Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bike. Share. Taking your spondee and going home.

Let's talk about me.

Firstly, as I mentioned yesterday, I'm going to be in Philadelphia this Thursday and I hope you'll join me.  I'm really excited about this, because there are so many things I love about Philly: cheese steaks, cracked bells, uh, other stuff...  Also, some people call Philadelphia "the sixth borough," which makes about as much sense as calling GG Allin the fifth Beatle.


(It would have been pretty awesome to see GG Allin running around bleeding and making doody during this.)

Secondly, Boston.  It's a city in Massachusetts where all the American history happened.  It also has a bike shop called Landry's, and I'll be in that bike shop on Saturday, May 18th.  There will even be a ride.  The details are here.  The event is being curated by Esteemed Commenter Daddo One, so if you have any questions I'm sure he'd be happy to answer them.  (Though please observe proper etiquette by incorporating the word "scranus" into your question.)

Anyway, now let's move away from the subject of me and instead explore the subject of myself.  This past Saturday I participated in the Rapha Gentlemen's Race.  Here's what it looked like:


As I mentioned yesterday, Selene Yeager (aka "The Fit Chick") invited me to join the Bicycling magazine team for this ride.  I have no idea why she did this, since Bicycling is staffed entirely by fit cyclists with ready access to cutting-edge crabon gewgaws.  Given this, tapping a slovenly blogger for your team is like retrofitting stem-mounted shifters to your Di2 bike, or like asking GG Allin to sit in with your string quartet.  

Nevertheless, I accepted the invitation because I am a Fred, albeit one in the autumn of Fred-dom.  Elisabeth Kübler-Ross famously outlined the five stages of grief, and similarly there are four stages of Fred-dom:

1) Fresh

This is when you're an utter dork who's like totally super-stoked on bikes and you fall all over yourself because Shimano figured out how to squeeze another cog onto a wheel and you do stupid stuff like wake up at 4:30am to do hill repeats so you can crash out of a Cat 4 race;

2) Refined

This is when you're like totally too cool for school and you're keyed in to what the current proper sock height is and you think you're the opposite of a Fred when in fact you're just a Fred who has figured out that the key to roadie-dom is color coordination and acting like you have a frame pump up your ass;

3) Exhausted

This is when you're totally cynical about bikes and think the epitome of marketing gimmickry is Shimano figuring out how to squeeze yet another cog onto a wheel;

4) Dork

This is where you come full circle and return to dorkdom, but now you covet Rivendells and think Grant Petersen makes a lot of sense when he says it's totally fine to ride in underpants.

Presently, I'm hovering somewhere between Stage 3 and Stage 4 in that I've pretty much given up on racing and leg-shaving, but I still like to put on stretchy pants and clicky shoes and ride a bike with those curved handlebars like what they use in the Tour de France.  Rides like the Rapha Gentlemen's Race are especially seductive when you're in this in-between phase because it doesn't matter that your USA Cycling license has expired and it requires stuff like wide tires, compact gearing, and large saddle bags, yet it's still Fredly enough that you can ride a crabon frame and you don't ever have to unclench your sphincter completely.

Anyway, in the days leading up to the ride I fitted my bike with wide tires and compact gearing and a large saddle bag and I practiced riding up and down hills, and as the appointed day drew closer it became clear from the weather forecast that it was going to be a perfect day to engage in the act of recreational bicycle cycling--and indeed it was.  The temperature was a lovely 66°F, or [dothemathyourselfifyoucaresomuch]°C.  The brooks babbled.  The sheep bleated.  The cute little houses were all cutesy.  The ornery locals cursed when they went to the local café and like 100 smelly people in Lycra were lined up out the front door, emptying the fridges of water and the shelves of jerky.    It really was a stupidly great day to be out on a bike, and it felt less like a 130 mile race and more like a great excuse to be out on your bike all Saturday with a bunch of other like-minded people.

The only blemish on the day was the guilt you feel when you're the weakest person on the team and you know you're holding everybody else back.  (When I say "you" I mean "I.")  At first, as I sat there letting my impressively fit teammates do all the work, I rationalized it.  "Of course they're much stronger than me, they work for Bicycling and they get to ride bikes all day."  Then it occurred to me that I also work for Bicycling and that my only other responsibility in life is typing the word "scranus" repeatedly and uploading images like this:


It was a humbling realization.

The other challenge was eating disgustingly sweet energy foods for eight hours, and by the end of the ride I felt like Brundlefly:


As for photos, I didn't take any since 1) I was too busy riding; and B) Rapha documented the fuck out of the day as usual so really what's the point?  I'll just wait for the video.  But here's a picture of our team at the finish, looking like a bunch of people who got too drunk together the night before and are trying to avoid eye contact:


(Photo courtesy of @gregkaplan_)

Actually, it was the most fun I've had on the bike in quite a while, and I'm very grateful to them for letting me tag along.

I like to think that every team needs its own personal yo-yo.

OK, enough about me.  Let's talk about Martin Amis!


("Yes, let's do.")

Remember how he moved to Brooklyn and he was all taken by the good spondee?  Well, it appears that the spondee has already gone bad:


He finds it terribly transactional and, ironically given he was viewed as a literary hipster, he views the Brooklyn hipster scene as populated by conventional posers,” says my man on the street corner. “He doesn’t go out as much as he did and has developed a reputation as a curmudgeon.”

I can't help feeling bad for the guy, and I really wish he'd consulted with me because I could have saved him a move.  Brooklyn is to conventional posers what spondee is to...well, I still have no idea what spondee is.  Also, this:

His dissatisfaction is encapsulated by a recent exchange with a local Brooklynite who was congratulating Amis on being upper-class. Came the reply: “I am not upper-class. I am a bohemian.”  That’s just one adjective one can use about Amis.

What was he thinking?  He's going to meet two kinds of people in Brooklyn: young liberal arts graduates who think creativity is taking a butchering class and uncovering yet another forgotten 19th century facial hair configuration, and slightly older people who are on the ascendant in their careers and are making the transition to "full douche"--and all of them are going to resent Martin Amis.  They guy's old and successful for chrissakes!  Why didn't he just move to Park Avenue?  Not only would all the dowagers find him roguishly bohemian, but "Park.  Ave." has great spondee.

At the very least he should have moved to Brooklyn Heights proper.  That way he could have joined in the latest bike share lawsuit:


“This is the epitome of governmental bullying,” said attorney Steven Sladkus, who is suing on behalf of two clients in Midtown, including the Milan condos on East 55th Street.

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more.  It's even more absurd than firearm background checks!

At this rate, the DOT will probably scrap the program but leave the docking stations there and repurpose them as pedestrian plazas:


At which point someone will file a lawsuit because the benches are uncomfortable.

It's always going to be a pain in the ass for someone.

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ass Monkeys… ATTACK!!!

Jimboner said...

shit!

The Ass Monk said...

Because we can...

ken e. said...

woot!

Anonymous said...

I'm completely demoralized.

Jimboner said...

pass the bubbly.

ChamoisJuice said...

Regarding folding bikes, circus bears, and whatever happened to Vito the helper monkey...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

missed by seconds
but still top 10

Anonymous said...

Great post...four stages of dork-dom, ha. The person on the left in the group pic has his helmnet on backwards. Is that you? Is that a stage onto itself?

Anonymous said...

The Ralph Race took place all over my riding area and I didn't even know about it? Like I could have ridden 130 miles when I can't handle a 50 miler here?

babble on said...

Aw Fuck. I think I need therapy. I seem to be all four freds rolled into one....

Marcel Da Chump said...

Bohemian douchery.

hellbelly said...

I believe BSNYC is the casually deliberate one on the left, roguish AHTBM hat in view hunched over his bars in the background astride a Specialized that may or may not be crabon.

nscadu 9 said...

Do the brooks still babble after they've been cut by Eric "The Chamferer" Murray?

Anonymous said...

Wakawakawaka

Comment deleted said...

You left some seriously weird shit behind you there in Cleveland, Snob.

Perry said...

Martin Anus a curmudgeon. That's simply fucking impossible. I refuse to believe it.

Comment deleted said...

Speaking of Brooks, (not that they care, but) I've blocked their stinking blinking ad. Am I the only one that has trouble reading while a frickin' miniature billboard is pulsing on and off in the margins?

I don't block all ads here, out of respect to WCRM, but abuse my eyeballs and you're history .

le Correcteur said...

top twenty!

babble on said...

oh snobbers, how could you? You know my maths suck

Perry said...

A while back, I decided to embrace my fred/dork status and I bought a seat pack and a frame pump for my road bike (I dorkily secure the frame pump to my top tube with velcro because I have one of those new fangled bikes that doesn't have a pump peg). Best purchases I have ever made. I AM a dork, so why not boldly declare it and embrace it in all its glory. And I swear that I get fewer flats now that I actually carry a proper pump with me.

Whomever Spondee said...

"This is when you're like totally too cool for school and you're keyed in to what the current proper sock height is and you think you're the opposite of a Fred when in fact you're just a Fred who has figured out that the key to roadie-dom is color coordination and acting like you have a frame pump up your ass;"

You mean they don't have frame pumps up their asses? I thought that that's what gave them the strange walk when they headed into the coffee shop at the end of the ride!

babble on said...

OMG I love you. I laughed so hard I nearly came. bless you.

Anonymous said...

What?!?
You didn't use your Ritte for the Rapha ride, Snob???

(Is that you on that Specialized...)


which trebrus

babble on said...

sorry to link and run, but I have to see a gentleman about a position

Sunday was a naked and wrecked kindov day.

and I had to laugh because even after all these years I still love hill repeats.

McFly said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Selene......she sexy......who wouldn't want to yo-yo off the back?

Gov. Chris Christie got lap-band surgery.

In other news firefighters just poured 5 gallons of water on the Caifornia wildfires.

Perry said...

Babble - Given your penchant for double entendre, seeing a gentleman about a position could be interpreted a number of interesting ways. Let's hope it's not just a boring old job interview.

wishiwasmerckx said...

So everyone is a critic, but I must say that that Bicycling/Rapha collabo is one of the ugliest kits ever to assault my eyeballs.

Fred Nifacent said...

Riding in my back yard...now I know who was out there and why.

Comment deleted said...

Good luck assuming the position, Babs.

Your calves need to be registered as a Vancouver landmark.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

answering a couple of questions that have come in...

1. Do I need to protect my scranus with some kind of 18th century, revolutionary war period chamois?
this is not necessary, but I hear Wild Cat loves RWPC , so bring a sample if you've got one.

2. Is that really Landry's web site or did Wild Cat Scranus Machine screw something up with that link?
He screwed up. The proper link for Landry's Bicycles is www.landrys.com

Buffalo Bill said...

Selling advertising and rearranging a few words once a year. Nice gig if you can get it.

Dave said...

“He doesn’t go out as much as he did and has developed a reputation as a curmudgeon.”

Have these people read any of his books? Dod thye know who he is? Of course, he's a curmudgeon. I mean his father is in the pantheon of curmudgeondom. Plus he has kids that are older than your average mid-20s hipster.

mikeweb said...

Snobby isn't in that picture. But the guy on the left is holding onto the nose of his saddle like a, well, you know...

McFly said...

Dang Babs is that one of thos Pubic Access Beaches?
I know you just got laid off but if you keep that up you will get laid on.

Dooth said...

Amis' dad was also a famous author...Kingsley.Thusly, Martin was sired by Kingsley spermdee.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Scranus

grog said...

Loved today's post for two reason:
BABE and babe.
Oh, and the written stuff is fun, too. Scranus.

DerZoots said...

Esteemed Commenter Daddo One.

Can I attend the Landry style bicycle shop BRA without internet tickets?
Is this possible.
Not humour talking here actual question asking.
Thanks.

PS Scrantus, Panties, Ass monkeys.

ethyAme teaching

Archimedes said...

Babble@1:05 "oh snobbers, how could you? You know my maths suck" It's a long hard equation so you're going to have to suck deeper and deeper and deeper.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

The tickets to the event are a pathetic attempt at trying to gauge the number of people who are going to attend. YES, you may/can attend without a ticket!

And tell all your friends!

Anonymous said...

I have been told that because I have a frame pump I am a:

a) retro grouch
b) dork

But when anyone flats, who do they look to for an inflationary device?

The most inflationary man in the world said...

I don't always carry a pump, but when I do I put it my middle jersey pocket.

having ibevers.

I think that one was supposed to be for babble.

leroy said...

Dear Mr. BSNYC, herewith my dog's response to your four stages of Fred-dom, reproduced verbatim should you deign to consider his inquiry.

"Wait, 'totally fine to ride in underpants'?

So how does Petersen explain Recumbabe? Huh, Huh?

Bet he's got no answer for that."

I think my dog is just grumpy because he regards gentleman's races as examples of unfair species specific intolerance. If you ask me, however, I think he got DQ'd for deportment the last time he tried to pass as a gentleman.

But now that I think of it, I wonder how Mr. Petersen explains Recumbabe.

Maybe I'll try to puzzle that out while riding this afternoon if I can sneak away for an ascent of northern NJ's famed Mount Frederest.

Roille Figners said...

Hey Martin, I thought bohemians were supposed to be Poor. Folks.

Government bullying? HAW HAW! Anyone living in the motherfucking Milan Condos, owns a 2-million-dollar condo and should stop complaining, since they already ARE the fucking government.

"This frame pump forces oobidays up my scranus."

forces oowhats

yeeanks usck said...

Why are all the Landry's located in some of the most dangerous places for cyclists? I might be a smug asshat, but I do want WCRM and his scranus to survive his visit here.

Anonymous said...

Martin "booze face" Amis should go easy on the whiskey. It may or may not improve his crappy attitude but will certainly improve help his complexion.
Also, go back to the UK you whining little bitch. It's d-bags like you that turned a once decent outer-borough into a such an annoying place.

Anonymous said...

Those Bicycling kits are pretty henious. Also, 130 miles is too long to ride. Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. everthing doesn't have to be "epic".

Anonymous said...

Hey... Wasn't that a Murder Junkies song, " Good spondee gone bad?" Or... maybe that's just the cough medicine talking.

babble on said...

mmm babe...
thank you for breasts, snob.

The babe has moved beyond Fredliness. She is a self-actualised cyclist who needn't need to ride in anything at all - not even her knickers - in order to achieve nirvana.

A Very Minor Poet said...

Dork-ness, something's amiss,
saying goodbye to Martin while
Lycra clad beauties wish, unforgiven.
"Got no laws!"

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't we all be disappointed if Babble was really a middle-age, balding man with hair plugs? I think I'd just have to crawl in corner and quietly sob.

Nebraska Bike Commuter (non DWI edition) said...

I think if Mr. Amis had actually ever lived around and worked with actual proudly ethnic Bohemians, he might not want to identified as such.

(note: the low glacial moraines just to the east of where I live are known locally as "The Bohemian Alps")

I got your ueaila supplement right here.

Roille Figners said...

"Who's the best pizza chef in the tri-county area?"

peter relauto

Roille Figners said...

Grandfather: "I see young Eben is off on another gallant adventure."
Father: "Yes he is, Philly I think it is."
Grandfather: "You know, I owe you an apology. You raised him pretty well. I was worried he would have trouble making his way in the world, but he seems to be

finding hiskepe

Anonymous said...

In that Bicycling posse, Snob is the second from left, on a SPECIALIZED!!!

Roille Figners said...

(That one's so cute, I want to barf)

I just set up a new all-ska Pandora channel... can't wait to

stream newsga

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:23pm,

How does everything have to be "epic?" It was one ride. It's like saying you should never go to Bali because it's too far away and every vacation doesn't have to be exotic.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

WTF was famous Amis expecting to find in BK? That all so elusive urban experience the hipsters are seeking? Not! Not when you pay a million bucks. Maybe if he'd moved projects...he'd get that shit eating grin smacked out of him. A true bohemian would turn the other cheek.

Anonymous said...

* moved into the projects*
Famous Amis spondee is infectious!

Alan Canfield said...

Another laugh-out-loud moment about Grant Peterson and riding in underwear. I was changing out after a 40-min commute in Florida and remembered his comment (para) "if you spend more than 2 min getting ready for your commute you are wearing too many cycling clothes."

I actually thought "Fuck Grant Peterson and his 20-min rides in 10 % relative humidity. I'm a cyclist. I ride 18-20 on a loaded bike and I sweat."

Take your spondee and peel off your scranus from the cotton underwear. I'll stick with good old petroleum-based materials.

Anonymous said...

How much greasier can a man's hair be? No greasier, there is no greasier possibility.

Mr Plow said...

Landry's? Sigh. Can we go to Harris Cyclery instead? Long live Sheldon Brown!

Anonymous said...

I dare ass monkeys to show up to the boston event and pull that shit during the Q&A.

Anonymous said...

wait: someone on a Rapha ride doesn't know the proper sock height?

Anonymous said...

Landry's - I'm guessing it's the one on the great frat boy ass clown bike silk road... I was thinking WCRM would be more interested JP - or - what portlandia would look like if it were actually "multicultural."

leroy said...

My dog wonders if "Also, 130 miles is too long to ride" is the new "If it rains, take the bus."

I'm not sure, but a long ride on a nice day over a scenic route getting towed by strong riders sounds pretty good.

We both liked the kits. My dog said printing "Bicycling" on the kit is a good idea so that folks like me would know not to wear it to play golf.

As usual, I'm not quite sure what he means. He knows I don't golf.

Psychics said...

I totally agree with you man its really important to say clean. If you have a psychic experience or want to share anything related to this then we love to hear from you. Psychics

Hotel lubelskie said...

godna polecenia strona, obejrzyj moją!

McFly said...

Were you hypnotised by the whisping and whipping of Selene's hair in the wind and then violently slammed back into reality by the squeal of her disc breaks?

david said...

This was very beautiful.I loved it very much.Thanks for sharing it..








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ce said...

Agent Spondee: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."

leroy said...

Must be raining. My dog just looked out the window and told me to take the bus to work.

I think he just wants me out of the house so he and his buddies can make Mimosas and brunch.

Hope he remembers that "too much of good thing is a bad thing."

I'd make him promise to behave, but he went back to bed.

And everyone knows you're supposed to let lying dogs sleep.

JB said...

Assuming that is Snobby second from the left: I can't stop seeing the white bike's (steel frame!?) handlebar as Snob's top tube. Which makes it looks like he's riding a 14" frame.

JB said...

Testing. Testing. Bored with avatar.

DB said...

JB:
That old avatar made me laugh every time I saw it.

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Mike said...

Nice riding with you. It was fun bombarding the Dunkin Donuts at the end. -The guy on philly ciclismo yelling out all the turns.

Paul I. said...

Nice ride. I live in that area and ride those roads all the time.