Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Waiting For Your Ship To Come In

If you're only a casual following of pro cycling, you might be forgiven for thinking the sport is cleaning up its act, especially when you read that Bjarne "Mr. 60%" Riis has been suspended:


However, as it turns out, the suspension has nothing to do with his long history of doping.  Rather, it's most likely because his boss feels he's not doping his riders enough:

Cyclingnews understands that Bjarne Riis has been suspended from Tinkoff-Saxo for the poor performance of the team. The absence of Riis at Milan-San Remo, where the team previously announced he would act as directeur sportif, has sparked the rumours that the Danish manager has been suspended, possibly as a result of owner Oleg Tinkov's demand for better results.

In Cycling Speak, results=doping.

You know, it was driving me absolutely crazy trying to figure out who Riis looks like now.  At first I thought Jeffrey Tambor:


But that wasn't it, and it was only after minutes upon minutes of straining my tiny little brain that I realized he's the spitting image of Mr. Perkins from "Thomas and Friends:"


I mean come on, it's uncanny!  He's even got the exact same look of terror Mr. Perkins gets when Sir Topham Hatt calls to ream him out:


Oleg Tinkov has no patience for confusion and delay.

As for Tinkov, I have a feeling he might regret this suspension.  Sure, it's easy to blame Riis for the team's lack of results, but it might have something to do with the fact that he insists on joining the team on their training rides:

Since the sale, Tinkov has taken a great personal interest in the team, and is often seen in a Tinkoff-Saxo kit out training with the riders. He was reportedly unhappy with the lack of victories by the team. So far this season, they've won only two races: Alberto Contador won a stage of the Ruta del Sol, and Peter Sagan a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Not sure how effectively you can train when you're afraid to drop the boss:



As for Tinkov and doping, it's worth watching this interview, where at :30 seconds the interviewer says to him regarding Alberto "Tainted Steak" Contador:

 "And you're convinced he'll do it cleanly, just like everybody else on the team."

Tinkov is usually a glib motherfucker, but in this case his eyes roll back in his head and he's all like "Ummm" for at least five seconds:


Then he finally stammers out an answer:


"I never ever had any doping cases in my team."

This is Cycling Speak for "We haven't gotten caught yet so I don't expect us to."

Meanwhile, in bicycle retail news,  the new bike of your dreams is currently languishing on a container ship at the Port of Los Angeles:


“We have two containers of bikes on the water right now and four or five due to leave soon,” said Marin’s National Sales Manager, Thad Fabish, in an interview before the resolution. “It’s not a huge amount but the problem is that these are key bikes; these are the bikes we’re trying to get to our Midwest and Northeast dealers for when they come out of snow season.”

So a company named Marin can't get its own bikes into California?

Now that's ironic.

(Of course my own books are printed overseas and were once delayed because of a storm, so I shouldn't laugh, but I am anyway because I'm a hypocrite.)

However, where legitimate retailers see a problem, I see an opportunity:

A single shipping container can hold about 300 boxed bikes, so Fabish is looking at roughly 2,000 bikes that ideally need to get to dealers sometime in the next month or so. But that won’t happen, because the backlog is going to take, by most estimates, at least eight weeks to unwind. At the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Monday, the two busiest ports on the West Coast, 27 container ships were anchored in the harbor; in normal conditions, there are only a couple waiting for unloading berths.

27 container ships full of bikes!?!  I need 40 or 50 brave souls (and no triathletes, please) who are willing to board water bikes and raid this ship for its crabon booty:


They will sing songs of our adventures, and one day there will even be a Hollywood feature film about us called "Pirate Freds of the High Seas."


Just think of the merchandising.  Can you say "crabon cutlass!?!"


("Yes.  Yes I can say 'crabon cutlass.'")

And speaking of Fred bikes, CyclingNews/BikeRadar technical editor and crabon apologist James Huang is fed up with all these bicycle component "standards:"


It's strangely edifying to see him hoisted by his own petard and calling for practicality over marketing BS:

What would be nice is some sort of industry consolidation where companies can put aside some of its pettiness and instead strive to make lives easier for the rest of us. Winning test numbers from a fancy frame stiffness jig are nice and all but there’s also a tipping point for when some sort of technical ‘innovation’ isn’t worth whatever other sacrifice has to be made to get it.

There’s no test for practicality but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have value.

There actually is a basic test for practicality, and here's how it works:

1) Take new bike;
2) Swap wheels with another bike;
3) Remove and replace cranks, seatpost, and stem and then replace them again.

Were you able to do all of the above, and if so were you able to do so without purchasing any special tools or equipment?

If you answered "yes," then the bike is practical.

If you answered "No, and the manual says that if I attempt to do any of that without taking the bike to the dealer for service I will void my warranty" then you own a Specialized.

Yes, thanks to endless "innovation," this is the life of the modern Fred:

I’ve got a box of headsets that won’t fit in anything. I have a drawer full of bottom bracket spacers, wave springs, and washers that I hate using. And pretty soon, I’ll have a bunch of beautiful wheels that will all be instantaneously obsolete.

I love technical innovation as much as anyone – and not surprisingly, I embrace it more than most. But that said, there have to at least be some considerations made when it comes to the people who are actually buying the stuff companies are developing.

Can’t we all just get along, maybe at least just a little bit?

Finally, the Fredly facade is cracking!  Come on, James, join us!  You know you want to.  This stuff is stupid, just admit it.

In five years he'll be riding a Rivendell.

Lastly, there's a bill to make bicycle helments mandatory (for cyclists, presumably) in California, and the LA Times is against it:



Unfortunately, they don't quite understand why they should be against it:

The intentions behind SB 192, authored by Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge), are laudable, and many of the objections raised by bicycling enthusiasts are laughable — such as the idea that mandatory helmets would make bicycling appear more dangerous and thus discourage people from trying it.

Why is that laughable?  It's exactly true.  Bicycle helments are destroying America.  I know this as a parent.  The idea that riding a bike without wearing a helment is tantamount to suicide has resulted in a sort of mania.  Forget bicycles--many parents won't let their kid on anything with wheels without a helment.  Have you ever seen a parent in a playground flip out because their kid tried to ride a kiddie scooter or some other rolling piece of plastic crap without first putting on a foam hat?  I have, many times.  It's insane.

At this rate, American children will be more afraid of human-powered vehicles than cigarettes.



91 comments:

groanhammer said...

frodo podo

Anonymous said...

Suplesse!

Anonymous said...

Tinkoff-podio

Anonymous said...

View the collection!

Anonymous said...

Tippy top ten muthatruckas!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

topus tenus

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Top ten Tuesday.

The Fat Controller said...

Hey, it's Thomas the Tank Engine, and don't forget it. I think Bjarne is turning into Woody Harrelson, and Mr Perkins is close to Laurent Fabius, but maybe that's just me

Grump said...

Tinkov wants wins.......at any cost.
Tyler Hamilton claims that Tinkov told the team that they should do anything to win "wink-wink", but don't get caught.

The Fat Controller said...

...and the Bay Bridge is not in LA, FFS

BikeSnobNYC said...

The Fat Controller,

Yes. We know. But the article mentions that as one of the ports. So there.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

If human powered vehicle is code for recumbents then kids should be scared of them!

bad boy of the north said...

whew!first twenty.

DB said...

I like the reflectors on the water bike.

Craig Richards said...

Every time I get on my bike I make sure to put on my helmet...and neck brace, and flame retardant suit and knee pads and elbow pads and my fanny pack of emergency flares and my boots and I canvas my neighborhood with letters asking my neighbors to please be careful and not hit me and I include a route plan and give out my emergency contact info and I also ride where my dad can see me. Also I put those recumbant flags on my bike and maybe even a life ring/PFD if I'm taking my bike out on the open water.

If I get into an accident without any bit of that my injury and possible death might be seen as a result of my gross negligence.

dop said...

A Canadian inlaw of mine has an old set of 'The Railway Series' books from her childhood. (Thomas The Tank Engine Stories to the rest of us) Back in the 1940's, there was no 'Sir Topham Hat', but there was the 'Fat Director'.

Freddy Murcks said...

Perhaps Byarnay Reese is learning that it's hard to run a successful bike racing team if you aren't doping the ever loving shit out of the riders. I don't mean to imply that they are riding clean, because they certainly aren't. I just doubt that Byarnay is doping them as aggressively as he was in the past. In any case, Tinkoff will use his East bloc connections to straighten that shit out straight away. Russian dope for everyone. Alpuerto Contadoper's form will be coming online in no time. It'll be like a miracle.

PotbellyJoe said...

Captain Snobbie the Ill-Tempered and his faithful, fierce and salty crew of Wienies will loot, plunder and return all bikes to Hollowtech II!

Lucien Petit-Breton said...

UCI check 36 Milan-San Remo bikes for motors

crosspalms said...

In honor of the Pirate Freds:

What's the 18th letter of the pirate alphabet?

Meanwhile, me and some other kids are sneaking out back to ride out bikes without helments...

crosspalms said...

"our" bikes...

Anonymous said...

To see how necessary helmets really are, go to Amsterdam where like 50% of the population commutes regularly by bike and count the number of people wearing helmets.

Anonymous said...

Funny I just changed the cranks and bottom bracket on my specialized Langster (don't laugh) this morning and had no issues.

Consti Pated said...

Waiting for my shit to come out

le Correcteur said...

Top twenty five isn't very laudable. I guess I'll have to dope more.

Anonymous said...

Took a sickie yesterday and took advantage of the great early spring weather here in NYC (sub 30 degrees) to go for a bike ride. Was up somewhere in your hood Snob I think. Rode through a really nice neighborhood called Fieldston? I can see why you moved up there (Riverdale). Stopped at Twin Donut on the way back on the Manhattan side of the Broadway bridge for a little Boston cream action, also very nice.

grog said...

Missed your chance to show us pirate recumbabe. Arrr.

ubercurmudgeon said...

60% was never going to be good enough for Oleg Tinkov. Like any businessman, he demands 110% from all his staff.

therattler said...

Riis looks more like Andrew Zimmern to me,you know the guy who eats bugs and everything. But I am biased, being from Minnesota and all. I also may be snow blinded from the recent experience of our global warming event that dumped snow all over our budding greenery. Just kidding. The ground was dead brown from the near constant zero degrees we experienced for the last 5 months.

Anonymous said...

He looks like OSCAR BLUTH (Arrested Development)

P. Bateman said...

i dont know much about Thomas the Tank, but i know i love ridin' a train on de's ho's.

Anonymous said...

If I dealt bikes named Marin would I make a big issue of these 'meri'can themed bikes being manufactured 6,000 miles to the east???

"Marin is a bicycle manufacturer in Marin County, California, established in 1986. It specializes in mountain bikes but also has other types. Many of its 68 bicycles are named after locations in and around Marin County."

"Marin Bikes California. Building the best mountain bikes, commuter bikes, road bikes and cyclocross bike since 1986."

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" Johnny Lydon Rotten

BikeSnobNYC said...

12:58pm,

I belive Dr. Zizmor's house in Fieldston is still on the market!

Wish I had that chemical peel money...

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Gary Fissure said...

I've finally perfected my penis/testicles crabon helment design. Protect yourself and your future offspringing potentials from the danger of smashed peepee syndrome. Look for 'PP Safe*' this July at finer bike shops.

*Scranus protection package extra.

Anonymous said...

33 and a turd

dnk said...

Wow, Dr. Z has quite a shack:

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/05/13/inside_the_unsellable_home_of_nycs_ubiquitous_dr_zizmor.php

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

Rob Ford, Commie Canuck and Babble are making a video "Crash Free Cycling in Vancouver". No wait, Babble has been dropped from the cast, no reason stated as to why.

JLRB said...

"Don't be such a scold Thomas"

RIP George Carlin

dop said...

Oh christ..first the Cleveland steamer, now the boston cream....I thought that ended after st paddy's

wishiwasmerckx said...

I once owned an Olds Cutlass. Can I be part of your Fred Armada? When is Fleet Week?

Craig Richards said...

Every time I get on my bike I make sure to put on my helmet...and neck brace, and flame retardant suit and knee pads and elbow pads and my fanny pack of emergency flares and my boots and I canvas my neighborhood with letters asking my neighbors to please be careful and not hit me and I include a route plan and give out my emergency contact info and I also ride where my dad can see me. Also I put those recumbant flags on my bike and maybe even a life ring/PFD if I'm taking my bike out on the open water.

If I get into an accident without any bit of that my injury and possible death might be seen as a result of my gross negligence.

DB said...

Snob, et al:
The WSJ had an article on the top five states in which to retire, and we should probably decide where to put Mellow Snobbies Retirement Village. Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho or Virginia.
The first four won't have any water in a few years but we can grow pot and carry guns.
Virginia is hot and humid. Leroys dog may not care for that and Babbles' hair may frizz out.
Discuss, let me know what you decide.
FYI: Arkansas was dead last.

balls™ said...

Tinkoff, shminkof, jakoff...

I used to drive an olds cutlas, but that was before anyone knew what crabon was (or indexed shifting).

JB said...

The kids are so brainwashed that I can't even ride helmentless from the house to the street (car rack) without the kids yelling at me.

Love the Thomas jokes.
"confusion and delay"

bieks said...

Uhoh, Mr Huang's just a hop, skip and a jump away from Walnut Creek, CA.

Gonna need a new Angry Asian

OLDN TARD

Hank 'The Druggist' Kingsley said...

Hey Epo Now!

BamaPhred said...

Here's a pack of Marlboro's, kids. Don't let me catch you ridin them bikes without a helment or ima gonna beat dat azz.

I just know I'm going to hear those words one day.

Eterpay Agansay said...

So Mr. Snob,


Will there be amply buttoxed podia sluts available at the FonDon't finish? And will all winners receive a stuffed plush red velour lob effigy inaction figure?

Max said...

If you're letting your toddler smoke cigarettes without a helmet on, you're a monster.

JLRB said...

The need for Beik industry consolidation is confusing. Aren't all parts made by one big fat ass company - or is just one big fat ass company that controls their distribution?

Is there such a thing as second hand helmentlessness?

CommieCanuck said...

At this rate, American children will be more afraid of human-powered vehicles than cigarettes.

Which is EXACTLY why my kids wear helmets when smoking a pack of Luckys. Flavor country.

CommieCanuck said...

Rob Ford, Commie Canuck and Babble are making a video "Crash Free Cycling in Vancouver"."

Vancouver is on the left coast, Rob and I party hearty in the East. We're digging a tunnel this weekend.

CommieCanuck said...

If you're letting your toddler smoke cigarettes without a helmet on, you're a monster.

Parenting is easy, just vaccinate them, put a helmet on and then you can do whatever you want.

JLRB said...

Commie - Not so - some parents have been brought up charges for having free range children

based on that standard, my parents would have been drawn and quartered

JLRB said...

correction - there were no charges - a.k.a no criminality suspected - even if they threatened to put the kids in foster care

Chippendale Dancer said...

"Will there be amply buttoxed podia sluts available at the FonDon't finish?"

Oh yes there will be Honey. Perhaps not the type you expect but certainly the type you deserve.

Anonymous said...

"...many of the objections raised by bicycling enthusiasts are laughable — such as the idea that mandatory helmets would make bicycling appear more dangerous and thus discourage people from trying it."

I'm consumed with visions of the "Times Editorial Board" guffawing their heads off at this idea. Looking like something out of an Ayn Rand novel, I can imagine them in their exclusive oak panelled offices falling off their high-backed leather swivel chairs in mirth.

Damn fools adjudicate there's no evidence to support the implementation of MHL in California, yet they ignore the evidence of Australia, officially the worst country in the world for cycling, where the introduction of mandatory helment laws a quarter of a century ago did in fact cause an immediate massive drop of 30% or something.

Still, all this time later, cyclists here are considered some sort of lunatic dare devils simply for gliding along public streets on a pushbike. When MHL was introduced by our garden variety huckster politicians, it was accompanied by the promise of improved cycling infrastructure. Of course, it never eventuated, but at least there was that token gesture, bullshit though it was.

The carefree, dope-smoking California surfer types aren't even being offered bullshit token gestures, just authoritarian impositions. And with anti MHL advocates like the magisterial LA Times Editorial Board on the side of freedom, California is doomed.

If Carol Liu gets her paternalistic proposal through, California will challenge Australia for worst cycling joint in the world. This would be a bless'd relief for us, so you go get 'em Carol!

Anonymous 4:32 said...

...Meant to say they ignore evidence supporting the idea MHL discourages cycling.

Fred Nifacent said...

Tinkov or the "wasted" Joe Walsh?

(Mmm steak captcha)

bad boy of the north said...

crosspalms 1242pm
shouldn't it be arrrrr bikes?

Black Beard said...

A short history of BikeSnobNYC pirate photos:

Peg Leg Bike Rack

Another Peg Leg Bike Rack

MY EYES!!! THEY BURN!!! Either that or Styling!

And of course, Skull and Cross Bones.

No need to thank me.

Anonymous said...

AND be afraid because California experiments tend to spread across the land one way or another ...

crosspalms said...

Bad boy of the north,
!!!!!

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I don't understand any of this. I just want to ride my Schwinn Apple Krate down to the dump and smoke the Marlboros I stole from Dad.

The Langsett said...

"...when Sir Topham Hatt calls to ream him out..." - oh good lord! I'll never be able to watch the kids' Thomas DVD with a straight face again...

trama said...

@Pathetic Old Cyclist,

Same here, except in my case it was a Stingray with an airless solid rear tire, and the smokes were Benson and Hedges menthols from my mom.

Arrrrgh said...

Black Beard - Thank yee

Ride, Ride, a Ride, Let it Ride said...

For 20 or so years I rode an old steel frame Fuji, indestructible. I'm guessing who ever stole it 10 years ago is still riding it today.

bieks said...

Eyes rolling into the back of your head is not necessarily a symptom of riding helmentless with the team that you own. But I only come here to look at the pictures, so yes, it does mean that.

Old-timer said...

Helmets. I’m so confused. So confused…zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzz

wishiwasmerckx said...

...And another thing. Why can't pirates ever find an appropriately-sized treasure chest? Every one I have ever seen had booty spilling out all over the place.

I suppose it is because that eye patch destroys their depth perception?

What! said...

Who t'was it said 'Crabon to Crabon, Dust to Dust?

Anonymous said...

Crabon fibre eye patch. Aluminum artificial leg with ceramic universal joint. Lunar graphite nasal passage linings ...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Il Pirata

Anonymous said...

to find a spitting image of bjarne riis just check out ravendesign.ca
i also know of a leipheimer doppleganger.
c.

babble on said...

Aaaaaaaand... making a grand entrance, legs COOKED, after having spent the day on two wheels:

"Are you KIDDING me?! Nothing, and I mean nothing could possibly convince me to work on the same set as that dastardly Ford character!" she proclaimed whilst storming off in a Diva-esque huff.

I will, however, abscond with Commie the moment that tunnel is finished and the two of them surface here on the Left coast. Because eeeeew. Can you imagine 2400 km in a dank underground tunnel with Robba the Fords?!? A guy would need a good stiff drink...

Rommel said...

I thought that 'Thomas The Tank Engine' was a show to teach children about the fun side of a Panzer's power source.

Anonymous said...

Hi
You always have my greatest respect but you should refrain from the use of the wife beater glasses spandex wearing guys picture and replace it with Ethan and his cute Blue Bell helmet picture. I think we would all like to see more of that.
Thankyou

Scott B. said...

My son wounded his head 5 times, horrifically, as a child. Here are things my son should have warn a helmet to do:
1. Run down the hall toward a futon.
2. Run through a park that had metal barbecue fixtures.
3. Climb a slide at his grandpa's pool.
4. Bounce on a trampoline at his grandpa's house.
5. Stand in the cart at Ikea.
He seems OK anyway.

babble on said...

Ha! And I should have put a helmet on my little guy the moment he took his first step at EIGHT months! Who walks at eight months?!?

Actually, that might have done the trick and kept him crawling for another month or two, having made his head just That Much Heavier. Would have saved him a lot of bumps on the head and me a lot of stress and anxiety.

The crash test dummy doesn't fall far from the tree, even as it falls a lot.

Anonymous said...

I love watching the birth of a retro grouch.

I was born agian about 10 years ago. But rather than wonder how to shed a few grams from a bike, you end up looking through old catalogs of Raleigh bikes and wondering if "that" year was one in which they used Terry saddles or Brooks. Or if you should purchase a Whitworth wrench/socket set.

Just as goofy, just a lot cheaper>>>maybe.

leroy said...

Mr. Riis triggered less imaginative associations for my dog.

JB said...

I busted my head real nice-like doing lots of things:
- running into soccer goal post during game (out cold)
- standing on handlebars and seat of freestyle bike
- slamming head on ground after getting drilled (soccer)
- skateboarding on flat driveway
- colliding with rollerblader (my future dentist, told that one before) on rec path sending me ass over teakettle
- etc.
- et. al.

JLRB said...

If I would have worn a little "helmet" I wouldn't have a son at all

db said...

No one's real name is "Thad Fabish".

Sincerely,
Captain Sensible

Endo-King said...

I'm with the Babbs on this one; you want to legislate a helmet on every bicyclist? Then legislate a helmet on every driver.

Then, after all these stupid laws are passed, I want every legislator piss-tested, as well. If you're going to pass the law, then you should live by it, as YOU MAKE OTHERS DO, as well.

I'm also very pro-testing of police officers, for steroids. That a BIG problem in this neck of the woods. Literally.

Joseph Boquiren Illustrations said...

A courageous piece of writing BSNYC. Thank you!

Ryan Kelley said...

When I was a little kid, my mom forced me to wear a helmet. I hated riding my bike with a helmet, thus I never did.

Years later, I own a bike repair shop. I only wear a helmet in special occasions. Good thing my mom doesn't control my life anymore.

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Anonymous said...

Helment or no helment the MF's in New Jersey yell obscenities at you anyway.

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