Monday, July 15, 2013

Your Monday Inspiration: The More Things Change, The More They Get Brittle, Old, And Crumbly

There was a discarded cicada larva shell on the tire of my Big Dummy this morning:


(Larva.  And what appears to be bird feces.)

I've been parking the bike outside lately, so who knows how long the little fucker was clinging there.  In fact, I'd just ridden the bike a half hour before, and I doubt the cicada crawled onto the tire, out of its shell, and then oozed off in that short amount of time.  More likely, the crisp, vacated little thing has just been spinning round and round on there for days until I finally happened to notice it.

It's currently Hot As Balls™, and the cacadas are belting out their cacophonous staccato cry from their throbbing abdomens.  I've been hearing that sound every year for my entire life, and it means the "dog days" are upon us.  It's the sure sign that summer's thrilling promise is essentially over and you're just going to bake listlessly in the heat until school starts again.  (The dreadful back to school feeling never leaves you, even when you don't have to go to school anymore.)  The cackle of the cicada fills me with a wistful dejection--especially when it mixes with the sound of lawnmowers, as it did where we lived when I was a kid, and as it does where I live now.  "Suburban ennui," I suppose you could call it.  It especially reminds me of the kid in day camp who would put cicadas in his mouth, let them crawl around on his tongue, and then bike their heads off.  He's a veterinarian now, I G--gled him.

He might even be your veterinarian.


(Dr. Meh-ngele, DVM)

Besides boyhood memories, cicadas also evoke the idea of cycles, and cycles can be either inspiring or depressing, depending on your mood when you're thinking about them.  For example, the whole chrysalis-to-butterfly thing usually makes people happy.  (Unless you're Jame Gumb.)  But as I contemplated the familiar cicada larva shell and the hopeless life cycle of this stupid insect, I thought about my own life cycle as a cyclist, from exuberant child to BMX racer to adult Fred to crusty, brittle old crank who rides a Brooks:


As I stood there and stared, I realized I was looking at myself:


Yes, this is me, and it's a more accurate rendering than any smartphone "selfie."  Hunched over the bars, hollow inside, resigned eyes looking hopelessly forward in a look of pain that transcends Rapha-esque suffering and attains actual despair...  This, I realized, is who I am:


Then I flicked the little fucker into the street and went home.

Hey, you know what else is a hollow shell?  The Tour de France:


It was another incredible display of strength by Froome, who one by one dropped all of his rivals until he was alone with teammate Richie Porte and Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff). With 7.5km to go, Froome jumped and Contador could not respond, and the maillot jaune holder set off in pursuit of Quintana, who had attacked on the lower slopes.

I know we're supposed to believe that this dominant Ventoux performance is different from all the ones that came before it, but the wheel of Tour de France history is littered with the crusty shells of past champions, so when you're a crusty shell like I am it's increasingly hard to make the investment.  Really, it's just awkward at this point, as Jason Gay's last Wall Street Journal column articulates well:

Bike racing can be riveting, almost gorgeous—those TV helicopter swoops over French châteaus should be bankrolled by the ministry of tourism—but the sport's leadership has been infuriatingly prideful and stubborn, allowing traditions to erode into punch lines, undermining racers and teams actually trying to win the right way. Cycling fans can get righteous about this ridicule (at least bike racing—unlike your flaky sport—is doing something about its doping!) but the core emotion is a kind of scarred sadness that comes with taking a pounding for too long. If you love this beautiful, maddening sport, you just want this beautiful, maddening sport back.

You know your sport's in trouble when the nicest thing people can say about it is that it has pretty scenery.  I give it ten years before they dispense with the riders altogether and the Tour de France just becomes this:



In other news, remember Old Man Budnitz and his overpriced line of singlespeed hybrid-style bicycles for douchebags?


You know, the guy who says stupid stuff like this?

On the other side of the equation, a bicycle is crap when it is made without love by crap corporations run by crappy, cynical people.  A big bicycle corporation knows with precision that their brand new crap aluminum frame will creak and rattle after just a few weeks.

Okay.  Mine creaked immediately.  Nicely done.

Well, a reader forwarded me the following story, which offers a window into Old Man Budnitz's "creative process:"


After awhile he approached us with an idea of helping him build a bike company under his own name. He wanted us to make him replicas of the bikes we had already made with the potential to go over seas and have them massed produced. As you can imagine we felt like this wasn't the best idea for our company and went against why we build these bikes with our own hands here in Colorado in the first place. Nothing against bikes made out of country and in Asia as many are high quality and almost all are handmade by skilled workers. It just sounded boring and not our style. So we told him we weren't interested. Mr. B however is a man with money and the means to do as he pleases so he took our bikes had them replicated(kind of) at another American bike company and now has some being produced over seas.

Classy...though Old Man Budnitz has a different explanation:

People have been asking where we found original inspiration for our bicycles. 

Above is the 1946 BSA Paratrooper folding bicycle — the twin-cantilever design we use has actually been around for almost 100 years.

Twin top tubes serve an important function, combining vertical flex with horizontal stiffness. Modern frame tubing (and materials such as cro-moly steel and titanium) have allowed us to fine tune the ride of each of our models differently.

Swedish Army versions of this bicycle also served as inspiration for our No.2 Paratrooper Limited Edition, currently for sale on our site now.


Yeah, right.  Either way, I sure hope Old Man Budnitz builds plenty of "vertical flex" into his douche chariots, because you're going to need it to dampen the grand mal seizure-like "douche chills" you'll experience while riding it.

Speaking of douchebags, remember the guy in the Daily News who said Citi Bikes are bad because more people get killed on bikes than in mixed martial arts tournaments?


("More people get killed by public transit than in cockfights so we shouldn't have the bus."--This Idiot)

Well, the New York Post has out-stupided their tabloid arch-rival by a factor of ten by skipping the physical trainers and going right for the underwear models:


“I don’t like the mix of buses and taxi and bikes altogether. Who’s going to get hurt? Me!” Alessandra Ambrosio (center) said Wednesday during a cancer-research fund-raiser at SoulCycle studio in the West Village.

The Brazilian bombshell said she rides her bike in LA but wouldn’t dare rent one in the Big Apple.

“I’m just a little concerned with safety, being on a bike with crazy cars in the middle of the street. I like sports away from traffic,” she said.

She feels safer riding a bike in LA?  Like Los Angeles LA?  Wow.

Anyway, I fear the tabloids may have reached the outer limits of both relevance and lack of intellect when it comes to asking people for their opinions on Citi Bike, because if they haven't then this is the next logical step:

Scoff if you want, but that tapir has a Pulitzer and sits on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.

Lastly, longtime BSNYC/RTMS/WCRM sponsor Knog is having a contest and they want you to know about it:

"Facebook competition time - Yay!...or more appropriately, Tres bien! 

The Tour de France is in its centennial year and as a fitting tribute Knog have put together a one-off Tour de Knog cycling kit for one lucky punter to get their hands on. This kit includes; a set of Blinder Road lights, a Knog cycling Jersey, cycling cap, patch kit, spare patches, 12-tool kit and a Milkman lock.
All you have to do is head over to the Knog Facebook page and click on the competition link to enter. 

Bon chance mes amis!"

Now you know, so there's no excuse not to win.

(Unless, like me, you're not on Facebook.)

93 comments:

ChamoisJuice said...

Woot!

tridorkable said...

Podium!?
Happy Monday!

ChamoisJuice said...

Old & dangly

Anonymous said...

primo? (Detroit Mac)

Anonymous said...

PPPO DDDM

Jimboner said...

got froooomed.

ChamoisJuice said...

What is hotter? Balls, shit or a motherfucker?

JB said...

Case of the Mondeys.

danny ray said...

punter!

babble on said...

HelP! I'm crumbling!

Marcel Da Chump said...

The lingerie models have spoken.

Tetanus the Clown said...

Top teen.

Comment deleted said...

This was high literature today, Snob. Right up until the tapir fart.

Yarpo said...

Pack Spackle!

babble on said...

Doesn't a cyclist die every ten minutes in LA?

Anonymous said...

subaru ennui haha nice. a longing for lost youth, a brooks, a hunched insect. 17 children. yup, you need a cup of coffee, makes all things like that go away...for a while.

DB said...

Hey!
The TdF is over, Froome won yesterday.
Now I can watch CNN and wait out the Royal baby.

DB said...

The Snob:
If you and The Mrs moved to The Manhattan, you'd avoid all those annoying nature things.

theEel said...

weed.

BamaPhred said...

My Malayan tapir farted and it said, "Consider the source.", when asked about VS models and their bike opinions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Cleveland! is hot and sticky.

BikeSnobNYC said...

DB,

Yeah, but then I'd have to deal with it at my Hamptons house.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

crosspalms said...

Looking forward to the Brazilian Bombshell vs. the Malayan Tapir MMA match on two wheels. Like bike polo only you swing at each other instead of at a ball. Sport!

rural 14 said...

Rural 1st!

Victoria's Secret Models? Helping perpetuate the bimbofication of A MEH rica. Why consulting thems for biking insight? That reporter just wanted to look down their insight.

If you're in motion, the bugs can't getcha.

Gregor Mendel said...

there've been times when I wonder
and times when I don't
concepts I'll ponder
and concepts I won't ever see

god isn't one of these
former or latter
which did you think I meant?
it doesn't matter to me

bug – don't need it
bug – don't feed it
my thoughts faded
it doesn't matter/overrated

cold in my hand
in a country pool
standing and waving
the rain, wind on the runway

spending or saving
credit or debt
which did you think I meant?
nothing I see can be taken from me

bug – don't need it
bug – don't feed it
my thoughts faded
it doesn't matter/overrated

cicadashell said...

a bikesnobnyc post about me! i am heartened.

DB said...

Snob:
Too bad you had to spend all your book proceeds on shoring up your Hampton coastline.
I'll buy another book to help out.

ETF said...

Mr. Bike Snob, Boise had it's annual "Twilight Criterium" last Saturday and even though the thought of hanging around an elite "Fred fest" gives me the shakes, I really enjoyed watching it. A good many of the folks watching the event, showed up on bicycles, as evidenced by the number of bicycles parked around the area, and interestingly, most of the bikes were cruisers, comfort bikes or mountain bikes. I suspect a good many "Fredly" fans drove to the event because the idea of chaining their $5,000.00 "Fred bike" to a tree or riding it without wearing the full kit was out of the question.

VOR said...

Speaking of Citi Bikes; “Citi Bikes are hardware, not sporting goods” (ancient Dutch bicycle proverb).

VOR said...

Speaking of Citi Bikes; “Citi Bikes are hardware, not sporting goods” (ancient Dutch bicycle proverb).

Phred said...

ooh, a phan!

Anonymous said...

Ima bike you head off.

VOR said...

“Hunched over the bars, hollow inside, resigned eyes looking hopelessly forward in a look of pain that transcends Rapha-esque suffering and attains actual despair... “Ride a cruiser. Hunching over is not all it is cracked up to be. Ask the Hunch Back of Notre Dame.

DerZoots said...

Fuck a facebook giveaway! Only loser stay connected online.


Robot quizing style:333 ersjnar

VOR said...

“A bicycle is crap when it is made without love by crap corporations run by crappy, cynical people.” Crap corporations build bikes that “normal people” can afford. Can you say the same Mr. B?

ETF said...

Speaking of the TDF, the hunchback of Notre Dam was a retired TDF rider. Too much hunching over.

RoadQueen said...

Insect Shell Bikes, Crap Bikes, Farts about Bikes....

Good to see you getting into Nature, Snob!

BUGY BIKE

DerZoots said...

Speaking of loser.
This mornings news cast had some purchasing advice from "experts" who recommend NEVER buying certain items new. Brand name clothing-goes on sale end of season and exercise equipment-bicycles.
They then went on to say "most racers rent their bikes and return them at the end of the season and the shop sells them at a discount".

What the fuck is wrong with americans, bicycles and paying retail?
Even the clueless non-cyclist are being told not to pay retail. There will only be walmart bikes and artisinal bikes one day.

I can get a 50 gallon drum of off brand cola for a dollar though.

These colors don't run motherfucker!

robot bullshit: 255255nnyeel

Buffalo Bill said...

One day, bsnyc/rtms woke up to find himself transformed into a gigantic cicada.

I have no idea where the story goes from here.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I went for a ride on my recumbent cycling bike and was pleasantly non-hunched. I heard the cacadas but I didn't bike their heads off. It is hot.

streepo said...

That tapir is one fart smucker!

RoadQueen said...

I can't help but feel like the more bitching there is about the heat, the more we are being jinxed for the upcoming winter.

Must I remind everyone that we are mere months away from enduring snow, ice, blue lips (both pairs for us wimin), perpetually hard nipples and uncontrollable bouts of shivering????

Please, I beg you....Ixnay on the othay...

Thanks!

Jon Secada said...

"Cacophonous staccato cry"? This makes me wonder if you've actually listened to my work.

CommieCanuck said...

ugh...I watched Ventoux, and I watched some big names get dropped before they even hit the mountain and some guys effortlessly breeze up the hill, to which I commented to others, "test his pee, twice". Then comes the standard, "innocent until proven guilty" (you know, like OJ Simpson, George Zimmerman). # times wrong about this in the last 25 years, zero.

I've even perfected my, "waaa? my team doping?" bjrane Riss face.

My "oh dear, doping is bad for the sport, what can we do about this?" Bjarne Riis pose. and of course, the awkward, no,no,no..we don't dope smile.

CommieCanuck said...

Oh, and way to break the 17 year cicada cycle Snob, I'm sure flooding will be the result of this. You made Al Gore cry.

CommieCanuck said...

TPIR FART

leroy said...

Gregor Samsa metamorphoses, cicada larvae, farting tapirs, creaky Bugnutz vehicles, Halvey dick-head shots?

You need a NSFL warining (not safe for lunch).

Thank goodness for underwear models.

What I learned this weekend: bikes don't cause road rash; falling off a car in a pre-dawn shower while trying to put a bike on a roof rack causes road rash.

My dog asked me to do it again so he could get video.

Freddy Murcks said...

Perhaps they could rechristen the Tooer day France as a helicopter race. Competing teams could be judged both on time for completion of each day's route and for the quality of the images that they capture along the way.

22 tweapsi

Freddy Murcks said...

I should add that I think that turning the Tooer into a helicopter race with a timed component and a judged component would be no more ridiculous than it presently is as a bike race.

2464 dsruirs

Anonymous said...

Check out the bottom bracket stays on the Swedish Paratrooper.

Anonymous said...

I think our blogger has metamorphosed into Wilcat Kafka Machine.

ps. That makes me like BlackSheep Cycles even more!

DB said...

Now here's some TdF news I can use:
@letour on The Twitter has photos of the 100 "hostesses" of this years' tour.
No dirndls, though.

Anonymous said...

Black Sheep admits (in so many words) that they "borrowed" their frame designs from Jeff Jones. Why didn't Budnitz go straight to Jeff Jones then? He licensed his H-Bar to Titec for mass production.

Anonymous said...

Black sheep is fuckin awesome. I wish I could say that for more of their rich douchey customers...

Frilly Chick said...

I watched Ventoux and of course subjected an innocent visitor to watching also.

Him: Where's your guy? (AC)
Me: He got dropped.
Him: Dropped? How come?
Me: I guess that's what a clean Alberto Contador looks like.
Him: Then why is that other guy so much faster?

*sigh*

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to be a TdF fangirl every year.

Roille Figners said...

This shit's all poetic today. Never before has a blogger stared so unflinchingly into the howling cavernous black maw of human futility.

Did you go "PEW!" when you flicked away the Cicada Husk of Despair?

Ol' Man Buttnutz sure is funny, with the funny lying. What a kidder!

I was gonna bike to work today but then I was all like "Wait... WWBYSDFACD?" (What would bland young she-douches from another country do?) And don't you need to actually have some body mass to be considered a "bombshell?" Like now scrawny-ass little girls get to be "bombshells?" I dunno, if you're gonna use an old-ass term like "bombshell," you're inviting the comparison to Marilyn Monroe et al... IF YOU KNOW WHO THEY WERE THAT IS. A bombshell is HEAVY, betch, and when it drops, there's a huge explosion... in somebody's pants. This one's a dud.

Anonymous said...

Bike their heads off!

Josef K said...

I too, know "the scarred sadness that comes with taking a pounding for too long". Me and Kim Kardashian.

Billy said...

Bicycling in LA is perfectly safe so long as you stay on the bike path in your gated community, and your personal bouncer in the black SUV following you runs the golf carts off the road.

I took your advice and kung-fued my way to work today. Left a trail of mangled minivans and twisted taxis.

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

Perhaps we should be asking Chris Froome about lingerie instead of all those pesky questions about doping.

Anonymous said...

"The term bombshell is a forerunner to the term "sex symbol."" Wikipedia. Hourglass figures and large breasts. Ann Margaret, Raquel Welch and Sophia Loren to name just a few! Before Twiggy showed up and made the emaciated look popular.

Anonymous said...

Was that a JIS or ISO tapir?

Dooth said...

ISIS tapir farts.

Frilly Chick said...

Like this Anon 5:19?


The Google goon squad are in overdrive!

Blog Drafter said...

Funny post. I'm sure you could have worked the words anile and superannuated in there somewhere, though. Two of my favorite words.

Anyway, with the little Snobber underfoot you're too busy to be depressed, and we all know it.

I am not a robot. I am a 440fuscrat.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I stared unflinchingly into the howling cavernous maw that is Frilly's new avatar...

wishiwasmerckx said...

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

-Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

Boy, it's hard to be first with the obscure literary reference when you are on pacific daylight time and your real job demands your undivided attention.

db said...

Hey, you know what else is a hollow shell? The Tour de France...

Line of the day, right there. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Like what Frilly?

BamaPhred said...

WIWM had to bring up Kafka, who states that one who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off his despair over his fate, with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.

With the Cicada Husk of Despair (thanks RF) Snobber has summed up my cycling futility and has pointed out that as he flicked away the dried up husk, so I also need to flick away so much desiccated baggage.

The leg humping dog of hot summer days has arrived.

Tonite I make the bikeen.

Anonymous said...

Can't decide if Frilly's avatar is statuesque or Kafkaesque.

Thanks, WIWM.


1969nitchip

Wood said...

Obscure literary reference? Not in my book..that's one of the most famous opening lines in literature.

Tapirtaint said...

Look not with disdain on what bombshells might say,'Out of the mouths of babes', don't you know.

wishiwasmerckx said...

It was the best of lines, it was the worst of lines.

Obscure? Next time you take your car in for an oil change, ask your mechanic who Gregor Samsa is.

That Sam I am, that Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham...

wishiwasmerckx said...

DB, I could compose a comment on the debilitating effects of superannuation I have experienced, but the only responses it would receive would be "TLDNR."

Anonymous said...

Tilford is superannuated? Psshaw.

Euro spondee said...

The beginning of Metamorphosis sounds so much better in German: "Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er
sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheuren Ungeziefer verwandelt".

Yeah, baby. Or perhaps that should be Achtung, baby.

Anonymous said...

wiwm, you ignorant slut, you're right: your mechanic is beneath you...working on your gas pipe.

Anonymous said...

Great post, today. Certainly captured the essence.

....M is for Maude who was swept out to sea
N is for Neville who died of ennui....
Amphigorey by Edward Gorey

Frilly Chick said...

Damn the Google Goon Squad! That was fast.

Anonymous said...

"if Bradley Wiggins wins the tour de France I will eat my hat". Hey BS was that resolved last year?

Bender's Shiny Metal Scranus said...

I thought Gregor Samsa was a Formula One driver.

Anonymous said...

No mention of Dave Matthews riding SWORKS. BOO

Anonymous said...

No mention of Dave Matthews riding SWORKS. BOO

Old F Art said...

Indurain parade=lots of Spanish Tour watchers on the telly. Check.
Lance parade=lots of US Tour watchers on the telly. Check.
Team Sly parade=lots of Brit Tour watchers on the telly. Check.
What's next?
I'm afraid to ask. Putin on a bike? Not a bad idea really.

Anonymous said...

I am not on facecrack why KNOG why do you do things like this to me and all those other companies have these extra special prizes but it's all through facecrack! No Rad at all cowards. I hate Hate all "Social Media" Talk to people outside of the computer. I know people blow snot! I am the First to admit I have no friends it's just me and my four bicycles and books. Call me pathetic but I cringe everything I see people attached to there phones (who always walk blindly into traffic while I'm riding) or hear about "Social Media"!

Kafka's lawyer said...

You'll be hearing from me!

Piemel said...

Rock Machine, have a look at this article (google translate translates it pretty well), it's an article by a leading Dutch newspaper about cyclists getting killed and how it's their own fault:
http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1100/Consument/article/detail/3476464/2013/07/16/Racende-wielrenners-terroriseren-fietspaden.dhtml
Also make sure to skim the comments and discover that the people in Germany's Vermiform Appendix are at least as mentally challenged as they are in Canada's Scrotum:
http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1100/Consument/article/detail/3476464/2013/07/16/Racende-wielrenners-terroriseren-fietspaden.dhtml?show=react

CommieCanuck said...

Whoa, I feel bad. Froome was questioned about doping yesterday, and he says he was not doping, right then, during the interview. So, along with 25 years of watching dopers win mountain stages, we now have 25 years of heartfelt denials. Froome is a gentleman, not a sungle cunt was heard

DerZoots said...

WAIT!

Where has FrillyChicks nice avatar gones?

No bueno.
Can you please being back the frilly avatar? Or a new and more frilly snapshot. It would be nice and make for a more enjoyable time in the comments section.

Thanks you and that is all.

DerZoots.

And 12uctssfy for good robo-measure.

Anonymous said...

Does the big dummy have those modren disco brakes? Must do, otherwise the cicada would've been wiped off I suppose....

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

anon 5:49am here- "KafKa's lawyer" You Talking To Me? I don't outside execpt for cycling &bunkymorph(not dope BTW) so you won't get to me!

outsourced equity research services said...

This was nice one...enjoyed!