Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Taste the Wednesday!

Saturday, September 10th is the New York City Century:


And the good people at Transportation Alternatives who organize it would like you to know that the price goes up on Friday at midnight so you should register NOW:

Price increase alert!

There are only 3 more days to sign up ​for the NYC Century Bike Tour before registration prices go up, up, up. Secure your spot by midnight on Friday, August 26th to ​save big on registration for the best bike tour in New York City.

Now of course "midnight on Friday" is confusing because if it's Thursday night and the clock strikes midnight then it's technically now Friday at midnight, which would mean the price increase kicks in, yet most people probably think that "midnight on Friday" means when it's already Friday and then it turns midnight, even though that's technically Saturday at midnight.

So which is it?!?

Wel, I have no idea, and so you probably shouldn't take any chances and instead register on Wednesday at like 4pm-ish.

And don't forget that you get $5 off if you register with the discount code "2016BIKESNOB," as per the ad over there in the right-hand margin.

As for the ride itself, I recommend it, and I'm even thinking of joining this year.  (Last year you'll recall I merely settled for doing a "preview ride.")  The Century is generally billed as an "opportunity to ride 100 miles without leaving NYC," and while that may sound like a Flying Dutchman-esque nightmare it's easy to forget this is one big-ass city.  Therefore, this ride is a good opportunity to check out certain corners of town you might not otherwise visit.  Indeed, as per the email it's also going to take in some new terrain:

Take in NYC’s Most Epic Sights

For the first time ever on the NYC Century, you will get to experience riding...
Through seaside City Island
Over the new Bronx Connector from Randall’s Island 
Around the scenic Reservoir in Highland Park

I can vouch for City Island as an eminently worthwhile destination, though I'm ashamed to admit I haven't checked out the Randall's Island Bronx Connector yet, and I don't think I've ever checked out Highland Park, which lies deep in the no-Fred's-land between Brooklyn and Queens.

Oh, the ride also goes right through what is almost-but-not-quite literally my backyard, since I consider Van Cortlandt Park my backyard even though technically it's not:

Van Cortlandt Park: Did you know you can hike in New York? This park is the place, but you’ll get to take the Old Putnam Trail on two wheels.

For the low, low price of $50 I'm happy to furnish you with a detailed guide to what tire pressure you should run for this portion of the ride based on your physical dimensions and equipment details.

Best of all, you might even see a whale:

And of course, you’ll get to pedal through perennial favorite Floyd Bennett Field. See what “wide, open spaces” really means while you ride the open airstrips in New York’s first municipal airport (now decommissioned for you to explore) -- and Ft. Tilden / Jacob Riis Beaches, where thanks to cleaner ocean waters, whales and dolphins are now regularly spotted!

Regularly spotted, really?  I spent basically the first 40 years of my life in the general vicinity of this stretch of coastland and have never, ever seen either a whale or a dolphin, so either they've cleaned the shit out of it recently or this is simply not true.

That's not to take anything away from the area, which is one of my very most favoritest in the whole city, but just don't get your hopes up for seeing Flipper is all I'm saying.

So there.

Speaking of #whatpressureyourunning, I happened to read an article on the bikey Internets recently about a new cyclocross/gravel bike, which people keep insisting are two different things:


Otso™ Cycles officially launched today, lifting its media embargo after many months of planning and product development. The Minnesota-based Otso Cycles is a new bicycle company from the engineers at Wolf Tooth Components, and today the new company unveiled two innovative bikes in the form of its stainless steel, drop bar Warakin, and a carbon fat/plus bike in the form of its new Voytek hard tail. Naturally, we’re focusing most of our attention on the Warakin, and will be giving you a full test on the new bike in the near future.

Now I should start out by saying I wish Otso™ Cycles nothing but success with their new bike.  However, it's worth noting that we've officially reached a point where the gradations between different styles of drop-bar bikes are now smaller than those between different types of tires.  And this bike takes it to another level:

Otso’s description of the Warakin sounds exactly like like a Lycanthrope, but Warakin certainly rolls off the tongue easier. Regardless of the name, the shapeshifting bike can go from wolf to sheep with a quick change at the dropouts, allowing the bike to be optimized to carve up your hairpin-laden cyclocross course, and then your float through your gravel gran fondo the next day.

Sure, you could just change tires, but why stop there when you can also make imperceptibly subtle changes to your bike's geometry?


It's sort of sad that the cyclocross/gravel/whatever set has officially eclipsed roadies, mountain bikers, and even triathletes in anal retentiveness, and that your next off-road ramble will probably involve someone in your group saying, "Wait up everybody, I have to optimize my rear end!"


Though the fact of the matter is that nobody who buys one of these will ever adjust the dropouts because they'll soon discover it's hardly worth the effort, and indeed they'll completely forget about this feature until something starts creaking.

And never mind that this used to be a standard feature on road bikes that nobody misses unless they're looking to do a fixie coversion:


Meanwhile, in other news, an Uber driver beat up a cyclist and the NYPD couldn't be bothered to do anything about it:


There was nowhere to go, because the gutter was clogged with double-parked cars near Mr. PiƱa. The guy honked and I looked over my shoulder like, "Yo." At that time, I had no idea, but I left a slight [handlebar] residue on his window, which happens maybe one out of 25 times: I touch a car when I go between them. I think that's why he hopped out of the car, I think, but I'm not sure. He went wild on me.

Okay, I admit I don't know what "handlebar residue" is.  (Maybe she's running those new Cipollini bar ends?)  Nevertheless, I have no problem believing the driver flew into a rage because she touched his car, because nothing brings out people's inner psychotic like when you make contact with their precious motor vehicles.  It's the height of insanity that people believe they can operate and store giant multi-ton machines on public streets in the biggest city in America without somebody inadvertently touching them or--GASP!--scuffing them.  You're more likely to get away with touching a stranger's child than with touching their car.  (Though, and I can't stress this enough, please do not go touching people's children.)  Furthermore, I also have absolutely no problem believing that the cops discouraged her from filing a report:

James recounted that the cops acknowledged seeing the attack, and though pedestrians and the hack's two fares offered to serve as witnesses, the officers discouraged her from filing a police report.

After getting both side's stories, the cops purportedly told her that her schedule is probably too busy for her to attend the necessary court dates, and that prosecutors would be likely to drop an assault charge to harassment anyway. One privately tried to explain away the cabbie's behavior, saying, "The guy had a bad day," and adding that his father was a cab driver who "used to beat people up all the time."

Unfortunately the article does not identify the cops by name, but given the personal details one of them revealed I'd start by asking around for an Officer Bickle.




(Dear Ol' Dad)

Lastly, Heath Evans's Wikipedia page has proven to be as mercurial as an abusive taxi driver, for yesterday it looked like this:

But alas today it looks like this:


I was sorry to see the bit about running over cyclists was removed, but you'll notice it also no longer mentions his Christianity.  From this I can only conclude he's now renounced his faith, and arguably that's an even bigger victory than teaching him to respect cyclists.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

WEEEEeeeeeeee

BamaPhred said...

Second Scranus

dnk said...

Third but before Ted

Anonymous said...

Fourth after reading it all, thanks for another good post Snob

Anonymous said...

"Okay, I admit I don't know what "handlebar residue" is. (Maybe she's running those new Cipollini bar ends?)"

Nice one. Solid all around.

Ted K. said...

.

N/A said...

Good morning, great to see you all, happy to be here!

Anonymous said...

Ted K. was too busy tongue bathing my scranus to post first today. And Ted? You missed a spot. Get back to work.

streepo said...

beat to the scranus

Anonymous said...

8/10

crosspalms said...

Not sure I'd want to fix a rear flat on that Otso.

BikeSnobNYC said...

crosspalms,

But tubeless has made flats a thing of the past!!!
I read it in Bicycling.

--Wildcat Etc.

Jimmy Swagget said...

"From this I can only conclude he's now renounced his faith, and arguably that's an even bigger victory than teaching him to respect cyclists."

That right there is the start of a recursive endless argument.

Grump said...

WTF????
$70 for the NYC Century ride?? A "Century ride isn't even a "Pretend Race" like these damn Grand Fondo's". Has the world gone mad (or just greedy?) $70 for a century?
I have a feeling that people in Illinois aren't quite insane. On the 11th, there is a Century Ride going on here, that's been "happening" for the last 30-35 years. It costs $20 (or day of $25). This is what a Century ride should cost, damnit.
Of course, a "Fred" T-Shirt of the ride isn't included ($10 extra)
Are Century Ride Organizers around the country as greedy as the ones in NYC???

Anonymous said...

"WTF????
$70 for the NYC Century ride??"
I'm sure the costs of hosting a century in the middle of nowhere Illinois are the same as putting one on through NYC. Close down Chicago for a day and I'm sure that $25 increases slightly.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Grump,

Transportation Alternatives is an advocacy organization in New York City. One of the ways they raise money is by organizing rides and asking for money in return. Crazy, right?!? Of course you can always just ride around NYC for free, but this is a way to do it with other people on a pre-set route with rest stops and an afterparty while supporting a good cause.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

N/A said...

$70 for an organized event through an expensive tourist-destination city doesn't seem bad to me. That's cheaper than most distance run/ride events I've done.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Seventy cents a mile is too much?

Everything costs more in NYC.

Grump, you wouldn't happen to be Jewish, would you?

BikeSnobNYC said...

N/A,

I did the NYC Century years ago, before I started racing and all the rest of it. I'm pretty sure it was the first time I ever rode 100 miles. I appreciated having a set route and some support, not to mention the insight I gained into navigating certain unfamiliar parts of the city.

It's a good event.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

bad boy of the north said...

There is another gravel specific bike?is otso?.warakin get it?

James said...

Finally fake TedK posted something worthwhile rather than the demented drool he usually slobbers every day.

I saw an electric fatbike in the wild today on my commute. Came up behind and hung on my wheel a while then passed. I thought I was just slacking until he started pulling away without even pedaling.

Fred Flagstone said...

It's hard to believe one bike can be fully optimized for all types of gravel. There's pea gravel, crushed rock, river gravel, kitty litter gravel, pebble gravel and that's just off the top of my head. We need fine gravel bikes and coarse gravel bikes at a minimum. This Luddite lack of specialization is unacceptable.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Can clay, shale and loam bikes be far behind?

N/A said...

I desperately need a "chip seal surface with heavy cracks and some errant debris" bike.

JLRB said...

I would have posted earlier but I was adjusting my rear (and reading the scary shit at the end of yesterday's comments).

JLRB said...

As a non-NYer I would love to do the NY Century - great way to see the City. Still mending from some doctor stuff at the moment so maybe next year ...

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

S
Sc
Scr
Scra
Scran
Scranu
Scranus
Scranu
Scran
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The Secretary to Pope Babble. said...

I wan to see Heath across the line of scrimmage from Friar Tuck. The good Friar would kick some Christian values into Heathcliff's scrantus and then have a couple of ales laughing about it.

Holy Roller said...

There is a special place in Hell for those who renounce their faith and are negligent in adjusting their rear ends. Amen.

Needy one said...

re Fred Flagstone - right on!

Am planning a good long ride on NH dirt/gravel/rock roads and will have a Landrover support vehicle behind me with at least 10 of my 15 various gravel steeds and a bunch of different tires so that I can handle whatever condition comes my way.

I mean, how the heck to you ride in the rough with only ONE bike?

Anonymous said...

The Fredtastic Voyage organizers should announce in military time.

Anonymous said...

Nosferatu's Grim Fondle still has some spaces open:

https://www.levisgranfondo.com/register

P. Bateman said...

don't forget the gravel you find at the gravel pit - air up for that ride. you'll want the rubber as hard as a rock.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gravel%20pit

Anonymous said...



cops hate cyclists, maybe because they see us as whiney and self-entitled. Partly true, but they need some serious sensitivity training in this area along with a few others.

I just change the tires on my mr pink when I want to ride on gravel or dirt, it doesn't have disc brakes though so I will probably die.

crosspalms said...

Grump,
There's a good one on the 18th, the North Shore Century. Well organized, good rest stops, $40 (it was $30 till the middle of last week...). I've done it or parts of it a few times. Fun, and actually includes a few hills, which are rarities around here.

FlyoverRube said...

Maybe after the NYC Century reports we can has travelogue that involves trip to Stone Barns? For some reason, I find that fascinating.

dem_bieks! said...

Don't say nobody misses those dropout adjusters.

Way, way, waaaaaay back in the day you used those dropout adjuster screws like the modern "b" adjustment. You would measurably improve the shifting of the era when you switched from 13-19 to 13-24 (5-speed freewheel) by fiddling with those dropout screws.

I'm happy shifting is so much better than that now. I'm happy to see them gone because most of them got bent anyway. But, they really did have a purpose.

dem_bieks said...

Grump,

$70 is nothing. The epitome of organized rides might be the Chris King Gourmet centuries. http://gourmetcentury.com/ride/?project=asheville-nc $275 if I'm not mistaken.

None said...

Today's Snobbery and the resulting commentary are good examples of what keeps me coming back to this blog.

Relevant to today's topics; Uber and Ford both announced recently that fully autonomous vehicles will be plying the streets of Pittsburgh later this year. Hail a ride with your Uber app, and the car (a robotic Volvo) that arrives to serve you will be driving itself. (with a human 'driver' inside to monitor the robot)

This could be the beginning of the end of the Motorist v Cyclist battle. The CEO of Ford has publicly stated that personal automobile ownership will be a thing of the past in the first half of this century.

It remains to be seen how the Silicon Valley software developers deal with pedestrians and cyclists in their code. Autonomous cars won't be tweeting about running cyclists down. But will they choose to hit a cyclist instead of a pedestrian? They will need to make those choices eventually. Perhaps WCRM's prediction of transponders up the asses of pedestrians and cyclists will become reality.

Chazu said...

I wrote that ^^

Frickus Rungus said...

Those adjustable dropouts look simple compared to some other products I've seen in the wild: example

Anonymous said...

Sometimes nothing says it all.

1904 Cadardi said...

Back in the good ol' days the choice was between Campagnolo 1010a long horizontal or Campagnolo 1010b short horizontal dropouts. And wheels slipping sideways if the quick release wasn't tight enough was a fact of life.

Darn you kids, quit grinding my gravel!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chazu

The autonomous google cars I've encountered near the GooglePlex have gotten out of my way. (I was on a bike, of course, behind the right rear, and the g-car veered away from me.). I hear you can slow them down by waving your arms (Fun !!). They recently learned not to cut in front of buses.

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_29578220/google-self-driving-car-crashes-bus

Anonymous said...

Longtime fan, but I'm troubled by the slam on Christianity. Did I miss a joke? Hope so. I know it's unfashionable, and I don't practice, but making fun of Islam, Judaism and black churchgoing are definitely out of bounds. Why the exception?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:52pm,

See Monday's post.

--Wildcat Erc.

PS: To quote Jello Biafra, "All religions suck."

BikeSnobNYC said...

...and PLEASE don't tell me what's "out of bounds" on my blog.

TO Whom it May Concern... said...

I think I remember reading Mr. Snob's English degree includes a minor in Religion. And this degree is from the State of New York. Not that you need a collage education to figure out all religions suck.

BikeSnobNYC said...

To Whom...,

Yep, just wanted to keep my employment prospects to an absolute minimum.

--Wildcat Etc.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

Kneel before me! Renounce your faith little man!

leroy said...

My dog observed that Mr. Evans doesn't look a thing like Jesus, but (since deleting his tweet) he talks like a gentleman.

But I think my dog is just jealous I spotted Rock N Roll Jesus down the beach from Mr. Evans' neighborhood recently.

And given Mr. Evans' deleted tweet, I appreciated The Killers reference.

crosspalms said...

Anon 3:52
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Spokey said...

Grump, anon, WCRM

CJBC does their own fund raising framlands for $30 which includes water bottle, shirt, eats, etc. Of the 18 mile route is more expensive per mile than the century. Agreed that centra/north jersey isn't NYC but then too, you get to ride somewhere other than NYC

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Snobby spanked Anon 3:52 like a Catholic school nun spanks a scboolboy. Must be a millenial. They are so hypersensitive to any attempts at etnic or religious humor.

Spokey said...


it's high time to lighten up on the christians and start belittling those bicycle hating taoists.

crosspalms said...

Panama's new holiday slogan: Let's put the isthmus back in Christmas

Anonymous said...

The Dalai Lama came to University of Colorado, Boulder a few months ago and they gave him a bike helmet. Good money in Buddhism these days. Big hitter, the lama.

Dooth said...

Islam, Judaism and black church-going...these are a few of my favorite things.

Snob's Rabbi said...

Leroy, there is an almost certainty that the real Jesus (if he, indeed existed) looked nothing like the medieval paintings portray him. He would likely have been about 5'2", dark-complected with curly hair and distinctively sephardic facial features.

wishiwasmerckx said...

The Dalai Lama walks into a pizzeria. The counterman says, "What can I get for you?"

The Dalai Lama replies, "Can you make me one with everything?"

Grump said...

Spokey

I think that they would have to pay me to do a city ride, unless all the stop lights were flashing green. Give me the open roads (where you might have a stop sign, or light, every 5 miles)..........Question: In a ride with 7000 riders, do you have to wave at everyone??? (will they cry if you don't?)

Spokey said...

jimmy cricket Snob's Rabbi

how ridiculous. i spose next thing you'll tell us is that

rin-tin-tin was a dachshund! or the lone ranger was really a chinese railroad track layer.

Spokey said...

grump

i'm with you there

to paraphrase al kooper, i ride alone. I did ride about 1/2 mile last week with a group ride straggler helping her with her cue sheet directions (had stopped to talk to a guy at a construction site when the group had gone by). next most recent non-solo ride was early may at that above mentioned ride.

today's ~20 miles had 5 stopsigns and 4 lights.

Mark 5:21 said...

Snob Rabbi 623. He was probably a lot thinner too. No fast food joints, no Duncan Donuts. And all that wandering in the desert.

Heath said...

What cho heathens talkin about. I just saw a pitcher of Jeebus down at the True Vine Church of Exceedingly Glorius Rightousness and I kin assure yew he is a 6'4" blonde haired blue eyed Viking.

MrLobstermash said...

Wikipedia has locked editing on Mr Evans' page until the 31st... Perhaps if we write it in French they'd never know

Anonymous said...

Telling people not to go touching other people's children is definitely out of bounds.

bad boy in the salt mines said...

Crosspalms and wishi,two comedians on the same stage...very funny...thanks.

bad boy in the salt mines said...

Snob...that's teachin'them.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Why did the bike company Otso choose to name themselves after a Finnish line of drinking glasses added to the Museum of Modern Art collection in 1978?

Some guy from upstate said...

Yesterday I rode my cyclocross bike on a bunch of gravel. Was this dangerous? It seemed to work ok. Maybe Michigan gravel is more benign.

Arizona redneck said...

The Dalai Lama pays with a $ 50, asks for change. The pizza guy says change comes from within

See above said...

You were gravelly mistaken. Heh.

I'll show myself out.

Yakov Smirnov said...

In Russia, everywhere is gravel. In America, gravel is everywhere.

What a country.

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