Monday, February 8, 2016

No Shoes No Service

Did you know the Eskimos have over 100 clichés for snow?  It's true!  They include words that translate as "fresh snow," "more goddamn snow," and "it's enough with the snow, put a friggin' harpoon in me."

Similarly, we cyclists have a more sophisticated relationship with everybody's favorite throwable form of precipitation.  In particular, we know when the snow's rideable and when it isn't.  If you're a seasoned cyclist, a quick glance out the window is enough to tell you whether you should head out into the whiteness or stay inside and fire up your digi-Fred avatard on Zwift:



Such was the case on Friday when we received a few inches of the sort of fluffy, crunchy, sticky snow that makes for ideal riding.  So I headed onto the Marin Pine Mountain 1 and into the virginal whiteness:


All was quiet save for the odd amateur nature photographer or snow runner, and emerging from beneath the snowless overpasses into the pristine wilderness felt positively Narnian:


The snow was deep and crunchy enough to provide protection for the trail and traction for me, and the temperature was warm enough that there was no ice hiding beneath to make the going treacherous:


After awhile the footprints disappeared and the trail was a blank page upon which I would write Tales of Mountain Fredness with my knobby tires:


By the way, due to its weighty clinginess, ideal riding snow is also ideal carcake snow, and I did take a break from my ride to do some carcake-spotting:


The best carcakes are the "goatee" kind that extend onto the hood:


If you're lucky you get to see one of these goatees make liftoff when the driver hits 40mph, at which point it will fly up in the air and land in an explosion of snow on the vehicle behind it.

If you're unlucky the operator of the vehicle behind it will be you.

After contemplating the carcakes I resumed my trek and crunched my way up one of my secret deer-ridden climbs, affording me a view of the Hudson and the Palisades beyond:


Although all of this probably would have been manageable on a "regular" mountain bike the "plus"-sized Marin was ideal, and at this point the whole "fat-but-not-FAT-fat" thing has pretty much won me over as it really is an ideal "just grab it and do whatever" bike:


(It's NOT a fat bike.)

I suppose I should return it to them but you really can't evaluate a bike properly until you've ridden it for an entire calendar year, and even then you really should keep it for at least another year or two to account for any variables, not to mention annual fluctuations in precipitation due to climate change, etc.

In other words Marin can expect it back by 2020 at the earliest, by which point I'm sure we'll all have moved onto another wheel size.

Meanwhile, the Etixx-QuickStep professional bicycle racing team has been omitted from this year's Tour of Qatar owing to "discipline" problems:


What kind of discipline problems?  Well, apparently it takes them too long to change their shoes before podium ceremonies:

Al-Thani cited a lack of respect for the requirements of live television coverage as the principal reason not to invite Etixx-QuickStep, complaining that the team’s stage-winning riders had delayed too long before reporting for podium ceremonies.

“For the podium, we asked them not to do interviews [immediately after the finish] because we have limited time for the podium, we are live on air. But they take too much time to change their shoes,” 

Oh, silly Al-Thani.  They're not changing their shoes.  They're swapping blood and urine samples to evade the drug testers!

Hey, it takes time to set up a Whizzinator:



As for the women's team, according to Al-Thani, they're just lazy:

Al-Thani said. “At the Ladies Tour of Qatar, they don’t change their shoes, but QuickStep wanted to take a chair, they wanted to change their shoes, lie down and after that do an inteview. We told them for a couple of years not to do it but they still did it.

Plus, they're not even nice to the special hurry-up lady!

“Last year we sent a special lady to hurry them up and they talked to her not in a very nice way and they would wave her off like that. That is not good, you know.

Wow, the nerve of those women, wanting to relax in a chair after racing across the freaking desert.  Frankly I find it shocking that a country with Qatar's impeccable women's rights record wouldn't be more accommodating:

Women’s Rights

Provisions of Law No. 22 of 2006, Qatar’s first codified law to address issues of family and personal status, discriminates against women. Under Article 36, a marriage contract is valid when a woman’s male guardian concludes the contract and two male witnesses are present. Article 57 forbids husbands from hurting their wives physically or morally, but article 58 states that it is a wife’s responsibility to look after the household and to obey her husband. Marital rape is not a crime.

Still, I guess Ettix-QuickStep is lucky they don't get treated like the typical migrant worker over there:

Workers typically pay exorbitant recruitment fees and employers regularly take control of their passports when they arrive in Qatar. Many migrant workers complain that their employers fail to pay their wages on time, if at all. Migrant workers are prohibited from unionizing or engaging in strikes, although they make up 99 percent of the private sector workforce. Many migrant workers are obliged to live in cramped, unsanitary conditions, especially those working without documentation.

Speaking of exploiting workers, Uber is "disrupting" the bike messenger industry by not providing benefits:


Uber does not pay workers' compensation insurance because it classifies its couriers as independent contractors, who are considered to be in business for themselves and are not covered by state and federal labor laws. (For basically all of its New York drivers, Uber pays workers' comp through the Black Car Fund, which was established years ago for the hired-car industry.) Traditional courier companies, by contrast, are required to hire messengers as employees and to pay workers' comp, unemployment insurance and other fees.

Furthermore, by classifying their couriers as contractors, neither Uber nor other on-demand companies have to pay minimum wage—a potential issue for foot messengers, who don't necessarily make enough deliveries in an hour to earn $9 in commissions.

I'm not sure why a company with over a billion in revenue needs to take over a quaint industry like bicycle delivery, but I guess that's how Silicon Valley does sandbagging.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cavendish!

dop said...

podium

Schitty Pete said...

Woo hoo!

N/A said...

The bikeen industry has over 100 variations of "fat".

Anonymous said...

top,ten!

Anonymous said...

Ted K never on Mondays?

Anonymous said...

Cutter zing!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top Tennis? Scranus!

i_owe_my_soul_to_the_company_store said...

I never got why anyone in their right mind would drive for uber. It's worse than sharecropping. Uber is the new company store in the darkest, most abusive sense.

cdinvb said...

Tropical Polar Bears

Richard Breaks said...

You're gonna have to wake up pretty early if you want to try and convince me that the Pine Mountain is not a fat bike.

Anonymous said...

Man alive, its like a holiday! Early morning Bike Snob (and no Ted K.) Today is a good day. Thanks

I am not a robot

N/A said...

I wouldn't call that Pine Mountain a fat bike. It's big boned. Husky. Has a great personality?


I'm not sure where Plus ends and Fat begins. My $.02 is that it's somewheres around 2.5-3" but I don't know. I'm just a dumb old 10-speed ridin' guy.

Anonymous said...

I guess it would be ironic they are called Quick Step.

dnk said...

Just back from NEW ZEALAND!

dnk said...

Actually, I'm just back from the dentist's office.

Where I read a magazine article on NEW ZEALAND!

Feel like I've been there. And got my teeth cleaned.

janinedm said...

I bought a pretty bike this week and I want to take back what I said before about looks being unimportant. All my bikes were, like Dorian Gray bikes. They were these steel monsters meant to roll over and through anything. They were well maintained, comfortable steel monsters with shiny drivetrains and dirty everything else. Well, I just got me a bike that's inspired me to buy a bulk box of toothbrushes, so i can keep her clean always. Did you know you can get 144 toothbrushes for 10 bucks on Amazon? They're probably made of BPA and asbestos, but I won't be putting them in my mouth, so...

bad boy of the north said...

big boned bike riding through the burbs.on a certain stretch of that trail that I believe you were on(the old tunnel photo),if you stop long enough in that said tunnel and look past the "modern" graffiti,you'll be be able to see graffiti from over eighty years ago...better check it out before it all disappears.

Reggie said...

Ice Cube sez: Today was a good day. Didn't have to hear no Ted K

Bryan said...

Sounds like Etixx-Quickstep was done a favor. Fuck Qatar

Schisthead said...

I can't figure out why, but I really want a smooth, mild Chesterfield.

Freddy Murcks said...

janinedm - you are one awesome lady and you have a finely honed sense of humor.

McFly said...

I'm cool with fat just not fat fat.

Too obvious? said...

No Quick Step slow to the podium joke?

WTF?

Lucas Tarr said...

Carcakes, huh? I always called them toupees. Goes better with your goatee designation, too.

trama said...

I would like to see a team in QATAR sporting those cool retro jerseys from 'Breaking Away'....except they would spell 'CUTTER' in block letters differently...

babble on said...

It's not fat, it's chubby. And everybody loves a chubby.

Freddy - Right?? She's a keeper, our Janine. :)

Obvious - the comment about irony qualifies.

Mr Snobberdooders? Nice ride. I am a little bit green jelly, even though you do have the great slushdown ahead of you, while we have warm sunshine today, and daffodils already. And for those of us over here on the left coast, it IS a holiday Monday: for once we're a week ahead of you, instead of forever behind the times. Yep. Family day. But Hey. You guys almost qualify after all this time...

janinedm said...

Thanks Freddy. I'm going to name my bike George and put a B17 Imperial on it and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him. /The Abominable Snow Rabbit

Anonymous said...



Is that not redundant?

P. Bateman said...

dang it. i'm out here in silicon valley and the time change is screwing me up. i think there should be west coast podium.

i'll smack the uber guy travis if i see him.

dancesonpedals said...

When I got my last new bike I said to hell with the toothbrush & gave it a tongue bath. I could probably take it to the dentist for a thorough cleaning, but that would be weird.

Anonymous said...

OK let’s try this again….

”…odd amateur nature photographer…”

Is that not redundant?

Dooth said...

Gee Whizzanator...can't believe I've lived so long without synthetic urine in my life.
A good day indeed.

Anonymous said...

Snow goatee? I prefer the term snow merkin.

Roille Figners said...

It's like a... a... Some kind of... Oh what's the word... Some kind of WINTER WONDERLAND! (Mental note, copyright that term before someone steals it.)

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

I was in Janinedm territory yesterdee!
Got dropped off at the NJ side of the GW Bridge and basically walked with my back to the rail to allow the Freddies and Fredericas to pass by unimpeded.
I took various autobuses starting w the M4 on 168th St to get back to Brooklyn!.

Obsevation: Whilst looking over the edge, and at the edge (not wanting to jump mind you, because there were anti-suicide signs every 10 feet ... although I was kind of thinking, if I see another suicide sign, that is it! Fuck this place!), I was noticing that the South edge of the pedestrian / bike path is crumbling exposing bar and rebar and bar again... I can tell you (of course you're listening with baitbreath), that there must be water 'living' under the concrete-way. I know this shit cause I'm a boat guy and I know that water always goes where it's not wanted.

So I postulate and think that in the next cupla years the south side path will be closed for renovation and folks of all human powered transportational description will have to use the North side path which involves that sschhleppping procedure and otherwise portaging whatever conveyance over the Palisades Parkway stairway. Might be great for TriGuys and TriLadies to change shoes back and forth etc.

Maybe if Bloomberg becomes president there will be a bikelane over the Verrazano Bridge. I'd brown bag my 33 oz Coca Cola for that.

I am also not made out of asbestos or BPA ! Bad joke, much apologies!

vsk

Anonymous said...

When you entered the virginal whiteness of upper New York City, did you run into Mr. Tumnus by any chance? Next time you visit, please say hello for me - it has been decades...wait, a few seconds? whatever, since I've seen him and his cute little scarf.

DB said...

Janinedm: congratulations on your new bike.
I'm saving my nickels and dimes for a new Milwaukee bike.

Focus503 said...

Only an asshole would use the word "disruption" to describe something positive.

leroy said...

Dear Mr. BSNYC --

My dog asked me to offer his services as a caption writer for your photos. Herewith a sample submitted on spec:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the Village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To pee my name into his snow.

References upon request. Serious offers of non-independent contract work only please.

(Of course I told him this wasn't going to work. And of course, he doesn't listen to me.)

janinedm said...

Victor, I was out yesterday. If you saw a lady smiling at everyone while on a slightly sparkly blue bike that still had stock pedals and a saddle designed by Jigsaw from Saw on it, that was me. Loving life (even with that Law & Order SVU saddle).

Wallace and Grommit Stevens said...

"You have a blue Qatar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue Qatar."

And they said then, "But play you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

A tune upon the blue Qatar
Of things exactly as they are."

Anonymous said...

Thank you Babble for recognizing irony as humor, and for just being Babs.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

What's up with stemhumper?? Where do I begin?

the Jimboner said...

Last night at ground zero for the Zikas in Mato Grosso, heading down to Rio tomorrow to see what kinda viruses I can avoid at the Carnival!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I don't even have to change shoes for the podium. Just unclick the spd sandals and I'm good to go.

Thanks for the pieces of car cake.

Victor Kaminski said...

JanineDM,

Congratulations on the new bike! I saw lots of folks, I was on the bridge from about 12:40 to 1 ? I think. I can't remember. I was in a black down jacket.
Speaking of Bugs Bunny / Road Runner or such things, there was some hard packed snow under the railings, was cool to knock some off and see it splash down coyote style. Made for good video (I thought).

vsk

JLRB said...

I am quite jealous of your ability to go out and ride on your not-so-fat bike in the freshly fallen snow. Looks like I get my chance if I choose to commute in the crud tomorrow.

Qatar and Australia are off my list of places to go. I can hear them weeping with disappointment.

NourskSiklist said...

Oh noes, Snob. First rule of the UAE,Dubai, Qatar is, don't talk about the slave labour, man. That's harshing everyone's fun. Now you will never be invited to publicly speak about the joys and pains of urban bicycling down there. Could have made it big, man. Except maybe cycling isn't a thing in countries that exist solely on oil, petrol, gas, all that good stuff that w all need. Bike racing in such environs is so deeply ironic as to leave any Hipster under the age of 30 in an overdose coma.

PHAT BIEK
OILY SERF
SNOW WINS
CANT SPEL

Anonymous said...

Snob, thanks for the carcake porn. I really needed it. Did you know you were referenced by an international business website? Well, you were.http://www.businessinsider.com/qatar-disinvites-top-pro-cycling-team-2016-2

BamaPhred said...

A good start to the week.

Sandman said...

Ziggy played Qatar...

leroy said...

Sandman @ 8:32PM & Wallace and Grommit Stevens @ 3:53 PM for co-winners of the COD.

Please change shoes quickly and report to podium.

Anonymous said...

Hi BSNYC

I understand that a few weeks back you made the risky decision to use regurlar 650b tubes in your 27.5+ tires.

Is this akin to using a non-gravel approved bike on gravel? Did the wheel/bike/you explode?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 8:54pm,

It did not but I expect it will any moment now.

I live for excitement.

--Wildcat Etc.

stevie van zandt said...

Ziggy may play Qatar, but I'm not gonna play sun city

bike bum said...

it does look like a map of tassie

Glen Larimer said...

Has Wildcat Rock Machine seen the Sex Machine bicycle?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NamvQyxQrLs/TgEg1qtL-qI/AAAAAAAAIv0/PDppWClCLz8/s1600/Worlds_Most_Unique_Bicycles_21.jpg

Anonymous said...

The Snow Goatee Mobubble must belong to Apollo Ohno

"Virgin Whiteness" are you color blind?

Dorothy, if only I could meet you on your knees I could give up the stem, er wait, I'm keeping the stemhumpper.

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