Monday, July 30, 2012

SOS: Distress Calls and Warning Signs

There we were, high above the London streets, when we spotted a lone man on a rooftop clad only in a mankini:


Don't let the NBC logo fool you.  When I took this photo I was observing the Olympic road race not from my couch but from the Brooks England Ltd. corporate chopper, which was being flown by none other than Eric "The Chamferer" Murray.  Eric pilots a helicopter the same way he chamfers a saddle, which is to say expertly, and with occasional breaks to put a knife to your throat as he snarls the words "Stop your fucking crying" through clenched teeth.

As for why we were following the race, I had been hired to cover it by a Latvian newspaper called Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze, and I cut a deal with Eric wherein I'd split my considerable fee with him if he'd "borrow" the Brooks helicopter and fly me around in it.  And since my standard fee in Latvia is now up to LVL30, this meant we'd be clearing over fifteen Great British Pounds Sterling per man, which isn't exactly chump change. (It's actually a lot less than chump change.)

Anyway, back to the guy on the rooftop, who by now was lying next to an Australian flag waving his arms in what appeared to be distress:


(Nearly naked Australian may have been stranded on the roof of a London building for days without Fosters or Vegemite.)

Eric executed a deft banking maneuver (by which I mean he stole my fifteen "quid" and banked it safely in the pocket of his overalls), landed the chopper on an adjacent building, and leaped from the cockpit.  I was sure he was going to rescue the castaway, but instead Eric chastised him for disrespecting the dignity and spirit of the Games, all the while using his chamfering knife for emphasis.  Finally, Eric put a boot in the man's immodestly-clad groin as a closing punctuation mark.  Moments later we were airborne again, the irreverent Australian writhing in the hot tar of the rooftop down below, and a snot bubble the size of a snow globe in my nostril.

As for the race itself, everybody knows by now that the gold medal went to Alexander Vinokourov.  Here he is making the race-winning move:


And here he is giving the old "Kasakh handshake" to the guy who ultimately took silver:


Vinokourov buys himself wins like Mark Cavendish buys himself sports cars.

Another memorable moment in the race was when Fabian Cancellara rode straight into the barrier:


I took this photograph as Eric strafed the chasing peloton for laughs, and while this could have contributed to the crash (at least that's what the police claimed afterwards), I suspect what really happened was that Cancellara forgot to throttle back on his Gruber Assist when he came into the turn.  (Though I suppose the strafing theory isn't completely without merit, since later that day I did see Vinokourov hand Eric a hundred and fifty bucks.)

By the way, if you're an aircraft enthusiast and you're wondering what kind of helicopter we were using, it probably won't surprise you to learn that Brooks is somewhat "retrogrouchy" when it comes to  flying equipment:


The Brooks B-17 helicopter is as at home in the skies as it is on your local "Tweed Ride," and I can assure you those wheels have been properly tensioned and stress-relieved as per Jobst Brandt's "The Bicycle Wheel."

Speaking of hapless Swiss people on bikes, this past weekend I received the following email:

Hey cyclist,

I made a new fxdgr video in Switzerland. Maybe post on your blog?

enjoy


Along with a link to that video:


Toni In The Woods from Severin Landolt on Vimeo.

It opens with a lone figure wearing dungaree jean pants and a tanking top shirt:


Who is evidently a member of the dreaded "Crabcycles" posse:


So named because of the tiny creatures that inhabit their jean pants.

After surveying the landscape, the lone figure tightens his gimmicky Fred flippers:


Crests a small rise:


And then commences with the pointless skidding:


Which results in the inevitable flat tire:


Then there's some more skidding:


And, as the cineastes say, "Fin:"


I'm not afraid to say that this short video changed my entire view of the bicycle.  I used to think of the bike as an elegant vehicle that can carry a rider efficiently over a variety of terrain, but I now understand it's merely a tool meant to destroy tires, kind of like a really big nutcracker.  I now plan to upgrade all of my tire-destroying devices by removing the brakes and derailleurs and correcting the malfunctioning rear hubs that fail to engage when I cease pedaling.

But what if going through stacks of $50 tires like a bowl of pistachio nuts is not expensive enough for you?  Well, there's always amateur bike racing, and it was only a matter of time before Gran Fondo Doping Fred made the New York Times:


Apparently, Gran Fondo Doping Fred used EPO for the same reason PSAs claim kids pilfer beer and smoke "Wednesday weed:'

Anthony said he used drugs to maintain his social standing within the local racing scene and on his BH-Comedy Central amateur team.


“It wasn’t for money, and it wasn’t for winning,” said Anthony, a three-time winner of the Tour of the Battenkill race in upstate New York. “It was about being relevant in the group, which was pretty addicting.”

Wow.  Winning I can understand, but he actually did it for social standing?  If you're addicted to being relevant in a group of people who wake up at 4:30am to ride circles in Central Park and then go straight back home again then having a Costco membership must feel like belonging to the Harvard Club.  Also, he spent "several thousands of dollars each month" and slept in a $4,000 tent:

Anthony, who began racing in 2009, said he had recently upgraded to the amateur category 2 — one step below the highest amateur category. A former cigarette smoker, he said bicycle racing quickly took over his life. He trained 16 to 20 hours a week and spent several thousand dollars each month on race entry fees and transportation to events. He also slept in a $4,000 hypoxic altitude tent, which pro cyclists commonly use to legally increase the production of red blood cells.


“The sport is all-consuming; it’s not like weekend softball,” he said. “I was only involved in it for four years, and it took over most of my energy.”

So basically, he spent a fortune toys and drugs just so people would like him.  In other words, the only difference between him and a cocaine addict is that the cocaine addict actually gets to have sex before his life falls apart, whereas a $4,000 altitude tent will probably drive potential sexual partners from your house faster than a bedroom full of Star Wars memorabilia and a rocking chair containing a desiccated corpse of your mother à la "Psycho."  Plus, recreational drug addicts have a decent shot at redemption, whereas in cycling it's become a lot harder since Rock Racing went bankrupt:


Now those were some sweet dungaree pants.

85 comments:

McFly said...

Refreshing Win.......

Anonymous said...

one?

cycle

Anonymous said...

top 5?
Ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kenny Banya said...

Vino!

Anonymous said...

Podium!

Btw, almost redeemed youself as an oracle. Some minnor errors in winners first and last name, but who cares? Who can spell them correctly anyway?

Anonymous said...

snus nu!

Anonymous said...

so close

cycle

Anonymous said...

Top ten!

Bod said...

Missed the podium like all those English cyclists; it's our ball and we're going home!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

B sample good.

mr. wookie said...

scranus skidmarks!

theEel said...

weed! from NYC (not Seattle).

Anonymous said...

Snobby - you were on fire today. Nice post. I have always said that Fred cycling is as expensive and addictive as cocaine but with cocaine you meet a nicer group of people.

cycle

McFly said...

Speaking of Rapha, my BICYCLING THE MAGAZINE TM August issue has a sexy, sweaty, in-your-face Rapha ad on the opposing page of your column. Which means when you close the mag YOU have a sexy, sweaty, in-your-face Raphite all up on you(depending on how the mag is laying, you may very well be on top).

singlespeedwaster said...

Top fiffff teeen! Or something of that order

Anonymous said...

KNEEL BEFORE ZOD.

Anonymous said...

I'd have made the podium but all the spectators tweeting and texting jammed the network and made it impossible to see my actual time. Curses!

Paul Bowen said...

Bod, unless you're Kazakh or Dutch your cyclists ain't doing any better than ours ;)

MAYO JOAN

Anonymous said...

i hear if you say rock racing 3 times in a row it will reorganized and become a part of your life!

Aaron Richey said...

love it

Paul Bowen said...

Anon @1.10 PM: kerwality!

mikeweb said...

Vino's head tube is truly massive.

Anonymous said...

conan
HEAD TUBE

Anonymous said...

Wieder, Du WICHSE!

Und aus Schweitzerdeutsch, Tu WEECHSAA!

mikeweb said...

No wonder Rigoberto Uran came in second. He's looking a little chunky there...

Joshua Sayle said...

Australian? Pah. Kiwi.

Anonymous said...

"I suspect what really happened was that Cancellara forgot to throttle back on his Gruber Assist when he came into the turn."

That's not the craziest idea I've heard, but I haven't been following the Romney campaign.

bk jimmy said...

That's not a fixed gear, it's a "drift bike."

Anonymous said...

He did it to be "cool."

leroy said...

Of course, sleeping in an hypoxic altitude tent is completely out of the question for me.

My dog would sneak in and fart.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:26,

Did you mean that's not the craziest idea you've heard, but only because you HAVE been following the Romney campaign?

Case said...

Pretty sure that's a Kiwi flag, so keep the Vegemite comment but change the Fosters to Steinlager. All of the Aussies had already passed out last week, that Kiwi pribably hyperventilated after seeing Julian Dean.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Save da chump change.

Anonymous said...

Proud to be a Kiwi...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/7374497/Olympic-snow-angel-outed-by-parents

Dennis Hopper said...

Good job with the product placement, Snob Baby. Don't let anyone call you a sell-out. They don't know how it is, you gotta put food on the Hoppers table. And my boy needs new shoes.

Cipo said...

Snob, I a think you a soul'd out.



eating pussy.

Mike Giant said...

SOUL DOUT

grog said...

Don't mess with Latvia.

Did you see Recumbabe, not in a mankini, racing for Gold?

Anonymous said...

pointless skidding does look like fun.

i am a tired cranky engine said...

"bicycle racing quickly took over his life. He trained 16 to 20 hours a week"

wow, we call that an average training day, what are we going to do for the other 6 days?
'

Salty and Sore said...

I get it now!

The reason why EPO is such a controversial substance in sport, is not because of the effects it has on the body, nor it's social-pariah fighting skill.

It's the gateway drug to all things toxically more hypoxic.

Thank you, USADA for requiring some form of cycling dignity among American riders. Truly, we cannot do this on our own. Though, why not just ban the Hypo-Tent too?

Anonymous said...

Top 100

crosspalms said...

I'd feel better about the economy if I thought all those tents under highway bridges were inhabited by performance-enhancing Freds.

JB said...

crosspalms: I think you are on to something. Give each homeless person a crabon 10-speed, a case of goo, and a hypo-tent and they would become productive members of society.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that I finished reading "French Revolutions", a book I found out about purely from scrolling through BikeSnob comments a few weeks ago. I want to say that I enjoyed it immensely, I laughed out loud the whole time, and I recommend it highly.

Thank you comments posters for the great read!

Soup Nazi said...

The Brooks helicopter has an NBC logo in the window? How strange . . . wouldn't think the prima donna of networks would want to associate itself with a small-time maker of finnicky, uncomfortable, high-maintenance, butt-ugly bicycle seats . . . How did Vino's headtube get so big? My head tube is big, and I'm not even talkin' bikes here. . . .

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

I have a spondee in my panties!

Anonymous said...

tanking top shirt, good one.

Anonymous said...

what happened to the manx missile? my guess is that he bet against himself at ladbrokes so he could purchase the 7th car. to bad for GB, they blew one of their few chances to win a medal ouside of some dumb esoteric horsey-riding or steeplechasing event. cunts.

A. Vinokourov said...

Google no translate Kazakh, so try best. Thanks to be Snob, not make fun of Vino's eyebrows this day.

McFly said...

Vino is palping/runnin/rubbing/rocking the new Jonah Falcon Signature Head Tube. I hear the foreskin can envelop the entire headset and most of a 110 mm stem.

g-roc said...

Soup Nazi, NBC sends out a high power transmission that overlays the NBC logo on all video cameras in the area. Thus, they had to blame Twitter when the race communication signals were jammed.

Dooth said...

That Olympic rooftop kiwi gave me a Stretch Armstrong flashback...and not in a good way.

Thin ray of hope said...

Just wanted to say i found this website about a month ago and absolutely love it. I've been going through the old posts for nearly a week now and i'm not even halfway through 2008! Obviously you would already be aware that you are incredibly funny but what i can't get my head around is how you can be so funny, so OFTEN! Many thanks for all the laughs (or 'good spondee').

Anonymous said...

Thin ray of hope,

Bout 1.5 years ago I started reading. Went back and read from the start. Ended giving up w like 6 months not read.

There are highs and lows, cockys and pie plates, respectively.

Unexplained obsession w Cippolini. . .

Anonymous said...

the whole minimalist thing was a bit of a low point. From this readers perspective.

But still, a high quality blog! Consistently entertaining for going on years now. And at a price that can't be beat.

Anonymous said...

Thin Ray,
Like any good Fred you will come out of the gate hard and then fade around the mid 09's to early 10's. You should really focus more on hammering the comment section for a while first.

Anonymous said...

TR,
Do you want the answer key to the quizzes?

Anonymous said...

Price? You will pay with your cycling soul by slowly shedding all your Fredcoutriments as you trudge through and realize he is talking about you.

Anonymous said...

Considering I read like 3.5 year worth is a testament to the blogular quality.

Much respect, the Man gets sensitive at times.

Hungry Panda said...

Thin ray of hope
Wait till you get to the lone wolf, then you will need serious psychiatric help.

Simon said...

I swear, the reaction to Vino's gold was as if Eric Cartman had won. Half expected him to ride back and taste Fabian's tears...

Nice post, Snob.

Anonymous said...

Rookie error by BikeSnob NYC there, confusing the Aussie Flag with what is actually the New Zealand flag...its a New Zealand flag, ergo, the guy on the roof was a sheep rooter/defiler....

our Kiwi cousins often pretend to be Aussies because they are so ashamed of their minnow status in everything...

Simon said...

Although we tend to adopt them whenever they are particularly good at music (Crowded House) or comedy (Flight of the Conchords) or just about anything really. Hell, we'll take rooftop guy. Why not?

Anonymous said...

Please don't mind the rioting pubic hair.

banh trung thu 2012 said...

I love the bicycle too, it's make the humanbody stronger, faster, and power

Anonymous said...

Severin Landolt:
Putting the "dung" back into "dungarees" since 2012.

Kevin Curlett said...

Sex in the hypoxic tent=true sport.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the women's road race? Grim weather, a good breakaway, and a splendid catch by whoever was in 4th (road markings + rain).

hey nonny mouse

ce said...

I believe Snob's sky machine story, because who else would take such a shitty photograph.

ce said...

?

ce said...

Such a shitty photograph, in fact, that one nations distinctively unique flag could even be misidentified as the wildly dissimilar flag of a wildly dissimilar nation!

McFly said...

I laughed out loud.

Anonymous said...

FYI - spotted yesterday morning on my commute: woman on recumbent (riding in traffic). Will see if I can get pic.

jen heemstra said...

Thinking about the definition of "buying a win." You pay someone a bunch of cash to pull you along to the front of the pack, then they step aside with 50 meters to go. How is that different than being the sprinter on a racing team?

Anonymous said...

A sprinter has a hot life-partner-baby-factory with marvelous knockers at eye level. Vino may...MAY have in his possesion a topless photo of Ana Kournhole-akova....at best.

JB said...

MVLS NKRS

make the world go 'round.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"gimmicky Fred flippers"

Damn that's funny. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the modern cycling shoes are ridiculous looking.

Anonymous said...

The guy on the roof is making hot tar angels. Not to be confused with hot karl angels.

Anonymous said...

+17

Anonymous said...

I am ready for the next post!

Anonymous said...

"having a costco membership must feel like belonging to the harvard club" is just lovely (disclosure: i have neither). thank you bike snob.

baby plaza said...

i have 5 bicycle, it's make me strong :D

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