Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anachronisms: Getting a Handle on History

Early on in life, we learn two simple truths: bikes are good, and sharing is good.  Logically then, combining "bikes" and "sharing" should be even better, right?  Well, you'd think so, but unfortunately most people manage to unlearn these truths as they mature into what psychologists call "selfish assholes."  That's why New Yorkers keep finding new ways to complain about the new bike share system we're about to get.  Most recently, some people in Fort Greene, Brooklyn don't want a bike share station on their block because it's too ugly:


More specifically, they feel it goes against the historical character of their landmarked neighborhood:


The main objection on the block appears to be aesthetic, with residents complaining about the program’s bright blue, bank-logo–covered kiosks.


“The notion of having Citi Bike logos … will go against the [landmark] character,” said Mr. Cheek.


Oh, and also the bike share station will take up their free parking:

Like other car owners across the city, Washington Park residents also complain that the bike kiosk will cost them on-street parking.


They almost had me going until they got greedy and threw in the on-street parking thing.  See, it should be noted that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designates as Historic Districts "areas of the city that possess architectural and historical significance and a distinct 'sense of place.'"  Fort Greene is one of these districts, and as the official designation report pointed out back in 1978:


The Fort Greene Historic District reflects the architectural development of Brooklyn's middle-class residential neighborhoods in the twenty-five year period c. 1855-1880. The area included within the boundaries of the Historic District was built  up almost entirely during this period and a large part of the area retains much of its original 19th-century ambience. 

I agree that it's important to maintain this "sense of place," and they certainly didn't have bikes with bank logos on them in those days.  But do you know what else they didn't have in the twenty-five year period between 1855 and 1880 that is embodied by this neighborhood?  Streets lined with cars!  How are a bunch of Subarus and idling Fresh Direct trucks more in keeping with the landmark character of a neighborhood than a bike docking station?  You don't get to ditch the bike share but keep the free car parking.  I'm willing to defer to their argument if and only if the people of this neighborhood are willing to preserve their neighborhood's unique "sense of place" by eschewing all trappings of life post-1880 while within the boundaries of their landmarked district.  That means period-correct clothing only, and no cellphones, no computers, and no electricity.

Or, if the people of historic Fort Greene really want to know what it is to maintain a distinct historical sense of place, they can become Amish--or even Hasidic, which might actually suit them better, because not only can they stay in Brooklyn, but they also won't have to look at any unsightly bike share stations:



Evidently, the Hasidim are very frightened at the prospect of naked bike share customers:

"The women come through on bikes, and they're not dressed properly," said Joel Weiser, a Hasidic musician who lives in the area, echoing complaints heard during the backlash that forced the removal of a painted bike lane on Bedford Avenue. "They're more naked than clothed."

I'm not sure this is a legitimate concern, since when I was in London pretty much everybody I saw riding a "Boris Bike" was wearing a suit.  Even in Williamsburg, it's hard to imagine legions of people suddenly deciding, "Let's get naked and go bike-sharing!"

But that's life in the big city I suppose, and sharing it with people who don't like bikes because they're psychotic is worth it to me for the lack of space and high cost of living.  Still, I'd give it all up tomorrow for a chance to become a "storyteller and adventurer" like this guy:



Apparently, he wants money from you so he can ride all over the world, have adventures, and then teach the youth about "the process of the heroic journey."  Or, to put it another way, he wants to be Joseph Campbell...if Joseph Campbell were a gigantic Fred:


Somewhere out there an adventure calls each of our names.  We aim to help souls better heed its call.  Thus, I quit my 10-year university teaching career, joined the National Speakers Association, and I'm devoting the next 27 years to cycling the world, collecting stories, and educating about the process of heroic journeys.  


Mind you, this is no credit card trip.  No vacation.  I'm sleeping in the roadside heather like troubadours of old, and hoping to make friends of strangers.


I have a feeling he's going to have a hard time with the "making friends of strangers" part, because if I were approached by a chipper fellow in a cycling jersey who had clearly just crawled out of a roadside ditch I'd do my very best to get as far away from him as possible.  I'm also concerned about the fact that he's engaged a "teenage video wizard:"


WHY A TEENAGER


Dallin Green is a pint-sized Spielberg who creates eye-popping work.  I believe in his creative genius, and want to propel his career.  Besides, my collaboration with his team helps youth (and the youthful) see they can embark on "the most daring of all endeavors . . . to meet the shadowy future without fear, and conquer the unknown" (Ferdinand Magellan).

Really?  "Propel his career?"  It's one thing if this guy wants to destroy his life by quitting his job and becoming a Lycra-clad adventure seeker, but I really hope he's not pulling this kid out of school and wrecking his future as well.

Meanwhile, speaking of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps (or failing to), a reader has alerted me to this fine leather bicycle carrying handle:



I always thought that a bicycle frame already made for a pretty convenient handle, but apparently there are people who are unable to carry their wildly flailing bicycles without killing or maiming innocent passers-by:

For city dwellers, it makes carrying the bike up flights of stairs much easier by providing a natural-feeling grasp point. Carrying the bike low helps keep it laying flat against you and not flopping around, hitting others or knocking into walls.

Really?  Has it come to this?  Can people not find enough "natural-feeling grasp points" on this object?

It's marginally less difficult than finding the "grasp points" on Peta Todd:


Though only Mark Cavendish can tell you whether or not they're "natural-feeling."

Of course, it should go without saying that the leather bike handle is not only made in Portland, but that it has also already been more-than-funded via Kickstarter--where, amazingly, it is touted as "minimalist," even though having a handle for your handle is anything but minimalist:

Designed for urban commuters, this minimalist handle makes carrying your bike actually feel easier and lighter by lowering the center of gravity and using your normal muscle groups for lifting and holding your bicycle, same as lifting a grocery bag or carrying a briefcase.

There's also a video:



Which features people lifting their bikes from the drive side with utter disregard for the cleanliness of their pants:


I'm sure it's this failure to understand the basic concept of staying away from the dirty side of your bike that will pave the way for their next project: 


The artisanal leather chainring cover.

It's nearly as essential as a crabon fiber pie plate, as forwarded by another reader:



As well as a tattoo telling the world you have had a vasectomy, as forwarded by yet another reader:


Which should make you even more attractive to potential partners, even if they reply to your come-ons with a hearty "Fuck You!"



You said "You're gorgeous," I said "Fuck You" - w4m - 23 (Union Square)
Date: 2012-06-11, 12:40AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]


I was walking through Union Square when you stopped me on the street because you "had to tell me something." I was on the phone and very stressed out because my bike wheel had just been stolen. I figured you were going to try to sell me something but I stopped just in case it was actually important. You told me I was gorgeous, then I yelled at you and stormed away angrily. I immediately felt terrible, and wanted to apologize. I shouldn't have taken it out on you, and that was a nice thing to say.


Don't reply unless you can tell me what I said after I told you to shut the fuck up.

I bet the answer to that last sentence is "asshole."  That's the classic "shut the fuck up" follow-up.

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

on the podium & i didn't even have to read the damn blog entry!

ESTeemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

ok

Chriam said...

Third!

tomt said...

episcopalean

Anonymous said...

Present

Anonymous said...

top 10 and weed, duders!

Kenny Banya said...

top ten, wasn't even trying.

Anonymous said...

meh

Anonymous said...

Shut the fuck up, ass-handle.



-balls™

Marcel Da Chump said...

"you're gorgeous!"

"fuck you!...Mr.Cheek".

Anonymous said...

Speaking of naked riding, there were some (potentially) unintentional yabbies posted in an article on BikePortland yesterday.


http://bikeportland.org/2012/06/09/pedalpalooza-notebook-for-saturday-june-9th-73002
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeportland/7356510622/

Buffalo Bill said...

Oh Peta, what lovely, er, love handles you have there!

mikeweb said...

Top whatever. Now to read...

Jimio said...

I just grab my handlebar post and the post just under the seat to easily carry my bike up steps.

Captain Hardbread said...

pants today

Washington Square missed connection said...

Shut the Fuck up and keep typing Vito, before he gets back

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much chain grease those models got on their outfits by carrying their bikes from the right side.

RANTWICK said...

MY psychologist said I had matured into a "selfish asshole", but then my phrenologist, Mordecai McBumpanoggin, helped me find my "centre of kindness". I'm all better now.

Anonymous said...

pining for vintage open sewers with real rat children selling coal lumps

minimalist accoutrements

GOOD POST

mikeweb said...

It's nice that the 'Fixed' tat even has an image of the implement with which the vasectomy was done. Just in case anyone doesn't believe him, I suppose.

grog said...

What a lovely pair of Babes.
Thanks Snobbers!

theEel said...

weed.

DerZoots said...

Fooking portland land of portaging people portaging devices.

I say an unenthusiastic panties. :-|

crosspalms said...

I like the landmark character of the graffiti-ed mailboxes in the Washington Park photo.

Teen Wizard said...

No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will cramp his style.

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

Panties! Tattoos! Assholes! Boobs! Exclamation points! Panties!

waxmouth said...

stop peeing on my turtle

Anonymous said...

I remember when standing on that block could easily get you stabbed.

Anonymous said...

ahh, the deadly duo of peta-recumbabe; grog will be pleased.

balls®

David said...

Well, see, the thing about sharing is, it all depends on what's being shared. Sharing your toys or the opportunity to play "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" in the sandbox is all well and good. But when yours has had time to catch syphilis, not so good. Then you can keep it to yourself, thanks. To the majority of average assholes, willing victims and co-conspirators of a century of industrial capitalism that flourishes on selling you an expensive, overpowered machine to do the job so we can sit on our fat asses and develop diabetes quicker (so they can sell you insulin shots to go with that cupcake), the bike is more like syphilis than anything they want to have shared with them. You're surprised people don't like bike share? Come on, if people liked bikes that much, everybody would have one and no need to share. I mean, when Walmart sells fixies, anybody who wants to ride can get their own--and not have to worry about catching syphilis from a bike seat. And don't tell me you can't get syphilis from a bike seat, because bike seats are not that different than tractor seats, and you can get syphilis from a tractor seat. I know you can, because I saw it on Seinfeld.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Good point David.

Anonymous said...

In re. the "storyteller and adventurer":

seriously, are there people who actually give money to self-indulgent, delusional twats such as this individual?

Anonymous said...

Quitting his 10-year university teaching career? Hah! that right there is some heavy-duty bullshit! As someone whose university "teaching career" (if that's what you call it when you get paid to take up office space and tolerate the presence of idiots (some people call them "students") for a couple of hours a day, three or four days a week, eight months out of the year, while spending the summer riding your bike and writing stupid comments on the Internet) has spanned 18 years, I can attest that you don't quit the university to have time to ride, and you certainly don't do it to meet people. Unless he taught at some university that didn't have any people.

Dave said...

One way to get rid of the bikes in Washington Park would be to return the street to their original 1880s condition, brick and mud with the ocassional pile of horse manure. That would keep the cyclists away I bet.

On the subject of naked bike sharing can you catch and STD from a bicycle seat?

Anonymous said...

Anybody want to take odds on whether Cav can keep up his srinting prowess while keeping up with Peta's, ahem, handles? Seems like two full-time jobs to me.

mikeweb said...

Personally, I think the Hasidic male outrage against 'mostly naked' female cyclists in their neighborhood is actually a secret plan to get more mostly naked female cyclists to ride in their neighborhood.

Telling people that they're not allowed to do something is the quickest way to guarantee that more of them will do it. Any parent of a teenager can tell you that.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:59

I dunno about that. Imagine yourself in Cav's (ahem) 'position':

Night: a short burst of energy followed by blissful sleep on that superb pair of love pillows should leave him well-rested for ...

Day: blissful rest in the peloton ended by a short burst of energy followed by massage/recovery leading to ...

Night ... etc.

Repeat.

Liz Hatch said...

I'm going to take the lane in my bikini in the hasidic 'hood! I think Peta will join me--if Cav will let go of her handles long enough.

Anonymous said...

I've seen a lot less practical bike accessories than the leather handhold. of course using it on the non drive side would make more sense.

Redundant Apparatus said...

What a nudnick... I've never met anyone worth their salt, with that many tools, that still had all of their fingers.

I think this displays a distinct lack of quality craftsmanship.

Anonymous said...

Bike Snob NYC post summary for 6/12/12:

Rich People Suck again.

Middle Aged Dudes are delusional and funny.

Portland is a Disneyland like theme park for endulged hipster knob ends.

Bikers will say anything squared. Or, Newton's third Law can be seen in NYC Bikers's street polari.

Anonymous said...

Wildcat,

I'm thoroughly enjoying your latest book. I can't wait for your next one "How to Screw your Wife Properly" by Cock Snob NYC.

I can see the reviews already:

"cocksnob is the modern day Will Rogers, if Will Rogers dispensed tips on cunninlynguist technique"
New York Times

"keep on banging, cocksnob" 7 time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong

"There's no fucking way that taking sex advice from a guy who looks like that" Mario Cippolini

"more Peta Todd or Ima fucking Kill you" Anonymous

livingjetlag said...

Wow - I've been carrying my bike by wrapping the chain around my neck. The portland handle thingy will be much better.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bikesnob, for some reason I can't work out how to email you directly (it's probably just as well), but I thought you might be interested in a Bret sighting:

http://www.halfordstdfgame.co.uk/default.aspx

He's in disguise a bit, but I'm sure that's him at the top of the page...

Anonymous said...

More recumpeta, or Ima fucking look at nekkid wimmin somewheres else.

MaxBenign said...

I'd have placed higher in the comments if I hadn't been struggling to get into my Lobite ceremonial garb.

Praise Lob!

JB said...

Recumbabe-Peta mash-up
ja;klsfdsajlsdkjl;sdfl;ksdfal;

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't mention that 19th century ambiance involves a lot of horse dung.

P. Bateman said...

i also have a leathery looking "grasping point" that is very similar and also set low near my center of gravity. it's a bit weightier though as it's roughly 9 monolithic tuples.

leroy said...

My dog insists that handle is faux leather.

Honestly, the stories he tells.

He should teach.

mikeweb said...

You know the old saw:

"Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, wander around and sleep in roadside ditches."

Anonymous said...

Snob, as for as preserving heritage goes, in case you missed this gem, Fort Greene is one of the Big Four - http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/06/brooklyn-is-indeed-getting-way-whiter.html

Anonymous said...

They need to put some horse shit in the historic area. You know, to make it more "historical".

Anonymous said...

Anon @1:14

Are you talking about Peta Todd? Maybe they aren't that practical, but sometimes design wins out over function. And what is this leather handhold you speak of? Is that something Cav does?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1255

you sound like a teacher in the Sciences.

HARD MATH

Monxo Lopez said...

Seriously, something must be done about the FreshDirect idling trucks. They are a nightmare on my evening bike commute going to the Bronx. boycottfreshdirect!

Anonymous said...

Citibank was founded in 1812. Suck on that Fort Greene.

Horseshitical Authenticity said...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

More turtle porn or Ima gonna kill you!

Dooth said...

oh! the smugness of those Ft.Greene hypocrites!
"let's preserve our quaint, historic neighborhood's free parking".

Sandusky said...

I admire a fella who has teenage friends.

JB said...

A NYC bike blog could probably raise enough cash to get a couple of dumptrucks of manure slowly dumped along the olde-timey streets of Wash. Park.

bikesgonewild said...

...re: "...leather bicycle carrying handle..."...

...why did no one think to consult eric 'the chamferer' murray before proceeding to waste their kickstarter funds on another redundant artisianal bicycle implement fashioned (obviously inappropriately) from leather ???...

Father Guido Scranusduchi said...

The Sandusky child buggering trail has come to a sudden unexpected conclusion. Jerry Sandusky is now Cardinal Sandusky having recently taken the vows of celibacy required of all Roman Catholic clergy. Due to his stellar atheltic coaching accomplishments Cardinal Sandusky was 'fast-tracked directly to membership in 'The College of Cardinals'. Not having been a Nazi will not be held against him and many feel that the Cardinal is next in line to become Pope Nittany Back-Door I.

Cipo said...

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flavour ...

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Available at many upper end retail outlets that feature 'Cipo' fine thangs

ken e. said...

sounds like NYC needs some more rainbows. and when i say rainbows, i mean like sunlight, shining through water, in the sky.

Drink said...

Moar pro cycling or ima fuckin kill you

Anonymous said...

Just Awesome today Sir Snob

Anonymous said...

Just Awesome today Sir Snob

Anonymous said...

So, I gather it was you who said to the girl she was gorgous.

Aren't you also happily married ?

Snob, please don't start the adultery thing!

bikesgonewild said...

...to whom it may concern @ walnut studiolo...the attorneys offices of 'bendem & fukem' will be in contact with you shortly as regards your product - "the leather bicycle carrying handle"...

...first & foremost, there is the matter my grease stained bespoke (read: artisianal, handmade & exceedingly expensive) tweed cycling gear after having followed your instructional video's advice to use the handle to carry the bike, as pictured, from the drivetrain side so as to "...keep it laying flat against you and not flopping around, hitting others or knocking into walls..."...

...secondly & on a personal note, i found the lack of chamfered edges on the handle to have left ugly red creases on my hand whilst lifting my steed to a planed assignation at my pied-a-terre'...

...no matter the fact that said assignation was with a recumbababe-d photo of peta todd on a ironically popular cycling website...

...i'm quite sure we can come to a suitable financial agreement through our respective attorneys, yes ???...

...thank you for your time...

bendem and fukem said...

bgw, I've got a shitload of a case load with Sandusky.

Biliy Boobie said...

We all know why dreadlocked dude is all smiles...he's got all that Portland snatch to himself.

Sigmund Fried said...

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST ...

Recumbabe is Bike Snob NYC just prior to his/her sex change and her/his conversion from a recumbent/fixed gear sun worshiping pot head slacker to a surly Surly afficianado with a Rapha chamois sniffing lob worshipping NewYawkCity urban deconstructionista.

bikesgonewild said...

...b & f...therein is a case where if the man's attorney were to stand up & declare "...your honor, my client is guilty as charged on each & every count..." that i doubt the judge would decide on a mistrial by impropriety or the need for a new defending attorney...

Anonymous said...

"I need to tell you something. You're beautiful."

reply,

"Shut the fuck up, you caribou love making Canadian. While you are at it, grab me a Molson's."

Anonymous said...

Peta Todd's nipples have a tactile signal that tells Mark exactly where his hands or mouth are.

Weed, but no soda.

Vegas said...

We don't want shiny new, bright blue bikecycles next to our shiny new honda civics and the bright blue mailbox. Makes perfect sense.

Google It said...

Carbon fiber spoke protector? I think not. That is clearly a carbon sheet with a hole in it which allows un-Orthodox Freds to have sex with the bike while remaining pure.

Anonymous said...

Carrying a bike on stairs? Arm close to body, hand palm up; saddle nose rests on it. Front wheel forwards for downstairs, backwards for upstairs. Easy.

hey nonny mouse

WBNR said...

"mikeweb said...

Personally, I think the Hasidic male outrage against 'mostly naked' female cyclists in their neighborhood is actually a secret plan to get more mostly naked female cyclists to ride in their neighborhood"

Seems like the next World Naked Bike Ride has a new place to go.

3G said...

But do you know what else they didn't have in the twenty-five year period between 1855 and 1880 that is embodied by this neighborhood? Streets lined with cars! How are a bunch of Subarus and idling Fresh Direct trucks more in keeping with the landmark character of a neighborhood than a bike docking station?

Greatest few lines of text on the internet....

Mustava Roddup Yeras said...

I don't understand this! If the ultra-orthodoxer-jewishists don't like bike share sites, why don't they go back to the Holier-than-thou land?

Babe Winklemen said...

2012 Olympic Road Race.

Vinokourov was at 99/1 ...

He is now 66/1 ...

the word is out ...

Don't say I didn't tell ya ...

Better got on it me little droogies

Anonymous said...

Fixie Tattoo-No vasectomy: full double nut removal. Yep completely neutered.

Anonymous said...

Actually there is some merit to the handle. My wife's Townie is much easier to lift off the bike rack; the curved down tube forms a natural handle. Try it before you knock it.

leogodoy said...

I'd like to congratulate the author of the "doctored photo" on his/her MAD PHOTOSHOP SKILLZ

McFly said...

SHUT THE FUCK UP do you have any Grey Poopon Your Shoe?

Anonymous said...

Last!

Robert said...

Hey, if people don't want a giant ugly bright blue corporate logo on their block so be it.

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