Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Wednesday by Any Other Name Would be a Tuesday, or Possibly a Thursday

Well, it's gift guide season, and the latest book by Jørs Trüli has made Portland's River City Cycles 2016 Gift Guide:

It's the perfect stocking stuffer, as is a tub of chamois cream:

Indeed, my words and this chamois cream have a lot in common: they're buttery smooth, they're soothing when applied to the scranus, and they've both been tested on animals*.

*[Just kidding, as far as I know Assos chamois cream is not tested on animals, though I did test my book on animals by reading it to the cat**.]

**[The cat coughed up a hairball at around page 96.]

Not only that, but River City also mentioned my book in the Willamette Week:

I've got to admit I'm pretty intrigued by that beehive and am thinking it could make a great Festivus gift for the kiddies.  Beekeeping seems like a wholesome hobby and I see no reason why I shouldn't set up a hive in their bedroom.  In fact I visited the maker's website and they even offer a complete starter kit:

Though I'm sure rocking this will mark you as a total Bee Fred.

Speaking of lit-ritch-ur, today is Mark Twain's birthday:

(Mark Twain was just a pen name, his real name was Mark Goldfarb)

And to mark the occasion I highly recommend reading his account of learning to ride a bicycle, which is the source of this oft-used quote:

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.

Not only is it highly entertaining, but he describes the sensation of riding a bike better than anybody else has since, and this was only 1884:

The bicycle had what is called the "wabbles," and had them very badly. In order to keep my position, a good many things were required of me, and in every instance the thing required was against nature. That is to say, that whatever the needed thing might be, my nature, habit, and breeding moved me to attempt it in one way, while some immutable and unsuspected law of physics required that it be done in just the other way. I perceived by this how radically and grotesquely wrong had been the life-long education of my body and members. They were steeped in ignorance; they knew nothing--nothing which it could profit them to know. For instance, if I found myself falling to the right, I put the tiller hard down the other way, by a quite natural impulse, and so violated a law, and kept on going down. The law required the opposite thing--the big wheel must be turned in the direction in which you are falling. It is hard to believe this, when you are told it. And not merely hard to believe it, but impossible; it is opposed to all your notions. And it is just as hard to do it, after you do come to believe it. Believing it, and knowing by the most convincing proof that it is true, does not help it: you can't any more DO it than you could before; you can neither force nor persuade yourself to do it at first. The intellect has to come to the front, now. It has to teach the limbs to discard their old education and adopt the new.

Now cycling writing is just bike reviewers telling you a $10,000 plastic Fred Sled "goes where you point it."

Indeed, you could argue that the refinement of the bicycle is the very enemy of art.  Consider, for example, that if Twain had had access to a modern-day gravel bike this passage might never had been written:

Stones were a bother to me. Even the smallest ones gave me a panic when I went over them. I could hit any kind of a stone, no matter how small, if I tried to miss it; and of course at first I couldn't help trying to do that. It is but natural. It is part of the ass that is put in us all, for some inscrutable reason.

Instead he'd have bored us with some crap about how the Cannondale Slate ($4,260 with Force group) is equally at home on the tarmac and the trail and gives you the confidence to rail those corners like a monkey in a mining cart.

And would his spills have been half as entertaining if he'd had the false sense of security you get from wearing a helmet?

Though I suppose this is the 19th century equivalent of getting heckled for not wearing one:

He was full of interest and comment. The first time I failed and went down he said that if he was me he would dress up in pillows, that's what he would do.

"The victim was not dressed up in pillows," the newspapers would say.

Oh sure, the safety bike was a welcome innovation, and without pneumatic tires we wouldn't be able to obsess over #whatpressureyourunning, but it should be clear to everybody now that bike innovation topped out years ago and now they're simply grasping at windmills and tilting at straws.  For example, does anybody really need magnet pedals?

Apart from mountain unicyclists, of course:

Note how all-terrain unicyclists flail their arms like they're being attacked by a swarm of invisible bees.

Still, I wouldn't try these in New York City, if only because the streets are littered with bits of metal and your pedals would look like this in short order:

Also, they already ran a Kickstarter like two years ago that didn't get funded.

In other news, a reader forwarded a groundbreaking study with a shocking conclusion:

Yes, believe it or not, when you add bike lanes and stuff cycling becomes safer:

The odds of cyclists being injured in an accident in Boston have decreased significantly in recent years as the city has made a slew of changes to promote bike riding and improve safety, a new study from Harvard University researchers has found.

The study, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found that there was a 14 percent reduction in the odds of being injured in a cycling accident for each year from 2009 through 2012.

And when you add more cyclists then cycling becomes safer still:

“There is a concept of safety in numbers that several studies have evaluated and we touched upon briefly,” said Pedroso. “The concept is based on the fact that with increased number of bicycle riders there is increased cyclist awareness by vehicles. This improved awareness results in reductions in vehicle-cyclist accidents.”

If you didn't know better you'd think that adding bike lanes and encouraging people to ride is more effective than making people wear helmets.

And here's a frustrating fact:

■ The odds of injury in accidents involving car doors are 225 percent higher than other types of accidents. “This is an interesting finding because it shows that if we expanded on strategies that separated bicycles from cars that we may have a significant impact on overall injuries,” Pedroso said.

Yes, of all the crap we deal with out there on the roads, we're most likely to be taken out by some asshole who can't be bothered to check before flinging open their fucking car door.

Drivers are so lazy they don't even put any effort into hitting you.

Lastly, on the subject of safety, race organizers are taking bold new steps to keep riders from getting hit by race vehicles:

During the General Assembly of the International Association of Cycling Race Organizers (AIOCC), the three groups decided to decrease team rosters from nine to eight in the Grand Tours and from eight to seven in their other events. This new policy will go into effect for the 2017 season.

"This decision responds to two-pronged objective: The first being to improve the safety conditions for the riders with a smaller peloton on roads equipped with more and more street furniture," read a statement released Friday by the ASO.

Wait, the road are crowded so they're going to reduce the number of bike racers instead of the number of race vehicles?  Aren't the bike racers why people follow the sport in the first place?  Isn't this like "improving" Lucky Charms by reducing the marshmallow count to three per box?

I guess we can look forward to an all-ITT format for the Tour de France by 2025.


Ted K. said...

193. The kind of revolution we have in mind will not necessarily involve an armed uprising against any government. It may or may not involve physical violence, but it will not be a POLITICAL revolution. Its focus will be on technology and economics, not politics. [32]

N/A said...

Mark Twain liked an even application of a warming embrocation.

Watch and Camera Guy said...


Bagnall said...

I used to like ITTs, now i just find them boring

Chazu said...

Read it first. Got to the bottom and saw "No Comments." Coulda been a contender.

N/A said...

I think that when you get right down to it, the best way to make the pro riders absolutely safe is to move all races to Zwift, taking place in a climate-controlled warehouse in an undisclosed location, with a reasonable selection of seasonally-appropriate beverages and finger foods.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

7th Scranus!

Neal Young said...

Rust never sleeps,
but that chuck key still looks usable,
possibly the tap too.

ken e. said...

up there, "take this train to soggy town!"

Pedantic Wrench Monkey said...

Neal Young, That's not a tap. It's a die.

le Correcteur said...

I railed number 11, "like a monkey in a mining cart." Now to finish reading.

Neil said...

Car doors should open front to back. hitting one would just slam it on the leg of the driver - negative feedback loop.

bad boy of the north said...

Hey I went to a school named after Mr.samuel c

Anonymous said...

Assos? With all the much better brands of chamois cream out there YOU (of all people) recommend this overpriced crap??? Shame on you Wildcat Rock Machine!

N/A said...

"There's no finer a balm for an itchy scranus, flared-up scrotum, or chapped cheeks than Assos' cream. 'Tis hardly a day goes by that I don't grab a rather large handful and briskly inoculate my taint against the bitter treatment afforded by this damned mechanical horse."
-Mark Twain.

Grump said...

Only "woosies" use chamois cream. "Real" men sprinkle sand on their seat pads.

N/A said...

"Mark Twain is always rubbing stuff onto his ass."
-Benjamin Franklin.

le Correcteur said...

Where do Kickstarter videos (among others) get that cheesy music? Do conservatories teach "low budget video production soundtracks" as a musical genre?

And imagine accidentally putting your wallet too close to your Maglock pedals!

dancesonpedals said...

I prefer IPA's

Nopit Jjjj said...

Bike too work.i like that.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:59pm,

1) I am not recommending it or un-recommending it, I am merely commenting on how it's in the same gift guide as my book;

2) I don't give a shit about chamois cream anyway as I don't use it.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

ubercurmudgeon said...

Festivus seems to come around earlier and earlier each year.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

I want to go to Target to get some street furniture.

Oh wait, are we supposed to be boycotting Target or increasing shopitude there?

Fuck it, I'm going to Cuba to lease a 1952 DeSoto.


Anonymous said...

Ben Franklin would be greatly improved would he pay significantly more attention to his ass than to having his portrait on currency.
-M. Twain

Wouldn't You Like to Know said...

"Where do Kickstarter videos (among others) get that cheesy music? Do conservatories teach "low budget video production soundtracks" as a musical genre?"

It is called non-copyrighted music; you don't have to pay to use it. Pre-internet porn moview used the same stuff. At least the ones I starred in did.

wle said...

magnet pedals?
i thought i needed magnet pedals?
oh - wait - sorry - what i needed was "chick magnet pedals"

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

That poor beagle.

Nice post Jors. Keep em coming.

wle said...

how is that magnet pedals do not need special shoes? my shoes don;t have magnets or iron soles...wle

N/A said...

Jørs Trüli is just a NDP. His real name is Hors Doovers. He's a real hit at parties!

The Man in the High Castle said...

Trump Brand Chamois Cream, available at fine food establishments everywhere.

Reports of Me Receiving the Nobel Prize are Premature said...

If the cat made it to page 96 then those fools in Stockholm don't know what their missing.

leroy said...

Dear Mr. BSNYC --

My dog has asked me to inform you that he condemns in the strongest terms possible the gratuitous insertion of raccoon on beagle porn in your portrait of the estimable Mark Goldfarb.

I told him to lighten up.

Drock said...

"Politics is show business for ugly people"
M Twain
Bout time a missouri boy gets kudos. You will write about me soon when the people see the utter bliss behind running bio pace on your fixed gear, now we got chain slack oh my.

8carlisle said...

Would the negative feedback door still be called "suicide". Neil's buick hearse would invite the rider inside.

Anonymous said...

Mark Twain knows all abouts that goofy tiller effect

1904 Cadardi said...

Chamios cream? Ha!

[M. Twain neé Goldfarb] Oo, put some Lister's Carbolic Unguent on a wad of cotton. Put the cotton in your shorts. That'll stop them shakes.
[B. Franklin] No, no. What you need is a balsam specific.
[M. Twain neé Goldfarb] Balsam specific! Oof-- While we're burning money why don't we give her a curative galvanic belt too?
[M. Amis neé T. Pynchon] Don't forget to give her Smeckler's Powder.

N/A said...

Does VeloNews have anything like this level of discourse on what sort of things our famous forefathers slathered on their nethers? Hell no, they don't!

JLRB said...

Burning your scranus will be punishable by pulling your race card and making you wear a cardboard helment.

Enjoyed the literary adventure

Anonymous said...

Shit on chamois cream. No!

Frickus Rungus said...


Maybe your next book should have a sample packet of your favorite scranus slathering product attached to one of the pages? Kind of like the women's magazines have perfume samples. I'm not sure you will be allowed to include a sample of live bees... May have to check with the international librarians association or something first.
Or, you could make your book fold into a helment, so you could wear it while riding a bike share bike. I wouldn't want embrocations and live bees on my head though, so don't use all of these wonderful ideas in the same book.

Sax Huret said...

An all ITT grand tour sounds like a hoot (especially if Velon POV coverage were offered for all the riders in their stable) but then I realized it'd just be triathlon with people who know how to ride a bicycle.

wishiwasmerckx said...

BSNYC, may I suggest DZ Nuts, a scranal embrocation developed by none other than Dave Zabriskie?

I am a fan.

crosspalms said...

Road furniture?

P. Bateman said...

Road this:

Anonymous said...

Brevard bicyclist killed in crash with turtle

bieks said...

Does your cat try to lie on the book while you read it? Cuz that's a sure sign of fine literature.

Oh, and I though Mark Twain's real name was Samuel L Jackson.

P. Bateman said...

Anon - thanks for sharing. thats about 5 min from me.

crazy story and also really shitty luck.

I wonder how they determined that they had the right turtle? surprised the turtle even accepted responsibility - they are well known liars that typically lawyer up fast. well, fast for a turtle anyway.

Snakes on a Plane, Snakes on a Road said...

Once upon a time a snake shot across the road right in front of me, came really close to running over it, never thought about the possibility of it getting into the spokes.

Seattle lone wolf said...

I though Mark Twain's real name was Clarence Clemons.

dancesonpedals said...

A 50 tooth chainring sprint

Dooth said...

Huckleberry Hipster, the sequel to Huckleberry Finn, was never published, because the author preferred the twain shall never meet.

fourhourerection said...

Magnetic pedals...My work is in an industrial area. I have a hard enough time dodging sharp metal things, let alone have my pedals suck them up.

Tubasti said...

We visited Boston last summer. Parking a car is so impossible that everyone stays fit by walking, biking, or running after the T. What a great city!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what the attraction is with magnetic pedals. I wonder how many people think they are a good idea. Someone should take a pole.

Anonymous said...

For flux sake, what a repulsive idea.

JLRB said...

pshaw - my pedals are electromagnetic

McFly said...

"For instance, if I found myself falling to the right, I put the tiller hard down the other way, by a quite natural impulse, and so violated a law, and kept on going down."

The Goofy Tiller Effect was established in the late 1800's it seems.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

"Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world -- and never will."
Mark Twain, before bike chains were even invented.

McFly said...

"That don't impress me much." -- Shania Twain

Frickus Rungus said...

Has anyone else noticed this article: Fight From Your Bike: Martial Artists Show How

Frickus Rungus said...

I want to fight!
From my bike!
With kunnnnng-fu!
(sung to the tune of fight for your right to party by by the beastie boys)

dancesonpedals said...

Meanwhile, in the antipodes...

dancesonpedals said...

I haven't spoken to my Aunt Tippoedeze in forever.

Anonymous said...

More Snob fodder here
Perhaps with this readers will realize the bike reviews and rest of this guy's blog is as full-of-it as this laughable "product review" is? And he wants readers to pay him to produce this crap?

JLRB said...

Everyone is making such a big deal out of the billionaires Trump is putting on his cabinet, and how they are all anti-LGBT, but nobody has yet explored their views on important issues such as steel vs aluminum, suspension vs stiff, yaw, tire pressure, or whether it really matters if you mount your tire with the rotation arrow going forward.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Antipodes? Is that like the Levant of the Pacific? Anyways, they usually travel in pairs.

Frickus Rungus said...

If you mount a tire backwards and ride on it that way, it breaks you mamma's back-side(vulvanus?). Kind of like the sidewalk crack epidemic. It's why I never walk anywhere; ever. Just don't do it!
Barneys used to experiment with mounting mismatched tires every which way in the nineties and look what's happened to them.

Wesley Bellairs said...

It seems to me that it was far from right for the Professor of English Literature at Yale, the Professor of English Literature in Columbia, and Wilkie Collins to deliver opinions on Cooper's literature without having read some of it. It would have been much more decorous to keep silent and let persons talk who have read Cooper.

Cooper's art has some defects. In one place in "Deerslayer," and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.

There are nineteen rules governing literary art in domain of romantic fiction -- some say twenty-two. In "Deerslayer," Cooper violated eighteen of them. These eighteen require:

1. That a tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere. But the "Deerslayer" tale accomplishes nothing and arrives in air.
2. They require that the episodes in a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help to develop it. But as the "Deerslayer" tale is not a tale, and accomplishes nothing and arrives nowhere, the episodes have no rightful place in the work, since there was nothing for them to develop.

3. They require that the personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others. But this detail has often been overlooked in the "Deerslayer" tale.

4. They require that the personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there. But this detail also has been overlooked in the "Deerslayer" tale.

5. The require that when the personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject at hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when the people cannot think of anything more to say. But this requirement has been ignored from the beginning of the "Deerslayer" tale to the end of it.

6. They require that when the author describes the character of a personage in the tale, the conduct and conversation of that personage shall justify said description. But this law gets little or no attention in the "Deerslayer" tale, as Natty Bumppo's case will amply prove.

7. They require that when a personage talks like an illustrated, gilt-edged, tree-calf, hand-tooled, seven- dollar Friendship's Offering in the beginning of a paragraph, he shall not talk like a negro minstrel in the end of it. But this rule is flung down and danced upon in the "Deerslayer" tale.

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#1 Son said...

From the details of the Harvard study ( on biking in Boston: "The odds of being involved in an accident resulting in an injury were 118% (OR = 2.18; 95% CI = 1.22, 3.89) higher among helmet
users than among nonusers
". That should have been the headline conclusion in both the study and the Globe article.