Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bang, Zoom! Straight to the Moon!

Yesterday I mentioned that Martian intergalactic space rover thing.  Well, little did I know at the time that it was actually a Litespeed:


Presumably NASA are still buying into that "last rover you'll ever buy" titanium hype from the 1990s, which means they'll be "upgrading" to a crabon rover in about six months at the taxpayers' expense.  Also, it figures that a bunch of engineering dorks would go with a six-wheeled recumbent:


I'm sure there's at least one guy at NASA who races cyclocross and wears shants who pushed for a custom steel rover from Vanilla ("Dude, let's make it a singlespeed!"), but presumably Sacha White's interminable wait list is too long even for a government agency.

Meanwhile, as the media fixated on the Mars landing, a group of determined retrogrouches finally flew a successful mission to the Moon:



The lugwork on that space cannon is breathtaking, and I hope they packed some good wine in their canvas handlebar bags to wash down that moon cheese.

Also yesterday at least one reader was disappointed(!) with my race walking comments:

Anonymous said...

Bike Snob NYC makes fun of race walking? I'm disappointed! Not only old and boring but also stupid.

Why don't you next crack hilarious jokes about silly swimmers who use butterfly or back stroke? Would they still refuse to front crawl if they saw a shark approach them?

August 8, 2012 3:32 AM

OK, now you're just being silly.  Sharks don't live in swimming pools.  I mean come on.  However, I do wonder what would happen if a shark approached a triathlete during the swim leg, though my best guess is that the triathlete would somehow manage to crash into something, since that's what they tend to do on their bikes.  Consider Simon Whitfield's unfortunate crash during the Olympic triathlon, to which I was alerted by Klaus of Cycling Inquisition, among others:



Now, I should point out that Simon Whitfield has sustained a broken collarbone.  I'm genuinely sorry to hear that, and I wish him only the best.  I also have no intention of mocking his misfortune.  At the same time, this is a cycling blog, and I do feel that it's important to address the mankini-clad elephant in the room, which is that triathletes do tend to be a bit, well, crashy.  Consider, for example, Whitfield's own explanation for the crash:

"I just hit the speedbump – there’s a speedbump on the course – we’d scouted it, I knew it was there, but I just hit it at exactly the wrong moment, just as I was switching my hands."

You'd never see a road racer do anything like that.  Road racers just forget to go right instead:


(Spartacus leading a revolution against turning.)


In another account though, Whitfield attributes the crash not to a change in hand position, but to not having his shoes on yet:

Whitfield was trying to slip his bare feet into bike shoes when he veered sharply to the left and was thrown into a barrier lining the course in London's Hyde Park. He also had contact with the front wheel of competitor Leonardo Chacun and the Costa Rican went down.

"I hit the speed bump just as I went to put my shoe on, I think," Whitfield said. "I'm not quite sure what happened. I hit the speed bump on a funny angle and ended up crowd surfing, which is good for concerts and not so good for sport events."


Which is borne out by the fact that his foot is bare when it comes off the pedal:


And his shoe is still stuck to it:


Which raises an important question:

Should triathletes use clipless pedals at all?

This is not some cheap shot at their bike-handling skills.  Rather, it's a legitimate question.  Now, you may or may not agree with Grant Petersen's analysis that clipless pedals are useless.  However, are the theoretical performance benefits of clipless pedals really worth it in an event like triathlon, when the trade-off seems to be that they have the power to completely undo a competitor, from the Olympic level on down?  (Way down.)



Wouldn't it be faster to just jump onto a pair of specially-designed flat pedals while barefoot?  Would you really lose that much "power transfer?"  Is there any point to fumbling about or crashing because you hadn't managed to work your foot into your shoes yet?  Better yet, what about going with adhesive soles?  If Simon Whitfield had used flat pedals and a pair of topless sandals, not only might he be wearing a gold medal today, but he'd also go on to revolutionize triathlon in the same way Greg LeMond revolutionized cycling with his time trial helment and aerobars, or Mario Cipollini revolutionized tanning by having his blood replaced with olive oil.  But I guess we'll never know.



The book will contain Wiggins's trademark "candour:"

Matt Phillips, editorial director at Yellow Jersey Press, called Wiggins “a bona fide superstar”. Phillips paid tribute to Wiggins’ “humility” amidst outstanding success and “refreshing candour” in an environment where “sports heroes speak like PR automatons”.

As is clear from its title:


By the way, the blurbs are already in, and they're all raves:

"Uh, yeah.  I read it.  Uh.  Heh, heh."
--Former teammate and dynamic cycling personality Dave Zabriskie

"The Jensie knows how to suffer.  When I am reading this boring book I just want to sleep but I yell 'Shut up, eyes!' and keep going."
--Affable German Jens Voigt

"It’s a good spondee.  Cunt.  Face. You can’t stress one or the other. Two big stresses."
--Acclaimed author Martin Amis

"I skipped to the parts about me."
--Olympic gold medalist Alexandre Vinokourov

I only hope the book also covers Wiggins's subsequent conversion to Orthodox Judaism:


Save the payos for me, they look delicious.

Lastly, after blowing the lid off the whole "quad-off" thing, the New York Times is officially scraping the bottom of the velodrome with a hard-hitting look at dernys:


I can't wait until the Cat 6 racers in Brooklyn have their own personal derny pacers.

93 comments:

Anonymous Coward said...

Podium!

Anonymous said...

podium!

Anonymous said...

PODIUM!!

Anonymous said...

can't wait for eveyrone to start righting the gurneys

Anonymous said...

Yay!

Tridork said...

Just missed the podium because I was fussing with my damn shoes.

ringcycles said...

"you've destroyed my earth atomizer!"

McFly said...

3 Horrible things happened to me yesterday:

1)My son told me he wants to be an olympic speedwalker when he grow up.

2)My son got ran over by a bus.

3)I lost my CDL.

TTCSWW said...

Top Ten Cuntal-Scranus Wee-Wees!

dcee604 said...

Canada's dream...

Kenny said...

HA! The crash was a highlight of the triathlon!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

damn... everyone's got superquads today

crosspalms said...

I'd have been her sooner but I stopped at the light.

crosspalms said...

here...

CAPRICORN ONE said...

1) Mars landing is a hoax, just like titanium being the ultimate frame material. I had a teammate who rode a Litespeed until... it cracked.

2) Grant Peterson is useless.

3) Elliott Gould will reveal all!

David Lynskey said...

I deserve some credit!

Anonymous said...

Top twenty is only good if you're a pop song.... My lead out got dropped on the climbs

Anonymous said...

WTF? I have better bike handling skills when I'm drunk, and the scars to prove it.

"I also have no intention of mocking his misfortune."
You need help, or more WW, or something.

Anonymous said...

It's lonely being a Cat 6 racer, snobby. Even the guy (or gandmother) you are racing against doesn't know ya.

cycle

Billy said...

Top 20!

McFly said...

Who squeezed out the double-log steamer on Cartmans' face?

Roger Derny said...

See you at thee "Criterium des Ass"!

Anonymous said...

"It's not about the cunt" is incidentally also the most improbable title for the Cipo memoirs.

Comment deleted said...

Bravo to Wiggins for encuntifying the Olympics. It's long overdue.

Buffalo Bill said...

What does it say about a country whose best hope for a gold medal is in triathlon?
Oh well, we still have hockey.

Anonymous Coward said...

C'mon, that guy has talent. First he takes out a competitor while his foot is slipping out of his shoe and then instead of watching the road he looks at his pedals while drifting left into the barriers. That is a feat of concentration.

Anonymous said...

anon coward,

it is a feet of concentration

Anonymous Coward said...

@Anon 1:10 - nice

grog said...

So you discovered a six-wheeled recumbent on Mars, and neglected to show us Recumbabe on Mars?
CMON FRED
MARS BABE

theEel said...

WEdnEsDay!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Now that ti bent rover is a epic ride.

For a second there I thought that moto pacer guy was ashcroft chops and his folding brompton snuck into the velodrome.

Where is bikes gone wild? I hope he's ok.

Funny post today thanks wildcat.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Will Dernys become the new fixies?

Two-stroke engine? I think that means that you have to mix the oil and the gas before fueling the machine.

Anonymous said...

Both of those guys' feet came out of their shoes in that crash. WTF?

singlespeedwaster said...

Speed Weed walking, podium within reach, or spitting distance - a day's ride, at the outside. What day is this, anyway?

leroy said...

We have a whole fleet of Derny pacers in NYC.

They're the delivery guys on motorized bikes.

Of course, it's a little tough to ride behind them when they're smoking.

But that's a small price to pay for a Mu Shu Pork hand up.

ervgopwr said...

MSHU PORK

HAND UPP!

mikeweb said...

Spaceship to the eyeball of Man in the moon-pie face never gets old.

@McFly - 12:50,

And prominent rest rings as well.

ervgopwr said...

But really, tri folks, stop it, just stop. Your foot's not in your shoe and your going over a bump, do you a) overlap wheels with the guy in front of you, b) move closer to the barriers, c) ensure you have a good grip on the bars and foot placement in time for the bump?

africansingle said...

Litespeed on Mars?
I peed on SRAM

Anonymous said...

I can see Uranus from here!

Anonymous said...

The Wikipedia page for "Humorous Bike Blog" will include this days BSNYC post.

"Revolution against turning". Bwahaha.

wishiwasmerckx said...

From time to time, I pedal with one leg, even on a fixie. There is no excuse for such a crash, especially for someone who purportedly spends that much time on a bike.

Triathletes are unmitigated douchebags and a danger to themselves and others.

BAN THEM!!! FORTHWITH!!!

Anonymous said...

One lone science teacher enjoyed the science connexion in today's post.

I'd suggest making fun of synchronized swimming, but there is nothing funny about it.

I hear ping pong is quite exciting; it can replace foosball as the ironic offic entertainment of startups.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Flight of the candour.

Unidexter said...

I pedal with one leg ALL THE TIME!!!

Anonymous said...

"It’s a good spondee. Cunt. Face. You can’t stress one or the other. Two big stresses."
--Acclaimed author Martin Amis


I nearly stained my scranus with this. . .

Anonymous said...

But I come here for the cheap shots at triathletes' bike handling skills …

(BTW, my triathlon last Sunday went well. Congratulate me, dumbasses.) ^_^

Stanley Cancellara. said...

Coulda got top20 but my shoes weren't right and a bunch of cunts passed me, then hit the barriers trying to get back 'in touch' with the cunts. So just skipped the bike part and went straight to the run. What a waste of EPO and T.

Skip Tooth said...

Stanley Wiggins' Mum: What did you learn in school today?

Adrian Wiggins: Uranus is just a little bigger than the planet Neptune! Also your cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt,cunt,cunt,cunt,cunt... (from there it devolved into a Monty Pythonesque comedy skit so I went back eating my spotted dick and bowl of boiled entrails until I fell out of my chair trying to adjust my shoe).

shawn roberts said...

a litespeed? really? they chose litespeed over moots? thats an inside deal if i ever heard one. pfff

Anonymous said...

Synchronized diving, with Ace and Gary!

McFly said...

I tried switching hands once. I could not get used to my thumbs being on the outside. It was awful.

Matt Mayer said...

WTF is Google Guy riding?:

Dooth said...

Whoa...vintage sci-fi on Wednesday weed...far out.

Anonymous said...

And that´s how classy and elegant the three medal winners of the olympic triathlon wear a helmet:

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/triathlon-doppeltes-medaillenglueck-der-brownlee-brueder-fotostrecke-85831.html

Don´t they look like those tourists on rental bikes?

Anonymous said...

It's the first Litespeed with interplanetary gear hubs

Salty and Sore said...

Mocking triathletes is an exercise in mental masturbation.

Please, proceed!

Salty and Sore said...

Good to see the JPL folk utilizing their old, Madison, biking knowledge. Suck it, Trek!

Pass the boot, boys. Pass the boot.

Anonymous said...

Re: WTF is Google Guy riding?:

Aren't they supposed to blur that out?

I am a carbon framed engine said...

"The fact that every part of this ship was built by the low bidder." -Allan Sheppard

Keep that in mind next time you buy a titanium welded minivan sized automated radio controlled laboratory.

At least it want put together in China.

Anonymous said...

That little white tank on the front of the derny is really a big EPO dispenser.

I am an aluminum engine said...

I heard an ugly rumor that NASA was pissed when Trek wanted their rocket scientists to redesign the Mars rover and make it, from recycled soft-ride parts.

Mitt said...

Speed bumps on a Tri-cours, What kind of half assed Olympics is this anyway

Salty and Sore said...

at Mitt 4:03-

Heh..
Entertaining.

I'm sure the organizers are disappointed that the carnage was so miniminimal.

Hey Mitt! Pass the Dutchy!

Anonymous said...

imagine a colcycross course with tryathletes

Anonymous said...

Yo Mitt,

"Tri-cours"...?

tres douchey, mon ami.

crosspalms said...

In my triathlon, I swim occasionally in the summer, run when I have to, and ride my bike whenever I want. The lengthy transition times between events mean I can usually get my shoes on OK.

Anonymous said...

Each of those triathletes hit the deck with both shoes off.
Should have a rule mandating "shoes on" before takeoff.
Unless you want to let Darwinism take it's course and we'll be done with triathletes completely in about 2 generations.

Anonymous said...

Made a rhyme there and want even trying boyyeeeee.

McFly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fat-bottomed Girl said...

Every time you write 'Podium!' or 'Top ten!' as a comment, a hybrid bike is born.

Anonymous said...

Everytime you write "Fat-Bottom Girl", a boner is born.

Martin Van Nostrand said...

I saw Joe DiMaggio in Dinky Donuts!

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

Ah, clipless pedals. I can remember once saying, Huh? How does not having clips make you faster? Then I saw those silly little mangled kitchen-blender parts that freds are conned into attaching to their shoes . . . which are properly called clip-in pedals. Clipless pedals are what your Huffy had when you were a kid.

Anonymous said...

Go Grant Petersen! Clip-in pedals are the biggest joke since expanding chainwheels--and far more useless.

McFly said...

The damn straps used to be called "toe clips", hence clipless. Sometimes I wish I was a unicorn so I could stab people in the throat. Just kidding.

Poppa Wheelie said...

Go McFly Go

jams run free said...

Someone sabotaged those Olympic triathletes with
clueless pedals.

Anonymous said...

"Young guys are afraid of women’s bodies. ‘My girlfriend’s having her period, what do I do?’ Fuck her in her period hole, you idiot. What’s the dilemma? I don’t give a shit. If you’re having your period, come on over. I’m 41, I’ll fuck the shit out of you. I’ll drink the blood, let’s party." - Louis CK

Anonymous said...

Isn't Petersen basically just saying that for bumming around for a few miles you don't need clipless (a term, like unleaded gas, that is well past the point where it it should be retired. Flats and clips. The original foot cage style are so rare you might as well ignore them. If that's his point, fair enough. But then again, if that's the case might as well get a bike from Wal-Mart and skip the expensive stuff he's hawking.

If he's saying you should wear regular shoes and flats on a 40 mile ride, my knees and feet strongly disagree. It's hard to separate the variance between individual days and performance gains from the gear, but at the very least I got a strong placebo effect each time I went clipless. As long as my shoes are tight it's much better.

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The Tashkent Error said...

the question isn't: "Should triathletes use clipless pedals at all?", but rather: "Should triathletes be allowed near bicycles at all?"

McFly said...

A local physician dedcided she wanted to do one and inevitably ended up with her shoe laces tightly wrapped around the ol' pedal stud. I think the time loss pushed her out of contention for a top 1500 placing.

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Anonymous said...

Yes, triathletes bike handling skills are tragic, but lets give credit where credit is due. They were the ones that changed cycling with the development of aero bars. Greg Lemond just happened to be the first pro to show the other euro weenies that they were actually beneficial

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