Thursday, June 19, 2014

A lengthy discourse on the intricacies of maritime law.

Yesterday afternoon I slipped out for a ride on a rugged all-terrain bicycle.

It's a well-known law of physics that any bicycle photo posted on the Internet will attract negative commentary.  I know this because I started a blog based on doing just that.  Now, I'm going to complain about it, because another well-known law of physics is that bloggers are hypocrites.

For road bikes, negative bike commentary usually consists of inane yet odorless little Fred farts like "the bar tape should match the saddle" or "slam that stem!"  (This sort of irritating mental flatulence is caused by consuming websites live "Velominati.")  In the heady days of the fixie craze, dozens of people who had been riding bikes for less than three months would argue over whether a track bike's chain tension was correct.  I'm not sure what the go-to recumbent complaint is, but I'm sure it happens with them too, and I'd imagine comments are along the lines of "that bike's too upright" and "the rider's head should be level with his scranus."

But when it comes to useless critiques, it's mountain bikes that attract the true dingbats.

"Those bars are too narrow."  "The brake levers are angled wrong."  "Needs suspension."  "Those tires suck."*  And so forth.

*[Seriously, you haven't figured out all these tires are the same yet?  Idiots.]

It seems especially futile to quibble over the finer points of a mountain bike given the endless variety of terrain in this world.  Even within a single region one area might call for a completely different set of equipment than another, and that's not even accounting for the seasons or for each rider's individual preference and riding style.  This is why mountain bike critiques are the lowest form of Internet bike dork wankerdom.  It's like this guy:


Calling out this woman for not wearing a parka:


(That surfboard carrier sucks, riding in flip flops is stupid, where's your helment, and so forth.)

Not that this stops the average Mountain Fred (or "Barney" as some call them), who will then move on from your locally-appropriate bike to critiquing your native environment and insulting you because "you don't have any real mountains where you live," as though you somehow singlehandedly "wussified" millions of years of geologic evolution, or that your average person who does not race bikes for a living should pick up and move in pursuit of Internet bragging rights.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I rode this bike, because as I headed off into the woods I noticed there was indeed something egregiously wrong with it:


I'm sure Mountain Freds have found fault with nearly every single component of this bicycle, including those not visible to the naked eye, but tellingly nobody noticed the only actual problem, with is that I had this thing on upside-down:


(Not my bike or my thumb.)

I must have done so the last time I switched the fork, and of course the upshot was that the caliper was angled all wrong and the pads were only grabbing like half the braking surface of the rotor.  Oddly though, I've been riding it like this for months and noticed no adverse effects.  The bike stopped fine--in fact, much more than fine.  Moreover, when I stopped and re-installed it correctly I didn't notice much of an improvement.

My conclusion from all of this is two-fold: 1) I'm an idiot; 2) Internet Mountain Freds are even bigger idiots, because while they're worrying about my brake lever angle my fucking brake caliper is on wrong.

Or, to put it more elegantly, my idiocy is proof that people are idiots.

As for the Mountain Freds, their conclusions will be: 1) You didn't notice an improvement because your brakes suck in the first place, you need the Hydro RTX Vulvulator SLs running DOT 666 fluid cut with baby oil; 2) You didn't notice because you ride "woosie" trails that I could ride with my road bike; 3) You should move to British Columbia/The Rockies/The West Coast/The High Desert/The Swiss Alps/the Antarctic etc. where if you install your brake wrong you will die.

In any case, even though my brake was now correct the rest of the universe seemed somehow out of whack.  Everything seemed to go slightly wrong for me after that, including when this enchanted tree grabbed me by the backpack and stopped me cold as I made my way through the little Hobbit habitat:


On the plus side, after the tree relinquished me I emerged from the Hobbit habitat with special powers, for on the way home I saw someone who was driving like an asshole.  "What an asshole!," I thought.  Then, a short while later, we both stopped at a red light and I noticed that the word "asshole" was keyed into the side of the car.

I was unable to obtain a photo because the light turned green a moment later, but I swear on the Lord Jesus Christ's "pants yabbies" that all of this is true.

Therefore, it's obvious to me that I now have the power to manifest my thoughts in physical form, and that I scrawled the world "asshole" on this douchebag's Nissan Rogue with my mind.


So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

In other news, here's something for all you Retro-Freds out there:


If you're wondering why this guy doesn't just switch to clipless pedals, it's because these conform to L'Eroica ride rules, which is like NJS for the wool jersey set:

Article 6 - Criteria for admission
Only cyclists with "L’Eroica" bicycles will be permitted to participate.

"L’Eroica" bicycles are bicycles which have all the following characteristics:
road racing bikes, built before 1987 (not cycle-cross or time trial bikes);
steel frame (the only aluminium frame bikes permitted are ALAN or VITUS with either screwed or glued joints);
gear shift levers on the down tube of the frame (exceptionally, only pre-1980 bar-end gear shifts are allowed);
pedals with toe clips and fitted straps (quick release pedals are not allowed, except Cinelli M71 pedals);
passage of brake cables outside the handlebars (the passage of cables inside the frame is acceptable);
wheels must have at least 32 spokes with a low profile (less than 20 mm).

If I were a L'Eroica commissaire or whoever enforces the rules for the ride, I'd look askance at a workaround like this, though I'm way into the hypnotic animated GIF on the website:


The wagging Retro-Fred heel is making you sleepy...very sleepy...  Now, when you hear the rattly sound of a vintage derailleur moving a chain across a five-speed freewheel, you'll wake up and think you're Italian cycling great and noted centerfold model Fausto Coppi:


("Phénomène" is French for "wang.")

Speaking of France, while New Yorkers continue to debate the future of Citi Bike, Vélib' in Paris is busy launching a bike share program for kids:


Why should adults have all the fun on bike share?

Paris is launching bike share for kids, P'tit Vélib', in parks and designated areas throughout the city. A range of kids' bikes, from balance bikes to smaller step-through styles that resemble their larger counterparts with front baskets and full chainguards, will be available for children ages 2-8.

It makes me sad that something like this would never happen in America, where Gatorade is considered a juice, parents make their kids wear helments to play video games, and children gestate in minivans and eat McDonald's until they're 20, at which point they emerge with the protective layer of fat they need to survive in a country where people drive on the freaking pedestrian and bike paths:





"VDOT has modified procedures for access to the bridge, which restrict bridge tenders from utilizing vehicles for shift changes. Bridge tenders must now walk or utilize a motorized cart. When a vehicle is required, it will be accompanied by a walking spotter to identify any potential safety issues."

Motorized cart?!?  Here's a crazy idea: if you work on a bike path, maybe try riding a fucking bike to work!  Also, I'm glad to see they're conducting a thorough investigation:

The Virginia Department of Transportation confirmed Monday the driver of the car in Saturday’s accident is a bridge tender. VDOT says the contract employee has been placed on administrative leave while the agency investigates the accident.

Wow, the investigation has only just begun and already they know it was an accident.  Something tells me that by the time they're finished they'll come to the conclusion that cyclists and pedestrians should be banned from the bridge and it should only be open to cars.  

That's how we do it here in Canada's FUPA.

80 comments:

Flyover BC said...

Podium

Anonymous said...

! 1st ! Big Booielaptop!

James said...

scrodium?

Roille Figners said...

Je suis dans le cul des trois premiers.

Roille Figners said...

RATS!

dancesonpedals said...

I have no life

James said...

Nicked you at the line Roille. Tu n'es pas le cul des trois premiers.
Been fixie circling for hours waiting for that light to change and sprint.

captcha says ituaraBJ society. I like it.

BamaPhred said...

Top 10? Now time to read!

JRF said...

Seriously though, if you are "running" Avid brakes there's no way they're "working fine". That would be like a GM that didn't try to kill you, or a Dreamliner that doesn't catch fire.

wats7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Morning Machine Fred said...

Top 10? Whoo hoo!!!

Morning Machine Fred said...

Top 10? Whoo hoo!!!

Anonymous said...

MoregirlinpinkbikiniorImagonnakillyou

Comment deleted said...

Yes, but was the cyclist on the bridge wearing a helment? HMMMM?

babble on said...

It's true. I'm a total hypocrite, too.

And OMG!! If you know about FUPAs, you're practically omniscient.

Blog Drafter said...

I'm not into mountain bikes, so I can't criticize on that point, however:

"As for the Mountain Freds, there conclusions will be:"

is an egregious error on your part, not typically seen in your "wordspace" and amounts to an improper word setup, methinks.

As always, Scranus.

crosspalms said...

Bridge tenderizer, more like it.

Anonymous said...

Big blog hills, didn't have the granny gear.

Way late . . .

vsk

Mr Plow said...

Morefakeleonardzinn! (Please?)

Roille Figners said...

She makes me want to hang ten inches.

grog said...

I wish I were a bike cycle seat.
SURF BABE

PhysicsBot9000 said...

"Oddly though, I've been riding it like this for months and noticed no adverse effects. The bike stopped fine--in fact, much more than fine. Moreover, when I stopped and re-installed it correctly I didn't notice much of an improvement."

Not so odd. Friction force equals perpendicular force times coefficient of friction (static or dynamic as the case may be.) Area of contact has nothing to do with it.

(As long as the caliber keeps the force perpendicular to the rotor.)

grammar nazi said...

This sort of irritating mental flatulence is caused by consuming websites live "Velominati."

Like "Velominati?"

Anonymous said...

I coulda won today but got busy at work. Oh well.

Comment deleted said...

Seriously, though (and not in any way am I exculpating the idiot bridge tender), doesn't it seem to take the cyclist a long time to notice the enormous SUV heading his way? The scream comes right at the last second.

Perhaps he was on a self-driving bicycle. Google has those, I think.

Schisthead said...

Since you need someone to do it, Avid sucks. I know, I have three sets of them.

Sorry.

FWIW, I think your frame is beautiful, even if you can't hang the bits on it correctly. Everyone fucks up sometimes, or as I do, most of the time.

Oh yeah, and the Rockies? IIRC, you'll see soon enough how little you like being around thousands upon thousands of 'mountain bike brah' clones. "Just got this epic 27.5 all mountain rig, BRAH! Gonna SHRED!" I don't even have the energy to tell them to STFU anymore...

Although... it's kinda sad. There were some really nice trails here.

Roille Figners said...

BRO! WHERE IS MTBSNOB BRO??!! NO BBQs!

Also, WTF where is the part about maritime law!??!? #ripoff #stillwaiting

The Amazing Kreskin said...

I knew you were going to post that video.

The Amazing Kreskin said...

That's cause I'm amazing

BamaPhred said...

Nice post, well thought out, succinct, and relevant.

Mountain bikeen critics out in force, as Snob predicted.

Have a nice day, everyone.

jodphoto said...

FUPA is like a POOCH right?

You folks are my go-to-experts on sexual epithets. No shit!

And now it's bi-lingual. Impressionant!

GreySpoke said...

"my idiocy is proof that people are idiots"

Autotune it and we have ourselves a new summer anthem!

GreySpoke said...

I didn't want to do it.
I should have known better.
All supporting evidence clearly pointed me in the other direction.

And yet I could not resist knowing what FUPA stands for. I have shamed (and soiled) myself.

dcee604 said...

Yeah, I'm almost dying everyday here in British Columbia! Lucky I haven't made the switch to disc brakes yet.

Roille Figners said...

FUPA? Sheeeit, that ain't nothing more than a gunt.

Bryan said...

She-it, I could have placed so much higher, but I took a good amount of time to read up on that SUV/Cyclist jousting contest. From my understanding, VDOT workers *can* use the bridge while working...but a shift change doesn't sound like working - that guy/gal wasn't even on the clock yet. People suck donkey balls. I would have taken their keys and chucked them off the bridge. I mean, next up that guy had to deal with what looked like a whole family utilizing the pedestrian lane.

You're mtn bike is awesome. I have been toying with the idea of building up a 26er with a rigid fork and put a Schwalbe Hans Dampf on the front for some cushion. But then I just keep thinking I should put that money towards a fork that can lock out on my 29er. Then I think I should just spend that money towards a decent set of wheels for my road bike. OR a Brooks saddle for my commuter.

I can think of some better placements for those tassels that girl in the bikini has on her bike...

DB said...

I had to look it up as well GreySpoke.
Snob is light years ahead of me Urban Dictionary-wise.
Leroy! Are you riding a Javelin?

Freddy Murcks said...

Snob said: Seriously, you haven't figured out all these tires are the same yet? Idiots.

I must disagree. Some MTB tires are cheaper than other MTB tires. I usually find the least expensive tubeless tire that's available and then I buy in bulk.



2125

Anonymous said...

Further to yesterday's post, some years ago I had a super redneck coworker who, upon seeing a winsome lass would loudly exclaim. "I'd eat the corn outta her s**t all day!"

I must admit that the phrase has grown on me over the years.

McFly said...

I was gunna ride a road bike today but you have inspired me to ride a MTB instead.

Cause they mo funner. Maybe the LARPers will be in the park. Sometimes they have a princess or two with ample cleavage.

VELO MY POTTY said...

(This sort of irritating mental flatulence is caused by consuming websites live, "Velominati-style.")

le Correcteur said...

"to put it more elegantly" maybe should be "to put it more succinctly."

And try saying "Hobbit habitat" quickly five times!

babble on said...

Ti Baby won't be ready till next week, so I am going to put my MTB on the trainer and get a good sweat on it instead. So I don't grow a FUPA.

Pink Bikini girl doesn't have one.

Comment deleted said...

I'm particularly fond of DELPAs.

DElicious...

gE said...

You didn't notice it for months - and you're sure it's the only actual problem with your bike. Right.

Oh and dude, your trails that you actually ride are so lame compared to the North Shore mountains in Vancouver that I could ride any time I wanted, but don't. Maybe if I had such lame trails near me, I'd actually ride them.

Finally, I'd jump on the bandwagon and say Avid sucks too, but then I learned how to align them and they're pretty good now.

Gary said...

I bought a pair of Vittoria 1976 road shoes like the shoes featured in the crowd funding video. THEY CAME WITH A SET OF TOE CLIP STYLE CLEATS. Why rerererereinvent the cleat?

1904 Cadardi said...

I'll admit it, I'm a Fred. I go on a group ride most weekends. I wear stretchy clothes and clicky clown shoes. And now you have called me out Snob; I did l'Eroica. To be fair, I'm old enough that I raced in the 80's and still have that bike, in all it's battle scarred, toe clipped, friction shiftered, non-aero brake cabled retro-grouch goodness. So at least I didn't pull a Neo-Fred and spend $3K on a retro beast. That bike and I have history.

Also: toe clips do suck. Especially when you are used to a little free float in your cleats. I solved the problem the same way we did "back-in-the-day" and opened up the slot with a file.

Also,Also: l'Eroica is awesome. Italy is amazing. Several thousand people riding old bikes on gravel roads (and NOT dying), drinking wine and eating bread and cheese at rest stops is beautiful.

Also,Also,Also: The Faggin would fit right in.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I'm like you snobbie I don't have any friends recumbent or otherwise so I don't know what they (recumbent riders) argue about. Although I would hazard to guess that we (recumbent riders) unanimously agree that our recumbent seats are much more comfortable than those awful wedgie pad things upright cyclists rest their scranuses on.

dancesonpedals said...

I bought one of these on ebay to ride in the eroica next year 1977 fuji s 10 s

large, round birthday

Spokey said...

snobby

that bike looks to have a nice clean cluster & chain.

queenie might take notice

JLRB said...

So SNOB, are you one of the invited guests for L'Eroica?

I too stooped to the googles for the UD def of FUPA - I like the Farting Under Pelicans Asses variation.

No no no parka for pink azz girl no no no

RoadQueen said...

Spokey - I'll get with my bikecycling mechanic on that.

1904 Cadardi said...

DoP,

SWEEET!!!!

And look at that pie plate. DAMN!

Celebrating Idiocy said...

"I'm an idiot, you're an idiot, we're all idiots."

A rallying cry for a generation.

I once installed caliper brake pads on the side closest to the frame on the front and back. Had to deflate the tires every time I wanted to remove the wheels; the pads would contact the forks or seat stays when the brakes were released not allowing enough clearance to drop the wheels.

Can't say I noticed any difference in performance either.

Hooray for idiocy!

dancesonpedals said...

1904 cadardi-

how serious are they about 'racing bike'...this baby has 700 x 32 tires, rack brazons & a 32 tooth 6th cog in back...will they deny me as a 'touring bike', or is it ok as an old double diamond steel bike (with a pie plate)

McFly said...

Its not a bike but on Memorial day I took off on my buddys jetting ski while dragging a 40 lb brick anchor around the bay. I was like DAMN THIS PIECE OF SHIT WILL NOT EVEN PLANE OUT. After some verbal abuse I said OH MY BOY WANTS TO RIDE ALSO BUT I WILL GO WITH HIM. His wife said OH YOU WILL GO WITH HIM? IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MAKE US FEEL BETTER?

babble on said...

Every time I see the word L'Eroica my brain translates L'Erotica and I smile. Happiness by association. How bad can it be?

dop -surely that which we call a roadbike would, by any other name spin as sweet...?

Dooth said...

BeachCruiserSnob critique of the pink bikini gal:
Three thumbs up!

dancesonpedals said...

thanks babel

McFly-

I have trouble following your post, but I want to call it chapter 3...then in chapter 4, you shag HIS WIFE (who might be the narrators wife if all caps is another voice in the narrator's head)...in chapter 5 something unspeakable happens to the jet ski

DB said...

Crosspalms and I will be riding(?) water bikes soon as it hasn't stopped raining since Monday.

DB said...

Maritime Law may come in handy.

leroy said...

DB @2:51 --

The Javelin is not my bike.

Why do folks just assume that no one would ride with me in stretchy clothes?

I mean other than the reasons on the top twenty list my dog put together with the powerpoint presentation, pie charts, video graphics, and focus group survey.

leroy said...

And streaming media.

I forgot the streaming media.

Schisthead said...

gE: You have a point, CPS hardware is one of the coolest difficult to use bike inventions ever.

I myself prefer the poor QC, almost a hundred bucks for 4 pot full rebuild kits, and bleeding two or three times a year. Truly a gift that keeps on giving.

McFly said...

All caps is a lazy mans way of doing quotes. I did not know it was anchored and putted off. I thought todays theme was Doing Idiotic Things. I did not mean to be confusing. FYI she has a very nice booty.

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

Fausto, was he the guy associated with the Woman in White. Who wasn't his wife by the way. Even made the Pope get his knickers all knotted up in bunches.

BamaPhred said...

I don't understand the hate either, Leroy. In the snake picture there are clearly two reflections of disembodied feet and legs in the window. Proving you do have a riding companion, if that is you. Trouble is, I can't tell which one belongs to the Dog. For all the things he gets blamed for he must keep himself in excellent condition.

Flat bike said...

Having coffee here.

cycling buff said...

Good article, thanks for the info

babble on said...

Hey! I am NOT slurring my words... I am speaking in CURSIVE.

Technically speaking, alcohol IS a solution.

JLRB said...

Cursing CURSIVE

JLRB said...

Semen remedies and other Maritime Law topics

Anonymous said...

"... people are idiots".

any chance you have some pics of "pink-girl" tickling herself with those handlebar tassels?

jodphoto said...

L'Eroica sounds like the perfect group ride. Add this. That the faster riders get to start first, finish first and go the fuck home so we don't have to hear them adrenaline scream every thought they have or listen to their bullshit while we are partying. Let's do this, Home Depot.

JLRB said...

bwa bwa bwa bwa bwa bwa, bwa bwa bwa bwa .. take a little trip

JLRB said...

Turns out the little queer in girls undies bikecyclist that maliciously hit the SUV was a girl in girls undies

Total pass teh buck between State and local police and VDOT bureaucracy

Commentidiots actually think she hit the SUV on purpose to create a bike safety advocacy video

Here is the sign that excuses the SUV by < a href = "http://www.wvec.com/my-city/norfolk/Person-driving-in-pedestrian-lane-of-Berkley-Bridge-collides-with-bicyclist-263224301.html?gallery=y&img=2&c=y"> warning of VDOT vehicles

JLRB said...

whoops wrong day - nevermind

Anonymous said...

So these two termites walk up to a wooden bridge, and one termite asks the other "Is the bridge tender here?"

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

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