Wednesday, October 1, 2014

This Just In: Off To L'Eroica!

Remember how I wrote this HILARIOUS guest post for Brooks about my intense preparations for the L'Eroica ride in Tuscany?


Well, tomorrow I depart for that ride, which means that after today I won't be posting again until Tuesday, October 7th, at which point I will resume regular updates.

Of course, as a seasoned traveler I know comfort is paramount on long journeys, and so you can be sure I'll be donning my customary flying suit:


Between that and my combination neck pillow/padded toilet seat cover I expect to arrive in Italy as fresh as a bruisewort:


As for the route I'll be riding, there are four on offer, and it is my understanding we'll be doing the "percorso medio," which is Italian for "Medium Woosie:"


And which is described thusly:

It is the "gateway" to the myth of l'eroica, in 4 hours, and 1900 meters of difference in level, in addition to the beauty highlighted in the short route, do not miss.

This distance itself is not daunting, but I'm guessing the combination of 1,900 meters of climbing (yes, meters and not feet, unfortunately), jetlag, and a fakakte (sp?) old bicycle will conspire to thoroughly kick my scranus.

Also, as I understand it, Brooks is making us all go "full retro" by riding in medieval hair shirts:


Fortunately I am naturally hirsute, so I'm pretty sure I can fool them by simply riding topless.

Meanwhile, I've been preparing mentally for the ride by studying the "philosophy" of L'Eroica:

PHILOSOPHY
L’EROICA WAS BORN FOR THE LOVE CYCLING, THAT WHICH CAUSED THE WRITING OF SOME AMOUNT HISTORY AND OF A LOT OF ITALIAN LITERATURE WITH THE INTENT TO SEEK THE AUTHENTIC ROOTS OF A BEAUTIFUL SPORT, WITH A GREAT POPULAR SOUL PEOPLE, AND TO DISCOVER BEAUTY

I have no fucking idea what that means.

It's also natural that on the eve of my departure my thoughts travel to the last time I visited Italy, for the so-called "Full Bike Day:"



This was one of the strangest experiences of my life, and highlights included speaking at a school run by a headmaster with an inordinate fondness for purple sweaters:


Making the news:


And of course participating in the "Full Bike Day" ride itself, to throbbing disco accompaniment:



Actually, pretty much everything in that part of Italy is performed to throbbing disco accompaniment.

(And yeah, it's filmed vertically, but keep in mind that my peripheral vision was totally fried by this point anyway.)

All of this, however, took part in the region of Puglia, and this time I am bound for the vastly different region of Tuscany, so I really have no idea what to expect apart from an apparent lack of housing inventory--and I'd be remiss if I didn't append the following video:


All of this raises the alarming question of where I'll be staying, and hopefully Brooks at least loans me a hand-chamfered leather sleeping mat so I can curl up in whatever the Tuscan equivalent of a Dumpster is:


Moving on, as Fred violence becomes increasingly commonplace, it's only a matter of time before they're banned from the roads altogether and forced to compete virtually--which I have a feeling they'll be totally fine with:



With just a stationary trainer and ANT+ speed and cadence sensors, users can race their buddies from across the country. Add an ANT+ enabled power meter, or a smart trainer like the Wahoo Kickr, which allows resistance to be controlled externally, and the platform’s capabilities expand into a highly realistic virtual riding experience.

It's true, the weak link in the Fredly cycling experience has always been the actual riding part, so I expect this to be a hit--though if you ask me they should have included the violence:

Despite the Zwift staff’s gaming and software heritage, and the very video-game-like graphics, Grand Theft Bicycle this is not. There are no guns, no running down of pedestrians or zombies to blow up. There aren’t any cars, either, or flats, or crashes. Zwift Island, the first of many virtual worlds Zwift will be adding to the system, is a cyclist’s utopia, bursting with evening light and flitting fireflies, smooth roads and stiff climbs.

Then again, they're probably saving that for the bike messenger version.

Lastly, a "twitterer" claims to have found the "World's Greatest Surly Long Haul Trucker:"

Here it is again:


It's all right, I guess--though apart from the artisanal aerobars it seems pretty ordinary to me.

224 comments:

1 – 200 of 224   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

YLLW JRSY

Anonymous said...

Podium!

PotbellyJoe said...

Despite the Zwift staff’s gaming and software heritage, and the very video-game-like graphics, Grand Theft Bicycle this is not. There are no guns, no running down of pedestrians or zombies to blow up. There aren’t any cars, either, or flats, or crashes.

Yet.

Synonymous said...

Top 4! Pretty pictures. Enjoy Italy!

Sea Lion said...

top 5

JB said...

Say Hi to Cipo for me.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten!

herzogone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JLRB said...

top dieci

Stuart Rasmussen said...

Top 10 or so

samh said...

Whoa! Somebody spotted Antlers Sur L'Herbe ver. two?!?

3G said...

Have fun storming the castle!

Bama Phred said...

Chiao. Enjoy. Artisanal retro scranal discomfort and all that. I could get into Grand Theft Bike. "evening light and flitting fireflies, smooth roads and stiff climbs." is for wussies.

Regular guy said...

So I enlisted the translating expertise of the interweb to try and make more sense of the Philosphy of L'Eroica.

Her it is translated back to Italian:

LA FILOSOFIA
L'VITICOLTURA EROICA È NATO PER L'AMORE IN BICICLETTA, QUELLA CHE HA CAUSATO LA SCRITTURA DI UNA CERTA QUANTITÀ LA STORIA E DI UN SACCO DI LETTERATURA ITALIANA CON L'INTENTO DI RICERCARE LE AUTENTICHE RADICI DI UN BELLISSIMO SPORT, CON UNA GRANDE ANIMA POPOLARE, E A SCOPRIRE LA BELLEZZA

OK, that makes sense, now lets tranlate it back into English:

THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND
THE HEROIC VITICULTURE WAS BORN TO LOVE CYCLING, THAT CAUSED THE WRITING OF A CERTAIN QUANTITY THE HISTORY AND A LOT OF ITALIAN LITERATURE WITH THE INTENT TO SEEK THE REAL ROOTS OF A BEAUTIFUL SPORT, WITH A GREAT SOUL PEOPLE AND TO DISCOVER THE BEAUTY

Well, that explains it, it's a viticulture thing, you wouldn't understand.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

A bottle or two of fine eye-talian wine ought to set you straight on the philosophy.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Back when I was a younger duder I used to play that motorcycle racing game Road Rage. I ain't getting this new fred game until my rider can have chain or club and use them.

JB said...

I hope your are bringing the Fly6 artisanal camera.

herzogone said...

Not just artisanal aerobars, that LHT also features a fur-tufted deerskin-leather handlebar bag with hand-crafted wood decaleur.

mikeweb said...

Hopefully this invitation to L' Eroica wasn't engineered by Cipo himself to lure you to his home turf where he could then seek bloody vengeance for your years of ridicule. And then impregnate you.

Bryan said...

Watch out for Cipo
Enjoy your time, eat pasta, and drink wine. What could go wrong? You should have wine in your water bottles. You won't feel any pain. Taking the Fly6 with you?

jodphoto said...

WCRM,

What the fuck are we going to do for six days without BSNYC? I guess there's Spoke n' Scene. BabbleOn is due for an update. I can look at fixie pictures on Fixed Gear Gallery. There are girls and their fixies on Ride A Bike.

But ladies' asses on their bicycle seats can only sustain one for so long. We need hard bicycle news.

Can't you bring your computer and report from Europe? I hear they have the internet there and everything.

PS. Your Photoshop skills are profound. If this whole blog thing doesn't work out, you have a second career as a retoucher.

Anonymous said...

been looking for this forever: my favorite taint song of all time:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O0T8_DJ-qk

jodphoto said...

I know you just said," Fuck that."

Have a blast!

CommieCanuck said...

Virtual racing just means replacing dope with C++ code.

JLRB said...

But all of this failed to provide any clue to the burning question -

What old-timey artisanal cycling bike are you riding for the event??

CommieCanuck said...

<a href="http://topofcool.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/wow-nerd-south-park-580.jpg>And the winner of the 2016 Tour de France Virtuelle is...</a>

CommieCanuck said...

balls.

And the winner of the 2016 Tour de France Virtuelle is..

CommieCanuck said...


What old-timey artisanal cycling bike are you riding for the event??


Thanks for asking and good question. Snob will be riding a 1911 Veloriffico Speciale Uno, also known as the "Vaffungulo". It requires the tires to be re-vulcanized every 20 kms and the "chain" is made of leather from bull scranus. The saddle is sharp pointed steel protrusion, as was the fashion at the time. He will also be wearing thick wool shorts with a chest-high belt, because that's how Tullio rocked shorts back then.

grog said...

Have fun in Tuscany. Three things: Don't be last, don't fall down, don't throw up.
RIDE NICE

CommieCanuck said...

I hope your are bringing the Fly6 artisanal camera.

It has to be Eroica era resolution. I heard these cameras were once 720p..true story.

commentatorbot_9743 said...

Meh.

I rode the last generation of permitted bike in l'eroica when they were new.

Will you nearly die using a downtube shifter at woo-hoo speeds? Mike Sinyard thinks so. Then he'll sue you.

Comment deleted said...

Oh, man, I loved the Great Popular Soul People back in the day. They got *down*!

Fred of the Sea said...

"Verkackte"

PBateman said...

hey Snobberdoo,

do you have a kickstarter campaign up for the epic movie you'll be curating while on this life defining, soul searching ride in Italy (aka - France's boner)?

i'd like to contribute to it if you do. but only, and i mean ONLY if you have a really cool slow motion intro at dusk of you setting off on the days ride. and also ONLY if you also have a part of the film that contains some really rad song playing over quick cut shots of you overtaking your riding buddies, and then them overtaking you, and then all of you laughing and looking wild eyed at some flowers.

thats the only type of kickstarter curated bicycle film i want to see.

Anonymous said...

What does the "Wahoo Kicker" trainer do, virtually kick you until you reach Fed Wahoo speed?

I gave up riding on trainers 25 years ago. Get out and do something, anything, please.

Regular guy said...

I think your only allowed something like this on the L'Eroica.

trama said...

Fly6 that Italian adventure, upload it via a few thousand Vines, let the money pour in.

babble on said...

Have fun, ride safe, drink lots, and check out the markets... maybe you can find a pair of red over-the-knee boots to model for us.

Can't wait to see the post L'erotica post.

Regular guy said...

Looks like that Surly rider had the same wildlife encounter this guy had.

Watch out, these critters will run outta nowhere right in front of you. This certainly won't happen in Zwift's cycling utopia.

Anonymous said...

BikeFredNYC does Tuscany...

babble on said...

Heh heh. Oh yeah, and don't bend over, unless you're aiming for number eighteen. It IS Cipo's home turf, after all.

balls™ said...

Don't you have to show I.D. and prove you're a septuagenarian before they let you buy a long-haul trucker?

Anonymous said...

Online multiplayer fredism? At least a year old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OwMCjhgA-k&list=PLPvt5hykatIgqT8ah1deQDhCe3_ZaphyR

Oh, and lucky you to get sponsored for a ride in Tuscany, the region is gorgeous.

McFly said...

Marinade your Scranus Joist in rich Tuscan olive oil to survive the ardous sojourn over hill and dale.

And tell The Maestro (Bob Cobb) I said hello.

Stockholm said...

You'll need more than "a hand-chamfered leather sleeping mat" from Brooks if you're gonna "sleep over" at Mario's.

sean carter said...

See you there!

The dumb side of my brain is aiming to do the 205km but the smart side of my brain is screaming 135km - will be interesting to see which side wins.

Looking forward to wearing matching Brooks jerseys and discussing the finer points of Crowbombs, Uncle Freds, and the effects of Tuscan bean soup on the body after 2000+ metres of climbing on washboard gravel roads.

crosspalms said...

If you hear people yelling "Die, die, die!" at you, remember they are actually yelling encouragement ("dai, dai, dai"), not death threats.

That's all I got. The trip sounds like great fun -- enjoy!

bk said...

Seems like all you'd have to do to dope in virtual racing is to lie about your weight. Lower entered weight equals less resistance from your fancy pants trainer on the climbs.

On the plus side, triathlons will get a whole lot more entertaining once the tridorks get their hands on this new technology. They do love their trainers. Of course that has nothing to do with their lack of handling skills...

Anonymous said...

Beware Snob. The 75K is an ass kicker. There is no water until Radda. Take a bota bag in additional to water bottles. Then, when (or if) you reach Radda, don't expect the food that the longer rides get down around Siena. No. They serve bread and olive oil and not much else in Radda. Also, watch out for "the butcher". I heard that the Hannibal Lector character was developed after him. He's a really nice guy in a terrifying shop of horrors. Think disembodied pig heads and stuff. Add the distance from whatever agro you are staying at to and from the start in Giaole and you can wind up over 100K easily Good luck. Say high to Marco at the Gusto Cycling booth. Last year I saw Brett's iconic picture on a booth at the expo on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Have fun Mr. Snob.
Say Hi to the Classic Ron Day Voo crowd and Brooklyn Velodrome Vintage Wheelmen if any are about.

vsk

Anonymous said...

You lucky mother fucker, riding over in Italy while the rest of us are left here to dodge the NYPD bike ticketing frenzy that continues to go full force. Speaking of which, there are something like 45 traffic lights in the 6 mile loop of central park. So there is a light nearly every 1/10th mile. Even though I live a couple blocks from the park, I rarely ride there given the crowds and clueless pedestrians and annoying freds. A few days a week I instead ride up Riverside drive, over the GWB and into the Park in NJ. about a 20 mile ride 10 miles on crowded NYC streets. but I continue to put myself at risk because it is a more interesting ride than circling central park, has more hills and less Freds and I don't want to stop every 1/10 of a fucking mile for another useless traffic light. Now that the NYPD have locked down central park, I probably will never use it (other than on my morning commute to work). What could the NYPD, DOT and our idiot Mayor do other than write 100 tickets a day for cyclists rolling through lights at empty pedestrian intersections while cars are whizzing around the park well above the speed limit, maybe time the lights for the cyclists rather than for the cars, because after all IT IS A FUCKING PARK! Sorry, have a good trip.

JLRB said...

Find Italy and get the fuck in it!

crosspalms said...

So I was reading up on this Eroica, and it turns out that when Beethoven rode it, he got so mad at Napoleon that he tore up his steel frame. With his bare hands! Apparently that's when he got his middle name, Van, cause he never rode a bike again. (Though he was obviously remembering his cycling days when he wrote the Hammerklavier sonata.)

Anonymous said...

A good quick read on the plane is Road to Valor, about Tuscany's own Gino Bartali. It will put you in the mood to ride the Tuscan Hills.

bad boy of the north said...

have a great ride

JLRB said...

Bartali helped save Jews during WWII

If he can hide passports in his bike tubes, it proves they can put anal vibrators in downtubes to make them spin when they wreck

gE said...

You'll always be a full-fledged woosie to us Snobby. You'll have to let us know how this bike ride was inspired by soccer/futbol - the beautiful sport

Spokey said...

crosspalms

come on, don't just drop that little tidbit and hold out on the important info.

1 - did he own that van?

2 - did it have dik breaks?

3 - did he wear a helment in the van

CommieCanuck said...

Babble..did L'erotica once, saddle sore takes on a whole new meaning.

1904 Cadardi said...

A word of warning about Tuscany: Italian drivers have this strange habit of not running over cyclists and actually passing safely so this trip will forever jade any future bicyclecycling.

Oh, also the food and wine and countryside are amazing.

Enjoy!

Drock said...

Don't use the wrong hand gesture in the boot or god knows what will happen, I finished dinner there once, rubbed my hands together and moments later was speaking to police about my hands not knowing I had offended the server, down the middle

crosspalms said...

Spokey,
Apologies. I was so smitten by the story that I skipped over relevant bits.

1. No, he leased it.
2. I'm staying out of this question. Musicologists have had fistfights over what kind of breaks he had. Leonard Bernstein once clocked a Harvard professor with a chair for suggesting that maybe Beethoven used a coaster brake.
3. He could never find a helment that didn't squash his hair, spoiling the look of dangerous insouciance he favored.
And one more: no cigarette lighter and no cupholders, although it did have a bracket for his ear trumpet.

dancesonpedals said...

1904... it has been occasionally noted (ok, car talk & one you tube video) that road rage is not a problem in Italy. An explanation offered by the Magliozzi brothers aka click & clack, is that while people drive fast, no one is really in a hurry

Sarah said...

I hope you fly 6 your ride. Have a little wine with that whine! Have fun!

babble on said...

Commie - normally, I'd say "pictures, please, or it didn't happen!" but I'm not sure we want to go there...

JLRB said...

Sore scranus saddle song to hum along with for KMs 55-65

Fred of the Sea said...

A German colleague and I rented a car, when we were at a meeting in Florence some time in the 90s, and drove all over Tuscany. We were duly apprehensive, but traffic entirely benign. The only imprecations I heard were being shouted at a self-service fuel pump by a customer. Cazzo!

1904 Cadardi said...

dop,

L'Eroica is the only time I've ever seen a Ferrari Enzo in the wild. I was following 4 old Italian gents I didn't know and couldn't understand when one of them points and says "Ferrari. Ciao Bello!" Si, si.

And what was the Enzo doing? Being nice and waiting till the road was clear to open it up.

Yep, drive fast, live slow.

Anonymous said...

Wildcat,

Do Babble and RoadQueen and Frilly (should she ever comeback) a favor and be sure to post a picture of the giant cock in Gaiole.

Freddy Murcks said...

Hey Snob - Have fun in Italy. Save lots of room for wine, salami, and espresso drinks.

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

Snobbie

DO NOT BUY THIS POS. I had a '78 Caprice Classic. Probably exactly the same car underneath. It was less than a month off the dealer's lot before i had to abandon it one snowy january night with a downed alternator. I think this was year 2 of the GM large platform downsize.

laid that piece of shit off on a co-worker (who shoulda known better as he listed to me bitch about it almost everyday) after less than a year and a half of misery. Several alternators. Broken speedo cables. The tufted buttons in the fancy pants seats zinging out of their moorings every so often.

Bottom line: was back to the dealer for warrantly service 18 times. And I think this was during the 12 month / 12,000 warranty times.

The only good thing was it didn't diesel any worse than its contemporaries. I'm pretty sure that after you took the key out of the ignition, the engine would actually stop within 25-30 seconds.

babble on said...

Oh yes, please!! to the giant cock.

Bama Phred said...

Spokey Amen to that.
I watched chrome bumpers un-plate themselves, paint fade completey, vinyl roofs curl up and fall off, all within 4 years of purchase. Not counting the mechanical issues. Detroit put out some real dogs in the 70's and 80's.

Bama Phred said...

Completey I didn't know that was a word, but that's how my iDunce spelz completely

David Pearce said...

Dear Snob,

Whad'ya mean This Just in! ??

More like STAN FREBERG doing LAWRENCE WELK:

"And-a now, off-a with the show!"


************
Anti-Robot: House numbers from a very oblique angle to the right. Think it's 1122.

Confidence Level: Under 50%

alpaca lips. said...

Commie Canuck --

You know the language that succeeded C++, don't you?

B--.

Kerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just soooo emailed this to info@mariocipollini.eu

"Dear Mario,

As a long time admirer of yours I thought you might like to be aware that a semi professional bike blogger by the name "bikesnob NYC" will be riding the erotica cycling event this year. He has written many things about you over the years. I think it would be awesome if you could meet up with him on the ride to discuss some of his postings. I'm sure you guys have plenty to discuss"

Faithfully yours,
ChamiosJuice
:-)

You are welcome..

McFly said...

JLRB,

Gino Bartali's exploits of WWII were chronicled in Road to Valor and it is a most excellent read.

If you are so inclined.

JLRB said...

Mcfly - thanks I'll check it out.

Snob - speaking if books - Italian for Xenophones may come in handy - it has all the essential phrases you won't remember mixed with some humor.

Sto soffrendo terribilmente. Mi puo dare morfina?

Bama Phred said...

Do not search for images of Gaiole Italy giant cock. Or do, whatever floats your boat. The only thing that came to mind was two legged donkeys. Geez. Snob is outta da house, playtime.

Spokey said...

bama

you ain't kiddin. dumped the chevy in a year and a half right before we went in to that '79 gas crisis for a datsun 510 wagon. one of the last cars to run on leaded. that lasted till '91 when i sold it to a friend and was at 300,000 last i heard.

but i was obviously drinking too heavily back then as i proceeded to buy an '81 pontiac phoenix (well named). That also lasted about a year and a half to be replaced by the first nissan sentra (the only ones with 1.5L engines). By the time the pontiac was gone, it was rusting around the rear window among other things. I had rewired the ignition / clutch interlock as the switch kept falling apart. I was going down i-287 coming from a mtg and first it would only go into 3rd, then 2nd (I think it was a 4 speed). Was in a suit but decided it would be prudent to pop the hood anyway and found the shift linage about to fall off. Hand tightened the offending nut and drove home.

Needless to say, i took the first step to sobriety and haven't been back to GM again.

still got two 'merican made biek sickles though. great bieks. detroit should take lessons.

Spokey said...

did any say while wildcat is away the boobies will play?



many demanno but only snobbie delivers

dop said...

Stan Freberg? The soundtrack of my childhood, along with the Smothers Brothers, Allan Sherman, Bob Newhart & Tom Lehrer..perhaps too revealing...no Firesign Theatre until I was a teenager

dop said...

(genuflecting) scranus

JLRB said...

Anyone know two hot chicks that want great baseball tickets?

Fred of the Sea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crosspalms said...

Tired of bike polo? Not up for cross? Try jousting. Might be fun.

K-bo said...

Fun bike music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaKDyl0ATuI

JB said...

Just ordered Road to Valor and Fat Tire Flyer! Woot! Woot1

Bama Phred said...

Speaking of Crabon, mine lasted 675 days before shop gave up on "beefy bb90 bottom bracket", declared it "wallowed out" (their technical term) and now just waiting to see if you-know-who will warranty frame. I knew it was shot after 222 days. Micrometer don't lie.

JB said...

Enjoy: Fat Tire Flyer Chapter 13: The Ritchey Mtn. Bike

JLRB said...

And if you really want to feel inadequate and woosieish, From Snob's twitter comes Macaskill's latest

JLRB said...

and - shhhh - 96

wishiwasmerckx said...

Do I have to do everything myself?

wishiwasmerckx said...

98th...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and halfway to the page 2 podium...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and 100th!

Anonymous said...

I will give the Marin guys credit for being decent folks overall, but at the time there was more going on than just Marin County.

Down in Southern California, a guy by the name of Victor Vincente was making bikes and putting on races too.

Victor isn't a media savvy guy though, so that part of the story hasn't gotten out like the Marin story.

There were other locales catching onto the whole mountain biking thing too.

JB said...

Fat Tire Flyer has a chapter dedicated to the Crested Butte, CO scene. Not sure on the angle though.

McFly said...

The Intro to MTB was pretty dang cool. Mert was bad-azzzz.

We just basically road ride around here until we can go MTBing again.

dop said...

anus as in scranus

snatchpootyscranustaint said...

snatchpootyscranustaint

ruffles said...

scrotums have ridges

Anonymous said...

Crested Butte definitely had stuff going on there in the early days.

Here's a brief rundown of things at the time. Notice that a little bit is happening in different places all at once, pre-Internet!!

http://cbklunkers.com/page.cfm?pageid=10457

ce said...

JLRB 2:26, that was... epic.

Ok, more like: ZOMG EPIK!!!!

The videos he did with the stage sets were interesting, but scranus death by scenery is so much better.

Lucky Snobbo isn't heading to the Isle of Skye for the Mac'Ehrrroicaye.

Eric would have to surgically remove the Brooks from Snobbo's arse afterwards... and Eric doesn't believe in anaesthetic.

JLRB said...

criminality suspected

Randall J Squirl said...

@ Fred of the Sea said...
…I only wished to caution others that taking bikeen into the quantum realm could lead to ramifying complications never envisioned even by the likes of Flann O'Brien.
September 6, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Randall J Squirl said:
… Read The Third Policeman, the Flann O’Brien novel. Its narrator is a man with a wooden leg…
… who attributes the “softening and degeneration of the human race … to its progressive predilection for interiors and waning interest in the art of going out and staying there,” …
…he is detained by Sergeant Pluck, who introduces the atomic theory of the bicycle…
… there are a pair of cheerfully batty policemen. Their worldview is what you might call bicyclogical: things fully make sense only when regarded through a lens involving tire pumps, handlebars, and light dynamos. It’s connected to the “Atomic Theory”…
“People who spend most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who nearly are half people and half bicycles.”
…take the Atomic Theory: respectable philosophers of the mind now hold that all matter, and therefore every bicycle, involves consciousness (seriously: it’s called panpsychism)…
Complete novel (199 pgs):
http://wiki.phalkefactory.net/images/e/e6/The_Third_Police_Man.pdf

ce said...

Sorry, that came off as more crude than I intended. I didn't mean a Brooks would be embedded in Snobbo's arse - I meant welded to it. I did first type scranus, which would have clarified this and painted a marginally better picture, but then realised I had already used scranus once in that comment. I didn't want to repeat scranus because I was worried that overusing scranus might contribute to scranus eventually losing it's funniness over time.

No, I'm serious, I think that it may actually be possible for scranus to wear thin.

OK maybe not.

In summary, where possible it's probably wise to avoid scranus fatigue, both literally and literatureally, but not at the expense of epic riding or effective communication.

ce said...

Wow, thanks Randall J Squirl, that quote eloquently explains the welding action I was struggling to describe.

JLRB said...

I read that flan O'BRIEN novel a few years ago - will have to reread it if it still lying around - I sort of recall people becoming part bike - something about how they would lean up against things like a bike leaning against a fence ....

shining trapezoid said...

Seinfeld sucks

babble on said...

AhHA! So that's what happened to me after all of those decades spent on two wheels...

I did wonder. That explains why I feel incomplete when I can't ride for any length of time.

Danny boy is definitely part bike. His poor mum. How EVER does she sleep at night?!

JLRB said...

Babs you are right - he is part bike - when I showed my bride that video her comment was the bike is an extension of his body - I think your comment is closer to the truth

JLRB said...

Thinking about the Third Policeman as I pedaled to work - is that the book with the line it about some people being born a pint or two short - they only come to life after a beer or two?

JLRB said...

Did someone ask about Girls and Beer?

Spokey said...

ce

definitely avoid worn scranus syndrome.

Fred of the Sea said...

Anyone with an appreciation of the absurd and the silly should treat themselves to liberal doses of O'Brien (aka, Myles na gCopaleen, born Brian O'Nolan). The guy was considered a legitimate rival of Joyce and Beckett for a while, until he self-destructed. Judging by the really excellent ultra-short form satire on display here, many of you would enjoy him.

dop said...

one scranus every 8 hours will keep away 3 doctors..


I'm not ashamed to add a pudendum

ChamoisJuice said...

Bikesnob is on vacation: story time!
Keith Bontrager once said about dating over thirty: smart. Sexy. Sane. Pick any two.
I am gonna have to go with first two Keith.
I have been expanding my cultural horizons through penis osmosis with a stunning Bosnian woman. She immigrated in 92 at seven during the Bosnian war. She is mixed Muslim Christian so was genocide target. She got full ride at Berkeley And duke. She was a lingerie model. She weighs about 100 lbs and it makes absolutely NO SENSE how big her titties are. She is a sexy nerd and has a Star Trek next gen captain costume. She has terrible taste in shoes and handbags. Fresh seafood sealed the deal; raw oysters. She is completely nuts. Kinda tempted to go to Croatia fest with her this weekend.

Fred of the Sea said...

dcp, How true. I don't know what kind of doctor you are, but we of the neurological tribe dread the scranal sensory exam and stoutly repudiate the pudenda.

grog said...

125
Looking for the Fun Quiz is
Murdick’s lawyer, Michelle Funkenbusch

THKS JLRB
RIDE NICE

McFly said...

Wounded Untouchable Scranus Syndrome

W.U.S.S.

McFly said...

CJ,
Sell me on tubeless MTB set-up.

I rarely get flats and run 28-30 psi.....

.....go.......

JLRB said...

Since Rollie is not here to give us a mocked up Friday Quiz (Come Back Rollie - no not that comeback, no not the Cipo version, eh nevermind)

Here is a semi-interesting read on the lawyer who brought down Lance

ChamoisJuice said...

Tubeless is for gapers that don't corner hard.

leroy said...

My dog assured me he could get us registered for L'Eroica, but one of his riding buddies accidentally ate my credit card.

He says he's got something planned for us this weekend that's even better.

He also asked me to post his wishes to all for a blessed ride this weekend.

dop said...

I love the smell of scranus in the morning

Fred of the Sea said...

Only my own.

Bama Phred said...

Scranus is the smell that lingers when you take plasticky bike "T" into the shop, again, and they finally ship it back for warranty repair.
Then, what you think is a component breaks on plasticky bike "C", yesterday, informed it is a front derailer hangar, not derailer, and has to be shipped back for warranty repair. In addition, there is a 6 inch gash through the paint down to the abraded crabon where the front derailer was driven into the downtube when the derailer hangar broke. Any bets on how long the gashed crabon will last?
Don't even ask how I inflicted myself with two plasticky bikes.
Negative vibes are absolutely emanating off Ms Phred, kind of like an evil shekinah glory, when I cheerfully remarked, with all these issues, what I really need is a Lynskey.

Spokey said...

you wax poetic on the crappy plastic cars of the 80s and now whine about the plastic bikes of the 10s?

i guess they're right about not teaching old dogs new tricks. Leroy?

or is it fool me once . . .

got a gash in the downtube of a steel bike when i used the garage and house as a can opener to help me get the bike of the roof rack last june. ride that steel baby with impunity. and maybe indignity as well.

haven't even touched up the paint as it is in a 'fade' area. anyone know if chome-moly (or whatever modern bikes are made of) rusts? so far so good.

Spokey said...

oh and just to make you jealous. I had couple bikes that I was going to work on during the winter to build up a bit more sporty.

But I was also thinking it was a bit of work for slight gain.

Spousy's take was to donate them to pedals for progress and if I ended wanting another bike just buy one.

CJ's Mom said...

Glad to see that the person referring to himself as ChamoisJuice is still living primarily in his fantasy life. I can assure you, for instance, that there is no Bosnian GF - the only woman he has ever touched is his mother (i.e., me). I mean really. Who beside a mother could love a boy so obviously deficient in both brains and dick. Likewise, he doesn't know a damned thing about tubeless, cornering hard, etc. I am not even sure that he knows how to ride a bike

Bama Phred said...

Yeah I'm jealous I rode the same bike for 35 years, don't even remember the maker. Three speed internal hub. I'm pretty sure I did next to zero maintenance. Then I rode whatever mountain bikes the kids had once they got big. So I decided to get a "decent" bike once they all left and all the shops here have, are crabon. Or Walmart. They are great, while they last, which isn't long. I would call them dog poop at this point, but that would be an insult to honest dog poop. But yet I know people that seem to ride them with no problem.

Fred of the Sea said...

Spokey,

Cr-Mo does, indeed, rust exuberantly, at least when exposed to copious Fred sweat. I have had to get two steel racing bikes repainted just because of top tube rustification. The guys I trained with disliked taking pace off me on hot days, due to the stream of salty droplets coming off my head.

Spokey said...

i actually bought mine online. communicated via email and i think several phone calls. co-motion has a multi-page questionaire that covers both fit and riding type.

seems to have worked out well for both my brother and me. we both bought on the same order. Had the bikes shipped to a dealer about 100 miles away who did the usual finish assembly. got home, put my spd pedals on, my B17 saddle on, adjusted the seat (without a campy tool) and everything was cool.

i'd certainly do it again.

But I'd also say that the couple i've gotten from bike shops worked out well as well. but yeah the shops seem to have 'racing' bikesor mushache bar cruisers these days. A fat old fart like me just wants lots of spokes, braze-ons to mount fenders and racks, lower gearing, and drop bars. oh and a stem as high or higher than my seat.

Spokey said...

maybe it's that fred of the sea salt?

Fred of the Sea said...

Could be. The neighbors make me run around the streets in the winter to melt icy patches,

ce said...

It's just like The Philadelphia Experiment, with bikes.

The Fredadiamondframe Experiment.

ce said...

Leroy, funny stuff, I'm looking forward to your autobiography - "It's Not About the Dog: My Journey Back to Life".

1904 Cadardi said...

Fred'O
What did you call it? Ultra-short form satire? It's got me laughing.

Bama
If you want steel, your LBS should be able to order anything Surley from QBP. For a house brand they do some interesting stuff including actual touring bikes.

McFly said...

A Lynskey would be sweet. Anything made in Tennessee is going to be a quality product. Whiskey....for instance.

JLRB said...

I rode my Lynskey to National's Park and parked it at the bike valet tonight - I've never seen it so stuffed full of bikes - overflowing. Love that bike. #1 choice these days.

Both of my steel bikes have minor rust issues that I need to address, including some around the couplers on the traveler. No rust on Ti.

Fred of the Sea said...

Ultra short-form satire is what the funny guys do here. I want to learn to write like that.

Now, here's a confession of sorts: Partly because of the recent controversy and partly because I now have, for the first time in 20 years, a quasi-Fred bike, I joined Strava to see what the fuss was about and began to upload my little geriatric exploits. I certainly understand the fascination. First, even my piddly little 4-mile commute has "segments" on it and now I can bust those mufukas every day on my 35 lb commuter! Then, lo and behold, I am the 8th fastest guy up some crummy little hill on my extended morning Fred ride! You can bet I'm going to attack that thing to the wheezing-nauseated-tunnel vision point every time and do extra crunches at the gym thinking about making it to #6. What an instant motivator. None of those pieces of road will ever be the same, now that I know about all the attractive women who can do them in 40% less time than I can and all the zhlubs who can't lay a glove on me. Yes, this could become an obsession. Woo, the fuck, hoo hoo!

ce said...

Fred of the Sea 10:55,

Ultra shit-form satire, that's my style, as demonstrated above (and below).

Fredadiamondframe Experiment.


The desperation in that play on words is painful to behold. What in Lob's briny depths was I thinking.


Does anyone even remember that particular referenced scene from The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)? Do time travelling sailors melded to the deck of a warship even relate to the discussion in any more tangible way than the general rantings of a crazy person? I'm not actually sure any more.

Anyway, regarding Strava, it's an interesting point you make. Quite a few people have mentioned that it is not of much worth as a training tool, but I guess the point is it's value may often be more as a motivational tool to encourage the training in the first place.

Training? Pfffft, you suck! Training for what?

Training for the apocalypse, of course!

Training isn't necessarily a delusional dickbag activity (especially not training for the apocalypse), so if some game involving some times and stuff helps people get out and push themselves, good on it/them.

In the end, any level of competition or challenge is pointless and arbitrary. But in the meantime, it can be fun, or give you the skills to escape the cannibal gangs, so Just Do It! ... excuse me while I swallow the vomit that just came up. Where was I, oh yeah, I was going to have a facetious dig at Snobbo...

Not everyone has an upcoming classically themed, bucolic cycling event in Tuscany to motivate them to get out on their bikes more often, so they use what they can. Good on them. Except when they are careless carnts* of course.

*Aussie phonetic spelling to slip it under the radar.

Spokey said...

no need to worry about the cannibals. it's the zombies you gots to worry about.

Unfortunately i'm fucked in snobbie's hemorrhoids, i'm in the 51st out of 50 states for zombie survival.

so i'm trying for distance rather than speed in my training. i don't think strava helps with that. lil sis is only 600+ miles away in ohio and at least ohio is in the survivable 1/2. not sure whether to pack enough food as i can carry or as many 12ga rounds as I can carry. also not sure how bungee the pump gun on to the rear rack.

Park 'n' Ride said...

Man run down by cyclist yesterday in Vancouver's Lord Stanley's Park has died. Waiting for the fallout. There will be wailing and a grinding of teeth from the local periodicals.

babble on said...

Yep. Lynskey's Cooper is my absolutely favourite bike ever, and I loved the Conlnago I rode before that.

My heart goes out to the man who died of his injuries this morning, and to the cyclist who hit him. No sign of Strava at the heart of it, and the police haven't accused the cyclist of any sort of criminality, but you know that won't stop the tabloids from turning him into public enemy number one.

Any excuse will do.

ce said...

Cannibals, zombies, the point is that someone, or something, is going to be trying to eat you. Don't bungy that shotgun to anything! I'd suggest keeping it slung in case you get separated from your bike. Otherwise, consider a fork mounted scabbard.

The exception might be a situation where there is no immediate threat of being eaten, but the shotgun might draw unwanted attention from the desperate fleeing masses/warlords/robot overlords, whatever the case may be, where concealment becomes the primary concern. A BOB trailer might be handy here, but ideally you still want ready access, so I don't know, sawn off shotgun in bikepacking frame bag? Would that fit? Or, perhaps lying on rear rack under innocuous items, able to be drawn forward between the legs.

ce said...

Oh, and I wouldn't put too weight on the findings of that State based zombie survival study. I mean, they did include triathlon participation as a favourable metric! On face value it makes sense, but we all know those guys are going to be falling all over the place at the worst possible moment, just like a movie.

Unless of course, the authors of the study know this and figure the triathletes will act as a decoy, thus improving survival rates for the average person in a particular State.

Spokey said...


Unless of course, the authors of the study know this and figure the triathletes will act as a decoy, thus improving survival rates for the average person in a particular State.


that was my take. don't think a sawed off will fit nice on the rack either. but i'll have to measure it. got a soft case. maybe that rigged to the seat tube to come up behind the seat. maybe double as a back rest.

BikeSnobNYC said...

shining trapezoid,

No, you suck.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hey Wildcat welcome back! Looks like you survived the semi -wussbag route intact.

dop said...

Welcome back Wildcat. Light a candle, we really stunk it up in here.

Hey Fred of the Sea:

On a neurologic note, my wife & visited Rhodes a few years back, and visited a friend's hometown of Cremasti. It reminded us of the Cremaster reflex. (The testicle rises when the inner thigh is gently scratched)(this is a real reflex) I always figured it was described by a doctor named Cremaster, who possessed uncertain. We asked Vera what Cremasti meant, and she said crucifixion. And why did we ask? After describing (not demonstrating) the reflex she said, "Well, literally it means hung"

I'm a wheeze and breeze man.

dop said...

uncertain proclivities

JLRB said...

I don't buy the whole zombie thing. Tainted food supplies will kill you fully, not partially.

Holy Roller said...

Jesus (In the non-baby form) manifested himself unto me in a dream and said,"Hey, those guys ain't be givin' me any glory lately. Tell them that they should give some praise where it is due or better get ready to be tossed into the Lake Of Fire that burns sinners like a neglected rack of ribs on the bbq of some passed out drunkard. Amen".

dop said...

i said testicle

McFly said...

So I just watched a highlight of the Giro di Lombardia and heard a new one that I can really can get behind.....

"There is an Arrowhead of Talent bearing down on the two leaders."

Fred of the Sea said...

Thank you for that, dop. It's always satisfying to learn the derivation of an annoyingly strange and opaque word for something annoyingly strange. Someone was clearly having a bit of fun there.

I seem to remember the reflex being named for the muscle which does it, but it has been many years, fortunately, since I had to deal with anything below the think-blob in a professional capacity.

badcomputer_023874 said...

Fred of the Sea,

Fun fact about strava those segments, there's no road associated with them. Two different GPS devices return different segments, paths, distances and speeds in strava infographic form over the same road ridden.

The gps device that returned super-fast times strava scores was a blackberry 9300. The slowest was an ancient samsung phone. Right now, I use two very different generations of Samsung devices. One records tracks that fit no segments despite riding an often-recorded strava route. The other, on the same ride, finds a whole other set of segments different than the blackberry tracks. Neither track file have any shared segments despite recording the same ride.

It's fun to see how bad their site data really is.

Just load an application on your smarting phone that writes to gpx format while using a Gremin or whatever fred-puter at the same time. When uploaded to strava the epic scale of fail appears before your eyes. Pretty display of junk data funded by angel investors though!

FWIW, I use GPSLogger.

Anonymous said...


So in addition to L'Snobica we can read about the cop who's arm was broken by someone involved in bicycle cycling on the Brooklyn Bridge.

vsk

badcomputer_023874 said...

dop,

More informative than strava.

I will work Cremaster and "scrotal reflex" into my daily language.

Fred of the Sea said...

badcomputer, that's interesting, but unsurprising, I guess, given that these are crummy little devices not intended for critical applications, which upload samples at 1 Hz or worse. However, it's scary to think of the number of times I've used an iPhone or iPad to navigate at night at high (for a sailboat) speeds in shallow water during sea-Fred events. The little gizmos seemed just as good as the multi-thousand dollar nav systems on the same boats, at least for positioning.

The Strava thing, though, is clearly social medium, than quantitative tool.

dop said...

cremaster muscle? hmmm...ok, someone had fun naming the muscle...though no one's nads should die for any one's sins

JLRB said...

Here we are now entertain us

badcomputer_023874 said...

Fred of the Sea,

It's not the device's fault. I hear this too often.

Strava management doesn't care what they generate is all wrong, just attracting an audience for the flip is all that matters. It's a typical Silicon Valley VC scam.

It can be done right. All the code is freely available under GPL GIS projects. They've got an audience being technically correct-ish is unimportant.

Fred of the Sea said...

badcomp, duly noted!

dop, Googlator tells me "kremastos" means hangman in Greek. As for one's nads dying for anyone's sins, it is the female ones that seem to take one for the team, so to speak, isn't they?

Anonymous said...

I wish here was an app so I could be alerted every time a bicycle was stolen within a10 mile radius of me. Maybe some genius from microsoft could figure it out.

Anonymous said...

From Tilford's comment section:

Strava does not generate data. The GPS devices we ride with generate the data and most of them are quite cheap and not trustworthy. This isn’t Strava’s fault. We aren’t riding around with Trimble devices with RTK functions, so we can’t really expect much.

If you want to see how poor your raw data is, try QGIS (it’s an open source GIS software) or ArcGIS. You can see the intervals at which your GPS collects the data as well as how much it “wobbles” off the road.

As far as the old data being applied to segments in recent weeks – this is not likely because of something Strava has done, but rather, the changes Garmin has made. Garmin has been changing their structure and data flows a bunch in recent weeks. They’ve also introduced a way to have data synced with Strava. I’ve also lost some KOM’s recently to old rides. I lost several on the same day that Garmin introduced the new sync feature.

The Garmin computers and cellphones have very cheap GPS units in them. To get the accuracy that would make Strava super awesome, we’d need to have GPS units that cost well over $25,000 and public RTK base station networks well beyond anything in existence today.

Don’t blame Strava, they just take our crap data and try to make something fun out of it. All things considered, they do a fine job.


Same guy, later, after being questioned:

As a certified GIS Professional (GISP) who writes spatial routing algorithms for a large corporation, I’d say I know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve played with Strava’s old and new API’s to dissect what they are doing and written enough code to replicate it. I’ve even toyed with the idea of starting my own service that alters users data so they can have any KOM they want. It’s pretty easy really. It would be a pay per KOM, but morally, I think giving this out would kill the fun of Strava.

Garmin was having their bandwidth and processing horsepower brought down to a crawl by third party apps that would sync Strava, TrainingPeaks, and others. Garmin’s API was such that they exposed themselves to this abuse. They’ve since changed it and made their own sync tool. Upon Garmin doing this, many users signed up for it and had all of their old Garmin rides immediately uploaded to Strava.

As to the power curves and other data “generated” by Strava, it comes down to the old phrase “garbage in – garbage out”. If you don’t have a power meter, and your weight is entered, Strava will use a basic calculation to estimate your power. We all should know that there are so many variables going on (wind and others) that it is impossible to have something accurate. This is especially true on flat or short segments. Long climbs tend to produce better power results because those other variables become less important in the power calculation. It is all simple math meant to give estimates and fun. Strava doesn’t generate that data, but calculates it from your data. There is quite a difference here and this distinction is considered highly important in the world of analytics.

streepo said...

Braaaaaaaaaaaappppppppppp!!!!

Boy, do I feel better now.

Comment deleted said...

Jesus, streepo, you've got to stop eating onions and blowing cadavers!

badcomputer_023874 said...

As a certified GIS Professional (GISP) who writes spatial routing algorithms for a large corporation

Yet blind the simple fact they support many file types means his gremin theories are wrong.

As stated earlier by someone else, it's a social networking site time waster, nothing more.

I'm reminded of this episode of community http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App_Development_and_Condiments
MeowMeowBeenz FTW!

dop said...

Fred-
I think we've squeezed all the humor (humors?) out of the cremasti business...now my mind turns to grammar (when is wrm coming home?) You say Kremastor is hangman & Vera says Cremasti is hung (that's what she says)...it's like lender/lendee. Of course, I worry that Greek grammar lessons will be like latin grammar lessons

Bama Phred said...

Here, get whatever Strava result you want.

Digital EPO

Freddie Mercury said...

Strava kills

Fred of the Sea said...

dop, I think you're right, assuming there were any laughs there in the first place. And yes, now on to grammar, as I open the latest version of this toxic manuscript, making sure the area is well ventilated and it is pointed away from face.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else here think some people overthink a bike ride?

cycle

Fred of the Sea said...

Yes, and, as the Buddha says: If you don't think too good, don't think to much.

Bama Phred said...

Looking for some sweet Fly 6 L'Eroica porn this week. There ought to be enough Retrogrouchiness to satisfy.

Finally received the Woo-Hoo Speed hat. Cool.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he brought the Fly6 with him. The rotating Lanterne Rouge !

Sorry, I can't climb worth a dammmm. Lob bless him for the jet lag, Marquis de Sade mountainous route, and having to leave it all too quickly and come back to this rat race.

vsk

Spokey said...

OK

heres its goes

i really hates it when people misue these too:

may vs can

fewer vs less

so find a fucking grammar teacher and well, think of something.

Spokey said...

yeah

i overthunk my bike ride todey

i kept thunking

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

I hates dat wind

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