I!!

le Correcteur said...

Damn; not podium. A bee flew into my helment!

Dave said...

I myself have a Bottle cage that cost upwards of $7.99

pebes said...

top ten

Anonymous said...

tooop teeeeeen?????

Matt said...

Top ten and I read it!

mikeweb said...

If I was Cipo, I would've podiumed.

Matt said...

I lust after that water bottle cage. If I do Bill Me Later, I can save ten bucks! That'll help offset the customs duties, which aren't included.

I wondered what sort of exotic materials it is made out of: nylon. Also, apparently it's made in HR. I always wondered what they did all day in Personnel. Here I thought they were monitoring me fucking off reading BikeSnob!

Nogocyclist said...

I would have been here sooner but I had to take out a loan.

le Correcteur said...

I need to get one of them expensive helments; the bees come in the front air vents and exit the rear. No panic; podium finishes; a bargain at $250.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha!
Thanks for taking a shot at fat dons ego exhibition.

DerZoots said...

Top 15?

Buffalo Bill said...

The bank called and the colnago is a go, but they won't give me a brake on the downpayment.

Anonymous said...

Out of the lead pack again?
Where are the PEDS?

Anonymous said...

I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a bottle cage today.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...


Bill Me is gross. Don't do him. Now or later.

We can get you the 10 bucks and save you the lifelong pain and humiliation.

grog said...

got the loan.
ordered the bottle cage
and a case of PBR.

Anonymous said...

A Wall Street titan who trains and races is not a "Fred".

He is a "______"

I have my choice choice, what are some other?


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"He rides for an hour while watching financial news."

As if riding the trainer isn't boring enough by itself.

mikeweb said...

Assuming that Mr. Nicholas works on K st. In DC with the rest of the lobbyists, his commute by bicycle would be about 16 miles each way.

The article doesn't exactly say if he commutes by bicycle or not, but I'm assuming since it doesn't that he probably drives that giant SUV in his driveway to work.

So instead of getting in about 150 base miles a week and getting to and from work all at the same time, he chooses to get up earlier than the average dairy farmer for the privilege of riding in his cellar like a gerbil on a wheel. And he does that on his time trial bike.

Just checking.

Anonymous said...

the funny thing is, someone probably would pay $500 for a superlight bottle cage. dude you've got to get one of these, it ways less than 1 gram, it's amazing.

Anonymous said...

That Fred-pit also came with the Di2 remote shifter. You know the one that makes pushing a button more convenient by removing the "must move arm" from his thought process.


Paul Bowen said...

The price of the bottle cage is a typo or joke, yes? Please?

mikeweb said...

Question about the Fredly electro-pit:

If that's a wireless SRM, isn't it not necessary? I know that Garmin model can communicate with wireless power meters, collect the data and even display it in real time.

Also, when the EMP happens, will it just disable all of these devices (including the ability to shift gears), or will it also cause the rider's head to explode?

theEel said...


Anonymous said...


some jerk from the East Bay said...

This is my favorite comment from the disc brake article:

"Oh god if this is the way cycling is going I am seriously gonna have to start saving. Disc brakes on road bikes IS the future. MORE MORE MORE!"

These dorks are excited because it's expensive. What a bunch of tools.

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

That water bottle cage is labeled incorrectly. It's not a bottle cage at all, it's a Mario Cipolinni Signature Edition Top Tube Mounted Junk Containment Unit. And yes it is worth every penny. They also make a stainless model that is $10,983.98. No corrosion that way.

Anonymous said...


Brian A. said...

I had the same initial thought as @mikeweb, but I think it is some sort of Fred law that miles spent actually getting to a concrete destination are by definition "junk miles." What would his race bros think if they checked his Garmin Connect stats and saw how much a few stoplights and panniers can slow down his average speed!?

Anonymous said...

all greased up and ready to go:


Anonymous said...

"Junk miles" what a Fred concept. I think junk miles pulling my kids in a trailer are better training than training.


some jerk from the East Bay said...

I'm waiting for the new "Raod Knobbie" tires.

Sure they're heavier than the road tires your using now, and they won't perform as well, but we've found knobbies to be quite effective off-road and are excited about the possibilities of their application in the road racing environment.

It's telling that they're focusing on the tri-bike market.

Keith Earickson said...

sure is a lot of honkies in here

Anonymous said...

@MikeWeb - You left out one crucial part about this: There is a network of dedicated and paved bike trails from the center of Vienna to DC and you can do nearly the entire ride without riding on the roads. It's about 18.5 miles from my Vienna home to my job in NW DC and it takes about an hour and change. On dark winter nights, I bring my bike home on the Metro. I've had my bike on the trainer once this winter. Because trainers are hateful.

Hairy-legged roadie said...

From the WSJ article: "Each Sunday, the couple sits down to discuss the week ahead and coordinate workout schedules."

They must have a really big table to accommodate their narcissism. I only hope their kids aren't doing junk miles on their tricycles.

Anonymous said...

Every once in a while, McDonalds trots out the McRib in an attempt to attract more McNegroes to their stores.

The ghost of George Washington said...

Anon 1:54, you can also detour to Mt. Vernon on those same trails.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Hooray! Briko Stingers make a nostalgic guest appearance on BSNYC. Anybody else have an old pair stuck in the back of a drawer somewhere?

Faceman said...

The McRib is so 2000 and late. It's now the McRibster. It's the unexplainable yummy goodness, like Cavendish or Guardini (if there needs to be an Italian reference).

wishiwasmerckx said...

Can somebody please tell me why my current Campy brakeset is possessed of inadequate stopping power to such a degree that I need to weigh down my steed with an awkward, ugly, heavy disc break?

Anonymous said...

Junk miles are almost as important as butt miles. You've got to toughen up both before you start doing any real training. Any pro level Fred knows this.

Marcel Da Chump said...

"flies in the face" of Cipo...

Cipo said...

eating pussy

Udder said...

I want to know where I can buy some credit default swaps on the bike loans before they go bad.

Herzog said...

The WSJ teaser on the front page actually labled that Fred as a ''winter warrior''. Cuz he cycled all winter long. When I found out his riding was mostly indoor I knew snobby would be able to lambast this guy. And the prices of those bikes! Yikes I spent less then a grand on mine and keep up with all the studs in the local rides. Save your money folks.

Anonymous said...

"Yikes I spent less then a grand on mine and keep up with all the studs in the local rides. Save your money folks."

You keep up with all the studs in one way but not in all the other, more important ways.

leroy said...

Welcome back.

Tried to convince my dog that he should hang out in the freezer per your suggestion last week.

He wasn't buying it unless I went first.

Did you know the light doesn't stay on when you close the door?

Color me surprised.

mikeweb said...

@anon 1:25,

Pervert of the Day?

That's every day for me.

Brian said...

When I see someone out on a winter training ride wearing bib shorts (Rapha's pro-team's, no less; I didn't know they had a Cat 5 program too), arm warmers, and a short-sleeve jersey, for some reason I don't really think that makes him especially dedicated or a winter warrior or whatever.

Does someone from Minnesota care to chime in on this point?

bikesgonewild said...

...checked out a buncha fotos from the tapei bike show & ernesto's disc-braked c-59 italia doesn't look bad for a molded plastic road bike but after spending 2 days looking at beautiful handbuilt wonders up in sac-of-excremento, that colnago ain't got nearly the panache...

...& i actually like colnagos...

eric said...

thanks for the NAHBS pics !

Buy-cycle said...

weednesday. top 10?

Huey Neutron said...

Every once in a while an anonymous commenter (1:56) trots out his penis envy.

Anonymous said...

Bike boom 2.0?

I imagine if bike loans become commonplace: demand for bikes will increase, causing prices to rise to ever more astronomical levels.

Anonymous said...

Since when is 5'11", 174 "lean and light"?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So, with schmucks like Nicholas, who apparently has much more money than sense or talent, getting the attention in the press, is it any wonder non-cyclists think we're a bunch of elitist morons??

Jed said...

I laughed so hard everyone in McDonalds turned around. Even the McMexicans.

leroy said...

How I know it's Spring:

1. Saw police stop cyclist in Prospect Park Saturday. (I asked whether they're ticketing and got impression they're applying the "if you buzz pedestrians standard").

2. Saw NJ driver back into road bikes twice while attempting to parallel park in front of Piermont scone purveyor on Sunday. No bikes got hurt, but driver made sure to check her bumper to see if it got scratched.

3. Followed herd of Razor Scooters spread across Westside Highway Bike path and knocking down the pedestrian crossing signs. Kind of like gymkana.

4. Got dropped by young lady in gingham dress with small dog named Toto in handlebar basket. Okay, made that last one up. But it could have happened.

bikesgonewild said...

...leroy...that chick's red sidi's shoulda hipped you to what's up...

Anonymous said...

@anon 1:56 PM

You must be a dick.

mikeweb said...


I saw a bicycle cop writing a ticket to a female cyclist this a.m. on 6th ave across from Macy's. I assume she went through a red, and probably barged through a crosswalk full of rush hour pedestrians in the process. They were both taking up most of the bike lane where they were stopped, so I had to take a peek and scoot to the right to get around. She was whining loudly in a high pitched voice.

If the cops want to enforce a 'pedestrian buzzing' standard to ticket writing, so be it. At least it's enforcement that's targeted to actual unsafe behavior instead of the B.S. that happened last year.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Cipollini porno?
Funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

Say you don't want it
You don't want it
And cipo slips it right on in

Anonymous said...

Rodania !

Jasper said...

@wishiwasmerckx said...

Hooray! Briko Stingers.

I'll have yours if you don't want them. Retro-tastic. You can keep the curls though.

Matthew said...

Unless he's got some wonder crabon wheels Mr Nicholas was totally robbed when he spend $6k on an Addict R3.

J Mertz said...

Oh you gotta see this!

Motherfucking Bike [HD]

leroy said...

Mikeweb -- hope it's just the "don't buzz pedestrians" standard.

I asked the Prospect Park cops if they were ticketing that day. One replied "we ticket every day," and walked away with no eye contact.

The other explained they were out because the park was filling up and folks needed to be careful. I agreed that made sense.

We were standing in front of a light.

There was no one else around, and when we were done speaking, I rolled off through a red. I saw them later, and slowed then rolled with them through a few reds -- again with no pedestrians around.

On the other hand, I had to swerve on two laps to avoid a different police cruiser coming the wrong way along the East side of the Park.

This legal enforcement stuff sure is confusing. I think I'll ask Marty Markowitz to ride with me and explain it.

leroy said...

And speaking of confusing -- the north side of the Manhattan Bridge is open again. I got directed there this morning. There are still construction bridges over the bike path though.

Why am I always the last to know this stuff?

McFly said...

Ya'll's town seems pretty neat. I watched SUPER CITY: NEW YORK on the learning channel and then I caught the documentary by Nelson George titled Brooklyn Boheme which was also very cool. Turns out Snob has been complaining about gentrification and he is not even black.

ervgopwr said...


Anonymous said...

I think we're stretching the boundaries of Fred-dom here. He has decent cycling style, and actually uses his expensive equipment and trains a lot. If his racing results aren't there does that automatically make him a Fred? I think not. However, he is definitely a DOUCHEBAG.

JB said...

No matter the racing results, he's a Fred, by my metrics.

zoomer said...

Bad credit, couldn't get a biek loan, had to take the bus. Scranus!
Weed Panties

McFly said...

If you fill out the loan app as a Replacement Horse the ASPCA will get you locked in at 3.25%, it's a loophole.

Anonymous said...

Yo, BikeSnob, here's an ad just begging for the treatment....

dude is in the second full cycle (it didnt sell in the first round) of trying to sell a carbon "merckx" seatpost for $600... it's just re-labelled selcof worth prob $30 without the Merkins lettering on the side....


Seems a tad defensive for a jackass trying to make $550 off a seatpost... anyway, here tiz:
dude is in the second full cylcle of trying to sell a carbon "merckx" seatpost for $600

tubasti said...

If he doesn't get upgraded, there's always Everest.

2wheeler said...

How Gracious of Cipolinni, but I think we already know what happens when elite athletes get older; they get slower.

Artisanal Pain said...



Never C-sis to A-
Maze me! Cycling isuch
A wonderful wonderful
Sport. Merci pour le


Anonymous said...

by the way: is there any german translation of all the bullshit you´re publishing as a book?

Spence said...

How could you insult the McRib like that?

DerZoots said...

@ Anon 7:43
Ten races?
He bought all that shit for TEN races.
Any normal "heavily invested" cat. 4 will have ten races by the end of April mind May at the latest.


wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 10:24, I'll sell you mine for $550.00

leroy said...

Anon 10:24 --

Ignore wishiwasmerckx.

My dog will sell you a post for $499.

But you have to wait for the paint to dry.

He initially spelled the name "Merck" (he's a big fan of their products) and had to cross it out and start over.

Something similar happened with the "Born To Loose" tattoo he talked me into.

amarklin said...

Except for Jens; but I'm willing to admit he's probably some type of mutant...

amarklin said...

Except for Jens; but I'm willing to admit he's probably some type of mutant...

me said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm... McRib.

Large Penis said...

Hey! Those "accordion cameras" are not "old timey", just large format!

Anonymous said...

Bears aren't like fixed gear hilptsers. They actually do have a body thermometer and will come out even in the dead of winter if the weather gets warm enough for normal activity.

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

Give the guy a break. He is obviously enjoying himself, and not trying to impose his choices on anyone. So he's rich and spends a lot of his money on bike stuff. Better than coke. That fact that he keeps at it with results like his means he's in it for the fun.

g-roc said...

Okay, 36+ hours and no one's called you on it. Disc "breaks"? I was looking for the misspelling in the article. Nope; spelled correctly. My brain is trying to pretend it remembers some obscure Colnago/Break collabo article. I dunno.

tubasti said...

Ya know, I didn't mean to ridicule the subject of the WSJ article. It's that the Wall Street Journal believes his story is so unique. These people (WSJ reporters) live in a pretty small world.

Benjamin Marcus Raucher said...

Funny points made here

Benjamin Raucher

Nationwide Auto Loan said...

considered what kind of unique components it is created out of: plastic. Also, seemingly it's created in HR. I always considered what they did all day in Employees. Here I thought they were tracking me banging off examining BikeSnob!

OMR said...

Lovely shoes ! It's perfect for the summer

mieledi said...

This is a good article, I think you will like it, christian louboutin will continue to pay attention to it.

Robert said...

The rib-which or whatever doesn't even taste good.

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