Monday, June 16, 2014

"Happy belated anniversary to me," he mumbled morosely.

Let's talk about me.


(I don't appreciate the sarcastic tone in his voice.)

Last Friday, a commenter pointed out that it was my blog's seventh anniversary.  I hadn't realized this, much to my chagrin, because if I had I might have taken the opportunity to announce my retirement and go out on a high note:


Alas, I've now missed my window, so instead I'll just muddle through as my blogging career moves into its unfortunate "Radio Shack phase" and I continue to alienate people until I'm reduced to an island of loneliness and regret:


In the best case scenario, this won't involve an ill-advised move to Portland in which I wind up living underneath the Hawthorne Bridge and heckling bike commuters directly because I can't afford Internet access.


Nevertheless, in defiance of the entropy to which we all must invariably surrender, I mustered up the denial to engage in a "celebratory" Friday afternoon bicycle ride:


I'd have shattered the Strava record for this climb, but it's hard to get out of the saddle and lay down the power when you're using one hand to pat yourself on the back.

I also saw a snake:


A couple of questions for the naturalists out there.  Is this snake:

a) Dangerous;
b) Alive?

I'm not a herpetologist*, so not only do I have no idea what kind of a snake this is, but I also don't know if it was just lying there because it was waiting to spring into action and latch onto my face with its jaws, or because a car had just run over its head.

*[A herpetologist is someone who studies amphibians and reptiles, not the person who breaks the news to you a few weeks after your ill-advised liaison with Mario Cipollini.]

As it turned out, I'd timed my ride perfectly, because the clouds that had been sitting over the city for the past week were just beginning to burn off, and the intense thunderstorm that would blow in a few hours later was still just a gleam in a local news channel meteorologist's eye.  Newly liberated rays of sunshine danced on the Hudson, a fine mist rose from the road, and I felt indefatigable--in fact, I reveled in a fantasy that I was riding myself into the maillot à pois until I was passed by a pair of aging power walkers.

Speaking of precipitation and bicycling, when you're an internationally renowned bike blogger it's crucial to have a dedicated "rain bike"--you know, something you ride hard (or in my case, ride daintily) and then put away wet.  Well, with all the rain we had last week I naturally looked first to my "rain bike," but when I took it out the chain looked like this:


When confronted with the above, most people would simply pronounce the chain dead and replace it.  I am not most people.  First, I attempted to open the quick link thingy, which ordinarily requires but a thumb and forefinger.  No success.  (I took the above photo after my initial struggle.)  So I bathed the quick link thingy with penetrating lubricant, and after worrying at it with both hand and pliers I was eventually able to remove the chain from the bicycle.  Next I put the chain in a plastic bottle, which I then filled with solvent.  Then, I went to the subway station, placed an empty coffee can at my feet, and shook the bottle like this:



By the time I was finished, not only was my chain clean**, but I'd made almost six bucks.

**[Chain is not remotely clean by roadie standards, but it works now.]

And that's why I don't use white bar tape.

I do take (slightly) better care of my other bicycles though, and here's the one I rode yesterday mere moments after I hosed all the fun off of it:


(Drive side bicycle photography is for woosies.)

I didn't use a pressure washer, nor did I aim it directly at the bearings, because every time you do that Lennard Zinn misses a shift.***

***[Just kidding, Lennard Zinn's Campagnolo EPS group never misses a shift, except when it rains.]

Then, I headed to Brooklyn for my special Father's Day ayahuasca tea freakout:


What?  You didn't know ayahuasca freakouts were the hot new thing now?  Where have you been?!?  Not in Bushwick, obviously:

On a recent Friday night, a dozen seekers in loosefitting attire, most in their 20s and 30s, climbed a flight of steps of a mixed-used community space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. After arranging yoga mats and blankets on the floor, they each paid $150, listened to a Colombian shaman and his assistant welcome them in Spanish and English, signed a disclaimer, and accepted large plastic takeout-style containers for vomiting.

Uh, not for nothing, but there are other powerful hallucinogens that don't make you vomit.  Sure, they might make your brain feel like a plastic bag stuck in an 11-speed cassette, but at least your tummy will be just fine.  Also, why pay a shaman $150 when your sober college roommate who's got a big test tomorrow will happily distract you from burning the entire dorm down by occasionally waving a glow stick in front of your face for free?

Of course, the difference here is that this isn't about just tripping balls.  No, ayahuasca is artisanal tripping balls.  Therefore, it's important to emerge on the other side with a mundane epiphany:

“It’s as though a lens has been dropped over my vision, giving me heightened self-awareness and emotional intelligence,” she wrote of her own experience. The outcome? A realization that the extensive to-do lists she carries are an absurd manifestation of anxiety.

Wow, she needed to trip her face off to figure that out?  That's almost as ridiculous as my needing a a shaman to tell me that seven years of compulsive blogging is the product of profound insecurity.

This isn't to say I don't think hallucinogens can offer meaningful insight under the right circumstances, or that there's anything wrong with seeking these experiences out.  On the contrary, I think it's perfectly fine, just as long as you go about it in a responsible fashion, like these people clearly are:

Not long after that, the shaman and his assistant awakened her and the rest of the group, including a young couple with a baby, to the light of a Brooklyn morning. 

Wow.  Here's a Father's Day ephiphany for you: next time you want to trip your face off maybe skip the shaman, pay a sitter instead, and leave the baby at home.

Lastly, this past Friday I mentioned a spurious study about how helmentless bike share users were splattering their brains all over the streets of Canada's ayahuasca puke bucket, and as I suspected it is indeed total bullshit:


“The message that bike-share is increasing head injuries is not true,” Teschke told Streetsblog. “The tone of the article suggests that head injuries go up. Really what is happening is that head injuries went down, non-head injuries went down — but non-head injuries went down more.”

You shouldn't need a cup of cosmic tea to figure out you're being brainwashed.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

<===8 YES 8===>

le Correcteur said...

Podium

Schisthead said...

Nice rotors.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Podium!

le Correcteur said...

And pig that I am, another podium spot!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Oops!

Anonymous said...

scanus

Anonymous said...

Top Ten Whoop!!

Anonymous said...

LOOKATCHYA #9

Herschel Raney said...

Indeed the snake is alive, though fairly skinny and likely hungry. It is a Rat Snake. They do not prey on bikers at least up until now. I have a seven foot female that likes to come check out my front porch. She is usually looking for bird eggs.

Happy 7th.

DB said...

Report from Naked Brooklyn Ride please. Did Leroy's dog attend?
How are you feeling, Babble? Where's Kenny? Is the Cloisters worth a visit? I want to know these things. Thank You.

Spokey said...

I guess better late than never. OTOH

dcee604 said...

Happy belated Father's Day!

Anonymous said...

Moved a few weeks ago to the bucolic wonders of Nazareth, PA. Had a lot of leftover furniture and stuff that I put by the road with a free stuff sign. Everything was taken including a bedside table, a sofa table, a homemade MDX bookcase and several very ugly posters. What was left til the very end? A poster of Lance Armstrong. Poor lance gets no respect in the hood.

balls™ said...

I'm tripping not actually balls. I'm "working."

mikeweb said...

Tripping amazeballs.

McFly said...

I do not care for the term non-head.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good showing.

vsk

mikeweb said...

DB,

The Cloisters is definitely worth a visit, if only to see the unicorn tapestries. Not to mention the building and grounds are beautiful.

Regular guy said...

Hmm, parents tripping out and vomiting with their baby crawling around, sounds like Friday night in the trailer park to me.

I've resurrected many a rusted stiff chain, using much less involved methods with no problems. Was the money tossed in the can in hopes you would quit and go away?

DB said...

Thanks, Mikeweb.
Planning the July trip to NYC. Haven't been to the Cloisters or the Frick. Will check those off as well as new beer garden in Fort Greene.

DB said...

Oh, Snob, that's one dead looking snake. We have earthworms bigger than that snake here in MiddleEarth.

ComentatorBot9000 said...

RE: Snake. Assuming it is not someone escaped foreign snake, it could be a Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) or a Black Racer (Coluber constrictor).

It does not appear to have had its head run over by a car; the photo shows a shadow on the pavement under the nose. As noted above it does look hungry.

Answers to specific questions:
a) If you are a rodent it is.
b) I’m guessing it was/is alive.

mr. Wookie said...

that thar is a Black Racer
Call him Major Taylor

Anonymous said...

"indefatigable" indeed!

here's a toke to another 7 glorious years.

Anonymous said...

Black rat snake, displaying it's typical defensive behavior of kinking itself to look like a rusted/ neglected chain.

Blog Drafter said...

"heightened self-awareness and emotional intelligence"

Things That Do Not Go Together.

I've never understood the whole druggie wisdom/epiphany facade. If you have to put drugs in your body to feel wise, isn't the wisdom in the drug, and not you? And the inconvenient fact that you have to KEEP TAKING IT to bring the wisdom back doesn't seem to bother many folks. There are wise people in the world. You can generally tell who they are by the fact that they don't do foolish things, not by oh wow!! tripping their way through life.

Funny post, BTW. I laughed out loud at "mundane epiphany".

Anonymous said...

that looks like a snake.

JLRB said...

passed by aging race walkers - wool and copper brilliance!

Comment deleted said...

I just assumed the baby was tripping its face off, too.

Bama Phred said...

Did you ask the snake if it was tripping balls? Those things haul ass across my road. I don't think I've seen one actually just laying there. Of course, unless they have become roadkill, and this one hasn't.

gE said...

Snob, pay no heed to your RTMS power meter. It's refering to your riding, not your blogging. Crush Lance and go for 8. We'll take care of the DQ at an undisclosed later date.

Anonymous said...

Tripping balls = severely sagging

babble on said...

Yeah, I try to stay far, far away from dodgy, crazy-assed tea these days. But I did see a gorgeous, red-headed witch doctor over the weekend.

CommieCanuck said...

Any good cyclist has a dedicated rain bike. Along with my snow, gravel, cobbles, road, cow shit bikes, I recently bought high and low humidity bikes.

babble on said...

LOL! Adrenaline junkies will need tornado bikes.

babble on said...

DB -Better, thank you! The staples came out today, so that means I can shower again, which is nice. I've had so much radiation over the last six months that I still have to do the salt/soda detox baths three times a week, but at least I can wash my own hair again, if singlehandedly - my arm still won't go there.

Bama Phred said...

Ironically, the semiprofessional bike blogger has a Specialized S-works Tarmac SL dedicated rain bike. It needs a name. I have nothing.

RainBike9000 said...

“Ironically, the semiprofessional bike blogger has a Specialized S-works Tarmac SL dedicated rain bike. It needs a name.”

Snake bike?
Snake bit?
Spraylized Slip-works? Spit-works? Slick-works?
“SL” stands for “slip-n-lose”? “”slick&loose”?

Dooth said...

My dedicated Ayahuasca bike has braze-ons for a puke bucket.

JLRB said...

Who Fred That?

Regular guy said...

CD, especially if it was breast feeding.

Roille Figners said...

Yeah talk about your "no shit Sherlock" -- I've known my to-do list was a manifestation of anxiety for years now. Namely, the anxiety that I will forget shit. Once you write it down, BOOOSH, no more anxiety.

Spokey said...

babs

I'm impressed. You're doing a lot of typing for the one-armed woman. I figured it was a lot here but still typing all that stuff on your own bloggie thing. OCD?

Glad to hear the mend is continuing.

Bama Phred said...

One time I wrote down all the stuff I was supposed to do and promptly freaked.

Spokey said...

snobby

So call me a wuss but dang getting those master links unlinked often hurts me precious fingers.

I gave in and bought a stupid park tool for this: http://www.parktool.com/product/master-link-pliers-mlp-1-2

Yeah I'm a big sissy. And proud of it!

Roille Figners said...

Bammer - quick: get yourself a $150 glass of huacachucka or whatever it's called!

Roille Figners said...

I'm a fan of: Oil the chain good 'n' sloppy, do the minimum work to get it unstuck, ride it for a day, THEN do the maraca technique to get rid of the rust powder. Call in a favor from your old nemesis Mr. Friction.

samh said...

Here's to seven more years of tripping balls and insecurity, Snob.

Roille Figners said...

Oh yeah forgot: good work Snobz, I'm your 7-year bitch, even though I've only been here since shortly before The Great Unmasking...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Spokey,

Which link are you using? The Wipperman/Connex ones are by far the easiest in my experience.

Roille Figners,

As one lazy person to another, I am impressed by your dedication to doing as little as possible.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

babble on said...

Spokey. It's CDO. That's alphabetically. The way it should be.

I was a leftie before. And texting all these years... what can I say? I've always had the need for speed.

babble on said...

LOL! Congratulations, Wildcat! Happy anniversary, n'all that. Thanks for all the laughs. You rock a doodle do, snobberdooders.

DB said...

Snob:
I think you should name your bike Lucille.

1904 Cadardi said...

Wildcat,

Not to judge, and living up here in the high mountain desert rust is what happens to other people, but do you store that bike in the bottom of a pool?

Flyover Bike Commuter said...

The snake is a black racer. it is the fredliest of serpents. You can tell by streamlining, and stylish matt black color.

And see what happens when you don't wear a helment.

BTW, tripping at $150 a hit? Those must be NYC prices.

I'm guessing you can find a "shaman" on any street corner in sketchy 'hoods. .

RoadQueen said...

Do me a huge favor.



DON'T EVER POST SNAKE PICTURES ON YOUR BLOG AGAIN.


Or at least, warn us in the post title so that we don't open the blog and then *BAM* Snake to the face. Some of us are sensitive to that sort of thing.

dancesonpedals said...

I feel especially defagitable today.

Seven years. Wow, where did the time go? Where arwe the snows of yesteryear? (And when the snow melts, where does the white go?).

But seriously snob, we're all friends (except McFly...he makes funny faces when I talk & put donkey piss in my bidon), anyway, it's been a long time & we're (mostly) friends, I think you can tell us what you really do for a living?

I am not a robot, I've entered with 'drawn pythes' (much better than photoshopped pythes)

Poppa Wheelie said...

Snob playing follow the leader:
http://brimages.bikeboardmedia.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/marajo_desafio.jpg

dancesonpedals said...

PS..as I total fred I'm a complete tool queen & swear by these babies:

link pliers

David Olson said...

Dude, if you are going to use a master-link, you're totally going to have to bring another lock along to keep the chain from being stolen.

That'll be $150 please.

BamaPhred said...

So is that an example of what happens to bike chains from road salt and whatever else is used on urban NE streets in the winter? That much rust just can't be natural. Rust PEDS involved for certain.
And I do appreciate the much improved robot killer captchas
And RF, can't afford the artisanal huckuachuck, going for the homegrown kind

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

PUKE PAIL

P. Bateman said...

congrats snobber. who would have guessed we'd still be here reading this crap 7 years on.

or thereabouts. when did the pista index start? seems like i was reading way back when, fell off for a bit, then have been back.

i miss the pista index. and craiglist ads. can you bring back some old classics in lucky year number 7?

JLRB said...

I don't like spiders and snakes ....

I'm gonna break my rusty [chain] and run

Ayahuasca puke out the evil or tripping without balls

Anonymous said...

Since it's your anniversary and all I've been going through the archives and I must say that a lot of my comments there are pretty funny.

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

WCRM

I use chains from that company that shall not be named along with their link.




I was etymngo from home when I last flatted. Walked back as less exhausting than changing the tube.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Spokey,

Use the Connex links with chain of your choice. You won't need the tool anymore.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

dancesonpedals said...

I was just getting into the habit of reading the blog before posting, now I've got to peruse all the comments...when the chains that rusty (ande knownob left the bakefeets and workman out all winter) you'll reach for some pliers...the fancier the more fun

Dave said...

Ophidiophobia - how it rolls of the tongue. The most common of all phobias, being actually useful. I have an alarmingly low level of it; I like snakes, and apparently they like me. Half a dozen times in my life I've carelessly walked within striking distance of a rattlesnake, and never been struck. But only once did the primitive reptile section of my brain take over and send me helplessly flailing in the opposite direction.

Anyway, it's extremely bad luck to cycle over a snake. "They" say that Dorothy Rabinowitz will haunt your nightmares, with burning yellow "Fu Manchu"-style eyes.

semi serious cyclist said...

Did I read that right - YAGE raves are catching on in Brooklyn? Good grief, Burroughs and Ginsberg were gakking that crap up back in the 50's. What's old is new again.

jodphoto said...

Wildcat,

Congratulations on turning seven. Soon your body will start to change in some remarkable ways. I will answer any questions you may have.

Just practicing.

McFly said...

I figured the obvious name was Rusty. I just ground down some needle nose pliers....wait no......I reappropriated some NNP to do the trick.

HOWZ ABOOT THAT ANDREW TALANSKY? He could feel Al warming up the finger bang machine and was all "NOT IN MY A-HOLE MISTER.....NOT TODAY....." Then he cried like a lil albino bitch.

ce said...

Snakes on a Lane, terrible movie, would not recommend.

Also, Seven Years in Regret, the story of a Fred who travels to the internet and happens upon a blog written by the "Dalai Lama of Cycling", terrible movie, would not recommend.

By the way, seven years is nothing, NOTHING! Maybe, after 70 years of free, daily funnies we should recognise Snobbo's efforts - before he dies. But until then don't let him feel like he has accomplished anything or he might stop.

You suck Snobbo, but I see you've got it in you, keep trying. You can stop sucking one day if you believe in yourself and keep the dream alive. You have so much potential, so much to offer the world, so far to go, but at the moment you still suck, did I mention that?

JlRb said...

Que es mas peligroso bicalcycling or the reefer

Anonymous said...

"Alas, I've now missed my window, so instead I'll just muddle through as my blogging (programming) career moves into its unfortunate "Radio Shack phase" and I continue to alienate people until I'm reduced to an island of loneliness and regret" .. pretty much sums it up for me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaGbDRZky-Q

Anonymous said...

Snob Wrote: "I hadn't realized this, much to my chagrin, because if I had I might have taken the opportunity to announce my retirement and go out on a high note:"

I wrote: "you are way....way past that point"

leroy said...

My dog says he's a naturalist.

He also says the reptile in your picture is the bass player from White Snake. He molted.

I told my dog that riding au natural didn't make him a naturalist.

Anonymous said...

Wow you guys have a snake that has 'defensive moves'? You mean your snakes don't all chase you with the intent to kill? How cute

Anonymous said...

I've got your killer snake right hea

Tim Rosenstein said...

Late comment but snakes do that- get all jagged- when they want to warm up (I'm guessing). I've run into snakes doing that many times and they're fine, they just seem to be trying to get their day started or something. Tip- when they're like that they're often almost in a trance. You could have picked him and he might not have moved at all.