Monday, August 13, 2012

Cyclists: Better Than Nothing, But Only Slightly

I'm a parent.  As a parent, I sometimes engage in the act of parenting at times other than evenings and weekends.  For example, at 4:30pm on a Tuesday, I might shout to one of my 17 children, "Hey, Leafspring, don't flush the cat down the toilet!"  Then I remember we don't have a cat, which means the feline in the toilet must belong to the neighbors.  So I retract my previous order with a casual "Aw, fuck it," and then turn up the volume on "Judge Joe Brown" to drown out the sounds of flushing and meowing.

Well, until now I knew I was parenting.  I even knew I was parenting shittily.  But until I read the following article in the New York Times, I had no idea that, by interacting with a child during normal business hours, I was in fact parenting artisanally as well:


That's right, if you have a penis and take care of a child during a weekday, you're an "artisanal father:"

The Artisanal Father

In a way, the decision to opt out of the rat race to pursue a more “meaningful” career as a parent echoes the classic Plan B narrative of the stress-addled professional who bails out to immerse himself in roll-up-the-sleeves work — say, craft-whiskey distilling, or beekeeping. (Given the drudgery and muck involved, parenting might be considered the ultimate “artisanal” pursuit.)

So basically, whereas an artisan was once a "worker who practices a trade or handicraft," the term now refers to anybody who does anything at all, including following the natural impulse to keep your offspring alive:


(After kneading the child, the artisanal father flings it up in the air to stretch it, after which he will cover it in cheese and sauce and slide it into the oven.  Delicious!)

Also in the New York Times was an article about the Runcible Spoon:

The cafe in which I was once served a hairy muffin:


(I don't know how to use a camera, but if I did you'd see there's a hair in there.)

For those of you from out of town (if you don't live in New York you're out of town, even if you think you're home), Nyack is the prime cycling destination for those New York City Freds and tridorks who are hardy enough to make it past Piermont, and like their neighbors to the south, Nyack too resents its visiting cyclists--or at best considers them the lesser of two evils:

Villagers regard the regular flood of two-wheeled visitors as a mixed blessing. Across the street, a sign in a window admonishes sprawled-out riders not to lean their bikes against the building.

But Bob Mattern, 53, a daily visitor who works at a restaurant nearby, prefers them to the weekday play groups. “Given my choice,” he said, eating a bagel with bacon, egg and cheese, “if I had a table of cyclists and three mothers with their kids running all over the place, I’ll take the cyclists.”

Wow, Bob, how accommodating of you.  I'm glad you find us less annoying than women and children.  Of course, this is a restaurant in a small town in Rockland County and not a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan, which raises an important question: who's hanging out in downtown Nyack without either a bike or a kid?  So if Bob were to get his wish and neither cyclists nor parents were to visit the restaurant in which he works, who the hell would be left?  One guy with an unnerving twitch who keeps ordering nothing but unthawed shrimp?  I'm sure Bob will miss the cyclists and the mommies as his one customer looks at him menacingly while crunching shrimp in his teeth like ice cubes and then leaves a 19-cent tip.

To be fair though, the Runcible Spoon emphatically does not resent its cycling customers:


Joohee Kim, 28, who manages the Spoon, which her mother, Okhee Kim, bought nearly six years ago, tries to cater to all the clientele, but acknowledges that the riders — 75 percent of her weekend business — help the bottom line.

“As much as the townspeople may say they really love it or they hate it because the cyclists are clogging roads,” Ms. Kim said, “for us, we’re open arms.”


For which they should be commended--especially when they're forced serve customers who talk like this:

“Usually, if I’m going to bonk, I will crush a few cows on the way out,” said Bernie Childs, 30, a member of the triathlon team TRI2B, who lives in Manhattan.

Fortunately, the article provides a translation:

Translation: “Usually, if my legs feel as if they are no longer attached to my body and I am about to pass out, I will eat some thickly frosted cow sugar cookies to help me get home.”

Unfortunately though, the translation is wrong, and what Childs means is that he crashes into actual cows when he inevitably careens off the road due to his abysmal triathlete bike-handling skills.  (Granted, I've never seen a cow in Nyack, but leave it to a triathlete to find one and crash into it.)  Also, triathletes never feel as though their legs are attached to their bodies.  This is because they have one "normal" brain in their head that they use only for poring over their aerobar-mounted electronic training accessories, and another walnut-sized brain in their hind-quarters that controls the motion of the legs.  (If you knock a triathlete over, the legs will continue to flail until the organism eventually rights itself, kind of like a potato bug.)

Meanwhile, on a more serious note, you may recall that last week a reader photographed the aftermath of a collision in which a driver hit a cyclist while driving on a separated bike lane in Queens.  Well, more details have emerged, and fortunately justice is being done:


No, I'm just kidding, the police aren't doing shit about it:

A spokesperson at NYPD told us that, since the victim is not known to be dead and the driver remained at the scene, “We wouldn’t have any paperwork, because there’s no criminality.” Assuming the victim survives, or even if he does not, this crash is likely one of thousands to go uninvestigated or under-investigated by NYPD.

If you have any information on this crash, let us know.

In other words, if you're ever hit by a driver operating his car someplace where it's not even remotely allowed to be, make sure you die so that the odds of a police officer actually bothering to fill out paperwork increase slightly.

Speaking of disrespect, a reader informs me that Slate has deemed mountain biking to be one of the "weird sports that nobody wants to watch," along with race walking:



Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, would be very upset to know that modern pentathlon has been relegated to the tail end of the London Games, alongside mountain biking and racewalking and all the other weird sports that nobody wants to watch.

This is grossly unfair--though I will acknowledge it was slightly weird that the bronze medalist finished without a seat:

I'm sure he was almost as disappointed as the seller of the Stanley Wiggins bike, which failed to meet its eBay reserve:


Though in checking it I did find another auction for this beauty, complete with taint-saving horseshoe crab saddle:


Sadly, it doesn't come with the bike:

Crank is again Shimano Dura Ace. The bike is really great for climbing as well as sprints.  Pedals and Seat not included

Which means the best you'll manage on it is bronze.

88 comments:

theEel said...

weed!

JB said...

Training the mtns of CO for 9 days must've helped!

petrus said...

Better.

JB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A sad engine said...

Just missed, the podium, a recumbant is born today.

Kenny Banya said...

top ten, not even trying

Anonymous said...

TOOOP TEEEN

abelgus said...

top ten

mikeweb said...

Top tenniish anyone?

babble on said...

Bob is going to love it when all you artisanal dads show up on your bikes, with toddlers in tow...

Anonymous said...

Leaving work early to tend to kid and then ride. Artisinal Fred?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Frozen shrimp and potato bugs = crazy delicious

Serial Retrogrouch said...

WOOSH!

mikeweb said...

That Times article on the 'Spoon' used the words 'bathroom line' and 'snake' in the same sentence.

Just sayin'...

McFly said...

We acquired a cat this weekend. You know the difference in a cat and a dog? No one ever BUYS a cat.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

ah to hell with NYT and NYPD... to hell with red lights while i'm at it.
woosh!

Paul Bowen said...

London feels weird today.

Dan said...

Don't cut me off!

Anonymous said...

Leafspring W Rockmachine.

Nice!

Beverley Nostrand said...

Don't forget 'bike commuter' 'bonk.' I knew this lady who rode a whole HOUR to work-- because she was slow and didn't know the quicker routes both-- who claimed to constantly be 'bonking.' Nothing like the CAT VI commuter and their delusions of grandeur... she'd never ridden to either Piermont or Nyack so I don't know if the cows would have helped more than toast and coffee before leaving the apartment. This same lady always showed off her grease covered whatevers... I don't know HOW they got greasy if she wasn't changing her chain or cassette but anything to make her experience more artisanal I guess.

Anonymous said...

Eff the Runcible Spoon. Long live Deux Gros Nez!

africansingle said...

Can somebody tell me what make of crabon seatpost turned Italy's golden dreams into bronze reality. Please.

Anonymous said...

That's not a horseshow crab saddle, it's a special saddle for Afro-Americans and people with reinforced BBs made by Enrico Il Chanferinni himself.

Bob Mattern said...

"Everyday", eating a bagel with bacon, egg and cheese, "I am shuffling."

Potato Bug said...

Hey watch it Buddy.

mikeweb said...

For those not in the know, the bench just past the Runcible's front door to the right is where the cool kids hang out.

JB said...

Where's the cooler than Runcible hangout? You know there is one.

ringcycles said...

Glad to know that Justin Peters is such an astitute sports writer. I mean who would watch those weird unpopular sports on the last day of the Olympics like the marathon or basketball if it weren't for his likes calling attention to those events. I just hope that the USA basketball team members can find some way to make ends meat until the 2016 Olympics come around. Maybe Mr. Peters could write an article to help them find some part time work.

better said...

Snobby,

I think you are bitter about the Artisinal Fathering because those guys have money coming from somewhere to do it.

Meanwhile, you are still turning tricks to keep the 13 kids in Pop Tarts and HoHo's.

Anonymous said...

the crank on that wilier appears to be ultegra, not dura ace.

mikeweb said...

JB,

Not sure. Speaking for myself, I often stop at the gas station mini-mart a half mile down the street for my carbohydrate needs. Sometimes also the 'Farm' on Piermont Rd. in Closter. Much shorter bathroom lines there, with no snakes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snobbie I took a look at "Streetsblog" which is full of accounts of dead cyclists who were in the bike lane minding their own business. You can rag on us Portlanders all you want, but Jeebus, when a driver hits a rider here, our cops don't just shrug, say "no criminality suspected," and head off for doughnuts.

Be careful out there.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

yeah, but at least they don't go searching for artisanal doughnuts.

Anonymous said...

You need get on that curating of artisinally crafted alcoholic beverages.

ringcycles said...

Just make certain, a "runcible spoon" is still just a pretentious spork, right? I live in the sticks, I have to check these things to keep up.

Anonymous said...

Before I visit the Runcible Spoon, I need to know the law on weearing your sunglasses on the back of your head. In the slideshow (8 of 8), one guy has his under his helment straps and the other guy has his over his straps. does the law apply when wearing them backwards? I don't want to roll up and be seen wearing my backwards sunglasses incorrectly.

mikeweb said...

Sometimes I think that Matt Groening must have developed the Chief Wiggums character by observing much of the behavior and practices of the NYPD.

BTW, I was getting in some evening bicycle mileage at Prospect park last night and saw that there was a bicycle cop on duty. Dark clothing - check. Barely any reflectors - check. No night time safety lights - check. I am fairly certain though that if a random vehicle were to hit and seriously injure him, it would rise to the level of criminality and merit doing the paperwork.

wishiwasmerckx said...

At the crossroads of artisanal doughnuts and artisinally crafted alcoholic beverages, I bring you Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale in the commemorative pink bottle, from where else but Portland...

Artisanal Commenter said...

Whatever happened to just doing stuff? Artisanal parenting? It's like everyone got awards for just showing up when they were kids and now they expect it as an adult?

Wait...we did what? Well that sure was stupid.

Anonymous said...

haven't tried that Rogue beer yet. Tough call to go for a the traditional craft beer or try the weird fufu beer

Anonymous said...

I once launched off a rock mtn biking with my weight way back and chest on the seat. When I hit the ground the first time, I snapped off the seat and bounced up. When I hit the ground the second time my chest hit the broken seat post and left a nice circular cut in my sternum. Often wondered what it would have been like to bleed out into my bikeframe.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Mike,

Groening came up with character by observing the police.

Anonymous said...

That reminds me - I need to curate a play date for my daughter. Perhaps I will tow her trailer with my mountain bike - or would that be too weird and obscure?

CommieCanuck said...

Artisanal fatherhood? Fuck that.

Don't talk to Daddy while he's drinking his artisanal rye and water.

Ah kids, they give you that look in those big eyes and you know they only want one thing. More batteries.

Here's a good use of a saddle.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Dammit, here my wife and I thought we were original in picking a name for our child. Now little Leafsprings are popping up everywhere.

Anonymous said...

If what you're talking about when you talk about hairy muffins is what looks like a coiled pubic hair at 2:15 near plate level, then you completely misunderstand. Sure, it may in fact be a humanoid hair from a nether region more typically found in a merkin, but it didn't just land there accidentally. Clearly, it's an artisinally crafted recycled tab for hanging the muffin on your wall to memorialize the outing to a major muffin eating center.

headlongintomyownurine said...

I remember that hairy muffin bit. That was the same day you almost fell ... well the less said about that the better.

CommieCanuck said...

I need to curate a play date for my daughter. Perhaps I will tow her trailer with my mountain bike - or would that be too weird and obscure?

It's ok in Portland as long as the trailer is lashed together from bamboo and coconuts. The artisanal community has seen the future, and it kinda looks like Gilligan's Island.

Sent from my iCoconut

Marcel Da Chump said...

Slate...one of those ???that nobody reads.

Jon Webb said...

You are completely wrong about the car in the bike lane. Read the comments. Someone was there at the beginning and saw the car on the road. The accident occurred on the road, not the bike lane. The police must have moved the car out of the road to get it out of the way. Doofus.

Jon Webb said...

You are completely wrong about the car in the bike lane. Read the comments. Someone was there at the beginning and saw the car on the road. The accident occurred on the road, not the bike lane. The police must have moved the car out of the road to get it out of the way. Doofus.

Anonymous said...

what if that portland mom showed up at the runcible spoon? you and all the other artisanal dads should show up on those danish cargo trikes with a basket full of danish children.

Dooth said...

Artisanal dad? Sounds like a guy who weaves sweaters and washes soiled cloth diapers.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from a family vacation to NY (Westchester and NYC). I live in Denver. BSNYC, I don't know how you do it, you're the wind beneath my wings.

The city is a manageable tangle, sure, but the suburbs are terrifying. The roads are narrow, shoulderless and the drivers are all distracted, speeding morons. I can't imagine schlepping it out to Nyack or Piermont only to get shat upon by the natives there graciously offering up $12 muffins for immediate consumption. Don't let the sun set on you in Nyack, freds.

I suppose my favorite was driving into Greenberg and seeing the sign that says "Welcome to Greenburg - fine for bicycling without a helment $100" on a winding 2-lane road where everyone was going 20 over. Nice priorities.

Hat's off I guess is what I'm saying, you guys are stout in the face of certain doom.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jon Webb,

So you mean the cyclist was killed in the street and not the bike lane? Well, I guess everything's OK then.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

JB said...

From what I gather, if a Portland woman of reproducing age showed up at the Spoon on a bakefiets full of farmer's market produce, there would be multiple spontaneous emissions, followed by a falling over of the crabon, dominos style.

Anonymous said...

npr bike theft social media found bicycle

http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2012/08/13/how-social-media-can-help-recover-stolen-property/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=FBKQED16

leroy said...

I headed toward Nyack this morning, but only had time for ride out and back on River Road before heading to my artisanal day job of pushing a bar so food falls in to my dish. (Thank goodness I no longer have that job pushing the bar that gives you an electric shock. To this day, I can't contemplate electronic shifters without wincing.)

I didn't see any cows, but did see two deer.

Continuing the these of two ....

Once back in the City, I met a cyclist who had just gotten two tickets for running two red lights within a block of each other.

Too bad he wasn't riding in a bike lane. The cops don't notice anything that happens there.

Invisible Man said...

Wildcat Rock Machine,

I've been a little out of touch because I was on vacation prior to moving to New York (as I describe here: http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2012/08/commuting-racing-and-french-col-climb_7376.html ). But I could have sworn you were due in London right around now to eat your hat as you promised you would if Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France. I am even, you may recall, happy to rent you my beautiful Brixton house while you do so.
Invisible.

Anonymous said...

The fun of artisanal fatherhood is all in the curation. Just ask Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain.

leroy said...

You know, "Wildcat Doofus Machine" does have a nice ring to it.

I wonder if Jon Webb is related to Jack Webb who played Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet. The penchant for "just the facts, m'am" seems similar.

Comment deleted said...

The runcible spoon is the weapon of choice of Seaman "Pig" Bodine.

"You never did the Kenosha Kid?"

Anonymous said...

I just curated an artisanal poop!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Commie Canuck,

Oh, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...

Anonymous said...

May the these of two long continue, leroy.

Dr. Nick said...

Glad to see that as a person who has to roll his sleeves up for work, I too can now describe my occupation as 'artisanal'. Prior to today's revelation, and given that much of my time is spent sticking my index finger up patients' backsides, I just thought of what I did as simply 'anal doctoring'. Artisanal doctoring sounds less... suspicious.

leroy said...

Dr. Nick --

Better than being a dentist -- always looking down in the mouth.

Anonymous said...

Harry Muffin and the Peloton of Freds

screaming skull said...

crank is, again: Shimano Dura Ace!

Anonymous said...

What is up with the bicyclist person who talks about bacon on a bagel and other crap like that? Bacon on a bagel? Absurd! Do not mess with Jewish Soul Food like that!

Something else was mentioned about Shrimp. Is the Bike Snob turning into a Nazi?

Hungry panda said...

"It's ok in Portland as long as the trailer is lashed together from bamboo and coconuts. The artisanal community has seen the future, and it kinda looks like Gilligan's Island."

Damn right, made me spit up mya afternoon beer.

wishiwasmerckx said...

The takeaway lesson from Gilligan's Island is that you can never overpack for a three hour tour...(a three hour tour)...

Great advice for the future...

Anonymous said...



Looks like BGW has retired from this sport.

Pity. He was usually pithy and astute.

RIP&/or enjoy even more leisure time in the artis anal saddle. ew!

Pedro and Gordo said...

Please lock me away
and don't allow the day
here inside, where I hide
with my loneliness.
I don't care what they say
I won't stay
in a blog without bgw.

Anonymous said...

You can't admonish people not to lean bicycles against buildings. It doesn't work. You have to implore for shit like that.

Someone better learn that fast or those buildings are going to be ruined.

McFly said...

OHHHHHHHHH MAN DID YOUS GUYZ CATCH THE FINAL STAGE, NOT THE DAMN PENIMULTICATIPULTIMANT STAGE, BUT THE "REAL FINAL" STAGE OF THE TOUR OF UTAzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Rollie said...

Given my choice between the local Nyack jerkwads and the guy eating the bacon/egg/cheese bagel (that's code for "he's obese")... it's a tie!

chris gist said...

Caught you on WHRO in Norfolk yesterday. Bravo!

chris gist said...

Caught you on WHRO in Norfolk yesterday. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

These double posts are making me thirsty.

Anonymous said...

Last!

Pest Control Oregon said...

Great blog! More power to you!

Skylar said...

Cyclists are like the gingers of the athletic world: fascinating and accomodated from afar, but thoroughly viewed as soulless and annoying from the forefront. At least we're all somewhat coming around, even in Louisville.
http://www.louisville.com/content/louisville-one-top-bike-friendly-cities-america-sports

Rex H said...

So with all this bashing on triathletes and their bike handling skills (aside from mounting difficulties), are you placing them below the common Fred?

artisanal blog commenter said...

i found it highly amusing tgat even olympic quality triathlets couldnt get round a damp bend without crashing. mr snob, your case is proven

Anti Mon said...

Got to know you browsing amazons kindle shop and purchasing your book, I am really impressed. Indeed, the cycling world is a global phenomenon with more or less identical strange behavior no matter where you are. I am living in a little village in bavaria, germany. Less people are living here than in a single building in NYC I guess. And I really had to lough so much because those freakish, got-their-styles-from-magazine people are just the same here. More people like/have to suffer here I think, directly at the alps you have to love mountains, there are no flat sections available. Therefore fixies without brakes seem to kill people as fast as those people appear, leaving a very tiny sub-culture here. On the other hand, as a guy who owns 10 times the cycles that he owns cars, I really was puzzled by how well you know me. And my friends. And our behavior, even our subjects of conversation. You are not Jesus (or a witch, hopefully), so NYC cycling stories have to be part of a global, identical working cycling culture. Even the automotive culture seems to be the same, leaving you like surviving a fight with a low IQ bouncer after every ride. Thanks for letting me know that, now i am feeling so urban and hipp. And I know, if I ever manage to visit NYC, I will fit neatly into cycling there. Lets meet then...

Anonymous said...

um, what the fuck. "women and children"? aren't some cyclists women? (the answer is yes.)

Anonymous said...

HD kaliteli porno izle ve boşal.
Bayan porno izleme sitesi.
Bedava ve ücretsiz porno izle size gelsin.
Liseli kızların Bedava Porno ve Türbanlı ateşli hatunların sikiş filmlerini izle.
Siyah karanlık odada porno yapan evli çift.
harika Duvar Kağıtları bunlar
tamamen ithal duvar kağıdı olanlar var
2013 Beyaz Eşya modeller
Sizlere Güvenlik Sistemleri ayarliyoruz
Arayin Hırdavat bulun
Samsung Nokia İphone Cep telefonu alin.
Super Led Tv keyfi

Amatör Porno - Amcık Porno - Anal Porno - Asyalı Porno - Bakire Porno - Erotik Porno - Esmer Porno - Fantazi Porno - Gay Porno - Götten Porno - Grup Porno - Hard Porno - HD Porno - Hemşire Porno - Latin Porno - Lezbiyen Porno - Liseli Porno - Olgun Porno - Oral Porno - Rokettube - Sarışın Porno - Sert Porno - Tecavüz Porno - Travesti Porno - Türbanlı Porno - Türk Porno - Ünlü Porno - Yaşlı Porno - Zenci Porno - Karı Koca Porno - Hayvanlı Porno