Monday, October 15, 2012

Aftermath: The Dawn of a New Error

After participating in the Bicycling Fall Classic the Sunday before last, I was in desperate need of some de-Fredification.  Therefore, this past weekend I selected a rugged all-terrain bicycle and sought terrain upon which Freds fear to tread, by which I mean "dirt:"


At this point various commenters usually heckle me for my choice of grip, but if being comfy is wrong then I don't want to be right:

I suppose people think grips like this are "dorky," but if I was worried about people thinking I was a giant dork then I wouldn't be riding a bicycle.

Anyway, as a busy person who has to juggle watching up to five different compelling television series a week, I don't always have time to venture far from home in order to de-Fredify myself in the wilderness.  Fortunately though we now have Cunningham Park in Queens, which offers far more entertaining off-road riding possibilites than its suburban location would suggest.  The only real problem (besides all the broken glass) is that, as the day wears on, certain sections of the park do become thick with people in velour tracksuits who think that the granny gear/small cog combo is the optimal gear selection for any terrain. I always try to be polite when riding behind such people, waiting patiently for a safe opportunity to pass.  Unfortunately though what inevitably ends up happening is that they sense that someone is behind them, turn around to see, and then fall down with all the grace of a triathlete.

Of course, the real key to cycling is preparation, and as I injected my pre-ride EPO into my scranus I couldn't help but think of this whole doping shitstorm--which, like any severe weather event, has had both positive and negative effects.  On the plus side, "Saturday Night Live" used it as an opportunity to bring back Jean K. Jean.  ("You ever be at a fête and throw down some gruyère?")  On the negative side, it's emboldened people who nobody gives a shit about to confess their own EPO use.  Sure, those affidavits from the likes of David Zabriskie and George Hincapie were pretty juicy, but now we're hearing from this guy:


Basically, he's a fun-run bottom-feeder (or, if you prefer, a "Foot Fred"):

Hesch, a self-described “profligate road racer,” said that over two years, beginning in August 2010, he injected himself with EPO 54 times before an empty EPO vial was found in his bag and he was reported to antidoping officials. In that time, he won nearly $40,000 in prize money in more than 75 races, including international competitions, United States championships and local road races.

“You get a little money at one race, maybe $1,500 at another,” Hesch said. “And it adds up quickly.”

Who turned to EPO after a bike crash:

This job does not come with workers’ compensation. In May 2010, Hesch was cross-training on his bicycle along Highway 1 in California between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay when he was hit by a car.

“It was one of those instances I should have been dead,” Hesch said.

He picked himself off the road and received only six stitches to his left elbow, a few deep bruises, minor road rash and a dislocated shoulder. He was able to walk away from the accident but was not able to train adequately for nearly five months.

For the fall racing season, he decided he deserved some extra help to get back on track.

For the most part I was unmoved by this tale of somebody who refuses to get a real job, though I was interested to learn that apparently one side-effect of EPO is that it causes extremely arrogant victory celebrations:

Easing into the finish chute in his Team USA jersey, Hesch stopped a foot away from the finish line, laid down on his stomach on the road, took a whiff of the asphalt centimeters from his nose and performed five push-ups, a pre-victory celebration.

With Lemma sprinting toward him, Hesch smiled and got back on his feet. He broke the finishing tape with his hands above his head.

What a douche.

Sadly, the cycling world will probably refuse to acknowledge one of the most important revelations to come out of Shitstorm 2012, which is that virtually all of this bicycle marketing is complete fiction.  For years sponsors have attributed rider performance to the layup and modulus of their crabon or the "beefiness" of their bottom brackets.  These claims are often humorous enough on their own, but when you think about them as you read a sworn affidavit in which your favorite rider reveals how he changed blood so often it was like the "Signature Service" at Jiffy Lube (and just as slipshod, too) it all sounds totally absurd.  I'd like to think that the scandal will usher in a new age of admitting that all of these bicycles are pretty much the same, though unfortunately the consumers and the press will continue to embrace the concept that the crucial difference between winning and losing is an oversized headtube or a squiggly fork.

Nevertheless, being terminally naive, I continue to hold out hope that one day race bike ads will look like this:


Alas, the truth is that in cycling the only real heroes are the commuters.  The regular people.  The rank-and-file.  The ones who don't take the bus, even when it rains.  Recently, BikePortland featured a photo gallery of these unsung heroes, and to my mind the winner is either Insouciant Fixie Guy:


(Seconds after this photo was taken he ran into the back of a Subaru Forester.)

Or else Rube Goldberg Contraption Guy:


(Why pedal with two limbs when you can pedal with four?)

Between these two riders I have no idea why cycling for transportation isn't more mainstream in America.



Holding a crabon bicycle aloft mightily with one hand:


And busting a sweet circa 2007-style elephant trunk skid:


Insouciant Fixie guy would totally do that if he weren't in imminent danger of splitting his pants.





128 comments:

babble on said...

HELLO!! :D

McFly said...

Wing tips are the gentlemans grip.

McFly said...

I am under Babble.

Anonymous said...

Podium

Anonymous said...

Artificial butter.

Anonymous said...

KNEEL BEFORE ZOD. (ZOD)

Anonymous said...

Wasn't trying (ZOD)

wishiwasmerckx said...

Squeaking into the top ten.

Anonymous said...

in the running!

cycle

Anonymous said...

We're all under blabble - enjoying the view.

cycle

Paul Bowen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leroy said...

I told my dog he was getting a new mountain biking kit.

I can't wait to see his face when he sees the purple Velour track suit and a matching faux gold bling collar.

Anonymous said...

No win=No Kneel.

Anonymous said...

cycle,
Yeah but you're gettin' "sloppy eighths".

Anonymous said...

Fuck those snarky douchebags Snobs,
I love my Ergon grips.

bikevcar said...

That was wrong to pick on " Insouciant Fixie Guy". He actually doesn't have any arms. You bastard

streepo said...

Top twenty and read it.
Foot Fred!!!

Cipo said...

eating pussy

Anonymous said...

Brooks on a mtb?

Dork...

mikeweb said...

babbles and McFly, 1-2. Actually if you count the avatar photos, babble on gets both top steps.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

@Anon 12:58 I agree. I went and got me a set of ergons because wildcat wrote about them. Use them on my upright commuter and will never go back to a plain round grip.

Congrats babs and mcfly.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I made a big point of conspicuously wearing my Armstrong Discovery Channel jersey on Saturday's group ride...the one with the 7 yellow stars on it...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and I had good legs for once. I did the Kessel run in just over 12 parsecs!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"and will never go back to a plain round grip."

-Well on the bike anyways.

Comment deleted said...

Insouciant fixie guy's riding style is par for the course here in the People's Republic of Davis, except he should be sending banging out a text message with both thumbs, and his ears should be plugged by earbuds...

while blowing through an intersection.

mikeweb said...

I found out yesterday that leroy's dog is indeed full of hot air. Thankfully though, leroy possesses compressed air.

hellbelly said...

Freds do tread on dirt. They are delusional roadies whom Chrass Cramichael or some other schmuck (no personal inference intended) from Bicycling told to cross train or "mix it up" in the "off-season". They avoid technical terrain like the plague and debate power-training off road. I have witnessed this firsthand and it is highly amusing.

Anonymous said...

My entry into the Portland commuter piece would've included this dude doing a trackstand, caught on Google maps

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that link doesn't work as it is supposed to and I can't erase it. Yes, that is where I work.

velobotomy said...

At Trackstand, Inc.

mikeweb said...

wiwm, was Sheryl Crow also somehow involved?

leroy said...

Top Ten Reasons Why Mikeweb Is Faster Than Me.

10. Rogaine apparently not performance enhancing substance.

9. One dozen day-old half-price Bunbury scones heavier than you'd think.

8. Interrupted by texts from my dog seeking help with Sunday Times crossword puzzle. Should have been suspicious by multiple queries re whether dumb-ass is hyphenated.

7. Someone confused "age before beauty" with "pearls before swine."

6. Had to divert Gruber Assist battery to pacemaker.

5. Saw sign: "Bear Right." Stopped to ask: "Right about what"?

4. Just being polite.

3. Wanted to make sure Domino's guy had time to deliver pizza Mike ordered while waiting for me at hilltop.

2. Dog took my testosterone cream and replaced it with Clearasil.

1. Overwhelmed by urge to stop and yell at kids to get off someone's lawn.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:00pm,

I love it for offroad riding, it's sort of springy when terrain gets rough.

Plus, if I ever get stranded I can eat it.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

jno62 said...

I thought you were going to say the fixie guy came back and bitch slapped the photographer.

He does ooze attitude, don't he?

Anonymous said...

40 years seperates Merckx win of TdF in 1971 and Cadel's in 2011. There was less than 1mph difference in average speed. All that technology, all that investment in training, all that crap. 1mph. Multi-billion dollar industry built on the idea that your 8,000 dollar bike is better for you to ride because it's faster than a custom 2,000 bike. Garbage....

Anonymous said...

I like #14 in the Bike Portland gallery (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeportland/8081011230/) because he has the best shifter position. (WTF?).

As to McFly being under Babble (@12:47) I say "You wish!'

McFly said...

Popped some wheelies on the 'ol 'cross machine for the kids this weekend. My fulcrum was not oriented correctly. Flat on my back. Clipped in. ON THE PAVED TRANSITION ROAD TO THE DIRT. I'm pretty cool. At least people were in their yard to see my glorious dance with the macadam.

McFly said...

Doug Domokos would be proud.

Anonymous said...

wait, was the guy in picture #6 hitting a crack pipe? and he wasn't wearing a helment. shame!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Anonymous 12.54 you're very big hiding behind your Anonymous 12.54 talking about no win=no kneel.(ZOD)

Anonymous said...

speaking of rube goldberg, a single speed mountain bike? explain that one to me. aren't you supposed to ride it in the mountains where gears just might come in handy? I can see you heading down a 5% decline peddling that thing like a clown bike.

Anonymous said...

The fixie guy saw the photog first. They work on their poses for just such an instance.


Oh yeah, saw a review by MikeWeb on Nashbar.

mikeweb said...

leroy, I think the real reason is that instead of a CO2 canister, you mistakenly gave me the one with pure hydrogen. My first hint was the cries of "Oh the humanity!" from passers by.

McFly, there's no shame in being a source of amusement for others. Whether or not there's Skittles involved.

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

Isn't that guy in the green suit that gangnam-style guy? Like bicycles weren't dorky enough...

McFly said...

Your front vavle stem is lined up with the "T" and your back vavle stem is lined up with the "A". Subliminal T&A? Das cool, bro.

Anonymous said...

Fun story from China: "The brighter side of nationalistic hatred that may lead to World War III …… and a bike!"

grog said...

Really? Half head of Recumbabe?
Eat your Brooks now.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:54pm,

I don't really know where to begin.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Marcel Da Chump said...

You mean, The Insouciant Fixie Giant Dork.

Anonymous said...

speaking of freds, is there anything in this world more ridiculous that fat, old freds with shaved legs? I was out mountain bicycling this weekedn and I saw two fat, old dudes passing me very slowly (going the opposite direction) who both thought that they were serious enough about the biking that they could justify shaving their legs. I am pretty sure they don't race and they certainly aren't getting regular leg massages from their personal swan-yer. Pathetic, just pathetic.

I may be dorky, fat, old fred, but at least I have some self respect.

Anonymous said...

zut alors!

Spence said...

If you're not cross training, it's time you started.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 2:34 PM - Road-based freds do venture out onto the dirt. They just do it slowly.

the commentariat said...

BSNYC, the seatpost on your mountain bike is not nearly crabon-fiberry enough. What the hell's wrong with you?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 12:34, they shave their legs for the same reason David Beckham waxes his nutsack -- because they think that the ladies like it better that way.

JB said...

Tell us more about David Beckham's undercarriage.

Tom Boonen said...

Doping gangnam style.

Anonymous said...

Insouciant fixie guy: Helmets are for losers but Sidis are for closers.

babble on said...

Two things:

Thing one: Hap Hap Happy! He called me a hero... :)

Thing two... re: nutsacks... if a girl wears an over the shoulder boulder holder, do guys wear under the butt nut huts?

babble on said...

OHOHOHOHOH! I was going to save this for my post later on this week, but it's too funny not to share...

ready?

The BC Government, in all it's great wisdom, has begun a new, important, and expensive ad campaign...

The message?

Hipster is not a Real Job.

Anonymous said...

Tilford thinks this whole deal is a fix.

g-roc said...

You know you've hit bottom when a professional blogger was unmoved by this tale of somebody who refuses to get a real job.

babble on said...

Oh shit. I choked on my tea...

True, dat, g-roc! :)

Anonymous said...

Anon makes an important point - the most pressing problem in cycling is not lance armstrong - it is fat freds. When did cycling jerseys start coming in portly? If you stop at every Krispy Kreme on your ride you are in trouble. Once the fat fred has ruining the imagine of cycling worse than all the hispters in Snobby's building, we will never be able to ride without shame.
This is not a save the whales moment. It is more like a kill the damn cycling whales. We have our hobby to consider. Ever try to pass a fat fred on a Cat 6 race against a granny? Nasty stuff!

cycle

Anonymous said...

A fat fred makes me think of Flintstone.

Dooth said...

Those Portlanders look a bit dour on their rides. Doesn't anyone sing anymore?! The other day I belted-out that 70's pop hit by Ace and a parked car honked as I rode by.

McFly said...

Rube Goldberg Contraption Guy looks like he could punch a donkey and knock it out.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else getting Kid Robot ads elsewhere in the internets now that the Snob has linked us to Budnitz's site so many times? It's sooooo embarassing.

Billy said...

So many of those portland riders look awfully uncomfortable, bent over on racing/mountain bikes with backpacks (and often unused rear-racks).

Numbers 17 and 18 seem to be doing it about right.

#33 needs to have his biked crushed and burned unless he installs an "oh shit" handle on it.

Anonymous said...

Q:how many under-employed portlanders does it take to screw in a lightbulb?


A: 2, provided you can fit em in there...

leroy said...

Anon 3:42 --

Oh sure, just lord it over us New Yorkers why don't you. There's only one Krispy Kreme left in all of NYC. (It's in Penn Station.)

If you can stop for a Krispy Kreme and don't, you need to re-think your priorities. I mean at least when they have the sign lit indicating that the donuts are hot.

Vegas said...

Anon 4:44: I wish it was KidRobot ads, I'm getting canine EPO ones. Pretty sure USADA has me on their shitlist now too.

Jimboner said...

drinking beer in Rio.

Ass man said...

Man that beefy bottom bracket promo always makes me hard with butt lust.

Anonymous said...

BUTT LUST

BEND OVER

SMAC KASS

HAMR TIME

Grump said...

"In May 2010, Hesch was cross-training on his bicycle along Highway 1 in California between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay when he was hit by a car.

He picked himself off the road and received only six stitches to his left elbow, a few deep bruises, minor road rash and a dislocated shoulder. He was able to walk away from the accident but was not able to train adequately for nearly five months."


What a sissy.....I usually get injuries like that, just warming up for an industrial park Crit.

The last time, I had to take 5 months off, I was dead for two days before I got up.
.
.

Anonymous said...

Those Portland Cat6 racers look to be totally beatable. (Except that one guy wearing the full kit.)

I'm tired of dominating where I am now - looks like Portland might be a good next move.

Anonymous said...

Is "Cross Training" some kind of Christian thing? I don't understand.

g-roc said...

He was dead for two days, what's to understand?

Blog Drafter said...

Two bike paths diverged in a yellow wood,
and, shit, I couldn't take both
and be one Fred: long I fiddled with my Garmin.

My Garmin said, "This Way! This Way!", although
the other way looked fairer and less traveled
and grassy, with fewer Beer bottles and Gel packages strewn about.

That morning, O, that Epic morning.
I shall forever tell the story, over and over.

Two bike paths diverged in a yellow wood,
one led to a stretchy free-for-all, and,
but for Snob, gently chiding, I should be a Fred,
ever riding.

Anonymous said...

So I see you are running the 22/22 gear set up. I did to realize you has to ride up sheer rock faces in Cunnilingusham Park.

Anonymous said...

NOT realize

Anonymous said...

Why not call Armstrong a douche?

Anonymous said...

Too many have been beating that horse! I don't think that Lance ever stopped for victory push-ups either!

Anonymous said...

Victory Olson twins maybe, but no push ups.

babble on said...

Well, and how can you NOT stop for Victory Olsen twins?

That counts as double your push-ups.

Anonymous said...

Pussy on a stick.

Stan Wiggins said...

Four legs good, two legs bad. Pedal that donkey puncher!

Salty and Sore said...

Grrrl Power, Babble On! congrats!

Salty and Sore said...

..still trying to understand how Starbucks denotes quality coffee...

Hey Starbucks! Why the hell did you roast the shit outta them humble, little, harmless beans?! They never did nothin to you!@#$!!

Construction Companies said...

If you're not cross-training, it's the perfect time you began.
Construction Equipment Australia

Anonymous said...

Bikesnob,

I was going to hack your system to let you know that I programmed with a Commodore 64 and my father was a nuclear physicist, however I thought it might be more fitting to challenge you to a 'race off' in the park.

You ride that silly stainless Ritte 'faker jack' machine.
I will ride a 'gracefully hand built work of art', that btw I designed and searched the world over to find a factory that could meet my demands of freaky-ness.

My bottom bracket is well lubed and I wear a size 13 shoe in case you want to be impressed.

Maybe we will find out that you are the creaky one.

The Budnitz

"I'm not a" Rube Goldberg said...

DNKY PNCH

Assholes Like Me said...

Steve Tilford made a RedBox funny. It's a good one. Plus he no longer follows this blog. Thanks to assholes like me.

JB said...

Anon @ 7:40pm: That's not 1:1 ratio; maybe 30:20 or 32:20. Spill the beans Snobby.

mikeweb said...

Right. I was just pondering this morning how he could have possibly been waiting behind slower riders with gearing like that.

McFly said...

Unshaven Legs of Furry(Fury), that's how.

CyclingAdvocate/Proctologist said...

Shit! I wish everyone would be a cyclist...shit!

leroy said...

Anon 3:15 AM --

Suggest a messenger alleycat.

First leg, Prospect Park to Bed Stuy: deliver atavan, comapazin and dramimine to stragglers at pop up espresso party.

(Health tip: "more macchiato or Imafuckingkillya" bespeaks over-caffeination.)

98 ....




wishiwasmerckx said...

100th!

J said...

Have the same ergon grips on my brompton; nice look, comfy, and ideal for someone with neuritis or to prevent it.

Anonymous said...

Fat old freds with shaved legs = crossdressing freds

McFly said...

http://www.jensonusa.com/Grips-/Ergon-GP-5-Grip-With-Bar-End


Takin' it to the next level. Bitches.

leroy said...

"To Anon 11:20 AM, Thanks for everything! Julie Newmar."

My dog asked me to post that. I have no idea what he's talking about, but he said it would be funny.

Rick said...

Man why do so many bicycle jerseys have to be soooo ugly?

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