Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dispatch from the Road: Keeping it Short

One good thing about traveling is that it disabuses you of certain stereotypes and misconceptions.  For example, like most people, I always thought England was just a quaint nation of slow-moving, overly polite tea-slurpers whose biggest source of anxiety is gardening and who solve mysteries in their ample leisure time.  As it turns out though, this isn't true, and indeed life moves very quickly here.  For example, just yesterday at the Brooks factory, Eric "The Chamferer" Murray deftly whipped me up a saddle in a matter of minutes:


Just a few hours later it was on my bike:


And no sooner than this morning I was breaking it in via liberal application of rain, mud, and posterior sweat in the countryside outside of London:


My guide was Jack Thurston of The Bike Show, who was kind enough to indulge my sluggishness.  See, some mornings your legs feel like they came from the "Serious Crisps" box, and other mornings they feel like they came from the "Funny Crisps" box:


This was definitely a "Funny Crisps" morning:


Indeed, as they say around these parts, I felt like I was "Up Fuckfield Lane," but that's only because I was:


By the way, if you look closely, you'll notice someone has indeed etched the missing "F" in the grime on the sign:


I can assure you it wasn't me, but I can't assure you I wouldn't have embellished it had I remembered to carry a Sharpie.

Despite the heavy legs I enjoyed the ride tremendously, and I got to see all manner of English countryside porn, including but not limited to thatched-roof cottages, really old pubs, nonplussed livestock, rich people in Land Rovers, and of course a bush shaped like a dog's head:


Then, in high non-"epic" style, we took the train back to London:


London's streets are confusing for an out-of-towner, and they're doubly confusing for a stupid out-of-towner, and the latter is the category into which I fall.  Nevertheless, I had it pretty much figured out how to get back to my hotel--until I ran into this gigantic protest march:


I think it was either an #Occupy march, or else they were fed up with their free healthcare, but either way the street closure forced me to revise my route and it ultimately took me something like 19 hours to travel three-quarters of a mile.

In any case, at 5:30pm local time I will be at Look Mum No Hands!


If you're in the neighborhood I hope you will join me.

97 comments:

Anonymous said...

First?

Jasper said...

Early doors!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Huh?

Jasper said...

At least you got a ride in a nice part of the world - but I guess no-one warned you to watch out for the muck spreaders

Ed said...

t10

Anonymous said...

Uckfield lane. Classic.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

That is not a bush shaped like a dog's head.
It is a floating big green arrow in a prison yard.

hillier99 said...

Top ten scranus!

RANTWICK said...

Top Ten?

mikeweb said...

Too busy chamfering.

Coincidentally, I was conceived on _uckfield lane.

Anonymous said...

Panties

Piskian said...

Nice arsecrack that chamferer drew on the cycling gent on your Bro"ll"oks nutcrusher.What a two-pot screamer....

Anonymous said...

Panties! Short ones.

hillier99 said...

Jasper, once again, your doors were early. Just not quite early enough...

Anonymous said...

Your Brooks aint level, pilgrim.

Pannon egyetem bringa said...

your saddle is awesome.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 11:06AM,

My Brooks is fine, it's the world that's off kilter.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

wishiwasmerckx said...

So you met Eric "the Chamferer" Murray. Did you also meet Jack "the PK" Ripper as well?

crosspalms said...

Snob, I'm disappointed you didn't include pix of your other traveling companions. Looks like a jolly group.

David Millar said...

"My epiphany came in that police cell: I realised I was about to lose everything and it didn't bother me, not in the slightest. I'd come to hate cycling because I blamed it for the lie I was living."

Steve Hays said...

Just missed top twenty.

Anonymous said...

I once knew a girl with a bush shaped like a dog's head...

SaddleAmericana said...

a bunch of things i'm envious about: i want a customized brooks saddle that i can ride on "(f)uckfield lane" while eating funny crisps -- but only the kinds with lots of flavor powder to lick off my fingers afterward...

Anonymous said...

The British will never live down the Austin Power's reputation with snack characters with bad teeth.

Perhaps the seat should've said "world trawlerer," due to your dragging ass on the ride.

Marcel Da Chump said...

A custom Brooks for "the Legendary Bike Snob"...you might need a bigger helment.

jno62 said...

I know it's going to be a good day when Snobby has me snorting coffee out my nose in the first paragraph.

Well done, Sir.

Jasper said...

"hillier99 said...

Jasper, once again, your doors were early. Just not quite early enough..."

Cav I ain't.

Paul Bowen said...

I ride past the Met dog training school (the place with the dog's headge, whch I honestly haven't noticed before) most Saturdays - it's part of Dulwich Paragon and a bunch of other clubs's standard club run. Fuckfield too, and if you want to cool down after that, there's North Pole Lane. We also go down Jackass Lane most weeks, in an orderly manner.

timsfuelapocalypse said...

Look mum no hands is well jank

Anonymous said...

That's one butt-ugly seat (yes, I called it a seat, not a saddle, because it's like the seat of my pants--I may do things besides sit on it, but it's still the seat of my pants, not something that goes on a horse.) That seat looks like something that could give you a rivet-wedgie and bust your balls at the same time. But hey, gotta suck up to the sponsor. . . .

Serial Retrogrouch said...

just to clear up something, going to a small island and a slightly larger peninsula does not a world traveler make.

perhaps the chamferer is predicting your future!

Alon in CR said...

That's one ugly saddle-bag! What, you couldn't get a custom Brooks saddle-bag as well? Jeez...

Paul Bowen said...

TIM: don't know what jank means but if its anything like "tea, weak and overpriced" I agree.

Paul Bowen said...

WRM is in the building.

Paul Bowen said...

And the tea's getting stronger.

Paul Bowen said...

More tattoos than I expected.

Jasper said...

Ooo, live commentary, just like Cyclingnews - top stuff Paul. Keep us posted on the composition of the breakaway.

crosspalms said...

Paul Bowen, live-blogging the London BRA!
Thanks!

Paul Bowen said...

Mic tapping

Paul Bowen said...

Bret "a great cyclist".

mikeweb said...

Paul,

Please comment on any bruises, bandages, blood stains, etc. left from Eric's fists and chamfering knife. Custom saddles come with a price I hear...

Jasper said...

If you get a chance for any heckling on our behalf - go for it

Lanterne Douche said...

I missed the sign-in!

Too busy gawking at plumbing porn over at Fyxomatoilet ...

Captain Hardbread said...

I can see your coin slot I'm having minced meat for lunch ta-ta

Paul Bowen said...

Commuting "savage'.

Anonymous said...

Paul - I want to hear the finish in just like Paul Sherwen / Phil Liggett would do it!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Whilst in Jolly Old England, one might hear: "Hey, you kids get off of my lawn," which translated into American English means roughly: "Hey, you kids get off of my lawn."

Paul Bowen said...

People at bar need to stfu

Jasper said...

wiwm - That is more likely to sound like 'f*ck off out of it you little tossers'

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Jolly good!

Nice saddle, actually looks good on your travel bike -congrats.

That's a great picture of the Cannibal on the bike show blog. It does look like Elvis and Ali.

McFly said...

1) ALWAYS carry a Sharpie.

2) Why does Eric "The Chamferer" Murray wear his pajama's to work?

3) Paul B, history dictates he will need assistance with his slide show. Ya'll probably have different plug ins.

Fav British comment said...

Sorry, old horse...

Fav British skit said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T70-HTlKRXo

Billy said...

No less than *four* of the top 10 image search results for "chamfering knife" are BSYNC.

Flambullient said...

What the hell are the other six for?
Sorry, too lazy to do it myself.

Anonymous said...

Mucking about on tiny islands is fine and all, but out here we are getting ready for "serious" cycling

CALI TOOR

Leo Kottke said...

I wish I had a tiny island

grog said...

Every saddle should have gas vent holes. Pip pip cheerio.

bikesgonewild said...

..."...no man is an island..."...

...& the white cliffs of dover have never been chamfered...

Rona Douche'bagg said...

Is recumbabe enlish?


Will BSnyc be 'coupling' with recumbabe while he is visting GB?

Requiring third grade minds want to know?

And would also like to view the video several times.

Anonymous said...

Public service employees all over the place protesting today. Nice to see that you experienced typical British spring weather, as we are still....

A bit further from the Smoke and you'll find all sorts of Magna and Parva place names, amongst others. There used to be a place called Lost further north, but it was renamed because people kept stealing the sign.

hey nonny mouse

Third sun from the stoned said...

***HEY SNOB BE CAREFUL OVER THERE***

Apparently London Bridge is falling down right at this very moment!

Anonymous said...

Is it possebre that wcrm is scoping out stuff for future olrmpic covridge ??

Paul Bowen said...

Back in the office now. Had intended to do some work but there was free Slag beer (that's not me being judgmental, it's the actual name of a very fine product) so what are you meant to do?

WRM was excellent: funny, pithy and quick on his feet - I laughed loud and unabashed on several occasions. Then afterwards there were canapes (canapes!) and the aforementioned Slag. So basically at a BRA you get like 30 minutes of good stand-up on a subject that's not usually dealt with beyond cliche by other stand-ups, followed by free Belgian beer and snackage. For free. If you know a better deal go get it. The only slightly discordant note was that he took my books from me and vandalised then for some reason but y'know great artists have their foibles and it was a small price to pay.

Thanks again for coming over WRM.

McFly said...

Your rivet is not centered. It is making my OCD flare up like a clickin' pedal.

Paul Bowen said...

McFly@1.29 There was a moment of slide related awkwardness but he retrieved the situation within, oh, 17 minutes? A Sharpie was indeed the weapon of choice for book vandalisation.

McFly said...

Thanks for the hard-hitting in-depth updates. You seem like a pretty cool dude. Quit gushing.

Frederick Douchae' said...

Hey snob. While you are on the other side of the pond you should look up that U2 singer guy Chaz Bono and do an interview. Ask how it is he gained like 270+ pounds (not sterling) in such a short period of time.


PS - and ask him what he thinks of South Park voting him the biggest POS in the entire universe.


Thanx Dude

Anonymous said...

You get free beer?

O-M-G!

cycle

Paul Bowen said...

I drink, I gush.

Anonymous said...

I'll trade my peeling scab for your trip in England? Then the half bike day?
I add a please in there too?

bikesgonewild said...

...mr bowen..."...So basically at a BRA you get like 30 minutes of good stand-up on a subject that's not usually dealt with beyond cliche by other stand-ups..."...

...that's a decent assessment of what i experienced also & what's nice about it, is that the bra adds a face & personality to the blog from whence this whole thing precipitated...

...& while i'm sure, during his travels, bsnyc/rtms/wcrm misses mrs snob & the growing snobulette, he does seem rather comfortable in his role deployed before the assembled throngs, wouldn't you say ???...

crosspalms said...

FREE BEER

Thank god there was none of that at the Chicago BRA, they wouldn't have known how to handle that many people. Getting a free ass-saver was much better. (Lies, utter lies, I feel so snookered. But we also got a 16-mile ride into a cold headwind, which is also not at all like free beer, dammit)

Anonymous said...

When's the BSNYC cruise?
I hear the Costa Concordia is available.

Quilled and Lugged said...

Canapes? From a bunch of London hipsters? What is the world coming to?

Anonymous said...

If you just glance at that complimentary saddle it looks urine/diarhea stained. Steve Tilford goes through a lot of cables.

Paul Bowen said...

@bgw Yup, lad's a natural, the stage is his home.

Herrmann Borhing said...

Is that complimentary Brooks saddle clad in human leather?

Sure looks like it to me!

Anonymous said...

that is a butt ugly stack of spacers and high-rise stem

McFly said...

STAYING ABREAST OF STAGE 5 GIRO ACTION!!!(This just in): OK kids @ 15.4K to go there are live action shots of PETA TODD and her breasts walking wearing fabulous "Big Celubutard Sunglasses",(her head not her breasts, which are as big as heads, baby heads anyway)

Comment deleted said...

McFly: "Your rivet is not centered. It is making my OCD flare up like a clickin' pedal."

Man, that is one simile I can relate to!

Fuggin Shimano dual-purpose click generators...

Anonymous said...

I saw the S&S couplings and I JIMPed.

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

Ain't no countryside porn like English countryside porn, if that's you thing. Also, I see that the chamfering knife is more of a chamfering chisel. I'm just not clever enough to make anything funny outta that. I guess that's why I live where I do.

Alasdair said...

PICKLED ONION MONSTER MUNCH!!!!!
NOM NOM NOM!!!!

Alasdair said...

PICKLED ONION MONSTER MUNCH!!!!!
NOM NOM NOM!!!!

Anonymous said...

Seeing those chips makes me wish they'd bring back Cheetos Paws. :(

Anonymous said...

London A to Z (zed) will get you anyplace in London.

Anonymous said...

FREE SEAT

DOGS HEAD

UCKF IELD

ERIC RULZ

SLAM STEM

TALL STAK

ce said...

Paul Bowen 11:53, given all the club riders taking that route, perhaps the missing letter is "S" for SUCKFIELD LANE.

ce said...

Snob, stay clear of all all those Land Rovers. Don't let the last words you hear be a paramedic in classic BBC World Service announcer voice calling in: "...run over by a Rover on the flyover near Dover. Over".

As great as that would be.

Bryan Petersen said...

Thanks for coming to London and sharing with us your new book.

Bryan Petersen London/Seattle

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Anonymous said...

Adding to the Uckfield comments, I was expelled from my secondary school for embellishing an F onto the side of Uckfield School's minibus.

Robert said...

Cool seat.

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