Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Freds: Salacious and Outrageous

As a fatuous blogger, it is my job to seek out inane news stories, and inasmuch as this blog is sort of a feed zone of stupidity in the "epic" ride that is your day I must not waver from this purpose, even in the wake of a tragedy.  In other words, given what happened in Boston yesterday, I'm sure we could all use a little cheering up.  Fortunately, when it comes to inanity, you can always count on two groups of people: cyclists and Australians.  Indeed, as I've learned from a reader, it would appear that some people in Brisbane (Brisbanians?  Brisbanites?  Brisboners?) are being tormented by Freds who talk loudly about lovemaking:

FOUL-mouthed cyclists bragging about their bedroom exploits have sparked so many complaints from fed-up residents a councillor wants "keep quiet" signs erected along a popular cycling route.

Heh, heh.  The councillor said "erected."  Who's the potty mouth now?

Anyway, here's what's happening:

The noise begins as early as 5.30am - most of it shouted warnings to other cyclists such as "pothole" and "corner".

But some residents say sexually explicit banter is common.

"There are issues about people's work, their personal lives or who they're dating," Cr Johnston said.

First of all, if you want them to be quiet, fix the fucking potholes.  Problem solved.  Sure, there are some Freds who could find an obstacle to call out in any setting short of a perfect vacuum ("Sub-atomic particle!," shouts Hypersensitive-To-Obstacles Fred), but fixing the holes would certainly help.

Secondly, in fairness to the cyclists, it's very likely that what these laypeople are mistaking for "sexually explicit banter" is actually just innocent bike dork patter.  Consider the following wheelbuilding anecdote:

"I lubed every hole and then turned the nipples gently one at a time, bringing everything up to tension and plucking as I went.  I could feel it getting tighter and tighter, but I must have used too much lube and turned the nipples too hard, because suddenly I was sitting there with a big wet taco in my lap."

"Yeah, that's happened to me too.  Sometimes you have to go easy on the rim."

It's easy to see how a non-cyclist might interpret that the wrong way--especially if the conversation then turned to clitless pedals and dick brakes and large-diameter spindles going into beefy bottom bracket shells.

And this isn't the only way the Freds are terrorizing residents.  They're also offensive for the simple fact that they have bicycles under them instead of being inside of cars:

He also saw them running red lights and riding three abreast.

"You can't get past them, so I've got to find new ways to get home," he said.

Wait a minute, I'm confused.  If the cyclists are running red lights then how are they holding you up?  They keep going, you stop.  If anything, they'd cause much greater delay by stopping for the lights, because then you have to wait for 10 or 15 Freds to click back into their pedals, and there's always at least one or two who can't get back in, or who forgot to downshift, and before you know it the light's red again.  Really, it's better for everybody if they don't stop in the first place.  And what's the big deal with them riding three abreast anyway?  Three side-by-side Freds--even ample ones--are still narrower than a single car.  Someone should tell this person that if he's looking for a new way to get home, he should try riding a bicycle.

Then the whole rant just degenerates into a bunch of indecipherable Australianese:

"There's no doubt there are some great big boofhead blokes in some of these groups so we want other riders to say 'hey, pull your head in mate'."

Erected?  Abreast?  Boofhead blokes pulling their heads in?  All of these complaints seem way more lurid than whatever it is these Freds are talking about--especially when you consider how few Freds are actually having regular sex in the first place.

Meanwhile, in the world of professional cycling, something about BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade and doping:

This story made me sick to my stomach--not because of the doping, which they all do, but because it mentions Pizza Hut and Powerade in the same sentence.

Now that's some disgusting.

Of course, no news titillates Freds more than the release of a new road bike group, or "groupo," or "gruppo," or whatever they're called, which is why the new SRAM Red blabityblah, complete with hydraulic braking (or "hydrolic breaking" in Internet Forum-ese) is going to give them all a raging "group-on:"

I just feel bad for those Brisbanians when the Freds start rolling through and talking about how that big bulbous knob feels in their hands:

Fred #1: "So why is it so big?"

Fred #2: "It's filled with fluid."

Fred #1: "How does it feel?"

Fred #2: "Surprisingly comfortable, though it is easier to get my hand around it without gloves."

Clearly they're going to have to erect a lot of signs.

In other tech news, VeloNews's Lennard Zinn continues to field frantic questions from neurotic Freds (yes, I realize when you mention "Freds" that the neuroses are implied, but I get paid by the word):

Dear Lennard,
I’m a lawyer and I don’t file my lawyer tabs. Not because of liability concerns, though. The reason is the crash I witnessed during a Roubaix-style road bike race when the rider three bikes ahead of me heard a clanking noise and upon lifting up his front wheel to check it, pulled the wheel right out of the fork, which yes, had its lawyer tabs filed. He no longer has any of his original front teeth.

Dear Tre,
Youch! I have seen people with loose skewers lift their front end after stopping, only to have their wheel fall out. One of them turned quite pale, having just completed the descent into Silverton, Colorado in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic with his wheel loose enough to fall out.

To lift up on the front end while moving when you hear a suspicious rattle is an ill-advised strategy, whether it is due to a loose skewer or something else. It’s a good idea always to stop and then check it out.

In other words, there are people out there who actually hear that their front wheel is loose, think to themselves, "Something is wrong with the front end of my bicycle," and then do exactly the thing that causes a wheel to come out of a fork.  That's like seeing a sign that says "Thin ice" and saying to yourself, "Huh, I better jump on it and see."  Fortunately, there's a good litmus test to determine whether or not you can safely file off your "lawyer lips," and here it is:

Have you ever eaten food without checking the expiration date and gotten sick afterwards?

If you answered "yes," then don't file off your lawyer lips!

I also enjoyed this question:

Removing paint from a carbon frame
Dear Lennard,
I am considering purchasing a carbon frame on sale with a hideous paint scheme. Is there a safe way to remove the paint and either leave it as bare carbon or re-shoot to spec? And if left as bare carbon, is that a good or bad thing? I want to avoid a spray over as not to add more weight, whatever that may be.

Wow.  Paul is clearly the exactly the sort of person who should not be filing off his lawyer lips.

Moving on to cultural news, a Tweeterer informs me that retail douchefest The Brooklyn Flea is coming to Philadelphia:

If you’ve spent any time in New York City in recent years, you should know that the five-year-old Brooklyn Flea is one of the coolest places you can possibly find yourself on a Saturday. Everyone from Martha Stewart and Neil Patrick Harris to Usher and Anne Hathaway have shopped at “The Flea,” deemed “one of the great urban experiences in New York” by the New York Times, and its food vendors have become so in demand that they’ve spawned a separate food market, the wildly popular Smorgasburg. Mario Batali is a huge fan.

That was the most powerfully dissuasive and stomach-turning paragraph I've read in a long time.  It actually makes Pizza Hut and Powerade seem appetizing in comparison--just like the crowd at the Brooklyn Flea makes Portland look diverse:

("I Can't Believe It's Not Portland!")

Lastly, judging from the comments on Streetsblog, the new smugness metric in New York is how low your Citibike member ID number is:

Solid starting position.  I'm totally going to get the holeshot.


  1. ass monkeys stand down

  2. Podium taken; top ten!

  3. Aw fuck, they can hear me all the way from OZ?

  4. twice in top ten!

  5. Now to read!

  6. Brooklyn flees to Philadelphia?

    That can't be right.

    Better take a closer look.

  7. Serial RetrogrouchApril 16, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    now that i claimed the podio, and scattered the ass monkeys, i'm off to build me a wheel... with plenty of lube. heh, heh.

  8. Mmm holeshot...

    Fuck yer funny, snobbikins. Thanks for the laughs. xoxoxox

  9. Something about bikes in there

  10. Esteemed Commenter DaddoOneApril 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Boston in the Hizzy

  11. Panties!

    We still say that around hurr right?


  12. Yep. Let's talk about sex, BABY!

    Nice one, Grouch

  13. Yeah, definitely wouldn't anticipate that anyone in that photograph is accustomed to sexually explicit anything, much less banter.

  14. Thanks for the grins. Need it today.

  15. Dear Lennard Zin,
    I goota 1975 bike and it didn't come wif fork tabs, is there a way to add them? Also, after 38 years, the pale shade of blue is getting on my nerves, is there a way to make it look different?

    Graham Counter

  16. Snob, I think you joined Beelzebike.

    Also, my car was making a funny noise yesterday so I got out to see what was wrong. If anybody sees a driverless powder blue Mercedes two-seater heading west from Chicago, please let me know. The intensive care nurse kindly agreed to type this for me. Still don't know what the funny noise was.

  17. Snobbie,

    You keep using "Fred" to describe "roadie dork". Roadies invented the term "Fred", to make fun of practical style cyclists. Guys that ride touring bikes, run helmet mirrors and dayglo vests. Making fun of roadies using the same pejorative makes no sense. It's like calling insulting jocks by calling them art fags. It's confusing and inaccurate.

    Regardless, everyone hates roadies. Legshaving, three abreast riding, spando warriors ruin it for the rest of us, who just like riding bikes without making a whole whoop dee doo out of it.

  18. brooklyn flea exporting brooklyn bed bugs

  19. Thanks for staying the course in fierce headwinds (golf clap).

  20. Brooklyn flea vs. PNW diversity

    wreck beach

  21. CJ,
    Do you ever get tired of flogging this same horse?

  22. It's official: vintage motos are the new fixie, complete with portland alley cats....


  23. ChamoisJuice,

    I fully endorse your starting a blog wherein you share your fascinating insights into stem length and the history of bike dork slang.

    --Wildcat Rock Machine

  24. Crosspalms:
    I'm on it. If it goes by Galena, I'll get it for you.
    Are you going to the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese contest in Mineral Point the 27th?

  25. Let's see, 3 Freds abreast on a sixty mile an hour road way, with no opportunity for motorists to pass. Angry motorists; probably. Let's see, three pedestrians walking three abreast in a bike path or lane, no opportunity for Fred to pass. Pissed off Fred; probably. P.S. I just read an article in "Adventure Cyclist" illustrating that one bicyclist can, in fact, block a highway.

  26. The King of Park SlopeApril 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM


    Did I do that right?

  27. So Leroy's Dog's fleas jumped off in Brooklyn and now Brooklyn is exporting them to Philadelphia. Makes sense, sure why not? The question is, will Leroy's dog go to Philadelphia to get his fleas back? And, if he gets them back at some hippsterville market, it's going to be megabucks.

  28. Speaking of correct knuckle tat placement I was TRYING to teach a little girl how to throw a softball farther by stepping into it and her dad yells LOOK AT HER HAND, SHE IS DOING THE BEST SHE CAN!!!....I look and she has 2 and 1/2 fingers missing.

    Yeah I will just be in this porta-john if anyone needs me.

  29. Good thing dad's there to remind her of her limitations! Otherwise she might've done some CRAZY SHIT like learn to use those 2.5 fingers to grasp with the strength of 5 out of sheer ignorance that she's a helpless cripple.

  30. McFly: knuckle tats? teach that girl the knuckle-ball.

  31. Didn't I see you at the flea a few years back?

  32. McFly,

    In a way that's sort of a nice story because the girl didn't seem to care and you didn't notice. And wouldn't she need to step into it more?

  33. Ummm, I like roadies.

    DB--a grilled cheese contest, f'real?!? Wow! I like grilled cheese too.

    Daddo One, my heart goes out to all of you today.


  35. Fundamentalist flyover bike commuter (aka Fred)April 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Wow, did you really get Satan's NYCitibike number?

    For your sake, I sure hope it was just a coincidence and not a prophecy.


  37. My wife said "Well would stepping into it not help regardless of the launch catapult?"

    The guy is real mouthy anyway. He and the coach almost came to fisticuffs when the coach said WELL GET OUT HERE AND HELP US OR SHUT UP.

    Too bad I missed it. I was in the porta-john.
    Actually I broke it up with my silver tongue. They are both 6 ft plus and 250 plus. I think one was scared and the other one was glad of it. For the record I did not touch anything with my tongue.

  38. Fundamentalist flyover bike commuter (aka Fred),

    No, my smugness number is way better than that.

    --Wildcat Rock Machine

  39. raging "group-on"

  40. Although I buy all sorts of bike crap I absolutely don't need, constantly tweaking my bikes with totally unnecessary part upgrades, the whole idea of promoting senseless consumption (i.e. the brooklyn flea) as some sort of culturally relevant event makes me want to stab myself in the eye. I guess that makes me a hypocrite.

  41. I think that just makes you Fredly.

  42. Frilly:
    2nd Annual Grilled Cheese Contest.
    Last years winner if I remember correctly was a marbled rye with Gruyere cheese and crumbled bacon. I may be wrong because we were drinking New Glarus Spotted Cow ale at 8:30 am.

  43. Watch it if you ever come back to Hamilton snob, it's now a "no Scranus" town.

    Dear Lenny,

    I've been pulling and pulling on this crank to no avail, I keep banging on it, yanking it hard, but still no..wait, I'm fine. Never should have filed those lips.


  44. On topic e-mail sent to McFly earlier before I had read today's post:

    I need to get my cleats adjusted, but I'm afraid. They have so much play in them that I'm fearful if I get them tightened, I'm going to get hurt. However right now they're so "loose" I'm having trouble getting clipped in...there's no grab.

    And those are all the correct technical terms, I'm pretty sure.

    Hear that Aussies?!?
    Self-confessed Wilma

    btw, Snobbie, I also frequently forget to downshift.

  45. All this bikey innuendo, and not a word about stems and the slamming thereof?

  46. Extra long ones? OH GOD YESSS

  47. Lumpen FredetariatApril 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    BSNYC - thanks for weighing in on the ShamJews nonsense. I fear his craving for approval and validation will keep him here rather than a blog no-one would read.

    And those Aussies look like good candidates for Angry people in local newspapers (UK-based), though it reminds me of the sign in sleepy Nicasio (bgw knows where that is) on the verge, asking cyclists to keep it down, as presumably they are noisier than the dozens of Harleys, Ducatis etc, that pass through each Sunday

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. If I am ever diagnosed with scranal cancer I plan to Break Fred and become an EPO cook. In order to get up to "speed" I watched a doco today about the history of chemistry. Pretty much all I learnt was that back before the boffins had half a clue they used to call carbon dioxide "fixed air".

    So there you go: fixed air emitting cafe racers, fixed air Volvo 240s and with a little extrapolation I'd say ironic fixed air farm tractors will be running red lights in 2014.

  50. Garcia used to live in Nicasio.


  51. Brissy is often called Bris Vegas, so I'd probably call them Brisvegans. Did it occur to you to write your book about world travel after visiting Australia?

  52. That is clearly not picture of Portland. I believe that is a person of color in the upper right under the blue cover in the red hat.

  53. I don't know what idiocy prompted me to click on the SRAM yadda yadda groupset link, but then I saw that they're offering hydraulic rim brakes.

    Let me take a moment to repeat that: hydraulic rim brakes.


  54. CJ, even the author invites you to take a hike. You are thick as a brick, aren't you?

    I will say it again: If I promise to miss you, do you promise to go away?

  55. After a balky Sram shift caused Andy Shleck the Tour de France and a stomach full of anger, why would anyone buy from Sram?

  56. Complaining about foul language when they live on a prison island? That's reminds me of the people in Vegas complaining about the scantily clad women on billboard ads for night clubs and strip joints. And I shall repeat my same sentiment: HA! Double HA!

    Pee I are on them? I think so.

    Intergalactic Planetary
    Planetary Intergalactic

  57. group-on.

    that was good. you're sometimes kind of sort of funny Snooberdoodle

  58. Hey! A new salacious word for cyclists, courtesy of Streetsblog and Citibike:

    "According to their terms of service it is only 1 minute freeze period. Also, if you get dockblocked, you get an extra 15 minutes if you go to the dockblocked kiosk and ask"

  59. If Man is 5, and the Devil is 6, then God is 7!

  60. Lumpen FredetariatApril 16, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Frilly, don't let any Fred go down on his bended knee to you if he does not have one of these in a box - even if it doesn't go to 11:

  61. Lumpen FredetariatApril 16, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Well the link thing worked earlier, sigh....

    titanium rings with carbon fiber inlay

  62. Lumpen FredetariatApril 16, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Chew carpet at own ineptitude...

    Maybe here

  63. Lumpen FredetariatApril 16, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    I give up, embarrassed

  64. Oh Lumpen, absolutely! I like the Blue one--matches my eyes.

  65. Last time I filed off lawyer lips I got six months in the big house. How can you tell whether a lawyer is lying? Their lips are moving. Well not that f'in lawyer, hardyharhar. Lying lips lying on the ground.

  66. Meh, I know I will probably get last place here, but that story is in the courier mail, which has an anti cycling story about every two weeks. It’s a Murdock paper. I wouldn’t wipe my ass with it.

  67. And by the way it's the River loop not the bloody river route, just like the worrier fail to stuff it up.

  68. Thats it, I am doing the River Loop (root. hehehe. they said root) this weekend

  69. huhuh...you said holeshot.

  70. (Still embarrassed, wringing hands) thanks, Ysati.
    (Fluttering eyelashes winningly) shucks, Frilly.

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