Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Happy Pub Day To Me!

Whelp, today's the day, my new book is officially out:


(My new book, which is officially out.)

Amazon?  Sure.
B and N?  Why not?
iTunes?  Holy crap, we live in the future!
Your local independent bookseller?  Abso-freaking-lutely.
A Walz cap combo?  Coming soon, baby!

And so on.

Speaking of your local independent bookseller, if yours is Little City Books in Hoboken I hope to see you there this Saturday:


Look at that, there's a whole other city right next to ours with a subway and everything, who knew?

Anyway, my book could not possibly be more essential, for yesterday I was browsing our little kiddie tablet with the youngest of my 6.022140857 × 10 23 children when, to my utter shock, this popped up:


Yep, that's Bret all right:


And as much as I admire his preternatural ubiquity it's horrifying to think that the next generation of "connected" children will grow up thinking this is what a bicycle is.  So as far as I'm concerned the only solution is to pour as much sensible advice as possible on top of this conflagration of misinformation, so that one day we may extinguish the flames of velocipedal ignorance forevermore.

Or something.

Though I must admit I'll take Bret's brand of goateed time-trialling over this contraption any day:

Yes, for too long our arms have been idle, or at best performing unnecessary tasks such as braking or controlling the bike.  Now they have been freed from the tyranny of uselessness by the TwiCycle:



No longer will the left hand not know what the right hand is doing, because it will be helping to pedal the bike along with the right hand, praise Jesus!

This does pose some linguistic problems though, since of course "pedal" comes from the Latin root Ped, meaning "foot," so you can't really pedal with your hands now, can you?  Meanwhile the Latin word for hand is manus, so I guess technically you could call it "manipulating," but that implies being skillful, which nobody who would opt to ride such a contraption could possibly be.  Perhaps then it's simplest just to replace Ped with Man and call pedaling with your hands "manaling," which coincidentally is one letter away from what it looks like you're doing when you're riding this thing:


See how when you're manaling hard you're bent over with your shoulders heaving rhythmically like you're churning buttermilk?


Of course you do.

By the way, I could very well be wrong, but that looks a lot like the Fred Stretch on Key Biscayne just over the causeway from Miami.  If you've ever been there it makes makes complete and utter sense that the TwiCycle was born there, since it's just that sort of flat, monied monotony that allows the mind to wander into horrible ideas like this one.

I also enjoyed the FAQ:

Do I always have to use both legs and arms?

You can use only legs… only arms…or any combination of those. The arms drive the front wheel and the legs drive the back wheel completely independent of each other. Also the handlebars can be locked in position turning TwiCycle into a normal bike.

Sorry, nothing could turn that into a normal bike.

Plus, as I understand it the "Q" in "FAQ" is supposed to mean "Question," but some of the FAQs aren't even Qs at all, they're just confrontational statements:

Watch when that chain gets caught in the front wheel!

Watch when the back chain gets caught too!

The front wheel drive mechanism is no different to a normal rear wheel mechanism and this has been tried and tested for a 100 years. The risks are the same as for any other standard bicycle.

It's alarming that anybody designing any kind of a bicycle is unaware of how much more disastrous it is to lock up the front wheel than the rear.  If 100 years from now that stupid front wheel derailleur doesn't get stuck in the spokes and send someone flying over the bars then we can talk.

Anyway, later on in the FAQ they do start asking Qs again, only those Qs are now directed towards the Q-er, which is exactly the opposite of what an FAQ is supposed to be:

Is this meant to make cycling easier? Literally see no point in this?

The point is to exercise your ARMS and upper body which you can’t do with a normal bicycle.

Also great for climbing hills as you can take over with arms once your legs get tired.

Another benefit is extra speed and in a mountain bike version better traction!

TwiCycle is currently one of the very few sports which allow FULL body exercise. There is no muscle on your body that you can’t put to use.

They really should have called this section "FDRITFORQ"  (or Frequent Defensive Retorts In The Form Of Rhetorical Questions).

Given this sort of nonsense it's hard not to conclude that all the good bike ideas were used up 50 years ago, but believe it or not here's a Kickstarter for something I actually kind of want:



My first thought was "Great, just what the world needs, more crabon," but then I watched the video.  Apparently you just clip this rack onto any road bike here:


And here:


And you're ready to go:


Hey, if that works like they say it does I'd certainly find lots of good use for it on the old Fred Sled.  Clearly I'm not alone either, because there's 28 days to go and already people have funded the fuck out of this thing:


Nicely done.

Seems like this crabon Fred rack could be just the ticket for taking advantage of Amtrak's new carry-on bike service:


Cyclists who long to ride amid the mountain air of New England this spring and summer will soon have an easy way to get there.

Beginning May 1, Amtrak will offer carry-on bike service, allowing passengers to ride in designated cars outfitted with bike racks on its Vermonter line, which operates each day between Washington, D.C., and St. Albans, Vt., with stops in cities including Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Conn., Springfield, Mass., and Essex Junction, Vt.

I must say the idea of taking a train up to Vermont for a day or two of cycling sounds extremely appealing to me, though what with my ∞ children the chances of my doing that anytime soon are fairly slim.  Sure, there was a time when I had no kids and little responsibility and could have lit out on a moment's notice, yet instead of taking awesome bike trips I frittered away all my time and money clinging to the back of the pack in amateur bike races.  What the hell was I thinking?!?

Let that be a lesson to you.

Anyway, here's how the train works:

Cyclists who wish to use the service must arrive at their station a half-hour before boarding time. Train cars with bike service will have “bike-friendly” stickers on them, and there will be instructions in the rack area about how to load the bikes. The front wheel of each bike must be removed to fit it into the space, and extras, like panniers and saddle bags, must be removed as well before you add the bike to the rack. An Amtrak crew member will be on hand to help.

There are some sweet gravel roads in Vermont as I understand it, so I hope that Amtrak crew member has been trained in the intricacies of disk brakes and Boost 148.

95 comments:

EricBikeCO said...

Hi.

Bromptonaut said...

Wow, these drugs are really working!

John Swanson said...

Podium!

Bryan said...

Wow..top 5 - with reading! That Tailfin is awesome. My Synapse is so much more capable than doing more than just riding the local club circuits.

Anonymous said...

Based on the last time I checked Amtrak prices, it would be cheaper to hire a limo to cart you and your bike around New England.

Jasper said...

Early doors

Frickus Rungus said...

Is Amtrak boost 141 x 9 compatible?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

top X

streepo said...

scranus

N/A said...

I would buy the book, but I cannot read. It is my secret shame!

DB said...

My book should be delivered today or tomorrow and I won't be able to read it until Friday, so for those of you with early copies don't give the ending away. I want to be suprised.

Dooth said...

Goofy tiller effect on the twicycle is off the charts; however, it lessens when a clown suit is worn.

Grump said...

Just wondering if the Twitcycle will be allowed at Red Hook next year.
PS. Good luck with your book sales.

Anonymous said...

Didn't think I'd ever see "Essex Jct" or "St. Albans," towns I grew up in, in this blog. When I hear "Essex Junction" and "Amtrak," I still associate it with one of the deadliest US train crashes in the 20th century... here's a story of a group of cyclists heading to Montreal caught in that wreck:

http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/weather-disasters/flood-derails-train-williston-vt

Don't know why I'd want to throw this damp rag on Amtrak's encouraging announcement other than mere reminiscence and, after all, five dead isn't a bad stat against a typical day on the highways between Washington and Montreal.

N/A said...

The one muscle that is getting the biggest workout with the twitcycle is the anal sphincter.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

So it seems you have to kind of pack up or fold up your bike anyway to get it on the Amtrain. Don't those trains roam around the country empty anyway? All the trains should have bike provisions.

Tailfin = today's Plestcher, Plescher, or however you spell 60s / 70s ubiquitous rear rack.

If Criteriums / Criteria are crits, Time Trials should be tits.
He placed well in the Saturday morning tits.

vsk



Old timer said...

Huh? What?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

18th hole!

Dooth said...

Just finished reading Wildcat's new book. *SPOILER ALERT*: The bike mechanic did it.

Roille Figners said...

If it's nothing but confrontational statements it's, really more of a Frequently Uttered Confrontational Statements list, or FUCS.

grasshopper said...

oh yeah, hit the deck on that ninja chainring

3G said...

What about gravel bike specific cars? Surely you can't take a gravel bike on a standard amtrak train. You'd die!

NHcycler said...

Dooth said...
The bike mechanic did it.

In the artisinal cheese shop with the pedal wrench.

Just shoot me said...

I wasted a lot of time doing sports instead of scenic touring, but then after several years of bike touring, i took up bike polo; so hopefully i will soon be eliminated from the gene pool.

crosspalms said...

If the twi people can also harness the energy from the facial tics and Tourette's their bike will induce, they may approach the speed of light with it. Look out, Bret...

crosspalms said...

NYcycler

... in the microbrewery with the frame pump

Francois said...

The crabon rack is only good because it's a nice way to add a rack to bikes without rack mounts. It's the kind of stuff that is only needed because manufacturers are too lazy to add proper mounts on their bikes.

Anonymous said...

As the Amtrak railcar peloton rolls through Philly, all the Freds yell "Hold your line! Watch out for the support vehicle!".

McFly said...

Great. Now I have to worry about chainring tattoo's on my forearms.

crosspalms said...

Just noticed on Streetsblog that Amtrak is starting the same thing between Chicago and Milwaukee. Yay for more options!

Freddy Murcks said...

I thought it said "crabon fredly clamp." I sort of like the idea of crabon fibre nipple clamps for Freds - QuickStarter here I cum.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Oops! Had a dyslexic moment there. Was much more excited about the carbon rack system when I thought it was called "Tefillin" rather than "Tailfin."

trama said...

congardulatons on making a book!

I will get one, Copperfields should have it out here in chickentown sonoma

not_the_bieks_again said...

Ohhh Francois.... Dear, dear Francois.

You learn a hard lesson in the biek business trying to be helpful adding a hole for a rack mount to a racy-looking biek.

Customer: "WTF IS THAT HOLE ON THE BACK OF THE FRAME???!!! CONTADOR'S BIEK GOT NO RACK MOUNTS THEIRFORE I WILL NOT BUY IT!!! I WILL SPEND MY $1000 ON ANOTHER MORE RACING BIEK. STUPID PEOPLES."

Suddenly it's much more difficult to sell 1000 bieks you ordered from Kinesis in 3-6 months and your dealers are mad. All because you helped them out by giving the user options.

CommieCanuck said...

You started publishing under your real name, not even a grace period of "the author formally known as BikeSnob", and we all know a symbol is coming, like this, the Egyptian symbol of self-flatting tires.

Little red Trek, baby you're much too fast.

Inspector Gadget said...

... behind the coffee shop with the chain whip

Vernal Magina said...

“bike-friendly” stickers ?

I sure hope they aren't triangle-shaped, black-rimmed and yellow...

Josephus said...

Here's the full Bret gallery: http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?models=12385087&context_photo=60776533

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

The Twix bike has twice the flavor. Lots of Freds waste energy moving their upper body on big climbs, so maybe that energy can be put to use.

Regarding their Frequently Uttered Confrontational Knowledge - Ostensibly Erroneous Statements, or FUCK-OES, a front chain is different than a rear chain in that a broken rear chain may result in bruised pants yabbies and scranus; a broken front chain will result in facial disfigurement from both the faceplant on the big ring and the whip effect of the broken chain as it comes around. That is if the rider doesn't go over the handlebars due to a locked front wheel. Perhaps the Twix bike needs a special helment with a Lexan face shield.

Anonymous said...

maybe that stretch of road is John Ringling causeway in Sarasota, Fl. You know the clowns from the circus used to live there. Apparently, they still do.

brett said...

fukking eh

nahmean said...

Whoa the Bret gallery is crazy. What's going on with this one? That's the weirdest perspective shift I've ever seen in a photo.

Anonymous said...

Guess we'll be able to spot the twicycle n00bs by the chainring prints...on their face

Unknown said...

Do you disembark from the train with your bike still in pieces, or how does that work? I've taken bikes on Amtrak a few times (using the laughably-named "roll-on" service in the midwest), and the experience has been quite variable, ranging from "that was pretty simple and easy" to "I'm glad we met that second conductor who had a better plan for us than disassembling our bikes and somehow wrestling them into overhead storage" to "ack, the train is leaving while my bike is still on the platform!"

Freddy Murcks said...

Regarding the TwiCycle: I really don't mind that people do stupid things and "invent" stupid stuff. Stupid people have always been and always will be stupid. Mr. TwiCycle Guy - let your freak flag fly and ride around on your stupid bike as much as you like. But I have to draw the line when stupid people like Mr. TwiCycle Guy expect other people to enthusiastically join in on the stupidity.

JLRB said...

Amtrack's new slogan "Put your scarnus on a train with us"

Spokey said...


whew

sweet baby james. made it pre half century.

Anonymous said...

...At Whole Foods with a crank puller

leroy said...

My dog informs me that's not manaling. That's a mani-pedi.

Proper "Hey, who turned out the lights?" Dave said...


What that TwiCycle really looks like is one of the bugs from Starship Troopers. And no I don't mean Denise Richards.

Avogadro said...


your number's up snobster

Anonymous said...

According to amazon tracking my book is out for delivery today. Looking forward to it. I hope there isn't too much kid crap in it like the last one. I'm childless and I find nothing more insufferable than hearing someone prattle on about the trials and tribulations of parenthood. I could give a shit. Let's break parenthood down, shall we:

1. Consummation - okay that part if fun.

2. Pregnancy - I've heard that it sucks big time for the women and as an added bonus, it's at this point that you are no longer attractive to your husbands. Sorry.

3. Childbirth - I have heard it described as a extremely painful experience culminated by pulling out some bloody wrinkled alien out of a lady's pee hole, thereby ruining the pee-hole forever, making step one much less fun for the fellas. But you keep doing it anyway, because the world absolutely needs more humans.

4. Infancy - I've heard this stage involves almost no sleep and changing crappy diapers like 15 times a day. Sounds rewarding.

5. the Toddler Years - as I have witnessed you spend every waking hour chasing you kid around to keep it from injuring itself. Awesome.

6. elementary school - okay, so now you finally get rid of the little parasite for a few hours each day by shipping them off to either an extremely expensive private school where they can learn to be a prick or off to public school where they can be bullied daily while getting a subpar education.

7. Highschool - as I understand it, at this point in the best case your kids are embarrassed by you and don't want to be seen with you, in the worst case they hate you with a violent passion (best to sleep with your door locked in this case). Also, if you have a daughter you live in constant fear of unwanted pregnancies with a loser boyfriend. Let's not even get into the inevitability of drugs and DUIs.

8. College - If you child happens to be of at least middling intelligence this is where the fun begins. I hear the average all-in cost of a decent undergraduate university in the U.S. is something $400,000 per child. Unless you send the kid to a state school, but then they likely will be living in your basement into their early 30's.

9. Marriage, etc. - there is a 100% that your son or daughter is very likely to marry someone you don't approve of. Your new son/daughter in law will find you to be really annoying and controlling. Oh yeah, and you get to foot the bill for a very expensive wedding. Don't worry though, with a 50% divorce rate, you most likely will get another chance to do it "better". Sucker.

10. Your old age - You beautiful and caring children will look for the first opportunity to put you in a home so they can get you out of their hair. Marriages have been wrecked over couples arguing about what to do with the old folks, so at least you will have that consolation. They will visit you at the home weekly at first, but then those visits become less frequent, but that's okay because at that point our friend dementia has set up shop in your brain and you don't remember who they are anyway.

11. Your Death - something you've been looking forward to for years by this point.


Happy Mothers Day!

Anonymous said...

Yo! This is stimo. Is this the real Johnny Swanson?

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...


At the Food Coop with the Campagnolo corkscrew.


vsk

N/A said...

So, Anonymous (if that's even your real name!), I see that you are unfamiliar with the female anatomy.

N/A said...

... with a handlebar mustache and never-washed denim.

leroy said...

Dear Anon 1:58 -

You could get a dog instead.

But ix-nay on the et-way dog smell jokes.

Some breeds are easily offended.

Anonymous said...

Avogadro's Number and infinity? Feeling a little numerically superior today, are you?

Anonymous said...

No.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

So if the Latin word for hand is manus, I wonder the Latin word for scranus is?

Dooth said...

Scranus IS a Latin word. If one were to read the classics--Plato, Aristotle et al--scranus is sprinkled liberally in reference to donkeys and goats.

N/A said...

Oh, I forgot:

Wildcat: Congrats on your book dropping today.



Does one "drop" a new book? Doesn't seem right. Maybe we need to coin a new termway for that.

ken e. said...

more ti locks or... brake pad money.

crosspalms said...

... in the protected bike lane with the squad car

Frickus Rungus said...

... Brett did it by causing a time paradox that resulted in spinergies never being invented which causes 100s of fatal fixie and triathalete crashes when their wheel(s) disappear.

Frickus Rungus said...

In the Tardis with a torx wrench...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Avogadro's number is 867-5309. She gave it to me in a bar this one time after three shots of Absinthe.

crosspalms said...

WIWM
Call her up for Cinco de Mayo. Can't make guacamole without Avogadro.

Roille Figners said...

Forget Avogadro and hit up Alamogordo - she's the Bomb!

P. Bateman said...

you know, that Nonplussed bibshort mother f'er never did respond to my linkedin request.

who does he think he is? think he's gotten a little big in those bigshorts now that he has this sweet Snob modeling gig.

P. Bateman said...

just catching up on yesterday's post

holy f'ing lord that redhook crash and the video from the good ol' athens twilight race really make me glad that i've never really thought: i want to race my bike in a tight pack at high speeds.

they used to have haybales on that turn in athens which i would think would be a little softer than those plastic barriers. crashes were always expected and usually quite dramatic in that turn.

hmmm...this years race is this saturday. that might be a fun little road trip.

Dooth said...

The Amtrak "bike-friendly" signs are nice and all, but I prefer "bike-loving"...not just for public transportation but for all businesses seeking cyclist customers. No problem with "bike-humping", too.

Spokey said...


avogadro if fine as long as it is a nice avogadro pi.


i had to clean up a bunch of book droppings today. but i think they were from the cat. not snobbie.

CycloXdresser said...

So Wildcat's book is 'out'. I've never thought of written things as being gay.

EricBikeCO said...

Hi.

DB said...

Just finished the book. Never saw that ending coming: Paragon Sports with the ABC Home Store pillows.

Prodagirl Son said...

Have you ever had a hot beef injection?

bad boy of dc said...

Congrats on the official release.hey!where's the centerfold?

DB said...

No stickers in my book! Damn Mailman took them.

crosspalms said...

...NAHBS with a Vanilla seatpost...

Some guy from upstate said...

Kind of surprised the Amtrak bike service didn't elicit a mention of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyz5d3entBw

Proda G. said...

Where's the beef?

Anonymous said...

Listening to your broadcast on FattyCast, I must say the last truly revolutionary change to bicycles was the indexed shifter. That was revolutionary. All the other things they have changed on bikes have been simply incremental improvements since then.

Anonymous said...

On the patio, at another brew pub, with a tri-Allen.

JLRB said...

Book doping

JLRB said...

I can't remember which entailer I used for the preorder but no delivery in site ....

Brandon said...

Amtrak managed to find bike racks/bike hooks that require the front wheel to be removed? At least the front fender is easier to take off than the rear...

NHcycler said...

I was pleasantly surprised Sunday after the 5 boro NYC ride to find bicycle hooks in the Metro trains out of Grand Central into CT. Two per car ain't enough, but it's a start.

McFly said...

I, too, want a rack that compliments my road bike beautifully.

DB said...

Thank you, McFly.
It's going to be a great Wednesday.

JLRB said...

Even USA Today is talking about mechanical doping MECHANICAL DOPING

Giro director Mauro Vegni is taking UCI president Brian Cookson's word that cycling's governing body has the definitive test for mechanical doping.

The UCI maintains that its use of a tablet device producing magnetic resistance scans is more effective than "flawed" heat-seeking tests, which it says are only effective if bikes are filmed up close by motorcycles on the road.

Rumors of riders using motors have circulated for several years, and were fueled by a French broadcaster last month using thermal imagery.

"President Cookson assured us that a lot of attention will be paid to this issue," Vegni said. "We had offered to help buy thermal-imagery equipment. ... But I trust (the tablets)."

Fred Clydesdale said...

"Hoboken"! Comedy gold! You're the man, bikesnobnyc!

JLRB said...

I wonder if the tablets are like these

Anonymous said...

IKEA is soon to sell a chainless, sexless bicycle:

http://inhabitat.com/ikea-is-launching-a-chainless-unisex-bicycle-called-sladda/

Spin Up said...

95