Wednesday, June 19, 2013

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A stately pleasure-dome decree:/Where Alph, the sacred river, ran/Through Wednesdays measureless to man

So you wave to other bike dorks while you're out on your dorky bike ride.

Good for you.

But do you flush after you use the urinal?  Because what the fuck?!?  Maybe I'm getting old, but seems to me there was a time you could sidle up to a urinal and it would be empty.  Now every time I step up for my turn I get two nostrils full of someone else's pee.  (The smell of the pee, I'm not getting actual pee in my nostrils.)

And finish your goddamn ATM transactions while you're at it.  Don't leave it for me to press that "Are you finished?" button and then deal with your stupid receipt.  And it's not even like I can clear out your bank account as a little "Fuck you very much" gesture, because it asks for your PIN again.

The point is, before you award yourself a congratulatory wank for being such a "friendly Fred," take inventory of yourself and make sure you're practicing the courtesies that actually matter.

Anyway, who has time for waving with all this data?



Maybe Strava should add a waving function.  I don't use Strava myself (no particular reason apart from I think it's stupid and it runs contrary to everything I love about riding a bicycle), but as I understand it they will alert you when some other dork steals your KOM.  (At which point you drop what you're doing, run out to reclaim it, and promptly die.)  So why can't it also send you an alert that says, "A fellow Fred just waved at you"?  (I guess the danger there is you might drop what you're doing, run out to wave back, take your hand off the bars at just the wrong moment, and promptly die.)

Speaking of taking your hands off the bars at just the wrong moment, it's a good thing I wasn't too distracted by waving yesterday to notice this:


(That's a big-ass hole, and it's kind of shaped like Batman.  Draw your own conclusions.)

I'd like to say I've never been so distracted that I've ridden into a barrier that size, but it's not true, I totally have--but not this time!

In case you're wondering, this hole lies on the Hudson River Greenway, just north of the George Washington Bridge.  (New York City Freds will be stunned to learn the Hudson River Greenway actually continues north of the George Washington Bridge.)  I like the Hudson River Greenway, as I do most greenways, but the one problem with them is that they attract an undesirable element.

See, here's how it works.  Here in America, we've been beaten into submission by the automobile, so either we spend most of our outside time cowering from them or else cowering inside of one.  Consequently, we have a lot of repressed transportation exuberance, so when we finally get access to a roadway that's free from motor vehicles we're unable to transport ourselves on it in a dignified fashion.  Instead, we're so excited that we do stupid stuff like this:


You're supposed to tow your friend on the skateboard when you're eight, not when your twenty-eight.  

Anyway, eventually I made my way through the skitchers and the Rollerbladers and the unicyclists and the triathletes and the e-bicyclists and all the other disgraces to human-powered transport and got to where I needed to be, at which point I locked up my bike:

  
As you can see, my new locking system involves simply confusing the thief until he gives up and walks away--or at least moves on to Dreddy Merckx's bicycle instead:


Of course, if my bike gets stolen anyway I'll just replace it with an impossibly exotic custom, like the latest one from the Pez guy, to which I was alerted by a reader:


When we last checked in with Pez guy he had obtained a ridiculous Serotta that even the most ostentatious dentist would be embarrassed to ride.  However, it turns out that this was merely a "gap bike" until he could finally "curate" the world's most baroque douchecycle:

While I know there are other people capable of knocking out what I wanted, nobody else but Kelly smiled (much less said “yes”) when I asked for a… Lugged Stainless steel bike (strike one for some) with an ISP seat mast (strike 2 for a few “traditionalists”), a lugged press fit 30 BB (strikes 3 and 4 for guys who either couldn’t fabricate the BB from scratch or just refuse to acknowledge BB30), an oversized stainless head tube (strike 5 for the folks that couldn’t machine it in the right size), internal routing for a center of seat lug brake cable exit (see strike 2 again as you can’t do that without ISP and add strike 6 as some couldn’t handle making a solid internal channel for ease of cable routing) and lastly strike 7 for the guys that didn’t want to make a bike to handle an internal Di2 system.

At a certain point, pathological consumers reach the stage where they become obsessed with owning paradoxes--it needs to be old yet new, traditional yet modern, robust yet delicate, blah blah blah.  Concomitant with this is getting a total boner from presenting craftspeople with a list of ridiculous demands as you simultaneously finger your bloated wallet.

Sure, it may seem fun at the time, but unfortunately here's what you wind up with:


Eeew..  What's with all the white crap?  It looks like it has Knogs all over it.

And here's the douchecycle's signature touch--a lugged PressFit 30 bottom bracket shell, which is about as elegant as a threaded-to-threadless stem adapter:


Of all the parts that really needed a dead on paint match, these were they. The cranks and lugs sit too close together to have the colors be off even a little. 

If you ever find yourself stressing this hard over white paint you should immediately stop what you're doing and move on to something more productive, like masturbating or making ice sculptures on a sunny day.

Anyway, it's a cautionary tale that should only make you appreciate your off-the-shelf whatever-you-ride that much more.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Dorothy Rabinowitz was right, and that bikes really are begriming New York City's best neighborhoods:


Yes, that "accident" scene would be a lot more attractive without all those unsightly crushed bicycles.

She's also right about that all-powerful bike lobby:


But this week, advocates for cycling and pedestrian safety will begin perhaps the most decisive test yet of their influence: issuing endorsements of candidates on the criteria of streetscape policy positions.

The group behind the endorsements, a political action committee called StreetsPAC, has already thrown its support behind five candidates in City Council races, with plans to wade into the mayoral election and borough presidents’ races, among other contests this year.

And, perhaps most incredibly, mayoral candidates are suddenly turning pro-bike:


Bill de Blasio really likes bike lanes now.

"Right now, the city’s goal is to increase bicycling to 3 percent of all trips by 2020," reads the public advocate's mayoral campaign policy book, released late last night and available here. "Bill de Blasio will double that goal—using education, promotion and safer streets to grow bicycling to 6 percent by 2020."

Also, "De Blasio will continue expanding bike lanes around the city so that bicyclists have a safe, dedicated space to ride—and drivers and pedestrians will have more predictable streets. He will expand the public Bike Share program to outer-borough neighborhoods and increase education outreach to promote safe riding. With these tools, de Blasio will set a goal of cutting serious cycling injuries and fatalities in half—even as the number of cyclist continues to grow."

Wow, it's almost as if politicians are realizing it's stupid to be against things the majority of people actually want.

Still, I'm not impressed.  Wake me up when one of them actually suggests drivers should get in trouble for killing people.

114 comments:

Newt said...

Doing my reading early today...

Tad said...

Podium

Tad said...

Podium

Comment deleted said...

When did it become Wednesday *opium*? I missed the memo.

babble on said...

HEllllllO! What's that smell?

logbig said...

STRAVA!!!!

dnk said...

As a Fred, I am stunned to observe in your blog post that the Hudson Greenway extends north of the GWB.

Anonymous said...

CitiGrundles Now! The all powerful Bile Lobby has spoken!

Anonymous said...

Ha, "Bile" Lobby was a typo, but it seems more appropriate...

babble on said...

Productive onanism... that's the best paradox ever.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Scranus

JB said...

Folding Bike Bicycle [sic]

babble rocks! said...

Upstate NY First!

Scranus!

Anonymous said...

*Doesn't wave

Anonymous said...

Pez needed white bar tape to complete the colorway

ChamoisJuice said...

If it's yellow, let it mellow.

cyclotourist said...

To taste my bitter triumph,
as a mad, immortal man.

RUSH FANS

GEDD YLEE

McFly said...

Who would have known the cool kids were preparing you for life by peeing all over your Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox?

DB said...

Morning! (still morning here)
Looks like I need more bike computers. I think I'll just mount all my old cell phones to the bars and make the Freds do a double-take.
Watched Danny MacAskils new videos last night. If you haven't seen his work on a bike, stop what you're doing and watch the 2009 Inspired bikes YouTube. Amazing.

JB said...

Not sure about the white, but I like the Pez bike.

ken e. said...

BOOT SY!!

Anonymous said...

candidates are suddenly "pro-bike" because someone discovered that something like 80% of the voting public is pro-bike. these guys aren't stupid.

also - the other day some nouveau middle-aged portly male spandex fred sidles up next to me with a $10,000 crabon road bike while I'm waiting at a light - almost falls over attempting to unclip - then says "nice day for a ride." yes - me, on my beater commuter (with an old milk-crate on the back) in my work clothes, is going to make pleasantries with some rich douche who just squeezed in the 12" between me and the curb.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Shooting Col le ridge.

rural 14 said...

Rural 1st

The end is nigh!
3% of all transit...what's next, 3 1/2% ? How is that anything other than marginal. Aim higher.

&

The capture robot is a lisping Nabokov...really I am a "toward nimpets"? What is the name of the company that comes up with this stuff? Is there some programming device that allows slightly salacious puns?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

wishiwasdreddymerckx

RoadQueen said...

Wow, in the top 20-30 range. That's sucky.

It's sunny here today! Woohoo!

pomsta and

babble on said...

The Pez bike could have looked alright if they just skipped the white and went with natural lugs. This way, it looks like someone stuck it together with chewing gum.

But I like the the steel and how it's all nice and shiny.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

fuckin A... i'm glad i didn't come to work too early today as I may have been part of that wreck too. thank lob almighty. i hope everyone comes out ok.

P. Bateman said...

i dont mind someone spending their money to build whatever the hell they want, i just hate that the people who seem to have the money to build whatever they want, tend to have absolutely terrible taste.

like when a wealthy middle eastern family moves to the neigborhood and builds a taj-mahal-esque mcmansion.

or when an italian adds to his gold chain collection.

or when a black guy puts his car on 50 inch rims.

or when a german guy buys a bigger, flashier carry all man bag.

Anonymous said...

The Manhattan driver saw no option but to finally hit the Citibike rider. There would be consequences for crashing into the other stuff, but that would be nullified by the automatic "no criminality suspected" determination by hitting the cyclist.

Anonymous said...

The Daily show covered the bike lanes by the way. It was JS's final episode before he cut.

He, too, made fun of Dorothy Rabanovich.

Anonymous said...

Instead of getting confused, can't the thief just unscrew the stainless steel couplers, cut 3 cables, and make off with the front of the bike? Including the x-mass color spacer stack? Hasn’t Mr. Snob lost a handlebar/stem combo to BIKETHIEFNYC previously?

Just asking…

crosspalms said...

Pez bike guy's long-winded justifications for the bike probably weigh more than the bike itself.

Anonymous said...

I love how those lugs are fillet brazed instead of cast. Wouldn't it have been cheaper and lighter to just fillet braze the tubes and paint the lugs on?

RoadQueen said...

Can anyone please explain to me why it is so hard to steer automobiles in NYC?

Because I'm pretty sure that it's totally easy for me to keep my car from hopping curbs, no matter how much it may want to at times. I'm not even a professional, I just play one in my head.

Just curious.

Comment deleted said...

Not only that, but Colbert did a devastating take-down of lovely Dottie. Paul McCartney even got in the act by slipping "begrimed" into a sentence.

Macca, by the way, kicks ass at 70.

Comment deleted said...

Sorry, should have included a link for this wonderful episode of the Colbert Report.

leroy said...

But are you supposed to wave after flushing?

ChamoisJuice said...

It's official: custom stainless bike are the choice bike bloggers.

I think Bikesnob could take Pez guy in arm wrestling.

Depending how the blood is flowing, I regret nothing/ am full of regret.

JB said...

That over-data'd cockpit reminds me of: War Games.

[captcha: get Broadds]

Anonymous said...

"... who has time for waving with all this data?"

Another relatively popular bike blogger who is reviewing data from a new (and somewhat controversial) power meter. Ray writes some pretty good stuff, so let's give credit where credit is due, mkay?

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/06/stages-review-update.html

I know he's a triathlete who left the US for France, but we don't have to hold that against him.

Anonymous said...

Looks like that Pez guy is going for the uncut steerer look.

Jed said...

Conspicuously missing from the Pez article:
What lube does he use when he fingers his wallet? Pedro's, perhaps?

FNGR BANG

erikbeng said...

Wow. NYC journalists are obsessed with CitiBike going so far as to mention it specifically in the article.

Was the car driver targeting the CitiBike rider to cause such attention? Are all Citibike riders sponsored and need to receive PR in all matters related to bike-cycle-share-riding program?

Anonymous said...

KBLA KHAN

Anonymous said...

COLE RIGE

D. McGuinty said...

THERE IS NO FUCKING DRUMMER BETTER THAN NEIL PEART.

balls™ said...

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1987#comic

If you don't touch anything but your own scranus, you don't have to wash your hands!

Pee Sniffer said...

Asparagas

Etherhuffer said...

Drummers? Barrett Martin and whole host others actually have soul. Neal Peart is not human, he is an android synth machine.

Anonymous said...

Lugged? Yes. Steel? Yes. Classic? Yes. I recently got one of these (picture not mine, but same year, color and model), in perfect condition with original components (Campy Nuovo) for around $2k and it is awesome, blows away my plastic bike, shifters on the downtube and all. So if you are switching back to steel you might want to consider trolling the internet for a classic as an alternative to a new high priced custom made bike (although strong arguments can be made for that option).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40402003@N05/sets/72157622095030381/

Anonymous said...

How long before the pez bike is up for sale because it didn't do whatever the owner wanted, except cost a lot?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Anon 2:37 -Nice Masi.

JB said...

If I had one of those old, perfect rides, like Anon@2:37, then this would be me.

babble on said...

Now that's beautiful.

chester_flat said...

Masi owner,

Watch the front-most cable clip at the frame for rust. Once it starts, it's hard to stop. I junked a ton of old high-end road equipment because of that years ago. Probably worth mentioning those cable clips are an **excellent** source of frame rusting.

Keep those dropout adjusters lubed too. Once frozen, you don't have many options.

Finally, don't over-tighten the handlebar pinch bolt. How much is too much? I don't remember. Check/grease the fork-side of the stem once a year.

Enjoy the robot stack failure

babble on said...

If you asked for mo sundress, you'll find it in beachpussynthemoneyshot

replica kit said...

I dont know what its like where most of these Wavers live, apparently its a magically friendly place (Sesame Place?), but I would be less surprised if someone punched me in the face than wave. Im not unfriendly and not one to deny reciprocation be it a wave or a haymaker. Im just not a secret handshake kind of guy nor do feel a pressing need to insert myself in someone else's life. I greet mountain bikers and hikers travelling the opposite direction on the trail with courtesy and friendliness mostly for the purpose of safety (I can vouch for my own general lack of attention span sometimes and pretty sure thats not an isolated condition) and in hopes that being friendly will identify me as something other than grunting homeless mugger or drooling rapist. Maybe I want to focus on what I am doing. Just because I want to masturbate does not mean I want to give you high-fives with my other hand in a circle jerk.

tostado said...

Love the bike but I don't miss those old freewheels.

One of the real innovations in cycling that's brought more people to the sport is/was index shifting and a wider range of gears.

Grinding a 42/24, or if you could handle the bad shifting a 42/26 up climbs drove lots of people away.

Anonymous said...

Anon@2:37. Sweet bike (both the one pictured and yours).

I bought my girlfriend an 1986 Masi NouvoStrada with 7-speed Dura-Ace last year for $450. She's pretty. So's my girlfriend (ba-dum-dum).

But you're right, sometimes you can find classic steel bikes on Craigslist for cheap. And they even have threaded creak-free bottom brackets.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tostado,

You aren't kidding. But that '87 Dura-ace deraileur worked just great with a 32tooth cog.

You couldn't crosschain the 53-32, but you shouldn't do that anyway.

tostado said...

Haha,

I just read the quote about the stainless, lugged bike owner.

He got what he wanted, only he's going to discover WHY MOST BUILDERS FIRED HIM. The ones that tried and failed(?) got lucky.

If someone actually rides it more than 1000KM's then there will be problems. Yes, even in stainless steel, he/his mechanic is going to have grave problems. And no, I won't tell you what the problem is.

Just don't build a bike like that m'kay?

Anonymous said...

I have never visited NYC, London, Paris or Amsterdam with a car. Why would anyone fly or take a train into one of those cities and then rent a car?

Comment deleted said...

Oh, Babs.



Plus, the baseball card in the spokes was a nice touch.

Anonymous said...

Xanadu? Isn't that where Olivia Newton-John comes from?

She's Max Born's granddaughter, but she didn't do anything as frivolous as. like, help found quantum physics.

JB said...

Snobs, is your Surly not locked to anything? That is confusing!

Comment deleted said...

I don't mean to be uncouth, but that's 5 minutes and 17 seconds of my life I'll never get back.

And I'm not going to get it back any of the subsequent times I watch it, either.

Grammar Gestapo said...

'You're supposed to tow your friend on the skateboard when you're eight, not when your twenty-eight. '

Grammar error, snobman

Anonymous said...

In urban planning and landscrape ackitekture there is a term called "induced travel". I think it means if you build more auto lanes people will find a way to fill them. Instead of walking, biking or public transportation they will drive. Instead of carpooling they will drive alone. They will live farther from work and traverse more street space. They will leave for work later so more people converge near popular destinations creating a traffic jamb, etc.
Eventually cities may be so dense, like walkable villages stacked one atop another, that bicycles may be used primarily for recreational rides outside the city.

JB said...

Is Babs wearing panties in that vid?

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

Sigh, that was my question too. Wasn't expecting the huge police presence mid-way through - what were they on guard for? And don't you hate it when you have to dismount mid-ride like that?

babble on said...

Yes! I hate it so much I had to delete the first part of the video. That and the limp and grimace bit just wears a bit thin. The police are all over the place on those damned ATV's - all summer long!

babble on said...

And re: the sound effects. I have NO idea what is making that noise, but I promise I didn't put a card in the spokes. And the funny thing is that the bike doesn't seem to be making noise from a distance, it's only on the film.

And I'm sorry, but WTF is up with youtube? Why does it turn perfectly clear gopro videos into a pixelated mess?

RoadQueen said...

Babble, I thought your dismount and remount was done very well. Not to mention you got that little sashay going on in those heels and short dress. :)

You Go Girl!

arabyna bread

Anonymous said...

I think Snob should challenge Pez to a douche-off on their requisite Fredcycles as they peddle thru town in search of the illusive David Brynes. Snob can rub his Brookeses with some free-range butter, while Pez strokes his own scranus with custom chamois butter made from the concentrated fat derived from elk antler velvet and tiger scrutuses.

Anonymous said...

tiger scrutuses - that funny. liking the tone of comments today.

the Commentariat said...

Babble, we need to fire the lighting director on that porn video shoot because he totally screwed up on the upskirt shots!

Comment deleted said...

Yes, perfect 10 on the dismount.

Comment deleted said...

baseball card effect - camera mounted near speedo sensor?


comprehend McDRubsi? (for real captcha)

ge said...

Are we still talking about waving? Because mooing at cows is way more fun and far less dignified. Well, depending how you wave I suppose. And there's no expectation of a moo in return.

Anonymous said...

I used to ride a De Blasio. Columbus tubing, full Campy Super Record, Vittoria sew-ups, it was bellagio!

CommieCanuck said...

When two tribes go to war, a point is all you can score.
Dreddy says relax.

Freddy Murcks said...

Does anybody have change for a $20?

CommieCanuck said...

we need to fire the lighting director on that porn video shoot because he totally screwed up on the upskirt shots!

Could really have used one of these.

Ryan Leech said...

Babs, you need to work on your trials skills.

-confession: it's Danny, Ryan's way too nice to tell you that.

Dooth said...

babbsy Golightly, your sensual cadence is to die for...

ChamoisJuice said...

four types of love: storge (affection), phileo (friendship), eros (romantic love), and agape (charity or God-love).

Fairy tales.

DB said...

You guys are welcome.
I asked Babble for more sundress yesterday.

Babs, do you have a dirndl?

Mayra Rachel said...

Looks like I need more bike computers. This is a useful blog, I am glad to be here.

babble on said...

My crop job didn't save!

Yes, my sand skillz definitely need some boning up. That, a different set of wheels, and a free pussy.

I did something about that nasty knee today, or rather the pain doctor did. Prolotherapy, and lots of it - neural and the deep stuff. He emptied a massive syringe of procaine, B12 and dextrose right under the knee cap, another full one in all the other crevices of the joint, and a third in all the nerves surrounding the joint. Holy McFuckingOuch, Batman.

Where's the scotch? No scotch... tequila will do. And isn't it Wednesday yet?

babble on said...

Ahhh yes. There's the Wednesday. That's better.

Comment deleted said...

Best pain medicine there is (aside from Coleridge's fave, which needs a little bit more, ah, commitment).

Babs, I hope you get relief with that therapy. Don't tune out the MDs completely if you don't.

babble on said...

I won't. It's just that there's such a long wait for an MRI. Plus the prolo always gives me a year or two of joint stability, There might be a bit of torn miniscus in there causing the fluid and swelling, but that is a by-product of the instability, rather than vice versa. Plus I do lots of the physiotherapy exercises, too.

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

didn't read, LOL

Comment deleted said...

Dennis, those are pretty big words for an eight-year-old. Oh, you're not...

(JK; liked your rant)

Anonymous said...

Dennis, you should start your own blog, it's free.

How do you get your kids to lock up those pricey bikes of theirs instead of just tossing them wherever the fu...dge they want when they're done with them?

Jasper sixsix6 said...

Big-ass hole. Big ass-hole. Semantics.

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cipo said...

eating pussy

Comment deleted said...

CI

BikeTode said...

These data, dammit!

babble on said...

Dennis! ++++

Yes yes yes. And when you start em young and give them good bikes they can kick your ass clear across town by the time they're ten and that's just the way it should be. :)

RideEverything said...

Props Denis!
The first real comments worth reading in the 2 years I've been skimming through the comments section of this blog.

McFly said...

Never seen a girl stroke her pussy and ride a bike at the same time.

Who puts a cat in a cage? You Canadianese are eccentric.

Which is a nice way of saying weird.

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Anonymous said...

Let's see if this guy gets what he deserves...

http://www.kvue.com/news/Austin-Police-say-driver-admits-to-taking-Ambien-2-hours-before-he-struck-Cyclist-212254501.html

BamaPhred said...

Enjoy your young ones, here's what it looks like from the other end of the timeline
Pre-elementary School: supervised riding
Elementary to Junior high: gradual parental supervision withdrawal with occasional trip to hospital to tape or splint something
Junior high to Sixteen: Ride like you stole it.
16 to Adulthood: lose all ability to do anything but drive, even if its 10 feet, but you can't drive in house.
Adulthood: Dad, I wrecked my car, can I borrow yours? Sure Next week Dad? I wrecked your car what I am going to do?
Dad (Me): Here's your bike, enjoy. Swweeeeetttt!

Harry Chapin said...

What I'd really like dad is to borrow the car keys can I have them please?

Tony Saporno said...

I was riding on the street unsupervised at the age of six, on a fixed gear...a mean, little bike some twisted, diabolical mechanic built. It was a rental. Old school bike share.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, you are getting their pee in your nostrils. You think smell is radiation? Nope. Your nose is examining pee molecules.

babble on said...

True dat. Your sense of smell is a "particulate matter" so to speak. This is why you don't want to leave toothbrushes uncovered within six feet of a toilet.

Though nearly everyone does.

marco esquandolas said...

tell me you've seen this nutjob from charleston sc: http://m.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/why-does-the-government-continue-to-promote-biking/Content?oid=4655086

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