Thursday, March 5, 2015

Optimism is Just Pretentious Denial

Did you know that bicycles and the riding of them can bring everyone together, solve all the world's differences, and end global conflict forever?

Sure, why not?

On a tandem sitting together are Rabbi Daniel Alter and Imam Ferid Heider, both cyclists themselves and who work together promoting peace and understanding through their project meet2respect.

We believe this unusual motif should not be unusual. And to bring home the message, there will be a "Cycling Unites" Critical Mass tour at the end of the BERLIN BICYCLE WEEK, where 3 tandems, each with an Imam and a Rabbi, will ride together with hundreds of supporters to jointly set an example for tolerance, diversity, and the right for everyone to live (and ride ) in peace.

The campaign will start running next week across Berlin.  The link to the Critical Mass: https://www.facebook.com/events/976789308999296/

image: Tino Pohlmann Fotografie / GREY Berlin

I think it's an inspiring image--though not to be picky, but I'd have leavened it with a little more hope:


My faith in humanity is now restored...

...until the next time I look at the newspaper.

Speaking of unity and world peace and reading the newspaper, North Korea cordially invites you to run a marathon in beautiful Pyongang:


BEIJING — Foreigners wanting to compete in the Pyongyang marathon next month can now sign up since North Korea reopened its borders this week after a four-month closing over Ebola fears.

North Korea closed its borders because they were afraid of Ebola?  Please.  Even Ebola doesn't want to go to North Korea.


("North Korea?  Fuck that!")

Though if you did run a North Korean marathon you could make a video of your subsequent arrest and torture (provided they take place at night) and submit it to Knog's film competition, which they've asked me to share with you:


There's over $15,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, with the winner walking away with a prize valued at $10,000 and there are heaps of chances to win. The winning videos will be screened globally (in 7 different countries over 24hours) as part of the No Ordinary Night film festival on 6th June. All people need to do is film their #NoOrdinaryNight adventures for a chance to win.

Please note that your film must be shot at night, which makes my submission completely ineligible:



Sweet Rabbi and Imam on a Tandem, it hurts to look at that!  What's better than riding mountain bikes in the fall?  Well, various things, but it's still pretty damn pleasant.  Meanwhile, it's snowing on us yet again as I type this, and the winter is clearly pushing people to the very edge of sanity:



If only this was shot at night then they could have submitted it to the Knog film contest.

Well, at least this one is probably eligible:


No ordinary night indeed.

As for me, I refuse to ride indoors.  Instead, I prefer to spend cold winter days drinking beer and getting interviewed for cycling websites:


I drank two pints of Gun Hill Brewing Co. something-or-other during the course of our chat and my tolerance isn't what it once was, so it was very kind of him to edit out the part where I revealed all my childhood traumas and then collapsed sobbing in my mac and cheese.  Also, the place where we met does happen to be one of my favorite spots in the city geographically speaking, and here's my bike parked right nearby:


When I stumbled out two hours later a polar bear was attempting to steal it.

In any case, I know it's been a long winter because yesterday evening I found myself in Target and came this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to buying a fat bike:


To the layperson it might appear that the fork is on backwards, but those of us in the know understand that Target is marketing this bike to true connoisseurs and they did this on purpose to show that you can do barspinzzz on it:


Plus, as far as bicycle mechanics go, I have more confidence in Target than I have in Andy Schleck, who plans to open a shop:


"The store will not only be a lobby with bikes that will be on display," Schleck told the website. "We want to give great importance to the service. I want to transfer to the customer service my skills and my athletic experience."

Really?  He'll focus on service?  This is ironic considering Schleck is most famous for losing the yellow jersey due to a mechanical problem:



In retropsect, I'm amazed Phil Liggett managed to narrate all that drama and excitement without uttering a single racial slur.  ("He's got a bit of a Jew in the drivetrain, eh Paul?")

Also, Schleck's shop (say that ten times fast!) will have a café:

Along with the bike shop, the article states that Schleck wants to open an adjoining café.

If his cooking is as good as his mechanical skills then you'll be leaving with a stomach full of anger.

Be sure to bring some Imodium.

74 comments:

samh said...

I love your reading your blog at work, it gets me through the day.

Two Claws said...

Two claws up!

Vernal Magina said...

Yee-haw.

RANTWICK said...

Podium!

babble on said...

Yup, I did... THAT's why it's called "The bike path to world peace!"

RANTWICK said...

Damn Damn Damn! Ah well. I'm gonna go home for lunch! Take that!

JB said...

Ebola virus = cock and balls?

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

eight ball

Craig Richards said...

I actually used to assemble bikes at Target. I think I was probably the best target bike mechanic in the world.

DB said...

LOVE Road Bike Party.
Thanks.

PotbellyJoe said...

I was struck by a cyclist, walkin' down the street
I was hit by something last night in my sleep
It's a road fred's party, who could ask for more
Cipollini's comin', leave your chamois at the door
Leave your rollers and soul at the door


We need odd couple tandem bike races. A Rabbi and an Imam is just the start. Maybe an Evangelical and an Atheist, or a Turk and a Cretan. Republican and Obama.

The list is endless.

So in that spirit, get on your bike and hate someone who drives a car, but in a way that make you glad you are not sharing a tandem with them at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Happy Name Tag Day, everybody

p said...

Iman Ferid...is that the Islamic equivelent of Fred?

Anonymous said...

..stomach full of anger.

Yer a funny sumbitch Snob.

Mr Plow said...

Sclecks shop serves slop

Anonymous said...

Craig - being the greatest Target bike assembler - Isn' that like being the great surfer from Kansas?

cycle

Craig Richards said...

Basically. It was an easy title to take. All I had to do was put the forks on correctly.

Vernal Magina said...

^^^ lolz, good one :-)

Anonymous said...

Toppus XX

Anonymous said...

"Optimism is Just Pretentious Denial"

Perfect. That needs to go on a shirt. WCRM, you need to trademark that quick.

Flyover BC said...

I'm sure the tandem will promote tolerance, at least until they try to decide who's captain and who's stoker.

P. Bateman said...

GET SOME, world piece.

still feel bad miss Babble for the confusion over my non-divorce yesterday. i do hope you'll forgive me.

according to the stats from that report though it would seem i'm a huge dick head. its something i should work on which is why i just helped a stray cat. (true story this time)

big dicks helping strange pussy.

Freddy Murcks said...

Gold, Snob. Gold. It is funny that Target notes that the fattie with the backwards fork is a 26er. As far as i know, that's the only fattie size available. Personally, I am hoping that the fattie makers decide to think out of the box a bit so I can get myself a 36er. See, e.g., http://www.kiwibikes.co.nz/singlespeeds/36-inch/. That doesn't look at all cumbersome.

Anonymous said...

We're gonna have a road bike party tonight, alright!
We're gonna have a road bike party alright, Tonight!

We've got, nothing better to do,
Than ride road bikes and have a couple of brews,

Don't talk about anything else, we don't wanna know!
We're dedicated, to our favorite road bike shows!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I liked this little snippet from the interview:

"My later teens I got caught up in other stuff."

Yeah Corrosion of Conformity and cigarettes and Lob knows what else.

K-Bo said...

Snob,
Great interview! I look forward to your brand of bombast daily.

McFly said...

I did the bike assemblage as a teen in the Coast to Coast Hardware retailway. I convinced the owner I needed to ride them to properly tune them. I was 17. It's something bike mechanics don't do now I have noticed.

Anonymous said...

Today I was passed by a faster cyclist wearing this all-black kit:

EVERY MAN JACK

which turns out to be a men's grooming brand ("including unscented and mint facial lotions"), not a local Fred or Non-Fred ride. Got me thinking of fondon'ting again.

Dooth said...

Did I just hear Black Flag?
Time for another pint.

Freddy Murcks said...

Anon @1:33 - Like fat bikes with backwards forks, Every Man Jack products are sold (semi) exclusively at Target. I used their shaving cream this morning when I removed the fur from my face.

Travis Downing said...

I love reading your blog at work. It helps get me through the day.

(Also, commentariat, you lot are the best. Keep it up.)

Flyover BC said...

Speaking of indoorsmints, yesterday that is,

I haven't seen an add here, yet for the Ritte Snob, as featured in Bicycling magazine, which I foolishly bought because I thought they were writing about "The Snob" not a snob.

Oh well, oh hell.

Comment deleted said...

I found the first half of your film very compelling, a subtle buildup to a very satisfying climax. However, the last third went on too long, with no significant character development. I just couldn't relate to that third leaf from the left.

Joe Platzner said...

I saw Pretentious Denial at CBCB

BamaPhred said...

C'mon Snob. You know you want the fat bike. Just do it already. But by now you need to wait till next winter. Do the Brompton thing instead. The commentariat is waiting on The Folder Chronicles.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i love reading your blog at work, it gets me through the day.

...for some reason, it's just not the same when i read it at home. that reason may be that it is very cathartic and sheds some of the daily bullshit i have to deal with.

...i love you.

VOR said...

""Cycling Unites" Critical Mass tour." Critical Masses have a history of uniting bicyclists and motorists. Truly you can feel the love. Good luck Rabbi and Imam.

bieks said...

Should do a comparison test of the Target fattie with the fork backwards and then forwards.

1. can you feel the difference?
2. which way feels better?
3. did you live to write about it?

crosspalms said...

It was just an ordinary night until I remembered all the stuff I bought from Levis, Burton, Rapha, Timbuk2, Camelbak, Cycles Galleria and Tern. I fired up my Knog, reached into my suitcase of product placement and shone the bright light of desiring $10K on everything. Then I filmed it.

leroy said...

I know it's been a long winter when my dog starts taking visual cues from traffic and street signs for his
karaoke night selections.


I'm not wearing a sequined dress and singing backup.

Again.

leroy said...

And there is nothing out of the ordinary about a pack of inebriated canines singing karaoke in my living room.

If my dog wants an entry for that no ordinary night video thing, he can pay for the beer.

That would be extraordinary.


McFly said...

I am not even at work and I still love reading it.

BamaPhred said...

I'm not sure you can call what my cats do singing, but they seem to enjoy it. But they will bring you "presents".

Ryan Kelley said...

I hope Schleck opens his shop in my town; that way I can compete with him.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to contribute to your happiness, even if in a small way. Speaking of happiness, I recently purchased a second home in San Francisco. So now I'm bicoastal (save it), NYC and San Francisco. Last weekend it was 65 and sunny in SF, great riding weather, while NYC was getting blanketed yet again in snow. But as soon as the flaky west coasters start to annoy me, I get to return to the center of the universe to experience the world's best in arts, culture, nightlife, etc. It's a tough life, but you do your best.

CommieCanuck said...

I would have thought that Schlecks' shop would have an adjoining pharmacy.

dop said...

Wasn't Schleck a Mike Meyers movie?

Anonymous said...

Nice thought, Berlin Bike Week, but the sad reality is that you'd better check first if it's safe to ride with a Kippa in your area.

And to add insult to injury - or rather the other way around - you're just as likely to get run over by car here as in NYC, I suspect - at least in the backwards southern hillbilly state where I live.

babble on said...

Y'know, you don't look the slightest bit grumpy or cynical or snobbical at all in a single one of those photos, snobbums... and of course, I love reading your blog at work. It gets me through the day! And at home, and at the doctor's office, and in the queue at the bank. Come to think of it, prolly the only place I don't read it is in the saddle on Ti Baby or good ole Bea bike...

Master Batemen - Lol! Cheers, but really, it was my bad for being so damned gullible. B'sides. Life is waaaaay too short to hold a grudge. :)

Ric said...

Wow, that Target fat bike sure has a beefy rear dropout (and I don't even want to imagine the kind of video clip that would be used to represent "beefy rear dropout").

Interesting that the product webpage for that bike also specifies Front Wheel Height 26" and Rear Wheel Height 26.0". Perhaps they should list "precision rear wheel" as a feature.

wishiwasmerckx said...

...ah, yes, those kooky Germans and their insatiable quest to take over the world in order to establish the 1,000 year Reich.

B'sides. Life is waaaaay too short to hold a grudge. :)

Actually overheard at the border: "Excuse me, could you tell me what time the next invasion of France is scheduled?"

Anonymous said...

I invade France every time I go on a ride – the bike paths are so much nicer there. :D

Anonymous said...

But then… There's the "10 Hours of Walking in Paris as a Jew"-Video…

Anonymous said...

Schleck's Sop... Shrek's Slop... Oh, fuck it.

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

Dad's family comes from Lahr, a little town near the border between France and Germany. I've always had this crazy urge to invade myself and then surrender...

babble on said...

The cat has a few heart shapes on her fur... one big one on her side, and a couple of smaller ones scattered about. It isn't immediately obvious, but it's clear as soon as you look.

Heh heh. I love it, because it's always a Kodak moment when I tell people that my pussy's full of heart.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Well, Babble, that explains a lot, now, doesn't it?

Alsace-Lorraine has fared only slightly better than the Sudetenland at the hands of German aggression.

I cannot confirm from personal knowledge, but I have been told that a majority there preferred life under German control rather than French.

P.S. now I had to select photos of sushi in order to prove that I am not a robot? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Richard Breaks said...

Babble - I am going to guess that you regularly "invade yourself and then surrender", so to speak.

Arizona Hillbilly said...

Why go all the way to Pyongyang for arrest and torture? I can save airfare and passport hassles and just go to Chicago

bieks said...

'course a 26" wheel only implies a 22" rim with a specific tire to make it 26" so in reality, that fattie could very well be a 9er.

bieks said...

Schleck's Cycle Schack.
#2 and trying harder.

Well, we would be trying harder, but that sounds like too much effort. We'll just say that in the slogan. Ya.

benDE said...

The bicycle meeting of the tribes of Abraham is an event to be conducted in Berlin in ENGLISH? Is that the language of the least common denominator? Actually, now that I think about it, the only people who will show up will be hipsters from NYC (only coincidentally Jewish) who have yet to pick up the local languge due to the MASSIVE time they have been spending making 'art as movies' . . or is it 'movies as art'? with others of their sect. So, from a promotion perspective, 'right on'!

If they wanted the Turks to attend they should have reversed the positions on the bike. Then you've got something they can get behind!

benDE said...

wishy washy merx:

those remaining preferred German control. Most of those that preferred French would have to be interviewed in Coral Gables or Jerusalem. But you better hurry...

Anonymous said...

Scranus and anus

Babble Expeditionary Force said...

Every tactician knows its wise to probe enemy defenses from different angles before mounting a full on assult.

dop said...

C'est le Guerin?

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

Mais non... it was Roth till I tied the knot with an Englishman, of all things. Though Guerin is more fun in the context of this conversation, given its translation.

JB said...

Freddy Murcks: there is the 29+ category. You don't have one of those yet! Up to 3" tires.

Anonymous said...

Why film yourself riding rollers at all?

Freddy Murcks said...

JB - I was aware that you can fit 29" wheels and standard tires in a 26" fat bike frame. As far as i am aware, there is no such thing as a fat bike with 29" fat bike wheels and tires. Or are you talking about something else?

Tom Danielson said...

Seck's shop sounds so much better than Schleck'shop for some reason I can't explain.

Soccer Training said...

This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough. Full of useful resource and great layout very easy on the eyes. Please do keep up this great work... Sport Betting Blog