Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No Future: If Wishes Were Cockpits, Fredericks Would Ride

Are you among the 47% of Americans who simply lie around all day while not paying any income tax?    If so, maybe it's because you're retired.  Well, you'll be pleased to know that there are actually five cities here in Canada's flabby underbelly where you can live out the rest of your miserable life entirely on your Social Security checks:

(The whole article is here, but don't click it since some stupid video will start playing.)

Here are those cities:

Eau Claire, Wis.
Omaha, Neb.
Gainseville, Fla.
San Antonio, TX
Pittsburgh, PA

This is the most depressing article I've read in quite some time.  For example, consider the fact that one of the chief selling points for Pittsburgh is apparently free lawn bowling:

"There’s also Frick Park where you can enjoy free bowling on the lawn and it has one of the world’s best orchestras."

Sure, the orchestra sounds nice, but keep in mind that you won't be able to afford it on your fixed income.  (Also, I can't make it through the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth without having to urinate as it is, and that's not going to get any better as I get older.)  In any case, I wonder if instead of retiring to one of the above cities I can just have myself cryogenically frozen like Walt Disney and Bruce Lee, since that sounds like a vastly more attractive scenario than shuffling around Gainesville or scrounging for free lawn bowling games down in Pennsyltucky.


(This has gotta be better than Omaha.)

Of course, I realize that by the time I'm old enough to collect Social Security the government will have already squandered it all on bike lanes and wars, which is why I've set up an IRA account and am using it to purchase Chris King headsets.  (I have tremendous confidence in the CKHCI, especially since Chris King is having clandestine meetings at the White House.)  Then, when it's time to retire (which is hard to do when you don't work in the first place), I'll cash out and move to one of the great cities of the world, like London, or Paris, or Chicago (just kidding, Chicago's a dump), where I will "curate" a majestic cockpit and ride the streets to the soundtrack of jeering children for the remainder of my days.

Speaking of cockpits, the entries I've received to date for the Second Biennial Cock-Off contest can only be described in superlatives ("batshit craziest" is one that comes to mind), and here's just one example:


Like most cockpits rendered in the Baroque style, this one warrants a bit of explication from the photographer:

Looks like perhaps a hamster cage, a light saber, a motorcycle headlight and 8 cupholders. Also of note is the 4 foot spear sticking straight up the back. It's a built in blow torch. The tank goes into that metal tin mounted on the downtube and he's got a gas line running along the frame to the back. 

Certainly the incendiary device alone is enough to put this cockpit on the short list (not to be confused with the "short bus"):


Though it's a shame the contest rules require that we disregard the aft-most portion of the bike, because that is one heck of a "sissy bar:"


Obviously the owner of this bicycle is a spear fisherman and he uses the blowtorch to fry up his catch.

Or, if your taste in cockpits runs more towards the performance-oriented, you may appreciate this one:


The entrant supplied me with no information whatsoever, so I can only speculate that the lightbar-mounted shifter is positioned in order to approximate modern Campagnolo ergonomics.  I also can't be certain whether the foremost protuberance is in fact a microphone, but I suspect that it is.  Wacky cockpit owners are notoriously paranoid, and so they tend to record what their riding buddies have to say about them when they're not around.  (Just kidding, none of these people could possibly have "riding buddies.")

Oh, sorry, where are my manners?  Cocktail, anyone?


Here's the rundown on this nightcap at the end of a date with delusion:

From left to right it features:
- a bag of straws
- an isolated container for crushed ice
- a dispenser to dispense fruity sirups
- a container for plastic cups (where all the mixing takes place)
- a plastic spoon so I don't have to get my fingers too dirty
- a bar mixer, containing other fruity sirups
- a box (usually) containing some decorations like sliced lemons (but in 
  this picture a whole, unsliced lemon due to lazyness while taking the 
  picture)

I use the whole setup to prepare non-alcoholic cocktails while riding 
the bike (and alcoholic cocktails afterwards...)

This one makes me tipsy with happiness, and when it comes to cockpits, fruity syrup dispensers are worth even more points than incendiary devices.

Lastly (for now), there's this one, but I'm not sure if it qualifies for the contest:


I think that might technically be a helment and not a cockpit--though it does seem to be attached to the handlebars, which would make it a fairing, and so the case could be made that it is indeed a legitimate contender.  I'm open to reader input on this one, since it occupies something of a grey area.  Please express your opinion in the comments section below, or if you prefer simply write your congressman.

In other competitive cycling news, a reader tells me there's actually a Gran Fondo National Championship, complete with amateurish graphic:


Once dismissed as gigantic Fred rides, cyclists began to take Gran Fondos seriously once middle-aged amateurs started doping for them.  Now, you can "compete" to become the actual Gran Fondo National Champion in (appropriately) Frederick, MD:

The Gran Fondo National Championship in historic Frederick, Maryland is your opportunity to earn the title of fastest rider in the incredible Gran Fondo arena. We offer some of the longest timed sections and most challenging terrain of any Gran Fondo. The rider with the fastest combined time through each designated section will have truly earned their National Championship jersey.

It's the one national champion's jersey that is only available in a "club cut."  

Think you have what it takes to be the King of Freds?  Not so fast!  Read the rules first:


Some of these rules don't make any sense.  Consider this one:

4. You must have a device to carry water with you while riding

Uh, why?  

Also, they really don't want any recumbents, to the extent that the hated contraptions are banned twice:

6. Rider may use any standard bicycle that has two wheels and is not a recumbent.  This includes Road bikes, TT bikes, and mountain bikes.

7. No recumbent bicycles allowed

Why are they so scared of recumbents?  I mean, sure, I'm scared of recumbents too, but this is a made-up competition anyway so it's not like it really matters.  I suppose they probably worry that if they don't ban recumbents then bearded men in repose will descend upon the event en masse and frighten everybody else away.

Most draconian of all though is this rule:

8. All bicycles must have working breaks

Adherence to this rule is not even possible, since either the bike works or it breaks.  It can't do both.  They might as well insist that all bicycles must have squarely round wheels, too--though as an incredibly poor mechanic I've built a few that fit that description.  Maybe I need a spoke tension app for my portable smarting telephone:


I have no idea how well it works, but the guy who made it emailed me about it and it seemed kind of nifty:


Though I may wait for the 2.0 version, which hopefully includes a DFU (Diminutive Frenchman Unit) feature:



And which reminds me of the velvet painting that hangs in my bedroom, rendered by the great Brooklyn artist known only as "Jimmy:"



It has been the source of many night-terrors.

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podium. Lob be praised!

RANTWICK said...

Holy crap!

Stephen said...

Jersey?

Anonymous said...

present

cycle

Anonymous said...

just missed

Anonymous said...

Bearded men in repose.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Yawn, what time is it?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Canadia time?

Anonymous said...

TOOP TEEN
ERLY BIRD

Anonymous said...

Cocktails and cockpits. Sublime

CommieCanuck said...

I thought a sissy bar was that place the guys in the leather chaps go to drink.

RANTWICK said...

The yellow cab thing qualifies as a cockpit.

That recycled image at the end is just plain creepy.

Being a Canadian, I politely asked Wildcat if I could plug my own contest in his comment section, and he, being a believer in free speech, said go for it.

So here it is:

The Third Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown

AYWREMC

Thanks, Wildcat!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Re: eligible for contest....

No - that is actually a picture of my dog's halloween costume - sorry for the mixup.

singlespeedwaster said...

I made a wish, but was cruelly denied, by intemperately early posting and the inscrutable will of the almighty Lob.

Bearded Men in Repose said...

Pshaw! We have our own little get togethers and 10-20 mph won't make the cut.

http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whpsc2012/results.htm

Stephen said...

I am so excited. I feel like I've achieved something with my pathetic little life. I was about to go postal in desperation at my inability to have any impact on the world, but I don't think I will now. I think I might rescue stray dogs from the slums of Peru, feed them well and knit their shiny coats into an exclusive range of cycling jerseys. I shall donate those jerseys to underfunded Peruvian cyclists which will provide the spark that leads to a Peruvian TDF champion within 5 years. That is almost exactly the Team Sky story but with more dogs. The Aggregation of Shiny Manes.

By the way it is much easier to get a podium place at www.project4cycling.com. It is exactly 13.1% as good as BSNYB, but has 100% more references to my scaly, prehensile tail.

CommieCanuck said...

...Rob Ford News.... Rob Ford News....


Robba is in Chicago this week gushing about the city, he literally had tears in his eyes describing his deep dish breakfast.

Meanwhile, he's been using tax dollars to hire football coaches and using his car for his football team.

g-roc said...

TT bikes are even scarier than recumbents but the allow them? The fact that 91% of TT bikes are purchased by triathletes scares the belob out of me. Get away fom me Ducky. I SAID, GET AWAY FROM ME DUCKY!

Anonymous said...

Oh Canada

Philly Bicycle Journal said...

No recumbent's at a pretend race for Fred's. I'd pay someone to show up on a tall bike or a Penny Farthing just to piss off the organizers.

g-roc said...

Hey cc 9:39, you play for the blue jays?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Yellow cabs got a milk crate cargo trunk. That says something.

Jasper said...

Woah, crashed hard on a left-hander, limping in.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Not cocksure about yellow.

citizen of Canada said...

I should write to my congressman? I don't have a congressman. I am not of that persuasion. I'd be happy to write to a man, but I don't know about the congress part.

I have a girlfriend. Is she like my congresswoman? I have congress with her. Do I have to write to her too?

We have this thing called parliament, which is about talking. My representative there is my member. I am not sure why. My actual member is all business and no talk a tall.

McFly said...

It did the Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs. TWELVE PARSECS!

McFly said...

"GAINS"ville, there is some delicious irony. I live in Losington.

theEel said...

weed.

Anonymous said...

hilarious.

Shit is funny for real

babble on said...

Can't... comment...still...laughing...batshit... crazy... helment...from...hell...

I elect the strong and silent member of congress belonging to my fellow canadian citizen to represent me and my opinions until such time as I recover from today's post. Or retire to Gainsville.


McFly said...

As for the yellow bike he is running the bars in the standard "Crackhead Set-up Positioning" which, ergo, makes the cab a "Crackhouse" so it is, be default, not cockpit related. The commenters reserve the right to be complete smart asses at any time during the contest.

Oyster Baby said...

I recall Central Park in Fall, how you tore your dress, what a mess, I confess, that's not all.

danke schoen, auf wiedersehn

Anonymous said...

If the cockpit ain't Baroque....

don't fit it.

Anonymous said...

The yellow thing is not a cockpit. It's much more. Please don't adulterate the contest by including it. Some things should remain pure.

Bearded Men in Repose.
I am so starting a Tumbler...

JohnBob said...

The yellow thing is the canopy for the cockpit.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how the helmet/fairing thing qualifies. If it was actually attached to the handlebars, he wouldn't be able to turn the wheel. Though maybe he doesn't bother and just uses that roll cage/brush guard to crash through everything in his way.

Anonymous said...

The taxi perhaps is a cockpit, as I define a cockpit as the area which the rider engages with controlling, navigating the bike in its environment: steering, breaks, shifting(if you like that sort of thing).

Yet, the pedals don't count, as they are analogous to an engine on an airplane, which are controlled by the business end, the cockpit.

Dave said...

I believe the recumbent design was proscribed and declared blasphemous during the Diet of Worms in 1521, when the much-despised Martin Luther rode in on one, and left many cardinals riding L. Da Vinci designs sucking his wind. People remember this type of thing forever.

Anonymous said...

David Byrne [almost] driving a car:

http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/watch-this-david-byrne-and-st-vincents-debut-video_b23246

P. Bateman said...

i hope the yellow-cab-helmet-of-decadence qualifies.

that thing is breathtaking.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

is jimmy selling copies of the velvet painting... i really want me one because i giggled too much seeing it again.

pure art... much like a fixie that breaks.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Snob, When you link back to one of your older posts I always like to scroll down through the comments. A stroll down memory lane if you will.

Heres a good one from back then in '09:

"self congratulatory asshole said...
This blog would be nothing without the comments."

crosspalms said...

Just returned to Sweet Home the Dump a few days ago from a vacation (with bi-keen) in Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. I liked seeing separate bike lanes in Prague and Vienna, and the way most people (drivers, cyclists and pedestrians) actually obeyed signals. Something to strive for.

CC, if you're right about Robs Fords, that might explain the ominous snarling sound I heard outside my building yesterday.

aaron said...

Twice! Twice in one week!

Now normally this is something that would go by unnoticed, but today I finally got around to reading some items in the ol' RSS feed. At the most recent mention, I was kind of like "ok, Pittsburgh has a lot of old people, but they die more frequently than young people who are busy buying old peoples houses, but what does this have to do with bike-snob-ery."

Then I continue reading bike snobbery, and come upon this entry:
http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2012/09/rhinestoned-bedazzled-and-confused.html

In which you pity the folding fool who lost his bike and is from Pittsburgh.

Has the snob ever been to Pittsburgh? Did the snobs ex leave him for a fine, friendly, hard-working yinzer? Or are you just a Jets fan who is not happy with the loss to the Steelers last weekend?

I am a sad engine said...

http://www.theonion.com/articles/lance-armstrong-lets-down-single-person-who-still,29313/

The source of my night terrors is that the UCI may not be a clean organization. Pretty soon people on Recumbants will be the only Freds with credibility.

3X National Leisure Ride Champion said...

Will they waive the entry fee for me?

Hungry Panda said...

citizen of Canada said...

Well said, that is why Canada is the Bald spot of America. It is so hard to understand other political systems.

Anonymous said...

Disney on Ice:
http://www.bizarrocomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/bz-panel-09-06-12.jpg

mikeweb said...

I swapped some new rims onto one of my pain wagons recently and was actually thinking of getting a spoke tension meter. That app actually looks better than a traditional meter.

For once this blog actually supplied some usefully practical information instead of the usual steady stream of entertaining smarm mixed with philosophical enlightenment.

At this rate in another year the typical post will be nothing but links to macramé how-to videos and recipes for homemade marmalade.

Anonymous said...

Commie,

Rob was brought in to eat the teachers union, he will be successful.

Taylor Phinney said...

My kingdom for 7 seconds.

babble on said...

Master Bateman: Yes, it is. I am still trying to catch mine...

The King of Park Slope said...

Park Slope doesn't have it's own congress person.

leroy said...

My dog lays around all day and lies about paying income tax.

He claims he's the unclassified climb of class stratification.

Anonymous said...

100% of canadians are gov' t employees. Socialist scum. But they pay lots of taxes.

Etherhuffer said...

So is bike polo in essence a cockie fight?

Anonymous said...

Really should be a Gran Spondee somewhere.
Do what moves you.
Squeeze lemons onto a lobster on the curb from the window a a 5th floor tenement.
Hot butter massage in the park.

Anything really.
Long as you accomplish it with panache (pan-ache? pantera? scrofula?)

ww said...

Can someone confirm that Mr. Brandt is ok after his bad crash last year (Jobst is notorious for not wearing a helment)? I'm going to assume he is seeing as how WCRM has included him in his funny list.

ww said...

Can someone confirm that Mr. Brandt is ok after his bad crash last year (Jobst is notorious for not wearing a helment)? I'm going to assume he is seeing as how WCRM has included him in his funny list.

grog said...

Yellow vehicle does have a snappy cockpit. Maybe see a dashboard.
Recumbabe will not be gran fondo champion due to no breaks.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the Grammar Snob, bit it should be "brakes" not "breaks".

g-roc said...

The yellow cab appears to be attached to the top tube. it likely doesn't attach to the cockie at all as it would affect steering. The garbage bag roof hardly qualifies as a helment as it protects only from sun, rain and gifts from birds (which is an improvement over a vented helment). What it is, is a sight to behold. Unfortunately the pilot is obscured by his (seriously, "her"?) magnificent cocoon and may never achieve the cult status of the Lone Wolf.

Context Snob said...

Anon 2:06, he'd be lying if he said she had no brakes.

BikeSnobNYC said...

ww,

I actually don't know. I very much hope he is OK but in any case I didn't think posting the image would be disrespectful.

As for the helment, my understanding was that he broke his leg, so I doubt one would have helped.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

"Failure to enter and exit timed sections while they are open is the riders sole responsibility." So what they're saying here is that the only thing riders have to do in order to be eligible is fail to enter and exit the course at the correct time.

Anonymous said...

On the yellow thing: One can only judge the cockpit based on what is visible.Had the submission included a image of what the cockpit is like on the inside, then yes of course you can judge it. In this case, you can only judge that portion of the cockpit which is visible(Universal Cockpit International rule 73.1-674)

Anonymous said...

I think its a cockpit. In a jet the cockpit is the whole area where the pilot sits. If that doesn't qualify then its a front end or handlebar contest. And you know what, if you don't include it my congressman will be getting a letter.

babble on said...

Better if your member of congress gets a boner.

Pedantic Snob said...

Anon 2:25, I think what they were trying but failed to say was that, other than entering/exiting the timed sections at the prescribed times, the Fondo rider has zero responibility to anything or anyone.

Sarcasm Nazi said...

2:06, Are you fucking kidding me?

McFly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McFly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McFly said...

Jobst,

You can actually strap two aero healmenants to your knees and point them downward and they will also cover a good portion of your shins.

There is a small gap just above the shoe.

I had mine custom painted to say "Thing 1" and "Thing 2".

One fish, two fish

I hate rhyming

Vagina.

Anonymous Coward said...

I've heard of working lunches, but working breaks too! What is this world coming to?

Rise up and join the Bicycle union! Say, "No!" to the Man and his onerous and unsafe working conditions and this "Lame" Fondo.

g-roc said...

Rumour has it, next year there'll be a "no cheese" rule at the fondos. I mean, what's the point then? Chocolate's okay I guess, but enough is enough.

Cadel said...

I take it quite personally when someone doesn't know how to spell "laziness".
But I like the idea of reclassifying water bottles and Camelbaks as devices. They are the poor man's Gruber Assist.

frilly said...

I say sure on the yellow gizmo. LOVE the cocktail cockpit--the perfect pub crawl bike.

Anonymous said...

Good catch.

The 300 Trojans said...

The yellow thing is big enough for Robs Fords to get his head into, it is therefore a condom.

Days without a quote from Bradley Wiggins. I'm dyin here, I'm dyin here.

Benjamin Elzerman said...

I am the owner/photographer of the light bar mounted shifter shown in this post. Just having my picture included in your ramblings makes me feel like a winner. I would feel more like a winner with some more lights to add to my cockpit though.

Thank You.

Benjamin
East Hartford, Connecticut

Anonymous said...

Rock on Benjamin and more lights for your cockpit! Now you know what kind of competition you are up against.

WCRM you are gonna have to establish some very important criteria as to what exactly constitutes as a cockpit or not. Only someone with your esteemed credibility is capable.

I would say "No" to the yellow thing as a cockie....

McFly said...

The yellow beast wins by default because it is left side drive. LEFT SIDE DRIVE! It's why he wants no one to see his face. Go back to Russia you Weirdo.

Anonymous said...

sorry but 229 kgF means that spoke is about to rip out of the rim

Anonymous said...

Do recumbents have cockpits? Recocked pit? Recumpit? Are they banned from this cock-off twice?

Stan Wiggins

WheresMyHat said...

In Australia if you don't pay your bicycle helment fine the state takes your bicycles and gives you back your drivers licence... http://freedomcyclist.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/two-bicycles-seized-from-my-place-sigh.html hardy-fucking-har-har.

Wiggo said...

Cunts

domm said...

More pictures of the cocktail cockpit:

http://domm.plix.at/bicycle
/2012_09_14_schoenstes_rad.html

http://domm.plix.at/bicycle/2012_07_20_sodarad.html

(but the explanations are in german..)

Will Handsfield said...

I think the rule for working breaks must refer to an S&S coupler equipped bike, such as your own. I suppose the Ritchey Breakaway style would be acceptable. Not as clear, hinges as per Bike Fridays, Bromptons, Dahons, and Montagues, but it seems likely they will be acceptable.

Kurtis Blow said...

cuz these are the brakes!

Joseph "Blue" Pulaski said...

Ring the bell you panzy.

Anonymous said...

First tIme?

babble on said...

Canada is running for president of its own flabby underbelly.

But you'd better not vote for us. All of our politicians appear to be working for the mafia, from Robba the Fords on up.

samh said...

Dear Congressman Rock Machine,

Although the yellow-taxi-cab-bicycle is a fine specimen of bicycle ornamentation I do not believe it should be a contender in this Bi-annual-ennial Cockie Contest. As a previous commenter pointed out, including this specimen will unfortunately take away from the purity of the contest unless a system of classes is created of which this would most certainly win the "All Encompassing Class".

Sincerely,
Sam "AY" H "SMB"

Anonymous said...

Not a cockpit. No sir. Not a cockpit. Repeat, No sir.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that it's only a cockpit if you can stand up and rest your cock on it. Since that yellow cab thing keeps the rider from standing up, it's not a cockpit.


Balls

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