Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Special Lies: Innovate or Don't.

I used to worry about the future of humanity.  War, climate change, dwindling natural resources, the endless proliferation of flavored vodkas...  It seemed like we were all on a highway to Hell in a flaming Prius with failing brakes, the stereo playing the breathy musical stylings of John Mayer in a futile attempt to distract us from our imminent demise.

Now I realize I was wrong, and that design douches in colorful studios will soon solve all of the world's problems.  Consider the Clug, which purports to solve the eternally vexing problem of bicycle storage:



Apparently, these particular design douches couldn't find a place for their bikes that didn't block either their ugly painting or their useless tchotchke shelf:


So they had a brainstorming session ("brainstorm" is a euphemism for "circle jerk") and came up with the idea for the Clug:


(Drawing things first legitimizes them, especially if there's a coffee mug nearby.)

Of course, any design douche solution has to perform an identical function to an existing product, only it has to do so far less well.  In this regard the Clug is a resounding success, since it does exactly the same thing as a typical bike hook, which is to say it grasps a bicycle by one wheel and holds it to the wall:


Except unlike the hook it currently only fits skinny tires, and it's not strong enough to get the bike up off the floor where it's out of the way:


(Always a good idea to hang your bike in a doorway.)

Unlike the pathetically unfashionable hook, which allows you to keep your bikes higher up on the wall, thus making it easier to sweep, mop, or vacuum, and also freeing up valuable floorspace for whimsical tchotchke hutches, mid-century modern credenzas, and other forms of home decor:


Unfortunately, regular bike hooks are only rated for uncool low-end mountain bikes and come in a very limited variety of colors, so they're not really a viable option for today's cyclists.

Perhaps most irritably, the Clug is nothing new, and I have almost the exact same thing in my broom closet where it's gripping my Swiffer®:


(All You Haters Grip My Swiffer.)

Alas, I cannot take credit for the installation of this device, for it was already there when we moved in.  (The clip, not the Swiffer.  That's the "Pro SL" model with the titanium shaft, too, it cost me $750 not including the custom fitting.)

Nevertheless, despite all these shortcomings, they've already raised a shitload of Canadian dollars:


I guess I can just go Clug myself.

Speaking of marketing, I recently received the following email:

Hi,

My name is Carlo and I work in the community outreach team at Tug Agency for momondo.com, a new flight comparison site.

We’ve produced a video about New York bike messengers that may be of interest for the readers of BIKE SNOB NYC. Part of the “100 subcultures” campaign, the video describes the scene, everyday life and challenges of the bike messenger community in New York City with beautiful images and in less than 1 minute.

You can find the video here and if you think it’s worth sharing on BIKE SNOB NYC, please let me know and I will send you the embed codes.

Many thanks for your time and hope to hear you soon

Carlo

Alas, I was torn.  On one hand, I did not want to help the Tug Agency give one of their clients a little tugjob by promoting "momondo.com," the new flight comparison site I don't give a flying fuck about.  On the other hand, I did watch the video, and it's completely idiotic, which of course made it worth sharing on my blog, because if nothing else I consider myself a "curator" of bicycle-themed idiocy.  Fortunately, I am also a brilliant hacker, so ultimately I was able to obtain the so-called "embed codes" for the video without first asking Carlo for them--and here it is:



This is top-shelf filmmaking by someone who is clearly intimately involved in the world of the New York City messenger, and I especially like the part about how messengers "whiz down concrete stairs:"


It may not surprise you to learn that bike messengers don't do a lot of whizzing down concrete stairs, inasmuch as most concrete stairs in Manhattan lead only to subway stations--unless they mean "whizzing" in the sense of "urinating," in which case, yeah, a stairwell is as good a place as any to take a whiz.

So what do messengers do when they're not pissing in stairwells?  Well, they're also "cementing a curious bond with the concrete jungle they are kings.  Of."


The narrator, it should be noted, also has a curious bond with the English language.

"The image of a 'ruth-less' renegade moving wildly through traffic is gone," the narrator continues.

So what has become of them?  Are they now merely ruth-less renegades waiting patiently for the subway?


In fact, it's even more complicated:

"They follow a new code, to go with the flow of traffic, bothering NO-ONE."

Really?  I hadn't heard that, and apparently neither have the hordes of salmoning messengers I see on a daily basis.

"If you ever get lost in New York City," the narrator concludes, "THESE are the ones you ask for directions."

Translation: messengers are mostly white people with liberal arts degrees now, so you don't have to be afraid of them anymore, assuming they look like this:


(Never trust whitey.)

Wow, the Tug Agency is sure worth whatever monomondo.com is paying them, and I imagine this tedious, wildly inaccurate, and subtly racist video that has nothing to do with air travel will go viral and send profits into the stratosphere.

Meanwhile, in California, a "safari style nomadic village needs a bathroom/shower trailer to be able to host bike tourists camping on farms and wineries"--or, to translate from the Kickstarterese, some hippies need themselves a shitter:



I was freaked out by the California vibe and the banjo accompaniment and suspect this may be some sort of cult, but I was intrigued by the bathroom/shower trailer, so I checked out a website and learned that I myself can easily become a bathroom/shower trailer entrepreneur:


It seems fairly clear to me that I need to order a Clug, hang up my blogging wheels with it, hook my Big Dummy up to one of these babies and get into the toilet-schlepping business.  Actually, I can't believe someone's not already doing this in Portland.  You have to figure that as the operator of the world's only human-powered bathroom you'd make your entire year's nut during the Cross Crusade alone!

Sure, it would be more of a challenge in New York City, though I'd probably do pretty well if I scored a big client like the Five Boro Bike Tour or the Gran Fondo New York:


(A relieved Fred emerges from the Bike Snob NYC Velo-Latrine.)

Or, as I call it due to its URL (http://granfondony.com/), the "Gran Fondony" [GRAN Fon-DO-ny], which sounds like something you might order at an airport Sbarro:


(A half-eaten and abandoned Sbarro Gran Fondony, its erstwhile owner already furtively depositing flatulence into an airplane seat cushion.)

This year's Gran Fondony took place last Sunday, and it's a testament to my profound isolationism and dedicated Fred avoidance that until yesterday I had no idea that thousands of Freds had amassed mere miles from my home--though as careful as I am not to cross paths with other recreational cyclists I did encounter a different group ride on Saturday.  I'm not sure who they were, but as they approached me their leader shouted out, "BIKER UP AHEAD!!!," and the rest of the group responded by swerving wildly and very nearly putting themselves in a ditch.  Also, at least one of them was wearing a Reddit jersey, so evidently membership in the club required being a gigantic nerd.

Anyway, back to the Gran Fondony, if you want to know who got crowned the World's Greatest Fred, here's the finish line video:


(Instant online results are no longer enough, we now need finish line video.)

Pending the drug test, to the victor went whatever the spoils were, while the rest of the Freds were forced to compete for scraps:


Beautiful Red Lips in Gran Fondo - m4w (Gran Fondo)

Can't get the picture of you out of my mind. Cutting through Rockland on your bike. Deepest red lips. Pow right in the kisser Alice!!!
Tell me what I do for a living and I will treat you to a drink or 7 or 12. Once tipsy who knows.

Yes, when it comes to pickup lines, women love a timely spousal abuse reference.

99 comments:

James said...

Scrodium!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Dang! early doors today.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

That's not an ugly painting. That's his Pantone Matching System color guide. He must be in graphic design. Or commercial printing.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Well done James.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"tchotchke hutch" Isn't that the character from that one 1970's cop show?

Rusty Red said...

Mount, 'em baby! Top ten!

RoadQueen said...

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

You Recumbent Podio Hog!!! :)

Matt said...

Wow, early this AM. My morning constitutional may take a bit longer than usual.

Anonymous said...

First Antipodean top 10 ever! And scranus.

Buffalo Bill said...

Stirring my brandy with a nail.

Buffalo Bill said...

So that dude finished the grand fondony in 4:20? A drug test is definitely in order.

Made the top ten before my first coffee. Must be good riding weather in NY today.

mikeweb said...

I'm awake.

nerdly said...

Let the design douche's "merde" pillow serve as a warning about his other shitty ideas.

Year Cleveland said...

Cleveland is doing a Gran FUNdo because that's what we do.

Gdt said...

I've just been through the bike storage nightmare and if you're building a new place save yourself some substantial pain and get the carpenter to hammer in some additional noggins at the height of a bike hook.

I ended up using the SteadyRack system, which is pretty expensive ($100), but the ability to swing the hung bike allowed use of the dead space behind a door. Snob will be sad to hear that the system isn't friendly towards fenders, although that's hardly a problem here in Adelaide (it's so dry that when it rains you want it all over you).

McFly said...

DEEP LIPS

SINK TIPS

Anonymous said...

Ugh

balls™ said...

Don't knock the tug-job. Apparently, if applied with enough frequency it helps to reduce prostate cancer.

That's [not] what she said.

Anonymous said...

wow. 18. I read this shit too much.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Ralph drives a bus for a living.

rudimentary peni said...

"The most authentic way to get to know the area." followed by a picture of some jackass on a tallbike. Gee-fucking-whiz, Vanessa, sounds super authentic to sip shitty wine with other rich douchebags while listening to your awkwardly spoken life philosophies.

DB said...

I'm going to get a Swiffer Pro SL as soon as I get the Dyson paid off.

Carlo said...

Well if your going to be all snarky about it, KEEP your money. I hate you! I hate you! (Stomps off, sound of bedroom door slamming).

dancesonpedals said...

scranus

babble on said...

I always consult my smarting phone for advice whenever I am lost in the city... now I'm supposed to ask a bike messenger?

JB said...

Trek
Schwinn
Trek
Trek
Magna

db said...

The narrator, it should be noted, also has a curious bond with the English language.

As do most people on the internet.

crosspalms said...

Clug, Tug, momondo, bananafana


That'll be running through my brain for hours.

Although Gdt's "swing the hung bike" is giving it some competition.

James said...

an all recumbent podium. Putting my trophy in my tchotchke hutch.

bk jimmy said...

Pop culture spousal abuse reference to set the mood, followed by a dozen drinks and—who knows—date rape? I have half a mind to slather on some rouge and ring that feller up!

Anonymous said...

I had red lips, along with a swollen scranus, too, Alice.


and stop hanging your bike on a fucking tree, for gawdsakes!

Anonymous said...

" balls™ said...
Don't knock the tug-job. Apparently, if applied with enough frequency it helps to reduce prostate cancer. "


YIPPEE!!!! gonna live to a hundred you suckers!

grog said...

pig in lipstick
fig and pipschtick
ig at ipswitch
wig in shit
dig n gin

robot zombie
22586636-11

July20 said...

that whereabouts girl should go on RAGBRAI, see how it's done.

Makeout said...

@ bk jimmy- Who would date a rapist?

Dooth said...

That "merde" pillow has me flummoxed...maybe I need more fibre in my diet.

DB said...

I see where Wang Dong is wanted by the FBI.

Fred of the Sea said...

Subculture of one, here. Where's my docuvid?

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

RoadQueen: "WHAT. THE. FUCK." You tell 'em RQ!

leroy said...

My commuter bike is hanging comfortably on a hook in my work place bike room as I type.

It's off the floor because, as my dog often reminds me, in NYC you never know where someone will whiz.

There's a Rob Fjord joke here somewhere, but I'll be darned if I can find it.

streepo said...

I just love it when my swiffer is grabbed.

RoadQueen said...

Yes, all recumbent podium because of the supreme aerodynamics and power usage of the recumbent bicycle.

Not to mention, comfort. Congratulations, gentlemen.

James, your trophy and wine are waiting in your hotel room.

RCT, runner up prizes are TBA.

Flyover BC said...

There was critical mass of fredliness here in Fanta Se. Last weekend, too.

Outside Magazine had a four days of bikes and brew fest. And then there was the Santa Fe Century (and 1/2 and 1/4), and a Gran Fundillo.

I saw a horde of bike tourists on clown (uh folding) bikes. And all the locals were dressed in their best livery.

The display of clown costumes on bikes was a little over the top, even for Fanta Se.

Anyway, I missed most of the clustering, because I was too lazy and not hip enough to participate.

On a positive note, there were half dozen new commuters on the road today and yesterday. We'll see how long it lasts.

ken e. said...

PANT ONE®
OBSE LETE

FAKE DSGN
SETS TYPE

Ger Mol said...

Clug off clueless!

1904 Cadardi said...

"These are the ones you ask for directions..." to skunk weed, shitty beer, and some dude in the projects that will sell you a stolen Mongoose for 6 bucks.

(Some of my best friends were messengers so I'm being kind here.)


1904 Cadardi said...

Also,

"the stereo playing the breathy musical stylings of John Mayer"

WCRM has described my own personal vision of hell.

Flyover BC said...

1904 Cadardi was reading my mind in reference to John Mayer's music.

Roille Figners said...

The pathetically unfashionable "hook" also allows you to have "fenders," another pathetically unfashionable item, without bending the shit out of your fender stays. This in turn allows you to ride in the rain without a shit-stripe, which is actually quite fashionable. Except for the riding in the rain part because that's for horrible ugly poor people.

fart
poo
hahaha

Also: Since "crusade" comes from "crux" which means "cross," isn't "Cross Crusade" a bit redundant? The Crusade. That's what a smart person names it. Or better yet, The Crusades (speaking of subtly racist).

Dooth said...

"some hippies need themselves a shitter"...and a "merde" pillow.

Fred of the Sea said...

Boy howdy on the insipidity of John Mayer, although he actually plays the guitar fairly well.

I was a messenger in NYC for five miserable months in 1975, while between colleges. Can Carriers was full, so I worked for Mobile. The weed and beer were top drawer, as I recall, but that made the job even a bigger world of ignominy and discomfort.

The I hate Kenny league said...



You know what? I don't want to hear from Kenny anymore.

I used to think Kenny cut a dashing figure; brooding, mysterious, a real sex bomb, but not anymore.

Just like a beauty queen gone bad, he should be stripped of the crown and his name expunged from the record books.

Up yours, Kenny!

color blind observoir said...

Merde=French=stylish

almost like the color palette on the wall, probably copied from the paint chips at Wally World, or better yet, Ralph Lauren paint chips from Homey-D.

Such a color chart is necessary in any design studio so that the designers can color coordinate their sneakers, t-shirts, and bike tape.

It's all very necessary to maintain the appropriate level of self-indulgence.

Anonymous said...

In the learn something new everyday department I actually looked up tchotchke and now I think that "useless tchotchke" is redundant. That is, in this case, useless is a tchotchke word.

The I hate Kenny league said...



Kenny's a tchotchke.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...all you haters tug my tchotchke.

...or

...AYHTMT

dancesonpedals said...

all while, on the shelf in the shed, kenny's little creatures on display

JLRB said...

Laughed a lot, cried a little, wet my pants in excitement. Good work.

Crampa said...

When I ride my bike my bowels work better

Ben said...

When it comes to the Clug, the pillow on the couch says it all...

Steve Young said...

I'm whitey. I don't have a liberal arts degree, not because I didn't go to college, but because I dropped out. That's why I became a messenger, not when this photo happened though, that was 2007, when I did a photo shoot for a company I worked for. I was never a messenger in NYC, that's Seattle in the background. That chuffer with the glasses and silly goatee, he's never been a messenger anywhere. That last photo though, that's MollyDolly, she was a Seattle messenger too. Thanks for the props though. Good times.

Anonymous said...

I worked at Burger King before I got mad skillz. Can that be the next subculture?

Anonymous said...

We had our own special clothing to set us apart... almost like a "uniform" if you will.

Spokey said...

Today was truly a feast

Notice at :25 of the clug video they are torturing a tree. As dues paying tree hugger for 25 years, I must protest!

Fits a "standard road biek"? The last time I had a road bike with tires small enough to fit this thing was my 12 speed from the early 80s with OEM 27x1 1/8. First replacements were 1 1/2 which wouldn't fit this thing.

Glad snobby can afford those expensive biek hooks. Across the Hudson here in Merica we go to Lowes if/when we get a good bonus and buy a nice bicycle hook at Lowe's for $1.98. I've got a couple of the $1.18 ones that I hang wheels on.

Spokey said...

Roille

but fenders have a downside. Twice I've been on the northern part of the C&O and it was so muddy that I clogged my fender area. First time I had to remove the front. Last summer I to take both off. The rubbing tire(ahhh) heated the mud up and baked it into a brick.




Robot denies it but it is Probably appedto

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...huh? from momondo "The classic image of the bike messenger as a ruthless rule bender who rides recklessly making life dangerous for other road users is a far cry from the ideals that govern genuine bike messengers. Their aim is simply to blend smoothly into the flow of city traffic and the urban landscape without bothering anyone."

http://www.momondo.co.uk/news/part-of-the-cityscape-bike-messengers/

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...momondo also shows the 'fixie' subculture... though nothing new there

http://www.momondo.co.uk/news/two-wheels-one-gear-fixie-bikers/

Roille Figners said...

Spokey what you needed was obviously a dedicated Mud Bike. (Not a Cross Bike, shit no; if you ride a Cross biek on mud you will DIE.)

Flyover BC said...

Momondo needs is a docuvid about bike bloggers and their commentariot.

the capthca says "branslH her"

I'm not sure what that is, but I guess its o.k. among consenting adults.

Spokey said...

what I'd like to know is if I can survive with just one helment?

Or do I need road, mud, gravel, cross, hybrid, mountain, cunt king, etc helments?

Is there some subset I can curate that will keep me alive and maintain sub 6-month hospital stays?


robot got a side aungbji. Thinking of reporting it to the IRS

The I hate Kenny league said...



Hey Whitey,

Did you sign a model release at the time of the shoot?

If you didn't or your permission was not sought to use your image and if you weren't recompensed for its use, you can sue someone.

But you seem like way too pleasant a guy, generously sharing this info with everybody here, to bother.

Snobby should've awarded you prizes instead of that grotty misanthrope, Kenny.

Anonymous said...

With a slight change in spelling "The Grand Fondoni" could be a sideshow magician.

Or as the robot suggests, "the creadgi".

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Some haiku's for Kenny:

Kenny is missing
A mystery is afoot
What news of Kenny?

He won a drawing
Kenny's anticipation
Now belongs to us

Quiet for a week
Nefarious end hope not
The suspense it kills

Anonymous said...

I suspect those "designers" had to keep re-designing the Clug until it didn't break because they know nothing of mechanical engineering (like most "designers").

But what to I know. According to the robot, I'm just a "eynervi Fred".

Anonymous said...

"New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign."

Alec Baldwin, genius.

Steve Young said...

Thanks IHKL. I did sign a release, so no big deal there. I don't know if the original photographers were compensated though, I'm actually asking them as I type. I'm pretty amused, I've been getting texts and emails all day about it, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

BABBLE you can ask your phone, you can ask a bike messenger or you can ask Rob Ford. The choice is up to you.

Bogusboy said...

Score!

Best ever, Snob. The flaming Prius imagery is inspired.

Holy Roller said...

When I am lost I get down on my knees and ask Jesus to show me the way. That's my advice to Babble, to get down on her knees and and pray for the second coming. Amen.

samuel said...

Just realized that spot on my arm that I've been scratching is my first mosquito bite of 2014. I just lean my bikes against each other in an orgy of bicycles. They don't really do sex, but they do lean.

ge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby Joe said...

The Swiffer has chemicals within it's cleaning pad will eventually start to slough off and contaminate the enclosed environment of your living quarters and those toxins will numb your brain make you docile to the whims of big brother government . It's all a conspiracy, so grab your guns and hunker down in your back yard bomb shelters!

ge said...

Well if a Clug is easier to install than Windows 95, I'm in. Um, a Win95 reference on Kickstarter? Cue the crickets. And to top it off, there was a shot of a rooftop in Vancouver. Oh sad.

Or is Win95 some meaningless iTard slang for anything MS.

DB said...

Wildcat:
I thought there was some subliminal link to a Kenny video today. I tried every link I could find hoping it would open into a wonderland of Kenny swag, but I failed. If there was a secret entryway, I plead Uncle and hope that you have mercy and show me the way into Kenny's box.

dancesonpedals said...

that's my scranus over babel at 11:13...first & last time that'll happen I'm sure

JLRB said...

The swifter is set up all wrong. That long handle will cause weird tiller effect.

shining trapezoid said...

I was seriously taking a shit while reading this article. Unfortunately it was not in a stairwell or a portable toilet trailer. I'll do better next time.

ce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ce said...

Anon 8:35 AM, not within cooee, moit. Though I suppose my titles where later stripped after I tested positive for VB.

ce said...

Snobbo, Carlo the tugger is having the last laugh, that bloody momondo theme song won't shut up. I've stopped the video and closed all the windows, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to restart the computer to get it to stop. After 150 loops of momondo I'd gladly play banjo with John Mayer for some variety.

RCT 7:56 PM, I'm no haiku expert, but that strikes me as some good haiku.

BamaPhred said...

The BSNYC Velo-Latrine, complete with non-plussed bibshorts guy, almost made me snort coffee out my nose. I would have had there been Recumbabe and a gran fondony cart. She'd be like, take one or not, I don't care.

PS. Two days in a row back on the bikeen bicycling, after a 7 week medical ban due to back surgery. That was the none-of-your-business snub a few weeks back. Sorry about that. Meds and paranoia. Snob and the Commentarati made it much better.

McFly said...

Tyler Fa-RAAAAHH took out half the peloton in the Gear-OH DE-Italia lol.

McFly said...

You like Cannondales? Hey whatever blows your hair back.

Spokey said...

never considered taking a shit on my top tube.




but robot says that was a fine Statue ddrenea

Anonymous said...

wrong wrong wrong.....most bike messengers are black(african/carribean) or spanish(not from spain) and the stupid video is sort of correct about staying unseen....ever since manhattan got disneyfied every fucking cock fuck and their grandmother has a fucking opinion about what yer doing on yer bike....tottering Park Ave Billionaires, fat wall street suits, even civilians cyclists.....the mind ya business attitude is gone in this shitty...

what the fuck am i talking about?...anyway shut your fucking face and go back to your cubes robots......being a messenger is crap blue collar physical labor performed by people living below the poverty line....

JLRB said...

McFly - That girl should try beano ... but I like it

BamaPhred - Glad to see your back in the saddle - hope the back surgery went well

babble on said...

BamaPhred - well done. I dunno if I would have survived so long without a ride.

krazygl00 said...

The Flaming Death Prius of the Apocalypse will in fact be playing Jack Johnson on its stereo.

Grace Brophy said...

Read your article in the Times but comment section was closed, so I'll comment here. I hate everything about cyclists in New York City, not cyclists in Paris or other European cities where the majority of cyclists obey the rules of the road, but definitely in New York. It's not the occasional delivery man who goes through red lights, rides on the sidewalk and goes up the down staircase, it's easily 95% of bikers and I'm being generous with that 5%. This pedestrian crosses at the light, doesn't walk into bike lanes and is respectful of all others that use the same streets, yet I'm still afraid a biker will get me eventually. I have suggested time and again and cyclists after 16 be licensed in the same way as drivers of cars--and that when a cyclist gets caught going through lights etc, they receive the same fines as drivers of cars. Until cyclists take all road rules seriously, at least as seriously as drivers of cars, they will not be welcomed on the streets by pedestrians. If you want support from the public, have respect for the public. I've lived here 40 years and never once had a run-in with a car. In the last year, on at least ten occasions I just missed getting hit by a cyclist when crossing with the light, not to mention the time I had to jump into the street to avoid getting hit by a cyclist riding on the sidewalk. From my experience to date, every cyclist in NY is an Alex Baldwin.