Monday, December 2, 2013

What I Did On My Thanksgiving Vacation, Like You Even Care.



So how was your Thanksgiving*, et cetera and so forth?

*[Rhetorical question, I really don't care.]

Okay, let's bike blog now, because bike bike bike.

Remember how I took the entirety of last week off from blogging?  Well, far from being idle, I was in fact engaged in a project that was long overdue.  That's right, a full year after moving residences, I finally organized my bike shit.


(Not me.)

It seems like only yesterday that "organizing my bike shit" merely meant deciding whether to lean the road bike against the mountain bike or vice versa.  Now, in middle age, I've got more bike clothes than regular clothes, more bike tools than books, and so many bikes that, were I to line them up end to end against a brick wall and "claim ownership" in the way that dogs do, I wouldn't even be able to urinate on all of them in a single bladder load.  Instead, I'd have to top up on beer and start again, maybe even two or three more times before I'd finally marked them all.

Of course, the upside to having a lot of bike shit is that you rarely have to go to a bike shop anymore.  Don't get me wrong, I love bike shops and I enjoy nothing more than listening to a high school student explain to me why I should buy a new bicycle instead of simply purchasing the pair of new brake pads I originally came in for, but the truth of the matter is that I'm getting old and I just don't have that kind of time anymore.  When I was young I believed them, when I got a little older it just seemed cute, and now as soon as they open their mouths I just want to punch them in the nuts.

So it's great to know that you've got your own drawer full of brake pads, and you know you'll find a decent set because everybody knows when you remove something worn from your bike and then let it sit in a dark drawer for six months it grows back.

The problem though was that, since my move, my crap was in such a state of disarray that actually getting to those brake pads required a full day of excavation, so instead I'd just suck it up and go to the bike shop, and somehow I'd end up leaving with a new bike because I felt bad for the kid after I punched him in the nuts.


(I bought this $11,000 Specialized Sieve at the full retail price because I felt bad for clocking some kid in the nads.)

On top of that, whether I got the part at the bike shop or from the parts bin didn't really matter anyway, since all my tools were a mess, so I'd have to explode my entire household just to find a chain tool (not that you need a chain tool to change your brake pads, but that was just an example, stop being such a bike dork for one second, okay?).

The biggest problem though was the bikes.  At my worst I had them spread across three boroughs, but before this past week I still had them in two (one of which was Brooklyn, a place I can no longer stomach visiting, which is partly why I was procrastinating) and it was clear that one or two bikes would have to go.  But which?  Apart from my artisanal roadening bicycle and my artisanal mountaining bicycle none of them are particularly remarkable, so it didn't seem worth selling any of them for the small amount of money they'd ultimately fetch.  Sure, I might make a little beer money, but having sold bikes on Craigslist in the past I knew that no amount of beer money is worth wanting to stab yourself in the face, which is what dealing with bike customers on Craigslist makes you want to do.  And eBay?  Don't even talk to me about eBay.  There's no way I'm going to deal with an auction and then schlep stuff back and forth to the post office like a schmuck on wheels.

Plus, I can't help thinking I should hold onto stuff just in case one of my seventeen (17) children gets into bikes, though I really, really hope he doesn't.  Sure, part of me dreams of father-son mountain bike rides and all the rest of it, but much more than that I hope and pray he is spared from this horrendous affliction.  Bike-dorkdom is something I wish on nobody, not even my worstest enemy, and least of all my own progeny.  At the very least, if he still likes bikes when he gets older, I'm hoping he has the common sense to want to stick to doing tricks on BMX bikes, because I don't think I can stomach the thought of some aspiring junior racer waking up at 4:30am to mix it up with the Freds in Central Park and taking shitty bike advice from some self-styled coach while real life passes him by.  If I see any roadie tendencies I'm turning him right onto (recreational) drugs.

Still, if he's going to insist on riding bikes at the very least I don't want to have to buy them, so I figured I'd save as much as possible.  But still, something was going to have to go, and after careful deliberation I sacrificed the Scattante:


(R.I.P. Micro-Lip.)

Or, more accurately, I removed any parts worth saving and then donated the frame.

Yes, we'd been through a lot together.  In fact, the Scattante is arguably a significant part of urban cycling history, inasmuch as it marked Performance Bike's entry into the then-nascent "fixie" market:



Metallica making a music video, Nirvana going Top 40, and Performance selling "fixies."  These were all cultural high points, or low points, or completely and utterly meaningless points depending on how you look at it.

Still, the Scattante was simply a bike I could no longer rationalize--if for no other reason than it's a single-speed city bike, and while I technically still live in "the city," in practice I can barely even pedal the fucking thing up the hill to my house, much less muster up the enthusiasm to do a 15-mile commute on the thing.

So it had to go.

As for the rest, I stripped a couple down and hung the frames in the corner like sides of beef, and everything else is all in one place, in tune, and ready to roll.  Tires, stems, seatposts, pedals, and the like all live in little bins like happy hamsters.  All my tools are readily accessible so I can get right to mangling and stripping components.  And between years of hoarding and the stripping-down of little-used bikes I now have enough spare parts that, with any luck, I can avoid having to enter a bike shop for at least a few years.


(This is what my bike stuff looks like now.  In my wettest dreams.)

And with that, I'm grabbing one of my easily-accessible bikes and heading out for a ride:

Welcome back, suckers.

84 comments:

samh said...

AYHSMB

foffinoff said...

yanker

Comment deleted said...

And we're back.

yeah Cleveland ! said...

First?

Buffalo Bill said...

woot?

dnk said...

Look out.

samh said...

And good on ya' for donating the ol' Scattante (or parts of it anyway), RTMS.

Anonymous said...

Top ten, Ladies!!!!!!!!

ken e. said...

doh, read halfway then thought... pode?

Comment deleted said...

Remember, folks, it's Monday, so go to your LBS and kick a sales-kid in the nuts.

Freddy Murcks said...

The commentariat is a bit slow to catch on today.

19 avgnsp

yeah Cleveland! said...

So close to my first visit to the podio. Top 4 finishers all clocked in at 12:40.

crosspalms said...

Welcome back, Wildcat Reorganized Machine.

Anonymous said...

Fixed gear bikes destroyed my knee. Rode for decades without any pain, until I made that mistake.

mikeweb said...

Today is Cyber Monday so 15th counts as a podium spot.

babble on said...

Oh dear. The small boy bought his first road bike at the age of ten over the summer... does that mean I have to get him started on the drugs now?

3G said...

WISH BONE
FRED SLED
BREA STS

babble on said...

Oh and LOL!!! Love love love it, I laughed so hard.

Welcome back wildrock cat machine.

Anonymous said...

WCRM, you didn't mention if you have a spreadsheet to look up what you have and where. You're a dumb a$$ if you ain't got a list!

Subhas Out! said...

SUCK IT!

DB said...

Welcome back.
No more vacations for awhile, please.

Roille Figners said...

Horale

Anonymous said...

any bike with 'scat' in the name is a surefire hit

Podium-Seeking Dipshit said...

Just a few weeks ago you were appreciative of the fast and proper tire mounting from the LBS employee and now you want to punch them in the balls?

Anonymous said...

you got rid of the scattainte! You should at least had a contest to give it away. I'm still commuting on my Craptante Americano. People with SE Drafts laugh at me. I'm secretly hoping it gets stolen so I can replace it. Keep up the good work wildman cat musheen.

Anonymous said...

My LBS sucks. I want to patronize them more and in fact have even purchased a roading bike and various parts from them, but they just suck. Indifferent sales people, crappy mechanics and a fairly limited selection. Some one should punch them in the balls.

Anonymous said...

You "donated" the frame? You truly are a sensitive urban man aren't you wild cat. Are you going to "adopt" a "Rescue" bike to replace it? Just admit that you donated it to the garbage, no one here will judge you (he he he).

Herschel Raney said...

Nice Turkey.

I know, you, as a New Yorker, have like fifty LBSs. I have like 2 if I stretch out about twenty miles. So I will imagine kicking someone in the nuts. I may need them.

I think I need more bikes now though. And the urine on the ones I have, may not be fresh enough.

Good to have you back.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

You looked at a dead turkey's butt on your thanksgiving vacation? You're a strange dude Wildcat but whatever. Different strokes for different folks I always say.

My LBS is ok. The guys are knowledgeable and friendly. They even sell a recumbent or two once in a while. No hits to the nads for them.

samh outta nowhere FTW! nicely done sir.

Anonymous said...

Top XXX?
I added one to the stable on Schwarze Freitag, so it all evens out.

babble on said...

So... it was raining on Saturday and when I got home my beautiful gold Campy wheels were blackened a la wet aluminium rims. :( And then it occurred to me. I need a winter bike. Time to pass the trail bikes along so I have room to hang ONE. MORE. BIKE.

Anonymous said...

http://maine.craigslist.org/bik/4224495886.html

It's not often you rip into a craigslist fixie anymore, but I figured you'd get a kick out of this one.

Have a laugh.
-josh

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's great. We care!

Anonymous said...

In a few years you will move into another stage -- you will recognize the teenager at the bike shop because he's your own kid's classmate.

Roille Figners said...

Oh man I lost patience with the LBS a while ago. You reach a certain age and they start to equate you with their un-hip parent who has never been on a bike. As opposed to someone who has BEEN RIDING THAT WHOLE TIME, and what they're telling me, I learned when they were still shitting their pants.

Roille Figners said...

Don't save the bikes for the kid - save them for TH'POCALYPSE.

Extra bikes 'n' parts 'n' shit are all over my living room right now for "winter maintenance."

Philosophical question: When a part breaks, and you have several replacements of varying age & quality, do you:
1) Grab the shittiest one and put it on, so you "use up" the rest of its service life as it were (wear it out), and keep the better ones as backups?
2) Grab the nicest one and put it on, keeping the shitty ones as backups?

Anonymous said...

I want my money back.

balls™ said...

I'll be 44 years old soon, but I still laugh at jokes about balls (kicking them, shifting them... whatever).



scranus

McFly said...

Junior has got that turkey in an awkward position.

STUF FING

Comment deleted said...

Of the six or seven bike shops in town, one stands out as the Fred Haven. If you indicate any hesitation at spending over a hundred for *an y* part, they give you a knowing look ("Guess you just wandered in from Schwinnville, eh?") and then treat you like shit from that point on.

I *do* think $120 is a little much for brake pads, but that's just me. I hear they're very light.

Mr Plow said...

Anonymous 12:54
Do you mean you destroyed your knees riding a fixie? Or did a fixed gear bicycle literally destroy your knee?

CommieCanuck said...

WRM...the No videos of people fighting in lycra bibs over a cheap tube of valve stem lubricant or a great pair of Mishulun tires?

CommieCanuck said...

Nice huntin' photo. WRM is the Melissa Bachman of bikes.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

seriously, in order to deter your offspring from road cycle bicycling, you'll turn them onto drugs?

i thought it was a given that if one were to join the ranks of the freds aspiring for podium position one would naturally turn to drugs.

perhaps you'd be wise to give your 17 children packs of cigarettes for chanukah this year.

Anonymous said...

BSNYC:

I am disappointed in your TT bike purchase. Not nearly unique enough. You NEED to express your individuality with a paintjob like this:
coolest trigeek bike evar

CommenterBot9000 said...

“Apart from my artisanal roadening bicycle…”

So… How is the cow-free-non-bar-tape-color-matching saddle doing on the “artisanal roadening bicycle?

Any commenters here have any experience with one of these: http://brooksengland.com/cambium/ ?

JB said...

Did you come across Recumbabe in the parts bin?

RoadQueen said...

I care, Snob. *pats shoulder*

Any who, nice that you finally got your shit together. Well, your bike shit, anyway. It's nice to be able to actually find the things you need, right?

If only I could convince my 11 year old son of this miraculous truth, my life would be almost complete.

Glad you're back - we missed you!

leroy said...

Note to WCRM -- The LBS employees are not in high school. As we get older, everyone else seems younger.

Note to self -- Must apologize to my dog. In light of today's post, his misunderstanding of my admonition to take ownership of his decisions seems reasonable.

Note for all -- Yesterday, I got to chatting on a few easy laps of the local park with a rider almost my age who had been to two Olympics and had a bunch of national championships.

My dog says that after all these years, I should be used to getting dropped. Nonetheless, it still is pretty cool to see someone add 10 mph in the blink of an eye and with about as much effort as flipping a light switch.

I'm sure I wouldn't see that sort of thing in The Bronx.

babble on said...

Nice, Leroy. I like that he's "of a certain age" and still kicking ass. I'm definitely stronger, faster, and fitter than ever before... it gives me hope.

Yarpo said...

Wow, that English Fred Shed has a built-in groove for your rear wheel AND a Helment Hook.

Neato! I would want one, but then I would have to talk to my bicycle in an English accent.

Unlike Cavendish, samh isn't slowing down with age. Still unbeatable in the last 200 meters, I salute you, Sir, and firm handshakes to foffinof and Comment deleted. yeah Cleveland!, it's okay to have one of those hitting-the handlebars-and-cursing-like-(insert favorite angry rider here)-tantrums. You earned it today.

Welcome back, Snob. You were missed in your overlong absence and now McFly is convinced that foam kneepads are better than the hard plastic, "clacky" ones, a problem which could be fixed by shag carpeting or a throw rug. Would you talk to him, please, and explain it? Thanks, much appreciated.

See what happens when you go away?

Anonymous said...

Rollie,

Usually 2, but occasionally 1 depending on the awesomeness/crappyness of the recipient bike.

trama said...

Best LBS vote goes to :
Black Mountain Cycles in Pt Reyes, CA, USA


dstypin 704

Anonymous said...

I've been going to the same LBS for nearly 25 years. The high school kid behind the counter is the owner's son and he's actually pretty cool. This shop is of the "nah, you don't want one of those. I stock that for rich people with more money that sense. Don't waste your money." No nad punching for me.

crosspalms said...

robot detector seems to sense that we took in some feral kittens over the weekend

oneFlea 2715

mikeweb said...

Where I work a few years back I decided to be the building coordinator for blood drives that we have 4 times a year.

So, if anyone here happens to live or work in the vicinity of 114 W. 47th (btwn 6th ave. & B'way) in Midtown NY, or just plans to be ambling through here this Wednesday, December 4th between 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, please consider donating some of the red stuff. You'll need some kind of ID. Feel free to e-mail me via my profile here there's any questions.

Unfortunately you won't be able to have your blood re-infused during a rest day inside a bus pulled over at the side of a mountain road.

(Apologies for the self promo-ing, but it's for a good cause).

McFly said...

clackityclackityclaCKITYCLACKITYCLACKITYCLACKITYCLACKITYCLACKITYCLACKITY[pause] "Thanks babe gotta run been real"

CommieCanuck said...

..and the whole week, Robs Fords did nothing more stupider like.
He even took in an innocent NFL game Sunday, (and stole someone's seat).

Anonymous said...

And so the inevitable and unsparing descent back into disorder and squalor begins anew. It's the cycle of life, Snobby. As you get older you realise such spruce-ups are pointless because it will all turn to shit again.

Speaking of being anal, I followed your suggested method of aligning a tyre's brand stamped on its sidewall with the valve after I repaired a puncture recently. While I appreciate and accept the logic of this procedure, I was left in a quandary as my tyre's branding was on two different locations on either side of the tyre.

"Damn you to hell, Snobby, damn you to hell!", I roared at this vexing complication.

It might be too advanced for your readership, but perhaps you could issue a short tutorial about how one deals with this bewildering problem?

I'd think it'd come down to a question of making the alignment on the less cluttered non-drive side or on the all-business drive side...

But it's really not my place to say.

It's above my station.

I apologise for my hubris.

Dooth said...

Ooooh...tool porn.

dancesonpedals said...

there was a time when the label was only on one side of the tire... I could never remember if the label (over the valve) was supposed to be on the drive side or anti-drive side...when continental put labels on both sides I cried tears of happiness until I wet my pants

JB said...

Anon @ 4:23pm: Since the most important bike porn photos should be from the drive side, I would guess that the labels aligning on the drive side would take precedence over non-drive. Hope this helps.

Went mountaining cycling Turkey Day morning and my buddy beefed pretty nice-like. He busted off his front derailleur shifter (I know, why aren't we going 1x11 yet?) and we had to stick it in a glove and wire it on for the remainder of the ride. EPIC.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Roille Figners 1:57
i'll answer your philosophical question with your prophetic comment:

Don't install the [shitty] bike [parts] - save them for TH'POCALYPSE.

if you're going to go out soon anyways, might as well enjoy the shinier parts now.

fake_english_accent said...

I get it now Snobbers....

You were moonlighting on your artisanal shed blog.

I want my subscription refunded. Now!

Anonymous said...

You are obviously short on material, so tell us about the Brompton you bought... I mean the folding bike that you aren't saying what it is, but we all know its a Brompton...

Grump said...


"What I Did On My Thanksgiving Vacation"

You had sex with a Turkey??????
.
.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:50pm,

1) Not a Brompton;
2) I didn't buy it;
3) Haven't used it in months.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

babble on said...

Crosspalms - Just so you know, you may have cats, or plants, but not both.

Oh! Also...

New boyfriend is allergic to kitten so can't keep him. :( He is ginger & named Tom. Friendly. Comes when called. 28 and works in IT

Gelledaldo said...

Need some money and had to sell my Cipo endorsed greasy hair comb. Didn't know how I could ever part with it. My girl dissed me for the loss so I gave her a good tongue lashing.

busdriver dave said...

You want to work on the sales floor young lad, you best strap on the protective cup,social rock cat machines are aiming at the fambly jewels!

Anonymous said...

uses the word "nascent" a lot.


and what's that young boy doing to the turkey?

vantage said...

Lying liars and the lies they tell themselves...no matter what you tell yourself, all that crap you boxed up will never be bolted to one of your bikes again.

Oh, you think it will be used again on some glorious rebuild – like a hipster collabo, if you will.

But it won’t.

When you unarchive that box in nine years, you’re going to find an aging piece of crap: the grease you failed to clean up will have hardened, and the aluminum will be a fading gray.

At that moment, you’ll realize just how pointless the entire effort was, and how much a reflection that part is of you.

I hope the holidays were otherwise good to you and the family.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Vantage,

No, I'll use most of it.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Not the scattante! That was your coolest bike, in a round about ironic way.

What is your lock it to a pole and don't too much about it walking away bike? The travel bike with the exceptional tiller extension?

I find those colored plastic headset spacers offensive.

Anonymous said...

I spent my youth doing (recreational)drugs. Now I bike and suck at it from my wasted youth.

Snobbie, Are you saying I did it right instead of becoming (eventually) a frustrated Cat 3.

Anonymous said...

Someone said you get one of those little tool bags that hang from your seat if you read a post on this blog. What do I fill out?

Anonymous said...

http://www.pinterest.com/davehaygarth/people-carrying-cyclocross-bikes-daftly/

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1OZccPXqp0#t=55

Lia Wright said...

Are you serious about to sale floor young lad???

Regards,
Luxury Hair extensions

McFly said...

Turkey: "Have your way with my bird-hole Young Great White Hunter...just please use protection..."

Young Great White Hunter: "Don't worry....I have my trusty Remington 870 pump..."

Liz said...

Heh, heh. I can relate to your bike part build up, and numerous bikes. It is an addition. But one I'm still enjoying. I must sort my bike stuff now. Drat!

Rachel said...

Yay! You're back!

Mr Wang said...

My LBS salesperson is a young hipster chick who often goes braless. There is always the awkward moment while I ask for some chainring bolts and imagine getting a tuggie at the same time.

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