Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slightly Jarring: Warning Signs

Yesterday, I mentioned for the 219th time that I'll be in Hamilton, Ontario, Cadania later this week.  (I'll be doing a guest stint as a teacher's assistant for an intro to psychology class at McMaster University.)  However, what I did not realize was that Mario Cipollini himself will be just a few "kilometers" away in Torontee, and he'll even be leading a "guided bicycle tour" of Ontario's wine region:


(Ontario?  Wine region?  Who knew?)

Join the “Lion King” Mario Cipollini on a guided bicycle tour of the scenic roads surrounding Ontario’s wine region with varying tour lengths to suit every rider.

Sadly I'll be back in the United States of America by then, because I would give almost anything to witness the "epic" spit-take Cipo will do when he samples some of that fine Canadian wine product.

Meanwhile, here in New York, cycling is raising the sorts of questions about "race, class and access" that make Portlanders terribly uncomfortable:


In particular it explores the inextricable association many people make between "biking" (pronounced "bi-keen") and "hipsters:"

"In no way do bike lanes cause gentrification," he says. "But when you only put bike lanes in neighborhoods that have been or are being gentrified, then people feel like, 'OK, that's gonna happen to me now. White yuppies in spandex going up and down those lanes.'"

This perception rests in part on the ubiquity of resentment of "hipsters," whom many blame for making New York less affordable. Sites like DIEHIPSTER.com generally indict cyclists as part of the influx that is ruining the culture of Brooklyn and the city as a whole. "Here comes offbeat Ursula; the 18 month Brooklyn veteran cruising down the street on her rusty Schwinn (just not in the bike lane she fought for) in her clay stained granny dress from her pottery making hobby job," read one recent posting.

It should go without saying that not all cyclists in New York City are clueless hipster transplants (plenty of those clueless hipster transplants ride vintage mopeds and not bikes), but even so that was pretty damn funny.

Of course, the article does address some important questions and offer some compelling insights, though the greatest irony is that something as potentially cheap and accessible as riding a bicycle should even be fraught with these sorts of questions in the first place:

But wherever it goes, the presence of a bike lane doesn't mean residents can use it. They also need bikes.

"You would expect cycling to be a cheap mode of transportation everybody should be able to afford," Buehler says. "So you should see pretty much everybody on the bike because it's the cheap, inexpensive thing to do."

Only in America do people think cycling is too expensive for poor people.  Then again, this is the land of the $5,600 Budnitz city bike:


In fact, you may be amused to learn that the Budnitz people, either emboldened or enraged by my frequent mentions, have just furnished me with a Budnitz "Model No. 1" to test, of which I took delivery only this morning:


To my mind, the question is not whether a titanium Lynskey frame with high-end components rides nicely when you're cruising around town.  Rather, the real question is how long you will get to keep that bike when the town in which you're riding it is New York City, where even your Bikesdirect.com fixie will wind up looking like this if you're not careful:


Granted, I don't intend to take any gratuitous risks with the Budnitz, though I do intend to treat it like the city bike it is supposed to be, and hopefully it remains in my possession for the duration of the testing period.

Speaking of luxury items, I recently received an email with the following subject line:

Like a Brooks Saddle- The Holdster

And the following text:


I'm writing to tip you off to a leather product we're launching on Kickstarter out of Burlington, VT: the Holdster Mason Jar Mug.  The Holdster suggests a vintage lifestyle, and appeals to people's desire for a durable, urban and stylish aesthetic.  We think it's a great product.

Which directed me to a Kickstarter campaign for this:


How is this like a Brooks saddle?  Yes, I realize it's made out of leather, but so are a lot of things.  A Brooks saddle is a useful component that lets you sit on a bicycle, whereas the Holdster is a superfluous leather jar bodice.  Or, as the inventors put it:

The Holdster converts mason jars into sexy, leather-bound mugs. Your beverage has never looked so good.

I'm not sure why people who hate gentrification fear bike lanes when in reality it's people drinking out of leather-clad Mason jars that they should be dreading.  There are two sure indicators that you can't afford to live in your own neighborhood anymore, and they are:

1) White people drinking out of jars;

and

2) Old-timey hanging store signs:

 
Obviously the second indicator doesn't apply to actual small towns where old-timey signs are just normal, but in New York City every one of these hanging signs might as well just say "You can't afford it."  This suddenly dawned on me the other day when I was riding home from the city and I noticed that every single establishment between the East River and Prospect Park had a sign like this, and that "the new folksiness" had finally succeeded in rendering over half of Brooklyn completely unlivable for anybody not in the Budnitz bike demographic.

Anyway, the leather jar holder thingy seemed as silly to me as--well, as silly as drinking out of a jar, but apparently I'm in the minority, since they've already raised almost $23,000:

At that rate they'll have a store in Brooklyn with an old-timey hanging sign outside in a matter of months.

But people don't just hate cyclists because they're jar-sucking gentrifiers.  They also hate them because of the "affect heuristic:"


I tried the heuristics for awhile but I didn't like them, and ultimately I just went back to the regular hydraulics.

Mostly though, people just hate cyclists because they read stupid articles like this in the Wall Street Journal:



I can't help feeling like I've seen a similar article somewhere before.  I also can't make any sense out of much of it:

Identifying Gear: You can spot Roadies by their Lycra uniforms, which usually include tight black shorts and neon jerseys with pockets in the back. Other telling marks are clip-on shoes and serious expressions.

What the hell is a "clip-on shoe?"  Is that like a clip-on tie?  I do like how they work in the subtle product placement, though:

They ride sleek bicycles with curved handlebars called drop bars, like the Cannondale CAAD10 3 Ultegra ($2,450, cannondale.com ), which is made of aluminum instead of pricier carbon fiber. Roadies value the lightness because it lets them "feel" the road while providing a "supple" and "exciting" ride.

They also really nailed it with the cyclocross illustration:




He must be competing in one of those cyclocross triathlons.

Lastly, I was intrigued to note that Singletrack.com is conducting a poll to determine what term they'll used for 650b wheels (which are the new 29-inch wheels, which were the new 26-inch wheels, which were...):


You can pick whatever you'd like, but I'm going with a write-in:

Yes, so-called "650b" will always be "demi-ballon" to me--even though I'd never even heard it until I looked it up on Sheldon Brown earlier today.

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right up the cauberg!

Anonymous said...

Screams podium.

velobotomy said...

LE GRAND BOUCLE!!!

theEel said...

weed.

Philip said...

w00t

Chip O'Leany said...

Eating pussy.

streepo said...

wheee

McFly said...

FEEL MCFLY. Move your butt, feel my assion.

mikeweb said...

Cipo the Barbarian will crush you like a bug.

Etherhuffer said...

uff da!

M. Caulkin said...

Canada Cipo Stolen Artisanal Mason SCROTUS Podium

Anonymous said...

Tilford hates to fly. He just rides his bike to the cross races even if it is 1000+ miles.

McFly said...

I am afraid that's whine region, sir.

Cipo said...

Eatin' poosy, eh. Washin' it down with a Moosehead lager.

mikeweb said...

Snob,

I should probably mention that on the ENY ride Saturday, I encountered a proud Trek Y-foil owner on the road. Wearing an aero helmet. He said something that I couldn't totally hear about Sarah Palin, maybe that he bought the bike from her, and that it was 'super light'.

leroy said...

My dog said my riding is classless.

Or did he say clueless?

I'd better check.

McFly said...

Leaving Tuscany and going to Ontario to taste wine is like leavin' Babble's house and going to Rosey O'Donnell's to taste pussy.

Фоfanov said...

What the Фак!?!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Last night I went to a David Byrne BRA. It was about music and whether or not music is innate in us/we need it for survival blah blah blah. Byrne was asked "does thinking and knowing about this stuff affect the way you enjoy making music?" He responded by saying, "just because you know how a car works, doesn't mean you can't enjoy driving"

I laughed so hard I was asked to leave

Marcel Da Chump said...

Ace that Budnitz test.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Ah the budnitz! "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" of the bicycleen world.

Slippey Pete from Jersey said...

Why don't you give the Budnitz away so someone can fold it up?

singlespeedwaster said...

Delayed by a hormonal dropout asding for spare change

Anonymous said...

650b is the 'taint' wheel size - ie. 'Those wheels taint 26 and taint 29.'

grog said...

Any bike-sikle being made of tit and anium has got to be a weener.
Oh Babe.

Anonymous said...

I do intend to treat it like the city bike it is supposed to be, and hopefully it remains in my possession for the duration of the testing period.

So, it's going to get the same kind of rigorous testing that the Electra got?

I can already smell the bacon.

g-roc said...

Hipsters are gentrifying NYC? I didn't even know they had money.

Kenny said...

AND THAT'S HOW SOME PEOPLE RIDE BIKES FROM BIKESD!RECT,DOT.COM!

wishiwasmerckx said...

G-roc, they don't, but their parents in Connecticut do. Trustafarians.

gene99 said...

Bravo Snob! After bashing the very idea of the Bundnutz you didn’t let your journalistic/moral compass do a 180 just b/c the man offered you one to ride. You told ol’ Robo Man to take his Budnut and stick it taint d’sun don’t shine. That’s why I respect you so much.

Wait....you what? Really? Never mind.

JohnBob said...

It looks like ridicule is paying great dividends to you, what with the free Budnitz and all. Next thing you know you'll be Chip-O-lean-knee's publicity agent.

Did Budnitz send you a sandwich board to wear when you're on the bike, or will the blog be enough?

By the way, out west, we pronounce it By-kin, and not because we are inbred.

OBA said...

They do make some nice wine up in America's hat, but it's almost all ice wine, which is a dessert wine. And now you know...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Don't know about Mason jars, but Frilly is sexy when she's leather-bound...

...and you should see Babble On in her assless leather chaps!

Otherwise, we've been through this before. Glass + bike = bad combo. There is a reason that H2O btls are made of plastic, you know...

wishiwasmerckx said...

L'Shana Tova to Rabbi Weiss and the commentariat.

I get to trot out my annual joke today:

Q: Why can't you catch a Jew on Yom Kippor?

A: Because they fast...

Cipo said...

eating pussy

Anonymous said...

wishiwasmerckx, if chaps have an ass, they're called pants. Just saying.

Jimboner said...

I wish Cipo you and I could drink wine hold hands and all laugh together.

leroy said...

I knew it. I just knew it.

DieHipster.com is not a modern update of Die Fledermaus.

And I'm pretty sure my dog was also trying to put one over on me by claiming the Budnitz No. 1 was named after the No. 1 with which he fills mason jars for his drug screening.

He is so not getting that Holdster he asked for.

frilly said...

Why did I ever let my passport expire? Wine w/Cipo. Just don't leave your glass unattended.

Clip-on shoes...ummm, that might actually be a good idea.

frilly said...

What a novel idea, wiwm.

RANTWICK said...

Demi-ballon. Heh.

P. Bateman said...

Snoooby, will you "check-in" somewhere when you're out with that fancy schmancy bike this week? i'd like to be the lucky one who steals it.

also, i've been making leather bound handled cock covers for years. they are quite handy.

bk jimmy said...

Duh, Snob, don't taint your good journalism/moral compassing by allowing new information or experiences. Sellout.

crosspalms said...

Leather-covered mason jars do not represent a vintage lifestyle. You need to drink champagne from a woman's shoe for that.

Rex H said...

I love the picture of the cyclocross bike. Not only are the pedals missing, but the clip in shoes don't even line up with the crank.

Rex H said...

I love the picture of the cyclocross bike. Not only are the pedals missing, but the clip in shoes don't even line up with the crank.

Anonymous said...

Steve Tilford drinks coffee from a fucking coffee mug.

babble on said...

Mmm... leather bound sweet cheeks and Linskey frames. Happy babble dreams:)

Does a blog count as a hobby-job when it comes with $5600 bonus bikes?

Buffalo Bill said...

As a western canuckaintarian, I have some passing acquaintance with Ontario wines. They win awards and everything but nobody I know buys them.

I guess we're just not very patriotic consumers around here, or maybe out taste buds have been affected by our proximity to the tarsands. Or Okanagan wines, who knows?

McFly said...

Frilly I don't believe you want to talk about clip-on shoes.

FOOT STUK

LONG TIME

LATE DATE

frilly said...

NEXT TIME

SOLO RIDE

Anonymous said...

I prefer leather-bound jugs

babble on said...

Ahhhhh, the details... truth has a funny way of surfacing, doesn't it?

No incriminating photos, then?

Anonymous said...

650b = "Ha-ha! we tricked you into buying another bike!"



balls™

Anonymous said...

650b is the new...wait a minute here..650b predates..oh for lobs' sake.

LETH R JUG

WCRM,
Dics breaks need your poinion. All that thing needs is a belt drive and then I'll buy three.

Anonymous said...

Left my wallet ajar again. Zounds!

Stan Wiggins said...

Snoobbyy - need some comments on Specialized bike recall.

Western Canuckatarian - maybe if Ontario allowed wine exports a few others would know about it.

Captain Hardbread said...

if you spill snapple on the bunditz do you get to keeep it?

babble on said...

Thank you. I've long wondered why I like my Linskey so much.

Test Tickle said...

The DieHipster blogger needs to chill out. I grew up listening to punk and hating on Zeppelin fans, but good gawd almighty I am glad I didn't spend that much time hating... I'd be in an institution or in jail right now.

Breathe, dude, breathe...

livingjetlag said...

I think we should have the Starbucks corporation supply us with a suitably impenetrable and pseudoeuropean convention for wheel size names.

McFly said...

I kind of dig the Bidnutz bike. It's like, all swoopy. And Junk. Plus I am a sucker for white-letter tires.

Piskian said...

I'm officially coining this term."Gentrif@cked".To sum up the insidious beiging of our urban areas.
Cheers queers,
Ian

Anonymous said...

I like the bitenutz bike. not really. $5600! are they insane letting you ride that thing around NYC? Are they expecting you to back up their claim that it's "the fastest, lightest most beautiful city bike in the world" so worth spending 20x more than you should spend on a city bike? I simply don't see a market for this thing, are they hoping rappers take up city bike commuting? I guess that is why they are basically giving them away. Enjoy it, i would take one for free also.

babble on said...

erm... me at 4:44 was in response to grog.

(turns out that when you hit the 'reply button', it doesn't actually reply to the comment in question. Who knew?)

Are you kidding? The Budnitz is a total cream your jeans kinda bike, just the kind of ride I could mount daily. As long as I'm not the one forking over 5 big ones on a city bike, that is...

Well played, Wildcat... well played.

Anonymous said...

first!

babble on said...

gene99 @ 2:07

respect is overrated

titanium is forever

or until they want the bike back

Serial Retrogrouch said...

coming in around the bend, and i got a my cyclo-crox stuck between the chain stays...

that bicyclist tribe article pissed me off... i was hoping you would not mention it and so would not send the other 5 people reading your blog over to read it.

oh well...

just like to say that tomorrow is a rest day for me... so have at it on the podium.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

oh, and i want to be commenter # 69

Anonymous said...

The author who discusses why cyclists are hated nailed it and then tried to bullshit his way out it. I ride, I drive: It seems I'm dodging ass hole bicyclists whether I'm driving my Elanta (a Hyundai) or riding my Townie (an Electra) and it seems like the culprits are almost always male teen twenty somethings on just about any bike or middle aged spandex clad neurotics stuggling to achieve the ever elusive "personal best." Even with that I don't hate cyclists, but can understand why non cycling motorists and pedestrians do.

Anonymous said...

Snob:

You should tweet where you are parking the Budnutz so that someone can come by and steal it.

Anonymous said...

The Budnitz looks somewhat like Electra's new "Verse" road bike.

Anonymous said...

I was suffering from a bad case of free floating angry when I stopped by the SNOBBLOG.

Now I have several specific things to be angry with/at/about.

Thanks again,Snob!

Bogusboy said...

News flash. It's been over 100 years since anybody could afford to live in New York.

Anonymous said...

I've talked about the bike division thing or whatever you want to call it with neighbors of mine in Brooklyn. The only thing I can figure out is this---people who work on their feet, with their body all day are generally kinda tired when they get out and would rather sit on the train. People who sit on their ass in an office (me) are happier to get out and roll. Ergo, the white/blue collar cycling debate.

Having said that, I know plenty of people in the Bronx and Staten Island who would love to ride but are afraid to because there's no cycling infrastructure.

McFly said...

Rode mountainous bikecycles through glorious woods which snaked around by a beautiful lake for an hour and a half this evening. Cities suck. Unless you want some culture. Then woods suck.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to "The NYC Adventures of the Budnitz"!

Anonymous said...

Steve Tilford has been listening to John Lennon.

McFly said...

WAHSINGTON, Sept 26 (Reuters Point Carbon) - Imposing a $20 per metric ton carbon tax in the U.S. could reduce the country's budget deficit by 50 percent over the next 10 years, a report by the Congressional Research Service said on Tuesday.


Can you believe this? Titanium is the future man. Bidnutz is onto something. Something big. Something huge.

Anonymous said...

I like how the WSJ article had three (3!) people working on those really shitty illustrations. Maybe four would have done the trick.

Anonymous said...

@9:06.

I work on my feet all day, and I hate sitting, or more often standing, on the subway after work.

Anonymous said...

Timmy Duggan.... mayor of munchkin land
http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/09/analysis/a-new-crop-of-americans-are-motivated-for-rainbow-glory_239992/2

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