Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sorry I'm late, I was busy looking for an excuse.

Bike blogging isn't all sitting on the couch with a laptop and a bag of Cheetos.  There's also glamo(u)r, and high-powered meetings, and hobnobbing with the movers and shakers of the bike industry.  Granted, after nearly eight years I have yet to experience any of that, but I did come close when I met with the fine people from Brompton Bicycle yesterday:


Cunningly, I arranged to meet them in Grand Central, which meant that I didn't have to set foot outside at any point, and it was amid the hustle and bustle of this great landmark that they dazzled me with the very latest in confection-hued foldery:


So titillated was my sweet tooth that I headed straight to the Magnolia Bakery counter in the food court and got myself a cupcake:


Which I duly swallowed like the Brompton carrying case swallows a bicycle:



Also, Brompton offers a range of bags that clip right on to the bike's head tube, and they attached and detached them repeatedly for my delectation:


I've had a folding bike (not a Brompton) for awhile but I've more or less stopped using it, in large part because when folded the bike is difficult to carry up and down stairs and so forth.  Not only is it heavy and unwieldy, but it also seems to want to unfold itself at the expense of my shins.  This could be due in part to the 20-inch wheels size.  However, sashaying around the Grand Central food court with the Brompton was way easier, which I suppose is to be expected from the 16-inch wheels and the compact fold.  (It swiftly collapses into itself like a self-fellating yoga instructor.)

So I'm looking forward to taking delivery of a loaner in the not-too-distant future, at which point I will thrill you all with my multi-modal adventures.

You can also rest assured I'll wear my Inspector Gadget jacket at all times during the testing period:


It's about to get more British around here than a plate of cucumber sandwiches:


Speaking of practical bicycles, someone on Kickstarter thinks they invented the idea of the utility bike:



The reason for this project is to build an all-weather, general-purpose utility bicycle for transporting heavy loads of people, goods, and services in heavily populated urban environments.  With this bicycle, a mother with children will be able, for example, to carry them with her, get groceries, pick up laundry, meet her friends for coffee.  It can be used for commuting to and from work or school.  A sport version allows people to tour.  

Wait a minute.  A bike you can use to carry stuff and to get places?  IT'S GENIUS!!!

While bicycles are used the world over for these purposes, it is a comparatively unknown phenomenon in North America (eg., Canada and the U.S.), although the need for such a bicycle and to use it for these purposes is slowly becoming known in Canada and the U.S. 

Indeed, huddled around hot apple pies in McDonald's, we speak in hushed tones of such bicycles.  We must be very quiet though, for there's a listening device in the plastic statue of Grimace, and if they hear us they will take us away to Hamburger University for "reeducation."

I've been there once and I'm not going back.  They have ways of breaking you.  Awful ways.  A piping hot 12-piece order of Chicken McNuggets inserted in your posterior one nugget at a time will make you reconsider using a bicycle for transportation, that's for sure.

The purpose of this project is to raise funds to build prototype frames and carry out laboratory tests to prove the concept of the frame and its integral transmission, and then to build complete bicycles to road test. 

You need a lab test to prove a bike can get wet and carry a loaf of bread?

Come on.

Speaking of the Automotive Industrial Complex, Brian the Reader (that's what I'm calling him) informs me that Calgarian couriers are hurting due to plummeting oil prices:


Courier Danny Shuman says he has been reduced to half days.

“We're affected almost directly. I’d say we're like almost the first ones that are affected by it because we strictly work for these giant companies,” he said.

It's one of the great ironies of cycling that its most (ostensibly) counter-cultural group is also the one that is most completely and utterly dependent on the corporate sector.  Still, that doesn't mean they should suffer.  Therefore, because weak demand for oil is contributing to the low price, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to consume as much as possible to help our brothers and sisters in the courier industry.  So come on, let's squander those fossil fuels!  Drive, people, drive!  What's that?  Nowhere to go?  Put the gas-guzzler up on blocks, place a brick on the accelerator, and crack open a cold beer in honor of your local hardworking courier:


Sure it's wasteful, but no messenger should ever be forced to go a day without weed.

Lastly, while we're talking about Canada, let's head over to Edmonton and take a look at how long it takes a triathlete to replace a dropped chain and get rolling again after wiping out in a corner:



The triathlete goes down here:


And after much pedaling without going anywhere the drivetrain seems to finally engage again here:


So if you guessed 42 seconds you're correct.

And you win nothing.

94 comments:

Spokey said...

yeller?

Spokey said...

how 'bout silver?

Spokey said...

greedy?

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

Podes!!



vsk

Anonymous said...

Fucking Bot thing !!!!


vsk

Anonymous said...

woo hoo

FR8 said...

Snob,

Brompton is the way to fold.

p.s. Check out the interview with Lance Armstrong in January's Golf Digest; should be some snob fodder there.

BamaPhred said...

Spoken pounding the podium I was off pounding something else, apparently

leroy said...

42 is the answer to all of life's mysteries.

Anonymous said...

Ladies!!!
Top ten!

Downtown Hotel said...

I cried when Cameron killed the Ferrari.

LoGbiG said...

STRAVA!!!

Anonymous said...

Oil prices went up a little today, hooray for bike messengers.

streepo said...

42 seconds!!!

babble on said...

Go Go Gadget Blogger...


OMG!!!! It is a pick a beer captcha!

babble on said...

Go Go Gadget Blogger...


OMG!!!! It is a pick a beer captcha!

Anonymous said...

vsk came back again to say...

I guess all those Worksmen, ExtraCycles, and Big Dummies never existed except for in my Phil Wood Grease coated mind.

vsk

Jean-Francois Caron said...

Hi Snobber, would you care to visionate and commentate on the two videos linked here?

https://systemicfailure.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/stop-a-douchebag/

Trigger warning for anyone with road-raged induced PTSD.

Also goddamn it's getting hard to prove you're not a robot these days.

dcee604 said...

Hello! From Canada!

BamaPhred said...

Nice legs Snob.

Stephen Tchir said...

Hello from Edmonton!

babble on said...

I am seeing double. No, wait. I am being double. Must have been quite a hit...

Never seen a captcha like that before... it had several photos, and it said I had to choose all the pictures of beer. Almost custom designed for this crowd, that one. Did you have something to do with it, Snobi Wan?

Hee Haw the Barista said...

I am not a robot ... I"M HEE HAW THE BARISTA!!!1!!

josh neeley said...

I won't bore you all with the intentional use of bad grammar spiced with "scranus" or "totes". I will also refrain from dropping the last few letters off of select words for no apparent reason.

P.s. any grammatical errors are purely unintentional, so don't get so " excite".

Anonymous said...

classic. this was the best post in a while.

Yoga Instructor said...

I gave myself a pearl necklace, because I am worth it.

McFly said...

Those cucumber sammiches looked pretty damned tasty.

babble on said...

Lol!!! That was a good one... loved the glamo(u)rous nod to all things British. Can't wait to see the Jaguar up on blocks in the living room because weed. Um, and the clown bike doesn't get a lot of use in this neck of the woods, either. But maybe it would if I had a Go-Go Inspector Gadget jacket.

Beer captcha disappeared. Scotch is nice. :)

caPt scrAnus said...

scranus

Makeout said...

Listening device in Grimace- I fuckin' knew it!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

i smell bullshit...

...couriers aren't used because they are cheap, they are used because they can get stuff across town faster...cuz there are so many cars and trucks and whatnot on the road and traffic lights and shit.

so if gas is down ....then more people are driving...then more couriers will be needed...

something is not adding up in America's Party Hat

commie said...

Buying a Brompton gets to insight into the world of competitive bike folding, ruled by Foldies.

Foldie culture is real, not like those fixed gear posers, we drink beer while contorting ourselves, and made jokes about the "stiffies". Q: How many Stiffies does it take to store a bike in an apartment? A: Four, one to carry the bike, three to knock down the walls because the bike doesn't fold. LOLZ.

Competitive folding can be brutal, one chiropractor folder lost three fingers last spring at the Nationals, and this is now a badge of courage in the Foldie culture.

LST FNGR

We've even made it to Hollywood:
"I like to ride. Foldies. Can't re-fold. Don't want to, either. "

My bike is right under my desk, suck it, stiffy bitches.

Flyover BC said...

When the Brompton can be folded into and transported in a bike courier bag, the irony will be complete.

josh neeley said...

Esteemed,
Calgary is the headquarters for a lot of corporate oil companies.

Its not that they aren't driving, they are slow because they ain't selling.

Cipo said...

mangiare una figa

PotbellyJoe said...

@Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne, Nothing adds up in America's Toque that's the point.

Babs, you were going dangerously close to Fred Woo Hoo speed at the time of your wreck, I wish you well on your path to recovery.

bieks said...

That utility bike's got me thinking again about how many kickstarters are just scams. Wonder what the percentage is. $7k and you get a bike 3 years from now? A utility bike.

And in support of the Calgary bike couriers I'm totes* going to drive to work tomorrow. It's raining so it was either that or take the bus. Maybe they should kickstart a ribbon magnet campaign. we could slap it on random cars that pass too close (but not tomorrow, because car).

*thx Josh

JB said...

Bikes! How do they work?!

-tryathlete

commie said...

When the Brompton can be folded into and transported in a bike courier bag, the irony will be complete.

whoa...philosophy 101 at the Learning Annex... if a bike courier rides a Brompton that fits in his courier bag, does he ride the bike or courier it?
Wasn't this covered in a Star Trek Episode?

commie said...

Yes, things in America's dandruff -covered yarmulke are not looking good. After a decade of ridiculing American right-wingers in the Bush Administration...we went and voted for a right-wing conservative guvmint, twice. Guess what.. we did the same things, and the same thing happened.
"Doing the same fucking thing over and over expecting a different fucking result is the fucking definition of fucking stupidity"

-Albert Fucking Einstein

James said...

Schluffingly good Triathlon video.

mikeweb said...

E = fucking mc²

Anonymous said...

"no messenger should ever be forced to go a day without weed."

uhh, i woulda posted sooner....

P. Bateman said...

you sure that was a cupcake snob? it kind of looks like a pile of loose poop.

bad boy of the north said...

In the first sixty....while parked in mt.kisco

bad boy of the north said...

Thanks for the blog today

Anonymous said...

Hard to tell from video - do we really know the chain came off? Maybe after trifred fell he just went into Tron turbo mode via smart hat or some beta version of Hololens and was going virtual woo hoo judging from that cadence.

Anonymous said...

After watching my 100th triathlete cycling failure video, I realized how grateful they should be that they mostly suck at cycling. Imagine if they swam as poorly as they biked, they would have to have chase boats to fish the dead bodies out of the harbors.

Envious foldist said...

I like my Brompton but, here in UK at least, some of us have to choose between the bike or the Inspector Gadget coat - Brompton charge about the same for either, bless them. Hope you enjoy having the matching set. Love the blog.

Sir Henry Twistleton-Twistleton said...

Glad to see these were proper cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Wouldn't do otherwise.

The Robot Engineer said...

I think the term you want is "auto-fellating" yoga instructor.

Anonymous said...

I liked your Brooks coat better....

Jan! said...

There's a second triathlete crash in that video, at 1:02. It only takes her 21 seconds to get her dropped chain back on. I wonder if a third fall would have halved the time again.

"Triathletes demonstrate math functions in simple terms" would be a YouTube video I'd add to my favourites.

Anonymous said...

Do you notice?

The triathlete is crashing twice and dropping the chain both times? Good to see that the second time is solving the chain problem quicker.

Not a robot and does not compute said...

I don't understand it. Two crashes and two dropped chains. I can't remember the last time my chain dropped in a fall. Other times, like riding over some RR tracks or off a curb - when you get the prefect little bounce, but not falling in this manner. Even more puzzling is why the runner at 2:05 just stops, turns around and disappears behind the inflatable can of something? WTF

DB said...

I'm late!
I've been over at the wsj.com where you can see which bacteria are prevelant in NYC subway stations.
Fun times.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Rewound the tri video to try to discover the cause of the crashes, and I am baffled.

Both were in a lean well within the capabilities of even a casual cyclist. Time trial bikes are not as agile as road bikes, but you can certainly still corner on them.

Ruled out road surface because others in the pack successfully negotiated the same patch of macadam.

Left to conclude to contribute it to general suckage.

bieks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McFly said...

Last time my chain came off I was MTB'ing. I was sitting in the middle of a big creek. It was cold. There was a scenic footbridge 20 ft to my port side but I had to be a bad ass. I put my Lake in the lake.

bieks said...

Envious foldist 4:13 - no kidding. I thought mine was spendy 6 years ago. Now a similar one is about $500 more. Probably wouldn't buy one at today's prices. Can't even bring myself to buy the awesome tool kit that fits in the top tube. $80? Guess they're chasing the Apple™ crowd.

Maybe if I had a well known blog, they'd give me one. Nah, doesn't seem worth it to save $80

Anonymous said...

Nice colours that Brompton!

Freddy Murcks said...

I heard via the internets that Courier Danny Shuman is a bit upset about being misquoted. what he said is:

“We're affected almost directly, eh. I’d say we're like almost the first ones that are affected by it because we strictly work for these giant companies,eh” he said, eh.

That newspaper reporter made Danny Shuman sound like some mealy-mouthed courier from the United States. Even though they are America's hat, Canadians take a lot of pride in their unique country and especially in unique speech patterns.

Anonymous said...

Nice colours that Brompton!

babble on said...

Those tryathletes don't have anything on me.

Thanks, Potbelly Joe. It did feel like a nice fast ride, at least till the skid bit.

Anonymous said...

I bet that triathlete's stomach is full of anger.

Freddy Murcks said...

I was fully expecting the runners to wipe out in the same corner when the tryathlete video switched to the running. That's how little faith I have in the coordination of tryathletes.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Applying for a kickstart....large heavy cargo bikes. Gonna put a steel wire basket on 'em. Gonna call my venture Brooklyn Bikecycle Works. Can't miss.

paulb said...

My foldcycle is similar to WCRM's and it is much easier to carry open than closed. Irony from the Far East. But it goes on Amtrak.

Yehuda Moon said...

I'm glad to see you're finally remembering to bring a jacket

Flyover BC said...

Well, Commie, I don't if it was covered in Philosophy 101 or Star Trek. I only took the Philosophy of Science 303.

And I was too dazzled by the chicks in miniskirts and go-go boots to think about the philosophical implications of any Start Trek episode.

I don't even know if a Brompton in a courier bag is ironic. I just saw both in the picture.

On the other hand, I ascribe to the philosophy of

"don't overlook the obvious"

assuming that is a philosophy and not just observation language.

Flyover BC said...

Well, Commie, I don't if it was covered in Philosophy 101 or Star Trek. I only took the Philosophy of Science 303.

And I was too dazzled by the chicks in miniskirts and go-go boots to think about the philosophical implications of any Start Trek episode.

I don't even know if a Brompton in a courier bag is ironic. I just saw both in the picture.

On the other hand, I ascribe to the philosophy of

"don't overlook the obvious"

assuming that is a philosophy and not just observation language.

Flyover BC said...

Or whatever.

Odd double post, it kicked it back while posting.

I'm a fook'in ROBOT! said...

Snob. You got jobbed. You got the cup but not the cake. Artisanal injustice reigns supreme.

Philly Bicycle Journal said...

If you are going to ride a Brompton you will need to embrace the subculture. Like a foodie ride.
https://brommieyummie.wordpress.com/about/

Anonymous said...

I watched the whole damn thing waiting for one of the runners to go down.

Seattle_Mike said...

Well snob I'm jealous - I always wanted an excuse to ride a brompton but couldn't really justify it.
My bicycle buddy Scott has posted an excellent Brompton comment: http://practicalbiking.org/2011/08/why-i-ride-a-brompton-folding-bike.html/

Also if you get a Brompton it would entitle you to attend this festival:
http://bwc.brompton.com/past-bwcs/event-videos/ Of I can't attend cuz I don't have a Brompton.

People in High Places said...

Snob, Didn't you once meet Murray the Cheese Cutter?

Rocky Mountain High said...

Hey Spokey, Don't Bogart that Joint.

Anonymous said...

Snobby: Make sure that you ask for a Brompton with the rear rack and 4 EZ wheels. The bike in your article did not have these. They make the folded bike even more transportable. I ordered my Brommie with a cover that makes the folded bike look like an attache case- never had a problem going into restaurants and other such places with the bike configured this way. Bought a Bromfoot for theleft folding pedal which can otherwise scratch the frame.
Welcome fellow Bromptonian/Bromptoneer/
Bromptonaut.
Philip

Jed said...

Well good morning Captain Creampie! How about a side of NSFW with that cupcake? Sweet sainted mother of Pedro's Lube.

Mr. Robotski said...

A little kulture for the snobites ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7YOCoSq9_U&list=RDd7YOCoSq9_U

Holy Roller said...

The Lord is my shepherd and he, being full of loving kindness, will even enter Brompton riders into the fold.

dop said...

I confess dropped a chain during the 2013 Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon. The bike leg features a slow 2 mile climb on route 117 to the turnaround, followed by a 2 mile descent back (ok, some dips & rises along the way, but it's fast) My fred bike was out of commision & the commuter I rode instead chose to wedge the chain betwixt frame & 13t cog. According to the max speed function on my cateye*, I was going fred woohoo minus 8 mph. The cranks were locked at 3 oclock/9oclock. I coasted down to 20 mph, unclipped & hit the brakes . Unlike the trifred in the video, I did not stand in the middle of the road, but stood on the grass & wrestled the wheel-off/chain out with 2 hands, unkinked the chain & rode away. I lost about 2 minutes & really hated it when the pack blew by me at full fred woohoo.

* checked after the race

It's hard out there for a fred.

Bryan said...

Oh man, I completely missed out yesterday. Some crazy happenings in my city on the USC (that's south carolina, not so cal) jsut down the block and within view of my office.
Anyways, I like where Subway is going with this...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9MKRQ-xh0A

JB said...

You could put a denim Cambium on that Brompton. For $200, I want some dead animal on my saddle.

Stuart said...

Bromptons are a great design. But their pricing is just criminal. I will never buy a Brompton. You can get a used car for cheaper. Yes, you can fold those too... around a tree or a lamp post, for instance.

dop said...

Bryan, that's worth a real link and you made my day:

tough dodger

Dodgeball and triathlon. Is it necessary?

I think so.

balls™ said...

Somebody needs a titanium tricycle. Three wheels, not tri-cycle.

Someone in Canada, comments here... who could it be?

JB said...

dop: quick, someone analyze all of the bikes on the racks in Tough Dodger commercial.

grog said...

The Pythonians used Bromptons in their Twit of the Year contest. Or not.
YEAH BABE

dop said...

yeth. pyth.

caPt scrAnus said...

scranus

BamaPhred said...

I for one am waiting for some Snob Fly6 hot Brompton action thru downtown NYC. Maybe some hands free phone camera picture taking, non selfie edition.

dop said...

JB-

I couldn't identify any of the bikes by brand, but it's noteworthy that the protagonist's bike has a plastic pie plate & downtube shifters.

I wonder where they got the idea for calling a triathlon "tough dodge"

toughmantri.com