Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On the (Sag) Wagon: The End of Unsupported Riding

Going out for a spin on the Fred bike?  Good for you!  Let's go through the pre-ride checklist together:

  • "3 Feet Please" jersey?  Check!
  • Crash-sensing helment?  Check!
  • Bracelet so they can ID your corpse?  Check!
  • Pump, tire levers, spare tube, patch kit and multitool?  Of course not, you're a Fred!  Stand there like a dolt and let someone else fix it for you.

Still, even though you've taken all the customary 21st century precautions, there's gotta be more you can do, right?  Right!  Because now there's "Swagon," the Uber for Freds!




Every great idea has its Genesis myth.  So does every other kind of idea, and here's how this guy came up with Swagon:


"The idea for Swagon came along after the birth of my first kid.  My wife and I had been avid cyclists for years, but now we had another person to think about when we got out on the road.  On top of that, there had been several major cycling accidents involving people we knew, and we just didn't feel safe getting out on the roads anymore."

Hey, I can relate.  I'm a parent.  That's why I know firsthand that when you become the owner of a human child you undergo a profound hormonal change, and it's called "Not Giving A Fuck About Anyone Else."

See, like any other animal, when we reproduce, the survival and well-being of our kids becomes paramount--and by extension our own importance trumps the importance of others because we have to be around to feed those kids.  It's science!  For example, what does mother goose do when her hatchlings are threatened?  She mauls the shit out of a Weird Al impersonator on a bike, that's what:


This natural imperative to protect our offspring at all costs is behind pretty much all the ills of society: war, income inequality, crying babies in nice restaurants... It's also behind what I call the "fortification phenomenon," by which "safety-minded" parents transport their families in motor vehicles of ever-increasing size, forcing other parents to get even bigger motor vehicles to protect their families from those parents, and so on and so forth, resulting in the arms race that effectively drives the American motor vehicle industry, and by extension the Global War Machine.

To see this phenomenon in action, visit your local school in the morning, where you'll notice that the child drop-off looks less like the traditional idea of a school and more like troop deployment or the United Nations during a summit.  Giant SUVs parked three-deep, children ushered solemnly from back seats, crossing guards just to protect the children from the same parents who are dropping them off...

Now it's gotten to the point where our hobbies are falling victim to the "fortification phenomenon" too.  See, for all its wankery, there was a time when even a roadie could at least claim a few "smugness points."  While he or she may have driven to the ride, at least the ride itself was human-powered.  But the beauty of Swagon is that it combines the wankery of riding a road bike with the selfishness of driving a car really slowly, which is sure to delight other road users of all stripes.  After all, one of the most beautiful aspects of cycling is its quiet, contemplative nature.  So why not augment that contemplation with the reassuring feeling of being followed by a car with every pedal stroke?

Our vision is that anyone can quickly and easily schedule Swagon online or via mobile device for a small or large ride group. Schedule Swagon for your loved one or friends who you want to help keep safe on their rides. 

Riding alone? Swagon's goal is to be there for you as well. 

It's like meditating with a drone hovering over your head!


It used to be "Ommmm...," now it's more like "BZZZZZZZZ!!!"

I certainly hope they at least allow you to customize your mobile escort.  For genteel areas you could choose a diminutive option:


("After the ride we can stop at Whole Foods!")

If you're strutting your Fredly stuff in a more upscale, status-oriented community like the Hamptons you could go with a little more flash:


("Hey Fred, your escort is here!")

And if you're in a rural area riding in abject fear of your life you could always go this route:


Don't forget to tip your driver:


Otherwise he might kill you for being a you-know-what.

Meanwhile, as you know, I'm deep in training for L'Eroica, and if there are two things I never want along for the ride with me they are a support vehicle and foot discomfort.  With regard to the former I accomplish this by never using "Swagon" (free tag line for you guys: "Hey Fred: Get your Swag-on!"), and as far as the latter I fix that with a drip to the doctor--Dr. Scholl's, baby!


You can futz around with your microwaveable shoes and your custom orthotics all you want.  As far as I'm concerned all I need is a few bucks and a pair of scissors.

By the way, one of the most disgusting flying experiences I've ever had was on the way back to Colorado when a triathlete sat next to me.  If that wasn't bad enough, as he stowed his bag in the overhead compartment his disgusting filthy orthotic fell out and landed on my lap.  I couldn't even look down.  Instead, I fixed my gaze on the ceiling and pointed at my lap until he extracted the offending Petri dish.  It was even more disgusting than my flight to Colorado, when the person in front of me was attempting to check a rat.

Anyway, I'm doing my best to replicate the so-called "Strade Bianche" of Tuscany, and around these parts this is the best I can do.  We're also a little short on monuments:


(The non-legendary "Strada Marrone" makes its way around the un-celebrated "Pene di Pietra.")

For this particular ride I opted for a cyclocross-style machine, only because my road-style machine was a few more feet away that afternoon and I really am that lazy:


I also didn't have any proper riding nutrition, so I filled a baggie with kiddie cookies and some tiny stale donuts that look like anuses:


Which ultimately I couldn't stomach eating, so I made an artisanal fuel stop instead:


At this point in my training, my prediction for Italy is total implosion about midway through the ride

Speaking of training, I believe I mentioned I suspected a crack in my crabon bicycle, and that I would eventually get around to taking it apart and investigating further.  Well, I finally did that.  Here's the suspected crack:


And here's the bike in toto:


Look how the midday sun shines evocatively through the stupid Zertz insert:


If Vermeer were a Fred, this is what he would have painted.

Anyway, here's another look at the area in question, which is filthy, because I have roughly 900 bikes and no time to clean them all:



Basically, the bike had suddenly begun to make a ticking noise under hard efforts (which, by my standards, means going uphill slightly), and when I went to check the rear quick release I noticed what I believed to be a crack, since it was deep enough to catch my filthy, grubby, bitten fingernail:


So the other day I finally set about taking the bike apart.  Sure, I could have just removed the derailleur, but I figured I'm done with this thing either way and so I might as well strip it down.  It's always enlightening to fully assemble or disassemble a bicycle.  For example, notice how dirty the bike is.  I rode that bike right through the winter--which, as you may recall, was one of the messiest we've had in years.  Nevertheless, the bottom bracket was more or less pristine when I extracted it:


As was the inside of the bottom bracket shell:


Wow!  Clean, serviceable, and completely removable in about two minutes?  This further bolsters my belief that bottom bracket "innovation" should have come to a full stop after the Shimano Hollowtech II bottom bracket system.

As for the rest of the bike, it also came apart very easily--except for the bar tape, which required a great deal of slicing and peeling:


I have never, ever experienced such tenacious tape, nor do I have any recollection of coating the bars with rubber cement before wrapping them--though given how difficult they were to unwrap is what I must have done.

Soon I was left with a tidy pile of componentry:


And a naked frame:


I then removed the derailleur hanger to inspect the suspected crack, which probably voided my warranty:


What's it supposed to look like under there?  I have no idea.  Is this a crack?  Is this?  I got closer and closer:


It was at this point I realized I was crawling around on a dirty basement floor, on my knees before the inscrutable mysteries of crabon.  Understanding this was no way to live, I then "Fuck it" and stuck the thing in the corner of my storage bin.

Maybe I'll do another inspection when my $2,500 Park Tool crabon spectral analysis checker arrives.

183 comments:

Anonymous said...

podim stotrmqueenksn

Anonymous said...

sweepie fs!

Anonymous said...

podio

cycle

Anonymous said...

super sweep bun bun!

Jasper said...

Early doors

whistler said...

So close.

McBrown said...

Top 10?

Euro Spondee said...

Sell the frame FFS... someone will shell out big bucks for something ridden by the Snob himself, cracked or otherwise.

And wouldn't a Fiat 500 make a lousy sag wagon? Where would you put your bike if you wanted to abandon?

3G said...

TOP TEN

Bung bung

DB said...

Is that McFlys Hemi?

Anonymous said...

That's it? "Fuck It? C'mon, flex that thing and show us your crack!

Freddy Murcks said...

After Friday's and yesterday's posts, there are only about 10 commentators left. And I still can't podium. Sort of like real life racing for me - i.e., the only way I could top three in a race is if there were only three entrants. Oh well.

dnk said...

And thus the "fornication phenomenon" gives way to the "fornication phenomenon."

PotbellyJoe said...

Swagon, not to be confused with Schwagon which is a station wagon full of chinese knockoffs ready to be handed out at the next marketing convention in Javitts.

3G said...

I accidentally grabbed one of my kids pouches instead of an Enervit packet (the larger cheer packs). I starved myself after "attempting" to see if Spinach Apple Kale would make a good Gu flavor

leroy said...

Speaking of dirty cracks, how is ___________.

[Fill in name of person upon whom you wish to bring down opprobrium. Hilarity ensues. Maybe.]

Synonymous said...

Duck Duck Goose

Hank Waggenburger III said...

I am disgusted by your dissing of crabon. If I owned a carbon biek cycle THAT I OWN, you would be dissing ME. I am never going to read this "blog" ever again.

...cos anyone who flounces off always lurks next day to see the reaction :-)

Also if your anus looks like one of those mini donuts I don't think a tiny crack is your biggest problem

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

Sell some of those components...certified as ridden by WCRM himself! Don't forget to notarize the certificate of authenticity! Surely that will add a 400% markup on a used seatpost.

Freddy Murcks said...

Does Strava work in Italy? I am guessing that Snob will never know because Strava he does not.

Anonymous said...

CRAB NSUX

Charkie said...

You should remove the clear coat and paint to get a better view of the possible crack. Scraping with a razor blade and then sanding. Stop sanding if the dust turns black, because that means you are into the carbon.

If it's not cracked, you can cover the sanded area with resin or spray on clear coat, or nail polish to protect the carbon from degradation.



Matt Boulanger said...

Why carry tools when you can PUMP IT FOR ME ?

PotbellyJoe said...

Yes, make sure to be careful with the carbon after you sand it down slightly. You don't want to be sued by Special Guys for carbon denigration...

Freddy Murcks said...

How many Strava KOMs does it take to get to the center of Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? A one, a two, a three .... CRUNCH! The world may never know.

Anonymous said...

How many DFU's (or DSU's as the case may be)to cause this?
http://cyclistsinternational.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/contador-cracked-bike-copy.jpg

streepo said...

I've got a tool that I use to check cracks with me at all times.

babble on said...

Oh fer fuck sake. I didn't flounce off. I did take his point too personally, and with his response, I felt as if he didn't want me around. He then said that I am welcome, and so here I am.

Sorry to disappoint you, anonyhater. You know what you can do with the pink canoe.

Anonymous said...

Hank Waggenburger: In Russia, carbon fiber disses you.

Comment deleted said...

Oh, good to see you, girl!

Anonymous said...

I feel like I missed something....

PBateman said...

if you have to take your "drip to the doctor" it may not be your feet than need examination.


there is another service called Schwagger that follows you around like your own personal rap entourage and carries a range of diamond encrusted jewely. you can schedule them for your trip to the Rap music awards and that sort of thing.

PBateman said...

also, might i suggest a little group hug? this place has been a bit thorny lately.

i said THORNY. get your mind out of the gutter. so immature.

Dave said...

It was a bit odd - Snob ridicules Strava day in and day out just for the fun of it, and everybody laughs, and then one day he gets serious and proposes a gesture of respect and a moment of introspection, so to speak, and Strava addicts (uh, I mean, users) take major offense. But the post stimulated a great deal of thoughtful comment and discussion along with the hurt feelings, so a net positive I would say.

Human nature - illogical - irrational - does not compute - (smoke and sparks from console)

wesley snipes said...

Am I my brothers keeper? Crack kills or is it cracks kill?

trama said...

cracked frames are nothing new. My olde Bridgestone chainstay cracked. But it was then repaired by one Mr Hunter. Behold the wonders of steel. Your Sworks cranbon frame, however, will lie naked in the damp corner, as Fall deepens to Winter, and never be ridden again.

JLRB said...

Snob - You call that a cross bike? Where are teh upper breek handles? The tires are all wrong, etc and on and on.

Thanks for an amusing post - I bought you 10 escorted rides to help with your training. The hyundi should be pulling up in front of your estate soon.

PBateman said...

also, from today's post am i right to infer that its all these breeders that are responsible for war and pollution and crying babies at restaurants?

hmmm...i always thought that was the case, but glad to see it confirmed by a trusted news source.

Freddy Murcks said...

Babble - I am glad you came back. This sausage fest would be a bit lonely (and possibly a bit too homoerotic) without you.






olyazen refolute

PotbellyJoe said...

30 Helens agree you can't pay too much for a good sag vehicle.

BikeSnobNYC said...

PBateman,

Absolutely--but the catch is that without us breeders humanity totally dies out within 100 years. So there you go.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Is that McFly?

Anonymous said...

Babbles - why the potty mouth. Don't you know that offense is the bait of Satan. You're classier than that.

Adventure includes challenges said...

When the Swagon rear-ends some cyclists, I hope their liability insurance covers the P.R. expenses.

Comment deleted said...

Nice Kids in the Hall reference, PB(&)J.

BikeSnobNYC said...

I feel like I'm watching the Seinfeld where George Costanza quit his job and then came back on Monday like nothing happened.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Shame on Me said...

Isn't use of a sag wagon a source of shame? I mean, people bonking used to just continue slowly letting the sag wagon go forward to assist those who might actually NEED help. And with a smart phone and quick-release wheels, why can't one just call for a ride and stuff the bike in the trunk or back seat?

Better idea, multiple loop rides around hospitals with emergency rooms and bike shops within a mile.

Comment deleted said...

Anon @ 12:41, right you are. It's time to remind everyone that profanity is the linguistic crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker.

Regular guy said...


When my steel frame broke in about the same place a few years back the bike suddenly felt like it was put together with rubber bands.

There was no question the bike was broken.

Aluminum, titanium are ok, so is steel. Ain't never getting a composite frame.

David Pearce said...

Great post today, Wildcat,

Although I hope you don't wait for the incredibly high-priced Park Tool Atomic Blue Microscope to discuss the frame crack further.

Discuss it more, and soon. What caused it? Seems like kind of a weird place for a crack. Was it over tightening of the derailleur hanger? Why did they have a separate d. hanger? So that someone could turn the bike into a fixie, without the unused d. hanger ruining the look?

I really liked the bicycle "equipment stuff" today. Grime is amazing. The inside of your bottom bracket was clean, but look at the caked on grime all around the perimeter of the shell, just trying to worm it's way in.

I hate grease. Actually, I'm bipolar. About grease I mean. I like a nice greasy cheeseburger IN me but NOT ON me!

But, like a good scientist, I've had to change my ideas to fit the evidence. Metal loves grease. I have to use thread-cutting oil when cutting threads on my metal lathe -- I'm sure you do the same on your metal lathe.

Metal loves grease, but also hates grease. Grease attracts dirt and dust, and before you know it, you've got grime. It's the never ending battle of riding, enjoying, returning, regretting the gravelly paths you rode on, cleaning, re-lubricating, with occasional improvements along the way, like "dry" lubricants. Such is life. So far, they have not invented a vacuum that can vacuum your house once and the house will never get dusty again....

But more on the cracked bike frame. Why did it crack? Are bicycle defects covered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission? Are there safety bulletins issued for validated safety issues? Has a bulletin been issued for this frame and crack area? You'd do your readers a favor I'm sure to seek other riders with the same crack problems.

Thanks, BSNYC

Anonymous said...

If it cracks like a duck...

Comment deleted said...

Hmm, seems to me more like Babs got butthurt, you said "get lost", she said "ok", and you said, "no, you're welcome here."

I think P. Bateman is right. C'mon, Eben, get in here...

Rodney King said...

Can't we all just get along? Glad to see you back in the peloton Babble!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hot shoe burnin' down the avenue

AIRP ILLO

Scranus.

Wondering what vintage cycling bike you're going to ride for the L'eroica? You can't just throw that modern grouppo off the crabon bike on the faux-jean can you?

Comment deleted said...

But wait, can you hold this redolent orthotic for a moment? Thanks.

PotbellyJoe said...

To continue the KITH references, can we all agree that we are the people in the lobby and Snobby is Skoora? His bitten into a few of us and our idiosyncrasies on multiple occasions and yet we love him and stay here BECAUSE he is a snob, from NYC, on a bike riding cycle; it's what he does, it's not his fault.

I don't think there's a cyclist alive who hasn't been touched, oh and horribly shamed, by Snobby.

Did you miss the point, man?

Comment deleted said...

Yeah, Joe, I'm still stinging from the glasses-under-the-helmet straps thing. I'm only still here because I'm a masochist.

David Pearce said...

Dammit,

I meant ELECTRON microscope, not ATOMIC microscope!

T-t-t-timing is everything!! So is having a brain!

************

BTW, with all the house numbers we have to type in here to prove we're not robots, are we helping Google complete its conquest of the world, against our own will ?? !!!

Anonymous said...

@FreddyMercx 11:11,

I hear that half the commenters on here, are really one guy with a crap load of user names. Think his name was Eben or something

JLRB said...

David Pierce -

Derailleur hangers are on pretty much every bike that is not sold at wallymart - if you crash, or just let your bike fall on the rear D, you don't have to mess with frame bending to fix the alignment - you replace an overpriced little part and your good to go.

And, try decaf

Fred of the Sea said...

Aside from the many other offensive aspects of the swagon concept adumbrated above, it also ensures that motorized traffic have maximum difficulty passing your precious douche-o-ton. If I ever encounter the such, I will shout incoherent imprecations and "roll coal," as soon as it's safe to pass.

Note: My wife tells me that here in Great Britain's Winnebago, punctuation goes inside quotation marks.

Anonymous said...

Maybe take the frame to your local Specialized dealer and they can give you a second opinion. I have a friend who had a cracked frame and specialized replaced it with a new higher end frame free of charge. Although, his was only about a year old at the time. Snob, out of curiosity how many bikes do you own and of those how many were given to you by the bike cos to "test"? I have only three, but like to keep it to a number where I know I will ride each regularly and I don't ride mountain bikes currently.

JLRB said...

Speaking of rolling coal - I saw some ass monkey doing that on I-95. His target was a car pulled off on the shoulder due to mechanical issues - nearly caused a wreck because the car behind him was blinded and slammed the breeks. If I wasn't so self-centered I would have stayed with him and called the cops instead of getting as far ahead of the idiot as possible. (Let's pretend the cops would have done anything if I had tried)

Bryan said...

I keep hoping for the immortal fame of being mentioned in one of his blogs...or having something I sent him being mentioned in some future post. Though I have gotten a couple replies in the comment section, that fame is fleeting.
What happened Babs? Guess I will have to read through some comment sections of some of the more recent posts..

Anonymous said...

Did someone say pink canoe? I'm anonymous!

Fred of the Sea said...

JLRB, you may be a lightless, black hole of egocentrism, but I think you done right not getting involved with an active asshole at highway speed. I used to call about the sport bike maniacs and street racers, but there was no interest on the part of law enforcement. Too busy with those patulous anus donuts or something.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a funny place to develop a crack. I have broken a frame where the chainstay meets the rear dropout (could have been fixed, but I was ready to move on from a 23 year old Nishiki Olympic 12.)
Maybe if the crack is going to separate the seatstay from the chainstay it makes sense.

How much better is Hollowtech better than a UN72?

Tom Dalton said...

I don't understand why the S-works is now going to sit in a basement. Doesn't that frame have a lifetime warranty? Is Specialized seriously going to say that the man so widely known to suck at bicycle cycling was able to fatigue-to-breakage a frame designed for professional use? That's not going to play at all well on at least one blog. Maybe this is a chance for Specialized to change your attitude about their brand, at least long enough that you can get a 2014 S Works and flip it on Ebay. Delicate as CF frames MAY be, they're a whole lot better when they come with a good warranty. Seems that Colnago, Merckx, Pinarello et al give only a year or so. $5000 CF frame with one year warranty, and people buy them because they are "better" than Specialized, or Trek, or Cannondale? It's amazing.

PBateman said...

@Snob - so in only 100 years i'll be able to ride around without the need for swagon since there will be way less cars on the road?

hmmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Wildscat,
Women are very sensitive. It took me 25 years, several girl friends, four fiancées and two wives to learn that. Before that I just thought that they were unreasonable. It's best to ignore them when they are having a "moment". Remember we are only one lovely Canadian away from being a 100% sausage fest up in this piece.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Tom Dalton,

Interestingly this is already a warranty replacement for a previous Specialized. At some point I will have a dealer take a look at it. In the meantime I like to examine things myself. Anyway I'm not in a hurry as my plastic bike days are over.

For all I know they're just scratches...

--Wildcat Rock Machine

PotbellyJoe said...

Snobby,

If you want to send the plastic frame to me I will add my take-off parts to it and give it away to a lucky kid in my town, helping foster a lifelong love of bicycle riding in them. Or I will keep it for myself and duct tape the frame together at the potential crack.

I'm not sure yet.

I guess it depends if it fits me.

grog said...

You're saying plastic bikes aren't all they're cracked up to be? Happy Autumn everybody!

Kracked said...

BSNYC - I thought you typically just tweet photos of cracked frames at Specialized (then get indignant when they don't give you a definitive answer). Isn't that the recommended procedure? After all, what are social media marketing folk good for if they can't identify a cracked carbon frame from a low-res image?

PS - cool Mellow Johnny's sticker.

David Pearce said...

Here's a little bit of a shameless plug, but it is for a good cause, so maybe it will not be met with too much approbation.

In light of the Hannah Graham disappearance in Charlottesville, Va., and MANY OTHER unsolved abductions and slayings on the Route 29 corridor in central Va., I started a Facebook website to act as a clearing house for leads and information on all of this criminality. Justice has been delayed too long!

The website is https://www.facebook.com/SolveRoute29Abductions

I commute to Charlottesville from Washington, D.C. on a weekly basis because my mom is unfortunately confined to a nursing home there with a rather aggressive case of dementia. My sister lives there too. So C'ville has become my second city, and I just feel very keenly the injustice of all these unsolved abductions / murders in this beautiful area.

My website is designed to be a clearing house for information. My mid-Atlantic friends, and everybody else too, any tips, information or advice on how to run a website or likes would be very much welcomed.

Comment deleted said...

Good luck with that, David. Unfortunately, I can't view it, because I block Facebook. Maybe you could host it on a real website (that is not a voracious data gatherer pretending to be the entire Internet)?

David Pearce said...

Yeah.

RoadQueen said...

Jesus H. I read and comment on the sad Friday post, was too busy to read and comment yesterday so I do my catching up to this point.

Babble, I'm glad you're still here. I hope that RF was just spouting fluff and isn't really gone for good, he's a funny dude.

Everyone play nice and use the Golden Rule. Don't make me go get my crop and spurs. >:-(

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Crop and spurs...Yes Please!

commentatorbot_34709 said...

Wordpress that stuff David Pearce. It's free. You can go the bloggger route like WCRM too.

That facingbook stuff is like CD says. I forgot to mention it's a huge time sink too.

Time for Specialized to feel the wrath of WCRM if they don't warranty replace that plastic stuff. Maybe they'll sue you too, like the rest of the industry (except their OEM builders)

tobeistobex said...

Why is there an upside down bike in the video?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...here's something to kinda prove that the almighty Swaggon up high is looking out for us...

...remember a long while back seeing that motorcyclist escape this same, almost exact accident? well, here is a cyclist for good measure.

Anonymous said...

You've written some funny shite at times but this is so spot on I want to scream it at everyone I know.

"and it's called "Not Giving A Fuck About Anyone Else.""

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i feel like i missed something yesterday!

Drock said...

Snob shall rule the velo web, swag on stupids, down the middle

tortured reference said...

Hey, Anonymous 1:16 (sounds like a bible verse)

i am anonymous

Freddy Murcks said...

Yes, Serial Retrogrouch, you did miss something yesterday. Roille Fingers had a temper tantrum yesterday and called you a cockgobbler as he was storming out the door.




and ariollu

crosspalms said...

I just got back from vacation and am catching up. I was surprised at some of the reaction to Snob's Strava post. I don't use it, so it would be an empty gesture for me to say much, but I don't see the problem with giving it up for a weekend as a sort of moment of silence and reflection. People give up stuff for Lent, how bad could a weekend be? My commute takes me by a couple of beaches, and on warm evenings, the places are crowded, often with people and children who are paying no attention. Sometimes I use my bell, but always I slow down, make eye contact, give people plenty of room. Like Snob says, it's a park. Sure, I'd like it if everybody kept to the right and gave me an open lane, but since I don't see that happen anywhere else, I'm not going to look for it on the bike path. And yet I'm one of the few. I see plenty of cyclists blow through crowds expecting people to get out of their way.

And speaking of parks, remove the cars? Amen! I've walked through Central Park a couple of times, and it's very jarring to have cars whipping through. We have a few parks in Chicago that suffer from the same stupid thinking. If those roads were boulevards once, where people would go for a leisurely carriage or early car ride, they aren't anymore, they're connectors between major roads and even highways. They chop up the parks and make them dangerous places.

Last thought. Part of my vacation was on bikes in Italy, where the "bike" paths we used were also used by pedestrians, people on horseback, people in cars and tractors whose homes and farms had been grandfathered when the abandoned rail lines were repurposed. So if a tractor's coming at you, you move out of the way. If a bunch of kids are out with their teachers, you ring your bell till someone pays attention enough to create a pathway through. Our final stop was in Verona (not on bikes), which was full of people attending a weekend festival of games, people attending some kind of spectacle on ice in the Roman arena, tourists going to the bogus Romeo and Juliet sites, tourists visiting the place for its other attractions, locals out for a stroll or shopping or visiting. In all that mass, I only saw a couple of Freds, but tons of locals on sensible bikes (fenders, lights, baskets or racks, lots of children's seats) taking their time to wend through everybody, sometimes ringing their bells, mostly just taking their time. Helmets were scarce to nonexistent.

TL, I know, but the combination of vacation and the posts I've caught up on so far gave me a lot to think about.

DB said...

Hey! Welcome back, Crosspalms.
Sounds like a great vacation.
You didn't miss much here in the Land of Lincoln except thousands of political advertisements.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...mr. murcks

...thanks for the update... i went back and read some... and to me it looked like someone highjacked mr. figners' handle. but in case it was him, i'd say what ms. babble would say, 'what's wrong with cockgobblers?'

COCK GBLR

PotbellyJoe said...

With wit that is externally sharp and communally acerbic.

I'm sad to see some people react yesterday in a way that seems like they were laughing at everyone else for a better part of a decade only to not find the jokes, jeers and insults as funny when they landed close to home. If nothing is off-limits, everything has to be fair game and part of being an adult is realizing that you're not perfect and well-placed self-deprecation is the only honorable shit anymore.

Oh, you are mad that someone said only idiots would crush a segment in a touristy park in an over-populated touristy part of a city that attracts tourists? Tough scranus.

Snobby's response of "Later." was the perfectly laconic response to Roille who clearly got bent by taking it personally.

Newsflash, when you're on the internet, no one knows you well enough to make it personal, unless it's on the Bookface and even then, you unfriend those kinds of mess-debaters.

Meh.

I'm glad we're back to our regularly scheduled program, but feel like the #NoStrava PSA was a much needed finger to the undesireables ruining the few remaining shreds of respect human-powered two-wheelers cling to.

Today's post was BAU. Thanks.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...but someone said it best in yesterday's comments:

...I paraphrase: "if you're going to take a bow out of the comments section, why announce it..."

1904 Cadardi said...

Tying crosspalms and RCT together,

I think there may be fewer city Freds in Italy. Or it's possible they all head to the country side for Fred rides. My sample consists of about 4 days in Rome, 4 in Tuscany.

I'm hoping the Snob is slowly teasing us about his l'Eroica ride and in the next week will reveal the pink Faggin in all it's retro glory.

Also, Mr. Wildcat, go get yourself some appropriate footwear

JLRB said...

spinning up

JLRB said...

96, missed 69 by 180 degrees

JLRB said...

97, might be

PBateman said...

by the way, anyone else really love that guys tshirt?

JLRB said...

98, could be

JLRB said...

100 or clipped at the line?

James said...

damn missed the sprint. Got distracted by appropriate footwear shopping link. I should be flogged by RQ and her riding crop.

Freddy Murcks said...

Serial Retrogrouch said: 'what's wrong with cockgobblers?'

Funny you should mention that, SR. I often find myself using the term "cocksucker" as an insult, but then I'm like "Hey, wait a second. I gotta stop doing that. I am rather fond of cocksuckers."

James said...

@PBateman - I loved it. Very relevant considering the NFL and the news these days.

Spokey said...

congrats JLRB

damn early century

i feel like imaputinadaditch



no stupid robot. it's not 109. it's only 104


Anonymous said...

Here's the car I want: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Arsenal_Tank_Plant

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...mr. cadardi, i think you missed SNOB's first, and so far only training for the Heroica ride when the only thing he sported that might conform to the rules of the Horica ride were his vintage shoes.

...i think he needs one of these more urgently.

Logbig said...

I want the Swagon to ride in front of me so that I can motorpace it and get more KOMs. Strava!

1904 Cadardi said...

SR,

I forgot about the shoes. Today he was cutting some squishy things for his modern Sidis. Not cool. Gotta be old skool if you want to fit in, and for H'Erotica, half the fun is going as vintage as you can. (Okay maybe a third, but still).

So in addition to the wool jersey, do you think we can convince him to get some of these

BUTT ITCH

Fred of the Sea said...

Jersey's got to have pockets in front for the raw, ground beef.

Anonymous said...

Brady Kappius at Brokencarbon.com for your cracked frame. That boy could repair the Syrian/Gaza/Ukraine thingys.

Comment deleted said...

"Beef pocket" would be a good alternate name for the Kuku Penthouse.

Fred of the Sea said...

Definitely more butch.

Fred of the Sea said...

...if not outright butcher.

Anonymous said...

more annoying inane shit from the new York post

http://nypost.com/2014/09/22/making-nyc-safe-for-pedestrians/



JLRB said...

New York can’t bring back Jill Tarlov or Irving Schachter. But we can reduce the odds of repeat tragedies simply by ensuring bicylists obey the same laws as everyone else.

Replace "obey" with "ignore" and "everyone else" with "motorists".
There you go NY Post - your velcome

Freddy Murcks said...

re: Anon at 4:35. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but so far this year 90 pedestrians have been killed by cars in NYC. That is compared with two isolated bike-pedestrian incidents in the same time period. I know the NY Post is just a bunch of fucking yellow journalists who sell papers by stoking people's fears of the wrong things, but come on. Where is the fucking outrage for the carnage wrought by our car-centric culture?

http://www.wnyc.org/story/killed-cars-who-dying-traffic-crashes-and-why/

JLRB said...

Crosspalms @3:08 - I had a similar experience in Your-pee this summer - 99% of cyclists were utilitarian - saw the Paris Freds heading out of town on trains to ride in the Cunt-Tree.

Of course, the bicyclists look tame there compared with the motor bikes/scooters and maniacal cagers. I often did not feel safe as a a pedestrian, and was stressed keeping the family on alert. Limited time on a bike - felt safer - the motorists gave space to bikes. Of course, the cops parked in the bike lanes to make me feel right at home.

JLRB said...

In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles

Anonymous said...

Speaking of sag swag, on a local charity ride, a guy rode with his personal trainer, who pushed him up hills so he could stay with a lead group populated by some celebrity cyclists.

Fred of the Sea said...

Individual motor vehicles are "necessary" in US cities. Motor traffic is like power generation; it's got a downside, but waddayagonna do, shut down the power plants? Bikes are the frivolous toys of elites or used by immigrants and bums. No level of risk from them is acceptable.

JLRB said...

Fred - and besides - they wear those skin tight shorts!!!

Peter G said...

Run over, crushed under the wheels of my personal Swagon escort. 5002

babble on said...

mmmm...sausage...mmmmm

Oh dear. I guess that makes me George the cockgobbler. Don't tell anyone, ok?

Road Queen - if you need any help with that crop of yours, I'm your gal. Er, George. I'm your George. Lotsa experience with one of those. Blessed be. :D

rovinato said...

Man, I’ve been riding for years, and I never get to see any of the hilarious shit you document on a daily basis. Swagon. My god.

Marion Berry said...

Crack? Did someone say crack?

David Pearce said...

Alright, for all you people who do not Facebook, and with the kind indulgence of Mr. BikeSnobNYC, I have established the site:

http://solveroute29abductions.wordpress.com.

Any help or advice or tips to help bring some measure of justice to the concerned families of these women is much appreciated!

David Pearce said...

Speaking of nothing in particular,

but noticing the Ferrari caption,

I think maybe you really meant,

"Hey Ford, your Escort is here!"

************

Now if only I could conjure up the Just Kidding yacht, and silently slink away....

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

dave

JustKidding is owned by Craig & Mary Anne Fritzsche

Read more at: http://www.catalinasmbay.org/origin.htm about 1/3 down the page

Friendo said...

DALI LAMA
DRON BUZZ

Grump said...

Snobby, you should know that dirt dissolves crabon....It's in the manual.
Isn't the lifespan of the average crabon frame about 12 months??

BamaPhred said...

Did I notice the Fly 6 on the homemade potato vodka bike?
Perhaps a travelogue is up for tomorrow.
I guess he had another one of those artisanal stone barn sandwiches.
Better than eating gas station sandwiches.

David Pearce said...

Thanks, Spokey!

I like your name. Perhaps it sounds less perverted to say, "I like spokes".

For Green Hornet, the first bike I've built, a randonneur built on a green Polyvalent frame from Velo-ORANGE, I liked learning how to build up wheels from hubs, the CORRECT LENGTH spokes, and rims.

My wheels use Velo-ORANGE Diagonale rims, DT bladed spokes (don't ask me, I don't remember the model or type), the rear wheel is attached to a 32 hole Campy Chorus hub and the front to an 32 hole SP dynamo hub.

Now all I have to do is gain enough momentum to snake the Edelux II wire up the fork blade, in and around the fork crown, and out through the fender, to the headlight, and I've never done it before, etc., etc., etc.

McFly said...

I assume you use a Volkswagen for official Swagon. We use a Swhemi. Jarrett be like...."I get 32 mpg in this Jetta...what do you get?"

Laid.

Anonymous said...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/447321943/carbon-frame-clamp?ref=discovery

save the plastic

dancesonpedals said...

The Genesis Story of Swagon....hmmm sounds like snob was listening to this American life last weekend on corporate origins myths

Euro Spondee said...

Crosspalms and the other Europhiles, I got to go to Verona a few years ago with a native guide, and wouldn't have wanted to ride much of the city much of the time, and yes, lots of tourist tat. On Sunday morning, though, heading out of town into what I heard was Damiano Cunego mountain country, lots of old school federicos of various ages and sizes, mostly wishing they were Saronni or Gimondi from the look of it.

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh, looks like that goose was gonna try some interspecies hookup with that hippie.

semi serious cyclist said...

You don't stop riding the bike with the crack in it, you ride the bike with the crack in it until it fails under the wattage of your mighty hammers. Take it out in the woods and throw some jumps on the thing.

What are you, a woosie?

Wear a football helmet and elbow pads like the 70s repack crewe, if collapsing 40 bucks of carbon fiber under your tuckus strikes fear in your heart. See how much abuse it can take, that carbon fiber isn't good for anything until you KNOW you've compromised it; right now, you're still uncertain, aren't you?

On a side note, i observed a customer repair a chainstay in our shop's repair waiting area with fiberglass resin, matting and some duct tape. He was riding it across the country in two days, and didn't think a crack in the chainstay was that big of a deal. We couldn't warranty it for him in the time he expected. Quite fredly of him. We had bets going on how far his homegrown chainstay repair was going to get him. some of the shop monkeys think it got him all the way to the other coast.

semi serious cyclist said...

though i haven't raced since bikecentennial, shouldn't your carbon bike be put into retirement as an exploding cross bike?

A couple laps, some serious crank, and KAPOW! instant cross cred for blowing up a bike mid race.

hell luva said...

Ride it like a mannequin in a John Waters film.

1904 Cadardi said...

One of the things I will certainly not miss about racing was a motor ref or support car following right behind. Brrrrmmmm-putputput-brmmmm-putputput. Just leave me alone to suffer in peace!

You want me to pay for that annoyance Swagon?

Pass, thank you very much.

Mel said...

Hmmmm... For a Swagon vehicle I'd want something a bit more intimidating, something like one of those cars from the Mad Max movie.

Bareback said...

Swagon, protection from behind is a good idea.

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benDE said...

Ah . . . is no one putting the ads for the self driving cars together with this Schwagon bullshit?

why do you need that app if you can just 'tether' your self-driving Infinity to your STRAVA app and set it to 'follow at ten feet' How fredilicious is that?!!

No, wait, F-that. Set it to drive 1 foot AHEAD of you!! Now we're talking!!! KOMs all day baby!!

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

I bought my tiny Suzuki Jimny in order to save the planet. I fully expected to reap a windfall of sweet Captain Planet smugness tokens for every frivolous mile driven. What I did not count on was a new smugness depleting phenomenon: Small Car Family Endangerment Debits.

It doesn't even matter that the car meets the latest, ever tightening safety standards. When driving my diminutive car I just can't shake the feeling that I'm putting my family unnecessarily at risk for the sake of folly. I joke that it is a Buddhist's car, because in a collision with any other living entity, I am likely to lose, in a spectacular self sacrificing crumple. However, smugness points and possible enlightenment are of little solace with a couple kids in the back seat.

At this point I'm really hoping for some kind of apocalyptic disaster scenario to take place, where the narrow wheel track allows me to weave through the gridlocked motorways of fleeing, bloated SUV's, and the fuel efficiency allows me and my family to endure in the Mad Max like aftermath.

ce said...

... ah ha, vindication!

babble on said...

Ce- my ex-sister-in-law and her huband in her wee tiny smart car when they suffered an horrific crash with a speeding lorrie (sure it was a truck, but it happened in the UK) and they came out of it relatively unscathed. Not counting the post traumantic stress. It happened eight or nine years ago, too, when the itty bitty little vehicles were relatively new to the scene, too. In other words, don't stress yerself, laddie.

Sigh. Vancouver is under deluge. Ti Baby is wearing its winter wheels again. And I need courtesy fenders before I ride with the guys on a wet Sunday morning...

Summer is so over.

Anonymous said...

It is better to be wet when riding guys

babble on said...

Lol! Heyyyyy... good point. :)

ce said...

Those smart cars do have pretty amazing impact cages, not much crumple zone to adsorb energy though. But anyway, it's just a weird, nagging feeling of guilt that I did not expect.

And to be honest, the feelings are probably mixed up with my difficulty assuming the pathetic image of a small car driver. I fucking love trucks. If my inner greenie would allow me, I would be driving the redneck pickup truck Snobbo featured in his post. Thankfully, work is my loophole to partake of the forbidden fruit. Was driving 20 odd tonne dump truck down bush tracks today - good times.

Freddy Murcks said...

I am heading out for an unsupported MTB ride. If only there was a service that would follow me to make sure that I stay safe. Hopefully I will survive the ordeal. If I don't, tell my wife and kids that I loved them.

ce said...

(absorb)

Fred of the Sea said...

I hire a support helo when I go off-roading. After all, we're talking safety here.

PotbellyJoe said...

@Freddy,

If only some intrepid kickfundme youth would design a company with walkie talkies and ATVs so that we could be safe on the trails...

Fred of the Sea said...

Great idea, Joe. I bet battered women guy has some friends who would sign up to do that and bring their ARs, too. Think Triple Canopy for the modern fred family!

Angela den Hoed said...

I got tired of reading all the above posts, so if this is a repeat, I apologize. You can check if you have a crack in your carbon by using the very expensive carbon crack checker available in you pocket: tap it with a quarter. If it sounds different than tapping it elsewhere on the bike, it's crack. This was the very technical advise given to me a few year ago by my brother, an actual composites engineer contracted to the actual NASA.

-Angela

JB said...

When one's crabon frame fails catastrophically, I don't think a helmet and knee pads are what you need. I'm thinking a Kevlar horse saddle would better to protect one's tender scranal and inner thigh regions.

McFly said...

!!!***SPOILER ALERT***!!!

Sir Wiggo is your new reigning world Trime Tial Chumpion. Bloody Cunts. The lot of ya. Don't care for the batter. I bring my own.

Anonymous said...

Be careful. If you say "Crack" three times rapidly, Rob Ford will appear and grant you one of his wishes.

PotbellyJoe said...

Andrea,

What if I only have a nickel or a Canadian 25 cent piece? What does NASA recommend I use then?

1904 Cadardi said...

PotBellyJoe,

A metal frame.

Fred of the Sea said...

Speaking of metal frames and my endlessly fascinating personal life, I did an extended a.m. commute on the rebuilt "classic" and learned all about the wonders of modern shifting and the weakness of my elderly legs.

babble on said...

Aaaaaand, Sir Wiggo the cuntnifacent has decided to try for the hour record himself in 2015. "Something to get up in the morning for..."

babble on said...

sure I can speel

Freddy Murcks said...

Fred Alert. Stop reading if you are offended by non-expert fredly advice.

Re: the possible crack near the rear dropout. I don't know how Special Ed fabricates their frames, but the dropout on most crabon frames is comprised of a die cast metal piece that is bonded into the chainstay and seatstay tubes during layup or assembly of the frame. Becuase the frame is supported by the insert at that point, I doubt that the frame could crack that close to the dropout. Even if there is a crack, I doubt it is the sort that could result in catastrophic failure of the frame.

StructuralEngineerBot9000 said...

"Fred Alert. Stop reading if you are offended by non-expert fredly advice.

Never let a little thing like not being an expert stop you from advice.

A quick search found these photos of drop outs:

http://www.paragonmachineworks.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?search=action&category=D005

The tabs that would fit into the carbon frame tubes seem pretty short. Although I agree a crack in the carbon fiber tube over the metal tab from the drop out is not likely to be a problem, a crack just beyond the end of the tab is a big problem. WARNING: show the least bit of encouragement and I'll explain why.

Freddy Murcks said...

StructuralEngineerBot9000 - lets just agree that this is why you shouldn't build bikes out of crabon fibre-reinforced epoxy resin.

Anonymous said...

Dunk the frame underwater and see if it leaks. E.g. pretend it's a tube with a flat.

Anonymous said...

Good lord people, it's a paint crack.

Anonymous said...

not a crack

Ezzy's Papi said...

Nice to see someone else has noticed the self-defeating safety arms race in our society - what Snob calls the "fortification phenomenon." I've long suspected a conspiracy between the oil industry, automakers and childseat makers that results in lobbying states to continually increase child safety standards. Ever tried to put more than two childseats into a car? There's no room for any other passengers. Time to buy an SUV, or better yet a minivan. And soon your kids will have to be strapped in to a childseat until they're 16, until they're finally old enough to take the wheel of the Hummer themselves.

thewagonstore said...

Love to see this postFolding Super Sport Wagon

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lighting for bedroom
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