Wednesday, May 11, 2016

This Wednesday Post Is Full of Important Information.

All right, enough messing around already.  Let's get down to business.  I've got a book out, goddamn it:



That means from time to time I crawl out of my hidey-hole and engage with the world, as I did yesterday when I appeared on Wall Street Journal sports columnist and accomplished author Jason Gay's "Free For All" podcast:


Bike Snobbery With Eben Weiss and David Trimble

Jason Gay deep dives into all things cycling with Eben Weiss, the "Bike Snob," and author of "The Ultimate Bicycle Owner's Manual." Then, David Trimble, the man behind the hugely popular bike race, the "Red Hook Criterium," talks international cycling and the latest viral bike-crashes making headlines.

As it happens, this podcast was the perfect length for my evening commute yesterday, and there's nothing like riding through the scintillating streets of Manhattan on a warm spring evening while listening to the sounds of your own voice.  It was inspiring, and I felt like a balder Mary Tyler Moore:


Indeed I may have to start my own damn podcast so I can revel in this sort of aural onanism more often.  Only problem is I'd probably have to have guests, and it's probably difficult to fast-forward over them while riding.

By the way, long-time readers of this blog (all two of you) will recall that Jason Gay is the journalist who officially revealed my identity way back in 2010:

(RIP Scattante)

I owe him a debt of gratitude for that, if only because when my kids get older I'll have something to wave drunkenly in their faces while ranting about how the world once cared about me.

Anyway, it's a good podcast, and for the vinyl enthusiasts out there I'm working on an app that will overlay the sound of crackling and popping over whatever audio track you're listening to, so that's two (2) reasons to listen right there.

And while I'm taking care of business, I'm now officially announcing a date for The BSNYC Gran Fondon't!


My initial intent (and the whole concept behind the Gran Fondon't in the first place) was to do it on the same day as the Gran Fondo New York, which takes place on May 15th.  Alas, that date's no good for me this year (I'm studying for my Bar Mitzvah), so I've finally decided to bump it to the following weekend.

As for the details, I'll provide more details in due course, but figure it will look something like this:

--Early morning start in the far northern reaches of the city;
--50-ish miles of mixed terrain;
--Finish at a convenient point where beer and food will be available for purchase and consumption.

If you were there last year you more or less know the drill, only this year it will be better because you've all been training since then.

Most importantly, let's not make a whole big thing about it.  It's just a Saturday ride.  If you travel any further than, say, New Jersey for this you're crazy.

Meanwhile, in entrepreneurial news, this may very well be the greatest Kickstarter ever kickstarted:



Yeah, that's right, now you can rig your fixie with an exploding charge under the pretense of thwarting thieves:


When tripped by a thief, BIKE MINE detonates a 150db blast of sound; more than enough to startle a thief and raise the alarm. It's a simple, low-tech idea that protects your bicycle, motorbike, boat or jet ski - or anything else that's stored on your property.

This may very well be the first bicycle theft-prevention device inspired by an episode of "The Young Ones:"


And while I'm somewhat skeptical of its efficacy, it certainly is a refreshing (if deafening) alternative to all these smart locks and GPS theft-trackers.

Here's some background on the inventor:

Risks and challenges

If you Google my name you'll see some of the other things I've invented. I already have two Guinness World Records to my name for previous designs. One of them is for the world's loudest bicycle horn. If nothing else, be reassured that I know how to see a project through to completion. I'm a competent engineer and this initial run of BIKE MINES will be assembled by me personally. Although this approach is more labour intensive than farming the job out to a third party, it means I'm not in the hands of suppliers thousands of miles away. The successful funding of this project will pay for the tools required for batch production.

Oh sure, selling homemade explosive devices on the Internet sounds like a very sound business model.  I'm sure this will be a tremendous success.  Though I did run his name through a popular search engine as he suggested, and it turns out he also did the pyrotechnics for Letle Viride's 1978 world tour:


If you were there you know how awesome they were, though unless you were wearing safety gear and a flame-retardant suit you're also probably disfigured somehow.

Anyway, you should seriously consider funding this project, if for no other reason than if this thing takes off and he's serious about making them all himself he'll probably need the money for some prosthetic digits.

Lastly, speaking of safety gear, apparently the most prestigious accolade in Delaware is the Golden Bicycle Helmet:


At the annual Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit on Thursday, Delaware’s highest award for service to cycling – only awarded twice before – went to Governor Jack Markell.

Presumably it will take pride of place on his mantle, right beside his Bronze Pie Plate.

86 comments:

Spokey said...

podi 2nd day in a row?

Spokey said...


gotta get a life

wishiwasmerckx said...

Podium

Anonymous said...

Double first for Spokey, so third?

N/A said...

Onanism is as good a way to pass time as anything. Even if it's aural.

cdinvb said...

I gotta head for the shower. Just got in from a ride.

N/A said...

It was inspiring, and I felt like a balder Mary Tyler Moore

Though it was not a popular grooming choice at the time of that picture, Mary Tyler Moore was totally bald, if you know what I mean. Smooth as silk.

Eric the Infrequent said...

Prepare yourselves snobbites. Premium Rush is on TBS!

Spokey said...


i have boxes of old 12ga shells. mostly 8 shot i think. will they fit the bike mine so i don't have to buy replacements all the time?

Bryan said...

Dela...where?? Ah I have fond memories of monthly trips to Sussex Co - the only county in DE that I give a damn about. The other two are kind of trashy. New Castle is basically a mix of Philly and Jersey, and Kent is kind of ghetto. The only things going for it are Dover and Smyrna. Sussex...that's where it's at. Corn fields, chicken farms, craft beer, and beaches.
If you did a podcast, I'd listen.

janinedm said...

I live uptown so I should try to come out. Vanity makes me want to bring my pretty new bike, but I should probably ride the filthy Marin. (The chain and cassette are clean, okay?)

Spokey said...


a nice ride is to cape may and then to dellie ware on the lewes fairy. and hipsters will feel at home for lunch in lewes with vegan and sprouty dishes all over the place.

Anonymous said...

podcast me snob

p o d c a s t

crosspalms said...

I think my new hobby is going to be riding around town and attaching Bike Mines to random SUVs.

N/A said...

The "Filthy Marin" is an advanced deviation of the "Dirty Sanchez". Instead of just a moustache being made, it's a full Fu-Manchu and soul patch.

DB said...

Aarggg! Can't make the Fondon't again.
Too many graduation parties to attend.
Next year.

janinedm said...

Wouldn't a filthy Marin be any sex act done on a pile of bikepacking gear?

Col. Kilgore said...

Idea wise I'm being robbed, I've been protecting my bike with a Claymore Mine for years. I love the smell of burned bike thief in the morning.

BTO said...

Devon is flying in for the Fondont singing try, try, try, let it ride.

leroy said...

"Anyway, it's a good podcast, and for the vinyl enthusiasts out there I'm working on an app that will overlay the sound of crackling and popping over whatever audio track you're listening to, so that's two (2) reasons to listen right there."

My dog informs me that, until the vinyl enthusiast app, you can listen to the podcast while enjoying a bowl of Rice Krispies in your boxers.

Personally, however, I hate it when he puts a bowl of Rice Krispies in my boxers.

N/A said...

I think a sex act done on a pile of bikepacking gear could be called the "Gnarly Ramble". Or maybe "The Great Divide"? How about "The Slippery Revelate"?

goat legs said...

Five words... PODCAST!!! Please and thank you.

goat legs said...

BTW, I've been a loyal reader since '08. That makes 3! or... 1/3 of an erection.

dancesonpedals said...

You're such a Fred...


If you had kids, they'd be three sons
If you danced, it would be on the ceiling
If you dealt drugs, you'd be dead (that's what I said)
If you drove, you'd stop with your feet

McFly said...

My boat does that on a good day without any strap-on aftermarket accessories.

Bottle Ready said...


My ass does that on a good day as well. Fueled by great Northern White Beans

Roille Figners said...

Good old regular theft alarms produce negative value for society, are a nuisance to entire sleeping neighborhoods, and supposedly protect one person's stupid property (not like anybody else should give a shit) but don't even succeed at that.

Starting from that place, you're then gonna go even further in the wrong direction? Make the sound louder, more intrusive, more traumatic? Make it more like a gunshot? Make an insignificant event sound more like a significant one?

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Snob's gon-na make it after all !!!!

OK, no one remembers the theme song ...

JanineDM ! By all or most means, do the Great Fondon't! Last year's was a lot of fun. But don't let Snobby's self - defecation/depreciation/degradation/deportation/embrocation fool you about how slow he says he is. I thought the pack was fast! Hence all my pictures were from the lanterne rouge position.
I suggest a bit wider tyres specially if it rains some time before. The Croton trail is really nice but every now and then we hit some soft spots and ...

GRAVELLE !!
We made it that day but are all on borrowed time since.
I really gotta flicker my pictures one day.

I am going to a wedding on the 21st, hence I won't have the snob pack asking me things like "You OK bro? you're breathin kinda hard!"
The wedding's at like 11:30 am (I neva hearda dat, ... maybe that's just MY invite!). One of my friends from the bike club. We're just having a meeting that happens to have a wedding going on in it!

In other other news.
I helped a smashing young lady on a single speed off Bowery this morning (UK accent and all!). Her chain popped off her single speed. She said she had to take it to X$%^# Bike shop to have it fixed. Seemed kind of like taking your JagUa to the JagUa dealer to change a light bulb... Well me and my crescent wrench fixed her wagon. Her axle was set to the chain quick release position.

Cheers !!

vsk




Anonymous said...

I showed Bike Mine to my dad. He said it reminded him of fragging officers in Vietnam.

Freddy Murcks said...

There are a lot of reasons why I like you, Snob, but one of the most significant is that we seem to have the same cultural reference points. I too grew up with and love the Young Ones.

grog said...

We luv our gov.
Golden Helmet.
First State.
First Rate.

janinedm said...

vsk, good to know. This is why I don't waste my precious phone battery on Strava, I rather save it for Google Maps so I can at any point just say, "I'm going home to take a bubble bath." As a matter of fact, this makes me feel more confident about joining. I've never fallen off the back of a recreational ride, but based on times where I've bumped into friends where I'm on my Workcycle and they're on some kind of road bike or fast single speed, I'd rather be left than hold anybody back. My only real paranoia-level fears (as opposed to things I worry about at a sensible level) are wet metal and bonking. If I push myself in a pack I can't hang with, I'd be afraid of running out of juice. Anyway, for me the real accomplishment would be waking up early on a Saturday to ride bikes. I'm primarily a transportation cyclist so overtime I hop on a bike with an intended destination of "around," I surprise myself.

Big Daddy said...

Think of the laughs you'd get from attatching the Bike Mine to the milk container in the fridge, for your wife to find.

got_bieks? said...

Be careful as to bring the correct biek to the gran fondon't. You might die on the wrong biek. If it costs less than $10,000 death is imminent.

Snobby, what pressure you runnin' for the Fondon't?

Did you get a threatening letter from Speshulized legal yet? Gran fondon't sounds exactly like Roubaix, that city Speshulized owns.

Anonymous said...

Aaarrrggghh! The Gran Fondon't is the same day as the Tour of the Battenkill instead of being conveniently scheduled a week before like last year. I paid real cash money that I sold my kids into multiple days of indentured servitude to earn to ride that one, so I'm not gonna make the Gran Fondon't. I know, big mistake to forsake hanging out with cleverly snarking literati in order to hang out with a bunch of Freds who are all way faster than I am, but I'm never gonna get that money back. Sigh...

got_bieks? said...

Victor,

Pics or it didn't happen with the female riding a biek that needed a fixin.

Digits? What pressure was she runnin?

NHcycler said...

janinedm said...

"Wouldn't a filthy Marin be any sex act done on a pile of bikepacking gear?"


Only if the chain and cassette are clean...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Janinedm, you can get past your paranoia-level fear by bringing along an energy gel packet or two. If you feel yourself fading, simply down one and a few minutes later, your energy levels should head north again.

GU is probably the most popular brand, and they come in an impressive array of flavors, a couple actually good, most tolerable, and some which would make a billy goat puke.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if “Lovely Bicycle” will be reviewing the BIKE MINE?

1904 Cadardi said...

Riding the dirty Marin sounds like lesbian revenge sex. As in "You know my kinky friend Marin, well after Jeff dumped me I went for a ride this weekend..."

If you're nice, maybe she'll clean your bike.

1904 Cadardi said...

Freddy Murcks,

While it's believable that you love the Young Ones (who doesn't?), the fact that you're here kind of disproves the growing up part.

Freddy Murcks said...

1904 Cadardi @2:28 - I will take that as a complement.

Anonymous said...

Product testing the Explode-A-Larm would be fun. Set up a number of bikes and other valuables you don't care about within view of some high up perch, then watch to see how many thieves are actually scared off enough to leave the goods behind.

N/A said...

You gots to double-up on them biek firecrackers. Maybe more. If you don't blow the tires off, then they ain't worth a damn!

N/A said...

Fingers are cheap, you got 10 of 'em.

Regular guy said...

The sooner you internalize that the world does not care about you, the better off you'll be. The world simply doesn't care, unless your Prince or somebody. But given the lonely opiate induced death, it sounds like even he might have thought nobody cared.

Speaking of Minneapolis, I'm sure you are aware that Mary Tyler Moore was set in the erstwhile Minne-Apple (like the Big Apple, only smaller, get it?) If not, then the ruse was successful after all.

The Bike Mine has no chance of being a hit here stateside. First, there is the aforementioned selling of explosive devices on the internet, let alone shipping/receiving them internationally. Second, they may not be so effective in neighborhoods where gunfire is commonplace, which rules out most of the US.






N/A said...

Also, I'll throw in another approval for the Young Ones. That was a wicked funny show. Blaze up some Wednesday Weed and fire up the TV streaming box!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...dang, man. I can't Fondon't again this year. I have to take care of one of my 19 children.

...Unless... could I bring her along? I usually let her drink part of my beer. She just learned how to ride solo the past weekend, too. So she might want to do some gravel grinding.

Dooth said...

Oh, gee whiz, Wildcat, I was hoping the Fondont would be on a weekday so I could attend...and I was going to bring hookers.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

JanineDM, definitely go, you'll have a good time.

got_bieks?, she was most definitely picture worthy! I don't think she'd believe me being a member at large of a world class cycling publication... ay honey, I'm just gonna hypalink some pitchas o you ... you know for da intanet !!
I think the original Gottbieks flew Messerschmidts.

If Ms. Babble and Velouria of Lovely Bicycle were going to the Fondon't I'd no-show the wedding. But it would doubly backfire as I did not "train" all winter. I took the train!

vsk

Anonymous said...

Scheisse, I'm going to be out of town for the fondon't. I was looking forward to delivering my critique of "the Ultimate Bicycles Owner's Manual" directly to the author, over a beer and a jelly donut (my standard post-ride meal). Next time, my friend.

janinedm said...

I know about GU, man. But by the time you're dipping into GU just to stick with people on a recreational ride it's time to take your ass home and have some green juice and a bubble bath. Speaking for me only.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...A show of hands: how many of you loyals commenters can make the fondon't?

...Dooth, aren't we all hookers out there on bicycles?

dop said...

A real Fred could ride the Fondu and the Fondon't in a single calendar year.

Forget Gu. I've discovered Knoppers.

Roille Figners said...

Like a total spazmo, I usually tend toward actual human food like raisins and peanuts and that kind of totally inefficient non-scientific stuff. I'll never win the charity ride at this rate. At my fredliest I did use to drink that Perpetuem crap, but it's creepy.

Roille Figners said...

Can't make the Fondon't because all my Learjets are headed up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun, sorry.

bieks said...

You're right, that's too far to travel for a bike ride. Now if you could get Bret, bib-shorts guy, recumbabe and/or Lonewolf to show up ...

Delaware's going to need a new golden helment supplier. Drumpf will ban Canadian corporations by next year.

dop said...

Training for the Fondon't? Can a phrase be oxymoronic?

At Fondon't I there were guys on fredsleds ready for a hammerfest, and folks in flipflops on folding commuters.

Per my strava notification of "flybys", someone rode 20 miles before joining us, and left us to go 65 miles,. The more relaxed crowd headed home after the coffee break in Tarrytown.

Anonymous said...

This Kickstarter project is crazy. Imagine the SWAT teams that will show up to a city near you when people call 911 to report an explosion outside. Stupid idea.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

dop, is that your bike all the way to the left leaning on the light pole?

dop said...

No, that's vsk's gorgeous Peugeot.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Lob willing if the weather continues to cooperate this Spring for all BSNY-sponsored biek rides (no really bad rain or snow), I'll be there, but the widest tire I'll have will be a non-dirt and non-gravel certified 700 x 25 so I will be slower than slow on any mud and gravel portions of the ride cause I don't want to die. Since I'm only coming from Jersey this won't qualify me as crazy.

dop said...

Excuse me...randeneur (sp)

commie said...

Kickstarter, you wild and seducing vixen. The problem is that the exploding bike thing is too noisy, and makes smoke, which causes cancer and breaks bylaws. I would suggest he replace the explosive with a source of polonium 210, rendering the person who nudged your steed of courage horribly dead in 24 hours.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Hey looka me! I'm famous!

I'm in the pale blue jersey in front of the guy with the red jersey toward the right.

Muchos thankos dop ! Yes, Peugeot PX-50, poor man's randannouah, except I put a ton of lipstick on that 650b pig. A tiny litle handwritten note inside the seat tube said "Toutes les conditions, à l'exception du gravier, Vous mourrez."

vsk

Spokey said...

dop at 3:33 PM

wow. i'll have to try those. no hfcs. no hydrogenated oils that i can see. prob more sugar than i should have but the rest looks ok.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...vsk. That's is a sweet ride. Looks like it's got all the lipstick, bells and whistles. chapeau!

Regular guy said...

So I checked out the transcript of the WSJ/BSnob podcast rather than listen to it, since we all know what Snob looks like now, but I still don't know and don't want to know what he sounds like.

Here is a snippet, very entertaining:

"and joining me today it is ... a real authority on the world ... who made a name for itself ... originally anonymously ... as ... bike snob ... and my niece he ... and his real name ... is Evan wise and ... like my Sufi's the New Yorker ... and he has a new book ... which is called ... she's that, he's just."

Anonymous said...

News of the Day from New York Magazine:

Leo DiCaprio doesn't wear a helment!

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Fondont may be a possibility for this aged wheel of cheese, provided some uptight LIRR conductor doesn't decide to show how impotent he or she is and demand to see if my papers are in order. Gotta have that LIRR bike permit.

Roille Figners said...

The guy in the bright yellow healemenette - is that the mythical "guy on a 3-speed" we've heard about?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...RF... I think that is the trois-vitesse dude.

Postman said...

I think there would be problems with the shipping of purchased Bike Mine products, it would be categorized as a hazardous material.

fourhourerection said...

Postman-If we elect a libertarian prez here in Canada's underworld, we may become less paranoid of such things. Ain't everythang a friggin' bomb...

BamaPhred said...

No Fondont for me. I'll go ride somewhere and back to support the Fondonters. But one day, I just might find myself in the Bronx on the day of the Fondont. Probably not, but there's always wishful thinking.

Roille Figners said...

on an unrelated note

Is that all you need? Data?

bad boy of the north said...

wow,finally a photo from last year.nice group shot.thanks dop for the pic.vsk,yep yer famous...

dop said...

RF/SR-

Yes, that's him. He was awarded a Walz cap in honor of his fortitude.

JLRB said...

No Fondont for me - look forward to reading about it

Anonymous said...

The troise vitesse dude was wearing chucks. Doesn't he know their soles are too flexy for bike riding?

NourskSiklist said...

I like it when it's not all about NYC cops manslaughtering everyone. Though I do appreciate it as a legitimate concern. Happy trails on the Fondon't. Bike Snob has a posse.

Domo arigato Mister Robotto

Anonymous said...

Can we surmise then from the Fondon't scheduling that Snob is getting circumcised this weekend... Good luck with that.

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