Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No time for titles!

In yesterday's post, I mentioned possibly conducting a "test" of a Walmart fat bike:


To which a commenter replied thusly:

Mr.Doom said...

The Fatties at bikesdirect are rideable and fairly cheap. The FBSO from wallyworld will shoot your eye out kid.

DECEMBER 15, 2014 AT 9:27 PM

Here are said Bikesdirect fatties:


Shooting your eye out notwithstanding, I'd argue that it's the Bikesdirect offerings that are the most dangerous, for the simple reason that they're just nice enough to send you into an upgrade spiral.  In fact, about five years ago, I ordered a shockingly inexpensive singlespeed 29er from Bikesdirect with the intention of reviewing it on this blog.  Instead, it was an almost-but-not-quite-good-enough bike out of the box that, in an attempt to tweak it to my satisfaction, I ended up gradually changing every nearly every single part on it.  Here it is early in the process, when I'd only changed the pedals, the tires, and the cockpit:


If you're wondering why it's upside-down and leaning against a tree, it's because that's where it wound up after I fell off of it.

Eventually, the only original parts left on this humble mail-order bike were the frame and the v-brake arms--I even built a pair of wheels for the damn thing--and the only thing that stopped me from installing a set of dick breaks was that my Engin finally arrived.

The Bikesdirect is now in storage, where it is waiting for my kid to get big enough to ride it.

So yeah, I don't mess with those anymore.  The Walmart bike, however, seems like it would be safe, because if it's anything like the fixie I reviewed there's no way I'd be tempted to "upgrade" a piece of shit like that.

That would be downright Sisyphean.

And speaking of yesterday's post and fat bikes and kids' bikes and all the rest of it, Specialized may offer a $1,000 fat bike for kids, but apparently this is was the "world's first" fat bike for kids:

A dubious distinction indeed.

I'm sure Specialized will figure out a reason to sue them.

In other (oldish) news, Fredly historical reenactments are the new "epic:"


Following in the footsteps of Europe’s greatest conquerors isn’t easy. That’s why Ride and Seek, an international tour company in Sydney, Australia, suggests doing it on a bike. Next summer the group is introducing its second “epic” historical cycling tour, the Napoleon Expedition, a 45-day journey from Paris to Moscow.

It’s a trip so historically focused that it comes with a recommended reading list, beginning with Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

Evidently you'll be lovingly coddled every pedal stroke of the way:

Unlike Napoleon’s unfortunate troops, cyclists will receive constant care, dining options and entertainment throughout, including daily van support to assist riders on the road and a cultural itinerary dotted with Champagne tastings, architectural tours and mountainside picnics.

All for a measly US$16,000:

The inaugural trip, which is to cover more than 2,400 miles, begins on July 18 and costs 12,995 euros ($16,280); rates for individual stages begin at 2,295 euros ($2,875). All breakfasts are included as well as most dinners and a few special lunches; and there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the tour to allow riders to venture out on their own.

Wow.  I had no idea Freds had such an insatiable lust for history, but now I'm determined to cash in, which is why I'm pleased to announce my new business venture:


(Frequent repetition of "history" for search engine optimization.)

Basically, I'm going to order a fleet of bicycles from Bikesdirect (or maybe Walmart) and charge riders $5,000 a head (or helment if you prefer) to retrace General George Washington's retreat to White Plains in whatever that year was:


(Probably 1770-something.)

Once in White Plains, there will be ample opportunity for luxury shopping at The Westchester, one of the finest malls in the greater metropolitan area.

Tour does not include lodging, or meals, or transportation, but I will help you fix your flat should you incur one--though I will charge for parts and labor.  Here is a typical invoice:


Also, thanks to my new Kickstarter partnership, riders will receive this fashionable pair of on-bike/off-bike activity shorts for their post-ride shopping spree:



I was amused by the video, though how is this look any better than wearing regular cycling shorts?


The simple fact is the only way not to look stupid when you're off the bike is to wear no cycling clothing at all.  Of course, this is not always possible, in which case wearing all cycling clothes is better than wearing some cycling clothes.  In other words, wearing baggy shorts and a jersey looks even dumber than wearing a full Lycra stretchy suit.  At least if you're wearing the whole schmear people have a context, whereas if you're wearing some on bike/off bike hybrid outfit people think there's something wrong with you--though either way you're liable to be the subject of a screed in a conservative tabloid:



I have to admit this is an uncannily accurate portrait of a Fred, though I took issue with this paragraph:

This means boring dinner parties into silence with endless chat about bikes, spending long hours of family time out 'training', embarrassing your children walking around the house in bib shorts (think a mankini with padding around the nether regions) and paying eye-watering sums for obscure items of kit.

What, he doesn't do the legwarmers-with-no-shorts walk!?!

Amateur.

113 comments:

James said...

First!

Anonymous said...

podium?

Anonymous said...

podium?

James said...

I used to be a MAMAL and ride hours at a time but that fades as career consumes more and more time. Now I mostly just commute to get bike time in. I still have 10 bikes though...

Good to see y'all finally woke up and filled the rest of the podium.

Anonymous said...

Top 5

herzogone said...

Top ten. I anxiously await the Dolomite review.

The Robot Engineer said...

My favorite parts of the MAMIL article are the opening paragraphs:
"Standing in the sunshine, chatting with my friends in the park on a lovely Saturday morning, I could not have been more content.
Then I caught a glimpse of garish pink and DayGlo yellow. In an instant, my mood was shattered as a voice gasped: 'Dear God, Jennie. Is that your husband?'
And there he was, walking towards us in an outfit even Daniel Craig would struggle to pull off. In fact waddling would be a more apt description, as his cycling shoes made walking all but impossible."

McFly said...

Is that ol' Jennie "Name Your" Price?

T Abbot said...

Wow all I have to do is come over to the great USA and I get to top ten

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and rounding out the top ten.

Suck it, west coasters!

Spokey said...

comfy in the top 11

Walter Lord said...

How about an historic bicycle tour that follows a route taken by actual
bicycles?

The 1941-42
Bicycle Blitzkrieg
down the
Malay Peninsula?

Also described
here and
here.

Spokey said...

I've taken a few tours ranging from a few days to months. I'm willing to sell this important 'merican history for a mere $824,693.72 per tour plus 25% royalties on the gross.

babble on said...

Hey! You obscured Da Babe!!
I am quite partial to my favourite man friend in lycra. And da boyz I chase on the vets and club rides all do their lycra justice, too.
Mmmmm, lycra.

Blog Drafter said...

n +1 s - 1

I lol'd.

I've been pulling a pair of running shorts over the lycra for a couple years now. Tech T goes over the jersey. It's no hotter, really, and the I find the locals are not as hostile. Plus, I looked at my "kit" in the mirror and was, like, WTF?

Split Infinity said...

Top Teens!

McFly said...

Is there a discount for combining the daily van support and the entertainment?

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

I like the idea of doing a historical route of some kind on a bike, but not for that cost! I would prefer to forgo the credit card tour and have to portage my crap with me. I like history.

I hate to say it, but I bet there are people out there who would be in excess of 200 for you to fix a flat for them. I'm surprised by the number of people who are clueless on how to do it themselves.

PotbellyJoe said...

I have a neighbor with a Motobecane BikesDirect special. He has me wrench on it for him and in exchange he buys me beer for my shed fridge. It's not a terrible bike. In fact it's perfectly acceptable piece of Chinese stock frame and components.

I wouldn't compare it favorably to the more high-end manufacturers, but it is equal to a Jamis from what I've seen.

If I were reviewing a bik, I would find an old auto-shifter bike from the infomercials.

I think we all expect the Sam Walton bikes to suck.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-08-11/travel/9608110284_1_bike-industry-bicycles-gears

They're "the darndest thing you've ever seen."

Because after all the problem with bike manufacturers and bike shops is that the industry "is heavily skewed toward upscale, high-tech bikes and tends to look down its nose at people who are intimidated by gears."

...And good sense.

PotbellyJoe said...

And good news, there's one of them on CL in South Jersey. Who would have thought that an infomercial-sold product would have sales in South Jersey?

http://southjersey.craigslist.org/bik/4757006569.html

PotbellyJoe said...

Or New Haven, CT for a Men's frame

http://newhaven.craigslist.org/bik/4791244776.html

JB said...

That's the Englishest-looking couple I've seen in a while.

Cheery-O!

bieks said...

Wow, for $16k you could outright purchase your Hyundai and get a bike with 'lectric shifty things that turns into a Seinfeld-despised-single-speed if you forget to charge the battery.

Was looking forward to McFly's comment today. Left me wanting.

Schisthead said...

Take the 20" wal-fat to the skate park!

You have health insurance, right?

DB said...

Every time Wildcat buys a new bike, an angel gets it's wings.

Comment deleted said...

Dude, Washington's army totally took, like, Broadway up the island, because the Westside Highway was way slow from like, not existing?

Name said...

What to say if middle-aged women in miniskirts?

dop said...

I'm in favor of MAWIM

Walter Lord said...

You know, hidden in Mr. Snob’s WCRMHBToH! Map is, I’m guessing, the Truth about the real historical bicycle tours. Of the 3 routes shown on Mr. Snob’s map, precisely NONE are the route followed by General George Washington. I’ll bet the same is true for the >$16,000 Napoleon “Expedition”. The tour starts in France and ends up Moscow following the route that is easiest/cheapest for the tour company.

Comment deleted said...

(You absolutely NAILED the decade, though -- I knew I could count on you for historical accuracy).

Bryan said...

@PotbellyJoe
The shop I worked at had an autobike tandem come in that some guy wanted out from under his house. They said I could take it if I wanted. I declined. It ended up on the local CL for months.

dop said...

And also in favor of $500 for my motobecane 700HT from bikesdirect.

PotbellyJoe said...

The problem for the tour company isn't the route, it's how fast you have to ride on the return trip from Moscow to preserve the historical context.

crosspalms said...

Does that $16K include a saber for opening champagne bottles at the tastings?

Jennie said...

Would you like for me to leave the pilgrim shoes on?

JB said...

I'm pretty sure Napoleon's exact route is not preserved on Strava. I happen to know that Nappy had a thing for cherry limeades from Sonic, so you can start with a map of the French ones heading NE out of Paris.

Walter Lord said...

"'m pretty sure Napoleon's exact route is not preserved on Strava."

When Napoleon wrote letters or orders he generally put the dates and the locations he was writing from on them. Ditto for many of the offices traveling with him. Plus when Napoleon came through a town a lot of people wrote about it their diaries/journals/letters. Especially if he or his staff commandeered your house for the night. Many of these documents survive today, and although there are gaps in this record we generally know the route he took.

grog said...

I went to lube my chain, and the bottle was empty, so I knelt and tried anyway, and the oil lasted for 10 extra chain links! Holy Moses Miracle! Happy Holiday!
CHAI NOIL
DREI DEL!

ubercurmudgeon said...

To give some context to that MAMIL story, the couple featured are reported to come from Surrey. Surrey is a county in England whose main city is Guildford. And Guildford is neatly summed up by this stand-up routine: http://youtu.be/FZtSg8CCkcY

PotbellyJoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hee Haw the Barista said...

Your invoice error is rather reasonable.

It's a deal.

PotbellyJoe said...

And the daily "I take shit way to seriously" award goes to Walter Lord. Congratulations Walter.

I wonder what Nappy's split time is for Warsaw to Moscow.

Oh, he didn't quite make it?

What was Hitler's time?

Oh, same thing?

Anonymous said...

The misery endured by Napoleon and his army made that cushy bike tour possible.

Walter "Mr. Serious" Lord said...

Seriously, Napoleon made it to Moscow and stayed there for about 1 month.

Hitler, not so much.

Anonymous said...

A group in Australia has figured out where Napi went in France. Wow! They promise entertainment and stages, does that mean getting podium kisses from French foxes, just like the TdF riders get. An aside, some TdF riders get more than a kiss as some have ended up marrying podium foxes. Architectural tours? So their going to follow where Napi's army went, but no historical tours of battlefields? Instead they'll tour architectural details, like building interiors, like seeing each bedroom Napi stayed in "In this bedroom Napi spent the night with two podium foxes, Viva la France!"

Anonymous said...

A group in Australia has figured out where Napi went in France. Wow! They promise entertainment and stages, does that mean getting podium kisses from French foxes, just like the TdF riders get. An aside, some TdF riders get more than a kiss as some have ended up marrying podium foxes. Architectural tours? So their going to follow where Napi's army went, but no historical tours of battlefields? Instead they'll tour architectural details, like building interiors, like seeing each bedroom Napi stayed in "In this bedroom Napi spent the night with two podium foxes, Viva la France!"

Walter Lord said...

” I wonder what Nappy's split time is for Warsaw to Moscow.”

Well, from the Russian border to Moscow it was 82 days, June 24 to September 14, 1812.
No need to thanks me.

PotbellyJoe said...

Wow Walter, you'd think this whole Nappy thing got under your skin; all full of piss and vinegar today.

Thank you for your diligence in your facts. They've added a lot to this forum today.

JB said...

Do people really call him Nappy/Napi? I thought I just made up some crap.

Anonymous said...

I used to be an MAMIL. Stop embarrassing your wife and family wearing stretchy clothes inappropriate for your age. With rehab, there is help. I beat the "riding nowhere" addiction. You can too.

cycle

Walter Lord said...

""Thank you for your diligence in your facts. They've added a lot to this forum today.

Why don’t you ask me General Washington’s split time from Battery Park to the Westchester.
Go ahead. I dares you.

Vernal Magina said...

The moose says you're closed, I say you're open!

Anonymous said...

Attempting to prevent the upgrade spiral on customers who are loyal to their department store bikes is one of the most frustrating experiences of working in a bike shop.
It's one of the best justification for shops to refuse to do repairs on cheap bikes. You try to educate a customer but instead end up offending them.

Just wear the kit into the coffee shop proudly, it's payback time for the car-driving general public.

Anonymous said...

marketing 101 - create a perceived need for a product for which there is actually no need whatsoever.

Yeah Cleveland! said...

The "technical inconvenience fee" is humorous because it's true.

PotbellyJoe said...

@JB,

I just followed your lead, plus that Nappy is diaper in British English. Which is like saying 2+2=4 in Addition Math.

Anonymous said...

Jenny whatever her last name is gives new meaning to the word 'nonplussed'

Hot inside, cold outside... said...

I'll go ya' one more. Leg warmers and arm warmers, sans shorts or shirt. When is my child too old to be subject to this?

babble on said...

Ubercurmudgeon- Hey! I lived in that Guildford for a year right before I returned to Canada. It sure beats the Guildford, Surrey here in beautiful BC.

bieks said...

The real reason Napolea...Nappy (ah, easier to spell. Get it now) didn't use Strava is because even he thought it was douchey. Now that's saying something. Although I think I may have seen him book travel online in a commercial once, or was that someone else?

Walter Lord said...

”Although I think I may have seen him book travel online in a commercial once, or was that someone else?

This commercial?
Short (HA!) Version

McFly said...

I am just not myself today, must be the scrapple.

Anonymous said...

Jenny's number is 867 5309. Find a phone and get the.... you know the drill.
BamaPhred

crosspalms said...

JB,
I think the Post called him Napo.

leroy said...

Imagine my dog's disappointment when I told him that Mr. BSNYC had written about rolling a fatty, but it wasn't what my dog was expecting.

schaughvn said...

best part of the article, the flippant mention that 10 years ago he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

leroy said...

Never underestimate the power of lycra in parenting.

You can get your kids to do their homework by threatening to walk them to school in full kit and drop them off with a loud "Goodbye, Daddy loves you, learn stuff, make good choices!"

Or so I'm told.

DB said...

Snob:
If that Wal-Mart Fatty ever fell over, you'd need two other people to help lift it upright.
Kinda like a Harley.

Anonymous said...

Middle-Aged Women in Mini-Skirts? That sounds like a project that I could get behind when it starts to get some legs.

1904 Cadardi said...

Leg warmers with no shorts?

As a friend used to say: Sometimes you just want to feel pretty.

Spokey said...

I just don't know where to begin with today's commentary. lycra, miniskirts, history lessons.

so i won't.

Walter Lord said...

”I think the Post called him Napo.”

Well in the May 14, 1804 edition they called him Bonaparte

Guildford Gord said...

Cycling widow? Red skirt and the pose indicate "the hubby's gone every Saturday from 8am - 1pm". Nudge nudge, say no more. A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat!

Anonymous said...

Nippelian Bonerparte

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

British chick just wants something to complain about. If the poor bloke (<-italicize this por favor...) didn't ride, he'd be too fat and the article would be about fat guys w skinny blonde wives. If he was in good shape, he wouldn't have enough money. If she rode too, he'd either be too slow or wouldn't have a nice enough bike.
Bla bla bla.
And scranus.

vsk

wishiwasmerckx said...

Livin' on the edge...rode my rollers this morning without wearing a healment.

dop said...

C'mon, spokey...I'm literally on the edge of my chair (I sit that way when the old prostate is on the hinky-ginky)

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Lululemon makes a cycling onesie: http://www.runnersworld.com/fun/first-look-the-runsie

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Snob,

Do you really think your kid will want to ride that 29er??

I don't want to disappoint you but I am really not sure he will want to ride daddy's old bike with those weird brakes...

I might be wrong.

We'll see.

Please let us know when that time has come.

Best.

Anonymous said...

The first MAMIL emerged from the primordial slime about ten years ago, I think.

They evolved (or devolved or laterally volved) from playing golf. These types of showy species flourish for a short period, then die out. (You can read about it in the nature journal, Nature or the science journal, Science.)

I think we're at peak-MAMIL at the moment so we'll probably see their numbers steadily decline from here on in.

Hang in there, folks, the nightmare will soon be over. Maybe they'll take up flash mobbing or train surfing?

Comment deleted said...

Heal up fast (and completely), Babs.

Old-timer said...

Huh? What? Let’s see, riding my recumbent, I get points - no lycra kit, just “normal”street clothes. I get say, fifty points? But then, a recumbent? Points are of course necessarily subtracted. Subtract, say, fifty points! Why, it’s a zero-sum game! Is that winning? or losing? Or what?

Flyover BC said...

Boney is the English nickname for Napoleon Bonaparte. Although saying "bone a part" is funnier in a preadolescent way.

I bet Fred English asks his wife every morning

"What'll it be love, a little boinking or a bike ride?

And she says

"Don't forget your helment".






BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:09pm,

I'm assuming when he's tall enough a simple bike he can treat like crap will appeal to him. We shall see.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

JB said...

Snob, that's a perfect bike for a kid. Kids don't care about bikes and you don't care about that bike = perfect. If a kid cares about dick breaks when they are 14yo, then they are already a Fred and you are a bad parent.

P. Bateman said...

SEO? who knew BIKESNOBNYC was so good at SEO writing? i assumed BIKESNOBNYC was just writing from the heart, but turns out BIKESNOBNYC is writing from an SEO perspective for the goog machine.

Good on you BIKESNOBNYC. Good on your indeed.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Well shit, I considered myself well versed in historical history but I guess not. I never knew boney and old GW used bicycles in their campaigns. Must have been a real pain slogging those heavy dandy horses through muddy fields. I guess those guys were the first cyclocrossers.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Bonaparte must have rocked a custom short dandy built up for him. Would have been hell trying to straddle a standard size one.

crosspalms said...

After the whole Moscow expedition bombed, the French troops started calling him Polonium Blownapart.

Spokey said...

Flyover

but which is it? The healment dosn't tell us anything.

Anonymous said...

I wanna see Jenny in leg warmers only.

Anonymous said...

You slide that red skirt up and them granny panties down and take her to Poundtown once a week and you wouldn't hear any complaints. He probably holds out to save his strength for the spirited group ride.

Putin on the Ritz said...

Capitalist, oil now cheaper than shit. Leave Fatty machine in garage and drive internal combustion machine.

P. S. Winter in Mother Russia not for an army of French tourists, amateurs. Even Cossacks leave house in winter.

Spokey said...

ok

Spokey said...

dop

Spokey said...

hold on to that watermelon

Spokey said...

sit back on the seat

Spokey said...

I'll begin by taking the century

Spokey said...

I think I'll skip snobbies tour and take recumbabe's histrionic tour. I hear jennie is coming with her red see through lycra

Anonymous said...

Congrats
I was to busy "Dreaming of Jennie" to sprint.
BamaPhred, DOB, Esq.

Holy Roller said...

Once again, no one praised the Lord in their posts. All you sinners seem to care about are boobies and bottom brackets. The road to hellfire and damnation is wide and spacious, whilst the road unto salvation is twisting and narrow. Would Jesus ride a fat bike or a fixie? Would Jesus shop at Wal Mart? Time to get down on my knees and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide my path in situations where one might have to think for oneself.

Jeb said...

I'm gonna vote me for thet Jeb Bush 'cause he jus' gotta be lots smarter than that George feller'. An' he gotta name that is like jus' like mine. Whut more does a enlighten Southern man voter needs to knows?

leroy said...

Oh great. Who can sleep when my dog and his buddies commandeer the living room for karaoke night.

They're doing show tunes.

From "Annie".

I blame Citibike.

dop said...

Holy Roller asked what bike would Jesus ride...

jesus rides crabon




(manzano)

Lil' Timothy Price said...

Mummy has taken a lover whilst poppa is absent on group ride. She hired him as the gardener. He takes her in the greenhouse. Which is constructed entirely of glass. He pollinated her thrice on the mulching table. Cannot be unseen. Please come home poppa.....mummy yearns for cross-pollination.

Anonymous said...

I don't trust a bicycling mechanic that charges any less than 50.000 Thai shekels for the extrication of glass silver from the tire. I've payed less and the tire still had glass debris as evidenced by gas chromatography.
Even less do I trust a Fred's wife who dresses sexy to complain about their marriage to tabloids. Can't she wait to dress sexy in public until he's flattened beneath a dump truck, just like any other cyclist's wife?

Anonymous said...

I bet that disgruntled Brit makes that same face when you try to put your Big Ben in her crumpet hole.

Bike rental in Seville said...

Seville is the best city in Spain for biking!!!

dop said...

Jeb-

You sound like a good old boy....I need some help writing lyrics for a crossover country/Christmas song...

"Jesus was a Columbian Climber"

bad boy of the north said...

who's going to open a historic bike tour in cuba?

Jesús Manzano said...

"Jesus was a Columbian Climber"

Spanish. I am a Spanish climber.

I know, a lot of Americans don't comprehend a difference.