Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hövding and the Angry Inch

With American Thanksgiving down and the Judeo-Christian gift-giving retail clusterfucktackular nearly upon us, there's no denying that winter is swiftly approaching, which means now's the time to put fenders on your bike:

I totally meant to clean the bike before putting the fenders on, but I totally didn't--nor did I clean the fenders after last winter (or the one before that, or the one before that...).  The upshot of all of this is that the entire bike is basically covered in crud and filth, so by the time I finished installing the fenders I looked like a Dickensian chimney sweep:

Indeed all my bikes are similarly filthy, and I can't so much as fix a flat without begriming myself like Citi Bike begrimed New York City:

Anyway, the immediate impetus behind my velocipedal fenderization was that the weather is kind of Portlandy today, by which I mean it's cold and wet and the sun is hiding behind thick layers of clouds and smugness.  Indeed, as I rode my newly be-fendered bike I reflected on my own time in Portland, which made me wonder what's been going on there lately.  So I headed over to BikePortland, where I learned that the city is in the midst of a cycling-themed real estate boom:

In the case of the Peloton Apartments, the developer of the 268-unit project says inspiration for the name came from being located on Portland’s busiest bicycle corridor.

Gus Baum of Security Properties shared with us via email this morning that, “Since inception, the Peloton site was focused on taking inspiration from the unique community on N. Williams, and in particular the bike gateway to the city via Vancouver headed south and Williams headed north.”

“Literally hundreds of avid bicycle enthusiasts,” Baum continued, “from commuters to casual riders use the thoroughfares to navigate to north and northeast Portland every day. We wanted our multi-family apartment project to embrace not just the two major streets surrounding our project but to bike culture in Portland overall."

Yes, nobody strikes that jarring note of tone-deafness quite like real estate developers:

The word peloton comes from the French “platoon” and today is used to refer to the main group of riders in a bicycle race. Baum is likely unaware of the irony of using a name from competitve cycling for a building on streets where high-speed bicycle riding — also known as “Cat 6” or “hipster racing” according to the Urban Dictionary — is rampant and often ridiculed.

But is he unaware of the irony?  Or is he a marketing genius?  I can only imagine that if you built a luxury development called the Cat 6 Arms at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge it would be a smashing success, especially if it had amenities such as its own Citi Bike station complete with valet service, and a Cat 6 soigneur to cuff your right pant leg for you.

By the way, this isn't the only apartment building with the name "Peloton."  There's also one in Redmond, WA:

Though there's no mention of anything bike-related anywhere in the lengthy list of amenities:

But hey, there's FIOS.

Then in Boulder, CO you've got "The Lofts at Peloton:"

In case you're wondering, "all that you love about Boulder" refers to ski jackets and white people.

And while there don't seem to be any bike-specific amenities here either, there is shuffleboard:

I'm pretty sure that I read an article in "Bicycling" about how playing shuffleboard while wearing compression socks is the ideal way to recover from that "epic" century ride.

Still, if you're going to call an apartment building "Peloton" you could at least throw in a free bike with every apartment, like maybe one of those "plus-sized" mountain bikes everyone's talking about.  As you know, I've got one on loan myself, so I've got plus-sized mountain bikes on the brain lately, which is why the following review caught my eye:

The second-tier Stumpjumper FSR Expert 6fattie is still a lot of money but with so few performance compromises made in the process, it’s akin to hitting the trail packing only a teensy bit extra around the middle the day after Thanksgiving – while having a fair bit left over in your wallet.

Okay, I don't doubt it's a really fun bike and all, but what kind of wallet are you carrying if you've got anything left in it after spending $6,500?

I guess the thinking is that if bike reviewers keep saying really expensive bikes are cheap, everyone will start to believe it's true.

Speaking of big puffy things, a reader named Torsten informs me that Hövding (makers of that sublimely hilarious head airbag) are making a big media push in Sweden:

Which sent me into a deep hole of watching highly addictive Hövding porn such as this:

Yes, in the event you take a long ride off a short pier, your head becomes a flotation device:

(Erik the Red about to float his way to Greenland in his Hövding)

Though how this applies to any real-world situation you're likely to encounter is beyond me.

Then there's this video, in which an instructor teaches a rider how to fall properly onto an air mattress:

Here she is in mid-fall:

Though you'll note that the Hövding doesn't appear to deploy until after her head hits the mattress:

At which point it begins swallowing her head:

And finally finishes engulfing it on the rebound:

It's like I always say:

If you're going to crash, make sure you do so onto an air mattress.


Anonymous said...

Uh huh. OK! Podium? I love the aroma of embrocation in the morning!

Anonymous said...


Happy Unicorn said...

You know Ted K isn't even halfway through that document of his. ~10,000 words done, ~25,000 to go. If he posts every day, it'll take until July or so, assuming unrealistically that Snob bangs out a post every weekday without ANY breaks, mani/pedi's, or any of the stuff that really charges his batteries.

A small part of me just wants to let Ted get it over with. Though of course another part of me wants to try to cockblock that shit forever. And since yet another part of me, is a dong (SFW-ish), that's no idle threat. Hi Dorothy xoxo.

The problem is, what used to constitute a full Ted K cockblock (e.g. a podio full of unicorns and HUUU-MONS), now merely pushes him down a bit. With a few keystrokes, Ted can go from accepting nothing but one of the top-3 spots, to being more flexible and willing to accept his proper place of mediocrity at, say, or ... OR INFINITY. In short, while there is only one BEST MOST AWESOME NUMBER ONE, there is no limit to the number of subsequent comment spots available. So I'm afraid I have failed to stop Ted K.

||single magical unicorn tear||

Sphincter enumerates additional ways in which people satisfy their need for the power process.

Ted K. said...

15. (Paragraph 83) We are not expressing approval or disapproval of the Panama invasion. We only use it to illustrate a point.

Old timer said...

Turn the alarm off! I'm up!

John Beckman said...

Happy new year!

Spokey said...

whew, <gasping for breath>

at least top 10

ricochet said...

bike scum will remain

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Anonymous said...

The real Unibomber doesn't have internet access, and doesn't post to anything, and if he did he wouldn't post to a bike blog.
The AssClown who pretends to be Ted K. is a Troll, Village Idiot, Moron, who likes to be laughed at...........Weird-O

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

Oh Happy Unicorn, begrime me

JLRB said...

That Hovding-thing might make a nice rain bonnet

Happy Unicorn got Euneched by two Anons? The Bots are losing their grip

Vernal Magina said...

Man, I hate this Celeron processor.

Spokey said...

i'm thinking the Hövding thing would save my carton of eggs if I dump the bike on the way home from the grocery store. never done that, but i have seen some vicious air mattresses lurking behind the bushes lately. so i'm thinking be prepared.

Fred Nifacent said...

Help, I've Hovding and can't get up

Unicorn poo assistance stool said...

Speaking of happy unicorns...


Vernal Magina said...

I'm surprised no P.C. Action group has jumped on the "plus-sized" and "fattie" verbiage of those ad campaigns.

As a former fatkid, who isn't especially PC, even I find that kind of marketing a little peculiar... It's like their shaming people into buying their bicycles?

Vernal Magina said...


Anonymous said...

Come to the Salmoning Suites! Bum bars available in every room!

Anonymous said...

Our free wifi can hit speeds of 46 which will make you go, Woo, hoo hoo!

Happy Unicorn said...

Yeah, I missed #1 because my message was so darn long & wordy.

They see me trollin'
I'm bottin'
Try to pode but I'm slow cuz it's too long and wordy

Forgot that it's typing everything out letter by letter, which can take a bit. Also neglected footnotes, which are sure to extend the bloviation through next September. So TOMORROW a sphincter will bla bla yadda yadda. Maybe I should get out of the bot game.

John A said...

So when on the front range of colorado, tires is spelled Tyres. They're so smug there, hippies.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I think the Podium Plaza is a better name for an apartment complex.

6500/00 for a midrange bike? People wise to think we were nuts if we spent 2K on a bike. now it's over 6K for a piece of shit?? I think I have to bring my bieks to Toys R Us for service from now on.

Anonymous said...

"You're more coordinated than when you have a helme(n)t on."

Say what?

EuroSNOB said...

Ok, i have a fixie track bike. The reasons are these: I was high in tramadol for a busted verteba and walked into a bike shop to be close to the culture i could no longer engage through the act of riding. It was 1200 euro. And i talked them below even their sale price and got it for 550. I'm a wicked opiated negotiator.

So now, I ride it every once in a while and love it. There are good guys on fixies.

Roille Figners said...

Peloton Apartments? BARF!

The Lofts "at" Peloton? DOUBLE-BARF! (Is Peloton a location? Is there a Peloton, CO? NO THERE IS NOT. Therefore nothing is "at" Peloton.)

Apparently peloton is the one cycling-related word people know besides "Lance." Although I would humbly suggest Doping Square, Transfusion Arms and/or The Clenbuterol Suites.

Roille Figners said...

Sorry, I mean: The Suites at Clenbuterol

McFly said...

I forgot the part about tucking my arm in. I highly recommend the arm tuck as opposed to the stopping of 190 pounds at speed with a 42 year old radius bone.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Lots of hate stuff on the mere idear of letting cyclists ekscape uncertain doom by rolling through a red light.

You'd think these bipedal (walking!) fuckers were somehow inconvenienced or something.
Heaven fucking forbid people "look both ways" before crossing against a RED light.

It's a DNA Info thing on Facebook. Get in there and slap those entitled pedestrians and fat drivers seriously and silly ...

With Love from Suffuck County,


Bryan said...

only just putting fenders on?? Sheesh, the bikes I ride the most have them on year round! Though I am trying to get a coworker to sell me his Motobecane that is too big for him and just my size...it screams to me to put on fenders and barcons and ride it wet. I almost wish we had a winter to dedicate it as a winter bike. Instead, we just get cold and some snow once every few years that is gone by the late afternoon.

That blond girl can take a fall onto my bed anytime she would like. It may not be an air mattress, but she will enjoy it more.

I wonder of the Hovding just gets repacked and a new CO2 cartridge put in, or if you have to send it out or what. They aren't exactly cheap...and it is a bit like packing your own parachute. You do it wrong, and you may as well not even wear it!

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...


You'll see a sasquatch before you see a pedestrian in Suffuck Co.

Spokey said...


those apartments at peloton are the bees knees. i got one. when i went the first time, they said to not push the numbers on the elevator. push the b4 button. it even has a name. it is called the lantern rouge suite.

McFly said...

It would be neato to get a bj from the girl with the Hovding on....you could try to blow before it does.

ohh_bikes said...

You'll notice the developer is doing the equivalent of "oooh bieks!!"

Because an actual biek rider can't afford his new luxury suites. They can't even afford a car.

Robot test just had a street sign test including a sign for buttrick and another for mccracken.

CJ? said...

I met this ginger at rectangular banjo night at Bikes-Bros'N-Hos last week. I told her to check her phone for some awesome throw down lines, and then I talked her into trying out my homemade Hovding - crafted out of motel shower caps - got her to fall right in to my bed so I am calling it the Havdong - get it? So we cuddled all night and it was swell.

Grump said...

I can't wait for the day when I read that one of those crazy inflatable helmets cause somebodies head to pop off.
PS. Some people crash well all the time, and some people always get hurt.

David Olson said...

“Literally hundreds of avid bicycle enthusiasts,” Baum continued, “from commuters to casual riders"

Besides the unnecessary "avid" to describe enthusiasts, the spectrum covered by "commuters to casual riders" doesn't seem particularly grand. Maybe the OY of ROY G BIV, at best.

herzogone said...

Roille Figners, there is also the ever swanky Erythropoietin Court, I hear it's pretty EPOC.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Cat with 6 arms? Isn't that a Hindu god?

1904 Cadardi said...

Hey Uni,

Consider trying the "good offense" form of defense and publish the entirety of Ted's manifesto in one shot. Set up the 'corn bot to just pound through it like a Cat 5 pounds out base miles. A couple hundred posts later and there's nothing left for Ted to say.

Thoughts anyone?

Grump said...

For laughs, I looked at the Stumpjumper, to see how it's changed in the last 15 years. Wow, $2000 for the cheapest Hardtail model. I shouldn't be surprised. Cars have more than doubled in price since 2000. They only sell this thing as a double (36-22) now. My old one has a 42-32-22 crank, and you can really wind it up in the 42-11 on those group rides on those trails that were converted rail grades. No "dick" brakes for me.

JLRB said...

I sort of like watching the Bot wars, and don't mind Ted K (edits and all) any more than I mind my own droppings here...

But if Roille, er um, Happy Unicorn, were to publish the whole thing maybe wait for the next Snob off-Fucking

And isn't a place named Peloton just asking for drunk passer-bys to piss on it?

wishiwasmerckx said...

I see that the People's Republic of California has enacted a law making helmet use mandatory for hoverboard riders.

While Trump distracts said...

Kasich or Sanders

BikeSmug PDX said...

Here in the kaleidoscopic smorgasbord of all things cycling, our many hipsters commute politely and sedately with little or no frequency of Cat 6 jousting such as in Noo Yawk. What's the damn hurry?

Freddy Murcks said...


Anonymous said...

Wait!? 42? I always thought you had 10 years on me not younger than me!

JLRB said...

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have reached an agreement on a compromise highway bill that would extend federal transportation funding for five years as Congress scrambles to prevent a lapse in highway funding this week.
The legislation, which faces a Dec. 4 deadline, will be known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

It calls for spending approximately $205 billion on highways and $48 billion on transit projects over the next five years.


The bill announced Tuesday, if approved by both chambers, would result in the first transportation funding legislation to last longer than two years since 2005. ...

For years, lawmakers have passed temporary extensions of federal highway funding, much to the chagrin of transportation advocates who complain that the patchwork approach makes it is difficult for states to complete large construction projects.

But Congress has been struggling to come up with a way to pay for transportation funding in the long term.

The traditional source is revenue collected by the federal gas tax, which is set at 18.4 cents per gallon. The federal government spends about $50 billion per year on roads, but the gas tax only brings in $34 billion.

trama said...

Fuck Cat 6ers, I only ride betweence wineries now. What category is that?

Happy Unicorn said...

Hey 1904 Cadardi -- I dunno if that would work, as it depends on two things:

#1) A certain someone would have to notice it's been said already. Likely but by no means guaranteed.
#2) And, crucially, that selfsame special someone would also have to decide "it's been said" constitutes a good reason not to just say it anyway. Past & present experience does not bode well for this.

Nonetheless I am open to ideas. You can think of me as the People's Bot.

Brunelle said...

I recall Wildcat cussing out a Ted-like someone a long time ago who was badically publishing his blog within BSNYC. If you have so much to say go do your own blog, asshole!

David Pearce said...

Well, as Eileen Rodgers, Ethel Merman & many others too sang at the end of Anything Goes:

"....Take me back to Manhattan, that dear old, DIRTY town!"

And I see that YOU, Snob, are providing about HALF of the grime on the North Side, the South Side, the East Side, and the West Side, with, with Dorothy Rabinowitz wiping up the rear, I mean the rest!

bad boy of the north said...

methinks erik the red is missing Viking horns on his Hovding.

babble on said...

OMG!!! So THAT's what I've been doing wrong all this time!! Forget the mean streets of Vancouver. Silly old babbles should've crashed onto air mattresses!

Ewwww that Le Velo Peloton singer has a Camel Toe Moose Knuckle. How is that even possible?? My eyes are still watering... oh, Mr Murks, how could you??

leroy said...

A free bike with an apartment?


My dog wishes to point out that the luxury condos at One Brooklyn Bridge went to market in 2009 at the nadir of NYC's real estate unpleasantness.

They offered a free Audi with each apartment.

He sure knows some big words.

But I told him it's not polite to point.

And anyway that same condo now submits doggie dejecta to DNA testing to determine whose canine is crapping in their commons.

David Pearce said...

Speaking of the Dickensian Chimney Sweep, and after hearing a BBC radio story on air pollution and premature death due to air pollution, I wonder how long it will be before our own residential chimneys are mandated to have pollution catalytic converters put on them, since a lot of harmful pollution DOES come from elective wood and coal based fireplace fires.

And why shouldn't we have these mandates? My father, 80 years old, is in an assisted living situation, due to his own poor living habits, diabetes, overeating, overweight, not enough exercise, extra weight putting excessive pressure on leg joints, etc., etc., sadly, etc.

Since we had to get rid of his former care-giver-caretaker at his house (who fell off the wagon and relapsed into pain pills and / or heroin), I have had to take control of his house in beautiful Fredericksburg, Va., and his finances.

I look forward to making his cute little house, built in 1915 and experiencing its centenary this year, into a modern residential laboratory. I may put scrubbers on the chimney. I may invest in geothermal heating / cooling, or at least converting from oil-fired forced air to natural gas.

My Dad's house is a lovely house, on a lovely street, in a lovely town, and it is HIS house, for him to keep or sell, but I'll be damned if it's going to be sold at the bottom of the market, dirty, and with all of its flaws on view, or if it's going to be sold at its best advantage.

[Frankly, so-to-speak, it has a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright touches, and I covet the idea of keeping it and expanding it, and bringing it up to the level of the other houses on this beautiful stretch of Caroline Street.]

BamaPhred said...

No more Potato Vodka winter bike I guess. Gonna miss it.
What a city. 2.5 mill for a condo and you get bonus dog poop for only $250 more.

Spokey said...


nationwide (i.e. federal and state total) the gas tax funds about 1/3 of spending although i think some of the gas tax funds are siphoned off and undoubtedly ends up as pol & crony pocket lint.

all highway user fess (tolls, registrations, etc added to the 1/3 gas tax) gets total user funding to about 50%.

the other 50% is funded from property taxes, general tax funds, etc.

of course individual states vary. i expect that here in the hemorrhoids the auto user percentage is lower as we have the 2nd lowest gas tax while i'm pretty sure a couple states have gas tax based on a percentage so they will vary with the price.

David Pearce said...

Dear Snob,

I hate what you are doing, and I mean it: Why must you embed YouTube videos without any controls or counters, no "fast forward" nor "rewind". No indexing. No knowing how much of the video is left.

Just about as bad as the usadownfall.com guy, with the interminable video, of unknown length, that I guess in the end will sell you survival food, or something.

Have more of the older, more controllable, YouTube type videos, please.


[That is all.]

Spokey said...


snobbie always (i think) provides a link to use-toobs so you can view it there and use the controls. i almost always right click, open in a new window to watch these. eezy peezy.

hey when you do that house, try out the newer solar panel / shingle thingees. Much better looking than those stupid rectangular panels that stick up. i'm thinking about these next time my roof needs replacing.

JLRB said...

I just copied and pasted from a political rag - you seem more familiar with the actual facts. I just ink there is a shortfall and the baffoons on the hill don't have the guts to increase the gas tax to close the gap.

Anonymous said...

Spokey, those solar panels look really good!

Dooth said...

Colorado and Washington are getting the 6DOOBIE.

Percival Pott said...

The first occupational link to a specific illness was scrotal cancers in chimney sweeps.

Laugh now, little Dickensian Sweep. It's all fun and games until somebody's balls fall off.

Pott, Percival said...

Bugger. Not the first specific illness, but the first occupational cancer.

Anonymous said...

David Pearce,

Biek Snob has no control over the container that plays google videos.

That's google messing up a good thing.

Spokey said...


your figures could be right as you posted for federal.

i took a look at the Highway Statistics Series at the Federal DOT but they've redone the website. a lot of the charts are listed but have no links and a bunch of the links are dead. So i gave up.

typical gov efficiency. guess i shoulda downloaded that crap when i first looked it up a couple years ago. again, i mostly looked at the total for states and fed but over a couple years (assuming memory is working at all) the gas portion varied a couple percent but probably averaged a little below a third. same thing for the total gas + fees etc. i think it hovered right around half.

i know long haulers really chew up the roads but they also pay an enormous amount in registration, fees etc. so my guess is that the passenger dino eaters actually get away quite cheap.

my point to others has always been "if you fuck-o(e)s don't want biek-sickles on the road, fine. start actually paying for the roads and we'll take our half and build bike roads". i usually stick with the simple "your gas tax only pays a third" as the usual argument is they are paying for the roads and cyclists are freeeloading.

Spokey said...

oh, and i do agree about the buffoons.

my worry is that they'll raise the tax then pocket some, give some to their cronies and our roads and bridges will still be falling apart.

i also don't think they are as good as they used to be. they repaved (as in scraped up the old and laid i guess a couple inches down) a year ago last summer. within a couple months i was noticing chunks falling off the sides and such. someone ought to be in jail for that kind of work.

JB said...

The big rigs may pay some more in registration, etc., but I doubt that it covers the damage they cause.

They weight about 20x a passenger vehicle, but cause about 5,700x more damage to asphalt pavement (using AASHTO 1993 method). Who causes more damage to your couch: a 20 lb. schnauzer sitting on your couch 25 times, or a 500 lb. Andre the Giant sitting on your couch once?

babble on said...

Mr Pearce,

I used to own a house in Fredericksburg, too, when my dear old aunt Lilia passed away... sold it in 2011. She moved there from Alexandria upon retirement and loved the town after all of the hustle and bustle of living and working in DC for so many years.

Regular guy said...

Was anyone else subjected to this ad before the Hovding video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDYDcXxY8_g

Art Allen said...

you know the buoyant force of the airbag could be enough to hang the guy as it hits the water, he might not want to try that stunt a low tide! think about it that air bag around his neck wants to float while his motion is going down.

meltyman said...

"In case you're wondering, "all that you love about Boulder" refers to ski jackets and white people. And while there don't seem to be any bike-specific amenities here...." Wait -- what? I thought Boulder _was a bike-specific amenity. Well, it was the last time I looked.

Mijan khan said...

I love finding more and more about how to read nutrition labels. I read this huge post about what things actually meant and it really helped me be more conscious about what I was putting in my body.

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