Thursday, January 28, 2016

Smoke and Mirrors, but Mostly Smoke

When last we met, I had locked my bike in midtown using the so-called "Hiplok:"


So was it still there when I returned?

Yes.

So that's a good sign, but it's possible what thwarted the thieves was the mountain of snow upon which the bike was perched, rendering it inaccessible without crampons.

I'll have to do another test on a level, solid surface.

Oh, and yes, I did stop at the Gyro Hut on the way home, thanks for asking:


I thought about surreptitiously chaining the Gyro Hut to a pole as yet another test for the Hiplok, but I decided against it.

By the way, some readers remarked that my bike is ugly.  Yeah, no shit.  It's a bike I ride in foul weather and leave unattended for long periods of time in the bike theft capital of America.  What, I should try to make it pretty?  You're goddamn right it's ugly, and the crusty bottom bracket and filthy chain in particular are sources of great pride for me:


And yes, this is the erstwhile "Ironic Orange Julius Bike," as at least one reader pointed out:


In addition to carrying me back and forth between my job when I had one, it's also been to Portland:



Where it transported me around town when I scribbled this story for Outside:


And where I used it in the 2009 Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships:



After that I got tired of the flared bars, put "regular" ones on it, and continued to use it for the odd cyclocross race and also as my Winter Aqueduct Crusher:


But then I got rid of my Scattante:


And repurposed it yet again into the zippy yet comfy flat-pedal upright lock-up bike you see today:


Hey's it's no World's Greatest Madone, but it was inspired by it:


I've had lots of good times on that ugly-ass thing, and I'd argue everyone should have at least one metal bike that they can reconfigure from time to time for nefarious purposes and generally party down on in a worry-free fashion, but I do realize this is a bike blog and it's more fun to point out that the stem is not "slammed" and it's slightly longer than yours.

So there you go.

Speaking of obsessing over bikes, all New Yorkers obsess over housing in pretty much exactly the same way.  I'm no exception, which is why I read the New York Times Real Estate section, where every week they tell the story of a (usually) hapless person or persons and how they found their (usually) overpriced apartment--which I only mention because something leaped out at me in the most recent installment:


Idly checking listings last summer, they spotted a rental in a prime Park Slope location. Mr. Katz, who like Ms. Rogawski is now in his early 30s, stopped in.

The apartment, a one-bedroom for $3,400 a month, was small and dark. The owner saw Mr. Katz’s bicycle helmet and curtly told him, “There is no room for storage of bikes in this building.” It was easy to cross that place off the list.

Why, that's anti-veloism!  It's a clear violation of the Fair Housing Act!  That's like if you walked into an apartment with a yarmulke on and the landlord said, "There is no Shabbat elevator in this building.  You don't wanna live here. Midwood's that way, and don't let the door hit you in the tuchus."

Discrimination notwithstanding, you should never go apartment-hunting in a helmet.  Remember that study about how wearing a helmet leads to increased risk-taking, even in non-cycling situations?  Well the last thing you need is a plastic hat clouding your judgment while looking for new living quarters, especially in this town:


("Only $3,500 a month?  I'll take it!")

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Meanwhile, in London, Mayor Boris the Johnson says that cycling has doubled there in the past eight years and is on track to one day being "brilliant:"
And if you're seeking evidence of this nascent brilliance, look no further than this fixie video which was forwarded to me by a reader:

 

Remember fixie crews?


(Gigglechortle.)

Well it seems people are still forming them in London, and this one includes Kamal:


Robbo:


Johns:


Patterson:



And introducing...



Young Blood:



Which leads me to wonder: So they're only just now introducing Young Blood, but we're all supposed to already know who Kamal, Robbo, Johns, and Patterson are?

Boy, I'm even more out of it than I thought.

Anyway, crank up the Hendrix, because this video is full of Purple Haze:


And jumpsuits:



And still more purple haze and jumpsuites:


As well as pinkish haze and jumpsuits:


Then it gets really weird:


And it was around here that I though I was watching the first season of "True Detective:"


By the way, if you could see Gyro Hut farts, this is what they'd look like:


Also there's trackstanding.  In water.  With haze:


I expect a Kickstarter for a seatpost-mounted smoke machine with remote handlebar-mounted trigger any day now.

Lastly, New York City is also exhibiting signs of impending brilliance with regard to bike infrastructure:


"There's tremendous demand to get from the Lexington Avenue line to, for example, the medical institutions, Rockefeller University, Cornell Hospital on the East Side, and that's a long, long walk," Russo said.

With the new crosstown lanes and one being installed on Second Avenue, the Upper East Side will have seven miles of new bike lanes this year.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Well, it may be welcome news for New York City's many headphone salmon:


But not for one (1) local community board member who will be slightly inconvenienced:


"If you get out of your car, you're not allowed to park in the bike lane, so you have to park on the other side of the street," Birnbaum said. "You have to carry your things, across the street and across traffic into your building."

Do you hear that!?! YOU will have to carry YOUR things!  Not the doorman, not the porter, but YOU!  And ACROSS THE STREET no less!  The very indignity of it all!  It's almost like being able to park a private vehicle directly in front of your door at all times in the most densely populated area of the United States is an unreasonable expectation!

By the way, I love when people say "you" when they really mean "me."  Don't bring the rest of us into this Michele Birnbaum, you're on your own.  Welcome to life on the bike lane-blighted side of the street.  It's going to be a living hell.  Meanwhile, your across-the street-neighbors on the "good" side are pointing and laughing and spilling out of their Mercedes in a care-free fashion, Bergdorf shopping bags hanging insouciantly from their bejeweled wrists.

The horror.

The horror.

82 comments:

dnk said...

Podiation!!

Ted K. said...

109. The American Revolution does not provide a counterexample. The American “Revolution” was not a revolution in our sense of the word, but a war of independence followed by a rather far-reaching political reform. The Founding Fathers did not change the direction of development of American society, nor did they aspire to do so. They only freed the development of American society from the retarding effect of British rule. Their political reform did not change any basic trend, but only pushed American political culture along its natural direction of development. British society, of which American society was an offshoot, had been moving for a long time in the direction of representative democracy. And prior to the War of Independence the Americans were already practicing a significant degree of representative democracy in the colonial assemblies. The political system established by the Constitution was modeled on the British system and on the colonial assemblies. With major alteration, to be sure—there is no doubt that the Founding Fathers took a very important step. But it was a step along the road that English-speaking world was already traveling. The proof is that Britain and all of its colonies that were populated predominantly by people of British descent ended up with systems of representative democracy essentially similar to that of the United States. If the Founding Fathers had lost their nerve and declined to sign the Declaration of Independence, our way of life today would not have been significantly different. Maybe we would have had somewhat closer ties to Britain, and would have had a Parliament and Prime Minister instead of a Congress and President. No big deal. Thus the American Revolution provides not a counterexample to our principles but a good illustration of them.

dnk said...

Fuck off Ted!

dop said...

quatro

Atherton said...

Weed

Anonymous said...

TOOP TEEN

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Top tens

P. Bateman said...

Top tannery!

seriously, we really love STUFFING animals.

Buffalo Bill said...

Wow, top ten from hawaii.
No snow here.

dcee604 said...

Top ten?

Hee Haw the Barista's shop class teacher said...

Zip tie.

Anders Hustvedt said...

Nonplussed.

grog said...

#staycrashy

McFly said...

Antler Girl: "You wanna BJ?"

Any Guy: "Nope."

dop said...

Orange Julius' 400 mm seatpost allows for a smaller, stiffer frame. (laterally stiff & vertically stiff) The 130 mm stem is a throwback snob's days as an Eddy Merckx' domestique, where he learned the value of a long stem that provided stability on the cobbles.

le Correcteur said...

"Don't bring the rest of us into this Michele Birnbaum; you're on your own."

Top twenty. Lots of memorable phrases in this one, Snob.

Dave Bowman and Frank Poole both said...

Good one, Snob!

Vernal Magina said...

"It's almost like being able to park a private vehicle directly in front of your door at all times in the most densely populated area of the United States is an unreasonable expectation!"

I lol'd. that made me lol, watching the video

BikeSnobNYC said...

dop,

I think it's a 300mm.

But yes, small frame is "flickable" when I'm threading my way through the peloton while the long stem gives me added stability when I unleash my mighty sprint.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Wrench Monkey said...

Those London crews in their jumpsuits are real Horror Show.

billyhacker said...

No, the real horror show is the color clash of the stem and the frame.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

"flickable?" among other things...yes

Regular guy said...

I was expecting Robin Hood and his merry men to jump out of the bushes and shoot those guys with arrows.

Alas, we weren't so lucky.

P. Bateman said...

know what would make that bike look better? a can of that pink smoke those dudes have. GET you SOME of that snob.

Michele Birmbaum looks familiar...maybe from back in the day when she was a bit younger:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj7i88LQ9DE

DB said...

One of your best.
Loved the Outside article, too.
Thanks.

trama said...

Great Post today. My favorite part was when you referenced the Gyro Hut and the farts and the smoke...brilliant!



Street signs

Anonymous said...

Imagine the drop in property value Ms. Birnbaum will suffer. That is what the people on the good side of the street will really be laughing about.

Anonymous said...

ha, they still have to park on the street, commoners

Grump said...

Snobby, your semi-crappy looking bike is a good idea for urban cycling. I assume that you, like everyone else, has a $14,000 bike that you take in the velour lined trunk of your Hyundai Accent, as you drive to a "safe" and dry place to ride.


Freddy Murcks said...

I have always been led to believe that Londoners were more stylish and suffistocated that us 'Mericans. If that's the case, Why are they fixie-ing like it's 2007 in NYC? Don't they know that shit's now considered to be lame and stupid? Get yerself a gravel bike, limey.


[[Please don't tell Eric the Chamferer that I referred to British people as "limeys." He'd cut me for that for sure.]]

Vote Dog and Cat said...

My cat was thrilled to read that Leroy's Dog is running for President. She wants to toss her hat into the ring by being on the ticket as VP. Her one and only field of expertise is sleeping, which fits perfectly into the VP job description. Even when he's not sleeping some people think the current VP is sleeping.

Bryan said...

So many side stories to read! I got a bit caught up and am finishing with the rest of the pack. No breakaway group for me today.

I love that you have a BSNYC Seal of Disapproval sticker on your own bike.

N/A said...

I will have you know, good sir, that all of my purposes are nefarious.


Also, that bottom bracket is disgusting. FOR SHAME.

Anonymous said...

Are you contractually obligated to use a Brooks on all of your bikes? Even your beater? Free saddles are a good thing, even if it is a Brooks.

Young Blood's Mom said...

Stay Crashy Boys!

N/A said...

"unleash my mighty sprint."


Gross.

Anonymous said...

PELOTON>> top 50 yo

N/A said...

I can't help but notice that you've dedicated quite a bit of space in today's post to explaining the curation of the splendor that is your winter beater. As somebody that commented on it yesterday, I can't help but feel the tiniest bit of guilt that you seem to feel the need to defend it. It's a purpose-built machine, Wildcat, and displays a certain beauty for that reason alone.

N/A said...

Haha, just kidding. UGLY BIKE

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:48pm,

Nope. I took it off my road bike when they sent me a crabon Cambium to try so I figured I'd put it on the Ironic Orange Julius Bike in the meantime. The "regular" Cambium is my favorite saddle at present (Brooks or otherwise), though I doubt Brooks give a shit what I put on any of my bikes.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

wishiwasmerckx said...

Well, on throwback Thursday, I did not get the requested car cake photos, but I did get an homage to the Ironic Orange Julius Bike and the World's Greatest Madone.

Not bad, not bad...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...oh, and Brooks gives TWO shits about what saddle is on your bike.

Do not shit into the hand that feeds you, young Jedi...

Anonymous said...

"In addition to carrying me back and forth between my job when I had one ..."

Between your job and what? Ya gotta have two things if yer gonna be "between" them.

Young Blood said...

Obviously I understand the weight savings benefit, but why would you need carbon tampons to steal a bike?

Anonymous said...

for a landmark birthday of mine this year, I'm getting a hand-curated bike lovingly crafted by an east coast based frame maker. It will be fashioned of the finest steel money can buy, the proprietary Slowing Down System will feature dick brakes. I'm also going all in and will be going with a SRAM 1x groupset. Front derailleurs are for peasants. I would like you to ask Brooks to provide me a complementary saddle. In return I will agree to run their saddle on said bike, thereby providing the Brooks saddle making company with invaluable free advertising. People will see their saddle on what will be the "Most Awesome Bike of All Time" and just assume that the saddle is also awesome and as a result their sales will skyrocket. We call that a "win-win" in the business. I'm fond of the B15 swallow (tee-hee) in black, while they are at it they might as make that the titanium model. Anything you can do to make this happen will me much appreciated wildcat. thanks dude.

Another Anonymous said...

Like a wiener and a bun, man.

Regular guy said...

Anonymous @2:18.

If you have to brag, thanks for doing it anonymously. Dream big.

N/A said...

...says the other anonymous guy...

leroy said...

Many Citibike stations are back on line. They are great for running around the City on something you don't have to worry about locking, losing, or cleaning.

Also good for getting through the purple haze of crosstown traffic.

shorter bsnyc comments section said...

Snobberdoodums, yet another pubic-lice ridden "socialist" rant, eh? 10th.
Your brake cables are too long and cause a goofy Dorothy Rabinowitz effect and blow jobs.
My dog is also my cardiologist, but then he confused a menorah with amenorrhea.
SCRA ANUS. 100th.

janinedm said...

I'm with 2pm N/A. Form follows function. Bikes are mainly for riding, not looking at (fixed gear gallery notwithstanding).

dop said...

Sorry to be hung up on yesterday's column*, but did BSNYC go salmoning in the bike lane while testing new lox?


*the n is silent.

JLRB said...

So the Affluenza Douche is back in US custody. I wonder what novel legal theory will have him out maiming and killing on our streets this time.

Spokey said...


imaginee that. i always thought the 'm' was silent.

1904 Cadardi said...

Snob,

My stem isn't slammed either and very likely as long or longer, goofy tiller effect or not. You are not alone.

Old timer said...

PODIUM!

Huh?

What time is it, anyway...

Anonymous said...

I get the same pink and blue haze from my scanular area after a tough Cat 6 victory.

Tough Act to Follow said...

Forget the Fair Housing Act, people who want infrastructure changes out on the roads need to figure out how to get the Americans with Disabilities Act folks on-board. Those guys almost never loose. Bikes + Rascal scooters unite!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Those #StayCrashy Boys don't appear to be reducing their carbon footprints by bieking.

Antler Girl should pay a visit to Michele Birnbaum. They could lock horns so to speak.

I guess 2 plus weeks in a Mexican jail cell convinced Affluenza Douche it was time to come home and face the music.

That is all, carry on.

NourskSiklist said...

That smoky vid was wank-tastic. "Alpha two niner, this is gunship Charlie four zero, we are inbound with air support on your location, pop smoke to confirm your position, over" These kids have been playing too much CoD. Since nobody else has mentioned it, those words at the beginning, "HØST REGN LONDON" are either Danish (the nation, not baked Nom nom) or Norwegian, and mean "AUTUMN RAIN LONDON" ok, last word was kinda obvious to this globetrotting readership. Maybe an exchange student or something, wdik.

Dooth said...

What? You don't know Robbo, Johns, et al?
"Smoke on the water!...clueless on the bike."
Youngblood sang lead.

Guy Y said...

Best post from Ted K yet. Kicking that can of American Exceptionalism right down the street like it ain't no thing.

I can see why you guys locked him up.

crosspalms said...

Just got back from 2 weeks in Vietnam on a "bike" trip that was mostly van transfer from places relatively safe for bikes to other places relatively safe for bikes.

It took me a while to realize that people treat riding motorbikes as an extension of walking. Anything you or I might do on foot they do on a motorbike: window shop, make a call, answer a call, suddenly stop and change direction because they remembered something, stop to chat with a friend or neighbor, pick up groceries, hang out with friends, have a smoke, cruise for dates. Plus, they'll carry pigs, ducks, cables, bikes, balloons, lumber, you name it, on a motorbike.

The exciting thing about being a pedestrian there is that no one will stop for you, no matter what the lights say, and if the sidewalk is wider than a curb, people will park motorbikes and cars on it, and people will ride motorbikes down it to get out of traffic! Sidewalks are also where many people conduct business, so expect to walk around little chairs and tables that mark restaurants and cafes, people welding or hammering things, and lots of vendors. Anybody in America who complains about cyclists on the sidewalk has no idea how good they have it. Still, despite my first-world whining, it was a great trip.

Please tell me that $3,400 one-bedroom was way cheaper 3 weeks ago -- my mortgage is less than that and the house has space for both bikes and cats. It's pretty far from Park Slope, though, so maybe I live in a dump and just don't know it.

Sort of the same thing said...

I'm with 2pm N/A. Form follows function. Recumbabes are mainly for riding, not looking at (dirty old men on this weblog notwithstanding).

DB said...

Crosspalms!
Welcome back.

All of Vietnam said...

Crosspalms, love you longtime, GI!

ChamoisJuice said...

IOJB is the least offensive of all of snob's goofy bike setups. My expectations for bicycle correctness are inversely proportional to the amount of money spent on the bike, and how long it has been owned.

purchased used, too small frame, with boner stem is somewhat understandable. Custom ordering bespoke frame with custom dainty geo? fucktarded.

Main beefs with the iojb:
-seatstays are disgusting
-the frame only costs like $185 new.... how much $$$ could you possibly be saving to justify buying a too small frame?!
-the fork. Krylon. It exists.

Billy said...

One person's lock-up beater bike is another person's dream bike: http://i.imgur.com/eGfacYH.jpg

Franco-german said...

"a one-bedroom ,small and dark, for $3,400 a month"

Are you shitting me ???????

BikeSnobNYC said...

ChamoisJuice,

Your expectations for bicycle correctness are inversely proportional to your understanding of it.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hey crosspalms welcome back old man! Thought a gust of wind blew you out into lake.

Dooth said...

crosspalms! Small world...Bành Mì Saigon on Grand St Chinatown today. $4.50 for a spicy, yummy Vietnamese sandwich.
Didn't go for the happy ending at the massage parlor around the corner, however. Pressed for time.

What's The Point said...

Nice rack, Antler Girl!

P. Bateman said...

@ CJ

+1 point for the Krylon snap.

i always trust Krylon brand when i paint the town red, and so does clint eastwood.

Spokey said...


well screw this snowmageddon crap

time for high-ate-us (or is it i-hate-us). headin for warmer climes. see yall after the stupid ball. hopefully don't run in to none of them there zika skeeters

P. Bateman said...

headed to florida spokey? let me know, i'll save you some meth.

bad boy of the north said...

snob,enjoyed the read in outside.glad that your bike with all its'history,lived(?) to see another day.

bad boy of the north said...

welcome back crosspalms.my dear aunt was in Vietnam as well,roughly around the same time as you.she wasn't on a "bike"trip like you,though.

babble on said...

Bon Voyage, Spokey! How long are you gone for, and where to, and WHAT?? No interwebs? Yeowza!

K, well stay safe and have fun. And remember, we all need the D - every day!! - just make sure you don't get pregnant is all. xo

BBnet3000 said...

Birmbaum isn't even losing parking because of this bike lane. She's losing double parking.

Lets be real: she's gonna double park there anyway

JLRB said...

What is bicycle correctness anyway? 2 wheels + diamond frame = correct

Anonymous said...

prolly pic?