Monday, December 8, 2014

If you're in the market for total BS then consider this your holiday shopping guide.


(Early time trial helment.)

It's news to nobody that fixies and singlespeeds entered the mainstream popular culture ages ago.  Even Walmart's been selling them since 2010, which gives America's favorite big-box retailer more "street cred" than 50% of the riders you'll find on the Williamsburg Bridge.  Nevertheless, for those of us who are of a certain age (by which I mean old) it's still noteworthy when references to such bikes surface in unlikely places.

Therefore, being old, I was surprised when an even older Jerry Seinfeld went on an anti-singlespeed rant on the latest episode of "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee:"


"Why are one-speed bikes in fashion?  They're so stupid.  They're stupid!  Just a stupid bike.  It's like, 'It's a hill, I'm going up, I'm going down, I want to go faster, I want to go slower.'  Why would I go back to before they invented gears?"--Jerry Seinfeld

Just to give you a little bit of context, Seinfeld said the above while driving around Portland in an old Saab with Fred Armisen of "Portlandia."  Now, it should be noted that Seinfeld is a closet Fred who rides a Pinarello, and therefore entitled to make fun of cyclists:

A sleek Pinarello racing bicycle, which Seinfeld rides around town, stood against a wall. “It’s very addictive, that feeling of gliding through the city,” he said. 

However, what disappointed me is that Seinfeld is a master of irony, yet he apparently missed the irony of ranting about singlespeeds while driving around in a car with a two-stroke motor about which he says the following:


"The thing that’s cool about a two-stroke is there’s no valves, you mix the oil and the gas, it sounds weird, it feels weird, it runs weird…if you don’t like weird, Saab is not for you."

Isn't mixing oil and gas when you could be driving a four-stroke instead pretty much exactly the same thing as riding a singlespeed or fixed-gear instead of a bike you can shift?

The answer, of course, is "Yes.  Yes it is."

Meanwhile, as Seinfeld drives around Portland doing his "What's the deal with fixies?" routine, Paris is going "balls out" to be more bike-friendly:


The mayor also said that the number of cycle lanes would be "doubled by 2020" as part of a €100 million ($A147 million) bike development plan, an investment again in stark contrast to Sydney's controversial cycleways programme.  

Not only that, but they may be implementing an electric bike share program:

She said she also wanted to roll out a system of electric-powered bikes along the same lines as the city's popular Vélib' bike share network.

Hey, I'm a bit frightened of e-bikes, but at least they're trying something new with their bike share system.  Here in New York the people at Citi Bike just nag you about wearing a helment:

Okay, three things:

1) If you look like crap, you look like crap.  What's the difference why?
2) If you nevertheless feel compelled to give an excuse for your slovenly appearance at work, "I just rolled out of bed" is not a good one.  All it says is that you don't give a shit about your job, and it's bound to bite you in the ass at your next review.
3) If you're so worried about your stupid hair then just skip the helment.  You're riding slowly for 15 minutes on a 50lb bike.  You'll be just fine.  Don't be such a goddamn "woosie" for fuck's sake.  #shittybike #helmentschmelment

Also, your helment is not going to save you when you're ground up in the bike lane by the Hub Spikes of Death:


Which were photographed by a reader:


Who referred to them as "Mad Max spikes" and asked if I knew "the proper channel for complaining about this," which is kind of adorable.  After all, this is the city where it's perfectly legal to run over children in crosswalks, so why would anybody do anything about some pointy lug nuts?

Also, I'm not familiar enough with the Mad Max movies to offer any useful insight, though by way of protection I'd suggest massive earrings, revealing chain mail, and a crossbow:

You're welcome.

Speaking of advocacy, while perusing the Twitter I noticed the following infographic:


I fucking hate infographics.  So a car spends 96% of its time parked?  So what?  Nearly everything we own spends the vast majority of its time not being used, including bicycles.  If I only shower once a day for 15 minutes does that mean I need to tear out my freaking bathtub?*  Are we supposed to go back to communal baths now?  The same thing goes for the stupid "energy flow" chart.  Aerodynamics, rolling resistance, transmission losses...these things apply to pretty much anything with wheels.  Isn't that all just physics?  Basically all this says is that driving is not teleportation.

*[Disclaimer: Blogger showers far less frequently than this.]

Sure, I get what they're trying to do here, but as far as I'm concerned the only meaningful automotive infographic would be this one:


The rest is just smugness.

Anyway, infographics aren't going to convince people to stop driving.  The truth is that people are very creative when it comes for finding an excuse not to ride a bike.  I'm sure you've heard them:  "The helment messes up my hair;" "It's too cold where I live;" and of course the old tried-and-true "I might get killed by the Mob" routine:



The mayor, Ignazio Marino, said that Rome’s top security official had urged him on Thursday to stop cycling and to use a limousine with a security detail because the gangsters had said in the intercepted conversations that he was an obstacle to maintaining their system for obtaining rigged contracts to service refugee centers, Roma camps and other municipal operations.

Sorry, I'm not buying it.  I've got two words for the mayor, and they are "armored recumbent:"


It's both anonymous and bulletproof.

How can you go wrong?

104 comments:

Name said...

NO COMMENTS

Anonymous said...

Done the crime; now I'll do the time.

Crescent fresh.

Anonymous said...

vsk said

PODES !!

vsk

Anonymous said...

Top 5!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten!

Anonymous said...

-1 lap

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Anonymous said...

HMMMM. Business etiquette from the Snob. Ironic? Where is your cubicle located again?

cycle

DB said...

Tina has never looked better.

ken e. said...

man did that mad max with tina suck.

William Wyler said...

Those are Ben-Hur chariot spikes.

Mad Max is a pale comparision

Cloc said...

Snob you lost another reader today. I can't believe you would advocate not wearing a helmet.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Cloc,

Yes, I think it's perfectly fine to ride a Citi Bike without wearing a helment.

THAT'S JUST THE SORT OF WILD, HEDONISTIC, HIGH-RISK LIFESTYLE I LEAD!!!

Goodbye, hope you and the Jesus nuts find a blog better suited to your faith-based lifestyles.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Scranus

Whos Who in Publishing said...

Business etiquette from the Snob. Ironic? Where is your cubicle located again?

Well his office (with a door and a window) used to be in the NYC headquarters of Chronicle Books. A few of Mr. Snob's statements on this blog lead some to speculate he left that office to take the "semi" out of "semi-professional blogger".

The Voice of Reason said...

:"...hope you and the Jesus nuts find a blog better suited to your faith-based lifestyles."

Exactly.

Power Hoosier No. 0073 said...

Snob you lost another reader today. I done runned one over with my Dodge Hemi when ol' Rex hacked up a squirrel on the floor board.

JB said...

Lol

the Jimboner said...

Take that! Monday!

Anonymous said...

What changed? I used to post as anonymous, then had to use a Google id, now I can post Anon again.

Freddy Murcks said...

Do "hipsters" still ride fixies? Or do they now just wander around Brooklyn astride their fashionable lumbersexual accessory axes as though they might be able to fly them like magical brooms?

McFly said...

Tina gave me an Intimidation Boner. Love had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Power Hoosier @ 1:16 -- I know you meant amusing, but that's really not funny.

-- another hoosier

Jobz Boner said...

I suspect Cloc @1:04 may be trying to be funny, with emphasis on the "trying."

Marcel Da Chump said...

Jerry!

Anonymous said...

Snob, you just lost another rea... Whoops, that wasn't a reader, it was a sock. It's behind the sofa.

dop said...

1) you call those chariot spikes? I've had chunks in my stool bigger than those spikes..

2)Mr/Ms Cloc....you couldn't have been reading very closely (I recall a gravestone with an attitude)

3) I don't get intimidation boners...I wet myself

crosspalms said...

The nice thing about chain mail is that if you get struck by lightning it acts as a Faraday cage, completely protecting you. I think. That's what I remember, anyway, but then I'm of a certain age.

Anonymous said...

hate to be the young person who has to tell you your old man is showing, but the "i woke up like this" tweet is actually a (very shitty) reference to a (very good) beyoncé song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyuUWOnS9BY

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:34pm,

That's even worse!!!

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Ignazio Marino said...

Recumbent izzy no sexy, and looka likea beeg schlongo. I hava to look incognito while rida da bike between mistresses for da bunga-bunga.

Ben Franklin and/or Nikola Tesla said...

"...if you get struck by lightning it acts as a Faraday cage..."

Well, only if the chain mail is grounded better then you are.

Old-timer said...

Huh? What?

CommieCanuck said...

Jerry's comedy is losing context as he deals with his status.
"Who are these people with less than $220M in assets? What's up with people who have to work for a living?"

Also, Saab two strokes indeed have valves, and Saab went broke selling weird cars,

Flyover BC said...

Two strokes vehicles= more pollution and worse mileage than four strokes.

Hear in the City of Holy Faith (Santa Fe, I here our office was criticized for having Christmas decorations that were too Christian.

I herd this right after I saw the boss putting up blue lights with silver, six-pointed "snow flakes". Maybe will get some eight-place candle-operas too.

All we need now are some solstice appropriate Kachinas, and whatever Kwanzaans set up.

No heathen- yet environmentally friendly- green tree has been erected yet.

In other news, the city plans to paint some wide green stripes on the street, to make things safer for bikes, or so they say.



Anonymous said...

I'm old, very old, and have been riding with a helmet since the 1970s. I even have an antecdote about waking up in the emergency room with my broken blood covered helmet beside me an no memory of the last 9 hours. (full recovery)But this last summer I was in France for vacation. Rented and rode a bike for two days without a helmet. The sun did not explode and no one was hurt. I couldn't believe it!

Matt Mueller said...

Boys.
We don't need another hero.

CommieCanuck said...

BNGA BNGA

Flyover BC said...

CC

I assume Saabs had reed valves in the intake ports.

CommieCanuck said...

We don`t need to know the way home.

(unless the alpacalips knocks out GPS satellites).

grog said...

A large banana with two wheels; of course it's a recumbent. Oh babe.

leroy said...

What's the deal with helmet hair?

My dog helpfully pointed out that it's not an issue if your hairline sufficiently recedes.

I told him I was going to shave him and teach him to walk backwards.

CommieCanuck said...

I was wrong, Saab engines have Schnuerle transfer ports, not valves, so Jerry is right on that one, although that car has oil injection, so you don't actually mix gas and oil.
The Saab engine was a design from DKW, which was merged by Hitler with other companies to form Auto Union, which for Jerry is as bad as making out while watching Schindler's List.

Auto union went on to form Audi Group, which gives us the modern douche canoes (das Dooshe Kanoe) of today.

Bryan said...

Coming from living in areas that have never had metros/subways/etc, and recently going to Paris, all I have to say is wow. You don't need a car. I would move there in a heart beat and eschew owning one, and just use bikes and the metro there.
About that infographic....that's a good thing cars spend so much time parked! It means less pollution. Unless you drive for a living, you are sitting behind a desk 40% of you life, in your bed 40% of your life and on the sofa 19%. That last 1% is everything else.

Bryan said...

Hmm, I had a half formulated snarky comment about being a 2 stroke person, but I couldn't get it to come together quite right.
I wear my helment when I am in lycra, and not when I am in street clothes. I occasionally will ride around our little city with people from work and they are flabbergasted I am not wearing a helment. They ask why...I say, I'm not going far or fast, and in my mind I am saying, what business is it of yours, really?

P. Bateman said...

whats more shocking than losing another reader is that there are readers to lose.

insert evil chuckle. just kidding of course Snooberdoodle.

the original mad max is actually really darn good.

bieks said...

As bad as Jerry was, he and the hipster service clock carried the show. Fred Armisen was his lamest guest ever.

On the flip side, this was the best Car Snob NYC post evah!

Anonymous said...

don't forget to add this to the holiday shopping list...

"Vintage style Dutch Bike signed by David Bryne - $650 (Astoria)"

http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/4794842816.html

crosspalms said...

Next Thanksgiving I think I'll David Bryne my turkey.

Anonymous said...

Ok, you're not old unless you can pass the testicle test. . Ladies, you're on your own on this one, sorry.

alpacalips knocked out the gps satellite said...

I can't find my way home

Anonymous said...

According to 99% of Romans, Ignazio Marino is "idiota totale".
The gangster spoof is a made up coverage for his party scams.

He started using bikes during his electoral campaign. Any triathlete is Dan Mccaskill in comparison.

His staged-photographer-only "ride to work" are less than 1/2 mile. The distance from his house to city hall.

Ignazio Marino proposed to remove historical cobblestones because "not safe for riding bikes". Idiota totale.

PotbellyJoe said...

Seinfeld a closet Fred?

Did we forget the green Klein hanging in his apartment on Seinfeld?

3811 viewers remember it vividly.

JB said...

"Vintage style Dutch Bike signed by David Bryne - $650 (Astoria)"

Yes, mit vintage grip shift.

Bama Phred said...

My favorite Thunderdome moment, and everyday our justice system resembles this:
Dr. Dealgood: All our lives hang by a thread. Now we got a man waiting for sentence. But ain't it the truth: you take your chances with the law, justice is only a roll of the dice. A flip of the coin. A turn... of the Wheel.

Spokey said...

mom

sorry i'm late for dinner

Anonymous said...

Very good Beyonce song? That's unpossible!

Spokey said...

if i stop reading the posts and just leave poor attempts at humor or snark in the comments will snobbie have lost another reader?

i'm thinking of it as i sucked again on the quiz and only got an 85.


babble on said...

Flyover - Happy Merry Christmahanukwanza!

In the news today:
Santa Strip-Tease Causes a Stir!
"I nearly had a stroke," admits one fesitve female, "but I couldn't quite reach."

Apparently the retro grip shift has it all going on- never mind being a woman of a certain oldness... :)

Um, and it's The day of Rack-oning: Is your city bike friendly?

Regular guy said...

First of all, Pointy Lug Nuts Reader, this IS the proper channel to complain. Nothing will get done about it anyway, but at least your complaint is heard across the webglob.

Second, I agree with Seinfeld. I want, I need, I use multiple gears. One gear will not suffice.

Third, that old Saab is not the same thing as a fixie. The Saab is a weird vestige of auto history, and is no longer even made. There probably are a few hundred drivable specimens left. What is more analogous to the Saab is one of those 2 stroke ATV golf cart things.

Tal F said...

Thanks for pointing out the idiocy behind those infographics. I'm truly tired of seeing those things in all the bike advocacy circles. The last bit about the road being 10% covered at peak capacity is even more ludicrous. Would the writer prefer that cars drive down the highway at 55 MPH bumper-to-bumper?

Spokey said...

no. we fix the problem by all driving stretch limos. that will double or triple or even quadruple the road coverage. imagine going from 10% to 40% coverage in one swell foop.


get big enough cars and we can reach 141%

Spokey said...

and snobbie

cut the old man whine. when you're multiple decades from a social security payment that won't be there for you anyway, you're not an old man.

Bilsko said...

Armored 'cumby you say?

Sounds like something that should be on the big Velmobiles list:

http://www.notechmagazine.com/2014/11/the-big-velomobiles-graphic.html

BamaPhred said...

Spokey, do read the posts.
Where else can you waste time overthinking conundrums such as the SUV meme.
The first time I saw it, I saw an SUV, then read it with a bias that left me with a feeling that only Morons drive SUV's and they kill you with them.
But that's just too simple.
A better interpretation is "When an SUV is driven by a moron, they will kill you with it."
Only a moron would waste time doing this. Guilty.

Spokey said...

bama

i guess you're right as usual. i don't know what i'd do with all my free time. so it really really a lame threat anyway.

Flyover BC said...

Thanks Babble,

'but around here we have to include Shalako too. So, I suggest

Happy Merry Chrishalkwanzannukah,

or maybe

Shalannukkwanzamas.

Please feel free to edit my spelling.

jodphoto said...

Snob,

Don't sweat your lost reader, bro. Either he was being sarcastic or he's in a corner masturbating with his helment on. No biggie either way.


Hey Jerry, "No Fixie For You."

Whether or not to ride a fixie is a stupid argument. Everyone should have a fixie, a road bike, a mountain bike, a beater, a city bike and others that fit the variants of their lifestyles.

Plus, you shouldn't knock what you haven't tried. I find a disturbing percentage of fixie bashers have never ridden one. I always ask.

Anonymous said...

The single-speed I've been commuting on for the past eight months appeals to me minimalistically. It's the essence of riding a bike.

babble on said...

anon@ 4:40 - does that mean that it holds minimal appeal, or that it appeals to the minimalist in you? ;)

flyover - and what happens post Ramadan?!

Flyover BC said...

I don't know what happens after Ramadan,since it was in June and July, except that there is probably some sort of party, a blowout of sorts, where somebody got bombed.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know what happens after Ramadan,since it was in June and July, except that there is probably some sort of party, a blowout of sorts, where somebody got bombed."

The party is called Eid al-Fitr.
And devote Muslims do not get bombed at it, nor at any other party.
Unless you are making GWOT joke.

Anonymous said...

And although Ramadan was in June/July this year, it will start in December in 2030. The whole lunar vs. solar calendar thing.

flyover bc said...

Yes, I was making a bad joke, GWOT or not.

And a Bedouin friend assures me that Bedouins drink when they are out of town.

boris toriskokov said...

Be careful climbing over barb wired fences

Anonymous said...

Those 'spikes' are just chrome plated plastic lug nut covers. They're sold widely in truck stops for about $2 each, and come in various profiles.

Here's some examples available at the infamous Iowa 80:

http://www.iowa80.com/DirectionsWEB/webcart_category3.php?catid=NUTCOVERS&catPage=5

They're utterly harmless and put on trucks for novelty purposes. If you call the trucking company to 'complain' through 'proper channels' because you think the driver intends to hurt you with them, you'll be laughed off the phone ...and rightly so.

Blog Drafter said...

Every time I read "Snobberdoodle" I cringe. Is it just me? Really, Snob-ums, ban that word or you'll lose another reader.

Dooth said...

For every reader Wildcat loses, I do a shot of whiskey.

JLRB said...

If you love a reader, set them free - if they love you they will cum back, likea de Mario.

JLRB said...

wooosed out and drove a car today cause it was cold and blah blah blah.

The universe is kicking me in the nuts by having street protesters shut down rush hour. Hard to be irritated when the injustice they are shouting against is so harsh and raw.

Spokey said...

dooth @ 1849

COD

i'll drink to that. does cognac count given that it's really distilled champagne?

Spokey said...

as long as i'm doing a shot for every reader snobbie looses, is there a limit to how many times a day i can quit this blog?


robot seys the limit is 1693 but i think he's lying so he can pass along the extra to bender

William Claude Dukenfield said...

This is related to nothing, but my mother keep a bottle of bottle of whiskey in the house only to be used to treat snake bite. She also kept a small snake.

BamaPhred said...

Ok Spokey, that's it. I quit. Have a shot on me.

Spokey said...

thx bama

thought i'd start with jack's tenn honey. and i might need it to dull the pain. trying out a new quiche (broccoli / onion) tonight and expect severe beatings from spousy if it doesn't come out ok.

BamaPhred said...

Just kidding. I don't have a cute avatar for that.

I know there are spiked lug nut covers for big rigs, and passenger vehicles.

But you can buy real spiked lug nutz for your sedan, SUV, pickup, jeep, etc for that "badass" look.

Looks real cool paired with your truck nutz.

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

"Are we supposed to go back to communal baths now?"

If Babble's in the tub, I'm in too.

Regular guy said...

The multi speed bikes I've been commuting on for 20 years appeal to me for their utility, versatilty and ease of getting up the big damn hill I ride up every day.

Used to ride fixed gear at times long ago for training fun. The bike magazines all said it was supposed to give you a "silky spin".

I don't know about that, but I would still like to be part of a disturbing percentage. Does anyone know where I can find one?

McFly said...

I have an 02 Honda CR250 and an 05 Kawi KX65 (2 Strokes) Nephew has an 07 RMZ250 and a buddy has a Honda CRF150 (Both high performance 4 strokes) Currently they are both spending $$$$$ to get those thumpers running....new cyl, valves, etc etc. We have used and abused my 2 for years with only 1 piston and rings on the Honda. Way more bang for your buck off road in my experience.

Anonymous said...

"Fixed gears are stupid"
-the guy driving an 80s Saab that you need to pour in OIL WITH THE GASOLINE for it to work.

Count of Sprint said...

91

91 said...

92

93 said...

No Spokey, WIWM, JB, etc?

Get outta my way - I'm a self important fucktard said...

This is what happens if you ride a bicycle in Singapore

Stupid racists fuckers try to run cyclists over, blow their horns and then post videos and attempt to run Ang Mohs* out of town.

(Not the first time this has happened and obviously has the full blessing of the Lee dynasty).

*Racist Singaporean Chinese term for a foreigner.

Count of Sprint said...

95

dop said...

scrotums have ridges

97 said...

97

98 said...

98

99 said...

99

dop said...

scranus

98 said...

99

BamaPhred said...

Sorry dop I screwed up the sprint, turns out my Elf on the Shelf is a peeping Tom, but I did find this so its all good

Holy Roller said...

The single speed bike opens my chakra. If the hill is too steep I say, "Chi Whizz", reverse direction and assume the 'Downward Dogma'.

babble on said...

re: communal baths... it IS nice to share!